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This study examines the implementation of the European Union (EU) Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders, which constitute the policy framework and provide the operational means for protecting human rights activists in third countries. The first part of the study, written internally, provides an institutional perspective of the implementation of the Guidelines. It assesses the development of the EU framework to support human rights defenders, including EU Member States' emergency measures, and evaluates ...

This note provides an overview of the role and mandate of the Eurogroup and the role and accountability of its President, including the procedures for his/her appointment. In addition, this note refers to the debate around the transparency of Eurogroup proceedings. The paper will be updated in light of relevant developments.

Plenary round-up – June II 2021

Glaustai 25-06-2021

During the June II 2021 plenary session in Brussels, Parliament continued to debate and adopt programmes financed under the multiannual financial framework for 2021 2027, specifically this session in the areas of regional development, with the Common Provisions Regulation, European Territorial Cooperation Regulation, European Regional Development Fund and Cohesion Fund all finalised. Important debates on Council and European Commission statements were held, in particular on the preparation of the ...

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.

Thanks to successive Treaty revisions, the European Parliament has acquired the status of legislator on an equal footing with the Council. Today the ordinary legislative procedure (Article 294 Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union − TFEU), previously known as co-decision, covers a vast amount of policy areas. In order to pass legislation, Parliament, representing the EU citizens, and Council, representing the governments of the EU Member States, have to agree on an identical text, which ...

Plenary round-up – March I 2021

Glaustai 12-03-2021

The highlight of the March I 2021 plenary session was the official signature of the Joint Declaration on the Conference on the Future of Europe, allowing the Conference's work finally to get under way. Another important point was the celebration of International Women's Day, which was held just before the start of the session, with Kamala Harris, Vice President of the United States of America, and Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, addressing the plenary in video messages, and Ursula ...

At the first plenary session of March 2021, the European Parliament is set to discuss and adopt a resolution on the European Ombudsman's activities in the year 2019, based on the Ombudsman's annual report presented on 4 May 2020. The report covers the final year of Emily O'Reilly's first mandate as Ombudsman before her re election for a second term in late December 2019.

This paper discusses the accountability mechanisms for the SSM and SRM. Both mechanisms’ frameworks have the potential to provide strong political, administrative and legal accountability, but also present shortcomings at the level of practice, coordination, organisation and transparency. The paper identifies those and proposes some ways forward.

The December plenary session highlights included the election of the European Ombudsman; commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Lisbon Treaty and the Charter of Fundamental Rights becoming legally binding; and the award of the 2019 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. Parliament adopted positions on the rule of law in Malta, following the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, and on public discrimination and hate speech against LGBTI people, including LGBTI-free zones. It also debated statements ...

In December, the European Parliament is set to elect the European Ombudsman for the new parliamentary term following a public hearing of the candidates by the Committee on Petitions (PETI). Five candidates are running: Giuseppe Fortunato (Italy), Ombudsman of the Campania Region; Julia Laffranque (Estonia), judge at the European Court of Human Rights; Nils Muižnieks (Latvia), former Commissioner for Human Rights at the Council of Europe; Emily O'Reilly (Ireland), the incumbent Ombudsman (since 2014 ...