Cookie policy on the European Parliament Office in Ireland website

We use cookies to give the best experience on our site. Continue without changing your settings, and you'll receive cookies, or change your cookie settings at any time.

Continue
 
 

Press Releases 2015

.
Countries such as Italy and Greece dealing with an influx of asylum seekers should receive more support from other member states, MEPs said on a delegation visit to the Italian island of Sicily from 22 to 24 July. “Italy spends over €1 billion every year just to take care of those who make it across the Mediterranean. Italy’s borders are the EU's borders and a better management of the migratory flows is our common responsibility,” said French ALDE member Jean Arthuis, co-chair of the delegation.
Read more
.
Today, at the Venice Days (Giornate degli Autori) press conference, the First Vice President of the European Parliament Mr Antonio TAJANI and the President of the Committee on Culture and Education, Mrs Silvia Costa, announced the 3 contending films to run for the 2015 LUX Film Prize. Directors will attend the upcoming Venice Film Festival to present the 3 films: MEDITERRANEA, by Jonas Carpignano – Italy, United States, Germany, France, Qatar MUSTANG, by Deniz Gamze Ergüven – France, Germany, Turkey, Qatar UROK (THE LESSON), by Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov – Bulgaria, Greece.
Read more
.
Mr Jean Arthuis (ALDE, FR), co-chair of the delegation on part of the Committee on Budgets: "We praise the efforts by the Italian authorities to have put in place such a complex reception system and, more in general, to cope with an exceptional migratory pressure at Italy’s sea borders."
Read more
.
The Week Ahead 20 - 26 July 2015: Migration, Taxation and economic affairs, Ukraine and Georgia. - Migration. A joint delegation of the Budgets and the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs committees will go to Sicily to examine how EU budget resources are spent to manage migration and refugee flows, as well as the system for reception, identification and retention of migrants. See what's on the rest of the agenda this week at the European Parliament
Read more
.
The rescue package for Greece agreed at the 12-13 July Eurozone Summit on Greece was debated in the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee on Thursday. Members gave their views on the deal struck by Greece and its creditors, the functioning of the Eurozone, the role played by the European Parliament and on Parliament’s future involvement in monitoring the implementation of the agreement.
Read more
Draft EU rules on sharing and protecting the Passenger Name Record (PNR) data of people flying to or from the EU, and its use by member states and Europol to fight terrorism and serious transnational crime, were approved by the Civil Liberties Committee on Wednesday. This data must only be used to prevent, detect, investigate and prosecute these crimes, said MEPs, inserting safeguards to ensure "the lawfulness of any storage, analysis, transfer and use of PNR data".
Read more
.
Women face barriers, stereotypes, conscious and unconscious bias during their academic and scientific careers which often lead them to drop out of the career, said Women's rights and gender equality members in the text adopted on Tuesday. They call on Commission and member states to come up with EU strategy in order to tackle different barriers in professional development of women and to make science more inclusive.
Read more
The films nominated for the 2015 Lux Prize
The 10 films competing for this year's Lux Prize have been revealed at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, including five by first-time directors, a mix of genres and the selection's first-ever Icelandic film. The European Parliament awards the prize to the best European film every year. At the end of the month it will be announced which three films have been short-listed for the finals, meaning they will also be screened all over the EU as part of the Lux Film Days.
Read more
.
What's on the agenda in the week ahead, June 29 - July 05, 2015. Committee meetings, Brussels.
Read more
.
Forthcoming proposals to reform EU copyright law for the digital era must ensure a fair balance between the rights and interests of both creators and consumers, said MEPs on Thursday. They called for ways to improve access to online content across borders, while recognizing the importance of territorial licences, particularly for TV and film productions.
Read more
.
The EU needs to use natural resources more efficiently - a 30% increase in resource productivity by 2030 could boost its GDP by nearly 1% and create an extra 2 million sustainable jobs, say MEPs in a resolution voted on Thursday. But to achieve this growth, it needs binding waste-reduction targets, revamped ecodesign laws and measures to uncouple growth from resource use, they add, calling on the European Commission to table legislation by the end of 2015.
Read more
.
Large firms and listed companies should have to disclose information, country by country, on profits made, tax paid on profits and public subsidies received, said MEPs on Wednesday in amendments to draft rules intended to boost transparency and foster shareholders’ long-run commitment to companies. They also want to empower shareholders to vote at least every three years on directors' pay policy.
Read more
.
A reform of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), informally agreed with the Latvian Presidency of the Council, was endorsed by Parliament on Wednesday. The reform is intended to reduce the surplus of carbon credits available for trading in order to support the price of the emission rights. The scheme will start operating in 2019.
Read more
.
An EU-US trade deal must open up US market access for EU firms, but not undermine EU standards, say MEPs in recommendations, voted Wednesday, to EU trade negotiators. To settle trade-related investor-state disputes, a new justice system, run by publicly-appointed judges and subject to scrutiny and transparency rules, should replace private arbitration under the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system, they add.
Read more
.
The EU must do more to help farmers to earn a fair return from the food supply chain, introduce better tools for dealing with market disturbances and help farmers to find new outlets for produce shut out of the Russian market, MEPs say in two non-binding resolutions voted on Tuesday. Member states should help them join forces in producer organisations to boost their bargaining power, they add.
Read more
.
Three agencies managing migration flows into the EU and two EU funds for migration measures should get a €69.6 million budget boost for extra staff and other expenses for this year, after Parliament backed a European Commission proposal on Tuesday. Parliament has been calling for the bigger budgets in the wake of the April tragedies that cost the lives of around 1,200 migrants.
Read more
.
Greece and the referendum on the bail-out proposals were the focus of the 7 July plenary debate on the outgoing Latvian presidency of the Council. Latvian Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma also discussed the challenges and the achievements of the outgoing Council presidency with MEPs and Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission
Read more
 © SIP
Starting today, the rotating six-month presidency of the Council of the EU will be in the hands of one of the smallest, yet most experience member states. Luxembourg will have to deal with many pressing issues, including the Greek debt crisis, an increase in irregular migration and the preparation for the climate change conference in Paris in December. We asked all of the country's six MEPs what they see as the main challenges. Read on to find out what they said.
Read more
.
An informal deal to ban surcharges ("roaming fees") for making mobile phone calls, sending text messages or using the internet while abroad in another EU country from 15 June 2017 was struck by MEPs and EU ministers in the small hours of Tuesday morning. MEPs also inserted guarantees that all internet traffic is treated equally, without discrimination. To enter into force, this informal deal needs to be formally endorsed by the full Parliament and the Council of Ministers.
Read more
What's on the agenda in the week ahead, June 29 - July 05, 2015. Political group and committee meetings, Brussels
Read more
The European Commission’s weak response to the first EU citizens’ initiative (ECI) petition, on the “Right2Water”, could discredit the ECI system, warn Environment Committee MEPs in a resolution voted on Wednesday. It “lacks any real ambition and failed to meet the demands of the organizers”, they add. ECIs enable citizens to ask the Commission to propose laws in areas within its competence, if they can muster at least one million signatures from at least a quarter of EU member states.
Read more
.
The €315-billion “Juncker” investment plan, announced by the European Commission last November to encourage the financing of viable investments in Europe, was backed by the European Parliament in a vote on Wednesday. Parliament modified its financing structure, won a say in selecting its leadership and ensured more democratic oversight in negotiations with the Council.
Read more
.
The three EU agencies managing migration flows and various EU funds dealing with migration should get a €69.6 million budget boost , said the Budgets Committee on Tuesday as it approved proposed changes to this year's European budget. The budget increases still need to be approved by Parliament as a whole and the Council of Ministers.
Read more
What's on the agenda in the week ahead, June 22 - 28, 2015. Plenary session and committee meetings, Brussels
Read more
.
EP President Martin Schulz discussed British plans to renegotiate EU membership during a meeting with UK Prime Minister David Cameron today. They also talked about the migration crisis in the Mediterranean and the ongoing talks on trade deals. Afterwards Schulz said: I came to London to listen and to learn and I think we had an excellent and open-minded exchange of views.”
Read more
.
Lydia Foy is among the 47 winners of the European Citizen's Prize 2015 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 winner will receive a medal of honour at an award ceremony in Ireland and will be invited to a joint event with all 47 winners in Brussels in October.
Read more
.
A draft law to ban the cloning of all farm animals, their descendants and products derived from them, including imports, in the EU was voted by the Environment and Agriculture committees on Wednesday. MEPs beefed up the European Commission’s initial proposal, citing high mortality rates at all development stages of cloning and EU citizens’ animal welfare and ethical concerns.
Read more
.
Parliament looks forward to starting talks with ministers soon on reform to give the EU high common standards of data protection fit for the digital era, said its key negotiators on Monday, welcoming the Council's announcement that it had approved its negotiating mandate. The first meeting between the institutions is scheduled for 24 June and will be followed by a joint press conference.
Read more
.
Parliament's International Trade Committee will hold an extraordinary meeting on 29 June in Brussels to decide whether the 116 amendments tabled to Parliament's draft recommendations to Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiators should be put to a vote by Parliament as a whole, the political groups represented in the committee decided on Monday.
Read more
.
The European Central Bank is doing all it can to facilitate a successful outcome of the ongoing talks with Greece, ECB President Mario Draghi assured Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee MEPs on Monday. But he also made it crystal clear that ultimately, disbursing any further financial assistance to Greece is "a political decision that will have to be taken by elected policymakers, not by central bankers". Euro area support needed to lift cap on Greek banks’ T-bill holdings
Read more
.
What's on the agenda in the week ahead, June 15 - 21, 2015. Political group and committee meetings, Brussels
Read more
.
The European Parliament regrets that recent corruption allegations against the international football federation FIFA have seriously damaged the credibility and the integrity of global football. In a resolution voted on Thursday, MEPs call for a zero-tolerance policy on corruption in football, underlining that in-depth structural reforms within the organisation are now urgently needed.
Read more
.
The EU must critically re-assess its relations with Russia, which are profoundly damaged by Russia's deliberate violation of democratic principles, fundamental values and international law with its violent action and destabilisation of its neighbours , MEPs said on Wednesday. The EU must now devise a soft-power contingency plan to counter Russia’s aggressive and divisive policies, they said.
Read more
.
European Parliament President Martin Schulz decided on Tuesday to postpone the plenary vote on the EP recommendations to the negotiators of the Transatlantic trade and investment partnership (TTIP), scheduled for noon the following day. In line with Rule 175 of the EP Rules of Procedure, he decided to refer the 116 amendments tabled to the report back to the Committee on International Trade, for consideration and a vote on whether they are to be put to a plenary vote.
Read more
.
EU must bring more balance into the supply chain, introduce better tools against market disturbances and help farmers find new outlets for their produce, says the agriculture committee in a draft non-binding resolution adopted Monday night. To ensure viable, sustainable and a competitive dairy sector across the EU for all - including small farmers and producers in disadvantaged areas - member states must also make better use of tools from the so-called Milk Package.
Read more
What's on the agenda in the week ahead, June 8 - 14, 2015. Plenary session in Strasbourg. TTIP, EU-Russia relations, FIFA, and more.
Read more
.
Following the publication of the blacklist of European politicians and officials, the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, on Tuesday informed the Russian Ambassador to the EU that insofar as the Russian authorities have failed to ensure transparency in their decisions, in line with international law and legal obligations, and allow the targeted individuals the right of defence and of appeal, he considers that it is now justified to take appropriate measures in response.
Read more
.
Development MEPs called on companies in all countries to adopt country-by-country reporting and make all information public in order to fight tax evasion and illicit money flows in developing countries, in a resolution adopted on Monday afternoon. It also called on the EU's financial institutions to ensure that companies receiving EU support do not participate in tax evasion and avoidance.
Read more
.
What's on the agenda in the week ahead, June 1 - 7, 2015. Political group and committee meetings, Brussels
Read more
Rapporteur Bernd Lange (2nd on the left) and the final vote on screen on the draft report, providing guidelines to the current Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations.
An EU-US trade deal should deepen EU access to the US market, but must not undermine EU standards or the right to regulate in the public interest, say Trade Committee MEPs in draft recommendations voted on Thursday. Tools for resolving disputes between investors and states should be reformed and improved, they add.
Read more
.
A deal struck by MEPs and Council of Ministers negotiators in the small hours of Thursday morning means the architecture of the Juncker plan to unlock €315 billion public and private investments in the real economy in 2015-2017 can now be put to a European Parliament vote on 24 June and the investment programme can kick off in the summer.
Read more
.
Healthy eating habits start young, so the EU and its member states should do and spend more to encourage kids to eat healthy and local foods, Parliament said on Wednesday. To ensure that they get healthy eating lessons, as well as school milk, fruit, and vegetables from EU schemes, Parliament amended draft rules and approved a mandate for MEPs to negotiate their final form with EU member states.
Read more
.
Budgets MEPs welcomed next year's "restricted" but well focused draft budget presented by Commission Vice-President Kristalina Georgieva on Wednesday immediately after it was approved by the Commission.
Read more
MEPs approved measures to prevent proceeds from conflict minerals being used to fund armed conflicts and called on governments to break the deadlock on plans to harmonise maternity leave across Europe. They also debated measures to tackle irregular migrants coming to the EU during the plenary in Strasbourg on 18-21 May as well as green-lit tougher rules to prevent money laundering. Read on for an overview of the plenary.
Read more
.
What's on the agenda in the week ahead, May 25 - 31, 2015. Plenary and committee meetings in Brussels. Special Committee on Tax Rulings to visit Dublin.
Read more
.
A delegation of members of the Special Committee on Tax Rulings of the European Parliament will visit Ireland on Thursday 28 May where they will meet Minister of Finance Michael Noonan and members of the Finance Committee of the Dail. The delegation will also meet, inter alia, experts representing accountancy firms, business associations, NGO's and companies. The Committee was established in the wake of what has become known as the luxleaks revelations.
Read more
.
The ultimate owners of companies will have to be listed in central registers in EU countries, open both to the authorities and to people with a "legitimate interest", such as investigative journalists, under new rules already agreed with the Council and endorsed by Parliament on Wednesday. The new anti-money laundering directive aims to step up the fight against tax crimes and terrorist financing. New rules to make it easier to trace transfers of funds were also approved.
Read more
© European Union
Suggested ways to improve patient safety, including tackling growing resistance to human and veterinary antibiotics, using today’s treatments more responsibly and promoting innovation, are set out in a resolution voted on Tuesday. MEPs note that 8 - 12% of patients in EU hospitals suffer adverse events, such as healthcare-related infections, which are implicated in 37,000 deaths a year and place a heavy burden on limited health service budgets.
Read more
.
@RealTime WW1, a Twitter project from Luxembourg, was awarded first prize at the 2015 European Charlemagne Youth Prize ceremony in Aachen University on 12 May. Second prize went to the Fronterras-European (border) line project (France) and third prize jointly to Social Soccer Club (Austria), Entrepreneurship, the Solution against Unemployment (Cyprus) and Infoactualidad (Spain). The annual prize goes to projects that foster a shared sense of European identity and integration among young people.
Read more
.
"Whistleblowers should receive protection when they reveal behaviour that goes against the public interest and not only when they reveal illegal activities. There should also be more openness about tax rulings and similar arrangements and countries which defraud other countries should be sanctioned", suggested Richard Brooks of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists in a hearing with Parliament's Special Tax Rulings Committee on Monday.
Read more
Tax rulings, EU-Russia relations, Turkey’s reform progress, boosting free trade with the US, empowering women in Africa and the current situation in Georgia are all on the Parliament's agenda when MEPs gather this week in Brussels. Political groups will also prepare for the plenary session in Strasbourg on 18-21 May. Meanwhile Parliament President Martin Schulz will be awarded the Charlemagne Prize in Aachen on Thursday.
Read more
Ahead of Europe Day, 9 May, the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz stated: "This year's Europe Day which we will celebrate tomorrow is a special one with 2015 marking the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War."
Read more
Following a series of debates and hearings with experts, Commission- and Council representatives and international bodies like the OECD, the Special Committee on Tax Rulings will have another full week ahead:
Read more
.
What's on the agenda next week at the European Parliament: Political group and committee meetings, Brussels
Read more
© European Union 2014 - European Parliament
Why did the EU Commission take so long to launch investigations into member states’ tax rulings? Is its strategy to go only after small countries, such as Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Ireland? Will the instruments available to it suffice? And if not, what would it take to do away with unfair tax competition? These questions were raised by MEPs in Tuesday’s Special Tax Rulings Committee debate with competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager.
Read more
.
People who are suspected or accused of a crime, or are named in a European Arrest Warrant, but cannot afford a lawyer or court proceedings, should have access to EU member state funding and assistance for both “provisional” and "ordinary” legal aid, say Civil Liberties MEPs in amendments, voted on Wednesday, to a proposed EU directive on fair trial rights.
Read more
Fresh suggestions on how to best resolve disputes arising between foreign investors and states on the implementation of the Transatlantic Trade and investment partnership deal, currently being negotiated between the EU and the United states, will be debated by Trade MEPs and the EU Trade Commissioner Malmström on Wednesday afternoon starting from 16.30.
Read more
.
Travellers putting together their own package holidays online will get the same protection as those buying from traditional travel agents under a provisional deal struck by MEPs and Council negotiators on Tuesday. The deal also strengthens holidaymakers’ rights, by enabling them to cancel a package deal contract if its price rises by more than 8%, get help if they encounter difficulties or get transport home if a tour operator goes bust.
Read more
.
Plans for labelling the calorie content of alcoholic beverages should be tabled by the European Commission at the latest in 2016, said MEPs on Wednesday. The resolution calls for a new EU Alcohol Strategy focusing on alcohol consumption by minors and EU-wide labelling to discourage drink driving and drinking while pregnant.
Read more
© European Union 2015 - European Parliament
The EU should do everything possible to prevent further loss of life at sea, e.g. by expanding the mandate of “Triton” operation in the Mediterranean to include "search and rescue operations at EU level", says a resolution voted by Parliament on Wednesday. MEPs also call for a binding quota for distributing asylum seekers among all EU countries, bigger contributions to resettlement programmes, better cooperation with third countries and tougher measures against people smugglers.
Read more
"Today's resolution on asylum and migration, adopted by an overwhelming majority (449 votes in favour), contains a number of concrete steps urgently expected from the Commission, the Council and the Member States.
Read more
.
One billion euro in EU funding to help member states get up to 650,000 young people into work will be delivered in 2015 thanks to European Social Fund rule changes approved by Parliament on Wednesday. This EU Youth Employment Initiative funding tops up European Social Fund (ESF) money in the 20 member states with regions where youth unemployment exceeds 25%.
Read more
.
Emergency call devices that automatically alert rescue services to car crashes (eCall) will have to be fitted to all new models of cars and light vans by 31 March 2018 under rules voted by European Parliament on Tuesday. Road accidents took 25,700 lives in the EU in 2014 – a death toll that the new devices could cut by an estimated 10% a year.
Read more
.
Fishermen will have two years to “adapt” before sanctions for failing to comply with the new fish “discard” ban take effect, under a law passed by Parliament on Tuesday. The draft law, already informally agreed by MEPs and ministers, amends the “omnibus” regulation on arrangements for enforcing the ban. Obliging fishermen to land unwanted catches, rather than throw them back, is a key aim of the reformed Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).
Read more
.
The new EU forest strategy must focus on managing forests sustainably, promoting efficient use of the raw materials that they produce, and boosting the competitiveness of forest-related industry so as to create jobs, says a non-legislative resolution voted by Parliament on Tuesday.
Read more
.
Europe should come up with a common asylum and migration policy that is humane and realistic, Martin Schulz warned EU leaders. The EP President was speaking at the start of an extraordinary European summit dedicated to migration after hundreds of people died in one week trying to cross the Mediterranean. Schulz said: “Our immediate priority must be to save lives at sea.”
Read more
.
The demand for organs far outstrips what is available, leading to illegal trafficking in organs all over the world. With Europeans travelling to other countries to receive one of these illegally harvested organs, it also forms a challenge for the EU. The EP's public health committee and human rights subcommittee held a workshop on 21 April dedicated to organ harvesting in China to discuss these issues. However, MEPs warned that the problem was not limited to China.
Read more
.
Ahead of the extraordinary European Council meeting on Thursday, the Chair of the European Parliament's Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee with responsibility for migration and related issues such as the EU border agency Frontex and asylum policy, Claude Moraes (S&D, UK), said:
Read more
.
A negotiating brief on the “Juncker” plan for a European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) to guarantee growth and job-creating investment was backed by the Budgets and Economic and Monetary Affairs committees on Monday evening. But MEPs contested plans to feed the fund from the EU research and transport investment budgets, and called for more parliamentary control over its leadership and goals.
Read more
.
Political groups and committees meet in Brussels. Among the items on the agenda will be the Junker Commission proposal for a European Strategic Investment Fund; how EU development aid shoud be financed; consumer safety; and preparations for the April plenary
Read more
The negotiations under way on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) could provide an opportunity to set a path towards high global standards for the protection of the environment and public and animal health. However, the objective of enhancing trade should not come at a price of lowering standards in these areas, said committee MEPs in an opinion adopted on Tuesday. MEPs list a number of areas where progress could be made, such as the protection of geographical indications, tackling antimicrobial resistance, pest management and safety of pharmaceutical products and medical devices.
Read more
EU must seek ambitious and mutually beneficial deal with the United States on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) that would preserve the European agriculture model, safeguard the Union's food safety standards and protect EU quality products on the US market, the Agriculture committee said in a vote on Tuesday.
Read more
Eight hundred and ninety-eight amendments to a draft resolution on progress in talks with the US on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) were debated by the International Trade Committee on Monday.
Read more
.
The EU and its member states must invest more effort and money in promoting healthy eating and the consumption of local foodstuffs amongst children, said the agriculture committee said on Tuesday when it amended draft rules on schemes to provide fruit, vegetables and milk in schools.
Read more
.
Suggested measures to improve patient safety, inter alia by tackling growing resistance to human and veterinary antibiotics by using existing treatments more responsibly and promoting innovation, are set out in a Health Committee resolution voted on Tuesday. MEPs note that between 8 and 12% of patients admitted to hospitals in the EU suffer adverse events such as healthcare-related infections, which place a heavy burden on limited health service budgets.
Read more
.
The European Commission’s economic decision-making needs to become more neutral, MEPs said in an Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee debate with Commission Vice-President for the euro Valdis Dombrovskis and Economic and Financial affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici on Tuesday. MEPs also voiced concern about the low implementation of the Commission’s country-specific recommendations and asked what it would do about high current account surpluses in Germany and other exporting countries
Read more
.
EU smelters and refiners importing „conflict” minerals and metals would have to be certified by the EU in order to help stem the flow of revenue to armed groups, under a draft law as amended by the International Trade Committee on Tuesday. Other amendments lay down conditions for EU recognition of industry self-certification schemes, and labelling requirements. All these amendments still need to be approved by Parliament as a whole.
Read more
.
Next week in Brussels the main topics on the agenda in Committee and the plenary include TTIP amendments to a draft resolution; Conflict minerals; Advanced biofuels; Cross-border payment claims; Armenia genocide;Bangladesh textile industry;Hospital patient safety and cross border payment claims.
Read more
.
Draft EU rules to ensure that the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty is fully respected in member states were approved by the Civil Liberties Committee on Tuesday. MEPs inserted amendments to prevent statements by public authorities that might suggest a suspect is guilty before a final conviction, ensure that the burden of proof stays with the prosecution and guarantee the rights to remain silent, not to incriminate oneself and to be present at trial.
Read more
© European Union 2015 - EP
A draft EU law to make the benchmarks used to price EU citizens’ mortgages, loans and bonds more trustworthy was backed by the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee on Tuesday. The text (lead MEP Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, ALDE, NL) aims to clean up the benchmark-setting process, by curbing conflicts of interest like those that led to the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) rigging scandals of recent years.
Read more
.
The EU and its member states must use all available tools to avoid disruptions on the milk market, seize the opportunity to build a more confident dairy sector and take the global lead, said chair of the Agriculture committee Czesław Adam Siekierski (EPP, PL) and Parliament's rapporteur on prospects for the EU dairy sector James Nicholson (ECR, UK) on the occasion of the end of milk quotas.
Read more
.
The European Commission should incorporate, as a key priority, an unambiguous horizontal self-standing provision in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), that "fully exempts the existing and future EU legal framework on the protection of personal data from the agreement", says the Civil Liberties Committee in its TTIP opinion adopted on Tuesday. The negotiators should also keep in mind that Parliament's consent to the final TTIP agreement could be endangered as long as the blanket mass surveillance activities are not completely abandoned and an adequate solution is found for the data privacy rights of EU citizens.
Read more
.
This week in Brussels European Parliament Committees meet. MEPs will vote on controlling financial benchmarks, host a conference on climate change, examine the state of fundamental rights and receive representatives of the OECD and Nato. The Special Tax Rulings and Economic and Monetary Affairs committees will hold a joint hearing with taxation Commissioner Pierre Moscovici on Monday
Read more
© European Union 2015 - European Parliament
“We will defeat radicalism only if we stay united” said Antonio Tajani, Parliament’s First Vice-President, opening Tuesday’s high-level conference of MEPs and religious community leaders on the rise of religious radicalism and fundamentalism. EP President Martin Schulz, who closed the debate, said “We have to have the courage to take people on board and encourage dialogue between religions”.
Read more
.
€2.5 million in EU aid has been approved for the 450 former workers of the Lufthansa Technik/Airmotive plant in Dublin, to help them find jobs, Parliament decided on Wednesday. The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) aid has already been approved by the EU Council of Ministers.
Read more
.
The session opened with a minute’s silence for victims of the Germanwings air crash in the French Alps on 24 March and the terrorist attack on Tunisia’s Bardo museum on 18 March. President Schulz conveyed Parliament’s deepest sympathy to their families and friends.
Read more
.
"In the name of the European Parliament I wish to convey my sincere condolences to all the families and friends of the victims on the Germanwings 4U9525 flight from Barcelona to Düsseldorf which crashed this morning near Digne-les-Bains in Southern France. We grieve this terrible loss which has struck individual people and families as well as nations. Tomorrow, at the opening of its plenary session, the European Parliament will remember the victims with a minute of silence."
Read more
At the beginning of the month, the European Central Bank (ECB) started its controversial quantative easing programme, buying government bonds with the goal of lowering interest rates, increasing inflation and kick-starting economic growth. ECB president Mario Draghi met the EP's economic affairs committee yesterday to discuss the initiative. Read on to find out more about how it works and watch the debate on our website.
Read more
.
The European Central Bank’s expanded asset purchase programme, better known as “quantitative easing” (QE), is starting to make headway across the EU, ECB President Mario Draghi told Economic and Monetary Committee MEPs on Monday. Mr Draghi also reported on the tough negotiations with Greece and outlined what it would take for the ECB to reinstate the waiver for buying Greek state bonds on the secondary market, so as to enable QE to benefit Greece, too.
Read more
.
Plenary and committee meetings, take place in Brussels. On Monday ECB President Draghi will discuss quantitive easing in ECON Committee. At the plenary session Energy Union, relations with Russia and situation in Ukraine will be discussed with the Commission and the Council on Wednesday. The Parliament will vote on aid of 2.5 million from the EGF for Irish Lufthansa Technick workers. Members will also discuss the Tax Transparency Package, just tabled by the European Commission. Other topics on the agenda include International Roma Day, Russia/Crimea; discharge of 2013 budget,
Read more
.
The negotiations for an EU-US trade deal - also known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) - continue to provoke debate. The international trade committee discussed on 18 March the potential benefits with representatives from business, trade unions, consumer and environmental organisations. Committee chair Bernd Lange, a German member of the S&D group, explained: “I have many meetings on TTIP and one question always comes up – what will this mean for me specifically?"
Read more
.
The Budgets Committee has recommended that almost 1,500 workers made redundant in Ireland and Greece in 2014 should receive EU aid worth €11.3 million to help them find jobs. The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) aid still has to be approved by Parliament as a whole.
Read more
.
All new car models sold in the EU are to be equipped with eCall technology from 31 March 2018 under draft EU rules endorsed by Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee MEPs on Tuesday.This technology uses the 112 emergency number to call rescue services automatically, enabling them to reach crash scenes faster and thus save lives and reduce the severity of injuries.
Read more
.
In Committee next week, the Trade Committee will vote on 1.8 Million aid package for Ukraine; Commisioner Malmstrom will debate TTIP in the Trade Committee; e-Call is on the agenda in Internal market committee. The Civil Liberties Committee delegation will travel to Washington to meet members of the US Congress and US Government representatives to discuss data protection. In Yerevan MPs from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine and MEPs will have a 3 day meeting. European Parliament President Martin Schulz will visit China.
Read more
.
MEPs gave their input to the upcoming summit in Wednesday’s debate with Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, and Latvian Secretary of State for European Affairs Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica.
Read more
© European Union 2015 - European Parliament
The murder of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov calls for an independent international investigation, say MEPs in a resolution voted on Thursday. This is the "most significant political murder in recent Russian history", they added, warning that Kremlin propaganda is turning Russia into a "state of repression, hate speech and fear".
Read more
.
Parliament voted on Wednesday to back the European Commission's approach to stimulating growth and job creation, following a debate on "European Semester” coordination of EU countries’ economic policies in 2015, with Commission Vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis and Commissioners Marianne Thyssen (social affairs) and Elzbieta Bieńkowska (single market and SMEs).
Read more
Parliament calls for further efforts to investigate online child sexual abuse, prosecute offenders, protect child victims and remove illegal online content, in a resolution voted on Wednesday. The ongoing EU data protection reform also includes changes to better protect the rights of children online, MEPs stress. More than 80 % of the victims are under 10 years old.
Read more
© European Union 2015 - European Parliament
King Abdullah II of Jordan called on Muslims to join the fight against the so-called Islamic State during a speech at the European Parliament on 10 March. The monarch said the terrorists’ acts ran counter to basic Islamic values such as mercy, peace and tolerance. “These terrorists have made the world’s Muslims their greatest target,” he said. “We will not allow them to hijack our faith.”
Read more
 (17/01/2011)
On Tuesday, Parliament adopted the rules to address banks' reluctance to lend to small businesses or open-ended research projects by creating European Long-Term Investment Funds (ELTIFs), designed to benefit the real economy and society by channelling non-bank funds into long-term projects in order to deliver infrastructure, intellectual property or research results.
Read more
.
The fees that banks charge retailers to process shoppers’ payments will be capped, under uniform EU-wide rules, further to a vote in Parliament on Tuesday. The cap, which will apply to both cross-border and domestic card-based payments, should result in lower costs for card users.
Read more
.
Get involved: Nirj Deva, a UK member of the ECR group, is inviting everyone to contribute to his report on how the private sector could help to foster development worldwide. Starting today, the report will be discussed by the European Parliament's LinkedIn group. Join the discussion and help Deva write his final report.
Read more
.
Political group and committee meetings, in Brussels. Items on the agenda include European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), International Women’s Day (IWD), Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA)in Foreign Affairs Committee on Monday and preparations for the 9 – 12 March plenary session in Strasbourg.
Read more
.
A new draft text on an EU system for the use of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data, tabled by lead MEP Timothy Kirkhope (ECR, UK), was discussed in the civil liberties committee on Thursday morning.
Read more
.
Parliament’s newly-established Special Committee on Tax Rulings elected Alain Lamassoure (EPP, FR) as its chair at its constituent meeting on Thursday morning. As vice-chairs, the committee elected Bernd Lucke (ECR, DE), Marisa Matias (GUE/NGL, PT) and Eva Joly (Greens/EFA, FR). Rapporteurs will be appointed on 9 March.
Read more
.
Having reached an agreement on its bailout with other eurozone countries on 20 and 24 February, Greece is also to the forefront of Parliament's proceedings this week. Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem addressed the economic and monetary affairs committee on Tuesday morning, and ECB president Mario Draghi comes to plenary on Wednesday afternoon.
Read more
.
The European Parliament is working on its position on the EU-US trade deal known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) this week. The international trade committee, which is responsible for drafting the Parliament's position, will discuss recommendations for the first time on Tuesday, while 10 out of the 13 committees that will contribute to the report will also discuss or vote on their opinions this week. MEPs are due to debate and vote on the EP's position before summer.
Read more
.
Plenary and committee meetings week in Brussels. Among the item on the agenda are:- Greece Chairman of Eurogroup in Economics affairs Committee on Tuesday; PNR; European Fund for Strategic Investments; ETS maket stability reserve; Biofuels; TTIP and EU2016 budget
Read more
.
To protect the EU against terrorist attacks and yet safeguard citizens’ rights, MEPs advocate de-radicalisation programmes, stepping up checks at Schengen area external borders, and better information exchange among EU member states, in a resolution voted on Wednesday. They urge member states to make faster progress on the Data Protection Package, so that talks could proceed in parallel with those on an EU Passenger Name Record proposal and thus deliver a full set of EU data protection rules.
Read more
.
Meat used as an ingredient in processed foods, such as lasagne, should be labelled by country of origin as is already the case with bovine fresh meat, said MEPs on Wednesday. They call on the European Commission, which published a report on the issue in late 2013, to come up with legislative proposals in order to rebuild consumer confidence in the wake of the horsemeat scandal and other food fraud cases.
Read more
.
Draft EU rules to ensure that children suspected or accused of a crime are assisted by a lawyer at all stages of criminal proceedings in any EU country were approved by the Civil Liberties Committee on Thursday. MEPs also made sure that children will be individually assessed by qualified staff, can be heard and state their views in a trial and are kept separate from adult inmates, even, in some cases, after they are 18 years old.
Read more
.
The European Parliament political group leaders have decided to propose a special committee to look into tax rulings by member states. The full House will vote at the next session on the creation of the special committee and on its mandate. The group leaders agreed that Parliament should look into tax rulings but opted for a special committee rather than a committee of inquiry as requested by 192 MEPs. Following the advice of the Parliament's legal service, the group leaders took note that the mandate for a committee of inquiry as proposed by the 192 MEPs was incompatible with the EU Treaty and Parliament's rules of procedure.
Read more
.
European Parliamentary Week. The EP hosts a two-day meeting with national parliamentarians from all over the EU and MEPs to discuss economic, budgetary and social matters. Political group and committee meeting take place in Brussels. Among the items on the agenda will be Children/legal protection, Syria and the EU budge. US Vice President Joe Biden will have meetings at the European Parliament on Friday.
Read more
.
Plenary and committee meetings, Brussels: On the agenda next week in the European Parliament will be Economic governance, Money laundering, Anti-terrorism measures, EU fund for strategic investments, and International climate agreement, A ceremony marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day will take place on 27 January.
Read more
.
The Governing Council of the ECB met on Thursday 22 January and decided to expand the asset-purchase programme at a EUR 60-billion/month pace until September 2016, including the purchase of sovereign bonds.
Read more
.
Meat used as an ingredient in processed foods, such as lasagne, should be labelled by country of origin as is already the case with bovine fresh meat, said Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee MEPs on Wednesday. They call on the European Commission, which published a report on the issue in late 2013, to come up with legislative proposals in order to rebuild consumer confidence in the wake of the horsemeat scandal and other food fraud cases.
Read more
.
Following the Paris attacks the secretary-general of the Arab League has urged greater cooperation between it and the EU to counter extremism. Addressing Parliament's foreign affairs committee on 20 January Nabil El Araby said "the problems we face now are of universal character and are not confined to one place." He outlined how the Arab world looks upon Europe and said that "the European Union has been to the forefront of all just causes."
Read more
.
At the start of today's Civil Liberties Committee meeting, the Chair Claude Moraes (S&D, UK) said: In the last Civil Liberties Committee meeting, I already said a few words about the recent attacks in Paris. The immediate attention was of course on catching the terrorists, giving condolences to the victims' families and supporting the freedom of speech. However, in the days that followed, the debate has been broadened towards our actions to fight terrorism and radicalisation.
Read more
.
The Parliament paid tribute to the victims of the terrorist attacks in Paris on Monday at the start of the January plenary. On the legislative side, MEPs approved a proposal to give member states more flexibility to restrict or ban GMOs on their territory, while they also debated the programme of the new Latvian presidency of the Council as well as the outcome of the Italian presidency that ended in December.
Read more
.
“2013 was a special year regarding the post of the European Ombudsman. Taking over from a long standing and well respected Mr Nikiforos Diamandouros was definitely a great challenge for Ms Emily O'Reilly, but thanks to her experience as an Irish Ombudsman, she started her work very efficiently. Within just a few months, she was able to turn this institution into a more accessible and user friendly one”, said rapporteur Jarosław Wałęsa (EPP, PL).
Read more
.
The EU must be more united and more coordinated to face new challenges to its security, a majority of MEPs said in Wednesday's debate with Federica Mogherini on the EU's foreign, security and defence policies. Many said, following the Paris terrorist attacks, that internal and external policies must be coherent and called for more cooperation and intelligence- sharing between EU member countries.
Read more
.
Increasing security, boosting growth, creating jobs, establishing a digital single market: Latvia will have plenty to do at the helm of the Council presidency the coming six months. Latvian Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma discussed her country's priorities during a debate in the European Parliament on 14 January. Some MEPs welcomed plans to focus on passenger name record legislation to improve security, while others stressed the importance of investment.
Read more
.
New legislation to allow EU member states to restrict or ban the cultivation of crops containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on their own territory, even if this is allowed at EU level, was passed by MEPs on Tuesday. The legislation, informally agreed by Parliament and Council in December, was originally tabled in 2010 but was then deadlocked for four years due to disagreement between pro and anti-GMO member states.
Read more
.
Commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, European Parliament President Martin Schulz said that "Jews in Europe still fear for their safety today. That is something that must frighten us and we need to resist that fear”. Referring to last week’s attacks on Charlie Hebdo magazine, police officers and a Jewish supermarket in Paris, he added that “We need to ensure that this hatred does not become contagious". On 27 January 1945, the Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated by Soviet soldiers. Established by the Nazis in 1940, it became the largest of the death camps. More than 1,100,000 people lost their lives there. The full text of the President's statement is available at the following link http://www.europarl.europa.eu/the-president/en/
Read more
.
“Violence with Kalashnikovs will not make us downgrade our European values”, promised Parliament President Martin Schulz, naming the 17 people killed in last week’s attacks on Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket. After a minute’s silence, Parliament’s political groups paid their tributes too. Several saw the outpouring of solidarity demonstrated by millions of citizens across Europe and worldwide as a renaissance and reaffirmation of Europe’s core values.
Read more
.
Plenary session and committee meetings, will take place in Strasbourg. Among the items on the agenda are Charlie Hebdo, a minute of silence in remembrance of the victims;debate with Newly-elected European Council President Donald Tusk, 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, GMO cultivation, Media freedom in Turkey and Human smuggling in Mediterranean.
Read more
.
Marco Alberti simply wanted his children to learn more about Europe, but when he took them to Parlamentarium - the EP's visitors centre - he hadn't counted on being welcomed as the one millionth visitor. A delighted Alberti said: "We are trying to explain to our children what Europe is and thought this would be a good opportunity." The centre, hailed by Tripadvisor as one of the top things to do in Brussels, reached the landmark after having been open for just over three years.
Read more
.
On behalf of the European Parliament, I would like to express my sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims of today's terrorist attack in Paris at the offices of the weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo. We are profoundly shocked by this heinous crime which is an affront to civilised society and we unreservedly condemn such violence. As Europeans we must never surrender the values which are so close to our hearts and which this act has sought to undermine: the freedom of the press and of expression, tolerance, and mutual respect. This is a moment of profound sadness which requires a dignified and clear response. Whatever our opinions or religious beliefs we must stand strong and united against such violent acts. I call on all citizens to defend together the values we cherish. I also wish a prompt recovery to those injured.
Read more
The European Parliament’s Visitors Centre, the Parlamentarium, will on Wednesday celebrate its millionth visitor since it opened in October 2011. He or she will be welcomed by Mairead McGuinness, Vice-President of the European Parliament, at around 12.00. The Parlamentarium gives adults and children the chance to make a virtual, interactive journey through European integration and experience its impact on the everyday lives of citizens.
Read more