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An agreement struck by EP and Council negotiators on access to genetic resources and sharing the benefits of their use was backed by the environment committee on Wednesday. The agreement also covers traditional knowledge held by indigenous or local communities. The new rules should contribute to the conservation of biological diversity and the sustainable use of its components. (Read more: Environment MEPs back agreement on benefit-sharing of genetic resources )

 
 
Sunflowers bloom on a field ©BELGA/DPA  

Overkommelige fødevarepriser, nyt liv til landdistrikterne, miljøvenligt landbrug og en retfærdig distribuering af midler – altsammen mål for den fælles ændrede landbrugspolitik. Reformpakken blev vedtaget af medlemmer af Europa-Parlamentet den 20. november. Læs vores tophistorie for at finde ud af, hvad reformen handler om, og hvordan den blev til. (Læs mere: Ny landbrugspolitik: grønnere tilgang og bedre fordeling af midler )

 
 

MEPs discussed human rights in Russia with Russian activists and officials

DROI Human rights / External relations22-01-2014 - 17:32

The human rights subcommittee held a hearing on the human rights situation in Russia on Wednesday. MEPs discussed the impact of the "Foreign Agents law" on NGOs' work, the adoption of the controversial pieces of legislation ahead of the Sochi Olympics and the rights of LGBTI people in Russia, focusing on the impact on young people. (Read more: MEPs discussed human rights in Russia with Russian activists and officials )

 
 

Draft EU rules requiring member states to clamp down on illegal waste shipments within the EU and to non-EU countries were backed by the Environment Committee on Wednesday. These rules would close legal loopholes and entail more inspections. MEPs propose that member states include in their inspection plans a minimum number of physical checks, and that inspectors be given more powers. (Read more: Illegal waste shipments: Environment Committee backs plan to step up checks )

 
 

Clinical trials: clearer rules, better protection for patients

ENVI Public health22-01-2014 - 17:15

Pharmaceutical companies and academic researchers will be obliged to upload the results of all their European clinical trials to a publicly accessible database, under draft legislation informally agreed with EU ministers and approved by Public Health Committee MEPs on Wednesday. (Read more: Clinical trials: clearer rules, better protection for patients )

 
 

2030 climate goals: MEPs sceptical about Commission proposals

ENVI Environment22-01-2014 - 16:16

MEPs gave a mixed response on Wednesday to the proposals for the EU’s long-term goals for tackling climate change announced by the Commission the same day. In a joint vote on 9 January, environment and industry MEPs had backed a 40% cut in CO2 emissions, a 30% target for renewable energy and a 40% target for energy efficiency for the period to 2030. Such targets should be binding, they say. (Read more: 2030 climate goals: MEPs sceptical about Commission proposals )

 
 

Economic governance: Pressing need for legitimacy and social dimension

ECON Economic and monetary affairs / Employment policy22-01-2014 - 16:00

MEPs and national parliamentarians concluded their conference on economic governance on Wednesday by calling for much better dialogue, ownership and democratic legitimacy. They also committed to enhancing the way in which their parliaments worked with each other and said effective scrutiny required more collaboration. (Read more: Economic governance: Pressing need for legitimacy and social dimension )

 
 
e-cigarettes  

Draft legislation agreed with the Council of Ministers to make tobacco products less attractive to young people was endorsed by Public Health Committee MEPs on Wednesday. This legislation, updating the EU Tobacco Directive, would require all packs to carry a health warning covering 65% of their surface. E-cigarettes would be regulated, either as medicinal products, if they make quit claims, or as tobacco products. (Read more: Tobacco Directive: Public Health Committee backs agreement with EU Ministers )

 
 

Clandestine migrants from the EU to Turkey or Turkey to the EU would have to be returned under an EU-Turkey “readmission” agreement signed by both parties on 16 December and endorsed by the Civil Liberties Committee on Wednesday. The return rule would apply not only to EU nationals and Turks, but also to third-country nationals who enter either the EU or Turkey via the other. (Read more: Clandestine migrants: Civil Liberties Committee backs EU-Turkey return agreement )

 
 

Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs voting on Tuesday once again called on the Council to set a date for starting EU accession negotiations with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. They also backed plans for further talks with Montenegro and called on EU leaders to show more commitment to Bosnia and Herzegovina. (Read more: Progress of fYROM, Montenegro and Bosnia & Herzegovina: committee vote )