Thursday, 22 April 2021,  10:00 – 12:00

The condition of prisons in most EU Member States are below the standards expected in democratic countries that aim to protect the fundamental rights of every human being. Moreover, prison systems and prisoners have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 since prisoners are one of the most vulnerable populations to the pandemic. What can be done at the EU level to ensure that prisoners are not left behind?

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Simultaneous interpretation will be provided in DE, EL, EN, ES, FR


10.00 – 10.55 First panel:  Open issues on prison conditions in the EU and challenges for policy makers

Chaired by MEP Anne Sophie Pelletier

  • Adriano Martufi (Assistant professor at Leiden Law School and member of the Italian association Antigone)  – EU competence and interest to act on prison conditions
  • Nikos Paraskevopoulos (former Greek Minister of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights and Professor of Criminal Law) – Policies of Inclusion and Exclusion after Prison Release
  • Léa Teper (PhD student at the Université de Louvain and specialised in Prison Law) – Prisoners access to courts, lawyers, information and evidence


10.55 – 12.00 Second panel: The views of prisoners and lawyers

 Chaired by MEP Pernando Barrena

  • Jock Palfreeman (Chairperson of the Bulgarian Prisoners’ Association) – Bulgarian prisons, a European problem
  • Nicolas Cohen (Lawyer in Brussels, member of Prison insider, former co-president of the Belgian section of the Observatoire International des Prisons)  – Critical situations in Belgian prisons
  • Amaia Izko (Lawyer) – The case of Basque political prisoners