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Jewish communities in the European Union

23-01-2020

The Jewish population in the EU has been diminishing in recent decades, and has witnessed an increase in acts of anti-Semitism and anti-Jewish violence in recent years. In defence of its values, including respect for minorities, the EU undertakes and funds actions to counter anti-Semitism. This is a further updated version of an 'at a glance' note published in January 2019.

The Jewish population in the EU has been diminishing in recent decades, and has witnessed an increase in acts of anti-Semitism and anti-Jewish violence in recent years. In defence of its values, including respect for minorities, the EU undertakes and funds actions to counter anti-Semitism. This is a further updated version of an 'at a glance' note published in January 2019.

EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Human Rights

28-06-2019

In the 70 years since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – the first international document to set common standards of achievement for all states – the pivotal role and moral, legal and political significance of human rights in the international arena have become indisputable. However, despite considerable progress in many areas on recognition, codification and implementation, human rights have also come under increased attack. Whether in theatres of war or in the political ...

In the 70 years since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – the first international document to set common standards of achievement for all states – the pivotal role and moral, legal and political significance of human rights in the international arena have become indisputable. However, despite considerable progress in many areas on recognition, codification and implementation, human rights have also come under increased attack. Whether in theatres of war or in the political arena, human rights are now often rejected on ideological grounds. The EU itself has not been spared by the current backlash. In its Member States, a populist wave has empowered some political forces that increasingly question the significance of core human rights, such as the right to freedom of expression. In these troubled times for human rights, opinion polls show that European citizens perceive human rights as one of the most important values for them personally and one of the values that best represent the EU itself. Having emerged from World War II and its atrocities, European countries were determined to secure lasting peace, and the Union they created is founded on respect for democracy, the rule of law and human rights, which guide and shape its legislation and policies. Within the EU, recent action has included new legislation on data protection and access to justice, the European Pillar of Social Rights, and initiatives to combat inequality, discrimination and hate speech. There is also an acknowledgement that more needs to be done to complete the legal framework to combat discrimination and strengthen internal mechanisms for upholding the rule of law. Human rights are additionally a general objective of EU external action. The EU is deeply committed to promoting human rights, as enshrined in international treaties, in its relations with third countries and with other multilateral regional and global institutions. During Parliament's last mandate, the EU consistently applied and deepened a range of policy approaches that strengthen its role and image as a normative power that inspires others through its example. Maintaining and consolidating this policy remains vital for preserving the EU's image and credibility as a normative power based on values, and one that has the capacity to act at a time when the principle of multilateralism is increasingly questioned. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

Artificial intelligence, data protection and elections

20-05-2019

The Facebook/Cambridge Analytica case in 2018, revealing alleged misuse of personal data for political advertising, demonstrated how the underlying values of the European data protection rules are essential for democracy. The EU has recently adopted a series of additional initiatives to support free and fair elections, reflected not least in European Parliament (EP) debates and resolutions.

The Facebook/Cambridge Analytica case in 2018, revealing alleged misuse of personal data for political advertising, demonstrated how the underlying values of the European data protection rules are essential for democracy. The EU has recently adopted a series of additional initiatives to support free and fair elections, reflected not least in European Parliament (EP) debates and resolutions.

The protection of fundamental rights in the EU: European Parliament achievements during the 2014-2019 legislative term and challenges for the future

17-04-2019

In the years between 2014 and 2019, the EU has faced serious challenges related to the protection of fundamental rights within its territory, notably in connection to the Rule of Law (RoL) and democracy in some EU Member States. The Commission and the European Parliament (EP), led by the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE), have addressed these challenges by activating - for the first time since its introduction in the Treaties - the procedure foreseen in art. 7.1 TEU, respectively ...

In the years between 2014 and 2019, the EU has faced serious challenges related to the protection of fundamental rights within its territory, notably in connection to the Rule of Law (RoL) and democracy in some EU Member States. The Commission and the European Parliament (EP), led by the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE), have addressed these challenges by activating - for the first time since its introduction in the Treaties - the procedure foreseen in art. 7.1 TEU, respectively against Poland and against Hungary. The EP has also consolidated its former requests under the proposal for an EU mechanism on Democracy, the Rule of Law and Fundamental rights (EU DRF Pact). Important legislative dossiers on procedural rights were approved (presumption of innocence, safeguards for children in criminal proceedings, legal aid). While the EP continued to report annually on the situation of fundamental rights in the EU and on traditional issues of interest (among which minorities, Roma, anti-Semitism, right-wing extremism, prisons, media freedom, as well as follow up activities on mass surveillance and CIA), it has also addressed new issues, such as protection of whistle-blowers (a Commission proposal was issued following insistence of the EP), islamophobia, afrophobia and fundamental rights of intersex persons. The EP has also adopted resolutions on the situation in specific Member States, such as Malta, Slovakia, Romania, expressing Rule of Law concerns. Among the challenges that remain open for the next term are the art. 7 TEU procedures against Hungary and Poland, the strengthening of the protection of art. 2 TEU values including through the promotion of the EU DRF Pact, the EU accession to the ECHR, the enhancement of the EU and EP monitoring mechanisms, the adoption of pending files, including the Rule of Law conditionality for EU funds, the Rights and Values and Justice programmes, the equal treatment directive, the reform of the transparency regulation and, in the longer term; the reform of the Treaties.

Action for damages against the EU

07-12-2018

Most legal systems, both of states and of international organisations, provide for the liability of public administrations for damage done to individuals. This area of the law, known as 'public tort law', varies considerably from country to country, even within the European Union (EU). The EU Treaties have, from the outset, provided for liability of the EU for public torts (wrongs), in the form of action for damages against the EU, now codified in the second and third paragraphs of Article 340 of ...

Most legal systems, both of states and of international organisations, provide for the liability of public administrations for damage done to individuals. This area of the law, known as 'public tort law', varies considerably from country to country, even within the European Union (EU). The EU Treaties have, from the outset, provided for liability of the EU for public torts (wrongs), in the form of action for damages against the EU, now codified in the second and third paragraphs of Article 340 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). However, these rules are notoriously vague and brief, and refer to the 'general principles common to the laws of the Member States' as the source for the rules of EU public tort law. Since the laws of the Member States on public torts differ significantly, the reference has been treated by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) as empowerment to develop EU public tort law in its own case law. The rules developed by the CJEU have been criticised by some academics as being very complex, non-transparent and unpredictable. Experts have also pointed out that the threshold of liability is set so high that actions for damages prove successful in very few cases only. According to the data available, from the establishment of the EU until 2014, the Court only actually granted compensation to applicants in 39 cases. As a result, some scholars have even pointed out that the principle of EU liability for public torts is 'illusory' and that action for damages is not an effective means of protecting fundamental rights. Other academics add that the question of establishing the principles of EU public tort law is not merely a technical issue, but a political one, as it touches upon fundamental questions of distributive justice and the form of government in the Union, and therefore should be the subject of democratic debate. This Briefing is one in a series aimed at explaining the activities of the CJEU.

Combating anti-Muslim hatred in the EU

28-11-2018

Discrimination against minorities is against EU values and principles. However, research shows that discrimination against Muslims is becoming more common, and that it is increasingly supported by some political parties. EU secondary legislation on the issue is limited, and even grounds and areas of discrimination that are already covered need more work to ensure comprehensive protection. Nonetheless, several key legislative proposals are not making any progress, much to the regret of the European ...

Discrimination against minorities is against EU values and principles. However, research shows that discrimination against Muslims is becoming more common, and that it is increasingly supported by some political parties. EU secondary legislation on the issue is limited, and even grounds and areas of discrimination that are already covered need more work to ensure comprehensive protection. Nonetheless, several key legislative proposals are not making any progress, much to the regret of the European Parliament.

Religion and human rights

21-11-2018

Although on the EU agenda for decades, recent events, such as the migration crisis and the issues with the rule of law in some Member States, have brought the issue of values back into focus. EU values are those of equality, freedom and respect for human rights. Freedom of religion and belief has significant protections in the EU and under the international legal framework. Religion, represented by churches, religious communities and other actors, is also a significant factor in the protection and ...

Although on the EU agenda for decades, recent events, such as the migration crisis and the issues with the rule of law in some Member States, have brought the issue of values back into focus. EU values are those of equality, freedom and respect for human rights. Freedom of religion and belief has significant protections in the EU and under the international legal framework. Religion, represented by churches, religious communities and other actors, is also a significant factor in the protection and promotion of human rights, both in the world and in the European Union. International human rights bodies have even formalised the participation of religious actors, mostly through exchanges and dialogues, and the European Union is no exception. Its Article 17 Dialogue with churches, religious, philosophical and non-confessional organisations offers an opportunity for those groups to make their voices heard at EU level. Religious actors have made significant contributions in, for example, migration, deradicalisation, social justice and education for tolerance. However, the role of religion in the human rights arena is sometimes perceived as challenging, since some religious actors and some secular human rights actors may not see eye-to-eye in some areas. Experts therefore suggest that it is important to maintain that all human rights have equal worth, that everyone who may be affected by the issue is included in the dialogue, and to try to find a compromise that will not alienate any party from further cooperation.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its relevance for the European Union

05-11-2018

Seventy years after its adoption, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has achieved all of the significance its drafters hoped it would. It has served as a foundation for the codification of human rights at global, regional and national level. Even though non-binding, many of its provisions enjoy such undisputed recognition as to be considered part of customary international law and therefore universally obligatory. In the absence of universal ratification of the human rights treaties, the Declaration ...

Seventy years after its adoption, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has achieved all of the significance its drafters hoped it would. It has served as a foundation for the codification of human rights at global, regional and national level. Even though non-binding, many of its provisions enjoy such undisputed recognition as to be considered part of customary international law and therefore universally obligatory. In the absence of universal ratification of the human rights treaties, the Declaration often remains the central reference to be invoked for the denunciation of human rights violations. The EU has fully embraced the Declaration's significance, using it to set standards in its internal legislation and international agreements, and to guide its external policy.

The future relationship between the UK and the EU in the field of international protection following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU

15-10-2018

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs, at the request of the LIBE Committee, provides expertise on the legal, institutional and technical implications of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU in the field of international protection. More specifically, this analysis presents the current situation with regard to UK–EU cooperation in the field, the legal standards that will be applicable to the UK following its withdrawal, ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs, at the request of the LIBE Committee, provides expertise on the legal, institutional and technical implications of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU in the field of international protection. More specifically, this analysis presents the current situation with regard to UK–EU cooperation in the field, the legal standards that will be applicable to the UK following its withdrawal, the areas of common interest in the field and the potential forms of future cooperation.

Vanjski autor

Mirja GUTHEIL; Quentin LIGER; James EAGER; Aurélie HEETMAN; Micol TEDESCHI

European political parties and political foundations – Statute and funding

07-09-2018

On 13 September 2017, the European Commission adopted a proposal to amend the rules on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations. The proposal aimed to revise the existing, 2014, regulation ahead of the 2019 European elections, to address specific loopholes. The limited number of proposed amendments focus on providing more transparency, improving democratic legitimacy and strengthening enforcement. However, a more thorough revision will be considered ...

On 13 September 2017, the European Commission adopted a proposal to amend the rules on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations. The proposal aimed to revise the existing, 2014, regulation ahead of the 2019 European elections, to address specific loopholes. The limited number of proposed amendments focus on providing more transparency, improving democratic legitimacy and strengthening enforcement. However, a more thorough revision will be considered at a later date. Stakeholders shared the view that the 2014 regulation needs revising in advance of the 2019 European elections. Furthermore, the proposal came as a direct response to the European Parliament resolution of 15 June 2017, which called for the revision of the current legislation. Following agreement in trilogue in March 2018, the new regulation entered into force on 4 May 2018. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

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