Tag Archives: European Parliament

2 May 2013

Plan to improve asylum procedures in the EU backed by Civil Liberties Committee

A draft law was agreed on by EU Council and Parliament representatives, and endorsed by the Civil Liberties Committee on Wednesday 24 April 2013.

To reduce disparities in the asylum procedures among EU member states, Council and Parliament have agreed to review the Asylum Procedures Directive (2005) to harmonise procedural guarantees for asylum seekers. Asylum seekers would get fairer, more uniform access to international protection across the European Union under this new law. Also, special guarantees for vulnerable persons and deadlines for EU states to process an asylum application have been inserted.

This draft law is part of the backbone of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), which will be put to a plenary vote in June. In order to enter into force, the draft text needs to receive backing of the member states and confirmation by the Parliament, which might happen in June.

Source: European Parliament Press Release | Civil Liberties Committee backs plan to improve asylum procedures

7 November 2012

European Parliament approves Food Assistance Convention

On 25 October, the European Parliament gave its permission for the European Union (EU) to approve the Food Assistance Convention. It is expected that the EU deposits the instrument of ratification before 30 November. The Convention will enter into force on 1 January 2013 if five signatories will deposit instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval by 30 November 2012.

The Food Assistance Convention was adopted on 25 April 2012 and seeks to improve the effectiveness and quality of food assistance to the most vulnerable populations, by strengthening international cooperation and coordination. A key provision is that each party agrees to make an annual commitment of food assistance (article 5).

Source: European Commission News | The European Parliament gives its consent on the new Food Assistance Convention
Source: Food Assistance Convention

14 June 2012

Amnesty International accuses EU member states of human rights violations of migrants

Amnesty International published a report on 13 June 2012, urging the European Union (EU) and its member states, especially Italy, to protect the rights of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers ‘according to international standards’.

According to Amnesty, human rights are violated as a result of migration control policies and practices, such as outsourcing border security. An online petition was opened in order to urge members of the European Parliament to hold institutions of the EU and national governments accountable for the way migrants are treated.

Source: Newsday | Amnesty International: Europe endangers migrants

13 April 2012

European Parliament’s delegation leader argues for the establishment of an International Court of the Environment

The leader of the European Parliament’s delegation to the Rio de Janeiro summit on sustainable development has argued for the establishment of an International Court to enforce agreements on the natural environment. He submits that ‘like human rights, the right to a clean natural environment and the preservation of plants and animal life is universal. Only by enforcing these rights internationally can we transform those fine words on sustainability into deeds.’  The article does not clarify whether this plea reflects the Parliament’s institutional position.

Source: Trouw | 'Met een Milieugerechtshof kunnen we duurzaamheid afdwingen' (in Dutch only)

4 April 2012

Non-renewal EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement due to the question of Western Sahara

On 14 December 2011 the European Parliament decided not to renew the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Union and Morocco signed in 2005. This agreement granted licenses to EU vessels to fish in Morocco’s Atlantic waters, without distinguishing between the waters of Morocco and those of Western Sahara.  Western Sahara is a territory annexed by Morocco, that continues to strive for self-determination. A 2002 legal opinion of UN Legal Advisor Hans Corell expressed that exploitation of the territory’s resources could only be considered legal if the Sahrawi population were consulted and benefited.

The vote in Parliament was largely based on a report by MEP Carl Haglund, who raised the question of the legality of an agreement including fishing rights off the coast of Western Sahara and the question of the benefit to the Sahrawi people.

Source: Think Africa Press | Unexpected Victory for Western Sahara Campaigners at the European Parliament
Source: Presseurop | Western Sahara sinks EU-Morocco accord