FREE Newsletter: 1, 2, 3 July 2013

VALUES AND PRINCIPLES OF THE EUROPEAN UNION

– POSSIBLE VIOLATION OF ARTICLE 7 TEU

Parliament divided over constitutional changes in Hungary
European Parliament News: “MEPs debated the situation of fundamental rights in Hungary with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on Tuesday. Most MEPs felt that the constitutional reforms adopted by the Hungarian government set a “dangerous trend” moving the country away from EU values. Others said the Tavares report tabled for a vote on Wednesday was “politically motivated” and that Parliament would be exceeding its powers if it adopted it.

Most MEPs argued that the current tools in the Treaties to tackle breaches of EU values (namely Article 7) did not work properly and that new instruments were needed. Others said Parliament was applying double standards by criticising practices in Hungary and not in other EU countries…”

Also on the same topic:

Situation of fundamental rights: standards and practices in Hungary : http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-13-603_en.htm

Parliament divided over Hungary’s democratic record : http://www.euractiv.com/central-europe/parliament-divided-hungary-democ-news-529047

FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS

– NON DISCRIMINATION

Press conference: EU anti-discrimination law still stalled after 5 years, MEPs regret
Lgbt-ep: “Today marks five years since the European Commission proposed a law banning discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, but also age, disability and religion, outside of employment. National governments are blocking the proposal.
On 2 July 2008, the European Commission published a proposal for an EU directive implementing the principle of equal treatment.
EU law already outlaws discrimination based on sexual orientation, age, disability and religion in employment.
The directive proposed in 2008 aims to ban discrimination on these grounds in other areas, including education, social protection, healthcare, and access to goods and services—including housing.
The text must be approved unanimously by all 28 EU Member States, and consented to by the European Parliament—which already adopted a resolution supporting the directive in 2009.
National governments, led by Germany, have argued the text goes beyond the EU’s competences, and say this will be too costly to implement. Studies and legal experts have denied both points.
Today, political groups in the Parliament also signed a joint statement, reaffirming their commitment to the directive.
Raül Romeva i Rueda MEP, European Parliament Rapporteur for the text and LGBT Intergroup Vice-President, said today: “National governments must face their responsibility: what is it that bothers them so much? That wheelchair users should access public buildings? That older people should be able to buy insurance services?”…”

DATA PROTECTION

EU calls for US wiretapping to ‘stop immediately’
Euractiv: “Top European Union officials have reacted angrily to revelations that the United States has wiretapped its buildings in Brussels and Washington, saying the allegations could have a “severe impact” on transatlantic trade negotiations, which were launched amid much fanfare less than two weeks ago.
The United States has bugged European Union offices and gained access to EU internal computer networks, according to secret documents cited in the German weekly Der Spiegel on Saturday, the latest in a series of exposures of alleged US spy programmes.
The Justus Lipsius building in Brussels and the EU delegation in Washington were among the “targets” of US wiretapping, according to the documents obtained by the German magazine.
Der Spiegel quoted from a September 2010 “top secret” US National Security Agency (NSA) document that it said fugitive former NSA contractor Edward Snowden had taken with him, and the weekly’s journalists had seen in part.
The document outlines how the NSA bugged offices and spied on EU internal computer networks in Washington and at the United Nations, not only listening to conversations and phone calls but also gaining access to documents and emails.
The document explicitly called the EU a “target”.
And in the latest series of revelations, Der Spiegel said the US on average tapped half a billion phone calls, e-mails and text messages in Germany in a typical month…”

Also on the same topic:

Schultz: I am shocked. This is not a basis to build mutal trust. : http://www.euractiv.com/video/schultz-am-shocked-basis-build-m-528982?utm_source=EurActiv%20Newsletter&utm_campaign=841cc7a656-newsletter_daily_update&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_bab5f0ea4e-841cc7a656-245620214

Schulz ‘shocked’ by reports US bugged EU offices : http://www.neurope.eu/article/schulz-shocked-reports-us-bugged-eu-offices

New NSA leaks show how US is bugging its European allies: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jun/30/nsa-leaks-us-bugging-european-allies/print

Parliament to launch enquiry into US eavesdropping
Euractiv: “The European Parliament on Thursday (4 July) plans to establish a special committee to investigate reports that an American spy agency monitored phone calls and e-mails of EU institutions and some member states. But some MEPs sought to downplay pressure to freeze EU-US trade negotiations over the spying allegations. EurActiv reports from Strasbourg.
The special panel will be established within the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) and is to deliver a report by the end of the year.
It will formulate proposals on adequate redress measures in case of confirmed violations and put forward recommendations to prevent that similar espionage events happen in the future, EurActiv has learned.
In a joint motion for resolution, MEPs will also call for mixed parliamentary and judicial control over intelligence services, as already exists in some EU countries.
Reding says US is ‘taking our concerns seriously’
EurActiv learned today (3 July) that the European Commission will report to the European Parliament and Council in October this year to discuss the findings of an expert group, which has been set up by the EU and the US following dialogue between Viviane Reding, the commissioner for justice, fundamental rights and citizenship, and US Attorney-general Eric Holder.
“The US appears to take our concerns regarding PRISM seriously,” Reding told EurActiv, referring to the US eavesdropping programme.
“Eric Holder committed, in a letter to me, to set up the expert group immediately to assess the matter in detail. We spoke yesterday evening (2 July) on the phone and the group will have its first meeting this month, and a second one in Washington in September.”
Reding had previously complained in an interview with EurActiv that the US had failed to answer in writing to her requests for clarification regarding the spying allegations…”

EUROPEAN AREA OF FREEDOM, SECURITY AND JUSTICE

– ASYLUM AND REFUGEE RIGHTS

Le règlement Dublin II devant ses juges
Gdr-Elsj: par Joanna Pétin, CDRE. “Le 6 juin 2013, le règlement Dublin occupait encore une fois le prétoire des cours européennes. Tant la CJUE que la CourEDH statuaient sur des affaires en lien avec cet instrument central du droit européen de l’asile. L’affaire Mohammed contre Autriche dont ont eu à connaitre les juges de Strasbourg, concerne le transfert d’un demandeur de protection internationale de l’Autriche vers la Hongrie en application du règlement (CE) n°343/2003. Quant à l’affaire M.A. et autres, C-648-11 débattue devant les magistrats de Luxembourg, il s’agit d’un renvoi préjudiciel formé par les juridictions britanniques afin d’obtenir des éclaircissements sur l’application du règlement Dublin aux cas de mineurs non accompagnés.
Cet heureux hasard de calendrier offre donc l’occasion de dresser un bilan de l’œuvre prétorienne relative au règlement Dublin II et son application…”

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This entry was posted in Asylum & refugees rights and policies, Data Protection, European Area of Freedom, Security and Justice, Fundamental rights – Charter, Non discrimination, equality and minority integration, Values & Principles of the European Union and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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