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Plenary round-up – December 2023

W skrócie 15-12-2023

The highlight of the December plenary session was Parliament's award of the 2023 Sakharov Prize to Jina Mahsa Amini and the Woman, Life, Freedom Movement in Iran. Members held a debate with the Council and European Commission on the preparation of the European Council meeting of 14-15 December 2023 and reviewed the Spanish Presidency of the Council. Further debates took place on Council and Commission statements on Parliament's call for the right to disconnect, the defence of democracy package, European ...

Poszanowanie podstawowych wolności i praw człowieka jest jedną z głównych wartości UE, obecną w jej polityce. Nagroda im. Sacharowa przyznawana przez Parlament Europejski honoruje pracę osób, które bronią tych wolności i praw. Ma ona istotną wagę tym bardziej teraz, gdy pokój i prawa człowieka są coraz bardziej zagrożone. W tym roku Nagrodę im. Sacharowa za 2023 otrzymała Żina Mahsa Amini oraz irański ruch „Kobieta, Życie, Wolność”. Uroczystość wręczenia nagrody odbędzie się podczas grudniowej sesji ...

EU relations with Iran

Briefing 31-01-2023

Even though the EU and Iran have worked together over the past 4 years to save the nuclear agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), relations between the two sides have reached a new low. The EU is concerned about the acceleration of Iran's nuclear programme in violation of the JCPOA and the country's reluctance to cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency. In addition, the Iranian authorities' violent crackdown on and execution of peaceful protesters has ...

For the past two weeks, Iran has seen massive protests over the death in police custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish woman arrested for allegedly violating Iran's compulsory veiling laws. Protests have spread to more than 150 cities across Iran, including universities. The government has reacted violently to the protests, leading to at least 75 deaths and over a thousand arrests. Iranians are protesting not just against Amini's death, but also against an increasingly repressive regime that ...

Disinformation has continued to spread in recent years, receiving a significant boost during the COVID-19 pandemic and constituting one of the most pressing threats for democratic countries. Authoritarian regimes have played their part in the proliferation of manipulated content, particularly disinformation. This paper analyses recent instances of the misuse of social media platforms and other communication channels perpetrated by authoritarian regimes in Iran, China, and Russia to influence the ...

Afghan refugees have, for decades, constituted one of the largest refugee populations in the world. With the return to power of the Taliban, there is little to no expectation that Afghan refugees will return home any time soon. Intense fighting in Afghanistan over the past few months, a dire economic and humanitarian situation, and fear of Taliban reprisals and the harsh rule for which the group was known when it ruled Afghanistan in the late 1990s, have pushed more people to leave the country. Others ...

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), spearheaded by the European Union (EU), was a successful multilateral non-proliferation agreement. The hope was that it would also pave the way for dealing with other outstanding issues over which the EU and United States (US) were at loggerheads with Iran. Instead, with the election of President Trump, the main focus has been to save the JCPOA. As Iran has decreased its compliance with the deal and regional friction has intensified, particularly as ...

Two issues have dominated relations between the EU and Iran in recent years: the nuclear agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – including efforts to conclude it, followed by efforts to save it – and human rights concerns. Even though the European Union (EU) and Iran have worked together over the past two years to save the JCPOA, relations between the two have deteriorated. Iran accuses EU Member States of not standing up to pressure from the United States of America ( ...

On 3 January 2020, a United States (US) strike outside Baghdad killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, the leader of the al-Qods force within the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IGRC), and arguably the second most important man in Iran after Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The assassination was a reaction to an escalation in the growing conflict between the USA and Iran. Iran retaliated on 8 January 2020, by attacking two US bases in Iraq with missiles; luckily – or intentionally – without ...

In 2011, it looked as if the Arab Spring uprisings would deal a further blow to Russia's declining influence in the Middle East, by toppling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, one of Moscow's few remaining allies in the region. In 2015, Russia launched a military intervention. Though it came at an enormous humanitarian cost, the campaign succeeded in saving Assad's regime, at the same time as reversing the Middle Eastern fortunes of Russia as Assad's main international backer. Russia's involvement ...