Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 31 n° 301

Posts Tagged ‘fundamental rights’

MEPs want more EU funds for NGOs promoting rule of law and fundamental rights

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 13 dicembre 2018

The Civil Liberties Committee backed on Monday a budget of 1.834 billion euro for the Rights and Values Programme for the period 2021-2027, way over the 642 million proposed by the European Commission. The draft report prepared by Bodil Valero (Greens/EFA, SE) was passed with 25 votes to 6 and 1 abstention.With a general objective of protecting and promoting the rights and values enshrined in Article 2 of the EU Treaty through support to civil society organisations at local, regional, national and transnational level, the Programme seeks to promote equality and non-discrimination, encourage citizens engagement and participation in the democratic process, and fight violence.MEPs decided to specifically mention the protection and promotion of democracy and the rule of law as the first aim, as these are a prerequisite for the protection of fundamental rights and for ensuring mutual trust among member states and of citizens in the Union, says the text.Regarding the activities to be funded with EU money, the Committee proposes, among others, awareness campaigns on European core values and the rights and obligations derived from Union citizenship, initiatives to reflect on the causes of totalitarian regimes and to commemorate their victims, town-twinning projects, support to human rights defenders and whistle-blowers, measures countering hate-speech and misinformation, and protection of victims of violence.MEPs agreed that, in exceptional cases, when there is a serious and rapid deterioration of the situation in a member state and the founding values are at risk, the Commission may open a call for proposals, under a fast-track procedure, for funding civil society organisations to facilitate and support the democratic dialogue in the country.Funds allocated to a member state under shared management could also be transferred to the Programme if the Commission activates the EU rule of law framework, or if there is a formal proposal by the Commission, the Parliament or a third of the member states to trigger Article 7 of the Treaty against that country.

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Civil society under threat, Fundamental Rights Agency finds

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 19 gennaio 2018

In many parts of the EU, civil society is under threat, finds a new report by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). Given the vital role civil society plays in upholding democratic processes and in promoting human rights, decision makers need to ensure the important work of civil society is not undermined through policy and legal changes and funding cuts.
“A thriving democracy needs a healthy civil society. Unfortunately, the EU’s own civil society is facing a pattern of threats and pressures in many parts of the EU. Addressing this unacceptable situation should be a high priority for policy makers at EU and national levels,” says FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty.The ‘Challenges facing civil society organisations working on human rights in the EU’ report explores how these challenges vary across the EU. It points to:Threats, physical and verbal attacks against activists, as well as smear campaigns;
Legal changes that negatively affect civil society, such as freedom of assembly restrictions, often a by-product of counter-terrorism laws;
Shrinking budgets and increased difficulties in getting funding;
Lack of appropriate involvement of civil society in law- and policy-making.
Member States should abide by the laws, including international standards that recommend civil society participation in policy cycles. Due attention must also be paid to ensure that new or redrafted laws and policies do not undermine the work of civil society. Civil society funding also needs to be protected. In addition, channels of dialogue between civil society and the EU need to be strengthened to ensure their concerns are heard and addressed. This includes finding ways to collect comparable and reliable data on the challenges civil society face, such as threats, intimidation and attacks. This report contains promising practices that are being used to address these challenges.

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Fundamental rights in surveillance: builds trust, improves security

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 23 ottobre 2017

BruxellesBruxelles. Reforms to surveillance laws are improving transparency but better checks and balances to match the powers of intelligence services are needed, finds a new report from the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). It shows how clear legal frameworks, robust safeguards and effective oversight are needed to enhance security and respect fundamental rights.“Protecting fundamental rights and delivering effective national security are not incompatible; for instance, surveillance systems that respect human rights work better,” says FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty. “Respecting privacy and data protection builds trust in intelligence services, improves data collection and analysis, and ultimately strengthens national security.”
The Agency’s second ‘Surveillance by intelligence services: fundamental rights safeguards and remedies in the EU’ report explores legal changes since its 2015 report and for the first time captures the views of intelligence experts and controllers themselves to see how these laws work in practice.Security threats and new technology have triggered numerous extensive reforms to surveillance laws. While reformed legal frameworks are clearer, they are often still too complex, leading to uncertainty over the powers and mandates of intelligence services. This calls for stronger safeguards when it comes to data protection and privacy.The judiciary, specialised expert bodies, parliamentary committees and data protection authorities play a vital role in overseeing the work of intelligence services. However, as the report notes, they are hindered by a lack of access to information, and limited competences, powers to issue binding decisions, technical know-how, resources and independence. This points to the need for independent oversight with sufficient powers and competences. This also applies to international intelligence cooperation where safeguards and oversight are weaker.There is also the need to ensure full cooperation and complementarity between various oversight bodies so there is continuous coverage of all surveillance steps – from authorisation to implementation.
The complexity of who can help and the secrecy surrounding intelligence work also make it difficult for victims of rights violations to seek effective remedies. In addition, many non-judicial bodies that can offer support lack the expertise to tackle intelligence issues, and independence and powers to investigate, access materials, or issue binding decisions. However, some Member States have found solutions enabling people seek justice through expert judges who may access classified information.
The report updates FRA’s 2015 legal analysis complemented with findings from over 70 interviews with experts in seven EU Member States: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

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Is Europe doing enough to protect fundamental rights?

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 30 giugno 2017

corte di giustizia europeaChallenges to human rights are multiplying in the European Union, despite the strength of the legal framework we have built since the Second World War. To discuss the magnitude and nature of the challenges and develop solutions, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) is hosting a high-level symposium in cooperation with the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU. “Human rights are under threat across the EU,” says FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty. “But the goodwill and support for the vulnerable in so many places around Europe should give us hope. We need to harness this positivity to ensure that human rights remain the bedrock of our societies. And we must do much more to show that human rights are not just for a select few, but for everyone.”“Let us make now the time, when we end the scourge of poverty, within our European Union and beyond, as part of our commitment to secure the rights and freedoms of all,” said Maltese President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca. “Let us affirm the fundamental dignity of all human beings, by acting upon our duty to strive for the best interests all individuals and communities, and especially, the most vulnerable members of our society.”The EU is facing persisting high poverty levels and rates of youth unemployment demoralising to those entering the labour market for the first time. We are also witnessing political groupings that seek to capitalise on fears within the population for their own short-term electoral gains by championing nationalist and sometimes racist agendas. All of this increases the importance and difficulty of communicating human rights, whether as an expert in the field, a politician, or a journalist.‘Is Europe doing enough to protect fundamental rights?’ will take stock of human rights developments in the EU over the last 10 years. The symposium will address the three most burning issues on the EU’s policy agenda by focusing on migration and asylum, insecurity and fear, and poverty and social exclusion. Particular attention will be paid to the children’s perspective, and children themselves will take part in the event as speakers and commentators.FRA’s annual flagship Fundamental Rights Report and Opinions, now available in all EU languages, will be presented at the symposium, and together the Agency’s new report on the detention of child migrants will form the backdrop to the discussions.

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European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights: Looking forward to 2017

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 4 gennaio 2017

bruxelles-1Other events will focus on the Fundamental Rights report 2017 and its focus on 10 years of fundamental rights achievements. This will take place in Brussels with the support of the Maltese Presidency. Then another anniversary event in Brussels will showcase the main results from the Agency’s second minorities and discrimination survey. This is the largest EU-wide survey of experiences of and attitudes towards some of Europe’s most marginalised communities, including Roma, Muslims, and other minority/migrant groups. With intolerance and hate an increasing concern across many Member States, the results should galvanise efforts to address this worrying trend. Migration will again be strong focus of the Agency’s work in 2017. Throughout the year, it will continue its series of monthly reports on migration-related fundamental rights concerns. In addition, in March, it will publish a major report that has mapped the various national integration policies, action plans or strategies that are being used across all EU Member States. It focused its attention on societal and political participation of migrants and their descendants. Other areas of interest will include the use of biometrics in border management (November), a FRA Opinion on the EU’s fingerprinting database (January), and migrant children in administrative detention (June). Staying with child rights, another core area of the Agency’s 2017 work, a major report on child-friendly justice will present the views of children involved in judicial proceedings. It will complement an earlier report that gave the professionals’ perspective. Then later in November, the Agency will turn its attention to child well-being and poverty across the EU, an issue of particular concern given the vulnerabilities of children and how it can affect their future. The Agency report on fundamental rights and mass surveillance by intelligence services will be another milestone. In October, it will present the findings from its combined socio-legal analysis of existing laws and how they translate into practice, drawing on its update of the legal frameworks that safeguard fundamental rights in the context of surveillance and interviews with all those involved. All told, this is just a snapshot of some of the highlights from 2017.
A fuller picture can be seen in the 2017 calendar. As events around Europe unfold, it is likely the Agency will be called on for its independent expert advice.

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Child rights in European law: new practical guide from the EU Fundamental Rights Agency and the Council of Europe

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 21 novembre 2015

European UnionOn the occasion of Universal Children’s Day, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), the Council of Europe, and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), launch a handbook on European law relating to rights of the child.“The promotion and protection of rights of the child is one of the EU’s objectives. However, legal practitioners are not always familiar with European law and jurisprudence in this area,” says FRA interim Director Constantinos Manolopoulos. “We are glad to offer this useful guide to assist practitioners better protect children so they can effectively enjoy their rights.” Council of Europe Director General for Democracy Snežana Samardžić-Marković says: “Legislation and policy promoting the rights of the child would have little impact without them being directly implemented through national and international jurisprudence. Professionals working with and for children need to have a full overview and, most importantly, understanding of the case law developed by the international and regional courts in this area. This handbook will be a precious tool to making children’s rights a reality in their daily lives.”
The Handbook on European law relating to the rights of the child is the first comprehensive guide to European law in the area of child rights, taking into account both the case law of the ECtHR and the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). It provides information on: the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU and relevant Regulations and Directives; the European Social Charter (ESC); decisions of the European Committee of Social Rights; other Council of Europe instruments; as well as on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and other international instruments.This handbook is designed to assist lawyers, judges, prosecutors, social workers, non-governmental organisations and other bodies confronted with legal issues relating to rights of the child. The publication covers issues such as equality, personal identity, family life, alternative care and adoption, migration and asylum, child protection against violence and exploitation, as well as children’s rights within criminal justice and alternative proceedings.The handbook is available in English and French. Other language versions will follow in 2016.The launch of the handbook is part of the annual World Forum for Democracy, organised by the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.

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FRA study on Member States’ legal framework on surveillance

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 19 novembre 2015

europa-261011-cThe EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has published a report today looking into the legal arrangements that govern intelligence services and their surveillance practices in the EU Member States. It underlines the challenges of protecting citizens while safeguarding the fundamental rights that underpin European societies.
“Intelligence services play a vital role in a democratic society: They guard against security threats, and in doing so protect fundamental freedoms and the rights of individuals,” says FRA Director a.i. Constantinos Manolopoulos. “In the wake of the barbaric attacks in Paris, we must ensure that surveillance measures maintain national security and fully respect fundamental rights. This will underscore the EU’s firm commitment to democracy, equality and respect for fundamental rights.”The European Parliament requested the FRA study published today in its resolution on 14 March 2014. It focuses on the legal framework of intelligence powers in this area, their oversight and access to effective remedies by individuals in this context within the EU Member States.To read the report and summary, see: Surveillance by intelligence services: fundamental rights safeguards and remedies in the European Union – Mapping Member States’ legal frameworks.

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Civil Liberties MEPs to debate concerns over French surveillance law

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 2 luglio 2015

StrasbourgThe Civil Liberties Committee will debate France’s controversial new law on surveillance powers on Thursday 2 July, from 16.30 to 17.15. MEPs will raise concerns about the compatibility of some of the law’s provisions with the European treaties with the Commission’s Director for Criminal Justice, Francisco Fonseca Morillo.
The new French law on surveillance, approved by the National Assembly on 23 June and the Senate on 24 June, allows the French authorities to intercept and spy on citizens’ communications under the pretext of national security, say MEPs who requested the debate in committee.MEPs are likely to ask the Commission to investigate whether the law is in line with the EU treaties and the Charter of Fundamental Rights, and the French government to clarify whether the European Parliament’s buildings on French territory, in Strasbourg, will be subject to surveillance operations under this law.
The extensive scope of grounds allowing for surveillance by intelligence services, the data collection and retention mechanisms, the use of the information (purpose limitation), oversight and rights of individuals are others issues to be addressed by MEPs.

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European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 9 marzo 2015

commissione europeaIn the biggest movement of forcibly displaced people since World War II, tens of thousands of people are risking their lives, and dying, while trying to seek sanctuary in the EU. FRA’s latest Focus paper, presents different ways to improve and increase legal admissions to the EU.“Already this year over 370 people have died trying to find a better life by crossing the Mediterranean,” says FRA Director Morten Kjaerum. “A comprehensive set of different actions is needed to reduce the loss of lives at sea and the abuses carried out by human traffickers. As one of these actions, the EU and its Member States therefore need to do more to ensure legal options are on the table and more readily available to ensure more people can enjoy their right to asylum and come to the EU safely.”For the first time in the post-World War II era, in 2013 the number of refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced people worldwide has exceeded 50 million people. Many refugees are vulnerable to exploitation and abuse as the possibilities for people in need of protection to legally enter and stay in the EU are very limited.The FRA Focus paper “Legal entry channels to the EU for persons in need of international protection: a toolbox” presents a toolbox of possible schemes Member States could use to enable more people to reach the EU without resorting to smugglers. These include: refugee-related schemes, such as resettlement, humanitarian admissions, the issuance of humanitarian visas (either under Schengen or national law) and temporary protection;
regular mobility schemes such as those available to family members of people residing in the EU, students, migrant workers and other categories of people, which could be made more accessible to refugees staying in third countries.
The paper outlines the advantages as well as risks of legal entry and suggests possible ways to overcome these risks. Promising practices presented by FRA illustrate that several EU Member States as well as other countries have already put in place different legal entry schemes and programmes, which could be expanded and which could inspire other EU Member States to follow.
The paper also suggests that increasing legal avenues to reach the EU should be a core component of the European Commission’s future plan to combat human trafficking. Other suggestions include the need for the EU to: propose common approaches for legal entry; help exchange of promising practices among Member States; and financially contribute to national efforts to increase opportunities for legal entry.Overall, there is a clear need for EU institutions and Member States to increase the possibilities to reach the EU legally. Ultimately, this will help save lives and lessen the abuse that people trying to come to the EU suffer.

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Cross-border police training should focus on security issues and have sufficient funds, MEPs say

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 27 febbraio 2015

Security_strategyThe European Union agency for law enforcement training, CEPOL, should focus on areas with a cross-border dimension and closely linked to the EU Internal Security Strategy, Civil Liberties MEPs said on Tuesday afternoon voting amendments on a new law to govern the agency. They also stress that CEPOL should promote respect for fundamental rights and data protection in law enforcement and that the agency should be allocated sufficient funds.The draft report by MEP Kinga Gál (EPP, HU) stresses that CEPOL should focus on “thematic areas that have a clear Union added value and a cross- border dimension, closely linked to the EU Internal Security Strategy”, to ensure effectiveness and avoid duplicating work done at the national level. In particular, the focus should be on “preventing and combatting serious and organised crime affecting two or more member states and terrorism” and on cybercrime and financial investigations.The agency should also be allowed to carry out trainings, and not just serve as a support function, MEPs say and underline that the agency must have “a sufficient and autonomous budget” to carry out its tasks. Furthermore, CEPOL should “promote a common respect for and understanding of fundamental rights in law enforcement including privacy, data protection and the rights, support and protection of the victims, witnesses and suspects”.The seat of CEPOL will be Budapest, but MEPs ask the Commission to present a cost-benefit analysis and impact assessment on the seat within two years of the entry into force of the new regulation.The draft report was adopted by 43 votes in favour, 4 against and 4 abstentions.
Civil Liberties MEPs decided by 42 votes in favour, 2 against and 3 abstentions to give the rapporteur a mandate to open up negotiation with the Council in view of reaching an agreement on the final wording of the law.

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MEPs refer EU-Canada air passenger data deal to the EU Court of Justice

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 26 novembre 2014

NLThe EU-Canada agreement on the transfer of Passenger Name Records (PNR) should be referred to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for an opinion on whether it is in line with the EU treaties and Charter of Fundamental Rights, MEPs said in a vote on Tuesday. This is the first time that Parliament has asked that a PNR agreement be given a preliminary check by the Court before the final vote on the deal.The resolution was approved by 383 votes to 271, with 47 abstentions. Before voting on the resolution, MEPs rejected a proposal to postpone the vote (307 votes in favour of postponement, 380 against and 14 abstentions).”We want legal certainty for EU citizens and air carriers, not just with regard to the EU-Canada PNR agreement, but also as a benchmark for future agreements with other countries which involve the mass collection of European citizens’ personal data”, said Parliament’s rapporteur Sophie In’t Veld (ALDE, NL), after the vote.”Russia, Mexico, Korea and other countries with weaker data protection rules are collecting passenger flight information and might want to negotiate their own agreements soon. It should be clear that any agreement, present or future, must be compatible with EU treaties and fundamental rights and must not be used as a means to lower European data protection standards via the back door”, she added.
The draft resolution was tabled further to a critical opinion issued by the European Data Protection Supervisor on the proportionality of PNR schemes, bulk transfer of data and the choice of a legal basis for the agreement, and also to the recent ECJ ruling invalidating the 2006 Data Retention directive and condemning the bulk collection and storage of data of people not suspected of any crime as disproportionate. The PNR agreement was signed by the EU Council of Ministers and Canada on 25 June 2014, but needs Parliament’s consent to enter into force.Parliament’s final vote will now be adjourned until the Court has delivered its opinion. “There is no need for scaremongering. The delay caused by seeking the Court’s opinion will not result in a security gap”, Ms in’t Veld said.
Passenger Name Record (PNR) data is provided by passengers and collected by air carriers during the reservation and check-in procedures. It includes information such as name, dates of travel and travel itinerary, ticket information, address and phone numbers, means of payment used, credit card number, travel agent, seat number and baggage information. (photo sophia)

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Migration to the EU: a key challenge for human rights

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 27 ottobre 2014

migrantsHundreds of thousands of people are coming to Europe to seek safety from persecution and war, or simply in search of a better life. In order to guarantee respect for the rights of those arriving at the EU’s shores and ensure they can achieve their full potential to the benefit of themselves and EU society, an effective and sustainable migration policy is vital. In acknowledgement of the urgency and complexity of this issue, the annual conference of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) is this year entitled Fundamental Rights and Migration to the EU. The conference will take place in Rome on 10-11 November and is co-hosted by the Italian Presidency of the Council of the EU. “In a time of war and instability in so many parts of the world, people are coming to Europe to seek protection,” said FRA Director Morten Kjaerum. “To do them justice, we have to put fundamental rights at the heart of a well-considered, long-term migration, asylum and border policy. This will also ensure that an aging Europe finds the skilled labour it increasingly lacks. Only in this way will we serve both those who need Europe’s help and at the same time European society.”This year’s Fundamental Rights Conference will debate key fundamental rights challenges in the area of migration, discussing means of alleviating the effects of the current migration pressures at the EU’s external borders, while fully respecting fundamental rights. The conference will also debate the best ways of promoting social inclusion and migrant integration, in order to create an environment in which migrants can take full advantage of their own potential, to the benefit not only of themselves but also of EU society as a wholThe conference will include speeches from Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano, Italian Parliamentary Speaker Laura Boldrini, the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, and German Migration and Integration Minister Aydan Özoguz. In panel debates and working groups, the conference will go on to discuss specific fundamental rights issues related to migration and border control such as safeguards for children arriving at the EU’s borders, a fundamental rights-based approach to border surveillance, responses to smuggling, migrant integration from a fundamental rights perspective, and combating xenophobia and intolerance in public discourse.Two new FRA reports related to the topic of migration will be at this year’s conference, describing the fundamental rights situation at the EU’s air and land borders respectively, following on from last year’s report ‘Fundamental Rights at Europe’s southern sea borders’: Fundamental rights at airports: border checks at five international airports in the European Union – a summary of the report is available already; Fundamental rights at land borders: findings from selected European Union border crossing points .

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Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 12 luglio 2014

Strasbourg Monday 14 July, from 19.00 to 20.30Room: Louise Weiss (LOW) N1.4. Following the election to the European Parliament of former Commissioner Viviane Reding, the committees on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE), Legal Affairs (JURI) and Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) will hold a hearing with Ms Martine Reicherts on Monday at 19.00, in Strasbourg.
Ms Reicherts, from Luxembourg, has been designated for the portfolio of Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship. Her mandate is expected to last until the end of October, when a new Commission is to be set up.Following the hearing, the European Parliament will vote on Ms Reicherts’ appointment as Commissioner on Wednesday, 16 July, at 9.00.

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MEPs call for penalties to tackle human rights flaws in the EU

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 1 marzo 2014

european parliamentThe European Commission must “immediately” set up a system to monitor member countries’ compliance with EU values and accession criteria, says a resolution passed by Parliament on Thursday. This monitoring system should include binding recommendations and penalties for breaches, such as freezing EU funds, MEPs add.The resolution, approved by 312 votes to 244, with 27 abstentions, analyses the respect for fundamental rights in the EU in 2012.”In all EU countries there are breaches of EU values, principles and legislation. There are still too many places in Europe and too many cases that show that there are shortcomings. If the EU wants to be a moral force that will influence the rest of the world in a good way it has to be strict with itself,” said the rapporteur, Louis Michel (ALDE, BE).The European Commission should “immediately” set up a new system to monitor compliance with the EU accession criteria, commonly known as the “Copenhagen criteria”, regularly and in an objective manner, says the text. This new “Copenhagen mechanism” would serve to set indicators, draw up binding recommendations and impose penalties such as freezing EU funding for countries that fail to comply. This should be done in an objective way, avoiding any double standards, it adds.MEPs also suggest revising EU Treaty Article 7 (rules for determining whether there is a clear risk of a serious breach of EU values in a member state). The aim would be to separate clearly the “risk” and “violation” stages. To help prevent breaches of EU values in the long term, MEPs also call for the creation of a “Copenhagen Commission” of independent high-level experts on fundamental rights.Parliament calls on the EU and its member states to review any laws that could be used to punish people assisting migrants in distress at sea. Rescue efforts “should be welcomed and (…) never lead to any form of sanctions”, it says. MEPs also express regret that even under the EU’s new asylum system, children applying for international protection could be put in prison.

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Discrimination across Europe

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 10 dicembre 2009

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) releases the results of its survey of over 23,000 individuals from ethnic minority and immigrant groups about their experiences of discrimination, racist crime, and policing in the EU. The results reveal shocking evidence about the discrimination faced by minorities in everyday life; in the classroom, when looking for work, at the doctor’s, or in shops. On the eve of the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion, the FRA calls for targeted policies to combat the marginalisation of these groups. 11% of North African respondents had experienced discrimination on the basis of their ethnicity when in, or simply trying to enter, a shop. 17% of Roma indicated that they had been discriminated against by healthcare personnel. Almost a quarter (22%) of Sub-Saharan Africans were discriminated against because of their ethnicity at least once when looking for work.[1]  1 in 4 (24%) of all respondents was a victim of crime at least once in the last 12 months. Members of minority groups, often stereotyped as criminals themselves, can clearly also be victims of crime in need of assistance, protection, and support.  Among all North Africans who were surveyed, 1 in 5 (19%) considered that they were stopped by the police specifically because of their ethnic minority background.  This leads to a perception of discriminatory police treatment amongst some respondents. 82% of those who were discriminated against in the past 12 months did not report their most recent experience of discrimination either at the place where it occurred or to a competent authority.  The most common reason for non-reporting was the belief that ‘nothing would happen’.  This lack of reporting indicates that official figures on racist discrimination constitute just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ when it comes to the true extent of the problem. It also shows that those who discriminate can act with impunity as their actions are not brought to justice. http://fra.europa.eu/eu-midis/

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EU Fundamental Rights Agency

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 9 dicembre 2009

Stockholm Regeringsgatan 65 on 9 December 2009, the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) will present the results of a major representative survey examining discrimination and racist crime in the EU in Stockholm. EU-MIDIS is the first ever EU-wide survey of immigrant and ethnic minority groups’ experiences of discrimination and victimisation in everyday life.Speakers: Morten Kjaerum, Director of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) Anastasia Crickley, Chairperson of the Management Board, FRA Jo Goodey, main researcher of the report will also be available to answer questions. (The press conference will be held in English) The survey interviewed 23,500 people from ethnic minority and immigrant groups in the EU about their experiences of discrimination. The survey covered four thematic areas: experiences of discrimination, experiences of criminal victimisation (including racially motivated crime), experiences of policing, and rights awareness. The survey also interviewed 5,000 people from the majority population in 10 Member States in order to compare the survey’s findings on experiences of police stops and border control.

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Press conference for Fundamental Rights Agency

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 17 aprile 2009

Brussels 22 April at 11 a.m  Rue de la Loi 155, 1040 Room Passage press conference will take place on Wednesday. International Press Centre / Residence Palace. The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) will release the results of a major representative survey examining discrimination and racist crime in all 27 Member States of the EU. This is the first ever EU-wide survey of immigrant and ethnic minority groups’ experiences of discrimination and victimisation in everyday life. Two reports will be presented: 1)      “EU-MIDIS at a glance” – an overview of the EU-MIDIS survey (‘European Union Minorities and Discrimination Survey’), and; 2)      “Data in Focus Report 1 – The Roma” – the first in a series of ‘data in focus’ reports. Having reported the highest overall levels of discrimination in EU-MIDIS, the Roma were chosen as the first group on which to focus. EU-MIDIS provides the most extensive data set to date on discrimination and victimisation faced by ethnic minorities and immigrants in the EU. The survey results indicate that the extent of discrimination, harassment and violence against immigrants and minorities remains grossly under-reported in the EU.

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The press conference

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 31 marzo 2009

Brussels on 31 March at 10 a.m.at the European Parliament in  room “Anna Politkovskaya” (PHS 00A50) Speakers: Morten Kjaerum, Director of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights Giusto Catania, Vice-Chairperson of the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE Committee) Ioannis Dimitrakopoulos, Head of Department “Equality and Citizen’s Rights” at the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights The EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) will launch its new report “Homophobia and Discrimination on Grounds of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in the EU Member States” together with the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) in Brussels on 31 March 2009. The report finds that discrimination, harassment and violence against LGBT persons are widespread throughout the EU, and gives numerous examples of bad and good practices, as well as suggestions on what could be done. In June 2007, the European Parliament asked the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) to develop a comparative report on homophobia and sexual orientation discrimination in the EU Member States, to assist the European Parliament’s LIBE committee in its deliberations concerning the need for a Directive covering all grounds of discrimination, as proposed by the European Commission last July. The vote on this directive will take place in Parliament on Thursday (Buitenweg report).

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New FRA Report on discrimination of Lesbian, Gay

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 28 marzo 2009

Brussels 31 March at 10 a.m. room “Anna Politkovskaya” at the European Parliament will take place The press conference Speakers : Morten Kjaerum, Director of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights Giusto Catania, Vice-Chairperson of the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE Committee) Ioannis Dimitrakopoulos, Head of Department “Equality and Citizen’s Rights” at the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights. The EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) will launch its new report “Homophobia and Discrimination on Grounds of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in the EU Member States” together with the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, The report finds that discrimination, harassment and violence against LGBT persons are widespread throughout the EU, and gives numerous examples of bad and good practices, as well as suggestions on what could be done.   In June 2007, the European Parliament asked the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) to develop a comparative report on homophobia and sexual orientation discrimination in the EU Member States, to assist the European Parliament’s LIBE committee in its deliberations concerning the need for a Directive covering all grounds of discrimination, as proposed by the European Commission last July. The vote on this directive will take place in Parliament on thursday in plenary.

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Security and fundamental rights on the Internet

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 25 marzo 2009

The report is the first recommendation from MEPs concerning the fight against cybercrime and preserving the rights of internet users.  Clearly the internet can be used as an excellent tool for accessing information and allowing connections between individuals and communities all over the world.  However, it also has its dangers as it can expose users to surveillance, or even serve as a tool for criminals or terrorists.  The main advantage and disadvantage of the internet is that it transcends almost all borders. Committee MEPs are also concerned with the idea that “e-illiteracy will be the new illiteracy of the 21st Century.”  The report argues that in this age, having access to the internet is “equivalent to ensuring that all citizens have access to schooling”, and that this access should not be denied by governments or private companies.  There are a number of fundamental rights which are affected by the internet, including “respect for private life…data protection…freedom of speech and association, freedom of press, political expression and participation, non-discrimination and education.”  The report calls on Member States to protect these rights by making use of existing national, regional, and international law, and to exchange best practices amongst themselves. The report recognises that given “the global and open nature of the Internet”, international standards for data protection, security and freedom of speech are required.  Committee MEPs call on Member States and the Commission to draw up a series of regulations to protect the privacy of internet users. The nature of the internet also means that it is open to abuse.  It has “been used as a platform for violent messages…as well as for websites which can specifically incite hate-based criminal acts.”  Cybercrime, in general has also increased, and internet users are at risk of identity theft, if they transmit their personal details across the internet without a minimum level of protection.  Therefore, the committee calls on the Council and Commission to develop a “comprehensive strategy to combat cybercrime…identity theft and fraud.” Finally, the report raises the question of consent of internet users, when giving personal information to governments or private companies, and the imbalance of negotiating power between users and institutions.  In relation to this, committee MEPs stress the importance of internet users being able to retain the right to permanently delete any of their personal details saved on “internet websites or on any third party data storage medium.”

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