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Events & Activities 2012

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MEPs approved the new college of 27 Commissioners, as presented by its President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday morning, with 423 votes in favour, 209 against and 67 abstentions. The new Commission now needs to be formally appointed by EU heads of state or government to enable it to take up duty on 1 November for a five-year term.
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EU countries need to act more like owners of economic policy reform pledges they themselves signed up to, MEPs stress in a report adopted on Wednesday. Given that only 10% of the European Commission's country-specific reform recommendations (CSRs) for 2013 were implemented in full and that little or no progress was made on 45% of them, MEPs believe "there is an inconsistency between European commitment and national implementation of the CSRs by member states".
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Denis Mukwege is the laureate of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2014, following today's decision by EP President Martin Schulz and the political group leaders. Mukwege will be invited to Strasbourg on 26 November to receive the award during the plenary session.
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All sides in the Northern Ireland peace process should refrain from “dangerous mutual provocation” urged European Parliament President Martin Schulz in his opening address at its October session. Mr Schulz urged all parties to the Northern Ireland peace process to continue contributing to a peaceful solution and thus to the new round of talks launched on 16 October.
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Among the items on the the agenda next week:Hearings of Commissioners-designate, Election of new Commission, EU budget 2015, Duty-free access for Ukrainian goods, European Semester and Aid for the unemployed
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What will the MEPs be working on during this week's Plenary Session in Strasbourg ? Highlights include: - Vote on the new European Commission - 2015: Parliament set to boost funding for EU priorities - Review of Barroso II Commission - European semester: action needed on EU countries’ economic reform pledges
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With the announcement by Latvian MEP Iveta Grigule that she is leaving the EFDD, that political group no longer has members from the minimum of seven member states and has therefore effectively ceased to exist. The Conference of Presidents (EP President and political group leaders) meeting today was therefore not able to choose the 2014 Sakharov Prize winner from a shortlist of three. That decision has now been postponed to next Tuesday.
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What started as an Ebola outbreak in West Africa has evolved into a world-wide threat, with the first European case having been reported in Spain. MEPs labelled the outbreak "a global security challenge" in a resolution adopted on 18 September and said that the international community has underestimated the crisis. According to the World Health Organization, 4,447 people have already died because of Ebola. We discussed the issue with the chairs of the development and public health committees.
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The Ukrainian EuroMaidan movement, Denis Mukwege, a gynaecologist in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo and Leyla Yunus, a human rights activist from Azerbaijan have been named as the finalists for the 2014 Sakharov Prize. They were selected by the foreign affairs and development committees on 7 October. Read on to find out more about the finalists.
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EU countries need to do more to put their EU economic policy reform pledges into effect at home, especially in the euro area, urged Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee MEPs on Monday. Noting that only 10% of the European Commission's country-specific reform recommendations (CSRs) for 2013 were implemented in full and that little or no progress was made on 45% of them, MEPs also pressed the Commission and the Eurogroup President to see that they are put into practice.
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In the week preceeding the October plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, the EP president and the political group leaders will meet this week to discuss the committee evaluations of the candidate commissioners and decide the next steps. Also on the agenda EU security and the threat posed by ISIS, human rights in Syria, Iraq and neighbouring countries, announcement of this year's Sakharov Prize. Read on.
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The three films competing for this year’s LUX Prize will be screened in Ireland during the IndieCork Film Festival which runs from Sunday 12th October to Sunday 19th October 2014. Class Enemy" (Razredni sovražnik) from Slovenia, Polish/Danish co-production "Ida" and "Girlhood" (Bande de filles) from France" will be screened on 12th, 18th and 19th October respectively. An open discussion with MEP Liadh Ni Riada on the importance of "cultural exception" will also take place on 17th October as part of the festival.
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Better late than never: - “The publication of the TTIP negotiating mandate is an important step towards more transparency in these trade talks. And while late is better than never, I still hope that member states will show more willingness to listen to and act upon the repeated calls of MEPs and citizens in the future”, said chair of the EP’s trade committee Bernd Lange (S&D, DE) on Thursday, following decision by the EU Council to declassify its mandate for talks on a EU-US trade agreement.
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Youth unemployment is "not only a personal catastrophe for young people, but also for their parents, grandparents, kids, friends and relatives," EP President Martin Schulz warned at the European employment summit in Milan on 8 October.
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MEPs will continue assessing the skills and qualifications of Commissioners-designate for the posts proposed by incoming Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. This time, the candidate Vice Presidents will be heard by the parliamentary committee(s) active in their proposed fields of responsibility, except for the candidate for the post of 1st Vice President of the Commission, Frans Timmermans, who will be heard at a meeting open to all MEPs. (Monday and Tuesday)
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The vetting of president-elect Jean-Claude Juncker's team by Parliament's committees commenced on Monday 29 September. 21 of the 27 commissioners-designate have now been heard by MEPs who had the opportunity to quiz the candidates on their competence and expertise for the portfolios assigned to them. Read our summary here of what has happened thus far.
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The 27 candidates hoping to be part of the European Commission led by Jean-Claude Juncker start appearing at hearings at the European Parliament today. During the three-hour hearings EP committees will test the candidate commissioners' expertise and competences ahead of the EP voting on whether to approve the new Commission on 22 October. The hearings will be shown live on Parliament's website and can also be followed on various other platforms. Read on to find out how.
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The European Parliament will once again be present at this year's National Ploughing Championships, which take place from Tuesday 23 to Thursday 25 September at Ratheniska, Stradbally, Co. Laois. Together with colleagues from several other services, we will be on hand to deal with any queries you may have about the EU, your rights as a European citizen, consumer affairs, food and all topics of EU interest. We will have the EU funded SOLVIT team to assist you with any problems encountered in availing of your EU based rights and we have the newly elected European Parliament to inform you about.
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MEPs meet in committee this week to prepare legislation on data protection, regional policy and discuss the annual report on immigration and asylum. They will also prepare the hearings for the new European Commission taking place from 29 September to 7 October. The nominees for the Sakharov Prize will be presented to three committees on Tuesday. On the same day EP president Martin Schulz will meet Portugal's prime minister Pedro Passos Coelho in Lisbon.
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The candidate commissioners as presented by incoming Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, will be scrutinised by the European Parliament committees from 29 September to 7 October. Members will evaluate candidates' suitability before the full house votes on the proposed Commission. The leaders of the political groups have agreed on Thursday on the format and programme for the public hearings. The hearings will take place from 29 September through 2 October and in the following week, on the afternoon of Monday 6 and the morning of Tuesday 7 October.
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Meet Ross O’Brien, a Translation trainee with the Council of the European Union. Ross translates English documents into Irish. Here’s what he has to say about his position.
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What will the MEPs be working on during this week's Plenary Session in Strasbourg ? Highlights include: EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, Russian ban on imports of EU food products, Crisis in the Middle East – Syria and Iraq, Gaza, Libya, Ebola outbreak, European Youth Initiative, Digital market,Budget 2015
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The candidate commissioners, as presented by incoming Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, will need to appear in hearings before parliamentary committees from 29 September to 7 October. The hearings will take place from 29 September to 2 October and in the following week, on the afternoon of Monday 6 and the morning of Tuesday 7 October.
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Tackling climate change will be a key issue for the newly-elected European Parliament and for the new Commission, which will take office later this year. One person who has no doubts about the urgent need to galvanise climate action is former Irish president and current UN special envoy Mary Robinson. While in Brussels to meet with Parliament President Martin Schulz, she urged European politicians to show leadership on the issue.
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Next week committees and political groups will meet in Brussels. The situation in Ukraine, the plight of children in Gaza are on the agenda of the relevant committees while political groups will be preparing the September plenary session. On Wednesday afternoon President Schulz will meet Mary Robinson, UN Special Envoy on Climate Change.
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"Access to internet is critical for fundamental freedoms and economic development. Continued access to a free and open internet depends on effective governance... " Joint statement from the EU delegation to the Internet Governance Forum 2-5 September 2014 in Istanbul. Read on.
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The EU must be ready to introduce additional measures and allocate fresh resources outside the agricultural budget to help EU farmers overcome harsh effects of the Russian import ban on EU food products, Agriculture Committee MEPs said on Thursday. They also warned that the embargo might stay in place for some time and called for long-term solutions.
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After the summer recess, business resumes on 1 September in the European Parliament with a week of meetings of parliamentary committees. Crises in the EU neighbourhood, EU-Russia Trade, Ebola Outbreak, Economic Dialogue and more will be on the agenda of the relevant committees. Read on.
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The President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz congratulates Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk on his election as President of the European Council and Italy's Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini on her appointment as High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy following the special meeting of the European Council on 30 August 2014.
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If your school takes the ‘Six Word Challenge’ and wins, then 24 students and two teachers from your school will travel to Strasbourg to take part in Euroscola, a one-day youth parliament for 16-18 year olds.
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The European Parliament is in recess over the summer. Business resumes on 1 September, with a week of meetings of parliamentary committees.
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Euroscola is a unique event for schools to learn about European integration by experiencing it first hand. Students from the 28 EU Member States are selected to become a Member of the European Parliament for one day at Parliament's premises in Strasbourg. They take the floor in plenary and committee sessions to debate and vote on resolutions on current affairs, all the while practising their language skills and making friends with fellow students from across Europe. Enter our competition and your school could win a chance to represent Ireland. Closing date for entries: 21 November 2014
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The European elections in May 2014 changed the relative strength of political groups in the EP, brought new faces at the helm of many groups and affected their political agenda. At the start of the parliamentary term, political group leaders speak about their priorities in the weeks and months to come. Watch the series of interviews to learn more about their views and plans at an important moment for EU policy-making.
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EU sanctions against Russia must be stepped up, the Ukrainian border closed to halt arms flows from Russia, and the bodies of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash victims returned, MEPs insisted in today’s debate with Ukraine’s foreign minister Pavlo Klimkin. Mr Klimkin called on the EU to show its solidarity now, as Ukraine is “being punished for its EU aspirations”. The debate opened with a minute’s silence for victims of the 17 July crash.
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The three films competing for this year’s Lux Prize have been announced: Class Enemy (Razredni sovražnik) from Slovenia, Girlhood (Bande de filles) from France and Polish/Danish co-production Ida will all be competing for the European Parliament's annual firlm award. The finalists will be subtitled into the EU's official 24 languages and be screened in all 28 member states during the LUX Film Days this autumn. The winner will be chosen by MEPs and announced on 17 December.
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Next week Committees will hold their final meetings in Brussels before the Summer recess. On the agenda: the Italian Presidency, Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), EU Budget 2014... Read more.
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Commenting on the crash of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in Ukrainian territory, the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz stated: “I was shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic crash of the Malaysian airliner which led to the death of so many people. I send my heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and to the national authorities of the affected countries.
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Attacks by the Islamic State (IS) on the Iraqi state and its citizens, including summary executions and the imposition of harsh interpretations of Sharia law, were strongly condemned in a European Parliament resolution passed by a show of hands on Thursday. At the same time, the resolution urges the Iraqi security forces to respect Iraq's international commitments on human rights and fundamental freedoms while fighting the IS and other terrorist groups.
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The European Parliament called for an immediate end to rocket attacks on Israel and to Israeli military action against Gaza in a resolution voted on Thursday The EU foreign policy chief and the member states must do more to support a ceasefire agreement and put an immediate stop to all acts of violence threatening civilians, MEPs said, calling on Israelis and Palestinians to resume direct peace talks.
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The European Parliament called for stronger measures to fight unemployment among young people, including common minimum standards for apprenticeships and decent wages, in a resolution passed on Thursday. EU funding of employment-related programmes should also be increased in future budgets, it added.
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Lithuania should join the euro on 1 January 2015, recommends the European Parliament in a resolution voted on Wednesday. This vote is in line with a European Commission recommendation and political backing from EU heads of state or government at the June EU Council summit. Parliament's recommendation was passed by 545 votes to 116, with 34 abstentions. It "endorses the adoption of the euro by Lithuania on 1 January 2015."
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EU citizens must be better informed of the progress of EU-US talks on the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), said MEPs from all political groups debating the issue with EU trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht on Tuesday afternoon.
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With 422 votes in favour, the European Parliament elected Jean-Claude Juncker in a secret ballot on 15 July as President of the new European Commission to take office on 1 November 2014 for a five-year term. The minimum number of votes required was 376.
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What will the MEPs be working on during this week's Plenary Session in Strasbourg ? Highlights include: - Parliament to vote on Jean-Claude Juncker for Commission President - MEPs to quiz EU Commission on transatlantic trade talks - Tackling youth unemployment
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What will the MEPs be working on during this week's Plenary Session in Strasbourg ? Highlights include: - Parliament to vote on Jean-Claude Juncker for Commission President - MEPs to quiz EU Commission on transatlantic trade talks - Tackling youth unemployment
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After the election of a President, Vice-Presidents and Quaestors of the European Parliament in Strasbourg last week, parliamentary committees convened on Monday in Brussels to elect chairpersons and their deputies for next two and a half years. Legislative work of the European Parliament is done in 20 standing committees and two sub-committees. Each committee elects a chair and up to 4 vice-chairs.
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Groups and individuals may visit Parliament's premises in Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxembourg.
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10 films, 28 countries, one prize. Every year the European Parliament awards the LUX prize to the best in European cinema. The contenders for this year's Prize have been announced at the 49th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in the Czech Republic. Read on to discover which films have are included in this year’s selection. The three finalists will be announced at the end of July.
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Political group meetings will be taking place in Brussels in preparation for the 14-17 July plenary session in Strasbourg and the election of the new President of the European Commission. The constitutive meetings of Parliament's committees are also taking place.
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EU policy making must heed the call for change made in the European elections, said most MEPs’ group leaders in Wednesday’s debate on the outcome of the 26-27 June EU summit. Heads of state were criticised for their “business as usual” attitude at the summit in this, the first debate of the 8th legislature, in the presence of European Council and Commission Presidents Herman Van Rompuy and José Manuel Barroso.
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MEPs elected Martin Schulz as the new president of the European Parliament. Ireland’s Mairead McGuinness Fine Gael, (EPP) is one of the 14 vice-presidents also elected on Tuesday. Five quaestors, responsible for administrative and financial matters, will be elected on Wednesday 3 July. The president, 14 vice-presidents and five quaestors - together known as the bureau - are all elected for a period of two-and-a-half years.
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MEPs re-elected Martin Schulz as President of the European Parliament on Tuesday morning for another two and a half year term. The 58-year old German MEP will lead Parliament until January 2017. He won 409 out of 612 valid votes cast in the first ballot. Mr Schulz is the first President in the history of the European Parliament to be re-elected for a second two and a half year term.
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What will the MEPs be working on during this week's Plenary Session in Strasbourg ? Highlights include: - Electing Parliament’s new President - Electing Parliament’s Vice-Presidents and Quaestors - Debate on the outcome of the European summit - Italy to take over EU Presidency from Greece
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Closing the urn: election of the EP President
Before the newly elected Parliament's members casted their votes by secret ballot on Tuesday, 1 July to designate the new President of the House for a two year and a half year term, the four candidates each made a short statement.
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aerial view EP Strasbourg.
The new Parliament will kick off its next term with the election of the President, 14 Vice-Presidents and five Quaestors during the first plenary session taking place this week in Strasbourg from 1-3 July. Parliament will also vote on the numerical size of its committees and on their membership. Also on the agenda this week: MEPs debate the results of the 26-27 European Council and debates on the Italian and Greek EU presidencies.
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©The Council of the European Union
The European elections in May are a turning point for the EU as for the first time all major European parties presented lead candidates for the post of Commission president, acting EP president Gianni told European leaders. In a speech to the European Council on 27 June, he said: “The process of lead candidates has deepened a European-wide debate about European issues,” he said. “And without doubt, via this process the EU has become closer to its citizens, more transparent and more democratic.”
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New configuration EP June 2014
Seven political groups have now been recognised as fulfilling the necessary criteria and will be starting their work at next week’s plenary session in Strasbourg where Parliament’s top posts will be decided by MEPs. Parliament rules foresee that political groups should have at least 25 MEPs from seven different member states. Read on to find out more about the political groups and their leaders.
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General information about grants awarded The Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Union sets out the principles for implementation of the budget, including the principle of transparency, which is affirmed throughout the Financial Regulation and the Rules of Application for it. Provision is made for appropriate ex ante and/or ex post publication of implementation of the budget. Rules for publication of grants are set out in Article 128 of the Financial Regulation, which makes provision for ex ante publication of the annual programme and calls for proposals and ex post publication of grants awarded in the course of a financial year. A grant is said to have been awarded when a legal undertaking is first given, i.e. when the first agreement has been signed.
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Gianni Pittella (left) with Martin Schulz
Martin Schulz has today been elected as Group leader of the Socialists and Democrats and steps down as European Parliament President. According to the European Parliament Rules of Procedure (Rule 18) Gianni Pittella, First Vice-President takes over as Acting President of the European Parliament until a new President is elected. The election of a new European Parliament President will take place on 1 July 2014 in Strasbourg during the inaugural plenary session.
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Paulo De Castro, MEP
Talks on a Transatlantic Trade and Partnership (TTIP) agreement are a great opportunity for both the EU and the US, but the European Parliament must be properly involved in them, to ensure that the final deal upholds the EU farming and food standards, protects EU consumers and ensures a level playing field for European farmers, Parliament's Agriculture Committee Chair Paolo De Castro (S&D, IT) said at a meeting with US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on Tuesday.
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The procedure for adopting the EU's budget for next year kicks off on 11 June when budget commissioner Janusz Lewandowski comes to Parliament to present the draft proposal and discuss it with MEPs. The budget can only be adopted if both the Council and the Parliament approve it. The budgets committee meeting starts at 11.00 CET. Watch it live online.
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Elections to the European Parliament took place across Europe from 22-25 May 2014 and in Ireland on 23 May 2014. The newly-elected members of the European Parliament will formally take up their seats on 1 July 2014. The first session of the new Parliament takes place in Strasbourg from 1 to 3 July 2014. This session will be dedicated to the formal constitution of the Parliament, when the new MEPs will elect their President and 14 Vice-presidents.
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The European Parliament Information Office in Ireland together with the European Commission Representation in Ireland and the Institute of International and European Affairs will hold a Conference on the outcome of the European elections on Wednesday 28th May from 10:00am-1:00pm in the Royal Irish Academy, 19 Dawson Street, Dublin 2. Registration required.
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Statement issued by the Conference of Presidents (consisting of the political group leaders and the EP President) who met on Tuesday 27 May to discuss the election of the next President of the Commission prior to an informal dinner of EU Heads of State and Governments later that day.
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Our Europe, a Danish travel project, was awarded first prize at the 2014 Charlemagne Youth Prize ceremony in Aachen University on 27 May. The second prize went to the JouwDelft & Co youth congress from The Netherlands and the third to the Employment4U, a training project from Cyprus. The European Charlemagne Youth Prize is awarded annually to projects that foster a shared sense of European identity and integration among young people. The first prize was awarded by EP Vice-President Anni Podimata, the second by former EP president Hans-Gert Pöttering and the third by Mayor of Aachen Marcel Philip.
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In the next three days 400 million Europeans will have the right to choose who will be in charge in Europe. Voting booths opened in Ireland and the Czech Republic today while voting in the UK and the Netherlands took place yesterday. Go and vote, and then follow all the results on Parliament's official webpage where they will be published as soon as they are available. For all the reactions and live coverage, turn to Parliament's special Elections Night Tumblr account with infographics, videos, pictures, quotes and links.
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The final of the Meath Co. Council inter-schools debating competition was held on Wednesday, 21st May at the European Commission’s Food and Veterinary Office in Grange, Co. Meath. The finalists this year were Scoil Mhuire, Trim and O’Carolan College, Nobber. The motion "The EU should grant full membership to all European states that wish to join the EU" brought out the best in both teams. The standard was very high and first prize went to O’Carolan College from Nobber. The team of four won the prize of a subsidised trip to Strasbourg for 24 students to represent Ireland at Euroscola on 30th October. The judges this year were Cllr Maria Murphy, Meath County Council, Anne McEvoy-Smyth, European Parliament Office, Dublin and Elisabetta Ravarino-Healy, F.V.O. European Commission, Grange.
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Key media events before, during and after the 22-25 May European elections include a presidential debate, election night and the start of consultations on the election of the President of the European Commission.
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As Parliament gets ready to embark on a new legislative term following the elections on 22-25 May, we take a look back on what has been achieved in the current one. In its seventh term, from 2009 until June this year, the EP has enjoyed greater power than ever before. For the first time it could decide on the full EU budget, as well as on big international trade agreements and nearly all EU legislation, on an equal footing with national governments represented in the EU Council.
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The old European Parliament passed its last laws in April, making a total of over 1,000 in 2009-2014. The new Parliament, elected on 22-25 May, takes office on 1 July. Here is a brief overview of some of Parliament’s work over the past five years and what it will need to do in the next five.
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A debate between candidates for the Presidency of the European Commission, organized by EUROVISION, will take place on May 15 at 21:00 hours (Brussels time) in the Chamber of the European Parliament in Brussels. The debate will take place in front of a live audience over 90 minutes and the show will be presented by Monica Maggioni of RAI News 24 and Irishman Conor McNally, News2day, RTE.
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Together with local organisations and representative organisations, the European Parliament is holding a series of information workshops throughout Ireland on the upcoming European elections. The workshops feature presentations on the elections and will include contributions from local actors and NGOs
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Thousands of young Europeans have now applied to take part in the European Youth Event (EYE2014) in Strasbourg in May when the European Parliament in Strasbourg will open its doors to thousands of young people aged between 16 and 30 from all over the EU. Participants will have the chance to meet with other young Europeans, inspired thinkers, political decision-makers and key figures from business, research, culture and society to exchange ideas and perspectives on issues that are critical for our common future.
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The European Parliament Information Office in Ireland and the European Commission Representation in Ireland in co-operation with several embassies of EU Member States are celebrating Europe Day on Friday 9th May with “A Taste of Europe” at EU House Dublin from 12.00 noon. This year to mark the 10th anniversary of the 2004 enlargement, music and dance will be provided by artists from most of the EU10 countries (Czech Republic, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia).
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The European Parliament website is now available in all 24 official languages including Irish. All major sections of the Europarl website are now available as Gaeilge. This includes the Portal, News, MEPs, About Parliament, Plenary, Committees, and Delegations. The mobile version and the visitors' website (Visits, Parlamentarium, House of European History) are also available in Irish language versions. The website's Newsroom is updated daily in Irish and includes top stories and election related content.
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To mark the tenth anniversary of the accession to the European Union of 10 Member States, a conference will be held at the Dublin Castle Conference Centre on Tuesday 6th May 2014. Entitled "Marking 10 Years of the EU’s largest accession: Reflections on the Future Political, Economic and Security Challenges of the European Union", the primary objective of the conference is to create a forum bringing together policy makers, government officials, academics and experts to reflect on the past, enhance the dialogue on the present status of the EU and debate its future direction.
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In the run-up to the 2014 European elections and the European Youth Event (EYE) taking place on 9-11 May in Strasbourg, this survey addresses the five main themes of EYE 2014 i.e. the fight against youth unemployment, the digital revolution, the future of the EU, sustainable development and European values, and takes stock of the views of young Europeans on these themes.
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The European Parliament Office in Ireland in conjunction with Network Ireland will hold an information workshop for current and future entrepreneurs on Tuesday 29 April at 5.30 pm in its offices at 43 Molesworth Street, Dublin. John Perry TD, Minister for Small Business will open the event which will include advice from Enterprise Ireland and case studies of two successful Irish SMEs: Lily O’Brien’s Chocolates and Trilogy Technologies. Booking is advisable. Admission free.
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This event takes place on Wednesday 16 April 2014 from 11:00 am to 1.00 pm in NUI Maynooth. This is an opportunity for you to ask questions, share your thoughts and participate in the discussion before the European Parliament elections take place on 23rd May 2014. The Europe Direct stand will provide advice and information on how to register to vote, eligibility etc. All welcome.
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New EU rules on the information that small investors must be given before they sign a contract were approved by Parliament on Tuesday. This information will be set out in a mandatory, three-page A4 Key Information Document (KID). Before signing a contract, all small (non-professional) investors should be given three-page A4 standard format KIDs to help them to understand and compare packaged retail and insurance-based investment products (PRIIPs), estimate the total cost of their investment as well as be aware of its risk-reward profile.
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Anyone legally residing in the EU would have the right to open a basic payment account, and no-one could be denied this right on grounds of nationality or place of residence, under a new law passed by Parliament on Tuesday. This law should also ensure that fees and rules for all payment accounts are transparent and comparable and make it easy to switch to another payment account that offers better terms.
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Three measures to ensure that banks shoulder the risks of failure rather than relying on taxpayers to bail them out were approved by Parliament on Tuesday. Two deal with restructuring and winding down troubled banks, and the third ensures that banks, not taxpayers, guarantee deposits under €100,000 in the event of a run on a bank.
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What will the MEPs be working on during this week's Plenary Session in Strasbourg ? Highlights include: - World War I centenary - Banks: MEPs seal protection package for taxpayers - Improving protection for workers posted abroad - Keeping pension rights when moving to another EU member States
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The European Parliament in co-operation with Irish Rural Link is hosting a seminar on rural isolation from 9.30 am to 1.30 pm in Jacksons Hotel, Ballybofey, Co. Donegal on Friday, 11 April. The aim of this seminar - with special guest speaker Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh, the former RTE sports commentator - is to focus on issues that affect people arising from rural isolation and to seek proposals for new or improved solutions as to how the problem of rural isolation can be alleviated.
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No-one has the answer, but the question is on everyone’s mind. Based on the current state of play of public opinion in the EU member states, the European Parliament and its contractor TNS Opinion propose a weekly projection of seats in the Parliament’s hemicycle.
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The European Parliament Group Leaders and the President of the European Parliament, in the framework of the Conference of Presidents, met today European Council President Herman Van Rompuy to the discuss practical arrangements for electing the next President of the European Commission. A large majority of the EP Political Group Leaders agreed that the next European Commission President must be elected from the "lead candidates" already put forward by the political groups.
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This week committees and political groups are meeting in Brussels. Noise at airports, promotion of farm goods and citizens' initiative on the use of human embryos are just some of the issues on the agenda. Political groups will also be preparing for next week's plenary session in Strasbourg. Read on.
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What will the MEPs be working on during this week's Plenary Session in Brussels ? Highlights include: - Ending tariffs on EU imports from Ukraine - Net neutrality and the end of roaming charges - Pension rights when moving within the EU - Medical devices: Better patient safety - Plans to curb harmful traffic noise
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This week Committee meetings as well as a mini plenary session are taking place in Brussels. Read on to see what's on Parliament's agenda during the week of 31 March-6 April 2014
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This event takes place on Thursday 27 March at 11:15am in WIT (FO2, Main campus, Business School Building) and will be chaired by Mary Mosse, Lecturer in Economics, WIT. There will also be an expert panel with Francis Jacobs, Head of the European Parliament Office in Ireland and Dr. John O'Brennan, Director, European Studies at NUI Maynooth and a Question and Answer session session with the audience.
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On Wednesday 26 March, the European Parliament will host the launch by the National Women's Council of Ireland (NWCI) of their pre-Election promotion campaign – the Women Rising Manifesto. The European Parliament and the NWCI believe more equal representation leads to better decision-making and are promoting actions to ensure gender equality and that women’s voices are being heard. The launch takes place at 9.30 am in the Parliament offices, 43 Molesworth Street, Dublin 2. For further information: call (01)8787248 or email louiseg@nwci.ie
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The Regional Development Committee (REGI) of the European Parliament will be visiting Ireland this week when they will hold a series of meetings with Ministers and Members of Dáil Eireann in Dublin before moving to Waterford and Kilkenny for a day and a half of meetings.
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An Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee delegation will meet Members of US Congress, the US Treasury and supervisory authorities in Washington to discuss the role of financial services in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, macro-economic policies and the fight against tax evasion. Read on to see what else is on Parliament's agenda during the week of 24-30 March 2014
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A European Parliament delegation has travelled to Israel to assess the conditions of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons . The cross-party delegation included Emer Costello MEP (Chair, S&D, Ireland), Nicole Kiil-Nielsen MEP (Greens, France), Patrick Le Hyaric (GUE, France) and Jacek Protasiewicz (EPP, Poland) and held meetings in the region on 19 and 20 March 2014.
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Leitrim Peace and Reconciliation Partnership
The national winning entries for the annual European Charlemagne Youth Prize, now in its seventh year, have been announced. Twenty-eight national projects were chosen from 370 projects in total. The competition is open to young people aged between 16 and 30 who have been involved with projects helping to promote understanding between peoples of different European countries. The three final European winners will be announced at an award ceremony in Aachen (Germany) on 27 May 2014.
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In the lead up to the European Parliament Elections 2014, students from universities across the country will debate the motion "This house believes that Ireland's future within the EU is bright" . The event will be chaired by Paddy Smyth, Foreign Policy Editor of the Irish Times. Opposing the motion will be Sean Barrett, Senator and Senior Lecturer in the Economics Department of Trinity College and proposing the motion will be Alan Dukes, former TD and leader of Fine Gael. Starts 7.30 pm. All welcome
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Two Irish MEPs won awards at the MEP Awards 2014 event which was hosted in Brussels on 18 March by the European research, innovation and science commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn: Jim Higgins for Transport and Seán Kelly for the Digital Agenda. This annual event recognising MEPs for their outstanding work over the current legislature is organised by the Parliament Magazine.
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An urgent vote to end or greatly reduce customs duties on EU imports from Ukraine will be taken by the International Trade Committee on Thursday. Read on to see what else is being discussed at Parliament's committee and political group meetings in Brussels during the week of 17-23 March 2014
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The European Parliament in association with four migrant led organisations, AkiDwA, Africa Centre, Forum Polonia and New Community Partnership will hold a seminar on 15 March to develop strategies for mobilising the migrant population to vote. The meeting is being organised in the context of the upcoming European Elections on 23 May. The seminar will take place from 10.00am-3.00pm at the European Parliament Office, 43 Molesworth Street, Dublin 2. All welcome.
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The European Charlemagne Youth Prize" aims to encourage the development of European consciousness among young people, as well as their participation in European integration projects. The Prize is awarded to projects undertaken by young people which foster understanding, promote the development of a shared sense of European identity, and offer practical examples of Europeans living together as one community. "The ECYP" is awarded jointly and annually by the European Parliament and the Foundation of the International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen.
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Parliament's March plenary session is taking place this week in Strasbourg. On Monday the Foreign Affairs Committee will discuss the €11 bn. EU aid package to Ukraine ahead of a debate and vote on Wednesday. Also on the agenda NSA inquiry, the Troika performance and Package Travel. Read on for more information.
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International Women's day will be marked in Dublin Castle Conference Centre and the event is already a sell-out! Jointly hosted by the European Parliament Office in Ireland and Network Ireland, a full-house of 150 people will throng to Dublin Castle to hear an excellent panel of speakers including Emer Costello MEP, and speakers from the National Women's Council of Ireland and Concern International, one of Europe's largest development agencies with operations in over 50 countries.
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The Leitrim Peace and Reconciliation Partnership are the Irish national winners of the European Charlemagne Youth Prize 2014. Their project "Embracing Change Programme" focussed on young people in Leitrim and was aimed at establishing meaningful cross-community and cross-border initiatives that would improve trust and tolerance and reduce levels of sectarianism and racism. The Embracing Change Programme will now go forward to be considered with 28 winners from other EU countries for the overall Charlemagne Youth Prize.
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On 4 March from 8.00-10.30 GMT, Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament will participate in an interactive event hosted by Emily O'Reilly, the European Ombudsman. This event is being organised ahead of the European elections to give you the citizen a chance to be heard on the type of Europe you want for the coming five years. Also participating will be José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission. This event will be webstreamed live.
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Today the MEPs of the Economic Affairs Committee will hear Mario Draghi, in his dual capacity as chair of both the European Central Bank and the European Systemic Risk Board, and discuss issues such as the banking union and inflation. Read on to see what else is being discussed at Parliament's committee and political group meetings in Brussels this week.
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The European Parliament in co-operation with Irish Rural Link is hosting a seminar on rural isolation in Ennis, Co Clare on Friday, 28th February. Phil Prendergast MEP will be in attendance and a special guest speaker is Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh, the former RTE sports commentator. The meeting will be held from 9.30 am to 1.30 pm in the West County Hotel, Ennis. The seminar will hear from experts in the field but the main purpose of the meeting is to seek proposals as to how the problem of rural isolation can be alleviated and develop polices to target the problem. Groups and individuals working to alleviate the problem of rural isolation will be in attendance.
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Dundalk Europe Direct Information Centre will host an evening of public dialogue with keynote speaker former Government Minister Mary O’Rourke on Thursday 27th February, focussing on Quality of Life - The "European Way". The event will be chaired by radio presenter Gerry Kelly, LMFM and there will also be a panel of experts including Frankie Watters, Senior Lecturer in Law, DKIT and a representative of the European Parliament Office in Ireland.
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Draft legislation updating the EU Tobacco Directive to make tobacco products less attractive to young people was endorsed by MEPs on Wednesday. This legislation, already informally agreed with EU health ministers, would require all packs to carry picture warnings covering 65% of their surface. E-cigarettes would be regulated, either as medicinal products if they claim to help smokers to quit, or as tobacco products.
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This special European Election event entitled ‘This Time It’s Different – Change Your Quality of Life through the EU Ballot Box’, will take place in the regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny on Tuesday 25th February, 2014 from 12.30-3.30pm as part of a series of events being hosted by Europe Direct Information Centres (EDICs), located in eight public libraries around the country. All welcome.
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"We succeeded in achieving our key aims in the year-long negotiations with the Commission and the Member States – to raise the budget from €2.5 to €3.5 billion, to strengthen the role of anti-poverty organizations in the design, operation and monitoring of the programme and to simplify the administrative procedures. The new FEAD programme that we have now agreed is the first ever specific European initiative that seeks to reach out to people experiencing extreme deprivation, particularly food poverty, homelessness and child poverty, in all Member States." said Parliament's rapporteur for the FEAD, Emer Costello.
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Co-rapporteurs Liem Hoang-Ngoc and Othmar Karas
The EU/ECB/IMF "Troika" helped four EU countries out of the crisis and prevented it from getting worse. But flaws in the way the Troika worked hindered national "ownership" of economic reforms, and compromised transparency and accountability, says an Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee resolution passed on Monday.
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MEPs will discuss and vote a resolution on developments in Ukraine and EU action in response to the violent repression of demonstrations there at next week's plenary session in Strasbourg. Tobacco, confiscating criminal assets and life-saving eCall devices for cars are just some of the other topics on the agenda. Read more.
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Tubbercurry Library Europe Direct Information Centre will host a special event in view of the forthcoming European Elections which will take place in Ireland on 23 May. The event will take place in Tubbercurry Library on Thursday 20th February from 6.00-9.00 pm and will consist of an interview with Mary O’Rourke, a briefing from a representative of the European Parliament Office in Ireland and a panel discussion. Time will be allocated to a question and answer session and light refreshments will also be served on the night. Admission is free. To reserve your place phone 071 9111721 or e-mail: europedirect@sligococo.ie
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European Parliament President Martin Schulz made the following statement on the deadly clashes in Ukraine: "A tragedy is unfolding in Ukraine. The failure of authorities to engage in genuine dialogue has led to renewed violence and deaths of many protesters and police. It is deeply shocking and unacceptable. It requires a strong and urgent action.
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Organisers of the “Right2Water” campaign urged the EU Commission to guarantee access to water and sanitation as a human right, and give a legal undertaking that water services will not be liberalised in the EU, in the first European Parliament debate on a European Citizens’ Initiative in Parliament on Monday. MEPs shared the view that access to water is a basic human right, but some pointed out that rules on providing drinkable water remain the remit of EU member states.
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Parliament's first official hearing for the European Citizens' Initiative, which enables people to ask for new EU legislation, will take place on Monday 17 February from 15.00 to 18.30 CET when the universal right to clean water will be discussed. Read more about what's happening next week in Parliament when Committees and political groups hold their meetings.
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The countdown has started: there are 100 days to go until the first polling stations open for the 2014 European elections. In the second biggest democratic exercise in the world, 400 million people can cast their vote for a new European Parliament. The 751 MEPs taking up their seats in July will not only set the course of European policies for the next five years but also elect the leader of the EU's executive body, the European Commission President. Ireland votes on 23 May to elect 11 representatives to the European Parliament for 2014-2019.
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Mallow Library Europe Direct Information Centre will host a special pre-European Election event in the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow on Monday 10 February at 5.30 pm focussing on European lifestyle, and the aims of solidarity, non-discrimination, privacy and equal opportunities in the European context. Admission is free but booking is essential. To reserve a place, phone (086) 0245412 or email: mallow.library@corkcoco.ie.
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Are you a journalist? Would you like to learn more about the European Parliament elections which take place in Ireland on 23 May? If so, you can apply now to take part in our election seminar in Brussels on 26 March. Deadline for applications: 10 February 2014
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New rules to reinforce consumers’ rights when buying a travel package will be voted on by the internal market committee on Tuesday in Brussels. This is just one of the topics on this week's agenda during parliamentary committee week. Other topics include NSA inquiry, Troika inquiry, money laundering... Read more about what's on.
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This special European Election event entitled ‘This Time It’s Different – Change Your Quality of Life through the EU Ballot Box’, will take place in the Great Northern Hotel, Bundoran on Thursday 6 February, 2014 from 6.30-9.30pm. Admission is free but booking is essential. To reserve a place, phone 074-9124950 or email eudirect@donegallibrary.ie
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aerial view EP Strasbourg.
Next week the European Parliament holds its monthly plenary session in Strasbourg. Banking union, air passenger rights, financial market fraud are just some of the topics on the agenda. Find out more.
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On the occasion of the International Women's Day 2014 and in the run-up to the European elections in May 2014, the European Parliament, in conjuction with the European Journalism Centre will organise a seminar in Brussels on 4-5 March for 100 journalists from the EU28 Member States. Deadline for applications: Monday 3 February 2014
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Do you want to learn more about the European Union, its relevance to everyday life and its impact on Ireland? Do you have questions on the role of the European Parliament and the upcoming elections which are taking place on 23 May? A series of events being hosted by Europe Direct Information Centres (EDICs), located in eight public libraries around the country, will give you the opportunity. This is the third event in the series and takes place in Westside Library, Galway from 6.00 pm-9.00 pm. Chaired by Páidí Ó Líonaird TG4 with keynote speaker Mary O'Rourke, former Government Minister, there will also be an expert panel which will include a representative of the European Parliament Office in Ireland and Professor Ronan Long, NUIG. Open to the public. Admission free.
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This special European Election event "Post Troika: Where now for Ireland in 2014?" will take place on Monday 27 January at 7.00 pm at the Killeshin Hotel, Portlaoise. This is the third event in the series and will see keynote speaker Mary O'Rourke, former Government Minister interviewed by Claire O'Brien from Midlands Radio 3. There will also be a panel of experts including a representative of the European Parliament Office in Ireland. This is a free event but booking is essential.
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Troika under scrutiny, emission trading in aviation, fluorinated greenhouse gases... Read more about what's on the agenda this week in Brussels at Parliament's Committee and political group meetings.
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This Wednesday Emer Costello and Mairead McGuinness will take part in the Google Hangout on Ireland and the European Elections. Other participants include SIPTU President Jack O'Connor and a representative from the Irish Bank Federation. Join in from 8.30 am to find out what the EU does for you and to have your say! If you want to participate live during the event, let us know in the comments.
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The European Parliament elections will take place between 22-25 May 2014. To encourage citizens to vote, a series of free events are taking place in the Europe Direct Centres across the country. This is the second event in the series and takes place at 6.15 pm at the offices of Fingal County Council in Blanchardstown, with keynote speaker Mary O'Rourke, former Government Minister and a panel of experts that will include a representative of the European Parliament Office in Ireland.
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Are you 16-30 years old and do you run a project with a European dimension? Or do you know anybody that does? Since 24 October projects promoting Europe among young people have started competing for the seventh Charlemagne Youth Prize. Winning projects will not only benefit from recognition and media coverage, but also from prize money to further develop the initiative. Deadline for applications extended until 10 February 2014
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An EP delegation will visit Ireland on 16-17 January as part of its inquiry on the role and operations of the Troika (ECB, Commission and IMF) with regard to the euro area programme countries. The delegation has visited Portugal on 6-7 January and Cyprus on 10 January and will visit Greece on 29-30 January. The visit includes meetings with ministers, parliamentarians and representatives of civil society.
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This special European Election event "Post Troika: Where now for Ireland in 2014?" will take place on Thursday 16 January at 2pm at the Theatre Royal in Waterford. This is a free event but booking is essential. To reserve your place, phone 051 849975 or email europedirect@waterfordcity.ie.
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aerial view EP Strasbourg.
This week the European Parliament holds its monthly plenary session in Strasbourg. Freedom of movement for EU citizens; Public services: better value for money; CO2 emissions: cleaner vans by 2020 are just some of the topics on the agenda. Find out more.
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The Icub robot
The European Parliament Office in Ireland will be present at the 50th BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition which takes place in the RDS in Dublin from Thursday 9 to Saturday 11 January. Come along and visit us in the World of Science and Technology (Stand number 35 in the Industries Hall).
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Welcome to 2014! This month Greece took over the presidency of the Council of the EU for the next six months, Latvia became the 18th country to adopt the euro, while the European elections will take place in May. This week MEPs meet in committees to investigate Troika operations in bailout countries, vote on funding for asylum and law enforcement measures and debate how to deal with failing banks. In addition political groups are preparing for next week’s plenary.
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Latvia became the 18th member of the eurozone on 1 January, joining the 330 million people who use Europe's single currency -the euro. It is the second Baltic state after Estonia in 2011 to adopt the currency.
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Happy New Year

01-01-2014

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Parliament business resumes on 6 January 2014, with a week of meetings of parliamentary committees and political groups. The next parliamentary session takes place in Strasbourg from 13-16 January 2014. The European Parliament Office in Ireland wishes everyone a Happy New Year.
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photo by iMatthew Ireland
Travelling over the Christmas holidays can prove a real headache when ticket prices go north, temperatures go south and you go nowhere. Luckily, you enjoy rights under European legislation when your flight is delayed or cancelled. However, there is always room for improvement. On 17 December the Parliament's transport committee voted in favour of strengthening these rights. Read on to find out what the current situation is and how it could change.
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The European Parliament's President, Martin Schulz, has announced that an Irish language website for the EP will be available before the European Elections in May 2014. This announcement has been welcomed by the European Ombudsman, Emily O'Reilly.
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An information seminar on the latest negotiations recently concluded between the European Parliament, Council and Commission on the new Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD) to run from 2014 to 2020 will take place on Friday 13 December in the European Parliament Information Office in Dublin from 9.30am-11.30 am. The event is hosted by Emer Costello MEP, rapporteur for this programme. To register email emer.costello@ep.europa.eu or telephone 01 874 6109.
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Erasmus students witness EP President Schulz sign the Erasmus+ law including Irish student Laura Hegarty (to the immediate right of President Schulz)
With a simple signature, the revamped version of Europe’s most popular student programme was signed into law on 11 December by EP President Martin Schulz. Erasmus+ boasts a budget of more than €14 billion for 2014-2020, nearly twice as much as its current funding, giving more than four million young Europeans the chance to study or train abroad. The new programme will kick off on 1 January 2014.
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EU aid to redundant workers will continue in 2014-2020 and be extended to new categories of workers, such as the self-employed and those on fixed-term contracts, according to an agreement endorsed in plenary session on Wednesday. This €3.5 billion EU programme takes effect on 1 January 2014. "The reintegration rate of those who used the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund is 48% according to the European Commission estimates. The Parliament fought national governments to keep the fund going in 2014-2020. However, I hope that despite the decrease from 3.5 billion euros to 1.05 billion, it will be sufficient", said rapporteur Marian Harkin (ALDE, IE).
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The PRESS KIT for the #EP2014 elections is out. This multimedia press kit is aimed at journalists who want to cover the European elections which will take place in May 2014. You will find here a guide to the role and powers of the Parliament, an overview of the work done by its Members over the past five years and other information.There are a wealth of charts and graphics available plus a wide range of audio-visual material, all designed for easy use by the media. You can DOWNLOAD it in all EU languages including Irish.
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Mairead McGuinness
The European Parliament Office in Ireland in conjunction with Network Kildare are pleased to invite you to our forthcoming business seminar ‘Successfully Emerging from Recession' on Friday, 6 December at Killashee House Hotel, Naas, Co Kildare from 9.15am-12.30pm. There is no charge to attend this business seminar. Prior registration is required.
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EU flags are flying at half-mast at the European Parliament in tribute to Nelson Mandela who died at the age of 95 on 5 December. Speaking after the death of Mandela, EP president Martin Schulz said: "South Africa today loses its father, the world loses a hero. I pay tribute to one of the greatest humans of our time.” Mandela was the first recipient of the Parliament's Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.
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The European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) is currently holding an open competition to select candidates for recruitment as lawyer-linguists in the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union. This seminar will provide attendees with a first-hand insight into the work of a lawyer-linguist in the EU Institutions and a detailed overview of the key stages of EPSO’s recruitment process. Attendance is free of charge but participants are requested to register in advance by contacting the European Commission Representation in Ireland comm-ie-reception@ec.europa.eu
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This half-day seminar will help political organisations to communicate with the one in seven voters that have a disability. This seminar is particularly aimed at those who will be responsible for getting messages to voters, through election materials, websites, social media, political broadcasts and other communication tools.The event is jointly organised by the National Disability Authority and the European Parliament Information Office. There is no charge to attend this event. Advance booking is required.
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Europe's new mediator, ombudsman Emily O'Reilly, made her first official appearance in the Parliament, when she took part in a meeting by the petitions committee on 26 November. The committee deals, as the Ombudsman does, with people's complaints addressed to the EU administration. Ms O'Reilly is the first woman to hold this position. Previously she was Ireland's national ombudsman.
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Congratulations to the winning schools in our Design a Flyer Competition : St. Joseph's Secondary School, Rush; St. Olivers Community School, Drogheda; Meán Scoil Mhuire, Newtownsmith, Galway, Coláiste Iósaef, Kilmallock, Limerick, and Castleknock Community College, Dublin.
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Entry of Castleknock Community College
Congratulations to the winning schools in our Design a Flyer Competition: St. Joseph's Secondary School, Rush; St. Olivers Community School, Drogheda; Meán Scoil Mhuire, Newtownsmith, Galway and Coláiste Iosaef, Kilmallock, Co. Limerick. Owing to the exceptionally high standard of entries received in the competition this year the European Parliament is delighted to announce that an additional Euroscola will be awarded to Castleknock Community College to attend the Special Euroscola at the European Youth Event in May 2014.
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Entry of Castleknock Community College
Congratulations to the winning schools in our Design a Flyer Competition: St. Joseph's Secondary School, Rush; St. Olivers Community School, Drogheda; Meán Scoil Mhuire, Newtownsmith, Galway and Coláiste Iosaef, Kilmallock, Co. Limerick. Owing to the exceptionally high standard of entries received in the competition this year the European Parliament is delighted to announce that an additional Euroscola will be awarded to Castleknock Community College to attend the Special Euroscola at the European Youth Event in May 2014.
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Malala Yousafzai, the 16-year old Pakistani girl campaigner for girls’ right to education and 2013 laureate of the Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought, received her prize from Parliament’s President Martin Schulz at a ceremony in Strasbourg, on 20 November.
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The European Parliament Office in Ireland in conjunction with Network Mayo are pleased to invite you to our forthcoming business seminar ‘Successfully Emerging from Recession' on Saturday 16 November at Knockranny House Hotel, Westport, from 10h00-13h00. There is no charge to attend this business seminar. Pre booking is essential. Contact European Parliament Office in Ireland by email epdublin@ep.europa.eu or phone (01) 6057900
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Co-hosted by the European Parliament Information Office in Ireland and the European Anti Poverty Network (EAPN) Ireland, this meeting is an opportunity both to look back and take stock, to hear from some of those who were present during the social policy debates in 1973 and also to look at some of the current challenges facing European social policy. To register please contact European Parliament Information Office, Tel. 01/6057900, email: epdublin@ep.europa.eu
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The European Parliament’s Information Office in Ireland and The Wheel would like to invite you to a workshop - Shaping Ireland’s and Europe’s Future - on 8 November (9.30am to 1.30pm) in the River Lee Hotel, Western Road, Cork, to help develop a strong compelling vision for the European social model, the economy and environment in the years ahead. This free event is open to the public, as well as community and voluntary organisations. Registration is required.
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Opening the Agora, EP president Martin Schulz said: "We think this is a question of survival for our democratic system. The most important thing for every generation of parents is, what are the chances for my children, for our children." EP vice-president Isabelle Durant added: "This conference aims to understand what the obstacles are that young people encounter when looking for a job
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On Friday 8th November 2013, the European Consumer Centre (ECC) Ireland and the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland teamed up to deliver a Cross-Border Shoppers’ information event at Letterkenny Europe Direct to mark the European Year of Citizens 2013. The workshop was attended by over 30 people from the Letterkenny and Strabane area who heard from experts on cross-border consumer issues such as shopping online, consumer credit rights, scams and how to complain about faulty goods and services.
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Othmar Karas, MEP
MEPs laid into top European Central Bank and European Commission staff over the working methods of the ECB/Commission/IMF "Troika" at Tuesday's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee meeting. They demanded details of how Troika decisions were taken and what lessons had been learnt. They also sharply criticised the often mistaken economic forecasts behind the economic reform programmes demanded of Greece, Cyprus, Ireland and Portugal.
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aerial view EP Strasbourg.
In the second October plenary session, Parliament voted to reverse cuts to the EU's 2014 budget proposed by the Council and amended the current budget to cover its €2.7 billion deficit. MEPs also voted for suspending the US-EU deal on tracking terrorist financial activities as a response to the alleged tapping of Europeans' bank data. Aung San Suu Kyi received her Sakharov prize in what President Martin Schulz described as a great moment for which an entire generation had been waiting for.
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The Chairperson of the European Parliament's Delegation to the Palestinian Legislative Council (DPLC), Emer Costello, has said that she is both astounded and dismayed at the decision of the Israeli authorities to refuse an official visit of the Delegation to Gaza. The visit, which was scheduled to take place between 27 and 30 October 2013, had the full support of Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament.
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In co-operation with AKIDWA and Polonia Forum, this day long event will feature workshops for local activists to register immigrant and minority group voters and to encourage participation in the European Elections in May 2014. The event will be opened by Emer Costello MEP and will feature a contribution from Chris Wooley, an expert and activist in registration of immigrant and minority groups in the UK. The seminar is open to all.
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The Broken Circle Breakdown, Miele and The Selfish Giant, begin their journey across Europe. The three films in competition for the LUX Prize will be shown this week at the Indie Cork Film Festival (October 16 - 20). The festival will be the first stop of the LUX FILM DAYS. Miele will start the screenings on 18 (Gate Cinema, 9pm). It will be followed by The Selfish Giant on Saturday 19 and The Broken Circle Breakdown – which is also the festival’s closing film - on Sunday 20.
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The European Parliament’s Information Office in Ireland and The Wheel would like to invite you to a workshop - Shaping Ireland’s and Europe’s Future - on 18 October (9.00am to 1.30pm) in the Meyrick Hotel Galway City to help develop a strong compelling vision for the European social model, the economy and environment in the years ahead. This free event is open to the public, as well as community and voluntary organisations. Registration is required.
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The GAA the first ever Irish winner of the European Citizen’s prize were in Brussels this week. Together with the 43 winners from other member states of the EU, they attended an official event in Brussels on Wednesday and Thursday at the European Parliament, where they met EP President, Martin Schulz. (Photo shows left to right: Pat the Cope Gallagher, Joe McDonagh (former GAA President), Sean Kelly and Jim Higgins)
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Today, the Gaelic Athletic Association, one of the winners of the European Citizen's Prize 2013 was presented with the award medal by Seán Kelly MEP at Croke Park. Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Liam Ó Néill accepted the Prize on behalf of the GAA in light of the Association’s role in promoting enhanced mutual understanding and closer integration between citizens.
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Pakistani campaigner for girls' education Malala Yousafzai is the laureate of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2013, following today's decision of the Conference of Presidents (EP President and political group leaders). She will be invited to receive the award at a ceremony in Strasbourg on 20 November.
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A briefing on the information campaign ("This Time it's Different") for the 2014 European Parliament elections, will be held from 10.30 am-12.00 am on Wednesday 2 October in the EP Conference Room at 43 Molesworth Street with confirmed speakers David Farrell of UCD and Arthur Beesley of the Irish Times. To attend please call (01) 6057900 or email epdublin@ep.europa.eu
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A universal charger for all mobile phones should be introduced to cut costs and waste for users, proposed the Internal Market Committee on Thursday, in an amendment to a draft law on radio equipment. The committee also cut some red tape, by deleting a rule that would have required manufacturers to register certain categories of devices before placing them on the market.
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Parliament and Council negotiators reached a deal Tuesday evening on outstanding Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform issues such as co-financing rates for rural development and capping payments to big farms, after the Council showed flexibility on issues of crucial importance to Parliament: The deal was based on the new mandate adopted on 23 September by the Agriculture and Fisheries Council.
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Mairead McGuinness MEP (centre) pays a visit to the EP stand (S298) at the National Ploughing Championships (25/9/2013)
The European Parliament will once again be present at this year's National Ploughing Championships, which takes place from Tuesday 24 to Thursday 26 September at Ratheniska, Stradbally, Co. Laois. You will find us at Stand S 298.
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Commission President José Manuel Barroso delivered the last state of the union speech to Parliament for this legislature on Wednesday. Political group leaders took the floor to set out the priorities which they feel Commission should address in the coming months. They stressed the need to restore trust in the EU, pointing out that the May 2014 European elections offer voters a real chance to choose its future.
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The European Commission is looking for applications in order to set up a panel of candidates for vacancies which may arise in the following fields: administration, audit, secretariat, economy, finance, information and communication, languages, law, policy, program/project management and statistics. Successful candidates will be offered a fixed-term contract of a maximum duration of three years. There is no set deadline for this exercise but the Commission reserves the right to close the call at any time, in which case the closing date will be published at least one month in advance on the Europa and EPSO websites.
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Home buyers would be better informed about the costs and risks of taking on a mortgage, partly shielded against market swings that inflate their repayments and better protected if they default on the loan, under new rules provisionally approved by Parliament on Tuesday. But before finalising these rules, MEPs wish to fine-tune them to ensure that they are properly enforced across the EU.
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International couples in registered partnerships should have the same right as married ones to choose which member state's national law will govern their property rights if the relationship ends, says Parliament in a resolution, voted on Tuesday, which recommends that draft legislation be amended to this end.
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The official run-up to the 2014 European elections starts on 10 September, when the European Parliament launches its awareness and information campaign. This campaign will continue beyond the elections themselves, until the newly-elected Parliament in turn elects the next European Commission President. Follow this live here.
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aerial view EP Strasbourg.
Highlights include: Launch of the information campaign on the 2014 European Elections; Barroso on the State of the Union; mortgages; Syria and Egypt; biofuels and renewable energy; shale gas; threat to media freedom
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A majority of EU citizens (Irish 66%) said they would be more inclined to vote in the May 2014 European elections if political families named their candidates for the next Commission President, says a new "Eurobarometer" survey, published on 6 September. For the first time, the next Commission President will be elected by the newly-elected Parliament, taking into account the results of the European elections. The survey also shows that a growing number of EU citizens subscribe to an EU as well as a national identity.
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The European Parliament’s Citizens’ Agora on Youth Unemployment aims to gather young people from all over Europe to discuss the current challenges in Europe’s employment market. Two young people from each Member State of the EU, aged between 18 and 30, will be invited to this conference - one who is employed and one who is unemployed. Are you interested in participating? Deadline extended to 6 September 2013
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It is "realistic to assume that additional support will be required for Greece beyond the programme", Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem told the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee on Thursday. But it is too early to speculate on the exact details, he later said in reply to MEPs' questions. The hearing also focused on the nascent banking union, the recently-issued country-specific recommendations, and the urgent need to tackle unemployment.
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This year's Euroscola Schools Competition - Design a Flyer - has just been launched. Enter our competition and your school could win the chance to represent Ireland at Euroscola, a one-day European youth forum at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Closing date for entries: Friday, 15th November 2013.
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"I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Irish Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney. In his inspiring poem Beacons at Bealtaine of 1 May 2004 composed to greet European enlargement, the lines "So on a day when newcomers appear Let it be a homecoming …," summarises in a short simple phrase the real meaning of the European Union, namely a home for all Europeans."
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 (01/09/2009)
The summer recess is over and business resumes at the European Parliament this week. The dramatic events in Egypt will be the main topic of a special meeting by the foreign affairs committee on 28 August, which will also deal with increasing tensions in Ukraine-Russia relations. The development committee will vote on the EU's budget for 2014 and discuss the humanitarian situation in Syria. Meanwhile MEPs will also be working in their constituencies.
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The European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) are currently looking for talented, motivated conference interpreters and translators to work for the EU Institutions. Deadlines for application: 6 August noon and 13 August noon. Workshop on the work of translators on Wednesday 24th July at 6pm at EP Information Office, 43 Molesworth Street, Dublin 2. Open to the public
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The finalists for this year's LUX Prize have finally been announced: Belgian film “The Broken Circle Breakdown”, British film “The Selfish Giant” and “Miele”, an Italian and French coproduction, will be battling it out for the top honour. The LUX Prize is awarded by the European Parliament every year to films that promote European cinematography, values and social issues. The winner will be determined by a vote by MEPs.
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MEPs are taking a break from official meetings the coming weeks, but behind the scenes work will continue to prepare for important legislative files later this year. Parliament will have to decide on matters that will affect the EU and Europeans for years to come, such as the long-term budget, banking supervision, data protection and better protection for temporary workers. Read on to find out more.
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This is the last week of official meetings until September, but work will continue behind the scenes. MEPs will meet their constituents and delegations will travel to countries such as the US to discuss the response to the global crisis and how a transatlantic free-trade agreement - which is currently being negotiated between the EU and the US - could affect the environment. A delegation will also travel to Spain to observe the Frontex Indalo border control operation.
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This Friday, Dublin MEP Emer Costello will host a public seminar on Youth Unemployment and the European Youth Guarantee. This event is intended to enable young people and organisations working on their behalf outline how they believe the Youth Guarantee should be implemented in Ireland so that it will make a real impact on the youth employment crisis and to guarantee a brighter future for young people. To register, please contact emer.costello@ep.europa.eu or Tel 01.8746109.
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Operating rules for the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) were approved by the Fisheries Committee on Wednesday. From 2014, the EMFF will fund EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) measures to make EU fisheries sustainable and develop aquaculture. The EMFF will also fund Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP) cooperation among maritime stakeholders in different policy areas.
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A draft law to make smoking less attractive to the young by banning the use of "characterised" flavours such as strawberry or menthol in tobacco products was backed by Public Health Committee MEPs on Wednesday. But they also amended the draft to require health warnings on every side of a cigarette pack and ban slim cigarettes and "attractive" packaging.
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On-line music service providers will get licenses more easily and musicians will receive royalties more quickly, enabling consumers to enjoy a wider range of music on-line, under rules approved on Tuesday by the Legal Affairs Committee.
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"Roaming" fees for making mobile phone calls, sending text or downloading data while abroad must end by 2015, said the Industry Committee on Tuesday. "Unbalanced profit margins on roaming" not only create excessive costs for users but also hamper growth and prosperity . They are one reason why there is not yet a single telecoms market, MEPs say.
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Some €1.5 billion could be saved each year simply be making it easer to re-register your vehicle in the EU. Difficulties when transferring a vehicle to another member state is one of the 20 problems Europeans complain about the most . On 9 July the EP's internal market committee approved a proposal to cut red tape when moving a car to another country in the EU.
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Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee will conduct an "in-depth inquiry" into the US surveillance programmes, including the bugging of EU premises and other spying allegations, and present its results by the end of this year, says a resolution passed by the full House on Thursday. Parliament's President and political group leaders formally confirmed the launch of the inquiry. MEPs also call for more protection for whistleblowers.
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Emily O’Reilly (Ireland) was elected European Ombudsman on Wednesday. Ms O'Reilly was backed by 359 MEPs in a secret plenary vote. The European Ombudsman investigates citizens' complaints of maladministration by EU institutions.
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Parliament endorsed the outcome of its negotiations with the Council on the EU's long-run budget, the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2014-2020 on Wednesday.
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EP President Martin Schulz, together with the new Croatian Commissioner Nevan Mimica, will today open the European Forum for Consumers in Strasbourg. The Forum marks the twentieth anniversary of the Single Market and the establishment of the ECC in France/Germany.
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Twelve new substances will be added to the EU priority list of those known to pose a pollution risk to surface waters under rules endorsed by MEPs on Tuesday. For the first time, three pharmaceuticals will also be included in a "watch list" of emerging pollutants that could one day be placed on the priority list.
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The Irish Presidency has worked closely with the European Parliament on numerous issues including securing political agreements on the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020, reform of the Common Agricultural Policy and on banking union."
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aerial view EP Strasbourg.
What will the MEPs be working on during the next Plenary session in Strasbourg ?
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EU institutions face a test of their credibility by failing to act on promised reforms, warned Martin Schulz. The EP president spoke out at the opening of the EU summit dedicated to tackling youth unemployment, which takes place in Brussels on 27-28 June. “Ordinary people are increasingly losing faith in the ability and the willingness of democratic institutions to take action,” he said, putting down the gauntlet for member states to finally agree on concrete measures.
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"Erasmus+", is set to be the EU's next programme for education, training, youth and sport, following an agreement confirmed by Parliament negotiators and the Council on Wednesday. The overall budget for the new programme is subject to approval of the EU's overall multi-annual financial framework (MFF) for that period.
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Will the EU budget for 2014 be able to deliver growth, as promised? If youth employment is the top priority in 2014, will other programmes suffer? Can the EU still support youth employment after 2016? And what happens if the issue of outstanding bills for 2013 (€11.2 billion) is not resolved in time? These were some of the questions MEPs raised when Commissioner Janusz Lewandowski presented the draft budget on Wednesday.
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Negotiations on the future shape of EU farm policy are on the right track but the Irish presidency must get EU agriculture ministers to be more flexible before further progress can be made in Brussels on Wednesday, EP head negotiator Paolo De Castro (S&D, IT) said on Tuesday early morning, after hours of intensive talks between the Parliament, Council and Commission in Luxembourg.
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Week 24-30 June 2013: Committees and political group meetings, Brussels
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Next Friday 21 June sees the launch of the Shaping Europe's Future Programme which will give civil society organisations an opportunity to engage with our MEPs and set priorities for the European social model, the economy and environment in the years ahead. The programme, developed by the Wheel with the support of the European Parliament, will be launched at The Wheel's inaugural Summer School at the Carmelite Centre, 56 Aungier Street, Dublin, from 9am-1.30pm. This is a free event but registration is required.
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The US PRISM internet surveillance case highlights the urgent need to pass legislation to protect EU citizens' personal data, most MEPs agreed in Wednesday's Civil Liberties Committee debate with Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding. MEPs also called for safeguards for personal data transferred outside the EU.
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On Thursday 20th June, 12.00 noon to 2.30 pm, the European Parliament Office welcomes Ms Jocelyn Bell Burnell, to Dublin for a special presentation to mark her contribution to science and her advocacy of the role of women in science. Ms Burnell will also be interviewed about her life and work. Ms Burnell acquired fame for the discovery of pulsars - fast rotating neutron stars. She is currently visiting Professor of Astrophysics at Oxford University. The event is open to the public. To book a place, telephone (01) 605.79.00 or email epdublin@ep.europa.eu.
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This Wednesday 19 June, the European Parliament Office in Ireland will host a Sakharov Prize Network lecture with guest speaker Hauwa Ibrahim, Sakharov Laureate 2005 and Nigerian human rights lawyer. This will be an opportunity to hear the personal experiences of Ms Ibrahim in her drive to promote freedom and democracy. The lecture will take place from 18h30-20h00 at the European Parliament Office, 43 Molesworth Street, Dublin 2. All welcome. To register please call (01) 6057900 or e-mail epdublin@ep.europa.eu.
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New rules laying down common procedures and deadlines for handling asylum applications and basic rights for asylum seekers arriving in the EU were endorsed by Parliament on Wednesday. The Common European Asylum System will also stop transfers of asylum seekers to member states unable to ensure decent living conditions for them.
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Jim Higgins, MEP for Ireland North West and Ireland's Member of the European Parliament Transport Committee, has welcomed the European Parliament's decision to back his report by 516 to 111 at the European Parliament in Strasbourg today (11th June).
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In the 2014 European elections, Ireland, along with 11 other EU member states, will each lose one seat and none will gain any, under a draft decision endorsed by Parliament on Wednesday. These reductions are needed in order to comply with the 751-seat limit set by the Lisbon Treaty and to make room for Croatia's MEPs. The draft European Council decision, approved by Parliament by 574 votes to 71, with 39 abstentions, leaves unchanged the redistribution of seats between member states proposed by MEPs on 13 March 2013. After Parliament's consent, the text still needs to be formally adopted by all EU heads of state and government at the 27-28 June summit.
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The Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived must be at least maintained at today's €3.5 billion, not cut to €2.5 billion, said Parliament in a vote on Wednesday. The €1 billion cut has been proposed by the EU Commission and member states, in negotiations on the EU's long-term budget. "Almost 120 million Europeans are at risk of poverty or social exclusion. Over 40 million suffer from severe material deprivation and over four million are homeless. The new fund is an important instrument for alleviating the effects of the economic and social crisis and a practical expression of Europe's solidarity with its most vulnerable citizens", said rapporteur Emer Costello (S&D, IE), in the debate preceding the vote.
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Rules on the labelling and content of baby milks and foods for special medical purposes will be better defined in order to protect consumers and distinguish more clearly between foods for normal consumption and foods for specific groups under legislation passed on Tuesday. The new rules, already agreed with Council, also cover some low-calorie diets.
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aerial view EP Strasbourg.
New legislation setting out common procedures for treating asylum applications will be voted on by MEPs during the plenary session starting in Strasbourg on Monday 10 June. They will also talk debate the situation in Turkey and discuss the priorities of the forthcoming European Council meeting that will focus on youth unemployment and challenges in the eurozone.
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The Gaelic Athletic Association / Cumann Lúthchleas Gael which was nominated for the European Citizen's Prize 2013 by Sean KELLY MEP, is among the 43 winners of the European Citizen's Prize 2013 of the European Parliament. Since 2008, the prize has been awarded to citizens or organisations having contributed to promoting better mutual understanding and closer integration between citizens or to facilitating cross-border or transnational cooperation within the EU. The winners will receive a medal of honour at an award ceremony in their country and will be invited to a joint event in Brussels on 16-17 October.
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At a high-level seminar held in Brussels this week organised in association with the Irish Presidency and hosted by Liam Aylward MEP for Ireland East and Makhteshim Agan, policy makers and participants heard from the European Commissioner for Research and Innovation, Máire Geoghegan Quinn and food experts from the FAO, China, Israel and Ireland that research and innovation would play a critical role in averting a food security crisis in European and global agriculture.
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On 31 May and 1 June, Members of the United States House of Representatives and the European Parliament meet in Leinster House, Dublin, to discuss topics of joint American and European interest, in particular economic and financial challenges, transatlantic trade and investment partnership (TTIP), cyber security and foreign policy cooperation. This will be the 74th EU/US Interparliamentary Meeting and Transatlantic Legislators' Dialogue Meeting (TLD).
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A breakfast address by Danuta Hübner MEP, on "Emerging from the Crisis:Challenges and Opportunities for Europe" will take place this Friday 31 May at 8.30 am at the Institute of International and Economic Affairs, 8 North Great Georges Street, Dublin 1. To register contact the IIEA by tel. (01) 874.67.56 or email reception@iiea.com.
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The final deal on the future EU farm policy much depends on the successful conclusions of the EU long-term budget talks, a satisfactory deal on the delegated and implementing acts, and on the ability of Council to compromise more on crucial aspects of the CAP reform, Paolo De Castro, chair of the EP Agriculture committee told EU farm ministers on Monday during the informal Council meeting in Dublin. MEPs are ready to work day and night but the quality of the reform must prevail over the speed, he added.
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The Gaelic Athletic Association / Cumann Lúthchleas Gael was nominated for the European Citizen's Prize 2013 by Sean Kelly MEP. A national jury, made up of Phil Prendergast MEP, Marian Harkin MEP and Gay Mitchell MEP endorsed the nomination.
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The National Disability Authority and European Parliament Information Office in Ireland are jointly hosting a conference on the opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in public and political life on an equal basis with others. The event takes place on the morning of Friday 24th May 2013 in the Croke Park Conference Centre and attendance is free of charge.
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On the 23rd May 24 students travelled to Strasbourg, accompanied by 3 teachers. The European Studies class won this subsidised trip to participate in Euroscola, a youth parliament for 16-18 year old students. This trip was funded by the European Parliament Office in Ireland after a group of students won the competition to design a webpage for their schools website entitled ‘My European School’.
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MEPs call for respect for human rights and humanitarian law in Syria and support a political solution to the conflict, in a resolution voted on Thursday, while emphasizing that the two tracks should be kept separate.
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Draft laws setting up a single EU bank supervisory system were approved in a plenary vote on Wednesday. The European Central Bank will supervise the Eurozone's largest banks directly and have a say in supervising other banks. However, Parliament will give its final seal of approval only later, to allow time for parallel talks with the ECB on detailed accountability arrangements.
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Victims of stalking, harassment or gender-based violence who are granted protection in one member state will get equivalent protection if they move or travel to another, without having to go through time-consuming formalities, thanks to a new law passed by Parliament on Wednesday. These civil law rules complement the European Protection Order, which already provides similar protection under criminal law.
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A cross-party delegation of Irish MEPs including Pat the Cope Gallagher, Gay Mitchell, Emer Costello and Martina Anderson met with the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz to discuss the absence of an Irish language version of the European Parliament website.
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Plenary Session - Employment policy. The economic crisis and the challenges of an ageing population have revealed the vulnerability of both funded and public pension schemes, MEPs say in a resolution passed on Tuesday. They ask EU member states to introduce or maintain diversified pension schemes and highlight the role of public pensions in ensuring decent living standards for all, urging the member states to safeguard them.
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Plenary Session - Economic and monetary affairs. EU member states should join forces to halve the €1 trillion uncollected "tax gap" by 2020, says Parliament in a resolution voted on Tuesday. MEPs want governments to agree measures to clamp down on tax havens, close avoidance loopholes and combat aggressive tax planning. Other ways in which EU countries could benefit by better coordinating their tax systems are set out in a separate resolution, also voted on Tuesday, on the annual tax report.
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Taxpayers and savers must be the last people called upon to bail out banks, says Parliament's negotiating position, approved by the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee on Monday, on draft rules on saving struggling banks. The text rules out using deposits below €100,000 and says that even deposits above €100,000 should be the last to be called in. The committee voted against using deposit guarantee funds for resolution actions and also set out strict conditions for using taxpayer's money.
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Changes in EU member states' media laws that make it easier for governments to interfere in the media should be monitored every year at EU level, says a resolution voted by Parliament on Tuesday. To safeguard media freedom and pluralism, the Audiovisual Media Services Directive should be revised and journalists' working conditions improved, it adds.
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The 2014 European Parliament elections should be held from 22 to 25 May, instead of 5-8 June, according to a draft decision endorsed by the full House on Tuesday. Bringing the elections forward would give the new Parliament more time to prepare for the election of the European Commission President in July 2014.
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The social affairs committee voted on Monday to reject the one billion euro cut to the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived proposed by the European Commission, and called for support for the EU's neediest citizens be kept at the 2007-2013 level of. 3.5 billion euros. "The new Fund is an important instrument to alleviate the effects of the economic and social crisis. It will provide tangible aid for the most disadvantaged people and will help bring in vulnerable people from the margins of society, including homeless people and children in impoverished homes. It is in short a practical expression of Europe's solidarity with its most vulnerable citizens," said the rapporteur, Emer Costello (S&D, IE).
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This year’s final took place on Friday, 17th May and was held at the European Commission’s Food and Veterinary Office in Grange, Co. Meath. The motion this year was "Ireland has achieved much to date in its EU Presidency"
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People who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered (LGBT) continue to experience widespread discrimination and harassment, according to the largest survey ever conducted among the LGBT community in Europe. Nearly half (47%) of LGBT people said they had personally felt discriminated against or harassed on the grounds of sexual orientation in the past year, while one in four (26%) had been attacked or threatened with violence in the last five years.
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MEPs will urge member states to step up the fight against tax fraud and tax evasion during the plenary session in Strasbourg from 20-23 May. They will also debate proposals on banking supervision in the EU, adopt a position on the upcoming negotiations for a free trade agreement with the US as well as vote on two draft resolutions concerning media freedom and improved media education. In addition Parliament will adopt a position on dates for next year's European elections.
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In the context of the Irish presidency, the European Parliament Office in Ireland, in co-operation with the Centre for Irish and European Security, will host a conference entitled "Securing Europe: Future Threats and Trends". The Conference will take place on 16th May from 9 am-5.00 pm in the European Parliament Office, 43 Molesworth Street, Dublin 2 and speakers will include Emer Costello MEP as well as a range of international speakers.
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The day began with a continental breakfast, dressed in our finest business attire, in our hotel in the centre of Strasbourg at 7.30 am. We then hopped on our coach and travelled to the Parliament where we had the opportunity to take several photographs outside and inside the amazing building. Once we had gone through security we were offered breakfast, continental style again. My they do love their croissants.
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It was dedicated to you and now it is in Brussels for you to see. The Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the EU last year is on display at Parliament's visitors centre until 6 October. Inaugurating the exhibition, EP president Martin Schulz said: "Understand what kind of precious gift it is for all of us to live in the EU in an era of peace on a continent that was too long, too often, a continent of war, of hate, of racism, of xenophobia, of anti-Semitism."
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 (01/09/2009)
Specifications for a new generation of digital tachographs for trucks and buses were agreed informally by Irish presidency and Parliament negotiators on Tuesday. Innovations include devices that can read on-board recording devices from a distance, will make it easier to enforce driving and rest times. Jim Higgins MEP, Irish member of the Transport Committee said "Our aim was to improve enforcement of social legislation and to verify that drivers and companies respect driving and resting times. Hopefully this will increase road safety for all road users in Ireland and across the continent."
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In this age of smartphones and social media protecting people's privacy has become more important than ever. The European Parliament is currently working on a major overhaul of EU data protection legislation that should ensure Europeans' data are safe online and offline. Follow the seminar on 14-15 May which brings together MEPs, experts and stakeholders and learn more about the issues at stake.
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On Monday 13th May, Gay Mitchell MEP will host a round-table discussion with the European Commissioner for Climate Action, Connie Hedegaard, which will cover the major environmental issues of the moment. This event takes place in the European Parliament Office, 43 Molesworth Street from 12h30-14h00.
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The European Parliament Office in Ireland together with the Irish Research Council will host a Roundtable Discussion on the "European Year of Citizens, an analysis of 40 years of direct democracy in the EU" from 5pm-7pm on 9 May. To register please email Clara Muller at 112137430@umail.ucc.ie.
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Come and celebrate Europe Day 2013 on 9 May from 12.00 noon in European Union House, 18 Dawson Street/43 Molesworth Street, Dublin. Sample the national foods of EU Member States while being entertained by the Dublin Gospel Choir!
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"It is easy to celebrate Europe when times are good, employment high and growth strong. It is harder when you have just lost your job, or cannot find one after graduating or had to close down your family business because of toughening credit conditions."
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The EU should take the lead in ensuring the protection of journalists, said foreign affairs MEPs in a vote on Tuesday. The independent press, a watchdog for democracy, is suffering increasing harassment, with journalists being persecuted and imprisoned, they warn, stressing the need to combat impunity for threats and attacks against journalists.
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To mark Europe Week 2013, the European Parliament Office in Ireland is holding a free screening of "Csak a szél/Just the Wind" on Tuesday 7 May at 6.30 pm at the Irish Film Institute, 6 Eustace Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2. To register, contact the European Parliament Information Office by tel: (01) 605.79.00 or email: epdublin@ep.europa.eu
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Europe on Track, a Spanish youth media project, was awarded first prize at the 2013 Charlemagne Youth Prize ceremony on 7 May in Aachen University. The second prize went to the photo contest Discover Europe from Poland and the third to the Youth exchange project "The Story of my Life" from Estonia. The Charlemagne Youth Prize is awarded annually to projects that foster a shared sense of European identity and integration among young people.
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Europe on Track, a Spanish youth media project, was awarded first prize at the 2013 Charlemagne Youth Prize ceremony on 7 May in Aachen University. The second prize went to the photo contest Discover Europe from Poland and the third to the Youth exchange project "The Story of my Life" from Estonia. The Charlemagne Youth Prize is awarded annually to projects that foster a shared sense of European identity and integration among young people.
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"I pay tribute to the Irish Presidency of the Council and European Commission for their good will in the tough ongoing negotiations. I also thank my colleague Alain Lamassoure who will now lead the detailed negotiations for the European Parliament in order to achieve an EU long-term budget that is both future-orientated and will create growth and jobs." (European Parliament President Martin Schulz)
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Financial aid for Cyprus will be discussed this week with Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem; Olli Rehn, commissioner for economic affairs, and Jörg Asmussen, board member of the European Central Bank. MEPs will also have their say on rules for seizing criminal assets and discuss the railway package. They will also hear from NATO secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen about security issues, while EP president Martin Schulz will present the Charlemagne Youth Prize to the winners in Aachen.
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A five Member cross-party working group from the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council, led by Emer Costello, conducted a visit to the occupied State of Palestine (East Jerusalem and the West Bank) from 27 April to 2 May, taking in the “Freedom and Dignity” Conference in Ramallah on the subject of Palestinian Prisoners and the Palestinian People.
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24 TY students from Sacred Heart School in Drogheda http://www.sacredheart.ie/ visited the European Parliament office today. The visit forms part of their European Studies module in Transition Year. Following a presentation on the European Parliament and the EU and a DVD the students took part in the Euro Quiz. The final scores were very close with Team The Lost Sheep victorious on the day.
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Emer Costello, MEP for Dublin and Chairperson of the European Parliament's Delegation for relations with the Palestinian Council, will lead a five-member cross-party delegation of the EP to the occupied Palestinian territories (oPT: West Bank and East Jerusalem) from 26 April to 2 May 2013.
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The EU Council of Ministers should authorize the start of Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) talks with the US in June, say International Trade Committee MEPs in a resolution voted on Thursday. The negotiating mandate should include public procurement and financial services, but exclude culture, they add.
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The Minister for Social Protection Ms Joan Burton, TD, will be a keynote speaker at a conference "Keeping Ireland Fit for Work" taking place in the Alexander Hotel, Dublin on Wednesday 24 April. Organised jointly by the European Parliament Office in Ireland together with Arthritis Ireland, the conference will feature a video message from Emer Costello MEP and speakers will include a wide range of participants from the medical profession, to employer groups, to the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.
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A European Commission proposal to allow the use of EU air passenger name record (PNR) data in investigating serious crime and terrorist offences was rejected by Civil Liberties Committee MEPs Wednesday, by 30 votes to 25.
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To reduce the CO2 emissions of new cars sold in the EU to 95g/km by 2020, from 130g today, clean-car innovation should be encouraged by giving "super-credit" weightings to each maker's cleaner cars and setting more ambitious longer-term reduction targets, said the Environment Committee on Wednesday. Environmental performance testing methods should also be made more realistic, as a matter of urgency, it added.
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More people and regions will benefit from the EU Youth Employment Initiative thanks to amendments voted by the Employment and Social Affairs Committee on Tuesday. This initiative is to give effect to the "youth guarantee", whereby any young person in the EU who has been unemployed for more than four months is to be offered a job, training or an apprenticeship.
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 (01/09/2009)
On 23 April, the European Ombudsman will hold an interactive event to help focus on European citizens and how they can concretely contribute to shaping the European Union. The event will be webcast with interactive Q&A at the European Parliament Office in Ireland, 43 Molesworth Street, Dublin 2 starting at 8.30 am. Book your place at: epdublin@ep.europa.eu or phone (01) 6057900
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Property buyers would be better informed about the costs and consequences of taking on a mortgage, better protected from market swings while the contract lasts and better protected if they cannot repay the loan, under a provisional deal struck by Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee MEPs and EU member state representatives on Monday. To become law, this deal must be approved by Parliament as a whole and endorsed by the member states.
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To mark the anniversary of the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, Holocaust survivor Tomi Reichental will relate his personal experiences in an event organised by the European Parliament Office in Ireland together with the Holocaust Education Trust Ireland on Friday 19 April from 10.00 am-12.30pm. To register, please call (01) 605.79.00 or email: epdublin@ep.europa.eu
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The Cyprus bailout package and changes to Hungarian constitution were in the spotlight at the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg from 15 to 18 April. MEPs also took important decisions concerning the trading of CO2 emissions and adopted a comprehensive reform package of banking regulations to ensure the stability of the European financial system.
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A draft single set of rules to govern how EU member states collect and compile EU population data was approved by Parliament on Thursday. Consistent EU-wide data are needed inter alia to calculate qualified majority voting rights in the Council of Ministers and national entitlements to some EU funding. The rules will now be fine-tuned in informal talks with the Council.
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Today at 12h00 (CET), President Michael Higgins will address a formal sitting of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
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MEPs voted on Tuesday to adopt a ban on discarding unwanted fish of 35 species caught in the Skagerrak (between the North Sea and the Baltic). The ban, to take effect gradually between 2014 and 2016, would be enforced with a remote electronic monitoring system.
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Pilar Ayuso, MEP
Members of the European Parliament's Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety will be in Ireland from 4-5 April and will hold a series of meetings with government, officials and stakeholders. The delegation will be led by Spanish MEP Pilar AYUSO (EPP). Irish MEPs of the Environment Committee Nessa CHILDERS (S&D) and Mairead MCGUINNESS (EPP) will also take part in the visit.
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The search is on to find the 2013 winners of the European Charlemagne Youth Prize, which recognises projects that promote Europe among young people. You can take part if you are aged 16-30 and are, or have been, involved in organising youth events or web-based projects with a European dimension. Deadline extended until: 18 February 2013
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The European Parliament Information Office in Dublin is organising a Communication Challenge giving students an invaluable opportunity to develop their skillset, and be in with a chance to attend a media seminar in Brussels. Date: 22 March 2013 Location:European Parliament Information Office, Dublin
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This year’s winners of the Graduate competition www.graduate.ie travelled to Strasbourg to participate in Euroscola on 21st March. They also visited the European Parliament in Brussels as part of their prize and met Pat the Cope Gallagher, MEP, there. Click below to read more.
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Jim Higgins, MEP for Ireland North West has today launched a poster competition for all national school students in the Ireland North West constituency. The theme of the competition is "THE EU AND YOU." The deadline for entries is the 5th of April
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To mark International Women's Day 2013, the European Parliament and the European Commission together with the National Women's Council of Ireland are hosting a discussion "Irish Women - Then and Now, Celebrating 40 Years of Women in the EU" on Friday 8 March from 4.30pm to 7pm.
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This year's winners of the 2013 Rotary Youth Leadership competition visited the European Parliament today as they prepared to travel to Strasbourg to take part in Euroscola on 7th March.
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MEPs posed for a panoramic picture of the EP chamber in Strasbourg.
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Every year the European Parliament celebrates International Women's Day with an event that brings together European and national MPs from parliamentary committees for equal opportunities. How women have been affected by the crisis will be the theme of this year's International Women's Day on Friday 8 March and Parliament is organising a wide range of activities to highlight the issue. It is hosting an interparliamentary meeting on Thursday from 9.00 CET as well as a workshop for journalists on Wednesday from 10.00 CET.
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Emer Costello
MEP Emer Costello last night launched an exhibition of Dublin as a 'Smart, Connected and Sustainable City' at the European Parliament in Brussels.The exhibition, opened by European Commissioner for Innovation and Research, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, comes ahead of Horizon 2020, an €80bn EU research and innovation programme due to begin next year.
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The European Parliament will host a five-day conference on "EU Science: Global Challenges, Global Collaboration" (ES:GC2), starting on 4 March 4 2013 in Brussels. The conference is organised in association with the Irish Council Presidency and in conjunction with Seán Kelly MEP and other MEPs.
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A public information and consultation session will be held this Friday in the Radisson-Blu Hotel, Sligo with MEPs Marian Harkin, Martina Anderson, Jim Higgins and Minister for Small Business, John Perry TD. The session will look at current and future EU supports for businesses, rural development, social projects and other areas. To register, please call (01) 605.79.00 or email: epdublin@ep.europa.eu
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The President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz will travel to Dublin tomorrow, Thursday 28 February, to hold talks on the EU Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020. EP President Martin Schulz will hold discussions with Taoiseach Enda Kenny, for the Irish Presidency of the Council and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso.
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Under the auspices of the Irish Presidency of the Council of the EU, the Permanent Platform of AC is holding the second edition of the European Intersectoral Summit on Research and Innovation on the 25-26 February 2013. Oldřich Vlasák, Vice-President of the European Parliament, will represent the European Parliament at the closing session of the Summit.
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On the 12th of October 2012, the transition year European Studies class in Mercy Mounthawk took part in the Euroscola European Studies table quiz in Killarney. We put so much hard work into preparing for the quiz and thankfully, it paid off. We came in first place and our prize was a trip to the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
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Alain Lamassoure, Chairman of the European Parliament's Budgets Committee is in Dublin today to participate in a meeting of the Chairpersons of the Finance Committees of the Member States and the European Parliament.
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The EP committees on Petitions, Civil Liberties and Legal Affairs, together with the European Commission, are organising a hearing on "making the most of EU citizenship" to find practical solutions aimed at removing barriers faced by EU citizens while exercising their rights. Active on-line participation is welcome (#EUCITIZENS). Live reporting from the floor will be available through #PETI_EU and #EP_Justice Twitter accounts.
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EP officials will be returning to school this week to talk to students about how the European Union works and what career opportunities are available. The EU-wide 'Back to School' project sends officials of the EU institutions back to school for a day - if possible to a school where they were once a student.
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Teachers participating in this year's Blue Star Programme for primary schools attended a workshop hosted by the European Parliament Information Office in Ireland. Among the speakers were Seán Kelly, MEP.
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Michael Sweetman Winners 2013
The winners of this year's Michael Sweetman Competition travelled to Strasbourg to take part in Euroscola on Thursday, 14th February.
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Ireland North West MEP Pat the Cope Gallagher is to lead a high level delegation from the European Parliament's Committee on Fisheries to Ireland from 13-14 February. The delegation will visit Ireland's largest fishing port, Killybegs on 13 February and will visit the Marine Institute in Galway on 14 February.
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Mme Pervenche Berès
On 11 February, a delegation of MEPs from the European Parliament's Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) will visit Dublin for two days during which they will hold a series of meetings with Ministers, Members of the Dail, Government Departments and NGOs. The delegation will be led by French MEP and chair of the EMPL committee, Mme Pervenche Berès, S&D.
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The purpose of this public seminar is to deepen awareness and understanding in Ireland and to get feedback on the proposed new Fund, as it makes it way through the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers. To register please contact MEP Emer Costello's office on (01) 87.46.109 or email: emer.costello@ep.europa.eu before Thursday 7 February. Places are limited.
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The winners of this year's European Studies Competition in which students were required to produce a brochure entitled 'Our European/International School' travelled to Strasbourg to take part in Euroscola on Thursday, 31st January.
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An interparliamentary meeting between members of the national parliaments and members of the European Parliament (EP) was held in Dublin on 27-28 January, under the auspices of the Irish Presidency. The national parliaments were represented by the chairs of their European Affairs Committees while the EP was represented by Vice President Miguel Angel Martínez Martínez and the chair of the EP Committee on Constitutional Affairs, Carlo Casini. Key subjects for discussion included policy priorities of the Irish Presidency and the future of economic and monetary union, as well as the issue of democratic accountability.
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An exhibition of Irish artworks in the European Parliament art collection will open at 12.30pm on Wednesday 23 January in Brussels to celebrate the start of Ireland's Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
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To mark the beginning of the Irish Presidency, Jim Higgins, MEP organised an evening of Irish literature with John Banville, winner of the Booker Prize (for "The Sea) and the Franz Kafka Prize at the Library of the European Parliament in Brussels, 18.30 on 22 January 2013.
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The search is on to find the 2013 winners of the European Charlemagne Youth Prize, which recognises projects that promote Europe among young people. You can take part if you are aged 16-30 and are, or have been, involved in organising youth events or web-based projects with a European dimension. Deadline extended until: 18 February 2013
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"Europe's Parliament: People, Places, Politics" by Stephen Clark and Julian Priestley Opening of the Irish Presidency and the 40th Anniversary of Ireland in the EU Guest Speaker : Pat Cox, former President of the European Parliament European Union House, 43 Molesworth, Dublin 2 To register contact the European Parliament Information Office Tel: 01 605 7900/ Email: epdublin@europarl.europa.eu
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The European Parliament Office in Ireland will be present at the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition which takes place in the RDS in Dublin from Thursday 10 to Saturday 12 January
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From rejecting the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) to approving plans for a single EU patent after 30 years of negotiation, it has proved to be a momentous year for Parliament. Find out more about the issues tackled by MEPs this year and enjoy our slideshow of some of 2012's highlights.
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A meeting was held at the EP Information Office in Ireland on Thursday 20 December to help prepare a major conference on "EU Science: Global Challenges, Global Cooperation".
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Kings Hospital
Today the European Parliament welcomed a group of TY students from Kings Hospital in Palmerstown, Co. Dublin http://www.kingshospital.ie The visit forms part of the students European studies module in TY. The winning team in the Euro Quiz was 'Mighty Ducks'. Well done to all the teams for taking part!!
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 (01/09/2009)
Several key amendments for the Irish fisheries sector tabled by MEP Pat the Cope receive the support of the Committee on Fisheries.
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Next week: Committee meetings and external parliamentary activities. Read on to find out more on what's happening.
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A peace prize made possible by the people has now been passed on to the people. The EU won the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize, but the European Parliament believes this honour belongs to everyone.
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On Monday 10th December, the Nobel Peace Prize for 2012 will be formally jointly received at the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony in Oslo by the European Parliament President Martin Schulz, Commission President José Manuel Barroso and the European Council President Herman Van Rompuy. The EU leaders will also be accompanied by four young Europeans, winners of the drawing and writing contest. Watch the Live Webcast on 10th December starting 11.50 am-1.15 pm GMT
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6 Members of the INTA committee will be in Ireland on a delegation visit from 5-6 December. As Ireland will hold the EU Presidency for the first half of 2013, the purpose of the visit is to discuss EU priorities in the field of international trade with the government, officials and businesses on the ground as well as with companies and civil society. The delegation will be led by Mr Vital Moreira, Chair of the Committee, who has led a number of similar delegations to incoming Presidency countries.
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On Thursday and Friday the leaders of the European Parliament, led by Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, will be in Dublin for a series of meetings with the Irish government in the run up to the Irish Presidency of the EU.
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Mikael GUSTAFSSON, Chair
The delegation visit takes place in the context of Ireland's upcoming Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Members will visit Dublin on 29-30 November to meet Ministers, Members of the Dáil, Government Departments and NGOs active in the field of women's rights and gender equality.
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Win one of four subsidised trips to the European Parliament in Strasbourg for 24 students and two teachers to take part in Euroscola. Closing date: 7th December 2012. Winning schools will be announced on our website on Friday, 14th December.
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On Monday a delegation from the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee of the European Parliament led by the Chairman, Sharon Bowles, ALDE, UK will hold a series of meetings in Dublin.
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This event, chaired by MEP Gay Mitchell and hosted by the Viktor Frankl Institute of Ireland takes place on Saturday 17th November from 10am-12pm at the European Parliament Information Office, 43 Molesworth Street, Dublin 2. For enquiries and bookings, please contact Gráinne at grainne.delaney@europarl.europa.eu
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The EP Information Office is delighted that all three of the 2012 Lux Prize shortlisted films will be screened as part of the prestigious Cork Film Festival which runs from 11-18 November in Cork. Read on for further information.
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The European Parliament Office in Ireland, the IIEA and the European Movement Ireland invites you to a lecture and book presentation by Guy Verhofstadt, President of the ALDE Group in the European Parliament and former Prime Minister of Belgium next Thursday, 8 November at 7 pm in the Royal Irish Academy, 19 Dawson St, Dublin. To reserve your place, please contact Patrick at the EP Office, Tel: 01 605.79.00
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On 5 November, a delegation of MEPs from the European Parliament's Committee on Constitutional Affairs (AFCO) will be visiting Dublin for two days. During their visit, the Members will be keen to learn about Ireland's position on the future of Europe and Ireland's attitude to treaty reform.
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L to R:  MEPs A. Correia de Campos, S Kelly, W. Langen, A. Sartori, R. Helmer, P. Rübig
An 8-Member delegation of the Industry, Research and Energy Committee visited Ireland from 29-31 October. During their visit, the delegation, chaired by Italian Member Amalia Sartori (EPP), and including Irish MEP Seán Kelly, met with Pat Rabbitte TD, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Richard Burton, TD, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Oireachtas members and IBEC. The delegation also visited Croke Park to learn more about the initiative launched by the GAA aimed at making it a carbon-neutral stadium. Visits were also made to the Digital Hub and Google Headquarters.
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MEP Jim Higgins.
Tourist operators and anybody interested in tourism will have an opportunity to influence EU decision making next Friday, 19th October. Jim Higgins, a member of the Parliament's Task Force on Tourism, is asking tourist operators and the general public to make their views and ideas known on the industry. The meeting is open to the public and starts at 6 pm in the Old Ground Hotel, Ennis, Co Clare. To book a place, contact epdublin@ep.europa.eu
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Two Kerry schools, Mercy Mounthawk of Tralee, and Presentation Secondary school Milltown, emerged winners from a tightly contested Euro Quiz in Killarney on Friday, 12 October. 85 students from schools all over Kerry gathered in Killarney Library for the quiz .
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Thank you to all the students who visited our stand at the UL Careers Fair on 11th October www.ul.ie/careers There was great interest in job opportunities with the European Union institutions. For more information on internships with the European Parliament and EU careers click on the links below.
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Macra na Feirme delegation with MEPs Seán Kelly, Emer Costello and Liam Aylward
A Macra na Feirme delegation of 21 young farmers from all regions of Ireland visited the European Parliament in Brussels on 10 October 2012. They met with the Irish MEPs and MEPs from other countries and had an opportunity to engage in lively discussions on matters ranging from how Irish farmers' issues are being addressed at the European Parliament to the implications of the forthcoming CAP reform. The delegation also met with MEPs from Scotland and Northern Ireland, providing them with another perspective on farmers' issues.
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Students of international human rights law at University College Cork debated and voted on the nominees for the 2012 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought on Tuesday 9 October. The event took place in the Moot Court room in the UCC Faculty of Law.
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Students from the MSc/LLM programmes in Human Rights at University College Dublin took part in an event on 5 October 2012 at EU House Dublin to publicise the 2012 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, and to promote the debate on the individual human rights issues to which the prize relates. This was the second time that UCD students had taken part in such a debate.
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Martin Schulz has been a Member of the European Parliament since 1994. He led the SPD MEPs from 2000 and was subsequently elected Vice-Chair of the Socialist MEPs. In 2004 he was elected group leader of the second largest group in the European Parliament. As leader of the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, Martin Schulz campaigned for social justice, promoting jobs and growth, reforming financial markets, fighting climate change, championing equality and creating a stronger and more democratic Europe. Martin Schulz was elected President of the European Parliament on 17 January 2012 for a mandate of two and half years.
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A hugely successful conference on intergenerational solidarity in Croke Park Conference Centre held on 1st October (International Day of Older Persons) and moderated by Pat Cox, former President of the European Parliament, heard contributions from Mairead McGuinness MEP, Marian Harkin MEP, broadcaster Esther Rantzen and European Commissioner for Social Affairs, Laszlo Andor. The conference was jointly organised by Third Age and the European Parliament Office in Ireland.
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Sakharov students debate
In conjunction with the European Parliament Office in Ireland, the Irish Centre for Human Rights at the National University of Ireland, Galway, held a meeting this evening in Galway to debate and vote on the nominees for the 2012 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, and thus promote the debate on the individual human rights issues to which the prize relates. This was the third successive year in which such an event had taken place.
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Three of the 18 MEP of the year awards have been won by Irish members of the European Parliament. The prize giving ceremony took place on 25 September in Brussels organised by The Parliament magazine. Winners are chosen exclusively by fellow MEPs who vote on a short list of nominees. Independent MEP Marian Harkin (North-West) won "MEP of the Year" Award in the field of EU Employment and Social Affairs. Sean Kelly (Ireland South) was awarded 'MEP of the Year' for Research and Innovation and Dublin's Gay Mitchell was named MEP of the Year for Development.
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Today the European Parliament Information Office in Dublin hosted a group of third year students from St. Angela's College in Sligo. As part of their course the students were informed about the European Parliament, its structure and powers within the EU, the EU institutions and how EU laws are made. Along with their fact-finding mission to the European Parliament the group was also lined up to visit the Dáil in the afternoon.
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The European Parliament Information Office in Dublin hosted a group of third year students from St. Angela's College in Sligo on 18th September. As part of their course the students were informed about the European Parliament, its structure and powers within the EU, the EU institutions and how EU laws are made. Along with their fact-finding mission to the European Parliament the group was also lined up to visit the Dáil in the afternoon.
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This Wednesday at 6.30 pm, the award-winning film, "Les neiges du Kilimandjaro" directed by the French director, Robert Guédiguian, will be shown at a free screening at European Union House, 43 Molesworth Street, Dublin 2. This event is being organised by the European Parliament Office in Ireland, in conjunction with the Alliance Française in Ireland. "Les neiges du Kilimandjaro" was the winner of the European Parliament's LUX Prize in 2011. Subtitles in English.
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A group of 21 primary school teachers took part in an information visit to Brussels on 9 and 10 July.Their schools had successfully completed the Blue Star Programme http://www.europeanmovement.ie/?id=15254 with each class, from Junior Infants up to Sixth Class, participating in the Programme. The teachers visited the European Commission on Monday 9th July and were briefed on various topical issues. On Tuesday morning the group visited the new visitors centre, the Parlamentarium, which they found most informative. The group then met Irish MEPs who gave an overview of their work and answered questions from the teachers. The teachers really appreciated the time the MEPs spent with them. After lunch a briefing on the forthcoming Irish Presidency was given at the Irish Permenant Representation by Rory Montgomery, Permanent Representative, Aingeal O'Donohue, and Marcella Smyth.
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On Friday 6 July, the European Parliament Information Office in Dublin hosted a conference led by Professor Richard Sinnott and Dr. Johan Elkink of UCD who discussed the results of the flash Eurobarometer, which was conducted a day after the Irish referendum of 31st May 2012 on the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union (Fiscal Stability Treaty). Two thousand Irish registered voters aged 18 or over were interviewed about their reasons for voting or not, their understanding of the treaty, as well as their main sources of information and knowledge about the EU.
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The Co. Armagh Community Development Group visited the European Parliament's Information Office in Dublin on Thursday, 17th May. There was a large number in attendance. The group heard about the work of the European Parliament and its MEPs followed by a lively question and answer session. The visit was combined with a visit to the Dáil in Kildare Street. The group plans to visit the European Parliament in Brussels in the autumn.
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40 Members of an Active Retirement Group travelled from Rosses Point in Co. Sligo today to visit the EP Offices in Dublin. The group were briefed on the EU, the structure of the EU institutions and the role of the European Parliament and its MEPs in particular. After the briefing, the group contined on with a visit to Dail Eireann.
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Europe Day

09-05-2012

Europe Cake.
Europe Day in European Union House, 18 Dawson Street/43 Molesworth Street. Come and celebrate Europe Day in European Union House. Sample tea/cakes from many different cultures. In co-operation with several embassies, a multitude of tastes await you. You're welcome to join us between 12.30pm and 2.30pm to sample many different examples of afternoon tea from our European neighbours.
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On Friday 27 April, the European Parliament Office in Ireland hosted a workshop for third-level media students entitled 'The EU Communication Challenge'. Participants heard from Paddy Smyth from the Irish Times, Labour MEP Phil Prendergast and freelance Brussels-based journalist, Sarah Collins, as they gave their impressions of the difficulties associated with communicating EU-related issues. Participants then tried it out for themselves in a variety of working groups, each producing a 3-minute news report on their assigned topic. The event concluded with the launch of the EU Communication Challenge competition. The competition is open to all third-level students and the prize is participation in a seminar for working journalists in Brussels in the autumn of this year. The closing date for entries is Friday, 22 June 2012.
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Taiwan students 25-4-2012.
A group of 15 professional business graduates from Taiwan, who are in Ireland for two months to gain work experience with various Irish companies in different industries, visited the European Parliament Office today. The group, whose stay is being facilitated by DCU, were given a presentation by the Head of Office on the history and evolving objectives of the EU.
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Members from an Age & Opportunity group from Co. Clare visited the EP office in Dublin today. The Group, who travelled from Ennis, Kilkee and Kilrush, were briefed by the Head of Office on the general history of the EU and its institutions, relations between Ireland and the EU, the specific role and activities of the European Parliament and the work of the Irish MEPs, etc. A number of issues such as the implications of EU water policy were subsequently raised. The visit forms part of the Office's actions to mark the Year of Active Ageing.
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Members from an Age & Opportunity group from Connemara visited the EP office in Dublin today. The Group were briefed on the history and policies of the EU. An energetic question and answer session followed which covered topics ranging from Iran's nuclear programme to local turf-cutting. The visit forms part of the Office's actions to mark the Year of Active Ageing.
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A lively Q&A followed today's visit of an Age & Opportunity group from Co Donegal. Issues discussed ranged from consumer protection to septic tank charges and turf cutting. The Group, mainly from the northern part of the county, also heard of the Common Fisheries Policy reform and questions were raised on how EU laws are applied differently across countries. The visit forms part of the Office's actions to mark the Year of Active Ageing.
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Today, the European Parliament offices in Dublin hosted 25 members of the Beaumont Hospital Active Retirement Group for a presentation on the EU and the role of the European Parliament. The Group heard of the history and policies of the EU and role of the Institutions in the administration of the EU. The group which was comprised mainly of former staff members of Beaumont Hospital also heard of the EU's role in health care and cross-border patient care. The presentation was followed by a vibrant question and answer session.
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The Department of the Taoiseach has launched the 2012 Communicating Europe Initiative. Applications for projects that aim to communicate European Union issues to citizens are sought. Grant aid will be made available to selected projects. The closing date for applications is Friday, 9 March 2012.
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To mark International Womens Day, the European Parliament Office hosted a meeting with WITS (Women in Technology and Science, during which WITs launched a multi-lingual DVD showcasing on roles of women in the scientific sector. The audience also watched a recorded message from Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Maire Geoghegan Quinn. Later, at 5 pm, a brief seminar was held entitled "What the EU has done for Irish Women". Speakers included Lucinda Creighton, Minister for State for European Affairs; Ann Cahill, European Correspondent for the Examiner; Gemma Hussey, former Minister for Education; Orla O'Connor, Acting Director, National Women's Council of Ireland and Margaret Sweeney, company director and Business Consultant. The seminar was followed by a concert by Frances Black.
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Once upon a time in Euroland, a prince called Ireland met a princess called Euro. The story of their romance carried the day for students from the Mercy Secondary School Mounthawk, Tralee, Co. Kerry who were declared the Republic of Ireland winners at today's finals of the 2012 My Vision for Europe competition. The students explained to the judges why they had chosen to put together a 4-minute video which imaginatively tells the story of EU formation as a fairy tale romance and explains how shared values and interests made them natural companions. The Mercy School students, together with students from Strathearn School in Belfast, who won the competition for schools from Northern Ireland, will participate in the European Parliament's Euroscola programme in Strasbourg in May. Three Irish members of the European Parliament attended the event in the Irish Film Institute in Dublin today.
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Today, the European Parliament offices in Dublin hosted a group from Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo for a presentation on EU policies and the role of the European Parliament. The meeting was arranged in cooperation with Age and Opportunity, and is part of an ongoing series of seminars organised by the EP Dublin Office in the context of the Year of Active Ageing. A total of 42 people attended.
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Phil Prendergast MEP today welcomed a Limerick ICA group to the European Parliament offices in Dublin. The group heard a number of speakers cover current European issues as well as consumer affairs and consumer rights. Phil Prendergast outlined the history and operation of the European Parliament. Phil also spoke to the Group on COFACE, the Confederation of Family Organisation in the European Union. Picture shows the group with Phil Prendergast and Anne Gabbett, leader of the Group, in the centre.
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From Thursday 12 January to Saturday 14 January, the European Parliament Office in Ireland is present at STAND N° 20 (European Union) at the RDS, where staff members will provide general information to school children and the general public on the EU and the role of the European Parliament.
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