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A universal right to a healthy environment

Εν συντομία 14-12-2021

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.

Fighting discrimination in sport

Briefing 09-07-2021

Even though the European Union (EU) has built an extensive framework of legislation, instances of racism and homophobia in sport are still rife. Interestingly, Eurostat surveys reveal that the feeling of discrimination is more widespread than actual discrimination. Although there are some variations, discrimination in sport very frequently involves stigmatisation on the basis of external characteristics such as skin colour, body shape and gender. Data from 2017 show that some 3 % of respondents claimed ...

Reform of the European Ombudsman's Statute

Εν συντομία 21-06-2021

During the June II plenary session, the European Parliament is due to adopt a new European Parliament regulation governing the performance of the Ombudsman's duties (Statute of the European Ombudsman) to replace the existing statute, adopted in 2008. This follows a debate on the new text during the June I session and subsequent consent to the draft from the Council. This is an updated edition of an 'at a glance' note published ahead of the June I plenary session.

The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (EU) enshrines the civil, political, economic and social rights and principles of everyone covered by its scope. Despite evidence of it having resulted in positive outcomes since it became legally binding in 2009, European Commission reports and findings by the Fundamental Rights Agency show that the Charter has not been used to its full potential at national level. Furthermore, according to a Eurobarometer survey, there is lack of awareness ...

The power and role of social media platforms to moderate the content put online by their users is increasingly coming under scrutiny. A debate is raging among policy-makers, and more widely among the population, on whether social media platforms should be subject to more stringent measures and public oversight. During the February plenary session, the Council and the Commission are expected to make statements on democratic scrutiny of social media platforms and protection of fundamental rights, in ...

The CJEU judgment in the Schrems II case

Εν συντομία 15-09-2020

In its July 2020 Schrems II judgment, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) declared the European Commission’s Privacy Shield Decision invalid on account of invasive US surveillance programmes, thereby making transfers of personal data on the basis of the Privacy Shield Decision illegal. Furthermore, the Court stipulated stricter requirements for the transfer of personal data based on standard contract clauses (SCCs). Data controllers or processors that intend to transfer data based on ...

Jewish communities in the European Union

Εν συντομία 23-01-2020

The Jewish population in the EU has been diminishing in recent decades, and has witnessed an increase in acts of anti-Semitism and anti-Jewish violence in recent years. In defence of its values, including respect for minorities, the EU undertakes and funds actions to counter anti-Semitism. This is a further updated version of an 'at a glance' note published in January 2019.

In the 70 years since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – the first international document to set common standards of achievement for all states – the pivotal role and moral, legal and political significance of human rights in the international arena have become indisputable. However, despite considerable progress in many areas on recognition, codification and implementation, human rights have also come under increased attack. Whether in theatres of war or in the political ...

The Facebook/Cambridge Analytica case in 2018, revealing alleged misuse of personal data for political advertising, demonstrated how the underlying values of the European data protection rules are essential for democracy. The EU has recently adopted a series of additional initiatives to support free and fair elections, reflected not least in European Parliament (EP) debates and resolutions.

In the years between 2014 and 2019, the EU has faced serious challenges related to the protection of fundamental rights within its territory, notably in connection to the Rule of Law (RoL) and democracy in some EU Member States. The Commission and the European Parliament (EP), led by the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE), have addressed these challenges by activating - for the first time since its introduction in the Treaties - the procedure foreseen in art. 7.1 TEU, respectively ...