1107

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Explosives precursors: Fighting the misuse of chemicals by terrorists

13-03-2019

Since 2008, in line with its action plan to enhance the security of explosives, the European Union has considered regulating chemicals that could be used to produce homemade explosives to be a priority. A first legislative act in this regard – Regulation (EU) No 98/2013 on the marketing and use of explosives precursors – was adopted in 2013. The 2015 Paris and 2016 Brussels terrorist attacks and their operating modes, which were based on the use of homemade explosives, led to an assessment of the ...

Since 2008, in line with its action plan to enhance the security of explosives, the European Union has considered regulating chemicals that could be used to produce homemade explosives to be a priority. A first legislative act in this regard – Regulation (EU) No 98/2013 on the marketing and use of explosives precursors – was adopted in 2013. The 2015 Paris and 2016 Brussels terrorist attacks and their operating modes, which were based on the use of homemade explosives, led to an assessment of the efficiency of the 2013 regulation. To take into account existing challenges, and increase stakeholders' ability to implement and enforce restrictions and controls under the regulation, the European Commission launched its revision in February 2017. On 17 April 2018, it adopted a proposal for a new regulation on explosives precursors. Following trilogue negotiations, an agreement between the European Parliament and the Council was reached on 5 February 2019. The Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE), approved the agreed text on 19 February 2019. The vote in plenary is due to take place in April 2019. First edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Legal migration to the EU

07-03-2019

Entering the EU as a non-European is not too difficult for people from stable countries. Those planning to visit one or more EU Member States can get in as a tourist, with or without a visa. If the intention is to live and work for a longer period, they can use the many possibilities offered by labour migration. Regular mobility schemes also include provisions for other categories such as students, researchers, au pairs and voluntary workers. People wishing to join a family member who is already ...

Entering the EU as a non-European is not too difficult for people from stable countries. Those planning to visit one or more EU Member States can get in as a tourist, with or without a visa. If the intention is to live and work for a longer period, they can use the many possibilities offered by labour migration. Regular mobility schemes also include provisions for other categories such as students, researchers, au pairs and voluntary workers. People wishing to join a family member who is already residing legally in the EU might even be eligible for family reunification. However, for people coming from countries at war or where democracy is in serious peril, or who happen to live in a non-EU country after fleeing their own country, or who are simply looking for a better life, the options are more limited. Moreover, even when options exist, gaining access to them is not always possible for people who find themselves in precarious, dangerous or even life-threatening situations. In 2015, a record number of people tried to reach Europe by all means, often risking their lives along their journeys. Although the number of irregular arrivals in the EU is back to pre-crisis levels, immigration remains one of the key concerns of European citizens and is expected to remain a challenge for years to come. In order to address this challenge, the EU has embarked on a process of reform aimed at rebuilding its common asylum policies on fairer and more solid ground, strengthening its external borders by reinforcing the links between border controls and security, and renewing cooperation with third countries on migration issues. A forward-looking and comprehensive European immigration policy, based on solidarity and respect for European values, requires a balanced approach to dealing with both irregular and legal migration. The EU is committed to help create more, safe and controlled channels to migration both to help people in need of protection and to address labour market needs and skills shortages adequately.

Visa Information System

06-03-2019

In May 2018, the European Commission submitted a proposal to upgrade the Visa Information System, to better respond to the evolving security and migratory challenges and improve the EU's external border management. The aim is to allow more thorough background checks on visa applicants, close security information gaps through better information exchange between Member States, and ensure full interoperability with other EU-wide databases. Parliament is expected to vote its position on this proposal ...

In May 2018, the European Commission submitted a proposal to upgrade the Visa Information System, to better respond to the evolving security and migratory challenges and improve the EU's external border management. The aim is to allow more thorough background checks on visa applicants, close security information gaps through better information exchange between Member States, and ensure full interoperability with other EU-wide databases. Parliament is expected to vote its position on this proposal during the March I plenary session.

European Criminal Records Information System

06-03-2019

During March, the European Parliament is due to vote in plenary on two legislative proposals to upgrade the European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS). ECRIS allows judges and prosecutors to request information on the criminal history of any EU national. However, the current system does not allow easy access to information on third-country nationals convicted within the EU. The new rules aim to close this gap.

During March, the European Parliament is due to vote in plenary on two legislative proposals to upgrade the European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS). ECRIS allows judges and prosecutors to request information on the criminal history of any EU national. However, the current system does not allow easy access to information on third-country nationals convicted within the EU. The new rules aim to close this gap.

Victims of terrorism

01-03-2019

The European Day of Remembrance of Victims of Terrorism has been established as 11 March each year, marking the Madrid bombings in 2004. The protection of victims of terrorism constitutes an essential part of the EU’s action to address all dimensions of the terrorist threat. Following the wave of terror that has hit Europe in recent years, rules and sanctions related to terrorist activities have been strengthened, while better protection and support to victims of terrorism is being ensured through ...

The European Day of Remembrance of Victims of Terrorism has been established as 11 March each year, marking the Madrid bombings in 2004. The protection of victims of terrorism constitutes an essential part of the EU’s action to address all dimensions of the terrorist threat. Following the wave of terror that has hit Europe in recent years, rules and sanctions related to terrorist activities have been strengthened, while better protection and support to victims of terrorism is being ensured through action at EU level.

Reform of the Dublin system

01-03-2019

The refugee and migrant crisis in Europe has exposed the need for reform of the Common European Asylum System, in general, and of the Dublin rules, in particular. The Commission’s proposal of 4 May 2016 to reform the Dublin system would not change the existing criteria for determining which Member State is responsible for examining an asylum application. Instead of a fundamental overhaul of the Dublin regime, as suggested by Parliament, the Commission proposed to streamline and supplement the current ...

The refugee and migrant crisis in Europe has exposed the need for reform of the Common European Asylum System, in general, and of the Dublin rules, in particular. The Commission’s proposal of 4 May 2016 to reform the Dublin system would not change the existing criteria for determining which Member State is responsible for examining an asylum application. Instead of a fundamental overhaul of the Dublin regime, as suggested by Parliament, the Commission proposed to streamline and supplement the current rules with a corrective allocation mechanism. This mechanism would be triggered automatically were a Member State to be faced with disproportionate numbers of asylum-seekers. If a Member State decided not to accept the allocation of asylum-seekers from another one under pressure, a ‘solidarity contribution’ per applicant would have to be made instead. An agreement on the balance between responsibility and solidarity regarding the distribution of asylum-seekers will be a cornerstone for the new EU asylum policy. Although Parliament’s LIBE committee adopted its positon in autumn 2017, the Council has been unable to reach a position on the proposal.

Disinformation and propaganda – impact on the functioning of the rule of law in the EU and its Member States

28-02-2019

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs and requested by the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, assesses the impact of disinformation and strategic political propaganda disseminated through online social media sites. It examines effects on the functioning of the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights in the EU and its Member States. The study formulates recommendations ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs and requested by the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, assesses the impact of disinformation and strategic political propaganda disseminated through online social media sites. It examines effects on the functioning of the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights in the EU and its Member States. The study formulates recommendations on how to tackle this threat to human rights, democracy and the rule of law. It specifically addresses the role of social media platform providers in this regard.

External author

Judit BAYER (scientific coordinator, editor), Budapest Business School Natalija BITIUKOVA, Independent consultant Petra BÁRD, Central European University Judit SZAKÁCS, Center for Media, Data and Society at the Central European University Alberto ALEMANNO, HEC Paris Erik USZKIEWICZ, Hungarian Europe Society

EU policies – Delivering for citizens: The migration issue

27-02-2019

Refugee movements and migration are at the centre of global attention. In recent years, Europe has had to respond to the most severe migratory challenge since the end of the Second World War. The unprecedented arrival of refugees and irregular migrants in the EU, which peaked in 2015, exposed a series of deficiencies and gaps in EU policies on asylum, external borders and migration. In response to these challenges, the EU has embarked on a broader process of reform aimed at rebuilding its asylum ...

Refugee movements and migration are at the centre of global attention. In recent years, Europe has had to respond to the most severe migratory challenge since the end of the Second World War. The unprecedented arrival of refugees and irregular migrants in the EU, which peaked in 2015, exposed a series of deficiencies and gaps in EU policies on asylum, external borders and migration. In response to these challenges, the EU has embarked on a broader process of reform aimed at rebuilding its asylum and migration policies based on four pillars: reducing the incentives for irregular migration by addressing its root causes, improving returns and dismantling smuggling and trafficking networks; saving lives and securing the external borders; establishing a strong EU asylum policy, and providing more legal pathways for asylum-seekers and more efficient legal channels for regular migrants. The record migratory flows to the EU witnessed during 2015 and 2016 had subsided by the end of 2017 and 2018. However, in order to deliver what the Commission calls an effective, fair and robust future EU migration policy, the EU, based on the Treaties and other legal and financial instruments, has been implementing both immediate and longer-term measures. Europe, due to its geographic position and its reputation as an example of stability, generosity and openness against a background of growing international and internal conflicts, climate change and global poverty, is likely to continue to represent an ideal refuge for asylum-seekers and migrants. This is also reflected in the growing amounts, flexibility and diversity of EU funding for migration and asylum policies inside as well as outside the current and future EU budget. See also the parallel Briefing on 'EU support for democracy and peace in the world', PE 628.271.

Victims of trafficking in hotspots

21-02-2019

This briefing looks at the risks of exploitation faced by people leaving their countries in search of safety or better lives and arriving in Europe by sea. It gives an overview of the processes related to early identification of victims of trafficking in first reception facilities (hotspots) and the related challenges.

This briefing looks at the risks of exploitation faced by people leaving their countries in search of safety or better lives and arriving in Europe by sea. It gives an overview of the processes related to early identification of victims of trafficking in first reception facilities (hotspots) and the related challenges.

How to spot when news is fake

19-02-2019

'Fake news' and disinformation – information deliberately manipulated with the aim of fooling people – have become an increasingly visible global phenomenon. Social media and their personalisation tools have made it easier to spread bogus stories. They often use emotions to capture attention and generate clicks, for economic or ideological reasons. Even young, digital-savvy people find it difficult to identify manipulated news. Significantly, six in ten news items shared on social media were not ...

'Fake news' and disinformation – information deliberately manipulated with the aim of fooling people – have become an increasingly visible global phenomenon. Social media and their personalisation tools have made it easier to spread bogus stories. They often use emotions to capture attention and generate clicks, for economic or ideological reasons. Even young, digital-savvy people find it difficult to identify manipulated news. Significantly, six in ten news items shared on social media were not even read first by the user who shared them. Some 85 % of Europeans see 'fake news' as a problem in their own country, and 83 % view it as a problem for democracy in general. This compass will help you navigate the ocean of information, and find your way through waves of lies and disinformation. This is a revised version of an ‘at a glance’ note published in March 2017.

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