1250

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International transfers of personal data

12-05-2021

In its July 2020 Schrems II ruling, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) invalidated the European Commission's US adequacy decision on account of insufficient US data protection standards. Drawing from the judgment, personal data may – in principle – only be transferred to a third country outside the EU/European Economic Area if the third country ensures an 'essentially equivalent' level of data protection to that of the EU, or if supplementary measures are deployed to compensate for ...

In its July 2020 Schrems II ruling, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) invalidated the European Commission's US adequacy decision on account of insufficient US data protection standards. Drawing from the judgment, personal data may – in principle – only be transferred to a third country outside the EU/European Economic Area if the third country ensures an 'essentially equivalent' level of data protection to that of the EU, or if supplementary measures are deployed to compensate for the lacunae in protection. With the United Kingdom (UK) becoming a third country within the meaning of EU data protection law, the convenient and cost-effective continuation of EU–UK data flows will depend on the adoption of the (already controversial) draft adequacy decisions concerning the UK. During its May plenary session, Parliament is due to debate resolutions on, respectively, the Schrems II ruling, and on UK data adequacy, i.e. the country's level of data protection.

Best Practices in the whole-of-society approach in countering hybrid threats

06-05-2021

Over recent years, the European Union has increased efforts to strengthen its resilience to hybrid threats. A model of preparedness based on the notions of ‘whole-of-society’, ‘whole-of-government’ and ‘societal resilience’ has gained ground in the EU’s policy work. Although some progress has been made, many obstacles and challenges remain. The EU needs to address conceptual questions involved with the mapping of hybrid threats to facilitate targeted and effective countermeasures, as well as initiatives ...

Over recent years, the European Union has increased efforts to strengthen its resilience to hybrid threats. A model of preparedness based on the notions of ‘whole-of-society’, ‘whole-of-government’ and ‘societal resilience’ has gained ground in the EU’s policy work. Although some progress has been made, many obstacles and challenges remain. The EU needs to address conceptual questions involved with the mapping of hybrid threats to facilitate targeted and effective countermeasures, as well as initiatives to improve societal resilience. Although the EU recognises the strategic value of resilience, the concept’s precise meaning and level of added value remain vague. Its exact relationship to national preparedness and hybrid threats, as well as the whole-of-society approach requires clarification. In addition to addressing these issues, this study analyses some best practices from the whole-of-society approach by examining action taken by Finland, Sweden and Australia in this regard. The study also provides recommendations for further actions.

External author

Mikael WIGELL;Harri MIKKOLA;Tapio JUNTUNEN

Matching priorities and resources in the EU budget: Climate action, migration and borders

03-05-2021

Over the past two decades, the European Union (EU) has been entrusted with a growing number of objectives and responsibilities. However, ensuring financing of related activities through the EU budget has often proven problematic, as this has long been capped at around 1 % of the Union's gross national income (GNI). During the preparation of the post-2020 EU multiannual financial framework (MFF), climate action, migration and border management were identified among the emerging priorities that required ...

Over the past two decades, the European Union (EU) has been entrusted with a growing number of objectives and responsibilities. However, ensuring financing of related activities through the EU budget has often proven problematic, as this has long been capped at around 1 % of the Union's gross national income (GNI). During the preparation of the post-2020 EU multiannual financial framework (MFF), climate action, migration and border management were identified among the emerging priorities that required increased joint action and funding. The agreement on EU finances for 2021 to 2027 provides for a significant relative increase in the financial resources devoted to these policy areas. In absolute figures, the reinforcements are stronger for climate action than for migration and borders. Underpinned by the European Green Deal strategy, climate action will receive the bulk of its resources through the incorporation of climate considerations and objectives across all relevant EU funding instruments (climate mainstreaming). Next Generation EU (NGEU), the temporary instrument to aid recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, will play a major role in the boost to climate-relevant resources. In total, these could amount to some €550 billion (in 2018 prices, corresponding to 30 % of total MFF and NGEU resources). For the first time, migration and border management have a dedicated heading, accounting for 2.1 % of MFF resources. Among other activities, additional allocations will contribute to the agreed reinforcement of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency. Opinion surveys show that respondents see climate change and migration among the main global challenges for the EU, but there are gaps between perceptions and expectations of the role of the EU budget in these two domains. The European Parliament, which is a strong advocate of a robust EU budget commensurate with the Union's responsibilities, managed to secure additional resources for instruments relevant to both groups of policies, as well as the enhancement of the climate mainstreaming methodology. The Parliament plays a key role in shaping and scrutinising how the funding allocated to the policy areas is implemented. Other measures to reinforce the EU budget's capacity to deliver in the areas of climate action, migration and borders seek to improve synergies between budgetary instruments.

Vulnerability of unaccompanied and separated child migrants

26-04-2021

The United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) has estimated that the number of migrant children increased from 24 million during the 1990–2000 period to 33 million in 2019. In 2019 alone, some 33 200 children arrived in southern European countries, of which some 9 000 (27 %) were unaccompanied or separated from family member(s) on the journey. There are various reasons why a child may be unaccompanied or get separated, including persecution of the child or the parents; international conflict and civil ...

The United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) has estimated that the number of migrant children increased from 24 million during the 1990–2000 period to 33 million in 2019. In 2019 alone, some 33 200 children arrived in southern European countries, of which some 9 000 (27 %) were unaccompanied or separated from family member(s) on the journey. There are various reasons why a child may be unaccompanied or get separated, including persecution of the child or the parents; international conflict and civil war; human trafficking and smuggling, including sale by parents; accidental separation from the parents over the course of their journey; and searching for better economic opportunities. Despite the existence of a comprehensive international legal framework on children's rights and their protection, irregular migrant children, especially those who are unaccompanied or who have been separated from their parents over their journey, face numerous obstacles and challenges during and after the migration process. Several international and European organisations have identified a number of protection gaps in the treatment of such children, including that they face greater risks of, inter alia, sexual exploitation and abuse, military recruitment, child labour (including for foster families) and detention. In many countries, they are routinely denied entry or detained by border or immigration officials. In other cases, they are admitted but are denied access to asylum procedures, or their asylum claims are not handled in an age and gender-sensitive manner. The vulnerable situation of unaccompanied and separated children worldwide, and the threats they face need to be addressed, particularly in view of the constant increase in their number. European Union asylum law offers special protection to such children, and the European Union has adopted numerous instruments and identified key actions for the protection of all children in migration, including those who are unaccompanied and separated. This briefing is an update of a 2016 briefing by Joanna Apap.

Rapid steps towards a digital green certificate

22-04-2021

In March 2021, the European Commission put forward a legislative proposal on a 'digital green certificate' that aims to facilitate free movement within the EU. The certificate would be available for Union citizens and their family members to indicate that they have either received a Covid-19 vaccine, had a recent negative test result, or have recovered from Covid-19. The proposal is complemented by another legislative proposal, which ensures that same rules apply to third-country nationals in the ...

In March 2021, the European Commission put forward a legislative proposal on a 'digital green certificate' that aims to facilitate free movement within the EU. The certificate would be available for Union citizens and their family members to indicate that they have either received a Covid-19 vaccine, had a recent negative test result, or have recovered from Covid-19. The proposal is complemented by another legislative proposal, which ensures that same rules apply to third-country nationals in the EU. With a view to the introduction of the certificate by summer 2021, the European Parliament decided to discuss the proposal under the urgent procedure. The Council has already agreed a mandate for negotiations. Parliament is expected to adopt its position during its April 2021 session so that interinstitutional negotiations can start as soon as possible thereafter in order to have the framework in place by summer 2021.

Justice programme 2021-2027

21-04-2021

In May 2018, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation establishing a new Justice programme as part of the new 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). An early second-reading agreement was reached with the Council in trilogue negotiations, which is now expected to be voted by Parliament during the April 2021 session.

In May 2018, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation establishing a new Justice programme as part of the new 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). An early second-reading agreement was reached with the Council in trilogue negotiations, which is now expected to be voted by Parliament during the April 2021 session.

Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values programme

21-04-2021

Given the extent of inequality and discrimination, challenges to fundamental rights and citizens' lack of awareness of the rights they enjoy, the EU institutions have recognised the importance of funding to protect core EU values and fundamental rights, support civil society organisations and sustain open, democratic and inclusive societies. In May 2018, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation establishing a new Rights and Values programme as part of the new 2021-2027 Multiannual ...

Given the extent of inequality and discrimination, challenges to fundamental rights and citizens' lack of awareness of the rights they enjoy, the EU institutions have recognised the importance of funding to protect core EU values and fundamental rights, support civil society organisations and sustain open, democratic and inclusive societies. In May 2018, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation establishing a new Rights and Values programme as part of the new 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). An early second-reading agreement was reached with the Council in trilogue negotiations, which is now expected to be voted by Parliament during the April 2021 session.

Addressing the dissemination of terrorist content online

21-04-2021

The European Commission proposed, in 2018, a new regulation aimed at countering the security threat represented by the spread of terrorist content online. The regulation would require service providers to remove online content posted with the objective to radicalise, recruit or incite to violence, within one hour of receiving a removal order from the competent authorities. The European Parliament is due to vote at second reading during its April plenary session on the agreed text reached in trilogue ...

The European Commission proposed, in 2018, a new regulation aimed at countering the security threat represented by the spread of terrorist content online. The regulation would require service providers to remove online content posted with the objective to radicalise, recruit or incite to violence, within one hour of receiving a removal order from the competent authorities. The European Parliament is due to vote at second reading during its April plenary session on the agreed text reached in trilogue negotiations.

Migration and border management: Heading 4 of the 2021-2027 MFF

14-04-2021

The Treaty of Lisbon makes explicit reference to pooling financial resources to support common policies on asylum, immigration and external borders. Given the increasing salience of the policy areas in recent years, the European Union (EU) has for the first time established a specific heading devoted to migration and border management in its new multiannual financial framework (MFF). Endowed with €22.7 billion (2018 prices) for the years 2021 to 2027, the heading finances the activities of specific ...

The Treaty of Lisbon makes explicit reference to pooling financial resources to support common policies on asylum, immigration and external borders. Given the increasing salience of the policy areas in recent years, the European Union (EU) has for the first time established a specific heading devoted to migration and border management in its new multiannual financial framework (MFF). Endowed with €22.7 billion (2018 prices) for the years 2021 to 2027, the heading finances the activities of specific EU decentralised agencies, such as the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) and the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), as well as two funding instruments, likely to be named the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) and Integrated Border Management Fund (IBMF). The regulations governing the two funds are being finalised by the co-legislators. When designing the proposals for them, the European Commission aimed to improve synergies with other EU funding instruments and increase capacity to react to evolving needs. Expenditure for these policy areas is still a minor share of the EU budget (2.1 %, excluding the resources from the Next Generation EU recovery instrument), but these allocations represent a significant increase in relative terms, as compared with the 2014-2020 period. The reinforcement seeks to address weaknesses of the previous MFF that the 2015-2016 refugee crisis exposed, obliging EU institutions to use the flexibility provisions of the framework extensively. However, the Commission had proposed larger increases that the European Council cut. In the MFF negotiations with the Council, the European Parliament managed to strengthen the 'border management' policy cluster, which will gradually bring the overall resources of the heading to €23.7 billion by 2027. This is an update of briefing published in January 2020.

Addressing the dissemination of terrorist content online

09-04-2021

Dissemination of terrorist content is one of the most widespread and most dangerous forms of misuse of online services in the field of internal security. In line with the 2015 European agenda on security, and taking into account the impact of this propaganda on the radicalisation, recruitment and training of terrorists, the European Commission launched a voluntary system for tackling terrorism online, based on guidelines and recommendations. However, given the limitations of self-regulation, in September ...

Dissemination of terrorist content is one of the most widespread and most dangerous forms of misuse of online services in the field of internal security. In line with the 2015 European agenda on security, and taking into account the impact of this propaganda on the radicalisation, recruitment and training of terrorists, the European Commission launched a voluntary system for tackling terrorism online, based on guidelines and recommendations. However, given the limitations of self-regulation, in September 2018 the Commission proposed a regulation on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online through the removal of such content within one hour of being posted. While the Council rapidly reached a position on the proposal, the European Parliament adopted its first-reading position in April 2019. Following the European elections, and the appointment of a new rapporteur, interinstitutional trilogue negotiations on the proposal began in autumn 2019. The trilogue meetings were delayed several times, because of the coronavirus pandemic among other reasons. After a new series of terrorist attacks hit Europe in autumn 2020, Parliament and Council reached political agreement on 10 December 2020. The most contentious issues related to the cross-border effect of withdrawal orders and to the use of automated filters to detect terrorist content online. The Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE) approved the interinstitutional agreement on 11 January 2021, and the Council then adopted its first-reading position on 16 March. The text is due to be voted at second reading in the April plenary session.

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