European Commission gathers views on protecting children’s rights
The European Commission has launched a public consultation on the rights of the child as part of its preparation for a new strategy, expected next year. The strategy will propose measures to prevent violence against children, protect children’s rights and promote child-friendly justice.
The consultation is open until 8 December (link).
Commission has not ruled out ban on use of facial recognition technology
A Commission official speaking to the European Parliament’s Internal Market Committee this week said that “all options” are on the table when asked whether a ban on facial recognition technology is still a possibility (link). The European Commission will publish legislative proposals on AI in early 2021 and has recently closed a consultation on the issue, to which 28% of respondents said they supported a ban on biometric remote identification being used in publicly accessible places.
Michel Barnier gives speech on EU-UK negotiations
EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier spoke at the Institute of International and European Affairs this week (link). He said he is disappointed by the UK’s lack of engagement on three points: credible guarantees for open and fair competition, fisheries, and dispute settlement mechanisms. Barnier added that despite wanting full sovereignty, the British negotiators are still seeking continuity in several areas including “many aspects” of police and judicial cooperation.
Public health committee calls for greater civil protection capacity following Covid-19
The European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public health and Food Safety (ENVI) has called for a revision of the EU’s Civil Protection Mechanism, which helps Member States coordinate civil protection efforts, particularly large-scale emergencies (link). MEPs believe that while the CPM was used successfully during the pandemic, it should be revised to ensure Member States are not left to deal with crises alone.
The European Parliament plenary will vote on the issue in mid-September.
Bulgaria: Police face violence as anti-government protests continue (link)
Germany: President thanks police officers deployed to Bundestag (link)
Italy: Increased attacks on police officers enforcing mask rules (link)
UK: Officer safety training to be overhauled following survey of police workforce (link)
Trade unions call for new EU law on fair minimum wages
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) has endorsed a call for a new European Directive to support fair minimum wages and collective bargaining (link). The ETUC will ask the European Commission to propose new rules that guarantee the right to collective bargaining, end practices such as employer deductions from the statutory minimum wage, and prevent Member States from setting statutory minimum wages below a ‘threshold of decency’.
Ensuring a fair minimum wage is a political priority for the European Commission. The Commission is gathering views on the issue, with a legislative proposal expected to follow.
- 7 September: European Parliament Employment and Social Affairs Committee meets
- 9 September: Commissioner Schmidt takes part in the online annual European Works Council Conference of the ETUC
- 8-10 September: Eighth round of UK-EU Future Relationship negotiations
- 10 September: Commissioner Schmidt gives an online speech at the G20 virtual Labour and Employment Ministerial Meeting
- 10 September: Vice-President Schinas and Commissioner Johansson present the Security Union Strategy, the EU strategy for a more effective fight against child sexual abuse, the EU Agenda and Action Plan on Drugs 2021-2025, and the 2020-2025 EU action plan on firearms trafficking to the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee.