organization:european parliament

  • The ironies of European democracy, by Chris J Bickerton and Carlo Invernizzi Accetti

    The Brussels press corps were gathered in the main chamber of the European Parliament waiting for the results of the EU #elections. An hour or so before the polls closed, the TV screens were synchronized to broadcast the news: the participation rate had not fallen; it had even risen by 0.1%. Enthused officials told the waiting journalists that ‘Europe was back’: voters had shown their interest in the European project.

  • Populists in Europe (2/8) : #neo-Nazi #Greece

    The neo-Nazi Golden Dawn, an #anti-Semitic, negationist and #Islamophobic party, has become a feature of Greek people’s daily life. With an estimated 15 to 20% of votes in the polls, they could enter the European Parliament in the next elections.

    Golden Dawn or « Chryssi Avgi » in Greek, was founded in 1981 and reactivated in 2007 by Nikos Michaloliakos, a former member of a fascist youth organization during the Regime of the Co lire la suite

    #Debates #Politics #2014_European_election #élection #election #Greece #injustice #murder #nationalist #néo_nazi #neo_Nazi #néo-nazi #populism #populist_democracy #prison #racist #violence #xenophobic

  • Pirate Bay Founder Launches Election Campaign For European Parliament | TorrentFreak

    In two weeks time citizens of all European Union member states will vote on who should represent them in the European Parliament. In Finland the local Pirate Party has a true Internet star on the ballot with Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde, who kicks off his election campaign today with a little bit of romance.

  • VoteWatch Europe : European Parliament, Council of the EU

    la page d’#Harlem_Désir sur #VoteWatch

    Parliamentary activities
    Participation in roll-call votes:
    3313 out of 6606 votes in the plenary.
    Ranking: 752nd
    Loyalty to political group:
    3168 out of 3313 votes
    Ranking: 316th
    Loyalty to national party:
    3241 out of 3309 votes
    Ranking: 460th

    Et donc avec 766 députés au parlement européen, faut faire fort pour se placer 752em pour l’assiduité lors des votes !
    #europe #politique #socialistes

  • Bricks on wheels face road closure | Climate News Network

    By Kieran Cooke

    The European Parliament has voted in favour of changing the design of goods lorries throughout the EU – from their present brick shape to a more streamlined-looking vehicle. The idea is not only to increase fuel efficiency and cut back on CO2 emissions, but also to reduce accidents.

    LONDON, 23 March – It’s one of those small steps that could help in the battle against greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

    Lorry design in the European Union at present is governed by legislation dating back to the mid-1990s, stipulating total maximum lengths for cabs and trailers.

    #climat #transports #camion #co2

  • NunatsiaqOnline 2014-03-13: NEWS: European Parliament calls for sanctuary around North Pole area

    The European Parliament passed a resolution March 12 calling for more protection in the high Arctic, including the establishment of a sanctuary around the North Pole.

    The resolution of the European Union Arctic strategy could go as far as banning oil companies and fishing fleets from the region “without the prior establishment of appropriate regulatory mechanisms,” reads the resolution.

    #arctique #environnement #écologie #aire_protégée #sancturaire

  • The agrichemical lobby already laying the ground work for the next Parliament | Corporate Europe Observatory

    With the end of this Parliament’s term approaching – EU elections will take place in May this year – it seems that agrichemical corporations and their allies are using the few remaining voting opportunities left to have a couple of usefully-worded resolutions voted upon by this Parliament, a parliament which they know well and which has generally been rather supportive to their positions. This Parliament’s Agriculture Committee for instance had the worst position among all EU institutions in the whole debate about the Common Agriculture Policy, with the outcome that the EU’s biggest budget will keep funding the EU’s largest landowners as well as most destructive and harmful agricultural practices. These resolutions will probably be used as references to convince newly-elected MEPs.

    A first example of this strategy is the resolution due to be voted upon by the European Parliament on Tuesday 11 March in Strasbourg on “the future of Europe’s horticulture sector – strategies for growth”. The text is based on a report by British Conservative MEP Anthea McIntyre who is a business intelligence consultant in the UK and was nominated to the European Parliament in 2011, following an increase in the total number of seats in the Parliament as foreseen by the Lisbon Treaty.

    Her original text is a list of facts about the horticulture sector, notably the challenges this sector is facing in terms of increasing production costs, climate change impacts and the excessive market power of supermarkets in the whole supply chain, that get combined with the current talking points of the agrichemical industry about the need for intensifying production thanks to genetic engineering and new pesticides, if possible with extra public research funding. The list of all industry-friendly elements in her report actually reads as a good overview of industry’s wishlist these days:

    to remove phytosanitary barriers impending exports to third-country markets, an important demand in the TTIP context;

    to consider pesticides as an asset for the sector, particularly “minor uses”, thereby echoing an ongoing lobbying campaign by the pesticides lobby to get dedicated EU research funding to develop pesticides that the private companies in that sector do not want to develop themselves for, they say, lack of a large enough market to support development costs;

    to only regulate pesticides when the scientific evidence is clear – which would exclude a precautionary approach when there is not enough scientific evidence to reach a firm conclusion (the report pays tribute to “peer-reviewed” and “independent” scientific literature though);

    to be cautious about the impact on pesticides of the ongoing Commission initiative on endocrine disruptors on pesticides, a major fight in Brussels this year – the chemical lobby already won a first battle by getting the Commission to lead an impact assessment before any definition is even agreed on, which will delay and possibly weaken the whole process;

    to lift the ongoing ban on neonicotinoid pesticides – a class of pesticides among the most toxic ever produced and that beekeepers blame for contributing to destroy bee colonies – by adding economic considerations in the risk assessment (short-term profits versus bees survival, choose your camp...);

    to “recognise” that new genetic engineering breeding techniques such as cisgenesis are “not a form of genetic modification” and therefore require a different risk assessment regime than transgenesis, i.e. they should not be subjected to the same scrutiny;

    to strengthen and extend research partnerships between governments, industry and academia, so that research in that sector is steered in an industry-friendly way.

    Such an one-sided list might be explained by the origin of the lobbyists Mrs McIntyre met while preparing her report1. The names she disclosed all belong to the commercial sector, with the exception of one academic, the director of the Warwick Crop Centre (a UK university also working with industry). For the rest, the MEP almost exclusively met with lobbyists from the UK commercial agricultural sector:

    the British Growers Association (vegetables growers’ lobby), the Horticulture Innovation Partnership (a UK platform involving businesses and research centres), Lantra (a UK company representing the land and environment commercial sectors), the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA, the UK lobby group representing the garden industry), the British Society of Plant Breeders (seed industry, representing most major multinationals of the sector) and twice the UK’s Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), a national professional association. The only non-UK group met on this was COPA-COGECA, the European umbrella association of national large farmers’ unions.

    The McIntyre report was then modified through amendments in the Agriculture Committee, where the text was both improved and worsened: German Green MEP Martin Haüsling tabled many amendments related to the detrimental impacts of monoculture and the use of agrichemicals on soils quality and farms resilience, but Italian conservative MEP Herbert Dorfmann for instance sneaked in an amendment saying that standards used by supermarkets for maximum pesticide residues to minimise consumers exposure to these chemicals were “anticompetitive” and “detrimental to the interests of F[ruit]&V[egetable] growers”, calling the Commission to “put an end to such practices”. As a result, the text has become completely contradictory and no longer makes any sense, but this matters little to the agrichemical industry, as presumably their main focus is on ensuring their wishlist stays in the report so it can be quoted and referred to in the next Parliament: the final vote on this text next Tuesday will decide whether these industries will reach their goal or not.

    However, such goals may have already been reached with another resolution tabled by MEP Marit Paulsen, a Swedish liberal. Voted on 25 February and opposed by only a third of the Parliament, the resolution contained very similar points to Macintyre’s report. It is aligned with the general "we need intensive chemical use to feed the world” message that the pesticides industry is putting forward in an effort to counter the growing public and environmental health concerns about its products. Among those points, the Paulsen resolution for instance:

    – said that the ban of certain particularly damaging pesticides for minor uses (such as some horticulture crops) is having a “jeopardising” effect on the production of these crops, and that solutions have to be found.

    – called for more support for so-called New Breeding Techniques, a term crafted by biotech companies to hide ’new’ GM crops produced with other genetic engineering techniques than transgenesis (such as cisgenesis, mutagenesis etc.). By saying that these techniques would not involve actual genetic modification, these companies are trying to get them excluded from the GM legislation altogether - Paulsen’s report actually stated that products should not be assessed based on the techniques with which they were produced.
    – called for money from research program Horizon 2020 to be spent on the development of these techniques.


  • Food lobby fights labelling of nano ingredients | Corporate Europe Observatory

    A discreet but important lobbying battle is currently being fought in Brussels over the labelling of nano ingredients in food products. Nano food ingredients are made from materials at a scale so small that this gives them very interesting properties for a wide range of applications, but also raises largely unanswered questions about their health and environmental impacts, making consumer information a key parameter at this stage of the technology’s development. Some in the European Parliament are mobilising to reject a technical text by the Commission complementing a 2011 food regulation, because this text would exclude all existing food additives used in their nano form from being labelled. The food additives industry is lobbying MEPs with scare tactics, claiming that the Commission’s text is required to avoid labelling of foods that have been produced for decades with conventional processes such as mayonnaise or instant coffee. Yet in fact, this is misleading as the 2011 regulation already clearly states it only covers nano materials manufactured with the intention to obtain effects specific to the nano scale. The final vote in the Parliament will take place next Wednesday 12 March.

    Nanomaterials are by definition materials whose size is in the nanometer scale (1-100 nm typically), the scale of most known viruses. Nanomaterials are increasingly attracting attention and research for a large range of applications – medical, military, industrial... – because the nanoscale often confers different properties to materials than they have in their bulk form. This difference however is also the source of great uncertainties about these compounds’s health and environmental impacts. Since many nanomaterials are already used in commercial products including food, labelling is seen as a way of giving a choice to consumers pending more research is done.

    The EU’s 2011 Regulation on Food Information to Consumers (1169/2011, “FIC”) states that “All ingredients present in the form of engineered nanomaterials shall be clearly indicated in the list of ingredients. The names of such ingredients shall be followed by the word ’nano’ in brackets.” A rule that seems clear enough, yet the European Commission was delegated the power to define “engineered nanomaterials” more precisely. The Commission published its criteria, in a delegated act, in December 2013 to “amend and clarify” the 2011 Food Information Regulation.

    The problem is that these new Commission criteria seem uniquely restrictive. The Commission’s Directorate General for Health and Consumers (SANCO), in charge of the file, came up with criteria so narrow that only new additives will be labeled, arguing that “indicating such food additives [ed: already approved in the EU] in the list of ingredients followed by the word ‘nano’ in brackets may confuse the consumers as it may suggest that those additives are new while in reality they have been used in foods in that form for decades”. This is in line with the lobbying of the food additives industry, which disingenously argues (see below) that unintentionally produced or naturally occurring nanoparticles will lead to unnecessary labelling of foods whose recipe hasn’t changed for decades.


  • Snowden’s testimony to European Parliament: “Billions of innocents” unlawfully spied upon - World Socialist Web Site

    Snowden’s testimony to European Parliament: “Billions of innocents” unlawfully spied upon
    By Robert Stevens
    10 March 2014

    On Friday, the European Parliament’s civil liberties committee published the written testimony of US whistleblower and former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden. Snowden agreed to give testimony to the EP’s ongoing inquiry into the Electronic Mass Surveillance of EU Citizens.

    The European Parliament (EP) took his statement despite the fact that it has already agreed to publish a 60-page report based entirely on the secret documents that Snowden made public, which entirely excises any mention of his name. (See “European Parliament kills call to protect Edward Snowden”)


  • #Israel denies #EU request to meet with Palestinian #prisoners: report

    Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman refused to allow a delegation from the European Parliament to visit Palestinians jailed in Israeli prisons, a local newspaper reported Friday. Yedioth Ahronoth said the European delegation had hoped to evaluate the prisoners’ conditions. The paper reported that Elmar Brok, the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the European Parliament, had asked Israel’s ambassador to the EU to arrange a visit for the delegation. read more

    #Palestine #Top_News

  • The Israeli ’watergate’ scandal: The facts about Palestinian water -

    Haaretz, By Amira Hass | Feb. 16, 2014

    Rino Tzror is an interviewer who argues with rather than flatters his subjects. Yet last Thursday, he didn’t do his homework and let Justice Minister Tzipi Livni throw sand in the eyes of the public about everything regarding the flap over water with Martin Schulz, the president of the European Parliament.

    Livni was invited onto his Army Radio program as a sane voice who would criticize the behavior of Economy Minister Naftali Bennett and Co. toward Schulz (Bennett’s Habayit Hayehudi party stormed out of the Knesset during a speech by Schulz when he allowed himself to wonder whether indeed Israelis were allotted four times as much water as Palestinians). “I told [the EU Parliament president], ‘You are wrong, they intentionally misled you,’” she told Tzror. “‘That is not how the water is allocated. Israel gives the Palestinians more water than what we committed to in the interim agreements.’”

    The very word “gives” should have lit Tzror’s fuse. But Livni kept buttering him up in her learned tone, with her grumbles against the Palestinian position on desalinated water and the Joint Water Committee.

    So here are the facts:

    Israel doesn’t give water to the Palestinians. Rather, it sells it to them at full price.

    The Palestinians would not have been forced to buy water from Israel if it were not an occupying power which controls their natural resource, and if it were not for the Oslo II Accords, which limit the volume of water they can produce, as well as the development and maintenance of their water infrastructure.

    This 1995 interim agreement was supposed to lead to a permanent arrangement after five years. The Palestinian negotiators deluded themselves that they would gain sovereignty and thus control over their water resources.

    The Palestinians were the weak, desperate, easily tempted side and sloppy when it came to details. Therefore, in that agreement Israel imposed a scandalously uneven, humiliating and infuriating division of the water resources of the West Bank.

    The division is based on the volume of water Palestinians produced and consumed on the eve of the deal. The Palestinians were allotted 118 million cubic meters (mcm) per year from three aquifers via drilling, agricultural wells, springs and precipitation. Pay attention, Rino Tzror: the same deal allotted Israel 483 mcm annually from the same resources (and it has also exceeded this limit in some years).

    In other words, some 20 percent goes to the Palestinians living in the West Bank, and about 80 percent goes to Israelis – on both sides of the Green Line – who also enjoy resources from the rest of the country.

    Why should Palestinians agree to pay for desalinated water from Israel, which constantly robs them of the water flowing under their feet?

    The agreement’s second major scandal: Gaza’s water economy/management was condemned to be self-sufficient and made reliant on the aquifer within its borders. How can we illustrate the injustice? Let’s say the Negev residents were required to survive on aquifers in the Be’er Sheva-Arad region, without the National Water Carrier and without accounting for population growth. Overpumping in Gaza, which causes seawater and sewage to penetrate into the aquifer, has made 90 percent of the potable water undrinkable.

    Can you imagine? If Israelis had peace and justice in mind, the Oslo agreement would have developed a water infrastructure linking the Strip to the rest of the country.

    According to the deal, Israel will keep selling 27.9 mcm of water per year to the Palestinians. In its colonialist generosity, Israel agreed to recognize Palestinian future needs for an additional 80 mcm per year. It’s all detailed in the agreement with the miserly punctiliousness of a capitalist tycoon. Israel will sell some, and the Palestinians will drill for the rest, but not in the western mountain aquifer. That’s forbidden.

    But today the Palestinians produce just 87 mcm in the West Bank – 21 mcm less than Oslo allotted them. The drought, Israeli limits on development and drilling new wells, and limits on movement are the main reasons. Palestinian mismanagement is secondary. So, Israel “gives” – or rather sells – about 60 mcm per year. True. That is more than the Oslo II Accords agreed for it to sell. And the devastating conclusion: Palestinian dependence on the occupier has only increased.

    Israel retained the right of the mighty to cap infrastructure development and rehabilitation initiatives. For example, Israel has imposed on the Palestinian Authority pipes that are narrower than desired, forbids connecting communities in Area C to the water infrastructure, tarries in approving drilling, and delays replacing disintegrating pipes. Hence the 30 percent loss of water from Palestinian pipes.

    113,000 Palestinians are not connected to the water network. Hundreds of thousands of others are cut off from a regular supply during the summer months. In Area C, Israel forbids even the digging of cisterns for collecting rainwater. And that’s called giving?

    * Instead of spending time calculating whether the average Israeli household’s per-capita consumption of water is four times or “only” three times that of Palestinian consumption, open your eyes: The settlements bathed in green, and across the road Palestinian urban neighborhoods and villages are subject to a policy of water rotation. The thick pipes of Mekorot (Israel’s national water provider) are heading to the Jordan Valley settlements, and a Palestinian tractor next to them transports a rusty tank of water from afar. In the summer, the faucets run dry in Hebron and never stop flowing in Kiryat Arba and Beit Hadassah.

    All of this is intentionally misleading?

    • The Forgotten Key To Israel-Palestine : Water
      February 17, 2014 by Mitchell Plitnick

      When one mentions water in conjunction with the Middle East, there is always this “oh, yeah” reaction as people remember that this is probably the single most important issue in the region. But it is too rarely considered in political analyses. It isn’t discussed often enough in the context of the roots of the Israel-Palestine conflict, but it is absolutely fundamental to Israeli policy and Palestinian dispossession.


      The conditions described above apply only in the West Bank. In #Gaza, the situation is much worse. Gaza depends almost entirely on the coastal aquifer, which is also used by Israel and Egypt. The Palestinian Water Authority pumps more than three times the aquifer’s replenishment rate per year, and even that, due to unreliable supplies of electricity, water supply is erratic on a daily basis.


      One can expect that Israel will eventually address this issue. The siege has, from the beginning, been carefully managed by Israel to ensure the deprivation of Gaza’s population while avoiding the sort of massive death and illness that might create international outrage and force Israel to act. But the water issue, as it involves both Gaza and the West Bank, threatens to turn into something much greater.


      The subject of water is therefore a touchy one for Israel on many levels. Not only is it an issue of unequal access to this most crucial of resources, but it also illustrates the difficulties of truly separating Israel and the Palestinians. Indeed, when it comes to water, it will be impossible for Israel to end the occupation and maintain its current standard of living with regard to water. It will also be impossible for any Palestinian entity to survive without significant external investment in irrigation, water treatment, desalinization, and other methods of conserving and treating water. In other words, when it comes to water, it is highly unlikely that Israel and the Palestinians can separate from each other as the Oslo formulation of a two-state solution envisions.

      #eau #Palestine

  • #Afrophobia in the EU : A Greens/EFA hearing

    This event, which will gather MEPs, EU officials, civil society organisations, artists and academics, aims at providing evidence on the existence of a specific form of racism called Afrophobia, targeting specifically Black people in Europe. The main objective of this event is to raise awareness and concerns about how People of African Descent (PAD) and Black Europeans (BE) are specifically affected by racial discrimination and stereotypes and to emphasize the urgency with which this specific form of racism must be recognized and tackled politically in order to really make a change in the lives of the 7 to 12 million PAD/BE residing in the EU.

    #Public #hearing #European #Parliament #parlement #européen

  • Suspected rebels kidnap four Syrian activists: NGO

    Four prominent Syrian activists, including one whose work was recognized by the European parliament, were kidnapped Tuesday in a rebel-held area near Damascus by suspected rebels, an activist network said. “On the morning of December 10, a group of unknown people broke into the headquarters of a group documenting abuses in #syria in the Douma area in besieged Eastern Ghouta,” the #Local_Coordination_Committees said in a statement. read more

    #kidnappings #Top_News

  • Gazprom Agreements on South Stream Breach EU Law; Bulgaria and Serbia Ask EU to Negotiate with Russia | The Jamestown Foundation

    The construction of the South Stream natural gas pipeline was effectively put on hold after the European Commission (EC) announced that Russia’s bilateral agreements with Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Slovenia, Greece and Austria were in breach of European Union law. Klaus-Dieter Borchardt, director for energy markets at the European Commission, told a meeting at the European Parliament on December 4 that the inter-governmental agreements must be renegotiated from scratch.

    The EC warned that if Russia refuses to renegotiate the contract conditions, the five EU member states and Serbia, which is a member of the EU-backed Energy Community, must suspend implementation of their agreements with Gazprom or will face heavy penalties (Capital Weekly, EurActiv, December 5; Duma, Sofia News Agency, December 6).

    #énergie #gazprom #southstream #gaz #gazoducs #guerre_du_gaz #nabucco

  • COP Press Release

    At least 20% of the entire European Union budget for 2014-2020 will be spent on climate-related projects and policies, following the European Parliament’s approval today of the 2014-2020 EU budget. The 20% commitment triples the current share and could yield as much as €180 billion in climate spending in all major EU policy areas over the seven-year period.

    #Europe #budget #climat

    • European Ombudsman Special Report to the European Parliament concerning Frontex refusal to introduce an internal complaints mechanism

      The Special Report, seeking the support of the European Parliament, arises because Frontex rejected one of the Ombudsman’s recommendations. The Ombudsman conducted an investigation into the compliance of Frontex with human rights obligations under Regulation 1168/2011/EU and the European Charter. The inquiry criticised Frontex for not establishing an internal complaints mechanism by which it could deal with individual fundamental rights breaches alleged to have occurred in the course of its work. Frontex has decided not to rectify this, arguing that hearing individual complaints is the obligation of the relevant individual Member State. The Ombudsman, joined by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), contends that Frontex shares this responsibility when the complaint concerns the ‘actions of staff operating under the Frontex banner’. Agreement on this is sought from the European Parliament.

  • Shifting borders: Externalising migrant vulnerabilities and rights?

    Speaking at the conference “Shifting EU borders and the access to international protection”, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Cecilia Wikström regretted that "[t]he EU asylum system is only accessible for those who manage to reach the European Union borders, while the most vulnerable never make it here.” One month after the Lampedusa tragedy, Wikström and the Red Cross EU Office opened a discussion on the urgent need of creating legal channels for safe access to EU territory for persons in need of international protection.

    The Red Cross highlighted that protected entry into the EU is “a matter of urgency” and that promoting the issuing of humanitarian and protection visas, and resettling higher numbers of refugees, should be further explored by the EU and its Members States.

    “What the EU Council did, is not sufficient, it is scandalous – the leaders of the Member States postponed the real discussion on migration and asylum, hoping that the problem will disappear,” Wikström said in reference to the European Council meeting on 24 and 25 October 2013.

    Based on a report published by the Red Cross EU Office, the panellists focused their discussion on “externalisation”, the process by which EU Member States shift responsibility for migration control to the migrants’ countries of origin and of transit. Speakers highlighted the repercussions of externalisation on migrants’ ability access international protection and safety, driving forcing them to seek more dangerous routes and further increasing their vulnerability.

    Recommendations included among others to end detention of migrants and to establish independent border monitoring and reporting mechanisms in line with the principle of transparency and human rights standards.

    Tineke Strik, member of the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe, emphasised that due to disagreements among EU Member States on who is responsible for disembarkation of migrants, lives of migrants are lost at sea. Strik also underlined that EU Member States should not be allowed to sign bilateral agreements with countries that violate human rights.

    #Croix_rouge #frontière #asile #réfugié #migration #externalisation_des_frontières #personnes_vulnérables

  • Israel denies EU delegation entry to Gaza | Maan News Agency

    BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Israeli government on Wednesday denied an official European Union delegation entry to the Gaza Strip, claiming the visit would strengthen the ruling Hamas movement.

    Six members of an EU Parliament delegation to the Palestinian Legislative Council were due to visit Gaza from Oct. 27-30 in a trip largely focused on social, economic and humanitarian issues, including visits to UNRWA health centers, schools, food distribution centers, rehabilitation centers and sports clubs.

    The MEPs, from a cross-section of political parties representing six EU member states, were informed in an email by Israeli authorities that they would not be allowed into Gaza via the Erez crossing for the three-day visit, which also included trips to Christian schools, a sports clubs and the University of Palestine.

    Emer Costello, chair of the European Parliament’s delegation to the Palestinian Legislative Council, said she was “astounded and dismayed” by Israel’s decision to refuse an official EU visit.

    “Despite interventions by the President of Parliament and other distinguished Parliamentarians, the Israeli Authorities are preventing elected members of an official delegation from paying a humanitarian visit to this ravaged and impoverished little country,” Costello said in a statement.

    In an email to the delegation obtained by Ma’an, an Israeli diplomat in Europe responded that the delegation was denied “in line with the policy according to which Israel does not facilitate visits to the Gaza Strip which will strengthen Hamas, a terror organization designated as such also by the European Union.”

    The diplomat, David Saranga, also claimed in the message that Israel did not refuse an official visit of the EU delegation to Gaza but rather “refused the use of its territory to enter the Gaza Strip.

    Costello said Israel’s decision was “deplorable and without foundation,” adding that she had requested that EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton take up the issue with Israeli authorities.

    The individual members of the delegation will also raise the issue with the governments of their respective member states, she added.

    • Un groupe de travail du Parlement européen se voit refuser l’entrée à Gaza par Israël

      24 octobre 2013

      La présidente de la Délégation du Parlement européen au Conseil législatif palestinien (Delegation Palestinian Legislative Council : DPLC *), Emer Costello, s’est déclarée à la fois stupéfiée et consternée par la décision des autorités israéliennes de refuser une visite officielle de la Délégation à Gaza. La visite, qui doit avoir lieu entre le 27 et le 30 octobre 2013, a le total soutien de Martin Shulz, Président du Parlement européen.

      « Malgré les interventions du Président Shulz et d’autres éminents parlementaires, les autorités israéliennes empêchent des membres élus d’une délégation officielle d’effectuer une visite humanitaire dans cette région ravagée et paupérisée. La raison officielle avancée de ce refus d’accès est qu’il s’inscrit dans la politique par laquelle Israël ne favorise pas des visites dans la bande de Gaza qui renforceraient le Hamas. Cette décision est déplorable, et sans fondement » a dit Costello.

      La Présidente de la DPLC a également déclaré que « la visite doit avoir lieu sous les auspices de l’UNRWA, et qu’elle est clairement axée sur les services publics, tels les écoles, les centres de santé et les centres de distribution alimentaire. En outre, nous avons fait le nécessaire pour visiter les programmes d’emplois et pour tenir des réunions sur l’enseignement avec des élèves de la communauté chrétienne. Étant donné les évolutions préoccupantes actuelles dans la région, le programme se concentre sur des questions purement sociales, économiques et humanitaires. »

      « Aujourd’hui, au Parlement européen, nous avons voté une ligne budgétaire pour ‘l’assistance financière à la Palestine, le processus de paix et l’UNRWA’, affectant 300 millions d’euros de financement à la région pour 2014. Cela rend la décision d’en refuser l’accès aux membres élus du Parlement européen encore plus scandaleuse et absurde » a-t-elle ajouté.

      « J’ai demandé que le Président Shulz et la Haute Représentante, Catherine Ashton, se saisissent du problème avec les autorités israéliennes et que nous poursuivions la mission. Dans le cas où l’accès à Gaza nous serait refusé, il est envisagé de rencontrer l’UNRWA en Cisjordanie. », a écrit Costello dans sa déclaration.

  • Selling border militarization as a humanitarian effort | Campagne tegen wapenhandel

    signalé par François Arnal je crois et d’autres mais qui ?

    Selling border militarization as a humanitarian effort

    Just one week after the dramatic events off the coast of Lampedusa, where more than 300 refugees drowned when their boat sank, the European Parliament approved the operating rules for Eurosur, the European border surveillance system. Eurosur provides in the exchange of real time images and data between EU member states and the EU border agency Frontex, gathered through surveillance of the Mediterranean using UAVs (’drones’), ships and satellites.
    Eurosur is presented as a project aimed at rescueing migrants. In reality, it’s primarily task is stopping migrants from entering the European Union. Once again, the military industry, involved in Eurosur through Research & Development-projects, finds profit opportunities in the walls of Fortress

    #migrations #asile #europe #forteresse_europe

  • EUHackathon Challenge 2013 : Visualizing the government surveillance

    EUhackathon winners of the Hack4yourRights challenge on government surveillance receive 5000 Euro at the European Parliament, with the participation of Vice-President Reding
    After 30 hours of intense coding with only a 4-hour break, it was time for our 28 coders of 13 nationalities to hear from the jury who had won the first prize for the challenge they had taken on only one day before, namely creating tools to visualize government surveillance activities and hence increase awareness and transparency. This was done in the European Parliament – prizes being notably handed over by Vice-President Viviane Reding, MEP Sabine Verheyen, and MEP Petru Luhan.

    Les 14 projets sont consultables chez
    Et le gagnant est…
    BigSis : Privacy Ranking, des néerlandais de Frontwise, pour surveiller BigBro, une extension pour Chrome

    Which governments are watching you? This Chrome plugin visualizes your exposure to webservices while you’re browsing the internet. It displays with which governments this data can be shared, and if you need to be worried about it regarding the government reputation on previous requests and human rights.
    Install it in your browser to see how your favorite websites perform and see for yourself which data is shared to governments around the world

    Une vidéo de démo

    (via @reka…)

  • Conclusions préliminaires de la mission d’observation des élections présidentielles en #Azerbaïdjan de l’#OSCE (pdf) (10/10/2013)
    sur la page

    The 9 October election was undermined by limitations on the freedoms of expression, assembly, and association that did not guarantee a level playing field for candidates. Continued allegations of candidate and voter intimidation and a restrictive media environment marred the campaign. Significant problems were observed throughout all stages of election day processes and underscored the serious nature of the shortcomings that need to be addressed in order for Azerbaijan to fully meet its OSCE commitments for genuine and democratic elections.

    Ce n’est que le début…
    • manque d’impartialité de la Commission électorale
    • limitation de la liberté de rassemblement
    • déséquilibre dans l’accès aux médias
    • pas d’explication sur la taille de la liste électorale : 1,8 millions de personnes de moins que la population en âge de voter (soit environ 1/3 du total)
    • problèmes à l’ouverture des urnes dans 20% des observations réalisées
    • les observateurs ont relevé du bourrage d’urnes dans 37 des points
    • le dépouillement s’est passé mal ou très mal dans 58% des bureaux observés. Dans 15 d’entre eux, il a été observé des manipulations sur la liste des électeurs, sur les résultats y compris la réattribution de votes à un candidat différent

    • Évidemment, ça ne plait pas…

      OSCE/ODIHR statement is serious damage to organization’s authority : Ali Hasanov - AzerNews (11/10/2013 16:24)

      The opinion, announced by the observation mission of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), on law violations at the presidential election in Azerbaijan is based not on any serious fact, but on false information spread by the opposition, head of the Public and Political Issues Department of Presidential Administration of Azerbaijan, Ali Hasanov said on October 11 commenting on the statement of the OSCE/ODIHR mission.

      D’ailleurs tous les (très nombreux) autres observateurs ont trouvé que ça c’était passé normalement

      According to [Hasanov], the representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, the CIS, BSEC Parliamentary Assembly and the NGO Forum, TURKPA and other organizations noted at the press conferences held on Wednesday and Thursday that the election in Azerbaijan was free, transparent, democratic and just, and underlined that the election fully meet international standards. These observation missions included MPs, public and political leaders, representatives of NGOs, experienced professional experts of election observation.

      “Therefore, we can confidently say that ODIHR’s position absolutely doesn’t reflect the position of countries which enter the OSCE area. Thus, a subjective opinion, made by the current monitoring mission, is not only a disrespect for the will of Azerbaijani voters, but also counteracts the OSCE commitments on impartiality, objectivity, and collegiality to member countries,” Hasanov said.

      D’ailleurs, aucun Azerbaïdjanais n’a plus confiance dans la mission de l’OSCE depuis que celle ci a conclu que les élections présidentielles s’étaient déroulées normalement en Arménie.

      “The OSCE has caused Azerbaijani citizens’ serious distrust to objectivity a while ago with its subjective assessment of the presidential election held in Armenia. So, it was ODIHR which deliberately turned a blind eye to the fact that the pre-election situation during the presidential election in Armenia was fully criminalized, opposition’s election campaign in all regions was fully limited, one of the presidential candidates was shot, false information was spread about 3 million voters in a country with a population of 2 million people, as well as ballots were thrown in the boxes in batches. The organization, by expressing particularly ’fundamental’ and ’warm’ attitude towards the presidential election, positively assessed the poll held in condition of complete oppression of the media outlets and gross violation of human rights,” Hasanov said.

    • Néanmoins, le secrétaire général de l’OSCE félicite l’heureux réélu et le félicite des progrès de la démocratie dans son pays (11/10/2013 17h51 locales)

      OSCE committed to continue beneficial cooperation with Azerbaijan:Lamberto Zannier - AzerNews

      OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier congratulated Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, who won the October 9 presidential elections with over 84 percent of votes.
      “I would like to convey to you my heartfelt congratulations on your re-election as President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Please allow me to wish you every success in continuing to build a strong and vibrant democracy in your country,” Zannier’s message reads.
      “Please be assured that the OSCE remains ready to continue the long-standing and fruitful cooperation established with the Government of Azerbaijan,” Zannier said.

    • Même son de cloche (un peu plus nuancé) du côté du président de l’OSCE : je prends note du rapport de la mission et je relève qu’il y a eu des progrès sur beaucoup d’aspects

      OSCE top official congratulates Azerbaijani people on democratic election - AzerNews

      OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara congratulated the people and the leadership of Azerbaijan on holding democratic presidential elections that represents an important step forward in the country’s democratic development.
      In his statement , Kozhara welcomed the fact that the presidential election in Azerbaijan was monitored by a large number of observers from authoritative international organizations, including the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Council of Europe, the European Union (EU), Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and others, as well as by many national delegations from the OSCE member countries.
      I take note of the statement of preliminary findings and conclusions made by the OSCE International Observation Mission as well as the comments of the Special Coordinator. I also take note of the Joint Statement made by the election observation delegations of the Council of Europe and the European Parliament, as well as the statements by other international observers,” he said. “In these statements the international observers conclude that a number of aspects of the conduct of the Presidential Election in Azerbaijan showed progress towards meeting the OSCE and Council of Europe commitments and other international standards for democratic elections.