The European Protection Order gets Parliament support

MEPs approved that crime victims will get similar protection from their aggressors in all EU Member States thanks to the European Protection Order. This new rule aims to protect victims of, for instance, gender violence, harassment, abduction, stalking or attempted murder in all Europe. Now, Member States will have three years to transpose this directive into national law.

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The new European Protection Order rules backed by MEPs

The Civil Liberties and the Women's Rights Committees endorsed the new European Protection Order (EPO) rules which include that crime victims who are granted protection in one EU Member State will be able to get similar protection if they move to another. According to MEPs, the EPO directive is an important step in building a European area of justice.

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Public consultations should be published in all EU languages

According to the European Ombudsman, the Commission should publish public consultations in all languages. This follows a complaint from a Spanish lawyer, criticising the fact that many public consultation documents are only available in English or in a few EU languages. The ombudsman also affirms that citizens cannot participate in a consultation if they do not understand it.

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Four out of ten EU citizens think that the EU needs better tools to fight terrorism

According to a Eurobarometer poll, out of ten EU citizens think that the EU needs better tools to fight organised crime, terrorism and extremism. The Commission has also published the first report on the Internal Security Strategy launched last year, outlining issues that need to be given further attention and taking stock of progress made.

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EU Member States agreed on a draft law ensuring the right to information in criminal proceedings

EU Member State representatives reached an agreement on a draft law that will ensure defendants’ right to information in criminal proceedings wherever they are in the EU. Under the new law, suspects of a criminal offence will have to be informed of their rights in a language they understand. The proposed Directive will now pass to the European Parliament for adoption in the coming weeks, before final adoption by ministers meeting in the Council.

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The Council encourages Member States to boost the European Judicial Training

The Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting conclusions stressed the need to strongly encourage that training on Union acquis will be made available for legal practitioners through initial and continuous training, reflecting how national and Union legislation interact and influence their everyday practice.

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Parliament approves tougher penalties to combat sexual abuse and exploitation of children and child pornography

The European Parliament adopted the directive which sets out minimum penalties for about 20 criminal offences. The directive approved tougher penalties across the EU, especially in cases of abuse by persons in a position of trust, authority or influence over the child or abuse of particularly vulnerable children. The directive will also require EU countries to remove child porn web sites and it will introduce EU-wide requirements on prevention, prosecution of offenders and protection for victims.

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Commission launches public consultation on unfair commercial practices affecting European businesses

The European Commission has launched a public consultation to gather more information from companies and other affected parties, about the nature and scale of unfair commercial practices, including online scams. Further to this consultation, the Commission will assess how best to stop rogue traders exploiting loopholes in the rules and make sure that legitimate traders are effectively protected.

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Civil Liberties Committee approved a proposal to restrict access to chemicals that can be used to make home-made explosives

MEPs backed a draft law to restrict the general public's access to chemicals that can be used to make home-made explosives. In addition, they amended the draft to clarify licence-to-buy requirements for certain chemicals that can be found, for instance, in fertilizers or pool cleaners and the definition of a "suspicious transaction".

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A report shows a decrease in the number of infringement procedures launched for failure to apply EU law

The 28th Annual Report on monitoring the Application of EU Law issued by the European Commission shows a decrease in the number of infringement procedures launched by the Commission against Member States for failure to apply EU law. An innovative online platform for exchange of information between the Commission and almost all Member States, has played a major role in this context.

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The Council did not reach an agreement on Bulgaria and Romania accession to Schengen

The meeting of European Justice and Home Affairs ministers ended without achieving an agreement on the question of Schengen accession of Bulgaria and Romania. On the other hand, they adopted a decision on the signature of the EU-Australia PNR agreement and discussed the stated of play regarding the Common European Asylum System.

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EP and Council reached an agreement on the European Protection Order

The draft agreement reached between the EP and the Council on the European Protection Order will make possible that Crime victims who have been granted protection in one EU Member State will be able to get similar protection if they move to another. This protection would cover, for instance, victims of gender violence, harassment, abduction, stalking or attempted murder.

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