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Parliamentary questions
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23 April 2015
Answer given by Ms Jourová on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-011174/2014

The referred ‘Public Safety Act’ relates to policing matters. The maintenance of law and order and the safeguarding of internal security in the Member States, including policing laws and the regulation of demonstrations, fall within national competence and thus outside EC law.

As already pointed out in previous answers to the questions E-013929/2013, E-013763/2013 and P-006472/2014(1), the Commission, within its competences, has always been strongly committed to ensuring that freedom of expression and freedom of assembly are strictly respected since they lie at the very base of a free, democratic and pluralist society. The same holds for the protection of private communications. However, the Commission does not have a general competence as regards fundamental rights. According to its Article 51, the Charter of Fundamental Rights is addressed and applies to the Member States only when they are implementing EC law.

As regards ‘on the spot returns’ the Commission follows closely the legislative procedure of the amendment of the Alien Act and in 2014 it has expressed concerns on the initial version concerning its compatibility with Spain's obligations under EC law in the field of return of irregular migrants. The legislation is still under discussion and subject to change. Once adopted, the Commission will carefully reassess the compatibility of this legislation with EC law.

The Commission remains confident that the national authorities will ensure that their obligations regarding fundamental rights — as resulting from international agreements and from internal legislation — are respected.


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