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The proposed Return Directive (recast)

12-02-2019

On 12 September 2018, the European Commission published a proposal for a recasting of the 2008 Return Directive, which stipulates common standards and procedures in Member States for returning irregular migrants who are non-EU nationals. Effectively returning irregular migrants is one of the key objectives of the European Union’s migration policy. However, Member States currently face challenges: national practices implementing the EU rules vary and the overall return rates remain below expectations ...

On 12 September 2018, the European Commission published a proposal for a recasting of the 2008 Return Directive, which stipulates common standards and procedures in Member States for returning irregular migrants who are non-EU nationals. Effectively returning irregular migrants is one of the key objectives of the European Union’s migration policy. However, Member States currently face challenges: national practices implementing the EU rules vary and the overall return rates remain below expectations. The proposal was not accompanied by a Commission impact assessment. The European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) therefore asked the European Parliamentary Research Service to provide a targeted substitute impact assessment of the proposed recast Return Directive. The assessment considers the main expected impacts of the key provisions of the Commission proposal, focusing on the social, human rights and financial impacts, as compared to the current situation (status quo). On the basis of the legal and economic studies carried out for this impact assessment, it appears that the Commission proposal for a recast Return Directive has significant legal, social, human rights and economic implications, which in principle would have deserved consideration in the context of a proper impact assessment process conducted ex-ante by the Commission.

Revising the Visa Information System

15-11-2018

The Commission aims to upgrade the visa information system to allow for more thorough background checks on visa applicants, close security information gaps and ensure full interoperability with other EU-wide databases. This initial appraisal of the Commission’s impact assessment on the proposal observes that the impact assessment is underpinned by several stakeholder consultations and external studies. The Commission seems to be transparent about data limitations. However, the problem descriptions ...

The Commission aims to upgrade the visa information system to allow for more thorough background checks on visa applicants, close security information gaps and ensure full interoperability with other EU-wide databases. This initial appraisal of the Commission’s impact assessment on the proposal observes that the impact assessment is underpinned by several stakeholder consultations and external studies. The Commission seems to be transparent about data limitations. However, the problem descriptions are not always clear or convincing. In addition, considering the partly highly sensitive issues at hand, such as the fingerprinting of minors, the safeguards for fundamental rights protection in cases of errors or abuse could have been better explained.

Promoting the Rights and Values, Justice and Creative Europe programmes

15-11-2018

With the future (1) Rights and Values, (2) Justice and (3) Creative Europe programmes, the European Commission aims to protect better EU rights and values; to develop further a European area of justice; and to support European cultural and creative sectors and audiovisual works under the 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework. This initial appraisal of the Commission’s impact assessment on the proposal finds that the impact assessment is substantiated by various evaluations, studies and consultations ...

With the future (1) Rights and Values, (2) Justice and (3) Creative Europe programmes, the European Commission aims to protect better EU rights and values; to develop further a European area of justice; and to support European cultural and creative sectors and audiovisual works under the 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework. This initial appraisal of the Commission’s impact assessment on the proposal finds that the impact assessment is substantiated by various evaluations, studies and consultations. The Commission describes the challenges encountered of the current and previous programmes well. However, the lack of policy options and of an impact analysis seriously affect the IA's quality. In addition, the IA does not match the three proposals: the only option considered does not mention a self-standing Creative Europe programme, which the Commission ultimately proposed.

Launching the Digital Europe Programme

08-10-2018

Despite its strong position in science, research and innovation, Europe lags behind when it comes to deploying digital capacities and taking up advanced digital technologies. That's why the European Commission proposed a new programme - the Digital Europe Programme - to support the deployment and optimal use of the digital capacities that underpin innovation in areas of public interest and business. This briefing provides you with an appraisal of the quality of the impact assessment, which accompanies ...

Despite its strong position in science, research and innovation, Europe lags behind when it comes to deploying digital capacities and taking up advanced digital technologies. That's why the European Commission proposed a new programme - the Digital Europe Programme - to support the deployment and optimal use of the digital capacities that underpin innovation in areas of public interest and business. This briefing provides you with an appraisal of the quality of the impact assessment, which accompanies the Commission's proposal.

Promoting fairness and transparency in the online platform environment

21-09-2018

How to promote fairness and transparency in the online platform environment? The Commission's answer to this question can be found in its recent legislative proposal. It stipulates that providers of online intermediation services (e.g. Amazon) and online search engines (e.g. Google search) have to implement certain measures to ensure transparency and fairness in the contractual relations they have with online businesses which use such platforms to provide their services to customers in the EU. This ...

How to promote fairness and transparency in the online platform environment? The Commission's answer to this question can be found in its recent legislative proposal. It stipulates that providers of online intermediation services (e.g. Amazon) and online search engines (e.g. Google search) have to implement certain measures to ensure transparency and fairness in the contractual relations they have with online businesses which use such platforms to provide their services to customers in the EU. This briefing provides you with an appraisal of the quality of the impact assessment, which accompanies the Commission's proposal.

Security of ID cards and of residence documents issued to EU citizens and their families

13-07-2018

Currently, there are at least 86 different versions of ID cards, and 181 types of residence documents in circulation in the EU. The format and minimum standards for ID cards and residence documents is not regulated on EU level. In order to strengthen the security features of ID cards and residence documents of EU citizens and their non-EU family members, the European Commission published a legislative proposal. The impact assessment accompanying this proposal clearly explains the problems currently ...

Currently, there are at least 86 different versions of ID cards, and 181 types of residence documents in circulation in the EU. The format and minimum standards for ID cards and residence documents is not regulated on EU level. In order to strengthen the security features of ID cards and residence documents of EU citizens and their non-EU family members, the European Commission published a legislative proposal. The impact assessment accompanying this proposal clearly explains the problems currently encountered, and proposes adequate solutions. The Commission used different sources to substantiate the impact assessment and also undertook several stakeholder consultation activities. However, it is not systematically indicated which stakeholder group prefers which specific option. At times the impact assessment displays a lack of quantification, about which the Commission is open. More detailed information on the safeguards regarding the fundamental rights impact would have been desirable.

Access to financial data by law enforcement authorities

25-06-2018

Groups committing serious crimes, including terrorists, often operate cross-border and their funds are usually located across the EU Member States or outside of the EU. The Commission proposal aims to improve the sharing financial information among national law enforcement authorities and financial intelligence units to prevent and fight crime and terrorism. The impact assessment accompanying the proposal examined comprehensively the problems encountered by law enforcement authorities and financial ...

Groups committing serious crimes, including terrorists, often operate cross-border and their funds are usually located across the EU Member States or outside of the EU. The Commission proposal aims to improve the sharing financial information among national law enforcement authorities and financial intelligence units to prevent and fight crime and terrorism. The impact assessment accompanying the proposal examined comprehensively the problems encountered by law enforcement authorities and financial intelligence units, and made a real attempt to analyse the impacts of the proposed measures. A more thorough analysis of the safeguards on fundamental rights would have been useful. The Commission admits that the calculations of costs and benefits were limited due to a lack of data. Finally, the overall preferred option remains unclear.

Revision of the visa code

27-04-2018

Although an increasing number of people have been travelling to the EU for tourism and business in recent years, visa application procedures are still costly and cumbersome. With the recast proposal on the visa code, the Commission aims to facilitate tourism, trade and business, whilst strengthening security and mitigating irregular migration. The impact assessment accompanying the proposal provides an overall convincing analysis tackling the problems of (1) insufficient finances to support visa ...

Although an increasing number of people have been travelling to the EU for tourism and business in recent years, visa application procedures are still costly and cumbersome. With the recast proposal on the visa code, the Commission aims to facilitate tourism, trade and business, whilst strengthening security and mitigating irregular migration. The impact assessment accompanying the proposal provides an overall convincing analysis tackling the problems of (1) insufficient finances to support visa processing; and (2) Member States' diverging practices when issuing multiple-entry visas. The Commission, however, also proposed (3) to address the lack of cooperation of some third countries in readmission matters in the visa code. One would have expected a more thorough analysis on this last aspect considering that there is no hard evidence on how visa leverage can translate into better cooperation with third countries on readmission. The Commission made efforts to consult with stakeholders and provide data, yet, the IA displays a general lack of data, statistics and evidence.

Interoperability between EU information systems for security, border and migration management

14-02-2018

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above proposals on (1) borders and visa; and on (2) police and judicial cooperation, asylum and migration, submitted on 12 December 2017 and referred to Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. In 2016, the European Commission stressed the need for interoperability between EU border and security information systems. Likewise ...

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above proposals on (1) borders and visa; and on (2) police and judicial cooperation, asylum and migration, submitted on 12 December 2017 and referred to Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. In 2016, the European Commission stressed the need for interoperability between EU border and security information systems. Likewise, the Joint Declaration on the EU's legislative priorities for 2018-2019 identified interoperable EU information systems as a key priority. The initiative aims to make information exchange and data sharing between the various EU information systems more effective and efficient, fully upholding fundamental rights, so as to boost the protection of the EU's external borders, improve migration management and enhance internal security. Interoperability is not a new topic, already in 2004 the European Council called for enhanced interoperability between the Schengen Information System (SIS) II, the Visa Information System (VIS) and Eurodac (the EU asylum fingerprint database).

EU Cybersecurity Agency and cybersecurity certification

20-12-2017

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above proposal, which is the main part of the 'Cybersecurity package', submitted on 13 September 2017 and referred to Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). As announced in the State of the Union Address 2017 and the Commission's communication on Europe's Cyber Resilience System and Cybersecurity Industry, the initiative aims ...

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above proposal, which is the main part of the 'Cybersecurity package', submitted on 13 September 2017 and referred to Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). As announced in the State of the Union Address 2017 and the Commission's communication on Europe's Cyber Resilience System and Cybersecurity Industry, the initiative aims to reform the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA or 'Agency') in order to enhance its supporting functions for Member States in achieving cybersecurity resilience and to acknowledge the Agency's responsibilities under the new directive on security of network and information systems (NIS Directive). In addition, the proposal establishes a voluntary European cybersecurity certification framework to promote such certification schemes for specific information and communication technology (ICT) products and services, and to allow for mutual recognition of certificates so as to avoid further market fragmentation.

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