FECL 19 (October 1993):

DOCUMENTS AND PUBLICATIONS

 

Council of Europe:

- Report on the situation of the refugees and displaced persons in Serbia, Montenegro, and the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia, 14.9.93, Doc.6910. Rapporteur: Mr. Flückiger.

This excellent, close to life report bluntly describes the catastrophic effects of the UN embargo on the civilian population an, particularly refugees in Serbia and Montenegro. At present, over a half a million refugees are staying in Serbia and Montenegro. 95% of these refugees live with host families. These families and the refugees they are lodging are undoubtedly suffering from the severe economic conditions now prevailing in these countries, which in its turn are the cause of dramatically deteriorating standards of health care, particularly in Serbia and Montenegro.

In the conclusions of the report it is said, among other things that "it is our duty to call attention to what could happen in the future. It is clear that the economic and financial ruin of the present Federal Republic of Yugoslavia will generate new migratory flows in the long term" and that "responsibility requires us to ask certain questions about the moral and material consequences of the embargo, the political aspect of this measure being purposely eclipsed since it goes beyond the delegation's terms of reference".

The report includes a draft resolution appealing to the Security Council of the UN to, among other things, "review the implementation of Resolutions 757 and 820 with a view to ensuring that the embargo on Serbia and Montenegro effectively and generously exempts transactions for humanitarian purposes", and to "increase, without earmarking, their contributions to the international humanitarian aid effort on behalf of the former Yugoslavia". The draft resolution further calls on the member states of the Council of Europe, to "avoid the imposition of visa requirements for refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina, since the neighbouring countries use this as an excuse for prohibiting transit accross their territory".

 

- Report on the fight against racism, xenophobia and intolerance, 16.9.93, Doc.6915, Rapporteur: Mr. Espersen.

Among the more interesting conclusions of the report is the observation that "there was a manifest reluctance in several countries to prosecute the perpetrators of racist violence. This and the leniency of those sentences that were passed, created an impression that justice was not being done. Consequently, before resorting to new legislation as proposed in the face of particular incidents, existing legal instruments should be better used".

 

- "Safe country principle" from the perspective of transit countries, Document submitted by the Hungarian delegation at the 36th meeting of CAHAR (Ad Hoc Committee of Experts on the Legal Aspects of Territorial Asylum, Refugees and stateless people), Strasbourg, 13.9.93, CAHAR (93)15 (in English)

 

Statewatching the new Europe: a handbook on the European state, edited by Tony Bunyon, paperback, 208 p., ISBN 1 874481 02 4; price £4.50 (including postage) available from: Statewatch, PO Box 1516, London N16 OEW, UK, Tel: +44/81 8021882, Fax: +44/81 8801727.

"Statewatching the new Europe" is the first handbook to look at the new institutions being created under the Maastricht Treaty.

The handbook covers the key issues concerning civil liberties and democratic accountability - policing and Europol, immigration and asylum, internal security & Northern Ireland, racism and fascism, the Trevi and Schengen groups, surveillance and internal security services, the law and civil liberties.

It sets out how new institutions and policies have been created in secret meetings of civil servants, police and internal security officers and immigration officials.

The European Parliament and national parliaments and the citizens of the EC have had no say in what has been decided. Tony Bunyan writes: "The [European] state has been conceived by governments, honed by state officials, passed back to governments to agree- only then have the national parliaments been asked to ratify the whole package."

Commenting EC-measures of exclusion directed against black and Third World people, A. Sivanandan, the editor of Race & Class writes: "Thes are not economic refugees looking for a better life in western economies. Thes are political refugees fleeing from devastation that western economies have caused in their countrie. It is your economics that makes our politics that makes us refugees in your economies."

And stressing the interrelation between EC-wide policies of exclusion and the growth of racist and fascist violence, Liz Fekete, of theInstitute of Race Relations, writes: "Even as the governments of Europe seekt to manage the fall-out of racial violence, they use the same violence to justify more immigration controls and anti-refugee measures."

The handbook also deals with the question of "internal security" with a particular focus on Northern Ireland and its role of a laboratory" for setting up a "European secret state".

The book further includes a very useful survey of the 17 in the EC and the EFTA on police forces and internal security services, asylum policies, and racist violence.

We warmly recommend the handbook to anyone concerned about European "fortress" policies and their effects on civil liberties and democracy in our own societies.

 

Loi sur l'entrée et le séjour des étrangers - Argumentaire du GISTI, September 1993, GISTI, ca 50 p., in French.

Synoptical analysis of the decision of the Constitutional Court; Comments on the constitutionality of the law and the decision of the Constitutional Council.

 

Bijeljina in black, Spotlight Report No.7, 15.9.93, Humanitarian Law Fund, Belgrade, 4 p., in English.

Report on the explusion of Muslim inhabitants from Majevica (Bosnia) by local authorities of the municipality of Bjeljina. The report underlines that the region of Bijeljina has, until recently, resisted the practice of "ethnic cleansing and was "revealing the better sides of the policies of the Bosnian Serbs".

"Bosnian Serb leaders have to know that this new practice in Bijeljina - expulsions, robberies, taking properties and profiteering - is not supported by Serbs from Bijeljina".