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Parliamentary questions
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17 February 2020
P-000913/2020
Priority question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 138
Anne-Sophie Pelletier, Saskia Bricmont, Konstantinos Arvanitis, Monika Beňová, Caroline Roose, Damien Carême, Idoia Villanueva Ruiz, Yannick Jadot, Mick Wallace, Clare Daly, Salima Yenbou, Mounir Satouri, Manon Aubry, Leila Chaibi, Sylvie Guillaume, Bettina Vollath, Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield, Aurore Lalucq, Clara Ponsatí Obiols, Erik Marquardt, Viktor Uspaskich, Alice Kuhnke, Birgit Sippel, Miguel Urbán Crespo, Bernard Guetta, Pernando Barrena Arza, Costas Mavrides, Juozas Olekas, Henrike Hahn, Ville Niinistö, Manuel Bompard, Alexis Georgoulis, Niyazi Kizilyürek, Bronis Ropė, Milan Brglez, Petra De Sutter, Philippe Lamberts, Terry Reintke, Pascal Arimont, Pascal Durand, François Alfonsi, Marie Toussaint, Damian Boeselager, José Gusmão, Younous Omarjee, Daniel Freund
 Subject: Conditions of detention and detainees’ fundamental rights in the European Union

Around 569 000 people are currently in detention in the EU. The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture has highlighted structural problems in many Member States (detention conditions, access to care, family ties, etc.). Prison overcrowding is exacerbating these difficulties in some countries. Although the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has handed down pilot judgments requiring Member States to implement effective remedies in repetitive cases on this topic, it is still difficult for detainees to obtain justice. On 30 January 2020, the ECHR condemned France for violating Articles 3 and 13 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

This situation, which is linked to the absence of minimum common standards, puts the rule of law and judicial cooperation at stake, affecting, for example, the European Arrest Warrant instrument, which some Member States refuse to use.

Over the past few years, Parliament has repeatedly called for legislative instruments on the rights of prisoners and detention standards to be adopted at EU level.

Given the importance of judicial control over detention conditions in ensuring effective judicial cooperation (CJEU, C-128/18), will the Commission commit to a better coordinated prison policy with a view to creating conditions for mutual trust and the respect of fundamental rights by taking action to strengthen procedural rights and improve detention conditions? If so, what type of action will it take?

Original language of question: GA
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