European Commission publishes consultation on the revision of the Prüm framework
After a month-long roadmap process, the European Commission has now produced a questionnaire on its upcoming revision of the Prüm framework. This consultation will be open for feedback for a nearly three-month period for stakeholder to provide answers to. The Commission aims to identify potential inefficiencies of the current framework, and what changes are needed to make it fit for purpose in today’s union (link).
Gender-based violence roadmap
The European Commission has published a roadmap on combatting gender-based violence in the European Union. The aim is to specifically focus on domestic violence and violence against women, with the Commission looking to propose rules to better protect victims and punish offenders. In its Inception Impact Assessment, the Commission proposes three scenarios moving forward:
– Baseline scenario: Commission continues to address such violence through its existing instruments.
– Targeted legislative measures: The Commission proposes a ‘Recommendation on the prevention of harmful practices’ as well as potential legislative measures around the physical protection of victims.
– Holistic legislative initiative: The Commission drafts a concrete legislative proposal aimed on preventing and combatting gender-based and domestic violence. This would create minimum standards in areas where the EU holds competency, with the potential of EU-level enforcement of these standards.
All of these scenarios will also be complimented by measures arising from the EU’s Gender Equality
Strategy (here) presented earlier this year (link).
Plenary debate on the EU’s Security Union Strategy
The European Parliament plenary this week debated the EU’s Security Union Strategy. During the debate, German Deputy Minister for European Affairs Michael Roth, representing the German Presidency, underlined that through recent Council Conclusions the Council is aiming “to significantly improve the future of internal security”. A few MEPs also took the floor, with French MEP Fabienne Keller most notably stating that the Renew group supports Europol becoming “a real European FBI” (link).
Justice and Home Affairs Council
During this week’s Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting, EU ambassadors agreed in support of a provisional inter-institutional deal on three sectoral proposals under the home affairs banner (link).
1) Asylum and migration fund: This fund will help the EU battle migration-related issues. The ambassadors agreed to provide four key objectives for the fund; these objectives are asylum policy, legal migration and integration, irregular migration and returns, and solidarity and responsibility sharing.
2) Instrument for financial support for border management and visa: This text clarifies rules around the modernization of visa policy (i.e. minimum share of member state policies to be moved to the common EU visa policy) as well as sets out more effective means of collaboration between national authorities. Assets that are bought through this new instrument will be utilized in a variety of other areas such as maritime or customs operations.
3) Internal security fund: This is an extension of the existing internal security fund to overcome new challenges such as the urgent need to raise Europe’s anti-terrorism and cybersecurity capabilities.
- Czech Republic: The independent trade union of the Police of the Czech Republic clarifies rules on taking breaks during service (link).
- Denmark: A new multi-year agreement for the police has been put in place, yet the Danish Police Association sees shortcomings including too few police officers being added over the next three years (link).
- France: A new survey conducted by OpinionWay in France suggests that nearly one in two people aged 18-30 in the country believe that “the French police is racist” and “do not trust” the police (link).
- Iceland: The Icelandic National Union of Police is expected to have a conversation and vote on the prospect of shorter working weeks (link).
- Portugal: Reporting on the ongoing situation around the changes to the SEF border police’s function as to immigration has put Portuguese Home Affairs Minister Eduardo Cabrita in dire straits (link).
- Sweden: The Swedish Police Confederation has confirmed its negotiating position with regards to the upcoming future contract negotiations (link).
- United Kingdom: The British Transport Police Federation has published its 2020 workforce diversity report (link).
Inauguration of the new decryption platform by Europol and the European Commission
Europol launched a new decryption platform this week in an effort to more effectively fight organised crime and terrorism in Europe. This was created in close collaboration with the Commission’s Joint Research Centre. The platform will become available for all national law enforcement authorities and will support their work by encrypting evidence sent by national police forces(link).
The Council of Europe and the OECD reach update cooperation agreement
The two institutions have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to reignite their cooperation, up until now only based on agreement made back in 1962. The collaboration will entail exchange of views and values by both sides, and common work on tackling corruption, supporting gender equality, and dealing with new challenges surrounding cyberspace (link).
OSHA begins work on Healthy Workplaces Campaign
The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work has published its pages on the first three priority areas (Prevention, Facts and Figures and Chronic Conditions) (link).
EU, CEPOL and EUROPOL launch EUROMED Police
The three institutions launched on 17 December a new project aimed at supporting the operational law enforcement capabilities of South Partner Countries (this includes Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Israel, Libya and the Palestinian Authority) (link).
Enhanced OECD/Interpol cooperation
The OECD and Interpol have jointly signed a letter of intent under which the institutions will explore new avenues and areas in which they can cooperate in more closely. (link)