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Council of the European Union:
EU & ECHR, Greece/Italy relocations, Violence against women, Legal Aid and the EAW
2.8.16
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- Outcome of the Working Party on Fundamental Rights, Citizens' Rights and Free Movement of Persons (RESTRICTED doc no: 10891-16, pdf):

"The Commission representative emphasised the commitment of the Union to EU accession as evidenced by the lunch discussions of the Justice Ministers on 9 October 2015 as well as the recent appearance of President Juncker in PACE where he explained that accession remained a top priority for COM. At the same time due regard needed to be given to the legal difficulties raised."

This explains the Commission's plans to revive the idea of the EU joining the European Convention on Human Rights. It is now waiting for just one CJEU judgment before it restarts the talks.

- Draft Council Decision amending Decision (EU) 2015/1601 of 22 September 2015 establishing provisional measures in the area of international protection for the benefit of Italy and Greece (LIMITE doc no: 10177-16, pdf):

Shows that the Council iwas still intending to implement the EU/Turkey deal despite criticisms of its effect and legal challenges - this was the position before the Turkey "coup" and the further crackdown on freedoms, journalists and many others:

"At the Asylum Working Party on 14-15 June, the Presidency suggested a further change to the text of the draft Decision, in order to enable Member States to apply the Decision to all persons admitted to their territories as from 1 May 2016. This change, reflected in new paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 2, has been agreed by delegations in the subsequent silence procedure." [emphasis added. The "silent procedure" is where a proposal is circulated to Member States and is approved unless one of them objects] ..

"Member States may choose to meet their obligation by admitting to their territory Syrian nationals present in Turkey under national or multilateral legal admission schemes for persons in clear need of international protection... The number of persons so admitted by a Member State shall lead to a corresponding reduction of the obligation of the respective Member State."

That is to say to reduce their obligations under the failed relocation scheme.

- VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: Proposal for a Council decision on the signing, on behalf of the European Union, of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence and Proposal for a Council decision on the conclusion, by the European Union, of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (LIMITE doc no: 10778-16, pdf): Concerns whether the EU should sign the Istanbul Convention on violence against women:

"In view of requests by a number of delegations, Cion presented its views on the existence and the extent of exclusive external EU competences in relation to the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (‘Istanbul Convention’) in greater detail whilst re-iterating its position that the EU should accede to the full extent of its competences (both shared and exclusive) to maximise the (political and legal) impact of the accession.....

On the basis of the mapping exercise of the last FREMP meeting, as well as the above elaboration of the Cion MSs are invited to take a political position on whether the EU should accede to the Istanbul Convention and if so, what the scope of accession should be."

- LEGAL AID AND THE EUROPEAN ARREST WARRANT: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on provisional legal aid for suspects or accused persons deprived of liberty and legal aid in European arrest warrant proceedings = Confirmation of the final compromise text with a view to agreement (LIMITE doc no: 10665-16, pdf)

"This file was discussed in Coreper on Tuesday 22 June in view of the 9th trilogue on 23 June. The final compromise text as it was discussed at the 9th trilogue is set out in the Annex to this note. Refinements made at the trilogue have been marked with bold in the text (and with underlining in the title of Article 9 and in recital 15b)..

The European Parliament has informed the Presidency that a large majority of its political groups can accept this text."

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