33

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The Venezuelan migrant crisis: A growing emergency for the region

17-12-2018

Although the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has traditionally been a country of destination for migrants, around 2010 its migratory profile started to change to that of a country of origin. In fact, in the past few years migration away from Venezuela has reached massive levels, creating an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in the region. According to the United Nations' International Organization for Migration (IOM), the number of Venezuelans abroad has risen from under 700 000 in 2015 to 3 million ...

Although the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has traditionally been a country of destination for migrants, around 2010 its migratory profile started to change to that of a country of origin. In fact, in the past few years migration away from Venezuela has reached massive levels, creating an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in the region. According to the United Nations' International Organization for Migration (IOM), the number of Venezuelans abroad has risen from under 700 000 in 2015 to 3 million in November 2018. About 70 % of this human wave has been directed to South American countries such as Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina and Brazil, but also to North and Central America and the Caribbean, and even Europe. The main factors contributing to this exodus are Venezuela's deteriorating political situation, a severe economic crisis and increasing violence. This mass migration could have a destabilising effect on the main recipient and transit countries. Besides individual responses developed by host countries to provide migrants with emergency assistance and protection and to facilitate their integration, Latin American countries are trying to give a coordinated regional response to the crisis. Furthermore, migration authorities, ombudsmen and NGOs have also promoted regional initiatives to defend the rights of Venezuelan migrants abroad and their access to basic services. The UN and regional organisations are also working to help deal with the crisis, and the EU is contributing €35.1 million in emergency aid and medium-term development assistance for the Venezuelan people and the affected neighbouring countries. The European Parliament sent an ad hoc mission to Brazil and Colombia in June 2018 to assess the situation, and has adopted resolutions on the subject.

The 2017 Sakharov Prize

05-12-2017

Established in 1988 by the European Parliament, the Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought is awarded each year in December to individuals or organisations for their outstanding achievements in upholding human rights and fundamental freedoms. By awarding the 2017 Prize to the Venezuelan Opposition, the Parliament denounces the situation in Venezuela, re-affirms its support to the democratically elected National Assembly, calls for a peaceful transition to democracy, and pays tribute to the Venezuelan ...

Established in 1988 by the European Parliament, the Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought is awarded each year in December to individuals or organisations for their outstanding achievements in upholding human rights and fundamental freedoms. By awarding the 2017 Prize to the Venezuelan Opposition, the Parliament denounces the situation in Venezuela, re-affirms its support to the democratically elected National Assembly, calls for a peaceful transition to democracy, and pays tribute to the Venezuelan people, in particular to those who have been unjustly jailed for expressing their opinions.

2016 report on Turkey

27-06-2017

During its July plenary session, the European Parliament is expected to vote on a resolution on the Commission's 2016 report on Turkey. Long-standing EU-Turkey relations, despite being a priority for both sides, have recently reached a low point, and accession talks risk being brought to a halt.

During its July plenary session, the European Parliament is expected to vote on a resolution on the Commission's 2016 report on Turkey. Long-standing EU-Turkey relations, despite being a priority for both sides, have recently reached a low point, and accession talks risk being brought to a halt.

Media freedom trends 2017: Turkey

03-05-2017

The freedom of the media in Turkey has dramatically deteriorated since the failed military coup of July 2016. Moreover, the number of media workers in jail has raised concerns from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the European Union (EU) and the Council of Europe.

The freedom of the media in Turkey has dramatically deteriorated since the failed military coup of July 2016. Moreover, the number of media workers in jail has raised concerns from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the European Union (EU) and the Council of Europe.

EU-Belarus relations: Delicate ties under strain

25-04-2017

Belarus – a hesitant participant in the Eastern Partnership (EaP) and traditionally one of Russia's closest allies – has long tested the limits of the EU's policy projection. The main sticking point in EU-Belarus relations has been and still remains Minsk's reluctance to commit to democracy, as well as to political and civil rights. In the light of 'positive political developments' in relations between the European Union and Belarus – owing not least to the Belarusian authorities' release of six ...

Belarus – a hesitant participant in the Eastern Partnership (EaP) and traditionally one of Russia's closest allies – has long tested the limits of the EU's policy projection. The main sticking point in EU-Belarus relations has been and still remains Minsk's reluctance to commit to democracy, as well as to political and civil rights. In the light of 'positive political developments' in relations between the European Union and Belarus – owing not least to the Belarusian authorities' release of six political prisoners in August 2015 – the Council lifted some restrictive measures on Belarus in February 2016, while extending others for a further year. The Ukraine crisis – during which Minsk hosted important ceasefire talks – appeared to spark a rethink in both Minsk and Brussels. Growing frictions with Moscow and the continued economic recession in Russia have put pressure on the social contract between Belarus's leadership and its citizens, increasing the incentives for Belarus to mend ties with the West, including the EU. However, Minsk's crackdown on recent protest waves have sparked criticism from the EU and rekindled concern over long-standing president Alexander Lukashenko's poor human rights record.

Workshop on EU-Turkmenistan Relations

27-03-2017

EU-Turkmenistan relations are in a position to be redefined by the proposed EU-Turkmenistan Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, which will require the consent of the European Parliament (and of the national parliaments of the EU member states). This workshop served as a debate platform with the intention of clarifying the understanding of the current political and societal dynamics in Turkmenistan. Such an agreement should represent a basis to enforce better standards of human rights, rule of ...

EU-Turkmenistan relations are in a position to be redefined by the proposed EU-Turkmenistan Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, which will require the consent of the European Parliament (and of the national parliaments of the EU member states). This workshop served as a debate platform with the intention of clarifying the understanding of the current political and societal dynamics in Turkmenistan. Such an agreement should represent a basis to enforce better standards of human rights, rule of law, and democracy in Turkmenistan, as well as for more intensive economic cooperation between the EU and Turkmenistan, which currently faces an economic crisis. The two concepts are apparently complementary but deciding which one constituted the more useful approach for engagement was the central point that structured the discussion. Regardless of the angle from which they approached the issue, however, a majority of participants in the workshop debate expressed support for adoption of the treaty, while some NGO representatives took a more cautious view.

Externý autor

Sébastien Peyrouse and Luca Ancheschi

Human Rights in Iran after the Nuclear Deal Business as Usual or Time for Change?

13-03-2017

This report summarises the proceedings of a workshop organised jointly by the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI) and the Delegation for relations with Iran (D-IR). The purpose of the workshop was to analyse the most recent developments regarding human rights in Iran since the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was signed in July 2015 and to explore the options available to the EU in seeking to help improve the situation. Experts and human rights defenders pointed to ...

This report summarises the proceedings of a workshop organised jointly by the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI) and the Delegation for relations with Iran (D-IR). The purpose of the workshop was to analyse the most recent developments regarding human rights in Iran since the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was signed in July 2015 and to explore the options available to the EU in seeking to help improve the situation. Experts and human rights defenders pointed to the gaps between law and practice in Iran and raised continuing concerns about the death penalty, political prisoners, prison conditions, arrests of dual nationals, minority rights and restrictions to internet access. They identified Iran’s dual power structure of elected and non-elected institutions and corruption as some of the chief constraints to any reform efforts. They said the EU should keep human rights — including support for the relevant UN mechanisms and efforts — high on its agenda. They said the key factors for engaging successfully with Iran on human rights in future were clear criteria and benchmarks, detailed knowledge of the human rights issues at stake and interaction with Iranian civil society both inside and outside Iran.

Externý autor

Firouzeh NAHAVANDI (Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium - chapter 2.1) ; Nazila GHANEA (University of Oxford, the UK - chapter 2.2) and Giulia BONACQUISTI (Trans European Policy Studies Association - TEPSA, Belgium - workshop report)

Human rights in the Philippines

17-01-2017

Since mid-2016, President Rodrigo Duterte's controversial war on drugs has triggered a wave of extrajudicial killings. The current violence reflects longer-term problems, such as high crime rates and a dysfunctional justice system. However, there are still many areas, such as freedom of expression and gender equality, where the Philippines does better than most other Asian countries.

Since mid-2016, President Rodrigo Duterte's controversial war on drugs has triggered a wave of extrajudicial killings. The current violence reflects longer-term problems, such as high crime rates and a dysfunctional justice system. However, there are still many areas, such as freedom of expression and gender equality, where the Philippines does better than most other Asian countries.

EU-Philippines relations: Beyond trade and aid?

17-01-2017

Recent controversial statements by new Philippines President, Rodrigo Duterte are threatening to derail progress towards closer partnership between his country and the EU. Nevertheless, practical cooperation between the two sides, which began with European Community development aid 50 years ago, continues essentially unchanged. The EU and its Member States are still among the leading donors of aid to the Philippines, and EU-Philippines trade and investment is substantial. However, economic ties still ...

Recent controversial statements by new Philippines President, Rodrigo Duterte are threatening to derail progress towards closer partnership between his country and the EU. Nevertheless, practical cooperation between the two sides, which began with European Community development aid 50 years ago, continues essentially unchanged. The EU and its Member States are still among the leading donors of aid to the Philippines, and EU-Philippines trade and investment is substantial. However, economic ties still offer considerable untapped potential. A free trade agreement is currently under negotiation. The two sides have already concluded a partnership and cooperation agreement, now awaiting ratification. Once in force, this will help to strengthen not only economic ties, but also cooperation in the many areas where the EU and the Philippines have shared interests, such as migration, fisheries and maritime labour. Particularly under Duterte's predecessor, the pro-Western Benigno Aquino (2010 2016), EU-Philippines relations were based not only on shared interests but also values. The Philippines is a democracy and, due to its history, one of the most westernised countries in Asia. Shared values have helped to make the country one of the EU's closest allies in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). While Duterte's anti-EU statements have not ended such cooperation, they have created uncertainty over future developments. The EU has adopted a wait-and-see approach; less cordial relations are likely to result.

Egypt: A failed revolution?

13-06-2016

The most populous of the Arab countries, situated at the crossroads between Africa and the Middle East, Egypt is an important partner for Europe. Since 2004, bilateral EU-Egypt trade has almost tripled, from €11.8 billion to €27.7 billion in 2015. At the same time, the EU and Egypt share many foreign policy concerns, including the Middle East peace process, migration and the fight against terrorism. Under the revised European Neighbourhood Policy, the challenge will be to reconcile growing EU concerns ...

The most populous of the Arab countries, situated at the crossroads between Africa and the Middle East, Egypt is an important partner for Europe. Since 2004, bilateral EU-Egypt trade has almost tripled, from €11.8 billion to €27.7 billion in 2015. At the same time, the EU and Egypt share many foreign policy concerns, including the Middle East peace process, migration and the fight against terrorism. Under the revised European Neighbourhood Policy, the challenge will be to reconcile growing EU concerns over the deteriorating human-rights situation in post-revolutionary Egypt with the importance of enhancing cooperation with Egypt as a partner for stability in the region.

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