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Key issues in the European Council: State of play in October 2020

15-10-2020

This EPRS publication, 'Key issues in the European Council', is updated quarterly to coincide with European Council meetings. It aims to provide an overview of the institution’s activities on major EU issues, by analysing twelve broad policy areas, explaining the legal and political background and the main priorities and orientations defined by the European Council in each field. It also assesses the results of European Council involvement in these policy areas to date, and identifies future challenges ...

This EPRS publication, 'Key issues in the European Council', is updated quarterly to coincide with European Council meetings. It aims to provide an overview of the institution’s activities on major EU issues, by analysing twelve broad policy areas, explaining the legal and political background and the main priorities and orientations defined by the European Council in each field. It also assesses the results of European Council involvement in these policy areas to date, and identifies future challenges in the various policy fields.

An EU mechanism on democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights

02-10-2020

Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) enshrines the Union's founding values. As these shared values are binding on Member States and the European Union (EU) institutions, several mechanisms have been created to promote them and ensure they are respected. EU institutions have made several proposals to strengthen the mechanisms. Parliament is due to vote during the October I plenary session on a legislative-initiative report proposing to integrate and reinforce them through an EU mechanism ...

Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) enshrines the Union's founding values. As these shared values are binding on Member States and the European Union (EU) institutions, several mechanisms have been created to promote them and ensure they are respected. EU institutions have made several proposals to strengthen the mechanisms. Parliament is due to vote during the October I plenary session on a legislative-initiative report proposing to integrate and reinforce them through an EU mechanism on democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights (DRF).

An EU mechanism on democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights

30-09-2020

This European Added Value Assessment assesses the potential added value of an EU pact on Democracy the Rule of law and Fundamental rights covering all Member States as proposed by the European Parliament, comparing it to the European Commission's approach in its annual rule of law report, which only covers the rule of law and further integration requiring Treaty change. It concludes that the pact proposed by the European Parliament would lead to significant benefits in terms of more effective monitoring ...

This European Added Value Assessment assesses the potential added value of an EU pact on Democracy the Rule of law and Fundamental rights covering all Member States as proposed by the European Parliament, comparing it to the European Commission's approach in its annual rule of law report, which only covers the rule of law and further integration requiring Treaty change. It concludes that the pact proposed by the European Parliament would lead to significant benefits in terms of more effective monitoring and enforcement of EU values. An approximation of its potential positive effects on the EU economy indicates annual gains of €413 billion corresponding to 3.3 % of EU GDP, far outweighing the costs of its development.

In the name of COVID: An Assessment of the Schengen Internal Border Controls and Travel Restrictions in the EU

30-09-2020

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee, assesses the mobility restrictive measures adopted by the EU and its Member States in the fight against COVID-19. It examines the reintroduction of Schengen internal border controls and intra- and extra-EU travel restrictions. It assesses their compatibility with the Schengen Borders Code, including proportionality, non-discrimination, privacy ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee, assesses the mobility restrictive measures adopted by the EU and its Member States in the fight against COVID-19. It examines the reintroduction of Schengen internal border controls and intra- and extra-EU travel restrictions. It assesses their compatibility with the Schengen Borders Code, including proportionality, non-discrimination, privacy and free movement. The research demonstrates that policy priorities have moved from a logic of containment to one characterized by a policing approach on intra-EU mobility giving priority to the use of police identity/health checks, interoperable databases and the electronic surveillance of every traveller. It concludes that Schengen is not in 'crisis'. Instead there has been an ‘EU enforcement and evaluation gap’ of Member States compliance with EU rules in areas falling under EU competence.

Autorzy zewnętrzni

Sergio Carrera, Ngo Chun Luk

Hotspots at EU external borders: State of play

25-09-2020

The 'hotspot approach' was presented by the European Commission as part of the European Agenda on Migration in April 2015, when record numbers of refugees, asylum-seekers and other migrants flocked to the EU. The 'hotspots' – first reception facilities – aim to improve coordination of the EU agencies' and national authorities' efforts at the external borders of the EU, in the initial reception, identification, registration and fingerprinting of asylum-seekers and migrants. Even though other Member ...

The 'hotspot approach' was presented by the European Commission as part of the European Agenda on Migration in April 2015, when record numbers of refugees, asylum-seekers and other migrants flocked to the EU. The 'hotspots' – first reception facilities – aim to improve coordination of the EU agencies' and national authorities' efforts at the external borders of the EU, in the initial reception, identification, registration and fingerprinting of asylum-seekers and migrants. Even though other Member States also have the possibility to benefit from the hotspot approach, only Greece and Italy host hotspots. In Greece, the hotspot approach remains the key strategy in addressing migratory pressures. The EU-Turkey Statement of March 2016, closely linked to the implementation of the hotspot approach in Greece, led to a considerable drop in irregular migration flows from Turkey to the EU. However, returns of irregular migrants to Turkey – a cornerstone of the agreement – are low. The deteriorating relationship between Turkey and the EU is putting the agreement under increasing pressure. The hotspot approach was also set up to contribute to the temporary emergency relocation mechanisms that – between September 2015 and September 2017 – helped to transfer asylum-seekers from Greece and Italy to other EU Member States. Even though 96 % of the people eligible had been relocated by the end of March 2018, relocation numbers were far from the targets originally set and the system led to tensions with Czechia, Hungary and Poland, which refused to comply with the mechanism. Since their inception, the majority of the hotspots have suffered from overcrowding, and concerns have been raised by stakeholders with regard to camp facilities and living conditions – in particular for vulnerable migrants and asylum-seekers – and to gaps in access to asylum procedures. These shortcomings cause tensions among the migrants and with local populations and have already led to violent protests. On 8 September 2020, a devastating fire in the Moria camp, on Lesvos, only aggravated the existing problems. The European Parliament has called repeatedly for action to ensure that the hotspot approach does not endanger the fundamental rights of asylum-seekers and migrants. This briefing updates two earlier ones published in March 2016 and in June 2018.

The need for solidarity in EU asylum policy

23-09-2020

In early September 2020, a fire in the over-crowded migrant camp of Moria in Greece pushed thousands of people onto the streets, exacerbating the already dire conditions faced by asylum-seekers and migrants. The incident also shows the need to find a solution to a crisis of solidarity in EU asylum policy that has remained unresolved since the unprecedented influx of migrants into the EU in 2015. The European Commission presented a new Pact on Asylum and Migration on 23 September 2020. In that, it ...

In early September 2020, a fire in the over-crowded migrant camp of Moria in Greece pushed thousands of people onto the streets, exacerbating the already dire conditions faced by asylum-seekers and migrants. The incident also shows the need to find a solution to a crisis of solidarity in EU asylum policy that has remained unresolved since the unprecedented influx of migrants into the EU in 2015. The European Commission presented a new Pact on Asylum and Migration on 23 September 2020. In that, it puts forward a compromise on solidarity and fair sharing of responsibility for asylum-seekers among EU Member States.

The CJEU judgment in the Schrems II case

15-09-2020

In its July 2020 Schrems II judgment, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) declared the European Commission’s Privacy Shield Decision invalid on account of invasive US surveillance programmes, thereby making transfers of personal data on the basis of the Privacy Shield Decision illegal. Furthermore, the Court stipulated stricter requirements for the transfer of personal data based on standard contract clauses (SCCs). Data controllers or processors that intend to transfer data based on ...

In its July 2020 Schrems II judgment, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) declared the European Commission’s Privacy Shield Decision invalid on account of invasive US surveillance programmes, thereby making transfers of personal data on the basis of the Privacy Shield Decision illegal. Furthermore, the Court stipulated stricter requirements for the transfer of personal data based on standard contract clauses (SCCs). Data controllers or processors that intend to transfer data based on SCCs must ensure that the data subject is granted a level of protection essentially equivalent to that guaranteed by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (CFR) – if necessary with additional measures to compensate for lacunae in protection of third-country legal systems. Failing that, operators must suspend the transfer of personal data outside the EU.

Police Information Exchange - The future developments regarding Prüm and the API Directive

15-09-2020

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee, aims to provide background information and policy recommendations concerning police information exchange and in particular the future developments regarding Prüm and the API Directive (Directive 2004/82/EC).

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee, aims to provide background information and policy recommendations concerning police information exchange and in particular the future developments regarding Prüm and the API Directive (Directive 2004/82/EC).

Autorzy zewnętrzni

Dr Niovi VAVOULA, Queen Mary University of London

Addressing violations of democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights

11-09-2020

The common values of democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights (DRF) lie at the heart of the European integration process and are central to the values of the European Union (EU). In practice, however, individual and collective (lack of) Member State action can undermine these common values. This situation applied before the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis, but some of the national measures taken since the outbreak of the pandemic have tested the resilience of these values further. More ...

The common values of democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights (DRF) lie at the heart of the European integration process and are central to the values of the European Union (EU). In practice, however, individual and collective (lack of) Member State action can undermine these common values. This situation applied before the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis, but some of the national measures taken since the outbreak of the pandemic have tested the resilience of these values further. More generally, the EU's response to DRF violations has so far not comprehensively tackled the problem. The status quo can result in impunity for criminal activities, as prosecutors are unwilling or unable to take on certain cases, as well as violations of human dignity and fundamental rights. It also denies opportunities for individuals to live out their human potential, and take advantage of economic opportunities, as well as eroding the basis for mutual trust among national administrative and judicial authorities. This Briefing puts forward a set of proposals aimed at enhancing the EU's resilience to DRF violations. It focuses in particular on possibilities for the European Parliament and national parliaments, with their dual mandate from EU citizens, to jointly strengthen their monitoring and investigative capabilities. In particular, they could build on their general resources to evaluate the implementation of (EU) law and further coordinate their tools to ensure the democratic accountability of Member State governments.

Free movement within the EU

11-09-2020

The coronavirus outbreak and the measures taken to counter it have had a profound impact on the free movement of people, goods, services and capital in the European Union (the 'four freedoms'). The uncoordinated border restrictions introduced by Member States in the initial phase of their efforts to halt the spread of the virus all but suspended the free movement of people and greatly affected the free movement of goods and services, causing considerable disruption to the European single market. ...

The coronavirus outbreak and the measures taken to counter it have had a profound impact on the free movement of people, goods, services and capital in the European Union (the 'four freedoms'). The uncoordinated border restrictions introduced by Member States in the initial phase of their efforts to halt the spread of the virus all but suspended the free movement of people and greatly affected the free movement of goods and services, causing considerable disruption to the European single market. The Union responded to this emergency with a series of immediate measures aimed at limiting the effects of the crisis, preventing shortages of essential goods, and ensuring a coordinated return to normal. The pandemic has exposed pre-existing shortcomings in the implementation of freedom of movement in the EU. It has also highlighted the importance of free movement, necessary for the provision of essential goods, and based on closely integrated supply chains and the key contributions of mobile workers. The immediate measures will need to be backed by more sustained and structural changes to fully 'reboot' free movement in the EU. Improved implementation of free movement will be key to achieving faster and stronger recovery of economies and societies, based on closer European integration and a deeper single market.

Planowane wydarzenia

26-10-2020
European Gender Equality Week - October 26-29, 2020
Inne wydarzenie -
FEMM
27-10-2020
EPRS online Book Talk | Beyond Christendom - The politics of religion in Europe today
Inne wydarzenie -
EPRS
27-10-2020
JURI: ICM Meeting on "Better Law Making from a digital perspective"
Inne wydarzenie -
JURI

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