EC to revise data protection legal framework in 2011

Strengthening the rights of citizens and protect their personal data while enhancing the single market dimension and facilitate the exchange of data between Member States are some of the goals set forth by the Commission in its data protection strategy presented on 4 November. The Commission intends to address the review of the current legislative framework and has launched a public consultation open until 15 January 2011.

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Europe celebrates the Day for Civil Justice

Following on from other existing major "European Days", in 2003 the European Commission and the Council of Europe established a European Civil Justice Day to take place on 25 October each year, in order to bring civil justice to the attention of the European public.

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Guillermo Fariñas wins Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought 2010

Cuban dissident Guillermo Fariñas has been declared the winner of the 2010 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. The announcement was made on 21 October by European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek following a decision by the EP's political group leaders. Mr Fariñas will be invited to attend the award ceremony on 15 December in Strasbourg.

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Commission will ensure full respect for EU Charter of Fundamental Rights

The European Commission has adopted a strategy to ensure that the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights is fully respected by verifying that all community law comply with the Charter at each stage of the legislative process, from the early preparatory work to the application by Member States. Commission will also provide information to citizens on when it can intervene in fundamental rights issues and will publish an Annual Report on the Charter’s application to monitor the progress achieved.

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EU ensures higher procedural safeguards in criminal proceedings

European Union Justice Ministers have approved a law which ensures translation and interpretation rights in criminal proceedings. The law guarantees the right of suspects to obtain interpretation throughout criminal proceedings, including when receiving legal advice, in their own language in all courts in the EU.

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Europe to move from “better regulation” to “smart regulation”

The European Commission has presented its Communication entitled “Smart Regulation in the European Union” in order to ensure that European legislation really benefits European citizens and businesses. This Communication outlines the measures that the Commission intends to put in place in order to ensure better quality and relevance of legislation helping  achieve the ambitious objectives for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth set out by the Europe 2020 Strategy.

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Commission assesses Roma issue in France and acts for full enforcement of Directive on Free Movement in MS

The European Commission presented on 29 September its conclusions after the assessment on recent developments in France as well as the discussions about the overall situation of the Roma and the enforcement of EU law on free movement of EU citizens. Infringement procedures could be  initiated in the context of October package if full transposition of Free Movement Directive is not notified.

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Nine nominations for Sakharov Prize 2010

The European Parliament has tabled nine nominations for the 2010 Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought have been tabled. The nominees are the "Access" movement, Haytham Al-Maleh, Israeli NGO "Breaking the Silence", Guillermo Fariñas, Aminatou Haidar, Dawit Isaak, Birtukan Mideksa, Father Thadeus (Nguyën Van Ly) and the Christian mission "Open Doors".

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Still a lot to do for effective internal market enforcement

The Internal Market Scoreboard presented by the European Commission on 23 September shows, among other things, that although the average transposition level of internal market rules in Member States is close to the 1% objective, the positive trend of recent years has stalled . For the first time, this Scoreboard also includes an enforcement table which provides an overview of Member state's compliance with internal market rules.

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Commission sets general principles for the agreements on passenger data records

With view to lay down general rules governing the agreements with third countries concerning the exchange of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data, the European Commission adopted on 21 September a series of measures which define EU external strategy, as well as recommendations for the negotiation of agreements with third countries.

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Commission identifies shortcomings in existing common standards on asylum procedures

The European Commission report on the application of the Directive on minimum standards on procedures for granting and withdrawing refugee status shows that procedural guarantees still vary considerably across the EU. Moreover, the vagueness of the standards set by the Directive and flaws in the implementation at national level may lead to administrative errors. The Commission adopted on 21 October 2009 a proposal to recast the Directive in order to remedy to these deficiencies.

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The Commission has adopted an opinion on exchange of legal data

The European Commission adopted an opinion on a proposal by seven EU Member States (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden) for a European Investigation Order, a system facilitating justice authorities' work in obtaining evidence for transnational criminal proceedings (or investigations). The proposal would allow authorities to request their counterparts to investigate, share and gather evidence.

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