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Implementing the Framework Decision on the European arrest warrant

13-01-2021

All EU Member States have transposed the 2002 Council Framework Decision on the European arrest warrant (EAW) and the surrender procedures between Member States. During the January 2021 plenary session, the European Parliament is due to debate an own-initiative report concerning its implementation.

All EU Member States have transposed the 2002 Council Framework Decision on the European arrest warrant (EAW) and the surrender procedures between Member States. During the January 2021 plenary session, the European Parliament is due to debate an own-initiative report concerning its implementation.

The fight against terrorism

25-05-2018

Significant benefits could be achieved by the EU and its Member States by addressing the gaps and barriers in the area of the fight against terrorism, notably by developing an evidence-based EU criminal policy cycle involving the European Parliament and national parliaments. In this context, EU institutions should conduct comprehensive ex-ante assessments and ex-post evaluations of counterterrorism measures, in line with better law-making principles. The effectiveness and fundamental rights compliance ...

Significant benefits could be achieved by the EU and its Member States by addressing the gaps and barriers in the area of the fight against terrorism, notably by developing an evidence-based EU criminal policy cycle involving the European Parliament and national parliaments. In this context, EU institutions should conduct comprehensive ex-ante assessments and ex-post evaluations of counterterrorism measures, in line with better law-making principles. The effectiveness and fundamental rights compliance of counter-radicalisation programmes should continue to be monitored. The framework for countering terrorism requires further refinement. A European law enforcement culture with full respect for fundamental rights needs to be fostered in which relevant information is shared and analysed, judicial cooperation tools are properly utilised and seeking the support of EU agencies becomes a natural reflex. This also requires the allocation of significant resources aimed at training and exchanges. Beyond resulting in more relevant, coherent, effective and efficient action in the fight against terrorism, such measures could increase the wellbeing of the population, reduce the material and immaterial impacts of terrorism, and ensure protection of fundamental rights when impacted by counterterrorism measures.

Drugs package: Tackling new psychoactive substances

23-10-2017

Improving the EU's response to the rapid spread of new psychoactive substances has become urgent, and consequently Parliament is due to vote on a 'drugs package' during the October II plenary session. The package makes additions to the directive setting common minimum rules on criminal acts and penalties in the field of illicit drug trafficking, as well as corresponding amendments to the founding regulation of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).

Improving the EU's response to the rapid spread of new psychoactive substances has become urgent, and consequently Parliament is due to vote on a 'drugs package' during the October II plenary session. The package makes additions to the directive setting common minimum rules on criminal acts and penalties in the field of illicit drug trafficking, as well as corresponding amendments to the founding regulation of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).

Establishing the European Public Prosecutor

28-09-2017

The European Parliament is expected to vote during the October I plenary session on giving its consent to the proposed regulation on the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO), agreed by 20 Member States under enhanced cooperation in June 2017.

The European Parliament is expected to vote during the October I plenary session on giving its consent to the proposed regulation on the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO), agreed by 20 Member States under enhanced cooperation in June 2017.

Corruption in the European Union: Prevalence of corruption, and anti-corruption efforts in selected EU Member States

18-09-2017

This study deals with the prevalence of corruption in the EU and describes the action taken to address the problem. It focuses on initiatives and policies implemented by governments at national, regional and local levels in eight selected Member States ranging from north to south and from west to east: Finland, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria. The perception of corruption among citizens, the legal, institutional and policy framework, as well as some best ...

This study deals with the prevalence of corruption in the EU and describes the action taken to address the problem. It focuses on initiatives and policies implemented by governments at national, regional and local levels in eight selected Member States ranging from north to south and from west to east: Finland, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria. The perception of corruption among citizens, the legal, institutional and policy framework, as well as some best practices at different levels of government are presented to improve understanding of the context and nature of anti-corruption policies, and to give some positive examples of what can be done.

Public expectations and EU policies - Fight against terrorism

30-06-2016

EU citizens show strong expectations for increased involvement of the EU in the fight against terrorism. The current EU legal framework is limited by the primary role of the Member States in this area. Nevertheless, there is still the scope and potential for increased EU involvement within the current legal framework. This briefing considers this and also covers current and potential relevant financing at EU level. Financial instruments that tackle counter-terrorism directly, indirectly or partially ...

EU citizens show strong expectations for increased involvement of the EU in the fight against terrorism. The current EU legal framework is limited by the primary role of the Member States in this area. Nevertheless, there is still the scope and potential for increased EU involvement within the current legal framework. This briefing considers this and also covers current and potential relevant financing at EU level. Financial instruments that tackle counter-terrorism directly, indirectly or partially are spread across the EU budget and are increasing.

The rights of LGBTI people in the European Union

17-05-2016

The prohibition of discrimination and the protection of human rights are important elements of the EU legal order. Nevertheless, discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons persists throughout the EU, taking various forms including verbal abuse and physical violence. Sexual orientation is now recognised in EU law as a ground of discrimination. However, the scope of these provisions is limited and does not cover social protection, healthcare, education and ...

The prohibition of discrimination and the protection of human rights are important elements of the EU legal order. Nevertheless, discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons persists throughout the EU, taking various forms including verbal abuse and physical violence. Sexual orientation is now recognised in EU law as a ground of discrimination. However, the scope of these provisions is limited and does not cover social protection, healthcare, education and access to goods and services, leaving LGBTI people particularly vulnerable in these areas. Moreover, EU competence does not extend to recognition of marital or family status. In this area, national regulations vary, with some Member States offering same-sex couples the right to marry, others allowing alternative forms of registration, and yet others not providing any legal status for same-sex couples. Same-sex couples may or may not have the right to adopt children and to access assisted reproduction. These divergent legal statuses have implications, for instance, for partners from two Member States with different standards who want to formalise/legalise their relationship or for same-sex couples and their families wishing to move to another Member State. Combating discrimination has become part of EU internal and external policies and the subject of numerous resolutions of the European Parliament. However, action in this area remains problematic when it touches on issues pertaining to areas traditionally reserved to Member States, such as marital status and family law. This is an updated version of a briefing published in May 2015.

Foreign fighters – Member State responses and EU action

09-03-2016

As the hostilities in Syria and Iraq continue, and terrorist activities worldwide appear to be on the rise, EU Member States are increasingly confronted with the problem of aspiring and returning 'foreign fighters'. Whereas the phenomenon is not new, its scale certainly is, explaining the wide perception that these individuals are a serious threat to the security of both individual Member States and the EU as a whole. International fora, including the United Nations, have addressed the problem, ...

As the hostilities in Syria and Iraq continue, and terrorist activities worldwide appear to be on the rise, EU Member States are increasingly confronted with the problem of aspiring and returning 'foreign fighters'. Whereas the phenomenon is not new, its scale certainly is, explaining the wide perception that these individuals are a serious threat to the security of both individual Member States and the EU as a whole. International fora, including the United Nations, have addressed the problem, with the UN adopting a binding resolution in 2014 specifically addressing the issue of foreign fighters. The EU is actively engaged in international initiatives to counter the threat. Within the EU, security in general, and counter-terrorism in particular, have traditionally remained within the Member States' remit. The EU has, however, coordinated Member State activities regarding the prevention of radicalisation, the detection of travel for suspicious purposes, the criminal justice response, and cooperation with third countries. The EU is seeking to strengthen its role, given the public feeling of insecurity in the wake of recent terrorist attacks. The EU's role as a forum to discuss security issues has consequently grown during 2015. Individual Member States have stepped up their efforts to address the problem, using various tools including criminal law, administrative measures and 'soft tools', such as counter-radicalisation campaigns. The Member States most affected have also cooperated with each other outside the EU framework. The United States has a particularly developed counter-terrorism framework, now used to deal with foreign fighters. Since 9/11, the EU and the USA cooperate on counter-terrorism, despite differing philosophies on issues such as data protection. This briefing substantially updates an earlier one, PE 548.980, from February 2015.

Strengthening the presumption of innocence in the EU

11-01-2016

Despite the presumption of innocence being guaranteed by international, EU and national laws, there are reports of repeated violations of this principle by EU Member States. The Commission seeks to address this problem with a proposal scheduled to be voted in plenary in January 2016.

Despite the presumption of innocence being guaranteed by international, EU and national laws, there are reports of repeated violations of this principle by EU Member States. The Commission seeks to address this problem with a proposal scheduled to be voted in plenary in January 2016.

Organised crime in the European Union

21-10-2015

It is impossible to measure accurately the socio-economic cost of crime. However, the estimates available invariably quote very high figures, which lead to reflection in times of financial crisis and austerity. Numerous organised crime groups are active in the EU, often with cross-border reach and multi-ethnic composition. There is a clear tendency of rigid and hierarchical structures being replaced by loose networks of small and volatile groups. These may be better adapted to the modern world with ...

It is impossible to measure accurately the socio-economic cost of crime. However, the estimates available invariably quote very high figures, which lead to reflection in times of financial crisis and austerity. Numerous organised crime groups are active in the EU, often with cross-border reach and multi-ethnic composition. There is a clear tendency of rigid and hierarchical structures being replaced by loose networks of small and volatile groups. These may be better adapted to the modern world with its rapid changes. Some groups, having established a strong position in their countries of origin, go on to engage in illicit markets throughout the EU. They make use of their reputations and sophistication in certain types of crime to form profitable alliances with other groups. Italian, Russian and Albanian-speaking organisations are but a few of the 'leaders' in transnational crime in the EU. It is difficult to think of a criminal activity that would not be considered by organised crime, with the profit and risk involved being the major criteria for their possible involvement. Apart from 'traditional' crime, including drug trafficking, such groups increasingly engage in legal business activities, which enables them to launder illegal gains, while benefiting from attractive licit markets. In any case, collusion of corrupt officials and dishonest businessmen is crucial to the success of such criminal enterprises. Please click here for the full publication in PDF format

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