Citizens

strasbourg building ep
© European Union 2015 - Source EP

Greens/EFA debriefing of the plenary session

14-18 December

Greens/EFA priorities for the plenary week included the Council Conclusions on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), Rule of Law and Climate Law, the presentation of the Digital Service Act (DSA), the Drinking Water Directive, transitional provisions for Agricultural Funds, the European Year of Rail 2021, a new Strategy for European SMEs, and the future relations between the EU and the UK following Brexit negotiations.


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police
©harri-kuokkanen

Europol reform and counter-terrorism agenda must protect people, preserve rights

The European Commission presented, on 9 December, two new proposals, on the revision of Europol's mandate and the new counter-terrorism strategy. While the reform must protect people, it must also preserve rights.


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COVID-19 virus
© Picture credits : Denilo @Unsplash

New study shows breaches of rule of law during first Covid wave

Covid-19

Greens/EFA group MEPs working on rights and democracy, have released a first of kind legal study into the emergency measures taken by EU member states during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, assessing the impact on the democracy and the rule of law, free movement of people, asylum and refugee protections and data protection.


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COVID-19 virus
© Picture credits : Denilo @Unsplash

EU law in the 'first wave' : the legality of national measures to tackle the COVID-19 crisis

A study commissioned by MEPs Terry Reintke and Tineke Strik

COVID-19 has challenged not just the public health but also the legal structure of the European Union. This study aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the extent to which Member States have complied with or breached EU law in four key areas during the COVID-19 ‘first wave’


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Syrian and Iraqi refugees arrive from Turkey to Lesbos, Greece
Ggia (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Frontex hearing on illegal pushbacks

Quote from Tineke Strik MEP

The evidence continues to pile up that Frontex is aware of Greek authorities engaging in 'pushbacks' of refugees in the Mediterranean Sea. Pushbacks deprive refugees of their right to asylum, puts lives at risk and are illegal under international law.


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Lady Justice Statue - iStock.com/MarkusBeck
Lady Justice Statue - iStock.com/MarkusBeck

Impact of Covid-19 measures on democracy, fundamental rights & rule of law

Quote from Sergey Lagodinsky

The Covid crisis must not be used as an excuse by governments to encroach on peoples' rights and the rule of law. The true test of a democracy is how well it fares in a crisis and this year has shown that some EU governments are all too quick to undermine the rule of law and European values.


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LGBTI strategy photo action
LGBTI strategy photo action

Crucial need to support LGBTI communities and fight discrimination

LGBTI Strategy

Today (12 Nov. 2020), the European Commission has just released the first ever EU LGBTI strategy to fight discrimination of people because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender attributes. For many people in the LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual/Transgender and Intersexual) community, discrimination is still an everyday reality.


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Jigsaw and money
Jigsaw and money © alexsl

Long-term budget stronger on climate, biodiversity & rule of law

MFF/Own resources

Negotiators for the European Parliament, Council and Commission agreed on a text for the EU's seven year budget, the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021-2027. The Parliament succeeded in gaining an additional €16 billion in top-ups for EU programmes such as EU4health, Horizon, Erasmus and Rights and Values, on top of the €1,074bn MFF and €750bn Recovery Fund EUCO agreement from July.


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Lady Justice Statue - iStock.com/MarkusBeck
Lady Justice Statue - iStock.com/MarkusBeck

Rule of law mechanism deal reached

Quotes from Terry Reintke MEP & Daniel Freund MEP

Negotiators from the European Parliament, Commission and Council have just agreed on a deal on an EU rule of law mechanism. "This mechanism is not as strong as the European Parliament wanted and it will be a challenge, but we can make it work. The Parliament will keep the pressure up to defend the rule of law. " said Greens/EFA opinion rapporteur Terry Reintke


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European Parliament Building Strasbourg © European Union 2017 - Source : EP
European Parliament Building Strasbourg © European Union 2017 - Source : EP

Greens/EFA plenary session debriefing

4-9 October

Greens/EFA priorities for the plenary week included the climate law, rule of law and fundamental rights mechanism, rule of law and fundamental rights in Bulgaria, multiannual financial framework (MFF) and the rule of law, reinforcing the youth guarantee, forest strategy, approval of McGuinness and Dombrovskis, fight against money laundering following the FinCEN files.


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Bulgaria: Rule of law report

Quotes from Ska Keller MEP and Daniel Freund MEP

Members of the European Parliament have just voted (Thurs. 8 Oct.) on a report on the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights in Bulgaria, following widespread protests over a series of corruption scandals tied to the country's political elite.


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European court of justice
european court of justice ©katarina_dzurekova (CC BY 2.0)

Hungary and ECJ ruling on Central European University

Quote from Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield MEP

The ECJ has ruled on what should be clear in any European democracy; that measures to limit academic freedom are incompatible with EU law. Forcing out a university is undemocratic, it goes against European values and now it's been ruled as illegal.


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