GUE/NGL MEPs condemn Denmark’s proposal to delay family reunification and seize assets from refugees

PRESS RELEASE

Brussels 25 January 2015

During a heated debate in the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs this afternoon, GUE/NGL MEPs condemned a controversial draft law* proposed by the Danish government to empower the authorities to seize valuable assets from refugees in order to pay for their stay when applying for asylum in Denmark, and postpone the right to family reunification for refugees under temporary protection.

On the eve of its expected adoption in the Danish Parliament tomorrow, the draft law was debated this afternoon by Civil Liberties Committee MEPs with Danish Foreign Affairs Minister Kristian Jensen and Minister for Immigration, Integration and Housing Inger Støjberg.

GUE/NGL Coordinator on the LIBE Committee, Cornelia Ernst, said: “Making people wait for three years before they can even apply for family reunification effectively means denying them their right to family life for three years, for no good reason. We are talking about a human right that is very broadly recognised, in Denmark, all over Europe and beyond.”

Danish MEP, Rina Ronja Kari, expressed opposition from within Denmark: “The proposed changes to the Danish asylum legislation are in breach of international conventions and the Danish government has in no way convinced the Parliament otherwise. It is disgraceful that the Danish government does not listen to the Council of Europe when they express their deep concern over the amendments, and their conduct in today’s exchange of views does not suggest that they will listen to the criticism from the Parliament either.”

Italian MEP, Barbara Spinelli, added: “Confiscating jewellery and goods ‘without sentimental value’ is immoral and grotesque: who will define whether an object is of sentimental value to a refugee or not, when it’s not a wedding ring? I also believe it’s unfair to compare an asylum-seeker to an unemployed Dane or EU citizen: a refugee has nothing, not even a bed. In order to receive a return on our ‘investment’ in the reception of migrants, we should instead invest in integrating them as quickly as possible into our labour market.”

Spanish MEP, Marina Albiol Guzmán: “Measures like having to wait for over six years in order to gain permanent residence or making asylum seekers pay for staying at the centres where they’re forced to live are aimed at closing the door to refugees and all migrants.”

“This legislation is racist and xenophobic, and goes against the European Convention on Human Rights, the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Geneva Convention, and many other European and international treaties. It also goes against all the solidarity compromises of the EU and therefore we expect a strong position from the Parliament and the European Commission to counter this bill that goes against human rights”.

Swedish MEP, Malin Björk, expressed the possibility of an alternative policy: “The Nordic left parties have presented an alternative solution to these repressive measures. A new Nordic Model with better cooperation between our countries, more pressure for a humanitarian EU refugee policy and a dismantling of fortress Europe.”

*Background
The draft law to be passed tomorrow by the Danish Parliament has several different components that will all have a devastating impact on the lives of asylum-seekers, including a 3-year waiting period to access family reunification for beneficiaries of temporary protection, tightening of criteria to obtain permanent residence permits, tightening of rules for revoking refugees’ residence permits, search by police of asylum-seekers and their belongings with a view to confiscating money and valuables to cover the costs of asylum-seekers’ stay, reduction of economic benefits by 10% and the obligation to be housed in asylum centres.

This draft law has been condemned by the UNHCR and Danish NGOs including the Danish Refugee Council. The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights sent a letter to the Danish government on January 9, 2016 condemning these restrictive changes as ‘raising serious concerns of conformity with human rights standards’ asking the Danish government to reconsider these changes to ‘ensure that law and practice fully comply with Denmark’s obligation to uphold refugee protection standards’.  

This new proposal must also be read in conjunction with the amendments to the Aliens Act introduced last November which increased the possibilities of detaining asylum-seekers under ‘special circumstances’ and weaken the judicial review of detention. 

During the debate, the Danish Minister for Immigration insisted despite reference to criticism from the CoE and UNHCR that their proposals ‘live up to all conventions’ and reminded the Committee that the four largest groups of the European Parliament will vote in favour of the law tomorrow.

Il Consiglio deve impegnarsi a ricollocare i richiedenti asilo bloccati in Grecia e Italia

COMUNICATO STAMPA

Barbara Spinelli: “Il Consiglio deve impegnarsi a ricollocare i richiedenti asilo bloccati in Grecia e Italia”. Firmano l’interrogazione scritta 24 eurodeputati di vari gruppi politici 

Bruxelles, 11 dicembre 2015

Barbara Spinelli ha presentato un’interrogazione al Consiglio sull’attuazione delle decisioni relative alla ricollocazione di 160,000 richiedenti asilo dall’Italia e dalla Grecia. Le due decisioni del Consiglio dell’Unione Europea sono state adottate nel corso delle riunioni del Consiglio straordinario Giustizia e Affari Interni il 14 e 21 settembre e prevedono la ricollocazione di un totale di 160’000 richiedenti asilo provenienti da Grecia e Italia negli altri Stati membri dell’Unione europea. “Come indicato nella comunicazione della Commissione (COM (2015) 510 definitivo), entrambe le decisioni richiedono un immediato follow-up delle istituzioni dell’UE, degli Stati membri sotto pressione e degli Stati membri che si sono impegnati ad ospitare persone ricollocate“, afferma l’eurodeputata del gruppo GUE/NGL.

Lo stesso documento sottolinea che, a partire dal 14 ottobre, ventuno Stati membri hanno individuato i punti di contatto nazionali, e fino ad ora solo sei Stati membri hanno notificato le capacità di accoglienza messe a disposizione per i profughi da ricollocare. Fino a quel giorno, appena 86 richiedenti asilo erano ricollocati dall’Italia con il nuovo regime. Il 3 novembre, un comunicato stampa della Commissione ha sottolineato che il primo volo di trasferimento dalla Grecia con 30 richiedenti asilo era pronto a partire per il Lussemburgo”.

Barbara Spinelli, insieme a 24 eurodeputati di vari gruppi politici (Socialisti, Liberali, Verdi, Sinistra unitaria europea) chiede dunque al Consiglio quali misure intenda prendere perché i rappresentanti degli Stati membri si impegnino a ricollocare quanto prima i richiedenti asilo bloccati in Grecia e in Italia in condizioni di allarmante precarietà.

Firmatari:
Barbara Spinelli, Philippe Lamberts, Michèle Rivasi, Yannick Jadot, Pascal Durand, Eva Joly, José Bové, Karima Delli, Igor Soltes, Eleonora Forenza, Merja Kyllönen, Dimitrios Papadimoulis, Malin Björk, Josu Juaristi Abaunz, Takis Hadjigeorgiou, Julie Ward, Liisa Jaakonsaari, José Inácio Faria, Nedzhmi Ali, Neoklis Sylikiotis, Sofia Sakorafa, Kostadinka Kuneva, Patrick Le Hyaric, Dennis De Jong, Stelios Kouloglou

Testo dell’interrogazione (file .pdf)

I parlamentari GUE/NGL criticano la direttiva PNR

PRESS RELEASE

GUE/NGL MEPs criticise PNR directive as ineffective in countering terrorism

Brussels 10 December 2015

Following this morning’s vote in the LIBE Committee which endorsed a draft EU directive regulating the use of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data, GUE/NGL MEPs have criticised it as ineffective and a breach of privacy.

German MEP, Cornelia Ernst, expressed the need for more effective measures to counter terrorism: “The despicable events in Paris should have prompted a serious discussion about how to prevent terrorism and which security measures are actually effective for this purpose. But instead we are getting more off-the-shelf policies. The proposed PNR directive has been on the table since 2012. It would not have made the world safer back then, and for sure it will not do so in 2016.”

Swedish MEP, Malin Björk, commented: “The European Court of Justice recently stated that collecting personal data of citizens without specific targeting contravenes the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, and now we see this again in the draft Passenger Name Record directive. Framing the PNR directive as a counter-terrorism initiative is unacceptable; it is just another instrument for mass surveillance of people.”

French MEP, Marie-Christine Vergiat, added: “This vote represents an unprecedented decline in the Community acquis on data protection and privacy. The European PNR proposal was revived following the attacks in Paris in January 2015and accelerated after the attacks in Paris on November 13 which highlighted the problem of cooperation between member states in the fight against terrorism and cross-border organised crime. It is therefore incomprehensible that the agreement reached between the Council and Parliament does not mandate the exchange of information resulting from the processing of PNR data. The apologists for this system have managed to set up an inefficient and expensive system, built on the exploitation of fear.”

Italian MEP, Barbara Spinelli, further explained the position of GUE/NGL MEPs: “We stand against the introduction of a PNR Directive which the European Data Protection Supervisor and other important authorities have declared as neither necessary nor proportionate. I think the Union should not fall prey to a policy of fear, but it seems to be doing just that: preparing to adopt further counter-terrorism measures before assessing their proportionality and their legal necessity, while member states are resisting real cooperation using the existing instruments. I believe there will be a time when the European Court of Justice will prove that we were right all along, as happened in the case of the Digital Rights Ireland (C-293/12) and Schrems (C-362/14) judgements. Hopefully that time will come sooner rather than later.”

The draft directive on PNR will be put to a vote by Parliament as a whole early next year.

Interrogazione sull’hotspot di Lampedusa

COMUNICATO STAMPA

Barbara Spinelli presenta un’interrogazione sull’hotspot di Lampedusa con 22 eurodeputati di diversi gruppi politici 

Bruxelles, 9 dicembre 2015

L’eurodeputata Barbara Spinelli (Gue-Ngl) ha presentato un’interrogazione alla Commissione contestando le pratiche che le autorità Italiane stanno svolgendo nell’hotspot di Lampedusa, centro ufficialmente gestito dall’Unione Europea.

“Da settembre le autorità Italiane hanno adottato nuove pratiche illegali in violazione dei diritti dei migranti e dei richiedenti asilo presso l’hotspot di Lampedusa”, ha dichiarato. “Arrivati nell’hotspot, i migranti sono frettolosamente intervistati e ricevono un formulario incompleto senza informazioni sul diritto all’asilo. Pertanto, molti migranti ricevono provvedimenti di respingimento senza avere avuto l’opportunità di chiedere asilo ai sensi delle direttive 2011/95/UE detta ‘Direttiva Qualifiche’ e 2013/32/UE detta ‘Direttiva Procedure’. Una volta ricevuti i provvedimenti di respingimento, i migranti sono cacciati dai centri con un documento che li obbliga a lasciare il paese entro sette giorni dall’aeroporto di Roma-Fiumicino”.

“La direttiva 2013/32/UE stabilisce, qualora migranti detenuti in centri di trattenimento desiderino presentare una domanda di protezione internazionale, che tutte le informazioni sulla possibilità di farlo sia loro garantita (Articolo 8). Peraltro”, ha continuato l’eurodeputata “il §27 della stessa direttiva stabilisce che i cittadini di paesi terzi e gli apolidi che hanno espresso l’intenzione di chiedere protezione internazionale siano considerati richiedenti protezione internazionale: in quanto tali, devono poter godere dei diritti di cui alle direttive 2013/32/UE e 2013/33/UE”.

L’interrogazione si conclude considerando che tali pratiche dimostrano gravi mancanze riguardo la tutela dei diritti umani dei migranti e richiedenti asilo. In particolare, non avendo tenuto conto delle circostanze specifiche di ciascun caso nel rilascio di provvedimenti di respingimento, contravvengono all’articolo 19 della Carta dei Diritti Fondamentali dell’Unione Europea e alla giurisprudenza consolidata della Corte Europea dei Diritti dell’Uomo. L’eurodeputata, insieme a 22 colleghi di diversi gruppi politici (Socialisti, Liberali, Verdi, Sinistra unitaria europea) chiede alla Commissione di indagare sulla compatibilità di tali pratiche di gestione degli hotspot con il diritto dell’Unione Europea.

Firmatari:

Barbara Spinelli, Philippe Lamberts, Michèle Rivasi, Yannick Jadot, Pascal Durand, Eva Joly, José Bové, Karima Delli, Igor Soltes, Eleonora Forenza, Merja Kyllönen, Dimitrios Papadimoulis, Malin Björk, Josu Juaristi Abaunz, Takis Hadjigeorgiou, Julie Ward, Liisa Jaakonsaari, José Inácio Faria, Nedzhmi Ali, Neoklis Sylikiotis, Sofia Sakorafa, Kostadinka Kuneva, Patrick Le Hyaric

Testo dell’interrogazione (file .pdf)


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Barbara Spinelli presenta un’interrogazione sull’hot spot di Lampedusa con 22 eurodeputati di diversi gruppi politici

L’Ue accusa l’Italia: “Non prende le impronte ai migranti”

Interrogazione sull’hotspot di Lampedusa

 

Viaggio nella giungla di Calais

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Foto GUE/NGL

GUE/NGL PRESS RELEASE

Brussels 03/12/2015

GUE/NGL MEPs shocked at undignified conditions of refugees in Calais call on French government to provide adequate reception conditions urgently

GUE/NGL MEPs went to Calais on Tuesday 1st December to assess the situation in ‘the jungle’ refugee camp where around 4,500 refugees are currently living.  The delegation aimed to evaluate the situation on the ground in the camp in light of reports of appalling living conditions, rape, police violence and attacks from far-right extremists. The delegation met with NGOs and refugees on site. The visit was organised with the support of the local section of the French Communist Party (PCF).

The French state has been condemned for serious breaches of migrants’ rights not to be exposed to inhumane and degrading treatment by the Administrative Tribunal of Lille on 2nd November 2015, and reconfirmed by the State Council (conseil d’Etat) after an appeal by the Home Affairs Ministry which was denying French state responsibility. As a result, the court ordered the French state to carry out a census of all unaccompanied minors on the site within 48 hours and to provide within 8 days adequate sanitary conditions. Instead of improving the conditions, the French government has been putting its efforts into evacuating part of the jungle, notably by putting some refugees in detention centres. This practice has just been condemned on 2nd December by Adeline Hazan, head of the independent authority in France responsible for monitoring places of deprivation of liberties (contrôleure générale des lieux de privation de liberté – CGLPL) who, in an 8-page document, calls on the government to end this practice that is a serious breach of the fundamental rights of the people in question (see: http://www.cglpl.fr/2015/recommandations-en-urgence-relatives-aux-deplacements-collectifs-de-personnes-etrangeres-interpellees-a-calais ).

French MEP, Marie-Christine Vergiat, said: “It was important for the GUE/NGL that a delegation came to Calais at a time when the number and situation of migrants is worsening. We have noted situations that are unworthy of a country like France: increasing numbers of unaccompanied minors and women, including young people with no protection. Hundreds of people who cannot apply for family reunification because Great Britain demanded an opt-out of the directive on this issue. We all noted that the situation in Calais is often worse than in most refugee camps outside the EU and subsequently we are not surprised that tensions arise when the response by the government authorities is limited to controls, arrests and even raids.”

Barbara Spinelli added: “France’s Council of State recently declared that the conditions in the Calais camp expose the migrants to inhuman or degrading treatment. We stand with the Court and NGOs’ pleas for adequate reception conditions right now, together with the facilitation of access to family reunification for the many refugees with family and friends in the UK. Seeing the inhuman conditions in the jungle in Calais, I felt shame and anger because this is not happening in an underdeveloped country, but in our comparatively affluent societies. We, as Europeans, are guilty of two crimes, at least: the failure in our duty of care, and the crime of indifference.”

“The worst part of this intolerable and unacceptable situation is the tremendous vulnerability of women and children in a place where more than 90% of the population are men. This means there is a huge risk of abuse and harassment against women and children, especially considering that all of them have been deprived previously of human justice and therefore anything can be expected; this is even worse in view of the fact that mafias operate and control the camp. I urge the French State and the European Union to follow the requirements of International Humanitarian Law to guarantee minimum living conditions for the refugees,” commented Angela Vallina.

Miguel Viegas continued: “This visit confirms the lack of political will to address this problem seriously. It also contradicts all the speeches and all the promises made in the framework of the European Commission’s action plan. The relocation plans are not advancing and aid for humanitarian work is not reaching places where thousands of people still live in dreadful conditions like here in Calais. We must demand a new approach to refugee policies taking into account the EU’s responsibilities in the existing chaos in countries such as Libya, Iraq, Syria or Afghanistan. In contradiction to EU action based on repression and action to discourage the arrival of refugees escaping the war, we must demand policies based on two axes: the first to promote peace and development in conflict zones and the second based on effective support for refugees so that they find the peace and security that they do not find in their countries.”

For Miguel Urban, Podemos, who previously had the opportunity to witness the situation of people under forced mobility in Hungary, Macedonia, Serbia and Spain (Melilla), said: “The humanitarian situation of more than 4,000 people crammed into deplorable conditions in the Calais camp (dubbed the Jungle) shows how much the European Union and its member states have failed to implement effective solutions to the structural causes of the mass exodus of people from their places of origin, and in which Europe has a fundamental responsibility; on the contrary, by worsening the security approach and the repressive siege of these people rather than anticipating dignified reception conditions and integration, member states are aggravating the humanitarian catastrophe.”

“It is essential to denounce what is happening in the refugee camp in Calais. It is essential that European public opinion knows that at the heart of Europe, the human rights of thousands of people are being systematically violated. Society has to know that the French government and the European Union also are allowing this infamy. All rights for all people!” said Josu Juaristi.

Marisa Matias added: “What we have seen in Calais is not the Europe that we want. The European Union should assume its responsibilities for the consequences related to conflicts. It is not possible to live in these kinds of life conditions which are devoid of any European values. It’s important to come to these places and see how these people are living and not only speak about them, but especially speak with them. I urgently demand that we put a stop to this security-based logic and the criminalization of people who are fighting for a better life. European countries have the obligation to put the human life first and foremost and not the business of weapons and oil.”

Pictures of the delegations are available here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/guengl/albums/72157661943793875


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Statement by GUE/NGL MEP Barbara Spinelli on the prevention of radicalisation report vote

Barbara Spinelli, GUE/NGL shadow on the report, states: “It wasn’t an easy decision. After many months discussing the Parliament’s Initiative report on the prevention of radicalisation I decided to recommend a negative vote to my group. Although negotiations with the rapporteurs and the ‘shadows’ went rather well, and a number of our amendments were taken on board at Committee and plenary level, we believe we cannot fall prey to a policy of fear – after the terrorist attacks in Paris –  and adopt further counter-terrorism measures before assessing their proportionality and their legal necessity.”

“Indeed, we stand against the introduction of a PNR Directive (especially if extended to internal EU flights): a measure which the European Data Protection Supervisor and other important authorities have declared as neither necessary nor proportionate. Likewise, we agree with European Digital Rights’ (EDRI) assessment that encryption standards should not be arbitrarily undermined, as this would have a negative effect on innocent people’s privacy.

“We also believe that calling for the criminalisation of internet companies is a very dangerous message for regimes in the world, even more if it becomes possible on material that could be deemed legal.

Although we are not per se against border controls, we believe, as stated in an S&D amendment unfortunately rejected, that Member States must ‘refrain from using border control measures aimed at fighting terrorism and stopping the travel of suspected terrorists for immigration control purposes’: as was written in the amendment, we are ‘extremely worried by the measures taken by some governments in the EU to introduce additional border controls in order to prevent the entry into the EU of refugees and migrants, with the risk of such measures being based on arbitrariness and racial or ethnic profiling, which is totally contrary to EU principles and values, in addition to contravening Member States’ international human rights obligations’. Like the European Network Against Racism (ENAR), we are concerned that a number of proposals in the report may endanger fundamental rights in the EU, particularly for Muslims, refugees and people perceived as such.

“Moreover, one of our fundamental amendments has been rejected: the refusal of ‘the false dichotomy of security versus freedom’. In any democracy it’s an obviousness. It stops being evident in these times, dominated more by fear and anger than by reason and rule of law.”


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Terrorismo: non imitare Tony Blair

La Commissione faccia luce sul rimpatrio delle venti giovani nigeriane

COMUNICATO STAMPA

Barbara Spinelli e trenta eurodeputati chiedono alla Commissione europea di far luce sul rimpatrio di venti giovani donne nigeriane potenziali vittime di tratta

Bruxelles, 10 novembre 2015

Barbara Spinelli (GUE/NGL) ha presentato un’interrogazione scritta alla Commissione europea per chiedere che venga fatta luce sul rimpatrio di venti giovani donne nigeriane, potenziali vittime di tratta di esseri umani, in violazione della sospensione di rimpatrio rilasciata a loro nome dal Tribunale di Roma (Prima Sezione).

L’interrogazione è stata firmata, tra gli altri, da Claude Moraes, presidente della Commissione Libertà civili, giustizia e affari interni del Parlamento europeo, e dagli eurodeputati Elly Schlein, Ignazio Corrao, Laura Ferrara, Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Marina Albiol Guzman, Malin Björk, Marie-Christine Vergiat e Cornelia Ernst.

Il testo dell’interrogazione:

“Lo scorso 17 settembre circa venti donne nigeriane, potenziali vittime di tratta di esseri umani, sono state rimpatriate in Nigeria dall’aeroporto romano di Fiumicino. Man mano che giungeva copia delle notifiche di sospensione – emesse dal Tribunale nel mentre si svolgevano le procedure di rimpatrio e prontamente inviate alla Questura dagli avvocati e della Clinica Legale dell’Università di Roma 3 – attivisti radunati all’aeroporto chiedevano alla Polizia di Frontiera che le persone interessate venissero fatte scendere dall’aereo. Tuttavia una sola donna nigeriana cui era stata concessa dal Tribunale la sospensione dell’esecutività del rimpatrio è stata fatta sbarcare. Almeno altre due destinatarie di un ordine analogo – notificato alle 13.43 dagli avvocati alla Questura di Roma, dunque ben prima che l’aereo lasciasse il territorio italiano, alle 15.30 circa – sono state rimpatriate, contravvenendo alla pronuncia del Tribunale.

Chiediamo alla Commissione di far luce su questi recenti episodi e valutare se ciò costituisca una violazione dell’articolo 19 (2) della Carta dei diritti fondamentali dell’Unione europea, degli articoli 9 e 13 §2 della direttiva 2008/115/CE sui rimpatri e degli articoli 20 e 21 della direttiva “qualifiche” 2011/95/UE.

Barbara Spinelli, Matt Carthy, Neoklis Sylikiotis, Malin Björk, Kostandinka Kuneva, Eleonora Forenza, Patrick Le Hyaric, Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan, Younous Omarjee, Marie-Christine Vergiat, Josep-Maria Terricabras, Jean Lambert, Beatriz Becerra, Sophie in ‘t Veld, Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar, Claude Moraes, Jude Kirton-Darling, Julie Ward, Ana Gomes, Nessa Childers, Elly Schlein, Alessia Maria Mosca, Laura Ferrara, Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Maria Arena, Angelika Mlinar, Mary Honeyball, Ignazio Corrao, Cornelia Ernst, José Inácio Faria, Marina Albiol Guzman

How to save the European Citizens’ Initiative

COMUNICATO STAMPA GUE/NGL

How to save the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) – Parliament to vote on Schöpflin report

Ahead of tomorrow’s vote on the Schöpflin report on the European Citizens’ Initiative, Italian GUE/NGL MEP Barbara Spinelli outlined her views for and against the report and why it is important to save the ECI:

“The European Union discovered participatory democracy after a crisis: Ireland’s ‘No’ vote to the Treaty of Nice in 2001. The European Citizens’ Initiative, that is now part of the Treaties, was a response to that crisis. However, the crisis is getting worse and participatory democracy is moribund: no legislative proposals have followed successful Initiatives.

“Although the Schöpflin report is far from perfect, because it does not allow modifications to the Treaties, it was adopted unanimously in the Constitutional Affairs (AFCO) Committee since it greatly eases the legal follow-up to the Initiatives.

“But I call on this Parliament to reject amendment 4 to paragraph 30 which will transform the ECI into a bow without arrows. This amendment urges the Commission to start preparing a legal act on successful ECIs but only after issuing a positive opinion.

“Up until now 29 initiatives out of 49 submissions have gone through the process of registration and only three of them have reached the 1 million signature threshold. Only the ECI Right2Water received a positive – although vague – communication from the European Commission. None of the successful ECIs has led to legislative follow-up.  In addition, Commissioner Malmström, answering petitions submitted against the TTIP, stated recently: ‘I do not take my mandate from the European people’. If that is the case, I am curious to know from whom does the European Commission take its mandate?”


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Withdraw parliamentarians from blacklists, normalise political relations with Russia

COMUNICATO STAMPA GUE/NGL

Brussels, 26 October 2015

Following the visit of a delegation of five GUE/NGL MEPs to Moscow last week, GUE/NGL is calling for all European and Russian parliamentarians to be removed from the blacklists that were established on both sides earlier this year, and for direct dialogue to be resumed between the EU and Russia.

In Moscow, the GUE/NGL delegation met with representatives of the State Duma, the Federation Council, the Eurasian Economic Commission, the Federation of Independent Trade Unions and civil society activists.

GUE/NGL President, Gabi Zimmer, stated: “For several months now, the official contact between the European Parliament, the State Duma and the Russian Federation Council have been frozen. In view of the dramatic developments in many regions of the world which can only be solved through coordinated policies of the global community, we as the left group in the European Parliament took initiative to contribute to restoring dialogue between the EU and Russia.”

“Parliaments should play a key role in this situation of tense relations between the EU and Moscow. The delegations of the European Parliament and the State Duma must urgently resume their direct dialogue. Therefore, as a first step, we call for the immediate withdrawal of all parliamentarians from the blacklists of the EU and the Russian Federation,” Ms Zimmer continued.

GUE/NGL Vice-President, Neoklis Sylikiotis, commented: “The sanctions that were imposed on Russia by the EU have negative consequences on the people. It is highly important to find a peaceful solution and the parliaments have a very important role to play in this situation. Unfortunately, the sanctions that were imposed on the members of the State Duma exclude any possibility of resuming the direct dialogue with the EU. Therefore, we urge the EU to withdraw the parliamentarians from the blacklist and normalise political relations with Russia.

Italian MEP, Barbara Spinelli, also commented: “The situation we witnessed in Moscow is cause for profound concern. Each initiative of the Russian government – the reaction to NATO expansion at the EU’s Eastern borders in the Ukraine, the Eurasian Economic Community, the Russian military intervention in Syria – is interpreted in Europe as a provocation or a disturbing factor, and this misconception contributes to deep resentment among the Russian elite.”

Ms Spinelli continued: “The Cold War is back, but without the codes of conduct and the deconflicting elements which distinguished it. Instead of a sober evaluation of Russia’s interests, EU member states tend to passively fall in line with the US administration. The post-war ‘roll-back’ doctrine is being revived, rather than Cold War or containment policies. This is perhaps in the interest of the US administration, whose aim is either the preservation of the unipolar world disorder established after the end of the Cold War or improvised bilateral arrangements with Moscow behind Europe’s back. In any case, it’s not in the interest of the European Union”.

Vice–Chair of the EU-Russia Delegation and GUE/NGL MEP, Jiří Maštálka, added: “Apart from high-level political diplomacy we have to support and reinforce popular diplomacy. For example, in the field of culture and science in which there is a long tradition of mutually beneficial relations between the EU and Russia. These include the cooperation with RUDEN (People’s Friendship University of Russia), the student exchange programme with the Volgograd State University, the Erasmus Plus programme, and the common activities of the sister cities of Volgograd, Russia and Ostrava, Czech Republic. Students, young artists and talented scientists must not be taken as hostages of the difficult current political situation”.

German MEP, Helmut Scholz, also participated in the mission to Moscow.

GUE/NGL vota contro la Relazione d’iniziativa “Prevenzione della radicalizzazione e del reclutamento di cittadini europei da parte di organizzazioni terroristiche”

COMUNICATO STAMPA

Bruxelles, 19 ottobre 2015

Questo pomeriggio, la Commissione per le libertà civili, la giustizia e gli affari interni (LIBE) del Parlamento europeo ha votato a favore la Relazione d’Iniziativa Prevenzione della radicalizzazione e del reclutamento di cittadini europei da parte di organizzazioni terroristiche, redatta dalla deputata francese del Partito Popolare Europeo Rachida Dati.

Il Gruppo GUE/NGL ha presentato 95 emendamenti alla versione iniziale della Relazione e ha lavorato, nel corso di tutto il processo che ha portato a questo voto, a stretto contatto con varie ONG che operano nel settore dei diritti fondamentali.

Barbara Spinelli, Relatore Ombra per il Gruppo GUE/NGL, ha dichiarato:

«Alcune delle nostre linee rosse sono purtroppo state integrate nel testo finale, come la richiesta di un maggiore controllo dei confini esterni dell’Unione, il rafforzamento delle Agenzie europee quali EUROPOL, la richiesta di una piena cooperazione con i paesi terzi, inclusa la Lega Araba, nonché l’impegno a lavorare verso la finalizzazione, entro la fine dell’anno, della Direttiva sul PNR europeo. Per il nostro Gruppo è altresì problematico l’approccio adottato riguardo alla prevenzione della radicalizzazione su internet, che prevede una responsabilità legale in capo alle società di internet e ai gestori di servizi di cooperare con le autorità degli Stati Membri al fine di cancellare i contenuti illegali su internet nonché il compito, per tali società, di promuovere, in cooperazione con le autorità, narrative positive. A cui si aggiunge la richiesta rivolta agli Stati Membri di istituire un’Unità Speciale volta a facilitare l’individuazione e l’eliminazione dei contenuti illegali su internet.

«In ogni caso il nostro Gruppo ha conseguito vari successi, come quello sull’introduzione di misure di prevenzione, tra cui i programmi educativi nelle prigioni volti al reinserimento dei detenuti e i programmi di supporto per i lavoratori in prima linea, finanziati attraverso investimenti sociali a lungo termine da parte degli Stati Membri. Abbiamo inoltre ottenuto miglioramenti riguardo al ruolo della scuola e dell’istruzione come strumento per prevenire la radicalizzazione attraverso la promozione di corsi di tolleranza e diritti umani, e abbiamo affrontato i fattori socio-economici che conducono a emarginazione chiedendo investimenti in progetti sociali e di vicinato volti a combattere l’emarginazione economica e geografica.

«Siamo riusciti infine ad ottenere l’adozione di una serie di richieste rivolte agli Stati Membri, ad esempio quella di implementare diligentemente gli strumenti dell’Unione Europea contro la discriminazione e adottare misure efficaci per affrontare la discriminazione, l’incitamento all’odio e i reati di odio, nonché incoraggiare gli Stati Membri ad adottare azioni immediate contro il sovraffollamento delle carceri, che continua ad essere un grave problema in molti Stati Membri.

«Per concludere, siamo riusciti ad evidenziare nel rapporto che una strategia per contrastare l’estremismo, la radicalizzazione e il reclutamento di terroristi all’interno dell’UE può funzionare solo se si sviluppa in parallelo ad una strategia di integrazione, inclusione sociale, reinserimento e de-radicalizzazione dei cosiddetti “combattenti stranieri rimpatriati”».


Si veda anche:

Combattenti stranieri e terrorismo: critiche a Rachida Dati
Prevenzione della radicalizzazione e del reclutamento di cittadini europei da parte di organizzazioni terroristiche