The directive adopted in 2011, is the fundamental EU legislative act addressing trafficking in human beings. It establishes minimum rules concerning the definition of criminal offences and sanctions; common provisions to strengthen victim's protection, assistance and support, as well as prevention; key actors to fight against the crime.
Currently, there are elements in the current framework cause an uneven processing of API data across the EU, thus resulting in security gaps and uncertainty for both data subjects, air-carriers and national authorities. Therefore the proposal aims to address such gaps to ensure effective processing of API data with clear rules and transparency, and in full consistency with the interoperability of EU information systems for borders, security and migration management, EU data protection requirements, and other existing EU instruments and international standards, while ensuring facilitation of legitimate travellers.
This Opinion welcomes the European Media Freedom Act and all the related EU initiatives aiming to address the worrying developments in the area of media freedom over the last years. The Opinion entails a number of recommendations concerning editorial and journalists' independence; the need for financial resources to ensure independence of public media; transparency in the allocation of State advertising; transparency of media ownership. The Opinion also calls for measures to ensure the independence of national regulatory bodies, especially in the context of the future European board for media services. It also considers that EU anti-concentration law should be used where national regulators fail to address media market concentration.
Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation" (SLAPPs) are a particular form of harassment used against journalists, rights defenders and others who are involved in protecting the public interest. Typically, they are meritless lawsuits lodged by powerful individuals or entities against a weaker party who expresses a critical position on a matter of public interest. Through this Opinion, the EESC welcomes the European Commission initiative – a proposed Directive and a Recommendation – aiming to tackle this growing phenomenon. The EESC also proposes to go beyond the current scope of the initiative, notably through a stronger focus on national aspects, and recommendations on aspects like preliminary rulings or training.
The EESC believes that any phenomenon of antisemitism is incompatible with European values and norms, as it leads to violations of the law and to exclusion, which is a threat not only to the communities concerned and Jewish life, but also to Europe's heritage and present, and to a democratic European future. The Committee broadly supports the establishment of the Strategy and the fact that it was preceded by a broad consultation process in 2021. It strongly supports that the Strategy is not only about combating antisemitism, but also about fostering Jewish life. It firmly believes that antisemitism is not only a violation of the law affecting European Jews, but is also a test of the European idea, European coexistence, the rule of law, fundamental rights and democracy. The EESC believes that all Member States have a fundamental obligation to ensure that their citizens have the freedom to hold religious beliefs and practice their religions without fear.