Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 31 n° 321

Posts Tagged ‘european parliament’

European Parliament votes in favour of EU-Morocco fisheries partnership

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 2 marzo 2019

The European Parliament has given its consent to the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the EU and Morocco. This agreement, valid for 4 years, allocates fishing opportunities for the EU in exchange for an overall financial contribution of € 208 million euros. A substantial part of this contribution will be used to promote the sustainable development of the fisheries economy in Morocco and the Western Sahara.
Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella said: “The agreement with Morocco that the European Parliament endorsed today is good news for fishers on both sides of the Mediterranean. It is a real partnership in which both sides will benefit economically, contributing at the same time to more sustainable fishing.” Bilateral fisheries relations between the EU and Morocco go back a long way: the first agreement dates from as early as 1995. At that time, it was by far the most important fisheries agreement between the EU and a third country. Today, the EU has nine such bilateral agreements in force, which allow the EU fleet to fish surplus stocks that are not being fished by local fishermen. At the same time, these agreements support the partner countries by strengthening their administrative and scientific capacity through a focus on sustainable fisheries management, monitoring, control and surveillance.This agreement with Morocco is good news for European fishers. For the coming four years, around 130 vessels from up to 10 EU Member States will be allowed to the fishing grounds of Morocco and Western Sahara to catch tuna, demersal and small pelagic fish such as sardines, mackerel and anchovies.In exchange, the EU will pay a sum of €208 million euros, part compensation to access the fishing zone, part contribution to sectoral fishing support and part fees payable by ship-owners. This financial input will directly contribute to the sustainable development of Morocco’s, and Western Sahara’s fisheries sector. A Joint Committee will plan and monitor the use of these sectoral support funds.The Agreement is also politically important, as it helps maintaining constructive relations with an essential partner of the EU in the framework of our Neighbourhood policy. The new protocol fully takes into account the EU’s Court of Justice Resolution of February 2018 on the Western Sahara consideration.

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European Parliament votes in favour of the request from EU regions to outlaw electric pulse fishing

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 21 gennaio 2018

Emily WestleyThe CoR welcomes the outcome of the vote on the “Technical Measures” dossier, where in a surprise result on Tuesday 16 January 2018 the Parliament voted to ban electric fishing. The strong recommendation against electric pulse fishing was adopted by the European Committee of the Regions as a part of a report on “Technical Measures in fisheries” addressed to the legislator. The opinion clarifies the point of view of EU’s local and regional authorities on the matter, appealing to subject renewals of licenses for electric pulse fishing to scientific evaluation before renewing or removing their prohibited status.CoR rapporteur Mrs Emily Westley (UK/PES), a local counsellor from Hastings, UK, stated that the outcome is “an important win for the environment and also for small scale fishermen that have used for generations traditional fishing methods”. Hastings is home of the largest European beach-launched fishing fleet, and the developments in the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) are watched closely by local fishermen. In the light of Brexit and increasing insecurity among small-scale fishermen about their future, the stage victory represents an important sign for many of them. “Working collectively is the only way to make the right decisions for local communities. Brexit is putting that relationship in serious danger of extinction and I call on all the decision makers to really consider the local and regional impacts of Brexit. How will the ordinary people’s voices be heard?” Mrs Westley added.The draft law was a subject of heated debates among policy-makers, non-governmental organisations and fishermen, noted further Mrs. Westley, who as a part of her activities at the European Committee of the Regions undertook significant efforts to lobby fellow S&D and UK members of the European Parliament to pass legislation that is more friendly to small scale fishermen and local communities. The regulation, which now will enter into trilogue between Commission, Council and Parliament, will continue to be a cornerstone of the debate on CFP during the Bulgarian presidency of the Council of the European Union. (photo: Emily Westley)

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Agreement on Commission proposal for a multi-annual fisheries management plan for the North Sea

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 20 dicembre 2017

european parliamentThe European Parliament, the Council and the Commission have reached a political agreement on a multi-annual management plan for demersal fish stocks in the North Sea. This comprehensive plan covers more than 70% of the fishing sector, sets catch limits based on science and brings decision-making closer to the fisherman.
The EU co-legislators have reached an agreement during an informal trilogue, on the Commission’s proposal from August 2016. The new North Sea plan is the first comprehensive plan for this sea basin and the second multiannual plan for the EU, following the one for the Baltic Sea reached in 2016.
Commissioner Karmenu Vella stated: “I am very pleased with today’s political agreement, as it signals the EU’s determination to protect the future of our fishing industry and coastal communities. The North Sea is one of Europe’s richest fishing grounds and only with long-term and sound planning, we can provide the necessary predictability and profitability to our fishermen for the long run. Today’s agreement shows that the EU lives up and continues to pursue its ambitious commitments for more sustainable fisheries made at the Our Ocean Conference 2017 in Malta”.The fisheries of the North Sea are highly complex, involving vessels from at least seven coastal Member States, as well as Norway. Vessels use a variety of fishing equipment and their catches consist of a mix of different species, such as cod and haddock, or plaice and sole. Today’s agreement is for a plan for demersal fish stocks, i.e. fish that live and feed near the bottom of the sea.The agreement includes ranges within which sustainable catch limits can be set on the basis of the best available scientific advice, as well as rules on recreational fisheries where it has a significant impact on the relevant stocks.

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Video launch: Standing UP for Minority Rights

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 25 ottobre 2017

europaBrussels On October 19 CEC held an event in the European Parliament, Brussels, to launch the video entitled “Standing up for Minority Rights” in the presence of many young Serbs and Croats and other international guests. The host of the event was the Croatian MEP Ivan Jakovcic (ALDE). The film explores the situation of religious and ethnic minorities in Serbia and Croatia.During Holy Week 10-13 of April 2017, 20 young Serbs from Croatia and Croats from Serbia came to visit European institutions in Bruss­­­­els on the initiative of Metropolitan Porfirije of Zagreb and Ljubljana of the Serbian Orthodox Church. The aim was to learn more about the implementation of European values such as human rights, democracy and rule of law, especially in the area of minority rights.Croatia, a member of the EU since 2013, has robust legislation in the area of human rights, but more work is needed to ensure it is fully implemented in the area of ethnic and religious minority rights. In Serbia, which is a candidate for EU membership, religious and ethnic minorities is still a priority area for work on harmonisation of legislation related to the criteria enshrined in the Lisbon Treaty.At the 19 October event, Metropolitan Porfirije said that the challenges between Croatia and Serbia needs to be overcome in the spirit of the Gospel, witnessing love for one another. He invited everyone in the debate to listen to the other and to help each other in combating prejudges and xenophobia in their environment. He said that there is a habit for all of us to say that the other is responsible for my situation, as a mean of protection. However, if we see the other as guilty and never ask ourselves if we contribute to the conflict, then there is no perspective for future progress.Ms Jelena Nestorovic, Representative of the Serbian Youth National Council in Croatia, welcomed the opportunity for exchange. She expressed the view that the media and politicians in Croatia shape opinion in less than a positive manner towards minorities which, in turn, negatively effects the relations between majorities and minorities. She said that dialogue is the basic tool to overcome these challenges.Mr Mario Vrselja, Representative of the Youth Council of Croatia in Serbia said that the work on mutual dialogue and understanding needs to continue. He emphasised that the benefit of the meeting during Holy Week had resulted in strengthening friendships and harmony among their peers and that Serbia needs to improve and build a stronger culture in the area of minority rights.In the spirit of the Cypriot proverb proclaimed during the debate “If you cannot eliminate the dark you can light the candle”, CEC warmly recommends you to take a few minutes of your time to view the short 5 or 20 minutes video about building bridges between young Serbs and Croats who are standing up for each other in defending the minority rights.

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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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MEPs call for zero tolerance for violence against women

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 13 luglio 2017

european parliamentBruxelles. The EU’s accession to the Istanbul Convention will provide a coherent European legal framework to prevent and combat violence against women and gender-based violence.
Women’s rights and Civil liberties MEPs welcome the signing of the EU accession of the Istanbul Convention on 13 June 2017 and make following recommendations:
urge Member States to speed up negotiations on the ratification and implementation of the Istanbul Convention;
EP should be fully engaged in the monitoring process of the Istanbul Convention following the EU’s accession;
Member States should allocate adequate financial and human resources to prevent and combat violence against women and gender-based violence;
victims should be compensated, in particular those living in areas where the protection services to the victims do not exist or they are very limited;
appropriate training, procedures and guidelines for all professionals dealing with the victims of all acts of violence should be available;
promote a change in attitudes and behaviours;
combat sexism and stereotyped gender roles – promoting gender-neutral language and address the key role of media and advertising;The denial of sexual and reproductive health and rights services, including safe and legal abortion, is a form of violence against women and girls, says the text. MEPs reiterate that women and girls must have control over their bodies.The Istanbul Convention ensures that culture, custom, religion, tradition or so-called “honour” cannot be a justification of any acts of violence against women. Committee MEPs call on Member States to adopt measures to address new forms of crime, including sex-extortion, grooming, voyeurism and revenge pornography, and protect victims, who experience serious trauma leading sometimes even to suicide.
Finally, MEPs stress that the EU’s accession will bring better monitoring, interpretation and implementation of EU laws, programmes, funds and better data collection.
“Violence against women is too often seen as a private issue and too often tolerated. It is a serious crime and it must be punished as such. Too many women and girls are still harassed, abused and raped in Europe, in public places, at home and now even on the social media, where persecution is affecting an entire generation of young women. With our report today we give the voice to many women and girls to break the vicious circle of silence and fear and shift the guilt from victims to perpetrators. We send a strong message to the Member States to take their responsibility and proceed with the ratification and the implementation of the Istanbul Convention. Time has come to move from words to action”, said co-rapporteur Anna Maria Corazza Bildt (EPP, SV).
“The LIBE and FEMM committees have made a decisive step forward to protect the fundamental right of women to live free from violence wherever they are in Europe. The EU accession will provide a coherent legal framework to combat violence against women from prevention to support for all victims. Time is running out, considering that one third of all women in Europe have experienced physical or sexual acts of violence. Once again, I strongly urge Member states which have not yet ratified the Istanbul Convention, to do so as quickly as possible. The EU accession does not exonerate them from national ratification and we need to join forces to eradicate violence against women, once and for all”, added co- rapporteur Christine Revault d’Allonnes-Bonnefoy (S&D, FR).

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European Parliament gives a green light to cooperation agreement between Denmark and Europol

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 29 aprile 2017

DanimarcaA broad majority of MEPs on Thursday backed the proposal to establish an operational and strategic cooperation agreement between Denmark and Europol. Parliament backed the cooperation agreement with 569 votes to 8, with 62 abstentions.
“The fight against cross-border crime and terrorism necessitates close cooperation among EU member states. A sudden departure of Denmark from Europol could lead to operational gaps and reduce the EU’s capacity to fight organised crime and terrorism. It is therefore important that we ensure a sufficient level of cooperation with Denmark after 1st of May”, said lead MEP Agustín Díaz de Mera (EPP, ES).
In it’s resolution Parliament notes the exceptional nature of the foreseen arrangement between Europol and Denmark and repeats that MEPs would have liked to see “an expiry date of five years” in order to ensure its transitional nature “with a view to a more permanent arrangement”.In line with the joint declaration from the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission and the Prime Minister of Denmark, MEPs also stress that the agreement is conditional on Denmark’s continued membership of the Union and of the Schengen area, Denmark’s obligation to fully implement in Danish law the directive on data protection in police matters by 1 May 2017 and Denmark’s agreement to the application of the jurisdiction of the EU Court of Justice and the competence of the European Data Protection Supervisor.
The European Parliament needs to be consulted before the agreement can enter into force.
Background. The cooperation agreement aims to minimise the negative impact of Denmark’s departure from Europol on 1 May 2017, following the Danish referendum on 3 Dec. 2015, and avoid creating gaps in the joint fight against serious crime and terrorism.
On 15 December 2016 the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission and Denmark’s Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen issued a joint declaration proposing to associate Denmark to Europol in the form of a cooperation agreement.
Establishing this cooperation agreement has entailed two legislative steps: firstly, Denmark was added to the list of third countries with whom Europol can conclude cooperation agreements, secondly the cooperation agreement itself.
On 14 February 2017, the Plenary backed adding Denmark to the list of third countries with an overwhelming majority of 632 votes to 10, and 51 abstentions.

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European parliament: LIBE meeting 30/03/2017

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 28 marzo 2017

Presentations and debates:
Thursday, 30 March (9.00 – 12.30 and 14.00 – 17.30)EU-Turkey statement for the management of refugee and migration flows. Discussion with the Commission on implementation and on the Facility for Refugees in Turkey. 14.00 – 15.45
Application of the Return Directive: Discussion with the Commission on its communication “on a more effective return policy”. 15.45 – 16.45
Tenth report on Relocation and resettlement – presentation by the Commission. 14.00 – 15.45
Mutual recognition of freezing and confiscation orders – rapporteur Nathalie Griesbeck (ALDE, FR). Presentation by the Commission. 9.00 –9.40
Protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the EU institutions – rapporteur Cornelia Ernst (GUE/NGL, DE). Presentation by the Commission. 9.40 – 10.10
Denmark – Europol cooperation agreement – presentation of draft report on the Agreement on Operational and Strategic cooperation – rapporteur Agustín Díaz de Mera (EPP, ES). 10.20 – 10.40
Review of the Schengen Information System (SIS): Joint debate on the proposals on the use of SIS for the return of illegally staying third-country nationals – rapporteur Jeroen Lenaers (EPP, NL), in the field of border checks and in the field of police and juridical cooperation in criminal matters – rapporteur Carlos Coelho (EPP, PT). Presentation by the Commission. 10.40 – 11.45
Prisons’ systems and conditions – presentation of the own-initiative draft report – rapporteur Joëlle Bergeron (EFDD, FR). 16.45 – 17.30

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Paving the way for sustainable fishing in the Baltic Sea – Council and Parliament agree on multiannual plan for Baltic fisheries

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 18 marzo 2016

balticThe European Parliament and the Council reached a political agreement on a multiannual plan for the most important fish stocks in the Baltic Sea, following a Commission proposal in 2014. This is the first of a new generation of fisheries management plans that implement the EU’s reformed Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and that aim to make the management of fish stocks more flexible and more sea-basin specific.In keeping with the CFP’s emphasis on regionalisation, the agreed plan empowers regional decision-making on technical issues that are best decided at the level of the Baltic sea basin. Member States will also be able to decide on how best to implement the landing obligation – a key part of the CFP’s drive for greater sustainability.
While Member States get a greater say on managing fisheries in their sea basin, the plan stays true to the fundamental objective of the CFP: a commitment to reach fully sustainable fisheries by 2020 at the latest. To this end, the plan not only aims to meet maximum sustainable yield (MSY) targets for cod, herring and sprat, but also contains a number of “safeguard measures” that will be triggered in case stocks fall below certain thresholds. Such additional management measures to reach MSY could, as a last resort, include a full closure of fisheries to allow fish stocks to recover.In line with the precautionary approach, the plan also allows Member States to agree on conservation measures for flatfish, which are unavoidable bycatch in cod fisheries in the Baltic Sea and for which MSY advice is not available.Commissioner Vella, responsible for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, welcomed the agreement: “This plan sets the basis for the sustainable management of the most important fish stocks in the Baltic Sea. This is good news for Baltic fish stocks and for the fishermen who depend on them for their livelihood.”The plan still needs to be formally adopted by the Parliament and the Council. A first revision is planned after three years, with further revision opportunities every five years after that.
The Commission will now move forward with proposals for other sea basins. A proposal for a multiannual plan for the North Sea is next on the list. (photo: baltic)

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EP will ensure that Turkey respects basic conditions for asylum claims, says Civil Liberties Chair

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 9 marzo 2016

european parliamentThe European Parliament will continue to play a key role as a legislative and political watchdog to ensure that basic conditions for asylum claims are met in Turkey, said Civil Liberties Committee Chair Claude Moraes following the agreement with Turkish authorities to return all irregular migrants arrived to the EU back to Turkey.This month, the Civil Liberties committee will hold key meetings with the Greek Minister for Migration as well as with the Commission on the management of external borders and Schengen.After the announcement by the EU Heads of State or Government of the deal with Ankara, Mr Moraes (S&D, UK) said:“Following the Council Summit and the key decision to return all irregular migrants back to Turkey the European Parliament will continue to play a role as a key watchdog to ensure that basic conditions for asylum claims are met in the country. Moreover, it is important that the EU does not ignore its values in the face of people fleeing war and persecution by simply creating push-backs.On the issue of resettlement, it is a welcoming sign that member states are finally showing a political will to enhance safer and legal routes to the EU. This will play a key part in tackling smugglers as well as show much needed solidarity with countries that have taken in a large amount of refugees, currently over 2 million Syrian refugees are in Turkey. As Chair of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs committee I call on member states to quickly implement and uphold resettlement commitments.We must move away from the rhetoric of sealing borders as this will merely perpetuate the pressures faced by member states on the periphery – member states must also uphold their responsibilities by implementing existing key EU measures, notably the temporary relocation mechanism to alleviate pressures faced by Greece”.

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Parliament endorses deal on new EU rules on presumption of innocence

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 21 gennaio 2016

parlamento europeoThe European Parliament endorsed on Wednesday the agreement reached with the Council last November on new legislation to ensure that the right to the presumption of innocence in criminal proceedings is applied consistently throughout the EU, so that Member States can have full trust in each other´s criminal justice systems.Under the directive, that was passed in plenary with 577 votes in favour, 48 against and 86 abstentions, Member states shall take measures to ensure that public authorities do not refer to suspects or accused persons as being guilty “before such persons have been proven guilty according to law” and they will have to abstain from presenting suspects or accused persons as being guilty, through the use of handcuffs, glass boxes, cages or leg irons, unless those measures are strictly necessary.The negotiators also agreed that the burden of proof in establishing the guilt of suspects or accused persons always lies on the prosecution and any doubt should benefit the accused, while the exercise of the right to remain silent may not be used against a suspect or accused person. The directive still needs to be formally adopted by the Council. Member states will have two years from the date of its publication in the EU Official Journal to transpose it into national law.

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Civil Liberties MEPs go to China to discuss psychoactive substances, data protection, serious crime and cybersecurity

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 31 ottobre 2015

european parliamentA mission from the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee will go to Beijing from 2 to 6 November to discuss the threats posed by the commercialisation in the EU of new psychoactive substances. Other topics to be addressed during the visit are data protection policies, including the exchange of personal data with the EU, the fight against international serious crime, especially human trafficking and child pornography, and the prevention of cybercrime.The European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee has been invited by the National People’s Congress to visit Beijing. MEPs participating in the mission, from 2 to 6 November, will discuss with Chinese authorities the threats posed by the commercialisation in the EU of new psychoactive substances (NPS), as well as the threats posed within the EU by international serious crime organisations in the fields of human trafficking and child pornography.The second goal of the mission is to gain a better understanding on the current status of the Chinese legislation in the fields of data privacy and cybersecurity and to assess its possible impacts on the privacy of EU citizens, given the rise of China as a content and service provider of cloud services. MEPs will address the level of police and judicial cooperation in the different fields of interest.The scope of the mission also includes the status of the cooperation with Chinese authorities regarding prevention, mitigation and investigation of cyber-threats threatening the privacy of EU citizens.Meetings are planned with the National People’s Congress, the Minister of Public Security (MPS), and the Cyberspace Administration of China.

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Mass surveillance of EU citizens

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 9 ottobre 2015

european parliamentA resolution on the electronic mass surveillance of EU citizens, following up that of March 2014 which was approved by the European Parliament in light of whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations, will be voted by the Civil Liberties Committee on Tuesday. Members will address new cases of mass surveillance, what the European Commission and member states have or have not done to take account of Parliament’s recommendations and data transfers to the US, including under the Safe Harbour scheme.
On 6 October, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) declared the Commission’s Safe Harbour decision invalid. The European Parliament has repeatedly called for the suspension of Safe Harbour, most recently in its 2014 resolution on the surveillance carried out by the NSA.

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European Parliament: Anteprima della sessione plenaria

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 3 luglio 2015

fuga migranti1Bruxelles Dibattito: martedì 7 luglio Il Parlamento discuterà martedì pomeriggio con il Presidente del Consiglio europeo, Donald Tusk, gli esiti del Consiglio europeo del 25-26 giugno in materia di immigrazione, sicurezza, mercato unico digitale e Grecia. Il Presidente della Commissione, Jean-Claude Juncker, dovrebbe prendere parte al dibattito. I leader dell’UE hanno raggiunto un accordo sulle modalità per affrontare il crescente afflusso di migranti nel Mediterraneo, incluso il sistema di ricollocazione dal Paese di primo approdo verso altri Paesi comunitari. Le conclusioni del vertice prevedono anche una maggiore cooperazione tra gli Stati membri in materia di difesa e sicurezza e intensificare gli sforzi per completare il mercato unico digitale. Per quanto riguarda il dibattito, la crisi greca occuperà quasi sicuramente un posto di primo piano nel dibattito di mercoledì.

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Hungary: MEPs condemn Orbán’s death penalty statements and migration survey

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 11 giugno 2015

The European Parliament asks the European Commission to assess the situation in Hungary and to establish an EU mechanism to monitor democracy, the rule of law and human rights annually across the EU, in a resolution voted on european parliamentWednesday. Reinstating the death penalty in Hungary would breach the EU Treaties and Charter of fundamental rights, and the wording of the Hungarian government’s public consultation on migration is “highly misleading, biased and unbalanced”, it says.In the resolution wrapping up the 19 May plenary debate with Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, MEPs condemn Mr Orbán’s repeated statements on the possibility of reinstating the death penalty in Hungary and stress the duty of prime ministers to “lead by example”.The death penalty is “incompatible with the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights on which the union is founded”, they stress, adding that any member state reintroducing the death penalty would be “in violation of the Treaties and of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights”. They note that a serious breach by a member state would trigger the EU Treaty Article 7 procedure, which could lead to the withdrawal of its voting rights in the Council.MEPs also denounce the Hungarian government’s public consultation on migration. Although “public consultation can be an important and valuable tool for governments to develop policies”, “the content and the language used in this particular consultation is “highly misleading, biased, and unbalanced; establishing a biased and direct link between migratory phenomena and security threats”, they say.They call on the Commission to “immediately initiate an in-depth monitoring process on the situation of democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights in Hungary and to report back on this matter to the European Parliament and Council before September 2015”.The Commission is also asked to present a proposal to establish an EU mechanism on democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights, as a tool for ensuring compliance with and enforcement of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and the Treaties as signed by all member states, MEPs say. They also instruct Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs to help elaborate this proposal by drafting a non-binding resolution to be voted by Parliament as a whole by the end of this year.The resolution was passed by 362 votes to 247, with 88 abstentions.

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Intelligence services: Civil Liberties Committee Chair Claude Moraes calls for stronger oversight to improve effectiveness and improved cooperation at EU level

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 29 Mag 2015

The increase in the exchange of information and cooperation between intelligence services at EU and international level calls for improved cooperation between EU oversight bodies and a stronger democratic oversight of intelligence activities which is still only conducted at national level, said Civil Liberties Committee Chair and rapporteur on the European Parliament’s Inquiry on the Eeuropean parliamentlectronic Mass Surveillance of EU Citizens, Claude Moraes, at the closing of the two-day conference on the Democratic oversight of Intelligence services in the European Union.The first Conference on the Democratic Oversight of Intelligence Services in the European Union took place in the European Parliament, co-hosted with German, Italian and Belgian National Parliamentary supervisory bodies, on 28 and 29 May.The Conference highlighted the strategic importance of intelligence and security services for the security of the democratic constitutional state, and the need for parliamentary oversight of such services to ensure respect of fundamental rights and liberties and efficiency of the intelligence and security services.After the meeting between MEPs and national MPs, Civil Liberties Committee Chair and rapporteur on the European Parliament’s Inquiry on the Electronic Mass Surveillance of EU Citizens, Claude Moraes (S&D, UK), said:”Member states should improve the evaluation and oversight practises of their intelligence services – not to create more bureaucracy for intelligence services but because all the evidence shows that better oversight will create more effective intelligence services which do their jobs better and are more accountable in a difficult and ever changing security environment.One of the main conclusions of the European Parliament’s Inquiry into mass surveillance following the Edward Snowden revelations was that there has been a systematic failure of intelligence services oversight not only in the US but in our own Member States. We called for all Member States to evaluate and revise their oversight practices to ensure that intelligence services are subject to improved parliamentary and judicial oversight.This conference is unprecedented in that it is the first time that the European Parliament has co-hosted with three national Parliaments, Germany, Italy and Belgium, on the sensitive subject of intelligence oversight. The European Parliament, led by the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee, is committed to developing a regular dialogue for national Member States oversight bodies to discuss best practices and minimum standards of intelligence oversight to ensure that our intelligence services are operating within the rule of law. We value our intelligence agencies for the unparalleled responsibility of protecting our citizens in the most difficult circumstances. We are aware that ongoing threats and challenges such as so called “foreign fighters”, radicalisation and related security threats are challenging most EU countries. Such challenges require more not less cooperation between Member States and EU agencies such as Europol.As a result of the success of this debate, there has been agreement from national Parliaments that this should not just be a one off event and we should continue to develop cooperation on a concrete basis and convene a follow-up conference at the latest two years’ time”.

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Civil Liberties MEPs go to Washington to discuss data protection, surveillance and counter-terrorism

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 15 marzo 2015

parlamento europeoA 11-strong delegation from the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee, headed by Claude Moraes (Chair of the Civil Liberties Committee, S&D, UK), will go to Washington D.C. from 16 to 20 March 2015 to obtain up-to-date information on the state of play and progress in the US on major issues, such as data protection and the current legislative works by the US Congress on framing surveillance activities. MEPs will also update the American counterparts on the EU data protection reform and on counter-terrorism initiatives, including the EU Passenger Name Records (PNR) proposal. Before the departure of the delegation, Claude Moraes stated the following:”The European Parliament’s previous delegation to Washington in 2013 took place during an international diplomatic crisis between the EU and the US following the Snowden revelations on mass surveillance. The delegation took place at one of the most high profile moments with revelations breaking of both NSA spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone and on mass surveillance of EU citizen’s private information.Since the Edward Snowden revelations in July 2013, authorities both in the US and the EU agreed that a thorough debate on these issues was both welcome and necessary considering the breakdown of trust following NSA mass surveillance and data collection allegations.The European Parliament has begun its second phase Inquiry following the Snowden revelations. We have already shared our concerns with the US on mass European Parliament , spying and economic espionage and now return to Washington in 2015 to discuss key issues including;
1. Judicial redress for EU citizens in the case of transfers of personal data for law enforcement purposes
2. Safe Harbour for US companies
3. Reform of EU data protection legislation and US recent initiatives and trends on data protection
4. Passenger Name Records (PNR) in the area of counter-terrorism and law enforcement
Since 2013 there have been positive developments in the US. The commitments by the Attorney General to extend judicial redress to EU citizens under the Privacy Act, within the framework of the so-called EU-US “umbrella agreement” on data protection for data transfers for law enforcement, so they can access US courts under the same conditions as US citizens and without discrimination, was an important step towards rebuilding trust and achieving equal treatment between US and EU citizens on this issue.
On US Safe Harbour, negotiations are still ongoing between the EU Commission and the US on the serious failings of this agreement, following our conclusion that the Safe Harbour has not been properly implemented and has failed to provide the adequate level of protection of EU citizens required by EU legislation for data transfers to US organisations members of the Safe Harbour. We will also update the US on the data protection reform, giving it is one of the biggest international legislation on data protection, and how it will affect the US and our transatlantic relations, and will get insight of recent US initiatives on data protection, such as the draft consumer bill of rights put forward by the White House.
Following the recent terrorist attacks in Europe, we will also give the US a progress report on counter-terrorism and law enforcement proposals, including on the Passenger Name Records, given these are world-wide issues”.

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Parliament to debate EU’s border and asylum agencies

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 11 febbraio 2015

european parliamentMEPs will discuss the roles, resources and capabilities of the EU border agency Frontex and the European Asylum Support Office with the Latvian Secretary of State for European affairs, Zanda Kalniņa–Lukaševica, and Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos on Wednesday evening.Tackling the tragic situation in the Mediterranean, improving the management of migration flows prompted by a mix of motives, ensuring the surveillance of the EU’s external borders, rescuing migrants in distress at sea and supporting EU countries whose asylum and reception systems are under particular pressure are among the issues at stake.
MEPs from the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee will visit the headquarters of the EU border agency Frontex, in Warsaw (Poland), on 16 and 17 February. Barbara Kudrycka (EPP, PL), Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D, ES) and Jeroen Lenaers (EPP, NL) will meet Frontex’s Executive Director, Fabrice Leggeri, and other staff to discuss the EU agency tasks, budget and organisation, possible changes to the Frontex regulation, the role of Frontex in Eurosur, plans for a European System of Border Guards, fundamental rights and recent developments, including the Triton operation in the Mediterranean.

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Citizenship: Civil Liberties Committee Chair welcomes reshuffle to new Commissioner

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 23 ottobre 2014

european parliamentReplying to widespread concerns in the European Parliament, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, presenting his team to MEPs on Wednesday morning, announced that Dimitris Avramopoulos would take over the responsibility for “citizenship” from Tibor Navrasics. This means that citizenship will be grouped with Migration and Home Affairs.The Chair of the European Parliament Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee, Claude Moraes (S&D, UK), welcomed the change of Commissioner:”I am confident that Commissioner-designate Dimitris Avramopoulos is extremely competent to manage the additional policy area of citizenship in his portfolio of Migration and Home Affairs, especially after his impressive hearing in the European Parliament”, Mr Moraes said.”However, our committee shares some concerns regarding the decision not to place citizenship in the portfolio of the Vice-President Frans Timmermans. It would have been more beneficial to have placed citizenship in the portfolio of Mr Timmermans as bridging citizenship and fundamental rights is a more sensible link which would help to strengthen policies to protect the rights of European citizens”.”Citizenship is a key area of our committee as it covers a number of areas in the area of discrimination which is in the remit of the LIBE committee. Given that there will be no more official hearings in the European Parliament; we should insist that Mr Avramopoulos comes to talk to the LIBE committee as soon as possible to discuss this new portfolio”, concluded Mr Moraes.

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How to apply Regulation (EU) 1379/2013 on the Common Organisation of the Markets of Fishery and Aquaculture Products (CMO)

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 18 luglio 2014

european parliamentThe European Parliament and the Council adopted this Regulation (the “CMO regulation”). It entered into force on 1 January 2014 (apart from the provisions on consumer information, which will apply from 13 December 2014). The regulation: substantially changes EU funding in this field, reducing the previous 6 mechanisms to one – storage aid – which is itself due to disappear on 1 January 2019 (see Commission implementing regulation (EU) No 1419/2013). provides for a new tool – production & marketing plans (see Commission implementing regulation (EU) No 1418/2013) – mandatory since 1 January 2014. These plans will help professional organisations with the day-to-day implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy’s reform goals and allow them to manage their activities in a business-like and market-oriented manner. improves consumer information requirements, to help consumers make informed choices. These provisions, which complement regulation (EU) 1169/2011 on food information for consumers (“FIC”), will apply from 13 December 2014. They do not change any of the terms of regulation 1169/2011. These FAQs are designed to help all interested parties to better understand and correctly apply the CMO regulation. They have no formal legal status.

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