EU foreign-policy spending from 2014 will be more efficient, effective and democratically accountable, under new rules backed by foreign affairs MEPs on Thursday and development MEPs on Wednesday. The rules govern six foreign-policy funds for pre-accession, neighbouring and partner countries and peace-keeping, democracy and human-rights actions, worth over €51 billion.
Belarusian political prisoners Ales Bialatski, Eduard Lobau and Mykola Statkevich, US spying whistleblower Edward Snowden and Pakistani campaigner for girls' education Malala Yousafzai are the shortlisted finalists for this year's Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. The laureate will be announced on 10 October, and the €50,000 prize will be awarded in Strasbourg on 20 November.
The following is a summary of the priorities of the Lithuanian Council Presidency outlined to the different parliamentary committees by Lithuanian ministers this week, from 8 to 12 July. This text is going to be updated daily
MEPs welcomed the results of the Mali donors conference but insisted on respect for the rule of law and human rights during their discussion on Thursday with the acting president, Dioncounda Traoré. Members of the security and defence, foreign affairs and development committees also stressed the need to establish genuine democracy and decentralisation.
The Cuban "Ladies in White" (Damas de Blanco) protest movement was at last able to receive its European Parliament Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in Brussels on Tuesday, when, over seven years later, Havana finally lifted a travel ban. The prize was presented at a special ceremony during a joint meeting of the foreign affairs, development and human rights committees, attended by European Parliament President, Martin Schulz.
Eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable development should be the priorities of the post-2015 development agenda, said Development Committee MEPs on Tuesday. Universal health coverage and quality education should be key goals, and gender equality and decent work opportunities should become new ones, they said in a draft resolution, voted Tuesday, on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Development Committee MEPs backed the second revision of the EU's Cotonou partnership agreement with African, Caribbean and Pacific states in a vote on Tuesday (adopted unanimously with 24 votes), but voiced strong reservations about its lack of binding human rights clauses.
Development Committee MEPs expressed their support and recognition for the work done by the European Commission in Mali and Syriai in a debate with Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva on Monday.
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).
Cross-party MEPs have urged EU ministers to reject a President Van Rompuy proposal to slash the EU’s development and humanitarian aid, in a letter ahead of budget talks later this week. Cutting this investment would be a false economy and hit the world’s poorest, they warn.