Obliging companies to switch auditors regularly and prohibiting auditors from supplying certain non-auditing services are among the changes voted by the Legal Affairs Committee on Thursday to a draft law to open up the EU audit services market and improve audit quality and transparency.
The "right to be forgotten", explicit consent before a person's data is collected and a ban on profiling on the basis of ethnic, religious or sexual orientation criteria are among the main demands for data protection reform made by the legal affairs committee in a non-binding opinion adopted on Tuesday.
Victims of stalking, harassment or gender-based violence who are granted protection in one EU member state would get fully equivalent protection if they freely move to another under new rules approved by the Legal Affairs and Women's Rights committees on Tuesday. The new EU rules would add civil law protection to the criminal law protection already enforced under the European Protection Order (EPO) Directive.
Here is a summary of the priorities of Ireland's Presidency of the EU Council of Ministers, as presented by Irish ministers to European Parliament committees. These presentations were all made in the week of 21-25 January, except for agriculture (31 January).
New staff regulations for EU civil servants have failed to materialize because member states have proved incapable of agreeing among themselves, while the Council has even ruled out both the possibility of prolonging the 5.5% special levy by one year and the method suggested by the Commission for calculating annual salary adjustments.
Large extractive companies dealing with oil, gas and minerals would be obliged to disclose full information on their payments to national governments, on a country-by-country and project-by-project basis, according to a negotiation mandate approved on Tuesday by the Committee on Legal Affairs. It also agreed that red tape should be cut for small firms.
The European Council's move to change the draft law to create an EU patent would "infringe EU law" and make the rules "not effective at all", Bernhard Rapkay (S&D, DE), who is responsible for the draft legislation, told the Legal Affairs Committee on Tuesday. Most MEPs strongly criticised the European Council's move and agreed to resume the discussion in September.
On Tuesday, Legal Affairs Committee MEPs approved an opinion saying that the proper legal procedure for examining the Schengen Evaluation Mechanism is "co-decision", whereby Parliament and Council legislate on equal footing.
A photo, a film or a poem that is covered by a copyright, but whose right holder cannot be found, could be made publicly available across the EU, under draft legislation informally agreed by Parliament and Council representatives on Wednesday. This legislation would allow everyone to access such "orphan works" and take forward the project of making Europe's cultural heritage available online.
The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was rejected on Monday by the Development Committee, the fourth committee advising the International Trade Committee to do so. These committees' positions are not binding on the Trade Committee, which adopts its own position as lead committee on 21 June.