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Protection of whistle-blowers at EU level

23-10-2017

In October, the European Parliament is due to discuss on an own-initiative report on legitimate measures to protect whistle-blowers. Whistle-blowers have proved to be a crucial resource in revealing harm to the public interest. The report calls on the Commission to present a horizontal legislative proposal with a view to protecting whistle-blowers effectively in the EU.

In October, the European Parliament is due to discuss on an own-initiative report on legitimate measures to protect whistle-blowers. Whistle-blowers have proved to be a crucial resource in revealing harm to the public interest. The report calls on the Commission to present a horizontal legislative proposal with a view to protecting whistle-blowers effectively in the EU.

Trafficking in Human Beings from a Gender Perspective (Directive 2011/36/EU): European Implementation Assessment

29-04-2016

Trafficking in human beings (THB), in all its forms, is a serious crime affecting fundamental rights, health, social life, economy and justice. THB knows no boundaries and most reported victims are female EU nationals from Central and Eastern Europe. THB can be tackled effectively only through a coherent approach at the levels of legislation and executive powers and through strategic policy-making. Proper investigation and prosecution are important and enhance victim protection and assistance as ...

Trafficking in human beings (THB), in all its forms, is a serious crime affecting fundamental rights, health, social life, economy and justice. THB knows no boundaries and most reported victims are female EU nationals from Central and Eastern Europe. THB can be tackled effectively only through a coherent approach at the levels of legislation and executive powers and through strategic policy-making. Proper investigation and prosecution are important and enhance victim protection and assistance as well as prevention. However, taking into account the gender dimension of THB is essential to ensure adequate support for the victims as well as effective prevention. The 2011 EU Anti-Trafficking Directive represents a landmark piece of legislation in that respect. The Ex-Post Impact Assessment Unit of the European Parliament has asked several groups of experts to analyse the implementation and application of the Directive, from a gender perspective, in 12 Member States: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Romania, Sweden, the UK and Spain. The contributions received point to an uneven implementation of the Directive's requirements across the EU Member States. The findings emphasise the need to improve the identification of victims, which is key for granting them protection, to establish better training on the gender aspects of the different forms of human trafficking for front-line officers, to enhance cooperation between public administration and competent NGOs, and to expand prevention via public awareness campaigning.

Externí autor

- Denise Charlton and Nusha Yonkova, on Ireland; - Josie Christodoulou, on Cyprus and Greece; - Ryszard Piotrowicz, Bärbel Uhl, Klara Skrivankova, Marjan Wijers, on Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Romania, Sweden and the UK; - Venla Roth, on Finland; - Genoveva Tisheva and Nusha Yonkova, on Bulgaria; - Viviana Waisman and Gema Fernandez Rodriguez de Liévana, on Spain.

The gender dimension of human trafficking

08-02-2016

Human trafficking is a serious crime and a violation of human rights. It is on the rise due to increasing mobility, the development of new technologies and the generally low risks and high profit involved. Data on the prevalence of this crime show that the majority of its victims are women and girls. Sexual exploitation is by far the first purpose of trafficking in women. Most trafficked women are forced into commercial sexual services while many are also victims of domestic servitude. There are ...

Human trafficking is a serious crime and a violation of human rights. It is on the rise due to increasing mobility, the development of new technologies and the generally low risks and high profit involved. Data on the prevalence of this crime show that the majority of its victims are women and girls. Sexual exploitation is by far the first purpose of trafficking in women. Most trafficked women are forced into commercial sexual services while many are also victims of domestic servitude. There are several factors which contribute to trafficking in women. Their vulnerability, especially as a consequence of violence, and the demand for their sexual services are two leading factors which have received increased attention in recent years. Tackling this demand requires addressing prostitution. EU Member States have adopted different approaches to this phenomenon, ranging from criminalisation of all activities related to prostitution to regulation. Traffickers operate via various channels of recruitment which involve coercion, force or deception. They usually exploit the poor economic situation of women searching for a better life abroad. The internet and new technologies play an important role, as does migrant smuggling. The EU has adopted key instruments to tackle trafficking in human beings. They are based on a victim-centred approach and recognise that support and protection of victims, as well as prevention should be gender-specific. The European Parliament plays an important part in shaping EU policies in the field.

Corruption — still a major problem in several Western Balkan countries

10-06-2015

The United Nations' 2003 Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) starts by noting that corruption 'undermines democracy and the rule of law, leads to violations of human rights, distorts markets, erodes the quality of life and allows organized crime, terrorism and other threats to human security to flourish'. To a varying extent, all countries are susceptible to the phenomenon of corruption (EU Member States not excluded). Factors such as social and economic development, political background and culture ...

The United Nations' 2003 Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) starts by noting that corruption 'undermines democracy and the rule of law, leads to violations of human rights, distorts markets, erodes the quality of life and allows organized crime, terrorism and other threats to human security to flourish'. To a varying extent, all countries are susceptible to the phenomenon of corruption (EU Member States not excluded). Factors such as social and economic development, political background and culture, among others, define how deep rooted it is in a given state. The Western Balkans (WB) is a region with a history of corrupt practices, one usually perceived as vulnerable to corruption. With the exception of Kosovo,* all countries from the Western Balkans – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia – are parties to UNCAC. Without exception, they are faced with widespread corruption – one of the key challenges as regards their aspirations for European integration. They have each made different progress towards EU membership, but share similar difficulties in the fight against corruption. Notwithstanding the assistance from the EU in the framework of the enlargement process, the results they have achieved so far have similarly been assessed as limited. * This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.

National Security and Secret Evidence in Legislation and before the Courts: Exploring the Challenges

10-12-2014

At the request of the LIBE committee, this study provides a comparative analysis of the national legal regimes and practices governing the use of intelligence information as evidence in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden. It explores notably how national security can be invoked to determine the classification of information and evidence as 'state secrets' in court proceedings and whether such laws and practices are fundamental rights- and rule of law-compliant ...

At the request of the LIBE committee, this study provides a comparative analysis of the national legal regimes and practices governing the use of intelligence information as evidence in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden. It explores notably how national security can be invoked to determine the classification of information and evidence as 'state secrets' in court proceedings and whether such laws and practices are fundamental rights- and rule of law-compliant. The study finds that, in the majority of Member States under investigation, the judiciary is significantly hindered in effectively adjudicating justice and guaranteeing the rights of the defence in ‘national security’ cases. The research also illustrates that the very term ‘national security’ is nebulously defined across the Member States analysed, with no national definition meeting legal certainty and “in accordance with the law” standards and a clear risk that the executive and secret services may act arbitrarily. The study argues that national and transnational intelligence community practices and cooperation need to be subject to more independent and effective judicial accountability and be brought into line with EU 'rule of law' standards.

Externí autor

Didier Bigo (Centre d’Etudes sur les Conflits, Liberté et Sécurité - CCLS ; Sciences-Po Paris ; King’s College London), Sergio Carrera (Centre for European Policy Studies, CEPS), Nicholas Hernanz (CEPS) and Amandine Scherrer (CCLS) ; Contributions in the Country Fiches by: Mar Jimeno Bulnes (University of Burgos, Spain), Emmy Eklundh (University of Manchester, United Kingdom), Roseline Letteron (Université Paris-Sorbonne, France), Nikolaus Marsch (University of Freiburg in Breisgau, Germany), Daniel Squires (Matrix Chambers, London, United Kingdom), Arianna Vedaschi (Bocconi University, Milan, Italy), Gabriele Marino (University of Exeter, United Kingdom) and Anja Wiesbrock (University of Oslo, Norway)

Corruption in Russia

12-03-2014

Corruption in Russia is deeply entrenched and permeates all levels of Russian society. It causes significant financial loss to the Russian economy in terms of gross domestic product and considerably lowers the country's attractiveness as a foreign direct investment destination. Despite a recent positive trend Russia continues to lag far behind its G8 and G20 peers in the rankings.

Corruption in Russia is deeply entrenched and permeates all levels of Russian society. It causes significant financial loss to the Russian economy in terms of gross domestic product and considerably lowers the country's attractiveness as a foreign direct investment destination. Despite a recent positive trend Russia continues to lag far behind its G8 and G20 peers in the rankings.

The EU response to organised crime

06-09-2013

The EU has been tackling organised crime for more than 30 years. With the end of the mandate of Parliament's CRIM Committee, a new chapter is being written in the history of the EU's fight against organised crime.

The EU has been tackling organised crime for more than 30 years. With the end of the mandate of Parliament's CRIM Committee, a new chapter is being written in the history of the EU's fight against organised crime.

Witness protection programmes. EU experiences in the international context

28-01-2013

Witness testimony has critical value in investigating and prosecuting crime. For this reason many witnesses – in particular those who testify against organised crime – are intimidated and threatened. The state responds to this by granting witnesses various forms of protection. It sometimes goes as far as to relocate witnesses and give them new identity through participation in witness protection programmes.

Witness testimony has critical value in investigating and prosecuting crime. For this reason many witnesses – in particular those who testify against organised crime – are intimidated and threatened. The state responds to this by granting witnesses various forms of protection. It sometimes goes as far as to relocate witnesses and give them new identity through participation in witness protection programmes.

Rights and protection for victims of crime

07-09-2012

According to the EU Treaties and the Stockholm programme, criminal law should focus not only on repression, but special attention should also be paid to victims in the area of freedom, security and justice. While protection measures exist in specific cases, a May 2011 Commission proposal would extend protection to cover all types of crimes and victims.

According to the EU Treaties and the Stockholm programme, criminal law should focus not only on repression, but special attention should also be paid to victims in the area of freedom, security and justice. While protection measures exist in specific cases, a May 2011 Commission proposal would extend protection to cover all types of crimes and victims.

Right to Defence and Fair Legal Procedures in the Member States and the Candidate Countries

01-11-2001

The purpose of this research is to examine whether there is common legislation and common policies in each Member State as well as in each of the candidate countries of the European Union to guarantee the right to defence and fair legal procedures. The study therefore analyses the domestic legislation, case law and practice of the different countries.

The purpose of this research is to examine whether there is common legislation and common policies in each Member State as well as in each of the candidate countries of the European Union to guarantee the right to defence and fair legal procedures. The study therefore analyses the domestic legislation, case law and practice of the different countries.

Externí autor

The European Public Law Center, Athens, Greece

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