European Commission
Commissioner Johansson hosts 6th Ministerial Meeting of the EU Internet Forum
This week European Commissioner Ylva Johansson hosted the 6th Ministerial Meeting of the EU Internet Forum to discuss and address the challenges posed by the presence of malicious content online. Participants discussed the EU response to recent terrorist attacks, including the Europol report on the EU Crisis Protocol as well as emerging challenges such as the threats posed by Violent Right- Wing Extremism’s online content and fighting child sexual abuse. Johansson said police must be able to recognise far right groups and symbols and emphasised the importance of the reference. (link)

EU and China hold dialogue on drugs control policies
This week EU and Chinese representatives launched a dialogue on drugs, exchanging information on the drug situation and policies in the EU and in China. The two also discussed positions in international fora on drugs, with a focus on the implementation of the 2016 UNGASS Outcome Document and on the upcoming 64th session of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs. The next dialogue will take place in 2022. (link)

European Parliament

Commissioner Johansson presents integration and inclusion action plan at LIBE Committee
This week, Commissioner Johansson also presented the action plan on integration and inclusion 2021- 2027 in the LIBE Committee. The action plan promotes inclusion and recognises the important contribution of migrants to the EU while addressing the barriers that can hinder their participation and inclusion in European society. She also took part in the debate on the new Pact on Migration and Asylum at the EESC. (link)

·        Ireland: Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors express concern over health and safety implications of having to enforce quarantine of international arrivals. (link)

·        Norway: Survey shows 82% have great confidence in the police. (link)

·        Spain: Federal Police Union (UFP) asks for all officers to have access to FFP2 masks. (link)

·        UK: Chief Executive of the Civil Nuclear Police Federation repeats call for police officers to get COVID-19 vaccinations as soon as possible. (link)

Other news
Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly debates ethnic profiling in Europe
The Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly held its 2021 winter plenary session this week, with debates on the agenda including a report on ethnic profiling in Europe. The adopted report calls for adequate resources to the police to carry out its tasks, including with regard to the recruitment of staff, and ensuring diversity in the recruitment of police forces. It also calls for organising regular training on preventing and combating racism for all police officers and setting up of independent police complaints mechanisms where these are not already in place. (link)
OSHA publishes updated guidance on adapting workplaces and protecting workers in the context of COVID
The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (OSHA) has published a revision to its guidance published last year on adapting workplaces in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The document includes examples of measures, which can help employers achieve an appropriate safe and healthy work environment when undertaking or resuming activities. The guidance acknowledges that police are one of the occupations at greatest risk of contracting COVID-19 due to physical contact with many others in carrying out duties. (link) The Senior Labour Inspectors’ Committee (SLIC) has elsewhere published a report compiling their recommendations for the new EU OSH strategic framework 2021-2027. (link)

Europol report warns increasing violence employed by organised crime groups
A new report published by Europol has warned that organised crime groups are increasingly employing violence in pursuit of criminal objectives. Research in the report shows the rise in the number of violent incidents associated with serious and organised crime and the analysis points to an increasing willingness from criminal groups to resort to lethal violence. In response, Europol recommends proactive anticipation of trends, adopting a comprehensive step-by-step approach including detection and deterrence, focusing on the processes and resources by which crimes are committed in order to identify choke points for intervention as well as continued promotion of cooperation at regional and international levels. (link)

Look Ahead

–             1 February: European Parliament’s Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) holds an exchange of views with Nicolas SCHMIT (Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights) as well as with the Executive Directors of Agencies under the remit of EMPL (Cedefop, Eurofound, EU- OSHA, ETF and ELA) (here)

–             4 February: European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs debates the priorities of the Portuguese Presidency in the area of Justice and Home Affairs with presentations by the Portuguese Ministers of Internal Affairs and Justice

–             4 February: European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs votes on key packages around asylum and migration


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