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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.

Išorės autorius

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.

Democratic scrutiny of social media platforms and protection of fundamental rights

04-02-2021

The power and role of social media platforms to moderate the content put online by their users is increasingly coming under scrutiny. A debate is raging among policy-makers, and more widely among the population, on whether social media platforms should be subject to more stringent measures and public oversight. During the February plenary session, the Council and the Commission are expected to make statements on democratic scrutiny of social media platforms and protection of fundamental rights, in ...

The power and role of social media platforms to moderate the content put online by their users is increasingly coming under scrutiny. A debate is raging among policy-makers, and more widely among the population, on whether social media platforms should be subject to more stringent measures and public oversight. During the February plenary session, the Council and the Commission are expected to make statements on democratic scrutiny of social media platforms and protection of fundamental rights, in particular on freedom of expression.

Implementing the Anti-trafficking Directive

04-02-2021

Directive 2011/36/EU on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims is the main EU legislative tool addressing this phenomenon. It had to be transposed into national law by 2013. However, certain obstacles to full implementation remain almost ten years after its adoption. At the February plenary session, the European Parliament is due to debate an own-initiative report assessing the directive's effectiveness.

Directive 2011/36/EU on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims is the main EU legislative tool addressing this phenomenon. It had to be transposed into national law by 2013. However, certain obstacles to full implementation remain almost ten years after its adoption. At the February plenary session, the European Parliament is due to debate an own-initiative report assessing the directive's effectiveness.

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.

Understanding EU action against migrant smuggling

19-01-2021

Around 90 % of those who cross the external European Union (EU) borders illegally do so with the assistance of migrant smugglers. Furthermore, the facilitation of irregular migration is a highly profitable criminal activity, in particular when compared with the relatively low risks incurred. Even though detections of illegal border crossings are currently at their lowest level since 2013, the migrant smuggling business shows sustained high levels of demand. This demand is not only due to the fact ...

Around 90 % of those who cross the external European Union (EU) borders illegally do so with the assistance of migrant smugglers. Furthermore, the facilitation of irregular migration is a highly profitable criminal activity, in particular when compared with the relatively low risks incurred. Even though detections of illegal border crossings are currently at their lowest level since 2013, the migrant smuggling business shows sustained high levels of demand. This demand is not only due to the fact that people in severe distress – whether for economic reasons or because of a genuine fear for their lives – keep trying to reach the EU, by irregular means if necessary. Demand is also high because illegally crossing borders has become harder, due to increased external border controls and other measures put in place to prevent irregular migration. This is where migrant smuggling networks step in. Migrant smugglers are among some of the most agile criminals. They go to great lengths in order not to get caught, quickly adapting the routes they use to smuggle migrants into the EU and their means of travel. They avoid direct contact with their victims, instead using the latest digital communication technologies and involving different intermediaries along a migrant's journey. The facilitation of irregular migration is a complex crime, interconnected with many other criminal activities, such as document fraud, trafficking in human beings or other types of illicit smuggling. Although people willingly pay smugglers to help them cross borders, they do so at great personal risk. Too many lose their lives, or are at risk of serious harm or exploitation. Therefore, preventing and combatting migrant smuggling and related crimes is one of the key priorities of the EU's action against irregular migration and organised crime. The European Parliament has repeatedly called for more and better operational cooperation, data sharing and legal migration channels, and insisted on better implementation of relevant EU legislation.

Understanding EU counter-terrorism policy

14-01-2021

Faced with a persistent international terrorist threat, the European Union (EU) is playing an ever more ambitious role in counter-terrorism. Even though primary responsibility for combating crime and ensuring security lies with the Member States, the EU provides cooperation, coordination and (to some extent) harmonisation tools, as well as financial support, to address this borderless phenomenon. Moreover, the assumption that there is a connection between development and stability, as well as between ...

Faced with a persistent international terrorist threat, the European Union (EU) is playing an ever more ambitious role in counter-terrorism. Even though primary responsibility for combating crime and ensuring security lies with the Member States, the EU provides cooperation, coordination and (to some extent) harmonisation tools, as well as financial support, to address this borderless phenomenon. Moreover, the assumption that there is a connection between development and stability, as well as between internal and external security, has come to shape EU action beyond its own borders. EU spending in the area of counter-terrorism has increased over the years, to allow for better cooperation between national law enforcement authorities and enhanced support by the EU bodies in charge of security and justice, such as Europol, eu-LISA and Eurojust. The many new rules and instruments that have been adopted in recent years range from harmonising definitions of terrorist offences and sanctions, and sharing information and data, to protecting borders, countering terrorist financing, and regulating firearms. However, implementing and evaluating the various measures is a challenging task. The European Parliament has played an active role not only in shaping legislation, but also in evaluating existing tools and gaps through the work accomplished by its Special Committee on Terrorism (TERR) in 2018. In line with the Parliament's recommendations, as well as the priorities set by the new European Commission and its counter-terrorism agenda presented in December 2020, future EU counter-terrorism action will focus on better anticipating threats, countering radicalisation and reducing vulnerabilities, by making critical infrastructures more resilient and better protecting public spaces. Upcoming developments also include increased information-sharing, by means of better implementation and modernisation of existing tools, a reinforced mandate for Europol, as well as possible investigation and prosecution of terrorist crimes at EU level, through the proposed extension of the mandate of the recently established European Public Prosecutor's Office. This briefing builds on an earlier one, entitled 'The fight against terrorism', published in 2019.

Būsimi renginiai

01-03-2021
Decarbonising European industry: hydrogen and other solutions (online event)
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STOA
01-03-2021
Hearing on Transport of live animals in third countries
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ANIT
01-03-2021
Exchange of views with HR/VP Josep Borrell
Klausymas -
INGE

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