European Commission
Commission President delivers State of the European Union address
Ursula von der Leyen delivered her first State of the European Union speech on 16 September, setting out her policy agenda for the year ahead (link). As well as describing her plans for Europe’s economic recovery, she reconfirmed the Commission’s commitment to support Member States to set up a framework for minimum wages through collective agreements or statutory minimum wages.

Commission anti-racism action plan to tackle discrimination by law enforcement authorities
The Commission has published a new five-year action plan to tackle racism in the EU (link). Among others, the action plan calls for Member States to work with CEPOL and the Fundamental Rights Agency to “prevent discriminatory attitudes by law enforcement authorities and to boost the credibility of law enforcement work against hate crimes”. The Commission will also ensure that new legislation on AI will address the risk of bias and discrimination built into AI systems.

Employment and Social Developments review highlights benefits of collective bargaining
The 2020 Employment and Social Developments in Europe review, published on 15 September, shows that strengthening social fairness is essential to overcoming the impact of COVID-19 (link). The findings include that social dialogue and collective bargaining influence fairness by promoting more equitable wages, better working conditions, and more inclusive labour markets.

Council
Council President calls for more commitment on migration
Following a visit to Lesvos, Council President Charles Michel has called for EU Members to be “more committed” around migration, including strengthening control over European borders and working more closely with non-EU countries (link).
European Parliament
European Parliament discusses child exploitation proposals
Ylva Johansson, the EU’s Home Affairs Commissioner, addressed the European Parliament on 17

September to highlight the new rules proposed on 10 September to address child sexual exploitation, saying “we need to do much more to support police” (link). The Commission will propose more measures in the coming months to require companies to detect and report child sexual abuse materials and to establish a European centre against child sexual abuse.

The Commissioner also spoke about the refugee camp in Moria, highlighting the EU’s efforts to support those affected (link). A New Pact on migration and Asylum is expected shortly, which will have a strong focus on the return of migrants whose asylum claims have failed.

European Parliament support for investigations into violence against journalists
Members of the European Parliament have written to the Bulgarian Interior Minister calling for immediate investigation of allegations of violence against journalists as protests continue in Sofia (link). The President of the European parliament has also expressed support for a full investigation into the case of a Slovak citizen who died in custody in 2018 (link).

 

National updates
·       Cyprus: Police Chief and Israeli Ambassador discuss cooperation on training (link)

·       Germany: Police officers suspected of extremist chat groups (link)

·       Greece: Police move migrants to new camp (link)

·       UK: Home Secretary backs campaign to share body-worn video footage with the public (link)

Other news
ETUC welcomes von der Leyen vow to protect collective bargaining
The ETUC has welcomed a pledge by Commission President von der Leyen in the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nhyeter to “strengthen collective agreements in countries that have a lot left to do” (link).
Look ahead
·       21 September: European Parliament Civil Liberties Committee discusses the European Arrest Warrant and the Surrender Procedures between member States (link)

·       22 September: German Presidency conference on the EU Strategy on Victims’ Rights (link)

·       22 September: European parliament joint meeting on Racial equity, equality and justice with the goal of reinforcing US-EU parliamentary coordination to combat racism and systemic discrimination (link)

·       22 September: European Parliament Civil Liberties Committee discusses Prüm framework (link)

·       23 September: Commissioner Johansson participates in the 2020 European Drug Report launch event (link)

·       24 September: Vice-President Schinas and Commissioner Johansson present The New Pact on Asylum and Migration to the European Parliament Civil Liberties Committee (link).

·       24-25 September: European Council Summit (link)

 

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