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More than two decades after the United Nations General Assembly adopted its Declaration on Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) to enhance recognition of their role and encourage states to create a more protective environment, many human rights defenders face an increasingly hostile environment, with both repressive governments and some non-state actors, such as economic interest or criminal groups, opposing their work and posing a serious threat. Support for human rights defenders is a long established ...

In recent times, the European Union (EU) has witnessed a sharp rise in hate speech and hate crime, yet EU law criminalises such conduct only if related to a limited set of protected characteristics, such as race and ethnicity. The Commission, with the support of the Parliament, seeks to address this limitation by extending the list of 'EU crimes' included in Article 83 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), to cover hate speech and hate crime. This can only be done by a Council ...

Digital transformation concerns us all, in every aspect of our lives, from learning, working, communicating, doing business, to interacting with administrations, shopping and enjoying culture. The online environment has become very often our first and sometimes our only space for interaction. To steer this process so that no one is left behind, the European Commission tabled a draft declaration on digital rights and principles for a human-centred digital transformation. The declaration would serve ...

This study, written by the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs, at the request of the European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs - Democracy, Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights Monitoring Group, examines the situation of Democracy, the Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights in Malta and how Article 2 TEU values are respected and implemented in the country.

Racial and ethnic minorities face discrimination and its consequences on a daily basis. The exact scale of the problem is hard to gauge due to a lack of data and general under-reporting of racist incidents. The coronavirus pandemic has seen a major increase in reports of racist and xenophobic incidents, and the crisis it triggered has had a disproportionately large negative effect on racial and ethnic minority groups, in the form of higher death and infection rates. Although since 2000 the European ...

This is the fourth briefing within a series exploring citizens' expectations and recommendations in the context of the Conference on the Future of Europe, and presenting the European Parliament's response. The briefing focuses on citizens' proposals relating to EU common values, especially the rule of law. Citizens have placed EU values, including democracy, the rule of law and the protection of human rights, at the core of a common European identity, and discussed ways to enhance and protect these ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE and AFCO Committees, offers a comprehensive and critical assessment of the European Commission’s Annual Rule of Law Report. It does so in a broad and holistic manner by assessing this new monitoring tool in light of the EU’s Article 2 TEU monitoring and enforcement architecture. Multiple recommendations are offered in order to remedy the serious gaps and ...

This paper, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, analyses Interpol’s system of Red Notices and the EU-based mechanisms to safeguard citizens against political abuse of Interpol’s system. Recent reforms of Interpol are significant but many problems remain unaddressed. The paper discusses existing and possible platforms, including the European Search Portal ...

A landmark UNHRC resolution has recognised the human right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment, endorsing the broad recognition of the link between human rights and the environment. The right to a healthy environment is already enshrined in numerous national and regional instruments. Although non-binding, the resolution can spur change, with the Council of Europe already taking the first steps in this regard.

Regulation (EU) 2019/1896 transformed Frontex into the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, and gave the European Parliament a range of tools affording it oversight of the agency's activities. In addition to budgetary discharge, these include an obligation for the agency to provide information to the Parliament, a key role for the Parliament in appointing the agency's executive director, and attendance on invitation by a Parliament expert at Frontex management board meetings. These tools effectively ...