European values must prevail, even in a state of public emergency, MEPs say

(Guillaume Périgois, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.


Parliament warns against “risk of abuse of power” and calls on the Commission to step up its efforts by taking legal action where necessary.

On Friday, Parliament adopted a resolution that takes stock of the state of European democratic values in the context of national measures to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, with 496 votes to 138 and 49 abstentions.

In Thursday’s debate with Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders, almost all speakers expressed concerns regarding the rights of citizens and vulnerable groups in a number of EU countries where state of emergency measures have been taken.

Uphold democratic principles and fundamental rights

In the resolution, Parliament points out that emergency measures pose a “risk of abuse of power” and stresses that they must be necessary, proportional and of a temporary nature when they affect democracy, the rule of law, and fundamental rights. National governments should “not abuse emergency powers to pass legislation unrelated to the COVID-19 health emergency”.

Furthermore, members call on EU countries to

  • end their “state of emergency”, or at least clearly define the delegation of powers to their executives, and ensure appropriate parliamentary and judicial checks and balances;
  • refrain from unduly restricting the freedom of assembly or banning demonstrations to adopt controversial measures;
  • refrain from adopting measures that profoundly impact on fundamental rights, e.g. sexual and reproductive health and rights (such as the de facto ban on abortion in some member states), while public health concerns do not allow for due democratic debate and safe protest;
  • uphold the right to free and fair elections, especially in relation to changes to electoral legislation;
  • ensure equal rights for those standing for election and campaigning, and consider alternative forms of voting;
  • exercise utmost restraint in restricting the freedom of movement, especially in relation to the right to family life;
  • guarantee the right to education by ensuring students have access to learning;
  • guarantee access to asylum procedures despite the pandemic, and immediately evacuate the camps on the Greek islands and relocate asylum seekers to other EU countries; and
  • find solutions to safeguard the rights of defendants through technology or judicial cooperation, and protect the rights of prisoners.

Quote

The rapporteur Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D, ES), stated: “This pandemic is turning out to be the worst crisis in the history of the European Union. Nevertheless, the European Parliament is fulfilling its duty towards citizens by fighting for their rights and freedoms, especially where governments are using the pandemic as an excuse to attack EU values. The Commission and the member states must step up their efforts to uphold fundamental rights, democracy and rule of law during this crisis and ensure that governments uphold democratic principles in their measures”.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Youth and Decent Work: A Review of Today’s Facts, Challenges and Possible Solutions

Britain in and out of the EU

Agreement on EU instrument supporting border management and common visa policy

“Two Pack” approved: Is democracy chased away from Brussels?

9 climate tipping points pushing Earth to the point of no return

Altruism can be good for business, as these companies show

Parliament mobilised to channel EU funds to those affected by Coronavirus pandemic

More answers from Facebook ahead of Parliament hearing today

Close to final agreement on the EU Banking Union

EFSF/ESM boss tells half truths about Troika’s doings

UN highlights profound implication of population trends on sustainable development

Australia urged to evacuate offshore detainees amid widespread, acute mental distress

3 ways blockchain can revolutionize global supply chains

Keep Africa’s guns ‘from firing in the first place’, UN political chief urges

Norway initiates WTO dispute complaint against US steel, aluminium duties

Refugee crisis update: Commission is struggling alone with little help from EU or G7 leaders

The representatives of the regions and the cities know better what the EU needs on migration, trade, poverty and taxation

UN rights experts ‘gravely’ concerned at spike in civilian casualties in north-west Myanmar following internet shutdown

Innovations for Content Professionals at the DCX exhibition 2018 in Berlin, in association with The European Sting

EU migrant crisis: Germany, France and UK to show the way. Will the rest of the EU follow?

One billion people have preventable eye conditions, increasingly linked to lifestyle choices: UN health agency

‘New tech’ business model threatens decent work conditions, warns UN

Defence: European Commission paves the way for first joint industrial projects under EU budget

7 key challenges for the future of ASEAN – and how to solve them

Localized microfactories – the new face of globalized manufacturing

Eurozone’s credibility rock solid

Manufacturers Get Smarter for Industry 4.0

Tackling obesity would boost economic and social well-being

The Ukrainian crisis to destabilize Europe and the world for a long time

Is a 3-day split week the way to get people back to work?

The metamorphosis of the categorical imperative in medical students

Member States’ compliance with EU law in 2019: more work needed

The Future of Balkans: Embracing Education

It’s time for global businesses to accept local responsibility

This is how travel hotspots are fighting back against overtourism

Strong EU trade enforcement rules enter into force

Not enough resettlement solutions for refugees worldwide, says UN

Mankind’s first tool to fight malaria also kills

Connect 4 Impact – a virtual journey around the globe WSA Global Congress 2021 – March 22-24

What if nature became a legal person?

COVID-19: MEPs free up over €3 billion to support EU healthcare sector

Black historical figures who shook the world, from a warrior queen to a Mexican president

High-flyers: China is on top of the world for skyscraper construction

Services are the hidden side of the US-China trade war

Antimicrobial resistance: how can an intersectoral approach between society and healthcare professionals be developed and applied?

How digital entrepreneurs will help shape the world after the COVID-19 pandemic

Protecting refugees in Europe: UNHCR calls for a ‘year of change’

The use of mobile technologies in Radiation Oncology: helping medical care

Climate change helped destroy these four ancient civilisations

We need to talk: UN gears up for 75th anniversary with Global Conversations

Climate change will be sudden and cataclysmic. We need to act fast

Companies that put employees first perform better

How Japan and Singapore are reinventing old age

EU Commission says falling labour remuneration leads to deflation and damages growth prospects

President von der Leyen’s State of the Union Address: charting the course out of the coronavirus crisis and into the future

How climate change exacerbates the refugee crisis – and what can be done about it

Around 52 million in Near East, North Africa, suffering chronic undernourishment, new UN food agency report reveals

A climate scientist explains what the melting Arctic means for the world

UN programme to help spare millions from child marriage, extended to 2023

How global tech companies can champion ethical AI

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s