European Parliament
Employment MEPs reach agreement with Commission on workers’ health and safety Covid-19 will be classified as a risk group 3 biological agent, following agreement between the European Parliament’s Employment Committee and the European Commission. The European Commission will require Member States to take protective and preventative measures, including requiring ensure that employers provide all workers exposed to Covid-19 with written instructions. The Directive on biological agents at work will be revised to ensure better preparation for pandemics.

MEPs call on Commission to condemn police brutality Over 100 MEPs have written to the Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, asking the European Commission to condemn police brutality and organise a summit on tackling structural discrimination in Europe.

European Commission
Home Affairs Commissioner speaks on combating child sexual abuse Ylva Johansson, the Home Affairs Commissioner, spoke at a webinar this week on EU efforts to prevent and combat child sexual abuse and exploitation. The Commission is expected to publish a new European strategy to fight child sexual abuse in the coming weeks, which will include plans for a European centre to exchange information and share best practice.

Commission has two open calls for proposals through ISF Police fund The European Commission currently has two open calls for proposals under the ISF Police fund:

– Joint action against trafficking in human beings (link)

– Common Operational Partnerships against migrant smuggling (link)

Council
Employment Council calls for new measures to protect workers’ wellbeing EU Employment Ministers have adopted conclusions calling for a new EU strategy on occupational health and safety for 2021-2027. The Ministers also expressed their support for sharing between Member States of good practices to improve wellbeing at work. While the conclusions are not binding on the Commission, it indicates political support for future Commission activity in this area.

National updates
France: Police forces are demonstrating in France, following announcements banning a chokehold used to detain suspects and that suspension will be systematically considered for “every proven suspicion of racist acts or remarks”.

Germany: Germany’s interior and justice ministries will develop a study to examine racism in the country’s police forces.

Other news
150 organisations call for Commission to prioritise police violence Over 150 European organisations have co-signed a letter to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, calling for the Commission to prioritise addressing police violence and structural racism. The organisations call for EU leaders to “acknowledge the existence of and publicly condemn discriminatory and violent police practices” and for European governments to adopt measures to combat and prevent racism in law enforcement.

Lookahead
– 22-24 June: Council of Europe Conference of INGOs special online Session (link)

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