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This in depth analysis updates a previous report commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs and describes the most relevant developments in the period 2018-2022 in chronological order and then draws conclusions which include a systemic view of the current institutional dynamics, a provisional legal analysis on the basis of existing rules and policy suggestions.

The EU has made substantial progress in terms of protecting its citizens since the early 1990s. This has often been in response to dramatic incidents, such as murders committed by the mafia or other organised crime groups or big money-laundering scandals, or to negative trends, such as the steep increase in migrant smuggling and trafficking in human beings following the 2015 migration crisis. More recently, it was necessary to respond to the sharp rise in cybercrime, fraud and counterfeiting during ...

The EU has imposed progressively harsher sanctions on Russia, first in response to Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, and then in response to its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Successive packages of EU sanctions, adopted in the framework of the EU's common foreign and security policy, include entry restrictions for specific individuals linked to Russia's aggression against Ukraine. After partially suspending the EU-Russia visa facilitation agreement in February 2022 ...

After Hungary, Poland and Spain, Greece is the latest Member State accused of spying on journalists and opposition politicians. While the opposition is seeking transparency and is steadily increasing the pressure, the Greek government has acknowledged select surveillance operations but insists on their legality and categorically denies purchasing or using the commercial Predator spyware. This EPRS paper synthesises the fast-paced and highly politicised developments at national level and contextualises ...

From the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020, and up to mid-April 2020, EU Member States were facing an extraordinary situation that led to the declaration of a health emergency. EU governments gradually took urgent measures to contain the spread of the virus, such as re introduction of border controls in the Schengen area, implementation of temporary travel restrictions, and introduction of sanitary measures. These had vast impact on both mobility and migration. Multiple measures also ...

On 2 April 2009, the European Parliament decided that 23 August each year should mark the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of All Totalitarian and Authoritarian Regimes. With the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 23 August 1939, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union had divided Europe into spheres of interest. That agreement, with its secret protocols, preceded the German attack on Poland on 1 September 1939 and the Soviet occupation of eastern Poland, as well as the Soviet occupation and later annexation ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee, aims to inform policy debates about how to protect more effectively the fundamental rights of irregular migrant workers in the EU. It analyses the nature and causes of the gaps between the fundamental rights protections enshrined in EU legal standards and the rights realised by irregular migrants working in EU Member States in practice, and ...

The Schengen area without internal borders has been under stress over the past decade owing to several successive crises, including the sudden arrival of large numbers of people across the EU's external borders, persistent threats to internal security, and the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. Although according to the Schengen rules the reintroduction of border controls at internal borders should be a temporary and exceptional measure, several Member States have maintained internal border controls ...

With a particular focus on artificial intelligence (AI), this study identifies and examines policy options for the EU's data governance framework that align with a data justice perspective. A data justice approach is one that centres on equity, recognition and representation of plural interests, and the creation and preservation of public goods as its principal goals. The analysis offers both an assessment of the EU data governance strategy overall and specific policy options for the AI act, the ...

Strengthening Europol's mandate

Briefing 06-07-2022

On 9 December 2020, along with its counter-terrorism agenda, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation to reinforce the mandate of Europol, the EU law enforcement cooperation agency. The proposed regulation aims principally at rendering Europol's cooperation with private parties more effective; responding to the agency's 'big data challenge', by providing a legal basis for processing large and complex datasets, including personal data of data subjects not related to a crime; and ...