Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 33 n° 244

Posts Tagged ‘european values’

European values must prevail, even in a state of public emergency, MEPs say

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 16 novembre 2020

On Friday, Parliament adopted a resolution that takes stock of the state of European democratic values in the context of national measures to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, with 496 votes to 138 and 49 abstentions.In Thursday’s debate with Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders, almost all speakers expressed concerns regarding the rights of citizens and vulnerable groups in a number of EU countries where state of emergency measures have been taken.In the resolution, Parliament points out that emergency measures pose a “risk of abuse of power” and stresses that they must be necessary, proportional and of a temporary nature when they affect democracy, the rule of law, and fundamental rights. National governments should “not abuse emergency powers to pass legislation unrelated to the COVID-19 health emergency”. • end their “state of emergency”, or at least clearly define the delegation of powers to their executives, and ensure appropriate parliamentary and judicial checks and balances; • refrain from unduly restricting the freedom of assembly or banning demonstrations to adopt controversial measures; • refrain from adopting measures that profoundly impact on fundamental rights, e.g. sexual and reproductive health and rights (such as the de facto ban on abortion in some member states), while public health concerns do not allow for due democratic debate and safe protest; • uphold the right to free and fair elections, especially in relation to changes to electoral legislation; • ensure equal rights for those standing for election and campaigning, and consider alternative forms of voting; • exercise utmost restraint in restricting the freedom of movement, especially in relation to the right to family life; • guarantee the right to education by ensuring students have access to learning; • guarantee access to asylum procedures despite the pandemic, and immediately evacuate the camps on the Greek islands and relocate asylum seekers to other EU countries; and • find solutions to safeguard the rights of defendants through technology or judicial cooperation, and protect the rights of prisoners. The rapporteur Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D, ES), stated: “This pandemic is turning out to be the worst crisis in the history of the European Union. Nevertheless, the European Parliament is fulfilling its duty towards citizens by fighting for their rights and freedoms, especially where governments are using the pandemic as an excuse to attack EU values. The Commission and the member states must step up their efforts to uphold fundamental rights, democracy and rule of law during this crisis and ensure that governments uphold democratic principles in their measures”.

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European values: COVID-19 emergency measures pose a “risk of abuse of power”

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 30 ottobre 2020

On Tuesday, the Civil Liberties Committee approved a draft resolution that takes stock of the state of European values in the context of national measures taken to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, with 50 votes to 11 and 3 abstentions.MEPs concluded that national emergency measures pose a “risk of abuse of power” and stressed that any measure affecting democracy, the rule of law, and fundamental rights must be necessary, proportional and time-limited. They call on governments to consider terminating their “state of emergency” or at least to clearly define the delegation of powers to their executives, and to ensure that appropriate parliamentary and judicial checks and balances are in place.MEPs urge the Commission to conduct an evaluation of “first wave” measures, in addition to the initial comments included in its first annual rule of law report, and emphasise the need for a permanent, effective monitoring mechanism.EU countries have to “exercise utmost restraint” when restricting the freedom of movement (especially in relation to the right to family life), while the Commission should scrutinise the application of Schengen rules.MEPs warn against undue restrictions to the freedom of assembly and changes in legislation while citizens are unable to protest. In this context, the need to guarantee free and fair elections becomes even more important, especially with regards to implementing changes to electoral legislation, ensuring equal rights in campaigning, and alternative forms of voting. Disinformation threatens citizens’ health and their trust in public institutions, and has also been used as a pretext to restrict freedom of expression. The best way to tackle this, MEPs say, is by supporting independent journalism and media pluralism (including through transparent allocation of funds to media) as well as by improving journalists’ working conditions.Member states should guarantee the right to education by ensuring that classes continue and students have access to them. Furthermore, they should find solutions through technology or judicial cooperation to safeguard the rights of defendants, and to protect the rights of all persons in their prisons.MEPs finally warn that disinformation stigmatises migrants and has increased discrimination, racism, xenophobia, and hate speech against persons with disabilities, asylum seekers and refugees, people of Romani heritage and LGBTI+ persons. Parliament is scheduled to vote on this resolution during the 11-13 November plenary session.

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European values: towards a permanent monitoring mechanism against backsliding

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 27 settembre 2020

With 51 votes to 14 and one abstention, the Civil Liberties Committee adopted on Tuesday a legislative initiative report that envisions an EU mechanism being established to protect and strengthen democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights. The text reiterates MEPs’ concerns regarding “the rise and entrenchment of autocratic and illiberal tendencies”, further compounded by COVID-19, as well as “corruption, disinformation and state capture”, in several EU countries.

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EU must support civil society organisations promoting European values

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 23 aprile 2018

Safeguarding democracy, freedom, the rule of law and fundamental rights in the EU Create separate budget line for civil society organisations in post-2020 budgets MEPs call for a new European Values Instrument to support civil society organisations on Thursday.Civil society organisations (CSOs) are facing difficulties in securing enough funds to develop and perform their activities independently and effectively, says the text. MEPs call on the EU to set up a funding instrument – the European Values Instrument – to promote and protect EU values, especially democracy, freedom, the rule of law and fundamental rights, within the EU budget of the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). The new instrument should fund civil society organisations which are active at local and national level in promoting and protecting these values.The new instrument should be complementary to already existing European funds and should be financed with fresh money.The text was approved by 489 votes to 13, with 14 abstentions.

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Migration, Integration, and European Values: High-level meeting with religious leaders at European Commission

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 2 dicembre 2016

meetingSenior Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, and Mormon leaders gathered for the 12th annual high-level meeting at the European Commission. Held at the invitation of European Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, this gathering focused on “Migration, Integration, and European Values: Putting values into action.”Participants discussed a range of concerns relating to the global crises resulting in widespread migration to Europe, including the emergence of increasingly divisive public discourse about refugees, hospitality as an expression of faith, and how to best help newcomers make a positive contribution in society. Several speakers discussed the historical religious makeup of Europe, including the longstanding presence of Islam on the continent. The work of the 24 October CEC-COMECE-CCME dialogue seminar with the European Commission fed into preparations for this high-level meeting.On the topic of this gathering Timmermans noted with appreciation the “intensive debate on the challenges we face in trying to make a success of the integrations of newcomers to European society.” He noted that “migration will be an element of our present and our future” and encouraged the religious leaders in their work in sharing values, respecting differences and fostering mutual understanding without looking for assimilation.
Ján Figeľ, European Commission special envoy for the promotion of freedom of religion or belief outside the European Union highlighted the importance of the Middle East as a meeting place for three major world religions, “If there is peace we feel it, if there is genocide or war we all feel it.”
At a press conference following the event, representatives from the churches in Europe urged all to avoid the simplification of complex situations and to cultivate a welcoming culture for refugees following examples from Christian scripture and tradition. In light of the coming of Christmas and celebration of the Word made Flesh, they stressed that it is impossible to worship God without love of neighbour.
High-level meetings and working level discussions are held regularly between the European Commission and churches and religious associations and communities as well as philosophical and non-confessional organisations. Since 2009 the dialogue with churches, religions, philosophical and non-confessional organisations is enshrined in the Lisbon Treaty. (photo: meeting)

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