EU Countries failed to fully implement EU Directive from 2011, aimed at tackling sexual child abuse

 

The number of websites related to child pornography is growing and is estimated that 200 images containing child pornography are put into circulation every day. Parliament again shed the light on the issue of paedophilia on the Internet in a resolution voted last Wednesday.

The 677 Members of the Parliament voted on this issue on 11 of March 2015. The main issues voted in the non-binding resolution addressing the sexual exploitation of children and child abuse images, were to embrace the investigation of offences, the prosecution of offenders and the protection of child victims. The resolution was approved by 90 % of MEPs (606) in favour and 4 votes against. 67 members abstained. (Click here to see how MEPs votes). All the political groups voted in favour of the text with the exception of the members of the radical left group GUE/NGL who abstained.

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EU governments’ power game with freedom of movement for European citizens: who is losing?

Freedom of movement of people inside the Union is one of the four fundamental freedoms on which the European construction is based, along with that of goods, services and capital. While the principle is clearly stated in the EU’s treaties, when it comes to applying it, many issues surface.  The European Executive, the Commission, has proposed in recent years a number of pieces of legislation aimed at removing the remaining regulatory barriers between the countries.

These laws have eventually been approved in the Council of the EU, but only after tough disputes between the Member States. However, the introduction of qualified majority voting has made it possible to reach a position even without all governments agreeing. This has set the ground for a new kind of power game in the Council, with each interested government looking to find allies and build majorities, or blocking minorities. Failure to do so results in being left in minority and losing the battle.  Continue Reading

Personal data privacy vs. counter-terrorism measures: what will EU parliamentarians decide in 2015?

On February 2015, the European Parliament passed a resolution to address new anti-terrorism measures that should be put in place this year. The document referenced the collection of passenger name records (PNR). Passenger Name Records are, in essence, data about our flight details. It includes several different types of information, such as travel dates, ticket information and payment information.[1]

The EU governments have sought access to this passenger data and requested additional information from airline companies, and therefore third countries’ governments, through far-reaching PNR agreements. The European Commission proposed the EU PNR system as a key tool in the fight against terrorism. On 2010, the EP adopted the EU external strategy on PNR, which opened the negotiations between the EU and Australia, Canada and the United States on the exchange of this type of data between these international actors. Continue Reading

EU parliamentarians push to end flogging of Saudi blogger

The EU parliamentarians adopted a non-legislative resolution strongly condemning the flogging of Mr Raif Badawi by the Saudi Arabian authorities.

The resolution, signed by all the EU political groups, except the Christian democrats (EPP), was adopted by 460 votes in favour, 153 against and 29 abstentions. The EPP group voted against the resolution and explained that it could not support the text as it stands because it associates Saudi Arabia with the organisation Islamic State, in regard to the type of punishments used. Continue Reading

EU Parliament condemns human rights violations in Syria and Iraq; communists disapprove global campaign against ISIL

Today, the European Parliament adopted a non-binding resolution that condemned the violation and abuse of human rights committed in relation to the insurgent group Islamic State (IS) within Syria and Iraq. The resolution also called for more humanitarian aid and for more assistance to be given to the millions suffering as a result of the crisis.

The final vote on the resolution was not done by roll-call. Continue Reading

The Left and Eurosceptic groups cling to victory: tough criticism of the CIA’s counter-terrorism programme adopted in the EP

The Socialists, Liberal democrats, hard left and Eurosceptic have succeeded in forming a majority, defeating opposition from the Christian-democrats and conservatives. Christian Democrats and conservatives would have preferred a more moderate position, focusing on the necessity of close cooperation between the EU and the USA in fighting and countering terrorism. Continue Reading

Majority of MEPs call on the EU to adopt new measures fighting terrorism, PNR

MEPs passed a resolution condemning the acts of terrorism and voted to adopt new anti-terrorism measures in the EU. An overwhelming majority was formed by the Socialists, Liberal democrats, Christian democrats and Conservatives. Click here to see how each MEP voted.

Anti-terrorism

The resolution called on Member States to strengthen external border controls and expressed concerns about the rapidly rising number of EU nationals traveling to conflict areas. Continue Reading