Select Page

Author: ECAS European Citizen Action Service

REFIT Platform Calls For ID Card Harmonisation

The European Commission’s Regulatory Fitness and Performance (REFIT) platform has called on the Commission to look into harmonising ID and travel documents to facilitate free movement and tackle problems faced by EU mobile citizens when moving to another Member State. In an adopted opinion largely based on enquiries received by the Your Europe Advice service, which ECAS manages on behalf of the Commission, the REFIT platform Stakeholders’ Group recognised many of the problems arising from a lack of harmonisation of identity documents that EU citizens face when exercising their right to free movement. These include a lack of knowledge amongst national authorities of rights that are connected to residence documents, misconceptions about what constitute travel documents, and difficulties accessing employment, healthcare, social security and banking services. Feasibility study The opinion was supported by the REFIT Government Group, with one Member State even proposing to discuss the issue within the Council’s preparatory structures. The group acknowledged that “EU citizens can encounter difficulties with ID and residence documents” when moving to another Member State and supported “the recommendation that the Commission undertakes a feasibility study on the harmonisation of these documents.” Such a study would assess technical, legal and financial parameters, such as the financial consequences for Member States. The Commission will now respond to the opinion and report on its progress in the ‘Refit Scoreboard’. Read the full opinion here...

Read More

Our Response to the Public Consultation on the European Citizens’ Initiative

In response to the European Commission’s public consultation on the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), ECAS made the following recommendations: Citizens’ initiatives should also foster transnational debates between both like-mind and different-minded citizens. Civil society organisations have an important role to play in supporting e-participation mechanisms at institutional levels. A few NGOs are already supporting ECI organisers in their own capacity but it is essential to have the involvement of more organisations both at national and EU level. Citizens’ committees of an ECI should, within the regulation, be defined as a legal body of EU-lawmaking, so that organisers cannot be held individually liable. The Commission should make the most concrete, detailed communication possible in its follow-up to initiatives that reach the required number of signatures to allow organisers the opportunity to concretely follow-up with their political campaigns and have a political debate with facts and figures provided by the Commission. The Commission should insist Member States do their part in communicating the existance of the ECI. For example, where Member States already have national platforms for civic engagement, the ECI should also be published on those web pages. The Commission could also reach out directly to national civil society organisations for their support. In the short term, the Commission should publish a regular ECI newsletter for organisers, signatories and interested citizens with information about ECIs in a particular field or milestones that ECIs...

Read More

Coming soon – ECAS’ Autumn Activities

This autumn, ECAS has a busy schedule of events and activities on free movement in the EU, media literacy, digital democracy and engagement, Brexit, and more. Events will include the 2017 Digital Democracy Day on rejuvenating Europe with digital tools, a workshop on fake news and the first in a series of training sessions for free movement activists. We will also be releasing expert studies on the obstacles to EU citizens exercising their free movement rights, the role of CSOs in digital public consultations in the EU and the implications of losing EU citizenship for UK nationals after Brexit. Finally, we will be launching a crowdsourcing Knowledge Centre as part of the EUCROWD project, which will have all the latest information and analysis on crowdsourcing in Europe. Find out more about ECAS’ projects: Citizen Brexit Observatory; ACT for Free Movement; EUCROWD; DEEP-linking Youth The post Coming soon – ECAS’ Autumn Activities appeared first on...

Read More

ECJ Rules EU-Canada PNR Agreement Incompatible with Fundamental Rights

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on 26 July that the agreement between the EU and Canada on the transfer of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data “may not be concluded in its current form” and the provisions of the agreement “do not meet requirements stemming from the fundamental rights of the European Union.” The ECJ determined that, although interferences with fundamental rights in the agreement can be justified on the grounds of “an objective general interest”, such as public security, “several provisions of the agreement are not limited to what is strictly necessary and do not lay down clear and precise rules”. The judgment stated that there is no justification for the transfer of sensitive data about air passengers, the use of EU citizens’ PNR data once they have entered Canada must be based on new circumstances defined by rules setting out the conditions for that use, and the continued storage of PNR data of ‘no risk’ passengers (allowed for a maximum of five years in the agreement) is not permissible. Further provisions in the agreement should include clearer definitions of PNR data to be transferred, a right to individual notification when PNR data is being used and an independent supervisory body to oversee the rules protecting air passengers. Balance between security and rights The ruling echoes ECAS’ concerns about the PNR Directive and is likely to have...

Read More

ECI Watch June

Read the ECI Watch here EU INSTITUTIONS – Public Consultation on the ECI – Time to Share Your Views! – REFIT Platform Opinion on Improving the ECI IN THE NEWS – The ECJ Rules in Favour of “STOP TTIP” THE LATEST ECI LAUNCH – Retaining European Citizenship – Reduce Wage and Economic Differences – Stop Extremism The post ECI Watch June appeared first on...

Read More

Youth Mobility and Erasmus+ – Live Chat with MEP Brando Benifei

On 12 July, ECAS and the Erasmus Student Network (ESN) held a live chat with Brando Benifei, Member of the European Parliament and co-chair of the Youth Intergroup. The topic of the chat was youth mobility in the EU and the Erasmus+ Programme, and participants could post their questions on Facebook, either in advance or during the chat. The chat featured a short interview with Brando, during which he explained why he works on topics related to youth participation and the Erasmus+ Programme, after which he responded to questions regarding the challenges of EU youth mobility. Many of the questions were identified by the DEEP-linking Youth Digital Dashboard, and included issues around the social inclusion aspects of Erasmus+, the future participation of non-Programme countries, the post-2020 Programme (the current one ends in 2020), Erasmus Mundus joint Master’s Degrees and, of course, Brexit. Brando emphasised, both in the chat and the interview, the potential for extending the possibilities offered by Erasmus+ beyond the “traditional” Erasmus Higher Education. In the Erasmus+ Programme, launched in 2014, there are also possibilities for vocational students, young entrepreneurs and others to do exchanges. However, these opportunities are not as widely used as the Erasmus Higher Education. All the questions and answers can be viewed on the Facebook event page. The DEEP-linking Youth partners would like to warmly thank Brando and everyone who participated in the chat. The post Youth Mobility and Erasmus+ – Live Chat with MEP Brando...

Read More

July News Flash – Brexit, Civil Society Days and Simone Veil

This month, our newsletter covers our latest activities, including our final conference on Brexit and citizens’ rights in Brussels and the launch of the Citizen Brexit Observatory, our workshop on e-democracy at the 2017 Civil Society Days, the Your Europe Advice 2016 Single Market Scoreboard and the passing away of our first President, Simone Veil. In addition, we have the latest on Brexit and Estonia’s assumption of the rotating presidency of the European Council. Finally, we look at the most important rulings and developments in EU rights, including on the derived right of residence of non-EU nationals. Access the newsletter here The post July News Flash – Brexit, Civil Society Days and Simone Veil appeared first on...

Read More

“One Issue That Could Break the Brexit Talks” – ECAS in The Atlantic

ECAS appeared in The Atlantic on July 17, in an article on the issue of citizens’ rights “looming” over the Brexit talks. Senior Manager, Programmes and Fundraising, Kenan Hadzimusic, told The Atlantic that a lack of clarity about how citizens’ rights would be affected by Brexit was a cause for concern for UK and EU citizens. Pointing to ECAS’ Brexit survey findings, he said that free movement rights were the primary concern for both groups, but UK citizens were more concerned about losing their EU citizenship and EU citizens more concerned with uncertainty about the future, xenophobia, and discrimination. He said: What will be much fairer and easier would be to in fact look at those rights that [EU citizens] have acquired and keep them, and have a reciprocal solution for the U.K. citizens living in other countries of the EU. That is what the European Union Commission negotiating team is also proposing. It will have an affect on people’s lives and their professional career, possibilities to study or not in other countries, to live with their spouses. Kenan Hadzimusic manages the Citizen Brexit Observatory, a partnership between ECAS, the University of Sheffield School of Law and the Law Centres Network to support fair treatment of EU citizens living in the UK and UK citizens living in the EU. Read the full article here The post “One Issue That Could Break the Brexit Talks” –...

Read More
  • 1
  • 2