Justice & Home Affairs



February 2016

Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme
The 2016 Rights, Equality and Citizenship Work Programme is expected to be published ‘shortly’. European Partnership members interested are invited to get in touch for further advice.

January 2016

Consultation on “Tackling migrant smuggling: is the EU legislation fit for purpose?”

The European Commission has launched a public consultation to gather views and on the functioning of the existing legislation aiming at preventing and countering migrant smuggling and on what could be done to further strengthen it. The consultation is open until 6 April 2016. 

Alert re forthcoming calls for proposals
The following calls for proposals are expected to be published over the next couple of months. Please note, deadlines for submission are usually relatively short.

Expected January 2016:

  • Action grants to support national and transnational projects on non-discrimination and Roma integration.
  • Action grants to support transnational projects aiming to build capacity for professionals in child protection systems and legal professionals representing children in legal proceedings.
  • Joint Justice & Daphne call - Actions grants to support national or transnational projects to enhance the rights of victims of crime/victims of violence.
Expected February 2016:

  • Action grants to support transnational projects to promote good practices on gender roles and to overcome gender stereotypes in education, training and in the workplace.
  • Daphne call - Action grants to support national or transnational projects on multi-agency and multi-disciplinary cooperation and on underreporting.
Details will be published on the DG Justice Website:

December 2015

New Cybersecurity Rules
Agreement was reached recently on new rules to strengthen network and information security across the EU. A new Directive, which is still to be formally adopted, will commit operators of essential services (such as energy, transport, finance and health) and digital service providers (e-commerce platforms, search engines and cloud services) to new and enhanced cybersecurity obligations. 

New Data Protection Rules
Agreement was reached recently between the Council and the European Parliament on revisions to data protection rules. A new single law will replace all the laws currently in place with the aim of making it easier for people to manage their personal data. New legislation for the police and criminal justice sector will also ensure that the data of victims, witnesses, and suspects of crimes, are protected in the context of a criminal investigation. The new legislation must now be formally agreed by the Council and the European Parliament.

November 2015

Gender pay gap

The gender pay gap is the difference in average gross hourly wage between men and women across the economy. An EU analysis has found that in the United Kingdom the gender pay gap stands at 19.7 % (2013), while the average gender pay gap in the EU is 16.3 %.
UK fact sheet
Summary of the Commission’s comparative data

Report - Human trafficking and Nigeria

The European Asylum Support Office report 'Nigeria – Sex Trafficking of women' provides information on the methods of trafficking and the situation of victims returning to Nigeria. 

EU signs Convention on prevention of terrorism
The EU has signed the Council of Europe Convention and Additional Protocol on the prevention of terrorism. The Convention dates back to 2005, while the Additional Protocol was adopted in May 2015. The Protocol calls for the criminalisation of travelling for terrorist purposes, as well as the financing, facilitation and organisation of such travel, implementing the UN Security Council Resolution.

October 2015

European Commission joint action with Turkey 
Heads of government of the EU's 28 Member States have agreed a joint action plan with Turkey with the aim of reaching a concerted approach to managing the large number of migrants in need of protection in Turkey. In addition, the EU committed to increasing political engagement with and support to Turkey. The European Commission has also published a latest State of Play of the Implementation of the Priority Actions under the European Agenda on Migration.


Commission launches public consultation on equal treatment of men and women on social security

The consultation will be used to collect views to help evaluate the implementation and application the directive. This legislation dates back to 1978, and the Commission wants to assess it in terms of “the efficiency, effectiveness, coherence, relevance, sustainability and EU added-value, with a specific focus on identifying possibilities for modernisation”. Contributions are invited from all citizens and stakeholders, researchers, and governmental and non-governmental bodies etc. The deadline for input is 14 December 2015.
Link to the consultation 

European Court of Justice
A European Court of Justice ruling on a German case has found that “a Member State may exclude Union citizens who go to that State to find work from certain non-contributory social security benefits”.  
Find information about the case and the ruling here.

Countering radicalisation
The European Commission is highlighting a new “Collection of Approaches and Practices” from the Radicalisation Awareness Network. It presents seven practitioners’ approaches in the field of prevention of radicalisation, each illustrated by lessons learned and selected practices and projects. The collection is intended as a practical and evolving tool, where practitioners and policy makers may find inspiration, examples adaptable to their local context, and identify counterparts with whom to exchange experiences.
Find the collection here
The Commission Communication on Preventing Radicalisation to terrorism and Violent Extremism: Strengthening the EU’s Response, published in January 2014.

EU-wide rules against cyber attacks come into force
4th September was the deadline for the implementation by Member States of EU-wide rules to counter attacks against information systems. Under the new rules, illegal access, system interference or interception constitute criminal offences across the EU. Creators of so-called "botnets", networks of infected computers that criminals can harness for their exploits, face criminal sanctions, as do the authors of other types of malware. The Directive on Attacks against Information Systems also put in place new rules to reinforce cooperation between Member States' law enforcement authorities. The United Kingdom and Ireland opted to take part in this Directive.

Users’ concerns about online safety are rising. The most recent Eurobarometer on Cyber Security found that 85% of internet users feel that the risk of becoming a victim of cybercrime is increasing, and 73% are concerned that their online personal information is not kept secure by websites. When using the Internet for online banking or shopping, 42% are worried about the security of online payments.
The Directive
Eurobarometer survey

Find out more about the EU and combatting cybercrime here: European Commission webpage

Transitional arrangements for Croatian workers to remain
At the end of June the first phase of transitional arrangements for Croatian workers came to an end. Member States were required to notify the Commission whether they will maintain restrictions on access of Croatian citizens to labour markets. The UK decided to maintain restrictions for another three years. More information here. 

2015 Gender Equality Index
The European Institute for Gender Equality and the European Commission have published the 2015 Gender Equality Index. It includes for the first time a new section on violence against women. The report provides a by-country analysis and finds that ten EU countries have narrowed the gap between men and women, while in five the gap has grown. The EU average total ‘score’ is 52.9; the UK’s is 58.0; Sweden scores 74.2.
Find the report here
Find the by-country analysis here

A European Agenda on Migration
On the 13th May the European Commission presented a European Agenda on Migration outlining urgent actions in response to the crisis situation in the Mediterranean as well as  steps to be taken in the coming years to better manage migration in all its aspects. The UK and Ireland have an 'opt-in' right under the Treaties. The UK may choose, within three months of a proposal being presented, whether they wish to participate in the measure.
For the EU's summary of the scope and aims of the Agenda, visit this MEMO page.

Report - Combating sexual orientation discrimination in the European Union
This report looks at the legal frameworks prohibiting discrimination on the ground of  sexual orientation at international, European and national levels. It focuses in particular on the Employment Equality Directive, EU case-law, and on the practical implementation in all Member States. 

European Agenda on Security 2015-20
Strengthening EU cooperation in the fight against terrorism, organised crime and cybercrime.

The European Commission has proposed a European Agenda on Security 2015-2020. The intention is to support Member States' cooperation in tackling security threats and step up common efforts in the fight against terrorism, organised crime and cybercrime. The Agenda sets out the measures for joint work to tackle what it identifies as the most pressing threats by:
  • facilitating information exchange between law enforcement authorities and EU agencies
  • increasing operational police cooperation
  • boosting training and co-funding for security at EU-level
The agenda will next be considered by the European Parliament and the Council of Member States to agree their position for the Council in June. 
Find more information here

Money laundering and terrorist financing
The European Parliament has adopted new rules to help fight money laundering and terrorist financing in the EU. It aims to do this through:

  • facilitating the work of Financial Intelligence Units from different Member States to identify and follow suspicious transfers of money and facilitate the exchange of information; 
  • establishing a coherent policy towards non-EU countries that have deficient anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regimes;
  • ensuring full traceability of funds transfers within, to and from the European Union.

A package of measures is expected to the published in the Official Journal of the EU around June-July 2015, and a process to assist Member States in implementing the Directive will be put in place shortly.
For more information
Commission proposal
Financial crime