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Greece: Parliament Approves Building of First Mosque in Athens

(Aug. 16, 2016) On August 4, 2016, following long and tumultuous debates among members of the Greek Muslim community, various Greek governments, and the Greek Orthodox Church, the Greek Parliament approved the building of a mosque in Athens.  The permit for the plan was included in a law dealing with energy matters.  (New Regime to […]

European Union: Measures Adopted Following Brexit

(Aug. 8, 2016) Within days following the United Kingdom’s referendum vote of June 23, 2016, to withdraw from the European Union, the EU’s three main decision-making institutions — the Parliament, the Commission, and the Council — took actions in response, such as calling on the United Kingdom to start negotiations to leave the EU by triggering the withdrawal mechanism stipulated in […]

EHCR/Hungary: Mass Surveillance Activities by Police Force Violate the Right to Privacy, Home and Correspondence

(Feb. 9, 2016) On January 2016, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) delivered a judgment in the case of Szabo and Vissy v. Hungary. The ECHR held that broad secret surveillance activities that had been conducted by the Hungarian Anti-Terrorism Task Force, which was established within the police force on the basis of the […]

European Union: The Netherlands in Charge of EU Presidency

(Jan. 29, 2016) On January 1, 2016, the Netherlands took over the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union and will be in charge of the Council agenda for the next six months. (The Netherlands and the EU Presidency, Netherlands EU Presidency 2016 website (last visited Jan. 29, 2016).)  The 2009 Lisbon EU […]

European Union: Draft Directive on Collection and Transfer of Air Passenger Record Data

(Dec. 23, 2015) In the wake of the recent terrorist attacks in France, the issue of the collection of passenger name record (PNR) data from airlines and the transfer of that data to the appropriate national authorities of the Member States of the European Union has been revisited with a renewed sense of urgency. On […]

European Union: Proposals to Establish a New European Border and Coast Guard

(Dec. 18, 2015) On December 15, 2015, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a Regulation to Establish a European Border and Coast Guard (EBCG), designed to ensure shared European management of the external borders of the European Union. The proposal will establish a European Border and Coast Guard Agency (EBCGA), which will replace the […]

Court of Justice of the European Union; European Union: Challenges to Mandatory Plan to Relocate Refugees

(Dec. 14, 2015) Several of the European Union (EU) Members States, including the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia have been very critical of the EU’s recently adopted plan to distribute 120,000 refugees among all the EU Member States.  On September 9, 2015, the European Commission had adopted a proposal for the resettlement plan in […]

European Union: Schengen Area and Re-Introduction of Border Controls

(Dec. 8, 2015) On December 1, 2015, Luxembourg, which is at present holding the rotating Presidency of the European Council, invited the Council of the European Union to hold a debate on the functioning of the Schengen area and to discuss a number of issues that have been raised due to the unprecedented influx of […]

United Nations: Security Council Resolution on Terrorism in France

(Nov. 24, 2015) On November 20, 2015, in the wake of the recent terrorist attacks in France, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) unanimously adopted Resolution No. 2249/2015, in which it condemned the terrorist attacks of November 2015 in France committed by ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant/Syria (ISIL or ISIS)), also known […]

Council of Europe: New Protocol on Foreign Fighters Opened for Signature

(Oct. 30, 2015) On October 22, 2015, a new Protocol on Foreign Terrorist Fighters was opened for signature for the states that have already become signatories to the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism. The Protocol was adopted by the Council of Ministers in May 2015. (Appendix: Additional Protocol to the Council […]