European Commission
New rules on migration and asylum published
The European Commission published its much-anticipated New Pact on Migration and Asylum on 23 September, which aims to establish a comprehensive European approach to migration (link). Under the plans, the new system aims to create more efficient procedures to check and screen people crossing the EU’s external borders, a common EU system for returns, and better management of the EU’s external borders.

The Commission proposes flexible options for the Member States to contribute, from taking responsibility for returning individuals with no right to stay, operational support, or relocation of asylum seekers from the country of first entry.

The proposals will need to be approved by the Council (Member States) and Parliament before coming into force and are likely to face difficult discussions. Some have welcomed the proposals as a step in the right direction, while some Member States, NGOs, and MEPs have been critical (link). The ETUC has warned that “stronger borders and more returns cannot be dressed up as solidarity”(link).

The Commission has also announced that it will establish a dedicated taskforce to improve the emergency situation on Lesvos in a sustainable way (link).

European Parliament
MEPs discuss future of Prüm network
The European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee discussed the future of the Prüm framework on 22 September (link) following the publication of a study on police information exchange (link). The study highlights the need to ensure the implementation of Prüm across Europe and to improve the availability of high-quality data and connectivity between databases.

Marc Vervaenen of the Belgian Federal Police spoke of the positive impact that the Prüm framework has had on police effectiveness, while the European Digital Rights group warned against the risk of false positives and raised concerns around the possibility of extending Prüm to include facial recognition.

The EU’s plans on the next steps for the Prüm network will be announced in October. A roadmap is currently open for stakeholders to feed in views (link).

 

National updates
·       Austria: Police are now using facial recognition technology to identify protestors (link)

·       Bulgaria: Police officers injured as tensions continue to rise (link)

·       Germany: Prosecutors will not open investigation into newspaper column that criticised police (link)

·       Malta: New five year strategy to foster trust between police and public (link)

Other news
Economic and Social Committee adopts opinion on fair minimum wage
The European Economic and Social Committee has adopted its position on decent minimum wages across Europe, ahead of the Commission’s forthcoming legislative proposal. The EESC would welcome EU action to support collective bargaining while respecting different national industrial relations systems (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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