11

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Area of freedom, security and justice: Cost of Non-Europe

08-05-2019

Substantial progress has been made since creating an area of freedom, security and justice became a major political objective for the EU 20 years ago. Still, there is a lack of consistent monitoring and enforcement of EU values and norms as well as outstanding gaps in the EU’s framework in certain areas. These deficiencies have a significant impact at individual level, notably in terms of preventing the effective exercise of fundamental rights by EU citizens and third country nationals alike. They ...

Substantial progress has been made since creating an area of freedom, security and justice became a major political objective for the EU 20 years ago. Still, there is a lack of consistent monitoring and enforcement of EU values and norms as well as outstanding gaps in the EU’s framework in certain areas. These deficiencies have a significant impact at individual level, notably in terms of preventing the effective exercise of fundamental rights by EU citizens and third country nationals alike. They also have a negative effect on budgetary spending, growth and tax revenue, which is estimated at at least €180 billion annually, with the lack of enforcement of EU values still to be assessed in more detail. Further EU action in four main areas: 1. monitoring and enforcement; 2. the creation of safe legal pathways for migrants and asylum seekers to enter the EU; 3. ingraining a European law enforcement culture; and 4. completing the Union’s fundamental rights framework, would have significant benefits. In particular, it could allow individuals to fully enjoy their fundamental rights and make EU society more secure, open, fair and prosperous. This would also foster trust in the EU on the basis of its ability to deliver on its aims

The cost of non-Europe in the area of legal migration

14-03-2019

Further EU action in the area of legal migration could address obstacles experienced by Third Country Nationals within the European Union. Depending on the policy option pursued these options could result in up to €21,75 billion in benefits. Further gains could be made by addressing the fragmented national policies in this area, which are currently undermining ability of the EU as a whole to attract the workers and researchers it needs.

Further EU action in the area of legal migration could address obstacles experienced by Third Country Nationals within the European Union. Depending on the policy option pursued these options could result in up to €21,75 billion in benefits. Further gains could be made by addressing the fragmented national policies in this area, which are currently undermining ability of the EU as a whole to attract the workers and researchers it needs.

Humanitarian visas

17-10-2018

90 % of those granted international protection reach the European Union through irregular Means. Member States' failure to offer regular entry pathways to those seeking international protection undermines the achievement of their Treaty and fundamental rights obligations. This situation also has severe individual impacts in terms of mortality and damage to health, negative budgetary and economic impacts EU legislation on humanitarian visas could close the current effectiveness and fundamental rights ...

90 % of those granted international protection reach the European Union through irregular Means. Member States' failure to offer regular entry pathways to those seeking international protection undermines the achievement of their Treaty and fundamental rights obligations. This situation also has severe individual impacts in terms of mortality and damage to health, negative budgetary and economic impacts EU legislation on humanitarian visas could close the current effectiveness and fundamental rights protection gap in EU asylum policy by offering safe entry pathways, reducing irregular migration and result in increased management, coordination and efficiency in the asylum process, as well as promoting fair cost-sharing.

The fight against terrorism

25-05-2018

Significant benefits could be achieved by the EU and its Member States by addressing the gaps and barriers in the area of the fight against terrorism, notably by developing an evidence-based EU criminal policy cycle involving the European Parliament and national parliaments. In this context, EU institutions should conduct comprehensive ex-ante assessments and ex-post evaluations of counterterrorism measures, in line with better law-making principles. The effectiveness and fundamental rights compliance ...

Significant benefits could be achieved by the EU and its Member States by addressing the gaps and barriers in the area of the fight against terrorism, notably by developing an evidence-based EU criminal policy cycle involving the European Parliament and national parliaments. In this context, EU institutions should conduct comprehensive ex-ante assessments and ex-post evaluations of counterterrorism measures, in line with better law-making principles. The effectiveness and fundamental rights compliance of counter-radicalisation programmes should continue to be monitored. The framework for countering terrorism requires further refinement. A European law enforcement culture with full respect for fundamental rights needs to be fostered in which relevant information is shared and analysed, judicial cooperation tools are properly utilised and seeking the support of EU agencies becomes a natural reflex. This also requires the allocation of significant resources aimed at training and exchanges. Beyond resulting in more relevant, coherent, effective and efficient action in the fight against terrorism, such measures could increase the wellbeing of the population, reduce the material and immaterial impacts of terrorism, and ensure protection of fundamental rights when impacted by counterterrorism measures.

Equality and the Fight against Racism and Xenophobia

28-03-2018

This study specifically focuses on EU action and cooperation concerning equality and the fight against racism and xenophobia. Despite existing EU legislation and action it argues that there are still significant gaps and barriers to equal treatment and to adequate prevention and prosecution of, and compensation for, hate crimes within the European Union. The impact of the gaps and barriers identified – in action and cooperation – at EU level are assessed both in terms of economic impact and their ...

This study specifically focuses on EU action and cooperation concerning equality and the fight against racism and xenophobia. Despite existing EU legislation and action it argues that there are still significant gaps and barriers to equal treatment and to adequate prevention and prosecution of, and compensation for, hate crimes within the European Union. The impact of the gaps and barriers identified – in action and cooperation – at EU level are assessed both in terms of economic impact and their impacts on economic rights and freedoms. To address these gaps and barriers, the study provides some options for EU action in the field.

Procedural rights and detention conditions

07-12-2017

Despite the significant EU action and cooperation that has taken place, the rights and detention conditions of those suspected of committing a crime and serving a sentence in the Member States continue to fail to live up to international and EU standards. Judicial cooperation within the EU is not yet fully adapted to this reality, it operates in absence of an EU mechanism monitoring Member States' compliance with practical fundamental rights and lacks specific guidance for alleged violations. EU ...

Despite the significant EU action and cooperation that has taken place, the rights and detention conditions of those suspected of committing a crime and serving a sentence in the Member States continue to fail to live up to international and EU standards. Judicial cooperation within the EU is not yet fully adapted to this reality, it operates in absence of an EU mechanism monitoring Member States' compliance with practical fundamental rights and lacks specific guidance for alleged violations. EU legislation on suspects' rights is limited to setting common minimum standards. Even so, there are already indications of shortcomings concerning key rights to a fair trial, such as the right to interpretation, translation, information and legal assistance during questioning by the police. Furthermore, certain areas have not been comprehensively addressed, such as pre-trial detention, contributing to prison overcrowding in a number of EU Member States. The outstanding divergent levels of protection also create discrimination between EU citizens. Criminal justice systems remain inefficient and fail to achieve the aims of convicting and rehabilitating the guilty, while protecting the innocent. This impacts on the individuals concerned, in terms of a denial of their rights and material and immaterial damage; on their families; and on Member States' societies more generally. The gaps and barriers identified also have substantial cost implications. Finally, this study assesses the added value of a number of options for EU action and cooperation to contribute to closing these gaps and taking further steps to ensure the effective protection of the rights of suspects and detained persons.

Area of freedom, security and justice:Untapped potential

27-10-2017

Since the entry into force of the 1997 Treaty of Amsterdam, the EU offers its citizens an area of freedom, security and justice (AFSJ). In this area, the free movement of persons should be ensured in conjunction with appropriate measures with respect to external border controls, asylum and migration, as well as the prevention and combating of crime. Since then, the Union has adopted its own Charter of Fundamental Rights, and the European Parliament has been fully engaged in shaping the AFSJ as a ...

Since the entry into force of the 1997 Treaty of Amsterdam, the EU offers its citizens an area of freedom, security and justice (AFSJ). In this area, the free movement of persons should be ensured in conjunction with appropriate measures with respect to external border controls, asylum and migration, as well as the prevention and combating of crime. Since then, the Union has adopted its own Charter of Fundamental Rights, and the European Parliament has been fully engaged in shaping the AFSJ as a co-legislator. Two decades later, however, the Union and its Member States still face major challenges in delivering this objective. Problems have been identified in upholding democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights, ensuring a high level of security (notably in the fight against corruption, organised crime and terrorism), protecting external borders, guaranteeing the right to asylum and developing a common migration policy. Surveys show that citizens expect the EU and its Member States to deliver in these areas, notably in the area of migration and the fight against terrorism and fraud. In October 2016, the Parliament's Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) Committee requested the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) to produce a 'Cost of Non-Europe Report' on the AFSJ. This paper contains an overview of the existing gaps and barriers in the main policy areas covered by the AFSJ, and assesses their economic impacts as well as impacts at individual level on fundamental rights and freedoms. It also assesses options for action at EU level that could address those gaps and barriers, together with an estimation of their potential cost and benefits.

Combating sexual abuse of children Directive 2011/93/EU

11-04-2017

This European implementation assessment analyses the implementation of Directive 2011/93/EU on combating the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and child pornography. This study, written in-house, focuses on the following areas: prevention, identification of victims, investigation and prosecution, and assistance and protection for victims. It begins with a contextualisation of the directive and presents the provisions of the EU legal framework. The assessment highlights a number of ...

This European implementation assessment analyses the implementation of Directive 2011/93/EU on combating the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and child pornography. This study, written in-house, focuses on the following areas: prevention, identification of victims, investigation and prosecution, and assistance and protection for victims. It begins with a contextualisation of the directive and presents the provisions of the EU legal framework. The assessment highlights a number of outstanding challenges, in particular in prevention of child sexual abuse, where research shows inadequate implementation of the directive. The assessment then examines the issue of identification of child victims and finds several shortcomings, including how victims’ disclosures are dealt with. The last section of the assessment focuses on the investigative and judicial proceedings phase, where necessary improvements in the application of child-friendly justice are underlined.

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

27-10-2016

European Parliament legislative initiative reports drawn up on the basis of Article 225 of the Treaty on the Functioning on the European Union are automatically accompanied by a European Added Value Assessment (EAVA). Such assessments are aimed at evaluating the potential impacts, and identifying the advantages, of proposals made in legislative initiative reports. This EAVA accompanies a resolution based on a legislative initiative report prepared by Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice ...

European Parliament legislative initiative reports drawn up on the basis of Article 225 of the Treaty on the Functioning on the European Union are automatically accompanied by a European Added Value Assessment (EAVA). Such assessments are aimed at evaluating the potential impacts, and identifying the advantages, of proposals made in legislative initiative reports. This EAVA accompanies a resolution based on a legislative initiative report prepared by Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) (rapporteur: Sophie in 't Veld (ALDE, the Netherlands), presenting recommendations to the Commission on an EU mechanism on democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights (P8_TA-PROV (2016) 0409). The main conclusion of the EAVA is that there is a gap between the proclamation of the rights and values listed in Article 2 TEU and actual compliance by EU institutions and Member States, resulting in significant economic, social and political costs. The root causes of this lack of compliance are to be found in certain weaknesses in the existing EU legal and policy framework on democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights. These weaknesses could be overcome by the conclusion of an EU Pact for Democracy, the Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights (DRF) in the form of an interinstitutional agreement (IIA). This IIA should lay down arrangements for (i) the development of an annual European report on the state of democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights in the Member States with country-specific recommendations assessing compliance with DRF, and (ii) a policy cycle for DRF, involving EU institutions and national parliaments, with country-specific recommendations aimed at monitoring and enforcing Member State compliance, including a DRF policy cycle within the institutions of the Union.  This could be done at relatively low cost, particularly if the right synergies are found with international organisations, whilst at the same time having significant benefits, notably fostering mutual trust and recognition, attracting more investment, and providing higher welfare standards.

The Cost of Non-Schengen: Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs aspects

08-09-2016

This study identifies the costs, in economic, social and political terms, of the (temporary) reintroduction of border controls between the Schengen Member States, with a special focus on civil liberties, justice and home affairs aspects. It recommends more concerted action at EU level with a view to returning to a fully functioning Schengen Area.  Regaining inter-Member State and citizen’s’ trust in the EU’s ability to tackle the deficiencies exposed by the refugee crisis should be an immediate priority ...

This study identifies the costs, in economic, social and political terms, of the (temporary) reintroduction of border controls between the Schengen Member States, with a special focus on civil liberties, justice and home affairs aspects. It recommends more concerted action at EU level with a view to returning to a fully functioning Schengen Area.  Regaining inter-Member State and citizen’s’ trust in the EU’s ability to tackle the deficiencies exposed by the refugee crisis should be an immediate priority. More concerted action at EU level is necessary to foster solidarity and cooperation between Member State authorities. Their work should also be supported through EU agencies, such as the European Border and Coast Guard, Europol, Eurojust and the European Asylum Support Office. The need for changes to the current Schengen governance framework should be further considered based on compliance with the conditions allowing five Member States to maintain their internal border controls until November 2016.  

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