The Frontex's fundamental rights implementation is under an Ombudsman's investigation

The European Ombudsman has opened an inquiry into how the EU Agency Frontex implements its fundamental rights obligations. The investigation has been opened due to the number of civil society organisations that have questioned whether Frontex is doing enough to comply with the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

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New rules proposed for the confiscation of funds and other property acquired through crime

The European Commission proposed new rules that intend to enhance the ability of Member States to confiscate assets that have been transferred to third parties, it will make it easier to confiscate criminal assets even when the suspect has fled and will ensure that competent authorities can temporarily freeze assets that risk disappearing if no action is taken.

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8th European Day in Remembrance of Victims of Terrorism

On 11 March 2012 the European Union commemorates the 8th European Day in Remembrance of Victims of Terrorism and EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström stressed that is a time for commemoration and remembrance, a time for solidarity and encouragement. Gilles de Kerchove, EU Counter-terrorism coordinator highlighted that more has to be done to make the voices of victims heard in public and to devote more attention to victims, their families, friends and relatives and less to the perpetrators.

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New European legislation adopted to effectively fight illegal arms trafficking

The European Council has adopted a new legislation which sets up stronger regulations to combat trafficking of firearms. In addition, the new regulation improves the tracing and control of imports and exports of civilian firearms from and to the EU territory.

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Continues the infringement procedure on independence of the data protection supervisor in Hungary

The Commission has decided to start the second stage under EU infringement proceedings – to send Hungary two reasoned opinions, and two administrative letters, after which the matter may be referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union. The Commission still has concerns about measures affecting the judiciary and the independence of the country’s data protection supervisor. In addition, the Commission requested in a recommendation a Council recommendation asking Hungary to take steps to correct its excessive deficit in a sustainable and credible manner by 2012.

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The EDPS highlights that the proposals on data protection are disappointing in the law enforcement area

The opinion adopted by the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) on the proposed package for a reform of the EU rules on data protection welcomes the strengthening of the right to data protection in Europe, but expresses concerns as regards the possibilities for restricting basic principles and rights among other things.

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MEPs agreed to make cross-border inheritances easier

The Legal Affairs Committee at the European Parliament backed unanimously the new rules which aims to make easier to settle inheritances and avoid disputes when someone dies and leaves a will and the legal systems of more than one Member State are involved.

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The first joint customs operation along the EU Eastern border seizes one million smuggled cigarettes

The final results of the first operation targeting rail traffic along the EU Eastern border made by twenty-four Member States, Croatia, Turkey, Norway and Switzerland ended with around 1.2 million cigarettes seized. The exchange of information was easier during the operation called "Operation Barrel", because of the setting up in OLAF's headquarters of an operational coordination centre with contact persons from the Member States, third countries and Europol.

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The number of actions brought to the three judicial organs of the Court of Justice grew in 2011

The EU Court of Justice published its latests statistics concerning judicial activity. In 2011, it was reached a new record in the number of actions brought before and disposed of by the three judicial organs of the Court of Justice of the European Union. However increased efficiency and significant internal reforms have not completely absorbed the increase in caseload.

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The Court of Justice clears that a social network cannot be obliged to install a filtering system to protect copyrights

A Court of Justice judgment clears that the owner of an online social network cannot be obliged to install a general filtering system in order to prevent the unlawful use of musical and audio-visual work. Such an obligation would not be respecting the prohibition to impose on that provider a general obligation to monitor nor the requirement that a fair balance be struck between the protection of copyright and the freedom to conduct business, the right to protection of personal data and the freedom to receive or impart information.

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The Europeans citizens think that the corruption has risen over the last three years

According to the latest Eurobarometer survey, corruption remains a major problem in the countries of the European Union. In addition the 8% of respondents say that they have been asked or expected to pay a bribe in the past year. The economic costs incurred by corruption in the EU are estimated to amount to around €120 billion per year.

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