Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 32 n° 60

Posts Tagged ‘civil liberties’

Civil Liberties MEPs to visit Frontex headquarters

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 23 febbraio 2020

A Civil Liberties delegation of three MEPs will be in Warsaw, Poland, to visit Frontex, from 24 to 25 February to discuss its activities and the ongoing upgrading of the agency.The delegation, led by Bettina Vollath (S&D, AT), will have the opportunity to look into the activities of Frontex and discuss the challenges the agency is facing in implementing the new regulation on the European Border and Coast Guard, including the establishment of the Standing Corps.The delegation will have the possibility to exchange of views with, among several others, the executive director, the deputy director and the heads of the operational response, situational awareness and capacity building divisions of the agency.Members of the delegation:
Bettina VOLLATH (S&D, AT), Head of the delegation, Assita KANKO (ECR, BE), Yana TOOM (Renew, ET)

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Rule of law: MEPs met with Council Presidency before Hungary hearing

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 14 dicembre 2019

Civil Liberties Committee representatives took stock of latest developments and condemned the Council’s failure to ensure Parliament’s formal participation in the process.Key elements from Parliament’s reasoned proposal of 2018 and recent developments on democracy, rule of law and European values in Hungary were discussed during an informal meeting between Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) and Council representatives early on 10 December, in preparation of the General Affairs Council of the same day. Parliament was represented by Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield (Greens, FR), rapporteur for the EP proposal to determine whether Hungary is at risk of breaching EU values, and Sophie in’t Veld (Renew, NL), Chair of the Democracy, Rule of Law and Fundamental rights Monitoring Group (DRFMG). The two MEPs praised the efforts of the Finnish Presidency in relation to rule of law issues and welcomed the initiative to meet. However, they reiterated that Parliament, having exercised its right of initiative under Article 7 of the Treaty of the European Union, has the right to be heard in a formal meeting of the Council, and its prerogatives as provided by the Treaties should be respected.

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Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 20 novembre 2019

Thursday 21 November 2019, 9.00 – 12.30 and 14.00 – 17.30 Room: József Antall (2Q2) Presentations and debates:
• The situation of migrants in Libya. Presentations by the European External Action Service, the European Commission, UNHCR, IOM, Médecins Sans Frontières and the International Rescue Committee (IRC). Joint debate with the Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI) and the Delegation for relations with Maghreb countries (DMAG). 9.00 – 11.30.
• EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia mandate extension until 31 March 2020. Exchange of views with the European External Action Service (EEAS). 11.30 – 12.30.
• Two delegated acts amending the Internal Security Fund and the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund. Presentation by the Commission. 14.00 – 14.45.
• Report on the 5th European Migration Forum. Presentation by Members of the Bureau of the European Migration Forum. 14.45 – 15.45.
• Communication on data protection rules as a trust-enabler in the EU and beyond. Presentation by the Commission. 15.45 – 16.30
• Rule of law in Hungary: Presentation by the Finnish Presidency on the follow up in the Council to the Parliament’s proposal pursuant to Article 7(1) TEU to determine whether there is a clear risk of a serious breach of the EU´s common values. 16.30 – 17.30

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Members of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 5 luglio 2019

Plenary approved on Wednesday the numerical composition of all parliamentary committees and subcommittees. The Civil Liberties Committee will have 68 full members, up from 60 in the last term. LIBE will hold its constitutive meeting on Wednesday 10 of July (tbc). MEPs will then elect the Committee’s bureau, formed by the Chair and Vice-Chairs. The first ordinary meeting is tentatively scheduled on 24-25 July.

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Civil Liberties MEPs back rules improving data exchange between EU information systems

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 21 febbraio 2019

The new rules aim to improve data exchange between EU information systems used in security, border and migration management. They will facilitate the tasks of border guards, migration officers, police officers and judicial authorities by providing them with more systematic and faster access to various EU security and border-control information systems.Civil Liberties MEPs backed the deal regarding borders and visa information systems by 43 in favour, 11 against, no abstentions and the agreement on police and judicial cooperation, asylum and migration information systems by 44 in favour, 10 against, no abstentions.
The agreed texts now needs to be formally approved by the Parliament as a whole and the Council of the EU before entering into force.

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Exchange and training programme against euro-counterfeiting to be extended

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 7 febbraio 2019

Civil Liberties MEPs backed the extending of the Pericles programme, an exchange, assistance and training programme for the protection of the euro against counterfeiting, for 2021-2027.
The aim of the continued Pericles programme will be to prevent and combat counterfeiting and related fraud and to preserve the integrity of the euro. This will also strengthen the trust of citizens and businesses in the genuineness of euro banknotes and coins and therefore enhances the trust in the EU economy.Like the current Pericles 2020 programme, the Pericles IV programme would fund staff exchanges, seminars, trainings and studies for law enforcement and judicial authorities, banks and others involved in combating euro-counterfeiting. The main actions supported by the programme are:
exchange and dissemination of information,
technical, scientific and operational assistance
equipment for specialised anti-counterfeiting authorities of third countries for protecting the euro against counterfeiting
Civil Liberties MEPs also highlight that co-operation between the Commission and the European Central Bank under the new Pericles IV Programme should be strengthened and that Member States’ competent national authorities should be more involved in the setting up of annual work programmes.This proposal is part of the post-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework. The financial envelope for the implementation of the programme for the period 2021 to 2027 would be 7 700 000 euros in current prices.

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Deal on faster exchange of non-EU nationals’ criminal records backed by Civil Liberties MEPs

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 26 gennaio 2019

Civil Liberties MEPs approved on Wednesday the deal reached with Council on an EU database enabling EU countries to exchange non-EU citizens’ criminal records faster.Currently, national authorities often rely solely on data on non-EU nationals’ convictions available from their own national criminal record systems. The new centralised database on third country nationals (ECRIS-TCN) will improve the exchange of information on non-EU nationals’ criminal records throughout the EU and contribute to the EU-wide fight against cross-border crime and terrorism.The database will complement the European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS), which EU countries already use to exchange information on EU citizens’ previous convictions. Civil Liberties MEPs backed the deal on ECRIS-TCN in a vote on the respective regulation and directive. The informal agreement on the regulation was approved by 34 in favour, 11 against, 9 abstentions and the agreement on the directive by 37 in favour, 8 against, 9 abstentions. The agreed text now needs to be formally approved by the Parliament as a whole and the Council of the EU before entering into force.

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Committee on Civil Liberties,Justice and Home Affairs

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 7 gennaio 2019

Brussels, Monday, 7 January 2018 József Antall (4Q2)15.30 – 18.00 Presentations and debates
· Instrument for financial support for border management and visa. Consideration of amendments. Rapporteur: Tanja Fajon (S&D, SI). 15.30 – 15.45
· Combating and counterfeiting of non-cash means of payment. Presentation of the state of play of trilogue negotiations. Rapporteur: Sylvia-Yvonne Kaufmann (S&D, DE). 16.00 – 16.15
· Implications of the US CLOUD Act for protection of data in EU information systems. Exchange of views with the European Commission. 16.15 – 16.30
· Pericles IV programme: Establishing an exchange, assistance and training programme for the protection of the euro against counterfeiting for the period 2021-2017. Consideration of draft report. Rapporteur: Denis de Jong (GUE/NGL, NL). 16.30 – 16.45
· The cost of non-Europe in asylum policy. Presentation of a study by Dr. Wouter van Ballegooij (EP Policy Department), Dr. Cecilia Navarra (EP Research Service) and Dr. Meena Fernandes (Milieu ltd). 16.45 – 17.15
· Progress under the European Agenda on Migration. Presentation by the Commission of its latest communication. 17.15 – 17.45
· Creation of a European network of immigration liaison officers (recast). Consideration of amendments. Rapporteur: Cécile Kashetu Kyenge (S&D, IT). 17.45 – 18.00

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Better ID card security to curb document fraud

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 7 dicembre 2018

Civil Liberties Committee MEPs agreed on common security features for EU identity documents to reduce identity fraud.Ensuring that identity documents are tamper- and fraud-proof is a key element in the fight against terrorism and organised crime. Currently the security features in ID cards, as well as residence documents issued to EU nationals and/or their family members, vary significantly across EU countries. This increases the risk of documents being falsified and of identity fraud, which are increasingly big problems in the EU.Civil Liberties Committee MEPs propose tackling this issue by:
Setting common minimum security features across the EU for ID cards set out by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO); additionally, the cards should be blue and contain the EU flag;
Making a facial image stored on a chip in the card mandatory for citizens’ ID cards; in addition, member states could include two fingerprints on the chip; strong safeguards would apply to the collection and use of this data;
Phasing out previous formats of ID cards within eight years; cards that are not machine-readable and thus less secure would be phased out within five years.
Only member states already issuing ID cards to their nationals would be affected by the new rules. The measures would not make it compulsory to own an ID card or oblige member states to introduce ID cards. The changes follow a similar approach to that taken already by the EU for the security features of passports.Rapporteur Gérard Deprez (ALDE, BE) said: “The purpose of this proposal is not only to fight against document fraud but also, and above all, to facilitate the exercise of the right to move freely within the EU by making ID documents in the EU more reliable and more widely accepted. In addition to their national identity, citizens have what could be called a “European citizenship” that gives them protection and rights. That is why I proposed in my report to make all ID cards blue and to include the EU flag on cards.”
The draft report was approved by 32 to 7, with 3 abstentions. The committee also approved a mandate to start informal talks with the Council, which can start as soon as Parliament as a whole gives its green light.

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Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data breach: vote in the Civil Liberties Committee

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 10 ottobre 2018

Civil Liberties MEPs will adopt tomorrow a set of recommendations to prevent a repetition of the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal.
The Committee is set to vote a draft resolution prepared by Claude Moraes (S&D, UK) winding up hearings with Facebook representatives, journalists and experts, organised by the EP in order to better understand what went wrong with Cambridge Analytica and how to avoid that something similar happens again.Ahead of the vote, Claude Moraes said: “This resolution will establish the European Parliament’s response to the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica data breach.
This issue has not only jeopardized citizen’s personal data, but it may have also had an impact on electoral outcomes and on the trust citizens place in digital platforms.More needs to be done and tomorrow we will set out a path to restore trust and confidence in our democratic systems.”The draft resolution by Mr. Moraes acknowledges that improvements have been made since the scandal but calls for further action:
· competition rules to be updated to reflect the digital reality;
· an audit into the activities of the advertising industry on social media; and
· for data protection authorities to carry out a thorough investigation into Facebook to ensure that data protection rights are upheld.

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Civil Liberties delegation raises concerns with US authorities on data protection

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 23 luglio 2018

A delegation of nine MEPs visited Washington D.C. from 16 to 19 July to obtain information on the state of play in the US on major Civil Liberties Committee topics. Discussions focused on personal data protection, counter-terrorism, the visa waiver programme and cyber-security. The delegation held meetings with representatives of the US Administration, e.g. Department of State, Justice, Homeland Security, Commerce and the Federal Trade Commission, and with Senators and Representatives of the US Congress. MEPs also met various industry, think-tank and NGO representatives.Reacting to the discussions on data protection, Civil Liberties Committee Chair and head of the delegation Claude Moraes (S&D, UK) said: “We have learnt more about recent US initiatives at the state and federal levels to strengthen privacy and data protection following recent scandals and drawing on work carried out in the EU on the GDPR.”The delegation held extensive talks on the EU-US Privacy Shield arrangement and the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act (CLOUD Act), a US law that grants the US and foreign police access to personal data across borders.”We have raised our concerns with US authorities regarding the US CLOUD Act and the remaining deficiencies with the US-EU Privacy Shield. More needs to be done to provide the adequate level of data protection for EU citizens required by the Court of Justice”, stressed Mr Moraes.
“US and EU lawmakers must respond to the shared challenge of providing an effective policy response to the multiple threats our citizens face in terms of data protection, privacy, cybersecurity and electoral processes. We must now work towards the development of policy solutions and remedies that will ensure that companies adhere to business models that are by design and by default compliant with fundamental rights”, concluded Mr Moraes.The delegation also discussed the EU-US visa waiver programme and reiterated that all EU citizens should be able to travel visa-free to the US. Citizens of Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania still cannot enter US territory without a visa, while US citizens can travel to all EU countries visa-free. MEPs expressed their serious concerns with the lack of progress on the conflict with the European common visa policy.On counter terrorism, the delegation welcomed improved cooperation between EU and the US for the benefit of both sides at a meeting with the National Security Council at the White House.

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New counter-terrorism measures: EP reactions

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 20 ottobre 2017

european parliamentNathalie Griesbeck (ALDE, FR) who is chairing the European Parliament special Committee on counter-Terrorism (TERR), said: “Citizens expect answers and actions on our internal security. We got a clear proof from the latest Eurobarometer poll results published yesterday which show that terrorism is the first challenge to be urgently tackled (58%)”.“We therefore need to be responsible and this new package, which adds to the many measures already adopted and undertaken by the EU, is to be welcomed. Terrorists do not stop at borders, our policies must not stop there either”, Griesbeck concluded.
Civil liberties, Justice and Home affairs Committee Chair Claude Moraes (S&D, UK) said: “We need to significantly reinforce our security throughout the EU while ensuring that all measures taken are in full respect of fundamental rights and the right to data protection. Today’s counter-terrorism package responds to our calls for further concrete measures following recent terrorist attacks. The new actions come at a critical time and will help Member States prevent attacks on crowded areas that we have seen in Barcelona, London, Manchester and Stockholm by protecting public spaces”. “This package will also introduce measures to deprive terrorists of the means to carry out these attacks by making it harder to obtain the materials for home-made explosives, providing technical support for law enforcement and judicial authorities in criminal investigations, and new measures to tackle terrorist financing”, Moraes added.

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Privacy Shield: “Deficiencies still remain and must be urgently resolved”, says Civil Liberties Chair in Washington

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 24 luglio 2017

washingtonWashington. A delegation from the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee this week visited Washington for the first time under the new US administration to take stock of developments in the field of data protection, counter-terrorism and immigration.The upcoming Privacy Shield review was high on the agenda and both the US administration and the members reiterated their continued commitment to make the agreement work.
However, Civil Liberties Committee Chair Claude Moraes (S&D, UK) also stressed that “Deficiencies still remain which need to be urgently resolved to ensure that the Privacy Shield doesn’t suffer from critical weaknesses”.“As already emphasized by the European Parliament in April, several key positions still need to be filled under the new US administration in order to meet the conditions of the adequacy decision. These would include some of the necessary functions of the Federal Trade Commission, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board that is currently lacking four of its five commissioners and the Ombudsperson, who is currently only in an acting capacity”, Mr. Moraes says.MEPs also drew attention to open questions on the commercial aspects of the Privacy Shield as well as the ongoing review of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, Presidential Policy Directive 28 and law enforcement issues, which are essential components of the US commitments.“These deficiencies must be addressed immediately to ensure that the Privacy Shield complies with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the new EU data protection rules entering into force in May next year. Only this way can it be ensured that the Privacy Shield will stand the test of time and serve its purpose which is so urgently needed”, ends Moraes.On countering terrorism, the Committee visited, for the first time, the National Counterterrorism Centre and had constructive discussions on its unique role in counter-terrorism analysis. The Committee also held discussions with the US Department of State, White House officials and the Treasury on different aspects of counter-terrorism, its financing and terrorist threats.The delegation also discussed immigration issues and visa waiver policies. On visa reciprocity, the Committee strongly reminded the US counterparts of its unified stance on ensuring equal treatment for all Member States nationals under the Visa Waiver Programme.
The eight MEP strong delegation led by Civil Liberties Chair Claude Moraes (S&D, UK) visited Washington DC from 17 – 21 July. The objective of the visit was to obtain up-to-date information on the state of play in the US on major topics which fall within the remit of the LIBE Committee such as the protection of personal data ((EU-US Privacy Shield and its implementation by the US, digital privacy and electronic communications, law enforcement), cybercrime, counterterrorism, radicalisation, immigration (ESTA Programme) and protection of victims.During their visit, MEPs met with US authorities (e.g. Departments of State, Justice, Treasury, Homeland Security, Commerce, Federal Trade Commission) Congress representatives, stakeholders, academics and representatives of civil society.

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Citizens’ rights must come first in Brexit talks, says Civil Liberties Chair

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 13 maggio 2017

Bruxelles“The European Parliament will fulfil its role in ensuring knowledge and transparency on the rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU”, Civil Liberties Committee Chair Claude Moraes says ahead of today’s hearing on the “The situation and rights of EU citizens in the UK”. The public hearing will analyse the situation of EU citizens living in the United Kingdom and British citizens residing in the EU-27. These citizens – about four million in total – are a key factor in the Brexit negotiations, the outcome of which will have a direct impact on their daily lives.Civil Liberties Committee Chair, Claude Moraes (S&D, UK) says: “There is compelling and building evidence since the Brexit vote, that many EU citizens in the UK are experiencing great uncertainty about their position. We can detect this from some 28% of EU citizens who have applied for UK citizenship since the referendum, who have had their applications rejected or declared invalid. But this is only one example in a complex patchwork which we today want to unpick.“It is crucial to create clarity for the many families and individuals who unwillingly have found themselves in a very precarious and highly insecure situation for almost a year now.Today’s hearing serves as a clear indication that the European Parliament stands ready to fulfil its role in the negotiations by working hard with our constituents, our home governments and the EU institutions to ensure the voices of concerned citizens are being heard. Human beings come first, we are not commodities and what happens on citizens’ rights sets the tone for the entire negotiation and relationship for a generation to come so we must get it right”.
Everyone is aware that the European Parliament will play a key role in the negotiations. The hearing is an important opportunity for the Parliament to gather our own evidence on this important issue. It will help inform the work that we do here, the work of the Parliament Brexit negotiation team and hopefully bring our work in this area to a wider audience”, ends Mr Moraes.

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Migration: MEPs to assess deal with Turkey and situation in the Western Balkans

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 28 aprile 2017

turchiaCivil Liberties MEPs will assess this afternoon with the European Commission the results of the deal concluded with Turkey one year ago to better manage the refugee and migration flows, as well as the situation in the Western Balkan route. The debate will take place from 16.00 to 18.00.Mr Maarten Verwey, appointed by Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to coordinate the implementation of the deal, will present the fifth progress report on the cooperation with Ankara since the signature of the EU-Turkey statement, on 18 March 2016.
The Commission will also report to the Committee on the financial aid provided so far to the country for assisting refugees. Through the Facility for Refugees in Turkey, the EU committed at the end of 2015 to mobilise 3 billion euro for the period 2016-2017 to assist Syrian refugees and asylum-seekers in the country (1 billion from the EU budget, 2 billion from Member States).According to Commission´s data, by the end of February 2017, 2.2 billion had already been allocated, with half of the financial envelope already contracted (1.5 billion) and 750 million effectively disbursed.MEPs will also be presented with an assessment on the provision of emergency support within the Union, exceptionally activated to provide assistance in those member states more affected by the influx of refugees and migrants. The Commission will release up to €700 million for the period 2016 to 2019 to fund emergency support.Finally, representatives of the Commission will update the committee on the situation in the Western Balkan migration route, following its intended closure in March last year.

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Sexual abuse and exploitation of children: committee hearing

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 25 aprile 2017

european parliamentBruxelles Tuesday 25 April, 15.00 – 18.30 Paul-Henri Spaak building, room 3C050 MEPs will look at how EU rules to prevent sexual abuse and exploitation of children have been implemented by EU countries in a committee hearing on Tuesday afternoon. The Civil Liberties Committee hearing will look at how the current EU rules on combatting sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children online and offline, adopted in 2011, have been implemented by EU member states and MEPs will debate potential gaps and best practices.
Experts from Europol, Eurojust, the judicial field and organisations supporting victims will give presentations on police and judicial cooperation, prevention and protection of victims of child sexual abuse and exploitation and paedophilia and child sexual abuse and child pornography online.The findings will feed into a set of proposals, now being prepared by Civil Liberties Committee MEP Anna Maria Corazza Bildt (EPP, SE).
The European Parliament and Council in December 2011 adopted directive 2011/93/EU on combatting sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and child pornography. The directive lays down minimum rules for defining criminal offences and sanctions in the area of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children, child pornography and solicitation of children for sexual purposes. The law introduced a new definition of child pornography, increased criminal penalties, made “grooming” an offence and laid down provisions on removing or blocking websites containing child pornography.

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Migration and asylum: Civil Liberties MEPs to visit Italy

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 19 aprile 2017

siciliaA Civil Liberties Committee delegation will travel to Rome and Sicily, from 18 to 21 April, to look into Italian authorities’ management of migrants and asylum seekers. MEPs will inter alia visit the reception centre Castelnuovo di Porto, the harbour in Augusta (landing site for a vast number of migrants in Italy) as well as the refugee “hotspot” in Pozzallo. The main purpose of the visit is to deepen the members’ understanding of the functioning of the “hotspots” and the interplay between EU and national actors in different aspects of dealing with the large numbers of arrivals of asylum seekers and migrants in Europe. MEPs will meet with different institutions and stakeholders, as well as conduct on-site visits, with the aim to gain better insight in the situation on the ground. Other topics for discussion with local representatives are to include further search and rescue operations, disembarkation procedures and relocation.Heads of the delegation: Barbara Kudrycka (EPP, PL) and Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D, ES).
Members: Branislav Škripek (ECR, SK), Jaromír Štetina (EPP, CZ), Miltiadis Kyrkos (S&D, EL) Anna Maria Corazza Bildt (EPP, SV), Morten Helveg Petersen (ALDE, DK), Alessandra Mussolini (EPP, IT), Cécile Kashetu Kyenge (S&D, IT) and Salvatore Domenico Pogliese (EPP, IT).

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Privacy Shield: key deficiencies urgently need to be resolved, MEPs say

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 24 marzo 2017

european commissionThe EU Commission must ensure that the EU – US Privacy Shield for data transfers for commercial purposes provides sufficient personal data protection to comply with the Charter of Fundamental Rights and the new EU data protection rules, said Civil Liberties Committee MEPs voting a resolution on Thursday. The first joint annual review of the Privacy Shield framework is expected this summer.“The Civil Liberties Committee resolution adopted today sends a clear message that, while the Privacy Shield contains significant improvements compared to the former EU-US Safe Harbour, key deficiencies remain to be urgently resolved”, said Civil Liberties Committee Chair Claude Moraes after the vote.“Both citizens and tech companies relying on transatlantic data flows need the certainty of a robust legal framework and our text calls on the Commission to conduct a proper assessment to ensure this certainty”, he added.Among the remaining concerns that MEPs list are:
· the lack of specific rules on automated decision-making or the general right to object, and the lack of clear principles on how the Privacy Shield Principles apply to data processors,
· that “bulk surveillance” remain possible as regards national security and surveillance,
· that neither the Privacy Shield Principles nor letters from the US administration demonstrate the existence of effective judicial redress rights for individuals in the EU whose personal data are transferred to the US, and
· the Ombudsperson mechanism set up by the US Department of State is not sufficiently independent and is not vested with sufficient effective powers to carry out its duties.
MEPs also express alarm at recent revelations about surveillance activities conducted by a US electronic communications service provider at the request of the NSA and FBI as late as 2015, one year after the Presidential Policy Directive 28 was adopted, and insist that the Commission seeks full clarification from the US authorities.
The Commission should also immediately assess whether new US rules approved in January 2017 allowing the NSA to share vast amounts of private data, gathered without warrant, court orders or congressional authorisation, with 16 other agencies, including the FBI, are compatible with the commitments made by US authorities under the Privacy Shield, they say. The resolution was passed by 29 votes to 25, with 1 abstention.

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Civil Liberties MEPs back deal with Council on Ukraine visa waiver

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 11 marzo 2017

ucrainaThe informal deal between Parliament and Council negotiators exempting Ukrainians of visa requirements to enter the EU received on Thursday the backing of the Civil Liberties Committee.The agreement was supported by 39 MEPs, 4 rejected it and 1 abstained. It will now be put to a vote in a next plenary. Afterwards, it will have to be formally adopted by the Council and signed into law. The visa exemption will enter into force 20 days after publication in the Official Journal.Once the visa waiver is in place, Ukrainian citizens who have a biometric passport will be able to travel to the EU for up to 90 days in any 180-day-period for business, tourist or family purposes.Before giving Ukrainians visa-free access to the EU, member states wanted to strengthen the visa waiver suspension mechanism to allow visas to be reintroduced more easily in exceptional cases. The review of this emergency tool has already been completed.The EU and Ukraine started visa liberalisation negotiations in 2008. At the end of 2015, the European Commission concluded that Ukraine had made the necessary progress and had met all the benchmarks. It presented the proposal to grant its citizens visa-free access to the EU in April 2016.
The visa waiver will apply to all EU member states, except Ireland and the United Kingdom.

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Refugees: Civil Liberties MEPs praise Canada´s resettlement and integration policies

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 24 febbraio 2017

torontoA delegation of Civil Liberties MEPs travelled to Canada to assess its resettlement and integration policies for refugees. They met with government officials in Ottawa and Toronto, members of the House of Commons, as well as representatives of UNHCR, NGOs and other stakeholders working in this field.Over 40,000 Syrian refugees have been resettled in Canada since November 2015 and the country is among the top destinations for refugees resettled through the UNHCR.”We are particularly impressed by the openness, welcoming spirit, support and efficiency shown by the Canadian authorities, and in particular by its citizens, in this effort to receive and integrate refugees into a new life in Canada”, said Agustín Díaz de Mera (EPP, ES), Head of the delegation.”In both Ottawa and Toronto we visited a number of refugee reception centres that provide specific services and assistance, we witnessed the strong involvement of the local communities and heard about the private sponsorship initiatives all contributing to integration and the full participation of newcomers in the economic, social, cultural and civic life of Canada”.
“It became clear during our meetings that a key to the successes of the resettlement and integration of refugees was the strong leadership shown by the Canadian authorities at all levels and the cross party support of a well-managed migration system”MEPs also discussed with the Canadian authorities the question of visa reciprocity. In this regard, Mr Díaz de Mera said: “we welcome the commitments made by Canadian Government and express our trust that the necessary steps will be taken in view of their implementation by December 2017”.The Head of the delegation underlined “the importance of this mission and of this exchange of best practices in the context of the related work at EU level on the proposal for a regulation that aims to establish a Union Resettlement framework.”
The Chair also emphasised in the context of the visit the importance of the consent given by the European Parliament to CETA and the Strategic Partnership Agreement, and welcomed the presence of Prime Minister Trudeau in the plenary session in February in Strasbourg. He also pointed out the importance of the future cooperation in the field of migration with Canada.

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