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23-06-2016

Opening: minute’s silence for Jo Cox and attack victims in USA and France

President Schulz opened the session by calling a minute’s silence for UK MP Jo Cox, who was so seriously injured in a brutal street attack in Birstall (UK) on 16 June that she died the same day. He also dedicated the minute’s silence to victims of the LGBTI nightclub shooting in Orlando (USA) on 13 June, and to two police officers stabbed to death in Magnanville (France), also on 13 June.

Jo Cox was married, with two young children, and would have been 42 years old on 22 June.

Many people who knew Jo from the time when she worked in the European Parliament remember her as a woman of high ideals, who stood up for others, said Mr Schulz. As her husband Brendan Cox said, she believed in a better world, and fought for it every day, he added.

“We must unite to fight against the hatred that killed Jo”, Mr Schulz urged, echoing Mr Cox’s moving tribute to his wife. He conveyed Parliament’s deepest condolences to their family and friends.

The attack on the Orlando nightclub, which killed 49 people and injured 53, was a hate crime motivated by homophobia and intolerance. But it was also an attack on us all, on our values of freedom, equality and human dignity, said Mr Schulz.

Police officers Jessica Schneider and Jean-Baptiste Salvaing, stabbed to death in their own Magnanville apartment in an attack that orphaned their three-year-old boy, had been working hard to keep citizens safe noted Mr Schulz.

He added his own thanks to hard-working security staff who help to keep Parliament – and hence democracy – safe.

Agenda changes

- The debate on "Personal data transfer to China: which protection for EU citizens" will be postponed to the July part-session.

- Statements by the Council and the Commission on "Preventing radicalisation leading to violent extremism and terrorism" will be added as second item, after the Statement by the VPC/HR on "Massacres in eastern Congo"

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