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Establishing a computerised system for communication in cross-border civil and criminal proceedings (e-CODEX)

05-03-2021

This briefing anlyses the strenghts and weaknesses of the Commission impact assessment (IA) accompanying the proposal to to formally establish the e-CODEX system at EU level and entrust its operational management to the European Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice (EU-LISA). The IA contains a number of important shortcomings that significantly reduce its overall quality.

This briefing anlyses the strenghts and weaknesses of the Commission impact assessment (IA) accompanying the proposal to to formally establish the e-CODEX system at EU level and entrust its operational management to the European Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice (EU-LISA). The IA contains a number of important shortcomings that significantly reduce its overall quality.

Digital services act

03-03-2021

The rules governing the provision of digital services in the EU have remained largely unchanged since the adoption of the e-Commerce Directive in 2000, while digital technologies and business models continue to evolve rapidly and new societal challenges are emerging, such as the spread of counterfeit goods, hate speech and disinformation online. Against this backdrop, in December 2020, the European Commission tabled a new legislative proposal on a digital services act to amend the e-Commerce Directive ...

The rules governing the provision of digital services in the EU have remained largely unchanged since the adoption of the e-Commerce Directive in 2000, while digital technologies and business models continue to evolve rapidly and new societal challenges are emerging, such as the spread of counterfeit goods, hate speech and disinformation online. Against this backdrop, in December 2020, the European Commission tabled a new legislative proposal on a digital services act to amend the e-Commerce Directive and set higher standards of transparency and accountability to govern the way platform service providers moderate content, on advertising and on algorithmic processes. Parliament has already voiced strong support for revision of the EU rules applicable to online actors. EU lawmakers will now assess whether the Commission's proposal is an appropriate response to the challenges identified and will work towards defining Parliament's own position on the proposal, which is the first step in the EU's interinstitutional legislative process.

Improving the resilience of critical entities

23-02-2021

This briefing finds that the European Commission's impact assessment (IA), which accompanies the directive proposal on the resilience of critical entities, provides a good evidence-based problem definition and a sufficiently broad range of options. The assessment is mostly qualitative, due to difficulties in quantification. The IA could have been more transparent in its description of stakeholder views, and could have provided due references and a link to the feasibility study which has supported ...

This briefing finds that the European Commission's impact assessment (IA), which accompanies the directive proposal on the resilience of critical entities, provides a good evidence-based problem definition and a sufficiently broad range of options. The assessment is mostly qualitative, due to difficulties in quantification. The IA could have been more transparent in its description of stakeholder views, and could have provided due references and a link to the feasibility study which has supported the IA. Further explanations to support the preferred option in terms of efficiency would have benefited the analysis.

New strategy to reinforce application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights: Local and regional perspective

10-02-2021

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 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 of the Charter among EU citizens. The debate around how to promote awareness of the Charter, and of citizens' rights more broadly, in the EU has been going on for a number of years. In this context, a new strategy for effective application of the Charter has been adopted and will guide action for the next 10 years, to raise awareness and promote its effective use. Furthermore, in 2020 the European Commission launched a public consultation to collect input from a wide range of stakeholders on the subject, including actors at local level. The basic idea was that as local and regional authorities represent the tiers of government closest to the public, they are well placed to make the Charter known to citizens. This briefing provides guidance and tools to help local and regional authorities inform citizens of their rights under the Charter. It also presents best practice from selected EU Member States on promoting the principles underpinning the Charter at regional and local level.

Commission proposal on the temporary derogation from the e-Privacy Directive for the purpose of fighting online child sexual abuse. Targeted substitute impact assessment

05-02-2021

On 10 September 2020, the European Commission presented a proposal, which aims at ensuring the continuation of voluntary practices conducted by providers of ‘number-independent interpersonal communications services’ for the detection, reporting and removal of child sexual abuse material online after the European Electronic Communications Code has entered into force at the end of December 2020. This EPRS targeted substitute impact assessment finds that while the EU has the competence to adopt the ...

On 10 September 2020, the European Commission presented a proposal, which aims at ensuring the continuation of voluntary practices conducted by providers of ‘number-independent interpersonal communications services’ for the detection, reporting and removal of child sexual abuse material online after the European Electronic Communications Code has entered into force at the end of December 2020. This EPRS targeted substitute impact assessment finds that while the EU has the competence to adopt the Proposed Regulation per Article 5 of the TEU, the impact of such practices on human and fundamental rights has not been adequately addressed. It should provide a clear legal basis for these practices, along with effective remedies for users. Some technologies covered by the Proposed Regulation have a disproportionate impact, and thus require additional safeguards unavailable in the proposal in its current form.

Autor externo

This study has been written by Professor Jeanne Pia Mifsud Bonnici and Melania Tudorica of the Security, Technology and e-Privacy (STeP) Research Group at the University of Groningen and Ketan Modh and Halefom Hailu Abraha of the Department of Information Policy and Governance at the University of Malta at the request of the Ex-ante Impact Assessment Unit of the Directorate for Impact Assessment and European Added Value, within the Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services (EPRS) of the Secretariat of the European Parliament.

Control democrático de las plataformas de redes sociales y protección de los derechos fundamentales

04-02-2021

El poder y el papel de las plataformas de redes sociales en relación con la moderación de los contenidos publicados por sus usuarios están cada vez más sometidos a control. Hay un intenso debate entre los responsables políticos y, de manera más amplia, entre la población acerca de si las plataformas de redes sociales deben estar sujetas a medidas más estrictas y a supervisión pública. Durante el Pleno de febrero, se espera que el Consejo y la Comisión hagan declaraciones sobre el control democrático ...

El poder y el papel de las plataformas de redes sociales en relación con la moderación de los contenidos publicados por sus usuarios están cada vez más sometidos a control. Hay un intenso debate entre los responsables políticos y, de manera más amplia, entre la población acerca de si las plataformas de redes sociales deben estar sujetas a medidas más estrictas y a supervisión pública. Durante el Pleno de febrero, se espera que el Consejo y la Comisión hagan declaraciones sobre el control democrático de las plataformas de redes sociales y la protección de los derechos fundamentales, en particular sobre la libertad de expresión.

Aplicación de la Directiva contra la trata de seres humanos

04-02-2021

La Directiva 2011/36/UE relativa a la prevención y lucha contra la trata de seres humanos y a la protección de las víctimas es el principal instrumento legislativo del que se ha dotado la UE para abordar este fenómeno. Tenía que transponerse al Derecho nacional a más tardar en 2013, pero, casi diez años después de su adopción, sigue habiendo algunos obstáculos a su plena aplicación. En el período parcial de sesiones de febrero, el Parlamento Europeo debatirá un informe de propia iniciativa que evalúa ...

La Directiva 2011/36/UE relativa a la prevención y lucha contra la trata de seres humanos y a la protección de las víctimas es el principal instrumento legislativo del que se ha dotado la UE para abordar este fenómeno. Tenía que transponerse al Derecho nacional a más tardar en 2013, pero, casi diez años después de su adopción, sigue habiendo algunos obstáculos a su plena aplicación. En el período parcial de sesiones de febrero, el Parlamento Europeo debatirá un informe de propia iniciativa que evalúa la eficacia de la Directiva.

European critical infrastructure: Revision of Directive 2008/114/EC

03-02-2021

Council Directive 2008/114/EC is part of the EU framework for critical infrastructure protection. While embracing an all-hazards approach, its scope is limited to the sectors energy and transport. This is widely considered a shortcoming. Calls for broadening its scope and for refocussing the directive on resilience rather than just protection, and interconnectivity of critical infrastructures resulted in a new legislative proposal the Commission presented in December 2020.

Council Directive 2008/114/EC is part of the EU framework for critical infrastructure protection. While embracing an all-hazards approach, its scope is limited to the sectors energy and transport. This is widely considered a shortcoming. Calls for broadening its scope and for refocussing the directive on resilience rather than just protection, and interconnectivity of critical infrastructures resulted in a new legislative proposal the Commission presented in December 2020.

Revision of the Europol Regulation

26-01-2021

This briefing is one in a series of 'implementation appraisals', produced by the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), on the operation of existing EU legislation in practice. Each briefing focuses on a specific EU law that is to be amended or reviewed, as envisaged in the European Commission's annual work programme. 'Implementation appraisals' aim to provide a succinct overview of publicly available material on the implementation, application and effectiveness to date of an EU law, drawing ...

This briefing is one in a series of 'implementation appraisals', produced by the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), on the operation of existing EU legislation in practice. Each briefing focuses on a specific EU law that is to be amended or reviewed, as envisaged in the European Commission's annual work programme. 'Implementation appraisals' aim to provide a succinct overview of publicly available material on the implementation, application and effectiveness to date of an EU law, drawing on input from EU institutions and bodies, as well as external organisations. They are provided by the EPRS Ex-Post Evaluation Unit, to assist parliamentary committees in their consideration of new European Commission proposals, once tabled.

Holocaust education: 'Never, never be a bystander'

26-01-2021

This year, 27 January, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, marks the 76th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and extermination camp. One focus of this annual day of commemoration is the responsibility borne by those who remain indifferent in the face of intolerance and discrimination. This places the Holocaust in the context of human rights, broadening Holocaust education to issues of tolerance, respect for human dignity, and democracy. Holocaust education, ...

This year, 27 January, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, marks the 76th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and extermination camp. One focus of this annual day of commemoration is the responsibility borne by those who remain indifferent in the face of intolerance and discrimination. This places the Holocaust in the context of human rights, broadening Holocaust education to issues of tolerance, respect for human dignity, and democracy. Holocaust education, which traditionally centres on the human and historical dimension, is also a vehicle for reflection on ethical and legal issues, and promotes critical thinking and open-mindedness. In contrast with ethical aspects and critical thinking, the legal dimension adds a new perspective to school education that can put additional pressure on the teachers responsible for Holocaust education, extending beyond their usual subject areas. Moreover, many European countries host immigrant populations whose collective history does not include this particular experience. Pupils and students meanwhile use social media, a potential source of conspiracy theories, Holocaust denial, antisemitism and xenophobia. In this context, teachers need to be ready to deal with this subject in a difficult social environment. They also need adequate resources and tools to address inconvenient truths of the period. International institutions, and the European Union and its bodies, encourage dialogue and research on these issues, recognising the importance of Holocaust education and its human rights aspects for democracy and tolerant societies. The European Union provides funds, expert bodies and agencies to address the history, education, pedagogy and rights aspects of Holocaust education in all its dimensions of discrimination, persecution and extermination of Jewish, Roma and Sinti populations, as well as other minorities.

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