29 April 2016 – In 2014, within the EU, about 120 million persons are at risk of poverty or social exclusion, which means almost 1 out of every 4 persons. Real solutions are to be found. A proposition is fiercely discussed to fight against poverty: the introduction of a guaranteed income at the European level. What would it imply? Would it really improve equality and social justice?
28 April 2016 – On 14 April 2016, the Members of the European Parliament adopted a directive on the protection of trade secrets in order to fight against economic and industrial espionage. This new right to secrecy, however, is likely to constitute an obstacle for journalists and potential whistleblowers. While the “Panama Papers” scandal highlighted once again the importance of whistleblowing and the problems of mass tax evasion in view of the respect of economic and social rights, the European Parliament sent a controversial signal by adopting this text.
28 April 2016 – For the second time in less than a year, the European Commission has presented a “communication” bringing forward reform propositions to solve the European Asylum and Migration crisis. This project- which has ambitiously been named “towards a Reform of the Common European Asylum System and Enhancing Legal Avenues to Europe”- was presented on the 6th of April. The Commission’s “propositions” are either unacceptable or unrealistic.
29 April 2016 – On 14 April 2016, the European Parliament definitively adopted the “data protection package”. We should however remain vigilant because the protection of our personal data also depends on another ongoing reform: the revision of the directive on privacy and electronic communications (“ePrivacy Directive”).
26 April 2016 – On 13 April 2016, the “Article 29” Working Party (WP29) published its opinion on the draft adequacy decision for the transfer of data from the European Union to the United States (“Privacy Shield”). The opinion of the WP29 expresses several reservations, in particular concerning commercial aspects and access to data by public authorities.
26 April 2016 – On 6 April 2016, the European Commission released a Communication on “Stronger and Smarter Information Systems for Borders and Security”.
26 April 2016 – With 461 votes in favour, 179 against and 9 abstentions, the European Parliament adopted the PNR directive on 14 April 2016, five years after the proposal of the European Commission and after several rebounds.
28 April 2016 – On 13 April 2016, the European Economic and Social Committee held a public hearing to gather the views of civil society organisations on the Commission’s proposal for a European Accessibility Act. It will contribute to the opinion it is currently preparing on the matter. AEDH attended the meeting. First of all, because accessibility is an indispensable prerequisite for the respect of the principle of non-discrimination. Secondly, because the EU has obligations in respect of the rights of persons with disabilities, including accessibility. Finally, because these rights are still not fully respected, or even largely ignored.
28 April 2016 – Those who are not lost in the succession of declarations, proposals, decisions of the EU’s migration and asylum policy, please raise your hands! More chaotic, less coherent… It is difficult to follow! Unless one considers that abandoning thousands of people in a legal no man’s land is the solution which has to be offered to people seeking international protection in the long term. In Greece – a country in which all the new European migratory challenges are concentrated-, migrants are stuck in poor conditions: in “open” centres for some of them, and “closed” ones for others,… and sometimes even nowhere, if they are not close to a stubbornly closed land border.
28 April 2016 – The European « laissez-passer » is a standard travel document which has enabled some Member States to return irregularly staying third country nationals without consulting the consular services of their country of origin. Despite our demands for its withdrawal, this document is now about to be “improved” to increase its recognition by third countries and thus to “facilitate” returns. AEDH is demanding the LIBE Committee of the European Parliament- which is currently evaluating this proposal- to reject this attempt aiming at forcing through the European laissez-passer as a new tool for returning third country nationals without first analysing its discretionary use by Member States.