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We want an EU where citizens enjoy their fundamental rights and where the rule of law is fully respected. Our Working Group on Legal and Home Affairs is focusing on making this happen. It also deals with other major issues such as migration, civil liberties, gender equality and educational, constitutional and legal matters.
Our Group has made extraordinary progress in a number of areas, from securing our borders so Europeans continue to enjoy the four freedoms, to fighting terrorism and fraud, and increasing protection for victims. We pushed for the creation of a European Border and Coast Guard (Frontex), championed electronic checks of all citizens crossing Europe’s external borders, fought for airlines to disclose records of passengers flying into Europe, updated the continent-wide legal framework on terrorism and put an end to elaborate terrorist financing.
Today we are working towards a common European approach on immigration and asylum policy. And with economic growth requiring a legal framework that ensures effective protection of intellectual property rights online as well as offline, the protection of intellectual property rights in the digital era is also high on our agenda.
There can be no step back on a basic principle of the EU such as the freedom of movement. Together the EU and its Member States must combat abuses of the principle of freedom of movement at national and EU level. We want to simplify and to increase the mobility of the EU’s labour force.
The fight for women's rights, including closing the wage gap and the fight against gender
violence, must remain a priority. We must also respect the rights of children and take their best interest into account.
All Member States must guarantee the rights of persons belonging to autochthonous national minorities and language groups.
Europe must offer protection to political refugees and those fleeing civil wars. To meet our humanitarian responsibility, the EU should set up an effective common asylum system while its Member States fully implement existing rules.
Europe needs to develop a common policy on asylum and immigration where Member States can prioritise EU citizens’ access to their labour markets, while increasing its targeted development and humanitarian aid.
The EU cannot tolerate social fraud and social dumping. While we respect legal migration into the job market, we must tackle abuses and distinguish between refugees and economic migrants. Member States must return illegally-residing economic migrants to their countries of origin, in respect of international and EU law.
Combatting organised crime, corruption and terrorist organisations remains a priority for the EU, as does the fight against human trafficking. As small countries and countries along Europe’s coastline face very specific challenges on migration issues, we want to put an end to organised crime and human trafficking to prevent tragedies.
We want to make Europe's borders more secure. We believe Europe must increase the financial, human and technical resources while strengthening the role and prerogatives of the border protection agency.
Europe also needs a strategy for cybersecurity and against cybercrime. Member States must improve cooperation around police and justice to combat online and offline crime.
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