FREE News: 11th March

ROMANIA MIXES UP GERMANY WITH FRANCE, BUT BERLIN STILL READY TO DISCUSS SCHENGEN (Euractiv)

An enormous blunder did not prevent Germany from creating a major opening yesterday (9 March), when its foreign minister said that Berlin was open to talks on allowing Romania and Bulgaria into the borderless Schengen zone, which has been a delicate subject among European countries.” […]

VOTING ON BREXIT: THE EU ISSUES SHAPING THE UK ELECTION

[…] “The UK Independence Party’s (UKIP) position is the clearest on the issue. They want the UK to leave the European Union as a first step towards regaining Britain’s ‘lost’ national sovereignty. The Greens have a strong presence in the European Parliament and are currently experiencing a surge in membership across the UK. The environmentalists are strongly in favour of the EU and the role it plays in environmental legislation, work place protections and freedom of movement, but also seek reform, and back a referendum on membership.” Read the full article here

WORK HARDER FOR GENDER EQUALITY, SAY MEPS

Policies must change to achieve equality between women and men, says Parliament in a non-legislative resolution passed by 441 votes to 205 with 52 abstentions on Tuesday. Despite progress on some gender inequality issues, much remains to be done to reduce pay gaps, remove “glass ceilings” on women’s careers, remedy their lack of economic independence, improve their work/life balance, including parental leave, and protect their rights and access to contraception and abortion.” European Parliament Press Releases

Fingerprinting by force: secret discussions on “systematic identification” of migrants and asylum seekers

INCLUDING “FINGERPRINTING [WITH] THE USE OF A PROPORTIONATE DEGREE OF COERCION” ON “VULNERABLE PERSONS, SUCH AS MINORS OR PREGNANT WOMEN” (Statewatch)

Asylum seekers and irregular migrants arriving in the EU are supposed to be fingerprinted in their country of arrival, and to have their details placed in the EU’s Eurodac database. If the individual later comes into contact with the authorities elsewhere, the country responsible for them – their “country of arrival” – can then be identified. In the face of a growing number of people entering the EU, some countries are either unwilling or unable to meet the legal requirement for fingerprinting.” […]

WORKING PARTY ON ROMA INTEGRATION INDICATORS MEETS AT FRA

FRA will host the 7th meeting of the Ad-Hoc Working Party on Roma integration indicators on 11 March.

It will bring together Member States’ national Roma contact points, the European Commission and representatives from national statistical offices. Participants will finalise the updated draft common rights-based indicators which can comprehensively assess National Roma Integration Strategies and Roma integration efforts at the EU level.Continue reading

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