The EESC welcomed the European Commission's proposal to modernise the EU legislative framework against corruption by incorporating international standards, including those in the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC). The EESC recommended that Member States adopt rules in a number of areas, including on incompatibility, lobbying, access to elected officials, recruitment of public officials and funding of political parties. Other ways to reinforce anti-corruption measures would be through an extension of the competences of the EU Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) and the creation of an independent corruption prevention authority at EU-level. The opinion also suggested to extend the legal basis of the Directive and introduce speedy procedures to administer justice for corruption-related crimes.
Fundamental Rights and the Rule of Law
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The EU is not only a common market; it is a union of common values that shape the European identity. These values are set out in the Treaty on the European Union and also include the rights, freedoms and principles laid out in the Charter of Fundamental Rights: the "indivisible, universal values of human dignity, freedom, equality and solidarity; [the Union] is based on the principles of democracy and the rule of law. It places the individual at the heart of its activities, by establishing the citizenship of the Union and by creating an area of freedom, security and justice."
The Charter brings together into a single text all the personal, civic, political, economic and social rights enjoyed by people within the EU and apply to the EU institutions and Member States when they implement EU law.
The EESC is very active in the promotion of fundamental rights, the rule of law and democracy, and especially in the fight against discrimination based on race, ethnic origin, disability or gender. In 2018, it established the Group on Fundamental Rights and the Rule of Law to further expand analysis of the situation across Europe and promote a constructive dialogue amongst all stakeholders.
The revision of the Victims' Rights Directive aims to ensure that victims' rights are ensured, easier to access and improved for all victims' of crimes throughout the Union. The EESC welcomes this proposal and supports the following: improving the individual assessment of victims' needs, paying particular attention to more vulnerable or marginalised groups; improving guidelines and training so that such assessments are done correctly; enhancing the victim's right to information and having the right to review a decision during court proceedings; strengthening compensation schemes for victims.
This initiative aims at providing detailed rules to support the smooth functioning of the cooperation and consistency mechanism established by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Le CESE convient de la nécessité de collecter et de transférer de manière efficace les informations préalables sur les passagers et les données des dossiers passagers aux fins de la gestion des frontières et de la lutte contre l’immigration illégale, ainsi que pour des raisons de sécurité, notamment la prévention du terrorisme et des formes graves de criminalité et la lutte contre ceux-ci. Il reconnaît qu’il est nécessaire d’harmoniser la mise en œuvre et le suivi du cadre juridique applicable afin d’éliminer les disparités résultant des pratiques multiples des États membres, d’accroître la sécurité juridique, d’accélérer le flux des passagers et de réduire les difficultés administratives que rencontrent les transporteurs aériens.
The EESC welcomes the Commission's proposal to amend the Anti-Trafficking Directive, as it agrees with the need for further progress and improvement in the fight against trafficking in human beings and the protection of victims. The gender dimension in the content and implementation of the directive should be strengthened, given that the vast majority of victims are women and girls. The EESC believes that the directive should pay greater attention to victims of trafficking, and wishes to highlight the Member States' obligation to care for and protect victims and ensure their social inclusion as far as possible.