European Commission
Commission publishes priorities for 2021
Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has published her work programme for 2021 (link). There were few surprises from the 44 new initiatives set out in the work programme, which moves from ‘strategy to delivery’. The Commission maintains focus on its twin priorities of the digital and green transitions, which it sees as central to Europe’s economic recovery from the coronavirus. Proposals include:-        A new strategic framework on health and safety at work to be published next year

–        Continued work on migration and asylum following the publication of proposals in September

–        Continued work on proposals included in the Security Union Strategy

–        A new proposal to combat gender-based violence

The ETUC has welcomed the work programme, but has also highlighted important omissions including no reference to legislation on minimum income schemes (link). The European Commission is expected to publish a proposal on a fair minimum wage on 28 October.

Police intervention and strategies to prevent radicalisation needed in Europe, says Commissioner
Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson told the Radicalisation Awareness Network on 21 October that both police intervention and anti-radicalisation strategies are essential to build trust and security in Europe (link). As part of this approach, the Commission will present an action plan on integration and inclusion in the coming weeks.

Commission launches Health and Safety Week
Musculoskeletal disorders are the focus of a new campaign launched by the European Commission, together with EU-OSHA and the German Presidency as part of European Health and Safety Week. The ‘healthy workplaces lighten the load’ campaign will raise awareness of the issue in European workplaces and support employers to take steps to prevent and manage MSDs (link).

European Parliament
MEPs discuss police brutality
Members of the European Parliament held a debate on EU police brutality during this week’s plenary session. The topic was brought onto the agenda by the European United Left–Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) group. The session was opened and closed by the German Presidency and Commissioner Johansson representing the European Commission (See Commissioner Johansson’s speech here). A key cause for this debate was the surfacing of a case of police brutality in Belgium in August. Although there were some members that had strong views against European police officers, the consensus was that law enforcement is a necessary and valued part of European society, yet more effective oversight is needed in some instances.European Parliament adopts reports on AI
As the Commission prepares to publish a new legislative framework on Artificial Intelligence, the European Parliament this week adopted reports on an ethical framework for AI, a clear civil liability framework and the relationship between AI and intellectual property rights. The Parliament’s Civil

Liberties Committe is also working on a report on AI in criminal law and its use by the police (link).

National updates
·        Germany: Federal police to check adherence to coronavirus rules (link)

·        Latvia: New chief of State Police to rotate highest ranking officials (link)

·        UK: Police ‘unable to cope’ if no-deal Brexit stops EU data sharing (link)

Other news
Council of Europe proposes to set up high-level network of police forces
A permanent high-level network of the police forces of the 47 Council of Europe member states was proposed at a conference on the role of police on 20-21 October (link). Issues discussed at the conference included recruitment, training and the role of women in the police. The proposed network would increase the exchange of best practice and improve cooperation at European level.Council of Europe adopts recommendation on the use of AI in policing
Ministers should take into account the potential impact on human rights of the use of AI in police and criminal justice systems when developing a European legal framework, according to a Recommendation adopted by the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly on 22 October (link). This reflects discussions in the European Parliament, which this week adopted several reports on AI (link). The European Commission will propose EU legislation early next year.

Public Service unions take European Commission to ECJ
The European Federation of Public Service Unions will appeal an ECJ ruling on a potential breach of the Commission’s rules on social dialogue. This is the first time that a European trade union organisation has made a claim against the Commission on any social policy (link).

Europol: EU regulator warns data rules could be broken
The European Data Protection Supervisor has warned there is a “high likelihood that Europol continually processes personal data on individuals for whom it is not allowed to do so” following an inquiry last year (link).

Look ahead
  • 26 October: European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs discusses amendments to the own-initiative on procedure on artificial intelligence in the area of civil and military use (INI), consideration of amendments (here)
  • 26 October: European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) discusses amendments to the own-initiative on procedure on Implementation of the European Arrest Warrant and the Surrender Procedures between Member States (INI) (here)
  • 26 October: European Parliament’s LIBE Committee holds joint hearing with the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) on Trafficking in Human Beings. (here)
  • 27 October: European Parliament’s Special Committee on Artificial Intelligence in a Digital Age exchange views with Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager and OECD Director for Science, Technology and Innovation Andrew W. Wyckoff. (here)
  • 27 October: European Parliament’s LIBE Committee exchanges views with CEPOL Executive Director Detlef Schröder on the impact of COVID-19 on law enforcement training needs. (here)
  • 27 October: EMCDDA Director Alexis Goosdeel presents the European Drug Report 2020 to the European parliament’s LIBE Committee (here)
  • 27 October: Presentations by the European Commission and the Germany Presidency (amongst others) to the European Parliament’s LIBE Committee on the current situation in the Kara Tepe camp and future challenges for asylum/migration management in the Greek islands (here)
  • 29 October: European Parliament’s Committee on Employment and Social Affairs exchanges views with Vice-President Margaritis Schinas on the European Skills Agenda, European Education Area and the Digital Education Plan and with Commissioner Nicolas Schmit on fair minimum wages for workers in the EU (here)
  • 29 October: Joint debate of the European Parliaments LIBE and FEMM Committees on a draft report ‘Implementation of Directive 2011/36/EU on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims (INI)’ (here)



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