Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 31 n° 275

Posts Tagged ‘european parliament’

Un nouveau président, pour quoi faire?

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 26 giugno 2014

consiglio europeoNotre président, António Vitorino, prend position sur les principaux enjeux du Conseil européen des 26 et 27 juin 2014, lors d’un entretien portant sur les questions suivantes :
1. Pensez-vous que le programme d’action de l’UE à l’horizon 2019 doit faire l’objet d’un traitement particulier au cours de ce Conseil européen ?
2. Le Conseil européen est appelé à proposer au Parlement européen un candidat à la présidence de la Commission : quelle est votre position sur ce registre ?
3. Le Conseil européen va clôturer un nouveau « semestre européen » et évoquer les perspectives de croissance et d’emploi : quels sont les priorités sur ce registre ?
4. Le Conseil européen est appelé à adopter de nouvelles orientations en matière de liberté, sécurité et de justice : quelles sont vos recommandations, notamment en matière migratoire ?
5. Quels sont à votre avis les principaux messages que le Conseil européen doit formuler à propos de la situation en Ukraine ?
Our president, António Vitorino, takes a stand on the main issues of the European Council of 26-27 June 2014 in an interview on the following issues:
1. Do you think that the EU action plan up to the year 2019 should receive special focus during this European Council?
2. The European Council is called upon to propose a candidate for Commission president to the European Parliament. What is your position in this respect?
3. The European Council will bring a new “European semester” to a close and outline perspectives for growth and employment: what are the priorities in this respect?
4. The European Council is called upon to adopt new directions in terms of freedom, security and justice: what are your recommendations, particularly in the field of migration?
5. In your opinion, what are the main messages that the European Council should formulate in relation to the situation in Ukraine?


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European Parliament elections: It’s about Europe, it’s about you!

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 22 maggio 2014

parlamento europeoStatement by the General Secretary of Conference of European Churches on European Parliament elections 2014The elections to the European Parliament are an opportunity for each citizen of the European Union to make their voices heard and to shape our common future. It belongs to the Christian understanding of the role of each person in society not to hide individual responsibility for the development of the community. Every day the European Union pervades our life in many different ways. At this particular time, when the daily existence of millions of people in Europe is affected by the continuing impacts of the economic and financial crisis, when peace and reconciliation neither in society, nor within the continent as such are any longer as obvious as it used to be just a couple of years ago, and when the future of Europe more than ever raises questions and concerns, the Conference of European Churches (CEC) urges Christians all over the European Union, members of our  member churches, to seize the opportunity of the upcoming elections to cast their votes for candidates promoting peace, reconciliation, societal justice and cooperation instead of extremism and separation. As was expressed in an earlier statement on the topic by CEC Governing Board, our vision is ‘Europe as a place of peace, solidarity and cooperation.’ For this particular reason: “CEC invites its member churches to stand up actively against extremist positions that are contrary to basic standards of humanity and that deny values on which the European tradition has been built and that stand against basic principles of Christian ethics and faith.” We wish to express our support for those candidates standing in elections who value human life and the dignity of each individual without distinction. Christians all over Europe have a long-standing tradition in working towards justice and fairness in interpersonal relations, in cooperation among nations, as well as in our relation to the world. This should drive us to make our position clear also in the upcoming elections. For more information about themes related to the elections important for CEC, its member churches and our partners you are invited to read the CEC leaflet and the website A voice for a Europe of peace, solidarity and cooperation is crucial at this particular moment!

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EU public prosecutor: MEPs call for clearer scope, defence rights

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 15 marzo 2014

european parliamentThe powers of the future European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) should be clearer and the EPPO should make sure that defence rights are properly protected in all its activities, said the European Parliament in a resolution passed on Wednesday.The non-legislative text, passed by 487 votes to 161 with 30 abstentions, sets Parliament’s priorities and red lines for giving its consent to the EPPO proposal when the moment comes.”I hope that as many member states as possible participate in the European Public Prosecutor’s Office to defend the EU’s financial interests”, said rapporteur Salvatore Iacolino (EPP, IT) before the plenary vote.The protection of the EU budget against fraud can be better achieved at EU level, MEPs underline. However, they urge member states to clarify the EU prosecutor’s powers and the relationship between the EPPO and other EU bodies, such as Eurojust and OLAF.The House also points out that the EPPO’s competences should only be extended to offences other than those affecting the EU’s financial interests under three conditions:when the conduct simultaneously constitutes a crime affecting the EU’s financial interests and other offences;
when the offences affecting the EU’s financial interests are predominant; and when the other crimes would be barred from further punishment if they were not prosecuted and brought to judgement together with the offences affecting the EU’s financial interests.

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NSA snooping: MEPs table proposals to protect EU citizens’ privacy Fundamental rights

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 14 febbraio 2014

european parliamentThe European Parliament should withhold its consent to an EU-US trade deal unless it fully respects EU citizens’ data privacy, says an inquiry report on US National Security Agency (NSA) and EU member state surveillance of EU citizens, approved by the Civil Liberties Committee on Wednesday. It adds that data protection rules should be excluded from the trade talks and negotiated separately with the US.The text, passed by 33 votes to 7 with 17 abstentions, condemns the “vast, systemic, blanket collection of personal data of innocent people, often comprising intimate personal information”, adding that “the fight against terrorism can never be a justification for untargeted, secret or even illegal mass surveillance programmes”. “We now have a comprehensive text that for the first time brings together in-depth recommendations on Edward Snowden’s allegations of NSA spying and an action plan for the future. The Civil Liberties Committee inquiry came at a crucial time, along with Snowden´s allegations and the EU data protection regulation. I hope that this document will be supported by the full Parliament and that it will last beyond the next European Parliament’s mandate”, said rapporteur Claude Moraes (S&D, UK), after the vote.

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NSA inquiry: lead MEP presents preliminary conclusions

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 20 dicembre 2013

Debate on the US internet surveillance of EU c...

Debate on the US internet surveillance of EU citizens (Photo credit: European Parliament)

The European Parliament should consent to a trade deal with the US only if it makes no reference to data protection, says its Civil Liberties Committee in the preliminary conclusions of its inquiry into surveillance of EU citizens by the US National Security Agency (NSA) and EU member states, tabled by lead MEP Claude Moraes (S&D, UK) on Wednesday. The draft text also calls for the swift creation of an EU data storage “cloud” and judicial redress for to protect their data in the US.Mr Moraes’ draft conclusions acknowledge the importance of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement for economic growth and jobs in both the EU and the US. But European Parliament should consent to the deal only if contains no references to data protection provisions, the draft text adds. “We need to ensure that strong data privacy protections are achieved separately from the TTIP”, Mr Moraes told MEPs involved in the Civil Liberties Committee inquiry.Clear political signals that the US understands the difference between allies and adversaries are also needed, says the draft document, which urges the US authorities to draw up a code of conduct to guarantee that no espionage is pursued against EU institutions and facilities.The European Commission should suspend the “Safe Harbour” principles (data protection standards that US companies should meet when transferring EU citizens’ data to the US) and re-negotiate new, appropriate data protection standards, the draft says.The EU’s executive arm is also urged to suspend the Terrorist Finance Tracking Programme (TFTP) deal with the US until a “thorough investigation” is carried out to restore trust in the agreement. The draft also underlines that the consultations recently concluded by the Commission were based solely on US assurances.

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European Parliament votes in favour of basic bank accounts as legal right

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 13 dicembre 2013

English: A Committee Room in the European Parl...

English: A Committee Room in the European Parliament (Brussels) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The European Parliament voted today[1] to give the right of access to a basic bank account at little or no cost to up to 30 million EU residents who want an account but who have not so far been able to obtain one.Holders of a basic account will be able to lodge and withdraw money at bank branches and ATMs, transfer money and make payments online, but will not have access to overdrafts.
EUFFI president Jim Murray strongly welcomed today’s developments and said “This vote will help those who are “living the single market” by studying, working or living cross-border, and many others who for one reason or another have no bank account where they live. Nowadays, for most people a bank account is a gateway to other services and an essential element for full participation in modern society. I congratulate the rapporteur, German MEP Jurgen Klute, and his parliamentary colleagues for this progressive vote. ”Supporting and extending the Commission’s proposal, the parliament recommends that Member States should require payment service providers generally to offer a basic payment account option to those who need it. The report also calls on Member States to take measures to raise awareness regarding the availability of the accounts, especially in relation to unbanked, vulnerable and mobile consumers.At the launch of the EUFFI study on new payment technologies in June 2013, Commissioner for the Internal Market and Services, Michel Barnier, stressed the importance of financial inclusion, adding that “there can be no sustainable economic development if there is no social cohesion.”Focus now turns to the Member States of the EU, who under the co-decision making process also need to agree before the act can be formally adopted. The Lithuanian Presidency has been holding regular meetings to discuss the dossier, and it is hoped that a general approach will be agreed in the coming weeks.

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Pope Francis says that the world can no longer turn away from the millions of people who are suffering from hunger

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 11 dicembre 2013

English: View of the church San Francesco a Ri...

English: View of the church San Francesco a Ripa in Trastevere, Rome (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In a video message to launch Caritas Internationalis’ global campaign, One Human Family, Food for All, Pope Francis said, “We are in front of a global scandal of around one billion people who still suffer from hunger today. We cannot look the other way. The food available in the world is enough to feed everyone.”
One Human Family, Food for Allunites the efforts of the Caritas confederation’s 164 Catholic organisations worldwide to work towards ending hunger by 2025.Caritas believes that the implementation of the right to food in countries where it doesn’t exist is a fundamental step to eliminating global hunger “I invite you to make space in your heart for this emergency of respecting the God-given rights of everyone to have access to adequate food. We share what we have in Christian charity with those who face numerous obstacles to satisfy such a basic need,” said the Holy Father.Pope Francis also urges people to look at their own lives to see what changes they can make: “This campaign is also an invitation to all of us to become more conscious in our food choices, which often lead to waste and a poor use of the resources available to us. It is also a reminder to stop thinking that our daily actions do not have an impact on the lives of those who suffer from hunger first-hand.”Caritas’ campaign will be launched 10th December with a “wave of prayer”. Starting on the Pacific Island of Samoa, Caritas organisations at midday in their country will take part in a prayer service to pray and reflect on the issue of hunger. For more information, click here.“I ask you from the bottom of my heart to support our Caritas organisations in this noble campaign where they will act as one human family to ensure food for all.
Let us pray that the Lord gives us the grace to envisage a world in which no one must ever again die of hunger. And asking for this grace, I give you my blessing,” said Pope Francis.The Rome launch of the campaign will kick off with a press conference at the basilica of Santa Cecilia at 10.30am followed by a prayer service at San Francesco a Ripa church in Trastevere at midday.Participants in the press conference include Caritas secretary general Michel Roy, director of Caritas Senegal Abbé Ambroise Tine and director of Caritas Rome, Msgr Enrico Feroci and Ferruccio Ferrante from Caritas Italiana.Programmes to promote justice and citizens’ rights in the EU
Promoting an effective access to justice and citizens’ rights EU-wide is the aim of two programmes adopted by the European Parliament on Tuesday. Actions to be supported by the Justice Programme and the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme 2014-2020 include awareness-raining campaigns, training activities and cross-border cooperation. Public authorities and NGOs will have easier access to funding thanks to the removal of administrative burdens.The Justice Programme, with a budget of 377,604 million euros, aims to support judicial cooperation in civil and criminal matters, to facilitate access to justice and to support initiatives in the field of drug policy. In order to build mutual trust and cooperation among judicial authorities across borders, MEPs highlighted the importance of supporting judicial training of legal professionals.The Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme will have a budget of 439,473 million euros aimed at financing actions to promote the rights of European citizens, the principles of non-discrimination and equality between women and men, the right to protection of personal data, the rights of the child and consumers’ rights. MEPs also included among its objectives the prevention and fight against racism, xenophobia and homophobia, the rights of persons with disabilities, as well as the protection of victims of violence.

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Rules to prevent further loss of migrants’ lives off EU coasts

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 11 dicembre 2013

The official emblem of the European Parliament.

The official emblem of the European Parliament. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Draft rules to clarify how border guards serving in Frontex-coordinated maritime operations should deal with migrants intercepted or rescued at sea and where they should land them were approved by the Civil Liberties Committee on Monday. These rules should help to save lives, by removing confusion due to EU member states’ differing interpretations of international law. MEPs also inserted clauses to ensure that migrants’ rights are better protected.”The European Parliament has taken a step to respond to critics of Frontex operations by strengthening respect for the priority of saving lives. I hope that the Council will have the same priority and arrive swiftly at an agreement with Parliament to allow this regulation to take effect”, said rapporteur Carlos Coelho (EPP, PT).The draft EU regulation clarifies rules on the interception or rescue at sea of migrants and where they should be landed. These EU rules should remove confusion created by EU member states’ divergent interpretations of international law and practices. It should also improve the efficiency of Frontex-coordinated sea operations and help member states fulfil their duty to render assistance to persons in distress.The new rules should make it easier to ensure that border guards comply with all international obligations to render assistance to any ship or person in distress at sea.

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What political balance of power in the next European Parliament?

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 29 novembre 2013

Finland is a member of the European Union sinc...

Finland is a member of the European Union since 1995 and is represented in the European parliament. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

6 months before the verdict of the May 2014 European elections, Yves Bertoncini and Valentin Kreilinger try to foresee what could be the political balance of power within the next European Parliament, on the basis of the elements of expertise and information already available.
Their policy paper main findings are based on three series of analyses
1 – The cohesion of political forces will remain a key factor of influence : some political families (especially the “populists”) and groups are less united than others, and will then see their actual influence reduced as compared when their number of seats.
2 – There should be some substantial shifts in the number of seats garnered by the major political groups of the European Parliament : the race between the EPP and the S&D could be very tight, while the populists should make substantial gains.
3 – The logics of majority dynamics should not be deeply modified after May 2014 : while they vary according to the policy area, the majority could go on relying on a “Grand coalition”, even if center right and, more probably, center left coalition could also be formed for the adoption of parts of the votes.
Yves Bertoncini and Valentin Kreilinger conclude their policy paper by underlining that the political game seems to be very open at this stage as regards the outcome of the left-right competition, and that this should prompt all the actors and citizens concerned to engage in a vigorous promotion of their alternative vision and proposals for the EU.

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Members of European parliament as you’ve never seen them

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 23 novembre 2013

European Parliament

European Parliament (Photo credit: jocelyn.aubert)

Bengui recently came to Notre Europe – Jacques Delors Institute to support the candidacy, in the forthcoming 2014 European elections of his idol, Bertrand Renard. To help him achieving his goal, and to understand the role of the MEP and the functioning of the European Parliament, we offered him to go to Strasbourg, where he shooted this video …Now Bengui knows a little bit more about the European Parliament and its members, especially thanks to the availability and the patience of José Bové, Alain Cadec, Jean-Marie Cavada, Jean-Louis Cottigny, Isabelle Durant, Ashley Fox, Sylvie Goulard, Sylvie Guillaume and Henri Weber.
This video, that has already been viewed more than 50 000 times, was made with the support of the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and the European Commission in the framework of the call for proposal “Mobilizing on the web.”

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MEPs call for suspension of EU-US bank data deal

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 4 novembre 2013

European Commission

European Commission (Photo credit: tiseb)

(TFTP) agreement with the US in response to the US National Security Agency’s alleged tapping of EU citizens’ bank data held by the Belgian company SWIFT, says a non-binding resolution voted by Parliament on Wednesday. The resolution, tabled by the S&D, ALDE and Greens/EFA groups, was passed by 280 votes to 254, with 30 abstentions.Although Parliament has no formal powers to initiate the suspension or termination of an international deal, “the Commission will have to act if Parliament withdraws its support for a particular agreement”, says the approved text. It adds that Parliament will take account of the Commission’s response to this demand when considering whether to give its consent to future international agreements.MEPs deplore the fact that no EU member state has investigated these allegations. and urge EU countries to authorise an inquiry by Europol’s Cybercrime Centre. The resolution also calls for a “full on-site technical investigation” of allegations of the US authorities having had unauthorised access to, or having created possible “back doors” into, the SWIFT servers.The Civil Liberties Committee special inquiry into the mass surveillance of EU citizens should also continue to look into the allegations, adds the text.

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European Parliament launches videos on data protection reform

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 20 ottobre 2013

The official emblem of the European Parliament.

The official emblem of the European Parliament. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee will vote on Monday, 21st October, a major overhaul of the current EU data protection rules which aims to put people in control of their personal data and to boost trust both in social media and in online shopping. This new legislation should also replace the current patchwork of national laws.As part of a broad citizen-awareness campaign, the European Parliament has published three videos containing interviews with a lawyer, a hacker and a profiler who give advice on how to control better how much and what sort of personal information Internet users can give and why it is so important to have strong laws in place to prevent abuse and make it easier for European companies to be present in other EU countries.

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President François Di Salvo, Leader of the European Movement for Citizens announces his candidacy for the European elections and succession as President of the European Parliament

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 12 ottobre 2013

Di SalvoValence / Brussels The President of the European political party “European Movement for Citizens” opens the great chapter of European issues after the elections in May 2014. He also took the opportunity to declare his candidacy to succeed Martin Schulz, the current President of the European Parliament.”Europe cannot be the ground of every soft consensus and the peaceful market like Tatie’s mall as it used to be in the past decade. Europe really needs to regain the self-confidence of its 748 million neo- citizens. She needs to offer a route, a trend and a new face».It is in these terms that François Di Salvo opened the matter of the European newfound dignity. This decision is timely because it seeks to ensure the interests of European citizens and promote the emergence of a real participatory democracy.The upheaval period would certainly not occur from any official elected to the European Institutions today”, he added. Indeed, the MEP motivations are lower than the virtually democratic aspirations that each representative, from left wing and to right one, refers when the time is right and appointment with the voters is nearly to happen.Who can trust, for instance, the willingness of a President of the European Economic and Social Committee to really ignore that asserts he ignores “the views of the elites” when everybody knows that he is appointed ​​by the same “harem” which dictates his conduct ? Who can give credit to the President of Parliament when he refuses most of the time a direct meeting with civil society, or refrains from any action that modifies the political principles of his own institution? (Di salvo)

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US-led CIA rendition and secret detention programmes: impunity must end

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 12 ottobre 2013

The climate of impunity surrounding EU member states’ complicity in the CIA’s secret “rendition” and detention programmes has allowed violations of fundamental rights to continue unchecked, as revealed by mass surveillance programmes run by the US and some EU member states, said the European Parliament on Thursday. MEPs want Parliament’s right to investigate such violations in the EU to be reinforced, and again urge EU institutions and member states to investigate the CIA operations in depth.MEPs are “highly disappointed” by the Commission’s refusal to respond in substance to the recommendations made by Parliament in its September 2012 resolution on the follow-up to the work of its Temporary Committee on the CIA’s alleged use of European countries for the transportation and illegal detention of prisoners. These recommendations are reiterated in this year’s resolution. For example, MEPs again urge the Commission to investigate whether EU rules were breached by collaboration with the CIA programme.Parliament also reiterates its recommendations to the Council, urging it to issue a declaration acknowledging member states’ involvement in the CIA programme.The resolution makes specific calls on Lithuania, Romania, Poland, the UK, Italy, Finland, France, Sweden, Belgium, Greece, Ireland, Latvia and Slovakia. For example, it asks the UK authorities to establish a “human-rights-compliant inquiry” into the rendition, torture and ill-treatment of detainees abroad.

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Parliament calls for EU guidelines to protect unaccompanied minors

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 15 settembre 2013

Collectively, the EU is the largest contributo...

Collectively, the EU is the largest contributor of foreign aid in the world. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The European Commission should propose strategic guidelines for dealing with unaccompanied minors arriving in the EU, to ensure their full protection until a durable solution has been found for them, says a resolution adopted by the European Parliament on Thursday. MEPs stress that no child may be denied access to the EU territory, deplore the use of “unsuitable and intrusive” techniques for age assessment and call on member states to appoint a guardian for each child entering the EU alone.The common strategic guidelines on unaccompanied minors would cover issues such as the procedures needed to guarantee the child’s rights and the cooperation between the EU and the countries of origin to combat trafficking and irregular immigration and restore family ties.
“Unaccompanied minors’ rights are not always respected in EU member states, too often they are dealt with as adult irregular migrants and their vulnerabilities, specific needs and rights are not taken into account”, said rapporteur Nathalie Griesbeck (ALDE, FR) during the plenary debate. “Most of them are fleeing their countries to escape from war, violence, prosecution, poverty and natural disasters. They may also be victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation. These children by nature are vulnerable and it is our duty to do more for them”, she added.

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FRA is on a good track, finds external evaluation

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 13 luglio 2013

The Council Working Party on Fundamental Rights, Citizens Rights and Free Movement of Persons (FREMP) will discuss the results of FRA’s independent external evaluation on 9 July. The FRA Management Board’s recommendations resulting from this evaluation will also be discussed. The Chairperson of the FRA Management Board, Maija Sakslin, and FRA Director, Morten Kjaerum, will take part in the meeting.“Since FRA was established six years ago, we have come a long way. We have grown into a strong institution that has become a point of reference in the EU’s fundamental rights landscape,” says FRA Director Morten Kjaerum. “I am proud of what the agency has achieved to date. The findings from this evaluation will help guide us in the future – so we can increasingly help to protect and promote fundamental rights across the EU, both at EU and national level.”Key conclusions from the external report include:FRA is considered a unique provider of comparative, EU-wide studies on fundamental rights.
FRA is seen as accessible and responsive to stakeholders and their needs; respondents are satisfied with the agency’s work.
Member States appreciate FRA’s work at the EU level. However, they believe FRA should increase its relevance and visibility nationally.
Generally, the coordination and cooperation with all key stakeholders, including with the Council of Europe, were assessed very positively.
Civil society organisations are satisfied with the agency’s work, but think the agency’s mandate should be broader. The agency’s Fundamental Rights Platform (FRP) is acknowledged as an effective cooperation channel between FRA and civil society.This evaluation process is required by FRA’s Founding Regulation, which states that FRA must carry out an external evaluation five years after its creation. Ramboll, the independent external evaluator, interviewed over 300 of FRA’s key partners and stakeholders – either online, by phone or face-to-face. Questions were asked about the impact of the agency’s work, its efficiency and effectiveness, EU added value and coherence.
The FRA Management Board received Ramboll’s evaluation report at the end of last year. The board made recommendations based on the evaluation, which were recently presented to the European Commission and the Council of the EU. The European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions received the External Evaluation together with the FRA Management Board recommendations. The European Commission will publish the final report.

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Civil Liberties MEPs clear the way for data protection votes

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 12 luglio 2013

The data protection reform (both regulation and directive) should be voted at the latest in October, said Parliament’s rapporteur for the general regulation, Jan Philipp Albrecht (Greens/EFA, DE) in a Civil Liberties Committee debate on Tuesday. MEPs agreed on the need to move forward swiftly on the two draft laws and stressed the importance to ensure the same high data protection standards all across Europe.The data protection reform package consists of two draft laws: a general regulation covering the bulk of personal data processing in the EU and a directive on processing data to prevent, investigate, detect or prosecute criminal offences or enforce criminal penalties.Parliament’s political groups are negotiating both files ahead of a vote in the Civil Liberties Committee, which will give Parliament’s negotiators a mandate to start talks with the Council of Ministers. Some 4,000 amendments have been tabled to the draft regulation and almost 800 to the draft directive. Negotiations among political groups aim at reducing the number of amendments and simplify the committee.”We will continue the discussions and hopefully have a -Civil Liberties Committee- vote at the latest in October”, said Mr Albrecht. “We only hope that the Council can also have a general approach in October to start negotiations as soon as possible”, he added. He also explained that “we need to ensure quality and that takes some more time”.”We deal with the regulation and the directive as a package”, said Dimitrios Droutsas (S&D, EL), MEP responsible for the directive. He stressed that the work with the directive is moving forward faster. “I expect to close the negotiations on the directive in September”, he concluded.Regarding the NSA/Prism revelations, he said that “we are in a new momentum; Prism has been a wake-up call for everybody. As parliamentarians, we are obliged to take this new sensitiveness into account”.

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MEPs discuss US NSA surveillance with Council and Commission Quotes from the debate

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 4 luglio 2013

Parliament discussed on Tuesday US NSA surveillance programmes and other surveillance schemes in EU countries. You will find below the quotes from the first round of speakers.Vytautas Leškevičius, Vice Minister for Foreign and European Affairs of Lithuania, on behalf of the Council”It would not be appropriate from me to speculate until we have a full response from the US authorities”.”If these allegations prove to be true, the Lithuanian Presidency would be extremely concerned on any spying activities on European nations”. “This doesn’t seem to be a case of transfers of data as understood on the data protection proposals”.”It would be very unlikely that EU legislation would be able to address the issue of data of European citizens handled for foreign countries for intelligence purposes. (…) It is doubtful that these proposals can provide an adequate response”. “Should be confirmed that any spying activities have taken place, we should condemn them in strong terms and raise questions regarding the privacy of our citizens. However, this should happen through dialogue”.Concerning diplomatic relations, she said that “this throws a shadow on the trust indispensable between partners”. “Negotiations between partners need to be transparent and open, and this excludes spying institutions”, she added.She confirmed that not all questions have been answered so far. “I have written together with Commissioner Malmström to our US counterparts asking about the scope of the programmes and their judicial oversight”.Regarding the set-up of the translatlantic group of experts, she confirmed that US Attorney General Eric Holder yesterday committed himself in a letter to convene the first meeting this month and a second one will take place in September in Washington. “The Commission will report on the results of the meetings to Parliament”, she pointed out.

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Hungary must abide by EU values, say MEPs

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 4 luglio 2013

The Hungarian authorities must remedy any breaches of key EU values swiftly, said MEPs on Wednesday. If they fail to do so Parliament’s leaders should consider asking the Council of the EU to determine, under EU Treaty Article 7.1, whether there is a clear risk of a serious breach, MEPs say. They also want a high-level group to monitor compliance with the EU’s values in all member states.In the resolution, adopted by 370 votes to 249, with 82 abstentions, Parliament stresses that the EU is founded on key values such as respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality and the rule of law, as enshrined in Article 2 of the EU Treaty.“Constitutional changes in Hungary have been systemic and they have a general trend that moves away from EU values enshrined in EU Treaty Article 2″, said rapporteur Rui Tavares (Greens/EFA, PT) in the debate on Tuesday. “Democracy is about the rule of the majority, but not about majoritarianism”, he added.Parliament regrets that the process of drafting and adopting Hungary’s constitution “lacked the transparency, openness, inclusiveness and, ultimately, the consensual basis that could be expected in a modern democratic constituent process” and deplores the fact that the institutional changes “resulted in a clear weakening of the system of checks and balances”.Parliament urges the Hungarian authorities to remove from the constitution those provisions already declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court, to reduce the recurrent use of cardinal laws, to apply the recommendations of the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission, to ensure the widest possible participation of all parties in the constitutional process and to fully guarantee the independence of the judiciary.On media laws, Parliament asks Hungary to set up objective, legally binding procedures for the appointment of heads of public media and regulatory bodies. MEPs also call on the Hungarian authorities to “finally assume their responsibilities towards the homeless”, adopt a broader definition of “family” and do more to integrate Roma communities.

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MEPs urge member states to address fundamental rights flaws

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 14 dicembre 2012

EU countries must do more to protect fundamental rights, including those of national minorities, LGBT people and migrants, says a resolution adopted by Parliament on Wednesday. The text calls for a continuous assessment of member states’ compliance with basic EU values and the rule of law. It also voices concern over restrictions recently imposed in some member states on reproductive health services such as safe and legal abortion.The resolution on fundamental rights in the EU in 2010 and 2011 was adopted by 308 votes to 229 with 48 abstentions. Before voting on the Civil Liberties Committee resolution, MEPs rejected an alternative text tabled by the EPP group.To maintain the credibility of EU membership conditions, member states’ compliance with EU fundamental values and the rule of law should be continuously assessed, says the resolution. “The implementation of values such as plurality, gender equality and the rule of law is at the core of the EU. It is our duty to protect fundamental rights and values to build up a culture of rights among EU countries and institutions”, explained rapporteur Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D, SK) in a debate on Tuesday.

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