Briefing – Migrant seasonal workers in the European agricultural sector – 26-02-2021

Source: European Parliament

Migrant seasonal workers in the European agricultural sector

26-02-2021

The EU fruit and vegetable sector is heavily dependent on a non-national labour force, either from other EU Member States or third countries. Germany, Italy, Spain, France and Poland, in particular, employ high numbers of migrant seasonal farm workers. While these numbers have been steadily increasing, they compensate only partly for the ongoing decline in national agricultural workforces. Migrant seasonal workers from the EU are entitled to fully equal treatment with nationals of the host country under the fundamental right to the free movement of workers within the EU, whereas third-country nationals are covered by the Seasonal Workers Directive of 2014, which grants them equal treatment as regards terms of employment and some social benefits. EU Member States manage their own seasonal worker schemes depending on the needs of the domestic labour market, their ties with third countries and their broader immigration system. The reality of seasonal agricultural work is a harsh one, with generally poor working and living conditions. Undocumented migrants, but also legal ones, can fall victim to illegal gang-master practices or even modern forms of slavery. Exploitation of women occurs in certain regions. The coronavirus pandemic, which disrupted harvests in the spring of 2020 as seasonal workers faced travel restrictions, also highlighted their essential role in EU agriculture and laid bare their sometimes appalling working and living conditions. Reacting to this situation, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the protection of seasonal workers in June 2020, calling on Member States to ensure proper implementation of the relevant EU legislation and on the European Commission to issue new specific guidelines and propose long-term solutions to fight abusive practices and protect victims. In July 2020, the Commission responded to this call by issuing new guidelines on the protection of seasonal workers in the context of the pandemic, announcing further action, including ongoing work with the European Labour Authority.

The EU fruit and vegetable sector is heavily dependent on a non-national labour force, either from other EU Member States or third countries. Germany, Italy, Spain, France and Poland, in particular, employ high numbers of migrant seasonal farm workers. While these numbers have been steadily increasing, they compensate only partly for the ongoing decline in national agricultural workforces. Migrant seasonal workers from the EU are entitled to fully equal treatment with nationals of the host country under the fundamental right to the free movement of workers within the EU, whereas third-country nationals are covered by the Seasonal Workers Directive of 2014, which grants them equal treatment as regards terms of employment and some social benefits. EU Member States manage their own seasonal worker schemes depending on the needs of the domestic labour market, their ties with third countries and their broader immigration system. The reality of seasonal agricultural work is a harsh one, with generally poor working and living conditions. Undocumented migrants, but also legal ones, can fall victim to illegal gang-master practices or even modern forms of slavery. Exploitation of women occurs in certain regions. The coronavirus pandemic, which disrupted harvests in the spring of 2020 as seasonal workers faced travel restrictions, also highlighted their essential role in EU agriculture and laid bare their sometimes appalling working and living conditions. Reacting to this situation, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the protection of seasonal workers in June 2020, calling on Member States to ensure proper implementation of the relevant EU legislation and on the European Commission to issue new specific guidelines and propose long-term solutions to fight abusive practices and protect victims. In July 2020, the Commission responded to this call by issuing new guidelines on the protection of seasonal workers in the context of the pandemic, announcing further action, including ongoing work with the European Labour Authority.

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on measures against digital platforms that may restrict the freedom of expression of political leaders in Europe – B9-0155/2021

Source: European Parliament

B9‑0155/2021

Motion for a European Parliament resolution on measures against digital platforms that may restrict the freedom of expression of political leaders in Europe

The European Parliament,

 having regard to Rule 143 of its Rules of Procedure,

A. having regard to the provisions on democratic principles in the EU Treaties;

B. whereas Twitter and Facebook banned a serving US President;

C. whereas Google, Apple and Amazon blocked Parler, a rival social network;

1. Emphasises that the EU operates on the basis of democracy, the rule of law and freedom of expression;

2. Stresses the need to prevent private social media platforms from abusing their position as near-monopolies to undermine media pluralism;

3. Calls for measures to ensure that social media platforms operating in Europe respect the rule of law, which includes freedom of expression, as well as competition laws;

4. Urges the Commission to monitor and, if necessary, ban all digital platforms that prevent political representatives in Europe from freely expressing themselves;

5. Calls on the EU to create its own digital champions;

6. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and to the Commission.

 

Highlights – European External Action Service foreign interference strategy: committee debate – Special Committee on Foreign Interference in all Democratic Processes in the European Union, including Disinformation

Source: European Parliament

Josep Borrell, European Union Minister for Foreign Affairs © European Union 2021 – EP / Riccardo PAREGGIANI

The Special Committee on Foreign Interference in all Democratic Processes in the European Union, Including Disinformation will discuss the past and future strategy of the European External Action Service to battle foreign interference. The meeting will be held on 1 March with High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission for a Stronger Europe in the World, Josep Borrell.

Highlights – Transport of live animals to third countries: public hearing – Committee of Inquiry on the Protection of Animals during Transport

Source: European Parliament

ANIT Hearing -Transport life animals third countries © European Parliament

The Committee of Inquiry on the Protection of Animals during Transport will hold a public hearing with experts on the transport of live animals to third countries, on 1 March.

Particular aspects that will be considered include the purpose of transport, journey planning, checks at the place of departure and exit points, border inspection posts, possible delays at borders and ports, control posts in third countries, animal welfare in transit and final destination countries, and the enforcement of Court of Justice judgment in Case C-424/practices.

Highlights – The external policy dimension of artificial intelligence: public hearing – Special Committee on Artificial Intelligence in a Digital Age – Committee on Foreign Affairs – Subcommittee on Security and Defence

Source: European Parliament

AIDA Hearing on External policy dimension of AI © Keolis

The Special Committee on Artificial Intelligence in a Digital Age is holding a public hearing on the external policy dimension of AI, with panels taking place on 1 and 4 March. The first panel, held in association with the Committee on Foreign Affairs, deals with regulatory convergence in the field AI diplomacy and governance in a global setting. The second panel will be held in association with the Subcommittee on Security and Defence, focusing on the aspects of AI, cybersecurity and defence.

Briefing – Support for democracy through EU external policy: New tools for growing challenges – 26-02-2021

Source: European Parliament

Support for democracy through EU external policy: New tools for growing challenges

26-02-2021

The crisis of democracy and the rise of authoritarianism across the globe, compounded by the coronavirus pandemic, highlight the importance of taking a more strategic and autonomous approach to supporting democracy worldwide – an objective often balanced against other external policy aims until now. Since the start of the current parliamentary term, the EU has reviewed its political guidance on democracy and human rights. It has adopted or is about to adopt important measures to strengthen support for democracy (including better monitoring and enforcement of relevant provisions in trade arrangements). The adoption of the new multiannual financial framework (MFF) and of a new development aid instrument bringing together all former external aid instruments provides new opportunities for better implementing EU funding and better exploiting the EU’s leverage as a major provider of development aid. Digital challenges and the narrowing space for civil societies are among the priorities to be addressed. The challenge of engaging more difficult partners, such as China and Russia, has inspired calls to broaden the scope of a values-based agenda to other economic relations, such as investments. These new measures complement an already broad and complex toolbox integrating various external policies. Using the enhanced powers in external affairs provided by the Treaty of Lisbon, the EU has set up extensive political and diplomatic dialogues to enhance partnerships beyond the more asymmetric, specific development assistance and trade leverage going back to the 1990s. While the EU has responded to violations of democratic norms by reducing aid and withdrawing trade preferences, it has consistently sought to build equal partnerships based on constructive and open dialogues, rather than use its economic and commercial traction in a coercive manner. This is an update of a Briefing from February 2018.

The crisis of democracy and the rise of authoritarianism across the globe, compounded by the coronavirus pandemic, highlight the importance of taking a more strategic and autonomous approach to supporting democracy worldwide – an objective often balanced against other external policy aims until now. Since the start of the current parliamentary term, the EU has reviewed its political guidance on democracy and human rights. It has adopted or is about to adopt important measures to strengthen support for democracy (including better monitoring and enforcement of relevant provisions in trade arrangements). The adoption of the new multiannual financial framework (MFF) and of a new development aid instrument bringing together all former external aid instruments provides new opportunities for better implementing EU funding and better exploiting the EU’s leverage as a major provider of development aid. Digital challenges and the narrowing space for civil societies are among the priorities to be addressed. The challenge of engaging more difficult partners, such as China and Russia, has inspired calls to broaden the scope of a values-based agenda to other economic relations, such as investments. These new measures complement an already broad and complex toolbox integrating various external policies. Using the enhanced powers in external affairs provided by the Treaty of Lisbon, the EU has set up extensive political and diplomatic dialogues to enhance partnerships beyond the more asymmetric, specific development assistance and trade leverage going back to the 1990s. While the EU has responded to violations of democratic norms by reducing aid and withdrawing trade preferences, it has consistently sought to build equal partnerships based on constructive and open dialogues, rather than use its economic and commercial traction in a coercive manner. This is an update of a Briefing from February 2018.

REPORT on the request for waiver of the immunity of Nuno Melo – A9-0024/2021

Source: European Parliament 2

PROPOSAL FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DECISION

on the request for waiver of the immunity of Nuno Melo

(2020/2050(IMM))

The European Parliament,

 having regard to the request for waiver of the immunity of João Nuno Lacerda Teixeira de Melo, submitted on 6 February 2020 by the Tribunal Judicial da Comarca de Braga, Juízo de Punção Criminal de Guimarães, Juiz 2 (Braga District Court, Guimarães Criminal Court, 2nd judge), in the context of criminal proceedings initiated following the lodging of a civil indictment before that court (Proceedings 1039/17.2T9VNF), announced in plenary on 9 March 2020,

 having heard Nuno Melo in accordance with Rule 9(6) of its Rules of Procedure,

 having regard to Articles 8 and 9 of Protocol No 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union and to Article 6(2) of the Act of 20 September 1976 concerning the election of the Members of the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage,

 having regard to the judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union of 21 October 2008, 19 March 2010, 6 September 2011, 17 January 2013 and 19 December 2019

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

Date adopted

23.2.2021

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

25

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Manon Aubry, Gunnar Beck, Geoffroy Didier, Pascal Durand, Ibán García Del Blanco, Jean-Paul Garraud, Esteban González Pons, Mislav Kolakušić, Sergey Lagodinsky, Gilles Lebreton, Karen Melchior, Franco Roberti, Marcos Ros Sempere, Ernő Schaller-Baross, Stéphane Séjourné, Raffaele Stancanelli, Marie Toussaint, Adrián Vázquez Lázara, Axel Voss, Marion Walsmann, Tiemo Wölken, Lara Wolters, Javier Zarzalejos

Substitutes present for the final vote

Daniel Buda, Andrzej Halicki, Emil Radev, Kosma Złotowski

 

 

Study – La ratification des traités internationaux, une perspective de droit comparé – Allemagne – 25-02-2021

Source: European Parliament

La ratification des traités internationaux, une perspective de droit comparé – Allemagne

25-02-2021

d’analyse de la ratification des traités internationaux dans différents États dans une perspective de droit comparé. L’objet de cette étude est d’examiner la ratification des traités internationaux en droit allemand. Le régime juridique applicable et la procédure, sont spécialement étudiés afin d’avancer une estimation des délais nécessaires pour cette ratification. Après une introduction générale, cette étude examine d’abord les dispositions législatives et réglementaires régissant la procédure d’adoption des traités, ensuite la répartition des compétences entre les différents acteurs impliqués, et enfin les principales étapes de la procédure de conclusion des traités. Dans le cas de l’Allemagne, l’enjeu est la répartition des rôles entre le Gouvernement fédéral, le Président fédéral et le Parlement, auquel la Loi fondamentale accorde un droit d’approbation pour certains traités. De plus, l’organisation fédérale allemande doit être prise en compte, dans la mesure les Länder disposent d’une compétence propre en matière de conclusion de traités. Dans nombreux cas, les Länder sont d’ailleurs responsables de leur transposition en droit interne. La présente étude entend donner aux organes du Parlement européen un aperçu complet des processus de ratification des traités par les États et dans le cas présent l’Allemagne). Ainsi le Parlement pourra tenir compte des délais de ratification des traités futurs par ses partenaires, et organiser ses travaux en conséquence. Le présent document est la version en français de l’étude originairement publiée par la Bibliothèque de droit comparé en allemand en avril 2018. Cette version met à jour la version antérieure par le biais des notes du traducteur.

d’analyse de la ratification des traités internationaux dans différents États dans une perspective de droit comparé. L’objet de cette étude est d’examiner la ratification des traités internationaux en droit allemand. Le régime juridique applicable et la procédure, sont spécialement étudiés afin d’avancer une estimation des délais nécessaires pour cette ratification. Après une introduction générale, cette étude examine d’abord les dispositions législatives et réglementaires régissant la procédure d’adoption des traités, ensuite la répartition des compétences entre les différents acteurs impliqués, et enfin les principales étapes de la procédure de conclusion des traités. Dans le cas de l’Allemagne, l’enjeu est la répartition des rôles entre le Gouvernement fédéral, le Président fédéral et le Parlement, auquel la Loi fondamentale accorde un droit d’approbation pour certains traités. De plus, l’organisation fédérale allemande doit être prise en compte, dans la mesure les Länder disposent d’une compétence propre en matière de conclusion de traités. Dans nombreux cas, les Länder sont d’ailleurs responsables de leur transposition en droit interne. La présente étude entend donner aux organes du Parlement européen un aperçu complet des processus de ratification des traités par les États et dans le cas présent l’Allemagne). Ainsi le Parlement pourra tenir compte des délais de ratification des traités futurs par ses partenaires, et organiser ses travaux en conséquence. Le présent document est la version en français de l’étude originairement publiée par la Bibliothèque de droit comparé en allemand en avril 2018. Cette version met à jour la version antérieure par le biais des notes du traducteur.

External author

Prof. Dr Sebastian GRAF VON KIELMANSEGG

REPORT on the request for waiver of the immunity of Antoni Comín i Oliveres – A9-0021/2021

Source: European Parliament 2

PROPOSAL FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT DECISION

on the request for waiver of the immunity of Antoni Comín i Oliveres

(2020/2025(IMM))

The European Parliament,

 having regard to the request for waiver of the immunity received on 13 January 2020 and transmitted by the President of the Spanish Tribunal Supremo (Supreme Court) and made by the President of the Second Chamber of the Spanish Tribunal Supremo in connection with special proceedings No 3/20907/2017 on 10 January 2020; having regard to the announcement of the said request for waiver of immunity in plenary on 16 January 2020,

 having heard Antoni Comín i Oliveres in accordance with Rule 9(6) of its Rules of Procedure,

 having regard to Articles 8 and 9 of Protocol No 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union, and Article 6(2) of the Act of 20 September 1976 concerning the election of the members of the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage,

 having regard to the judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union of 21 October 2008, 19 March 2010, 6 September 2011, 17 January 2013 and 19 December 2019[1],

 having regard to the decision of the Spanish Junta Electoral Central (Central Electoral Board) of 13 June 2019

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

Date adopted

23.2.2021

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

15

8

2

Members present for the final vote

Manon Aubry, Gunnar Beck, Geoffroy Didier, Pascal Durand, Ibán García Del Blanco, Jean-Paul Garraud, Esteban González Pons, Mislav Kolakušić, Sergey Lagodinsky, Gilles Lebreton, Karen Melchior, Franco Roberti, Marcos Ros Sempere, Ernő Schaller-Baross, Stéphane Séjourné, Raffaele Stancanelli, Marie Toussaint, Adrián Vázquez Lázara, Axel Voss, Marion Walsmann, Tiemo Wölken, Lara Wolters, Javier Zarzalejos

Substitutes present for the final vote

Daniel Buda, Andrzej Halicki, Emil Radev, Kosma Złotowski

 

 

At a Glance – Current membership of the European Council – 25-02-2021

Source: European Parliament 2

Current membership of the European Council

25-02-2021

The European Council consists of the 27 Heads of State or Government of the EU Member States, who are voting members, together with the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission, who have no vote (Article 15(2) TEU). The chart shows the current members, the national office they hold and their political affiliation, as well as the year their membership of the institution began. This publication is updated periodically to reflect changes in the European Council’s membership.

The European Council consists of the 27 Heads of State or Government of the EU Member States, who are voting members, together with the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission, who have no vote (Article 15(2) TEU). The chart shows the current members, the national office they hold and their political affiliation, as well as the year their membership of the institution began. This publication is updated periodically to reflect changes in the European Council’s membership.