Parliament approves Terricabras report on Fundamental Rights

Press release from EFA MEP Josep-Maria Terricabras (ERC)

The European Parliament has voted to approve a report prepared by MEP Josep-Maria Terricabras (Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya – ERC) which analyses the situation of fundamental rights in the European Union (in 2017).

The report, approved by MEPs, calls for “impartial” investigations into the excessive use of police force.

In addition, it also warns of the EU’s ineffectiveness when it comes to combating “serious and persistent breaches” of European values

The report assesses the situation of fundamental rights and denounces violations of women’s rights, the rule of law, freedom of expression, rights and migrations.

Josep-Maria Terricabras said:

“When you consider all fundamental rights across the whole of Europe during the course of one year, there will clearly be a temptation to speak about a tremendous amount of things. I have avoided this and have focused on six main topics – some of them necessarily in depth – and all of them of undeniable relevance and of major concern.

“For instance, one important aspect in 2017 has been media freedom, freedom of expression and assembly. In the past they counted among the fundamental rights for free men and women and now have to be restored, even in places and countries where one would not expect them to be under threat. Artists or social leaders are sometimes the victims.”

The text calls for “impartial” investigations into “the excessive use” of the police force “on the part of the competent authorities of each Member State”, and also warns of the “inefficiency” of the European institutions in combating “Serious and persistent breaches “of European values in 2017. It also warns that there are “problems” with judicial independence in some EU member states for “political influences” although no State is specifically mentioned.

In addition, the report also warns of violations of women’s rights, violations of the rule of law and hate speech.

The rapporteur also had praise for the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency. Josep-Maria Terricabras said:

“The Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), based in Vienna, is doing an excellent job and never appears in our annual reports. The FRA should be active not only in giving support when asked to do so, but should also be proactive and speak out in cases where human rights are at stake or under threat. The FRA needs a new mandate.”