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Access to housing in the EU has become problematic in recent years. Demography and urbanisation-related structural factors, aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the conflict in Ukraine, soaring energy prices, the cost-of-living crisis and (already high) housing prices that keep rising are preventing many people from accessing decent housing solutions. The lack of affordable housing supply only adds to this situation. These difficulties affect not only low- but now also middle-income households, as ...

This briefing, written by the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs - Democracy, Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights Monitoring Group, examines the situation of Democracy, Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights in Estonia and how the values of Article 2 of the TEU are respected and implemented in the country.

The EU's approach to digital transformation is rooted in protecting fundamental rights, sustainability, ethics and fairness. With this human-centric vision of the digital economy and society, the EU seeks to empower citizens and businesses, regardless of their size. In the EU's view, the internet should remain open, fair, inclusive and focused on people. Digital technologies should work for citizens and help them to engage in society. Companies should be able to compete on equal terms, and consumers ...

In the past decade, continuous migration and asylum pressure on European Union Member States has made the external dimension of the EU's approach to migration management all the more important. The need to address challenges relating to external border management has reoriented EU migration policy towards extended and stricter border controls, combined with the externalisation of migration management through cooperation with third countries. In this context, the external processing of asylum claims ...

An effective return policy that removes from the EU third-country nationals who do not have the right to stay on EU territory is key for ensuring the consistency and credibility of the EU's migration policies. Such a return policy requires common rules and procedures in the EU Member States, implemented in accordance with fundamental rights obligations and respecting the principle of non-refoulement, as well as a robust cooperation framework with third countries that are willing to accept returnees ...

The European Ombudsman submitted her 2022 annual report to the European Parliament in April 2023. The main issues raised in the report relate to ethical concerns, transparency and accountability. The report also provides an overview of the handling of complaints and inquiries, and an assessment of the Ombudsman's other achievements in 2022. The Committee on Petitions has discussed the report and endorsed it; the committee's report is to be put to the vote during Parliament's plenary session in January ...

Consular protection is one of the rights derived from EU citizenship, a fundamental right in the EU legal framework. Directive 2015/637 on the coordination and cooperation measures to facilitate consular protection for unrepresented EU citizens in third countries obliges any Member State to offer unrepresented EU citizens in third countries the same protection as it provides for its own nationals. In practice, unrepresented EU citizens can seek assistance, for instance, an emergency travel document ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the AFCO Committee, assesses the status of political strikes in the EU. While workers' strikes generally seek to pressure an employer, "political strikes" are aimed at the government. Even though such political strikes are often organised to defend and protect workers' interests, they can also have exclusively political objectives. Such "purely political" strikes ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Committee on Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs (AFCO), explores the regulatory frameworks for citizen-initiated instruments of direct democracy, paying special attention to the citizens' legislative initiative and the citizen-initiated referendum. By carrying out a comparative analysis of the experience of the European Union Member States, as well ...

Respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights is a core value of the EU, which it promotes through its policies. The European Parliament's Sakharov Prize honours the work of those who stand up for these freedoms and rights. With peace and human rights under increased attack today, the prize remains as relevant as ever. This year it has been awarded to the late Jina Mahsa Amini and the Woman, Life, Freedom Movement in Iran. The award ceremony will be held during the European Parliament's December ...