Covered Bonds reached between European Union (EU) institutions avoids all risk of disruption of well-functioning national covered bonds systems whilst promoting harmonization at European level and enhancing transparency and investor protect, Labour MEP Alfred Sant said on Friday. Covered bonds are debt securities issued by a credit institution and collateralized against a pool of assets that, in case of failure of the issuer, can cover claims at any point of time. The investor has dual recourse against the issuer and the collateral. The text of the Covered Bond Directive was later adopted by the European Parliament (EP), and Sant said that he was glad that "these priorities are reflected in the text and strongly advise this House to support the proposal that is before us". He noted that in some markets, like Denmark and Germany, covered bonds are rightly considered as vital investment tools. In others, like his country, Malta, they are not used at all. Reaching a final agreement was … [Read more...] about Covered Bonds between EU institutions avoid disruption – Alfred Sant
A number of contractual arrangements between the EU institutions and Microsoft have come under investigation by the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), a relatively new independent supervisory authority for all EU institutions that is responsible for enforcing and monitoring compliance with data protection rules, to ensure consistent data protection. The EU institutions rely on Microsoft services and products to carry out their daily activities, which includes the processing of large amounts of personal data, or any information relating to a living person including their name, date of birth, email address, telephone number, as well as their IP address and communications history. The EU believes contractual safeguards and risk-mitigating measures must be in place to ensure compliance with the bloc’s data protection regulations. “Contractors now have direct responsibilities when it comes to ensuring compliance. However, when relying on third parties to provide … [Read more...] about Contracts for software used by EU institutions under investigation
European institutions cannot require job applicants to speak specific languages such as English or French unless they provide sufficient justification, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on Tuesday. The decision effectively confirms a 2016 ruling by the EU's General Court, which stated that it was — in principle — unlawful for EU institutions to treat applicants differently based on their language skills when hiring staff. In Tuesday's judgement, the ECJ found in favor of Spain, which brought a discrimination case before the court, and rejected a request by the European Commission to annul the General Court's 2016 ruling. Spain had taken exception to a call for applications launched by the European Parliament when it was seeking to hire drivers in 2016. The job description required the drivers to have "satisfactory knowledge" of either English, French or German in addition to speaking one of the EU's 24 official languages. Application forms for the position were … [Read more...] about EU institutions can’t discriminate based on language, court rules
The parliament refused all journalists' requests for various reasons (no documents, excessive workload, and especially private data). The journalists introduced a legal action. The Court of Justice refused more or less all the author's requests, though they cited both his quality as a member of the institution, and later as a citizen. The author then made a complaint to the Ombudsman, and later a legal action about three decisions. In September 2018, the EU General Court approved totally the parliament's refusal, invoking essentially the protection of personal data (the concept is mentioned 43 times in a judgment of 140 points!). It considered that more or less all documents contained personal data. Consequently, for each document, the journalists had to produce a very concrete reason to disclose the personal data, with each time concrete evidence. The general need to control concrete expenses financed by the European taxpayer was never considered as a valid justification. In … [Read more...] about [Opinion] Are judges destroying transparency in EU institutions?
The European Ombudsman, Emily O'Reilly, on Wednesday called for more action to combat harassment in EU institutions "in line with the legitimate expectations of a post #MeToo society." In a review of 26 EU institutions and agencies, O'Reilly found they "generally have good anti-harassment policies." "But more can and must be done," she said, citing measures such as "awareness raising, workplace risk assessment, regular policy monitoring, mandatory training, swift procedures, and rehabilitation measures." “All workplaces can be affected by harassment," O'Reilly said. "What sets a good workplace apart is whether it has a culture of zero tolerance towards harassment and whether staff are informed about their rights and empowered to act." Like many workplaces in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, EU institutions faced accusations that they have not done enough to combat sexual and other forms of harassment. The ombudsman's report also calls for measures to … [Read more...] about Watchdog urges action to combat harassment in EU institutions