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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.

Policy Departments' Monthly Highlights - April 2019

15-04-2019

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

Revision of the Community Code on Visas

12-04-2019

The European Union Code on Visas is one of the core elements of the EU's visa policy. It lays down the procedures and conditions for issuing short-stay visas for third-country nationals. On 14 March 2018, the Commission adopted a proposal to revise the Community Code on Visas (the visa code). The main objective of the proposal is to strengthen the common visa policy while addressing migration and security concerns. This will involve increasing the role of visa policy in the EU's cooperation with ...

The European Union Code on Visas is one of the core elements of the EU's visa policy. It lays down the procedures and conditions for issuing short-stay visas for third-country nationals. On 14 March 2018, the Commission adopted a proposal to revise the Community Code on Visas (the visa code). The main objective of the proposal is to strengthen the common visa policy while addressing migration and security concerns. This will involve increasing the role of visa policy in the EU's cooperation with third-countries, also taking economic considerations into account by facilitating the processing of visas for legitimate travellers who contribute to the EU's economy and its cultural and social development. After Parliament voted its position on the proposal in December 2018, trilogue negotiations brought an agreement on a compromise text in February. The plenary is due to vote on confirming this text during the April II plenary session. Second edition of a briefing originally drafted by Maria Margarita Mentzelopoulou and Costica Dumbrava. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Protection of EU external borders. Achievements during the legislative term 2014-2019: the role of the European Parliament

12-04-2019

Gradually since 1995, checks at the internal borders were abolished and a single external border was created. Ever since, the EU had tried to advance with a common policy on external borders and its various aspects, such as border controls, visas, asylum, regular migration and return. There has also been a considerable impact on internal border controls (Schengen area). Considerable progress was made regarding safeguarding the EU’s external borders during the legislative term 2014-2019, although ...

Gradually since 1995, checks at the internal borders were abolished and a single external border was created. Ever since, the EU had tried to advance with a common policy on external borders and its various aspects, such as border controls, visas, asylum, regular migration and return. There has also been a considerable impact on internal border controls (Schengen area). Considerable progress was made regarding safeguarding the EU’s external borders during the legislative term 2014-2019, although the migratory crisis of 2015 made deficiencies of the European common policy evident.

Safeguarding the Schengen Acquis. Achievements during the legislative term 2014-2019: the role of the European Parliament

11-04-2019

The Schengen Area, one of the most valued achievements of the EU, this single area without internal border checks has come under pressure because of recent migration flows: In order to preserve Schengen in the next years, a common policy on the EUs external borders is also needed.

The Schengen Area, one of the most valued achievements of the EU, this single area without internal border checks has come under pressure because of recent migration flows: In order to preserve Schengen in the next years, a common policy on the EUs external borders is also needed.

Révision du code des visas

10-04-2019

En mars 2018, la Commission européenne a présenté une proposition de révision du code des visas de l’Union. Cette proposition vise avant tout à améliorer la politique commune des visas tout en tenant compte des enjeux en matière de migration et de sécurité, par un renforcement du rôle que joue la politique des visas dans le cadre de la coopération entre l’Union et les pays tiers. Les questions économiques entreront également en ligne de compte: en effet, le traitement des visas sera facilité pour ...

En mars 2018, la Commission européenne a présenté une proposition de révision du code des visas de l’Union. Cette proposition vise avant tout à améliorer la politique commune des visas tout en tenant compte des enjeux en matière de migration et de sécurité, par un renforcement du rôle que joue la politique des visas dans le cadre de la coopération entre l’Union et les pays tiers. Les questions économiques entreront également en ligne de compte: en effet, le traitement des visas sera facilité pour les voyageurs en règle contribuant à l’économie de l’Union ou participant à son développement culturel et social. L’accord obtenu au sujet de la proposition à l’issue des négociations en trilogue doit maintenant être confirmé par le Parlement, lors d’un vote qui devrait avoir lieu pendant la session plénière d’avril II.

Corps européen de garde-frontières et de garde-côtes

10-04-2019

Le Parlement européen et le Conseil sont parvenus à un accord provisoire sur l’adoption d’un nouveau règlement relatif au corps européen de garde-frontières et de garde-côtes. Le texte vise à renforcer la protection des frontières extérieures de l’Union, en s’appuyant sur les efforts déployés précédemment par les institutions européennes pour mettre en place un système européen de gestion intégrée des frontières. Le Parlement devrait mettre cette proposition aux voix au cours de la période de session ...

Le Parlement européen et le Conseil sont parvenus à un accord provisoire sur l’adoption d’un nouveau règlement relatif au corps européen de garde-frontières et de garde-côtes. Le texte vise à renforcer la protection des frontières extérieures de l’Union, en s’appuyant sur les efforts déployés précédemment par les institutions européennes pour mettre en place un système européen de gestion intégrée des frontières. Le Parlement devrait mettre cette proposition aux voix au cours de la période de session d’avril II.

Fight against fraud: Pericles 2020, Hercule III and AFIS

09-04-2019

Pericles 2020 is an exchange, assistance and training programme for the protection of the euro against counterfeiting. Hercule III is a programme aimed at supporting action to combat irregularities, fraud and corruption affecting the EU budget. AFIS is a collection of applications for the exchange of anti-fraud information between OLAF and national administrations.

Pericles 2020 is an exchange, assistance and training programme for the protection of the euro against counterfeiting. Hercule III is a programme aimed at supporting action to combat irregularities, fraud and corruption affecting the EU budget. AFIS is a collection of applications for the exchange of anti-fraud information between OLAF and national administrations.

Common European Asylum System: achievements during the legislative term 2014-2019

08-04-2019

The right to asylum is a fundamental right and recognising the refugee status where the criteria are fulfilled is an international obligation, first recognised in the 1951 Geneva Convention on the protection of refugees and the Protocol of 31 January 1967 relating to the status of refugees. In the EU, an area of open borders and freedom of movement, Member States need to have a joint approach to guarantee high standards to persons in need of international protection through establishment of a ...

The right to asylum is a fundamental right and recognising the refugee status where the criteria are fulfilled is an international obligation, first recognised in the 1951 Geneva Convention on the protection of refugees and the Protocol of 31 January 1967 relating to the status of refugees. In the EU, an area of open borders and freedom of movement, Member States need to have a joint approach to guarantee high standards to persons in need of international protection through establishment of a Common European Asylum System based on fundamental rights. The European Parliament always strongly promoted a Common European Asylum System in accordance with the Union’s legal commitments. The Parliament worked as well as for the reduction of illegal migration as well as for the protection of vulnerable groups. In 2015, the unprecedented high number of arrivals of refugees and irregular migrants in the EU exposed a series of deficiencies and gaps in Union policies on asylum. Therefore, the European Commission proposed in May and July 2016 a third package of legislation to reform of the Common European Asylum System. and the European Parliament took an active part as a co-legislator to achieve this objective.

Plenary round-up – Brussels, April I 2019

05-04-2019

Highlights of the April I plenary session included debates on the Future of Europe with Swedish Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven, and on UK withdrawal from the EU. Important debates also took place on several legislative proposals, and Members voted on proposals including the mobility package files debated during the March II plenary session on rules for posted road transport workers and on working conditions for drivers. Parliament also adopted first-reading positions on three further proposed funding ...

Highlights of the April I plenary session included debates on the Future of Europe with Swedish Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven, and on UK withdrawal from the EU. Important debates also took place on several legislative proposals, and Members voted on proposals including the mobility package files debated during the March II plenary session on rules for posted road transport workers and on working conditions for drivers. Parliament also adopted first-reading positions on three further proposed funding programmes for the 2021-2027 period.

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