The EU should boost the use of advanced types of biofuels by setting mandatory targets but a reliable model for measuring indirect land use change (ILUC) must be found before including it in legislation, said Energy Committee MEPs in a vote on fuel quality and renewable energy legislation on Thursday. The committee's proposed changes will be put to a vote in plenary, along with amendments to be adopted by Environment Committee, which has the lead on this file.
The US PRISM internet surveillance case highlights the urgent need to pass legislation to protect EU citizens' personal data, most MEPs agreed in Wednesday's Civil Liberties Committee debate with Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding. MEPs also called for safeguards for personal data transferred outside the EU.
Suspects or accused persons will be entitled to access to a lawyer before the start of any questioning by the police and throughout criminal proceedings wherever they are in the EU, under a deal struck by Parliament and Council negotiators on 28 May and endorsed by the Civil Liberties Committee on Wednesday.
A freeze on the auctioning of some CO2 permits to help boost investment was approved for a second time by Environment Committee MEPs on Wednesday after the full House narrowly rejected the measure in April. The committee proposes stricter conditions and advocates an earlier, predictable reintroduction of credits. MEPs also propose earmarking a portion of permit auction revenues for innovation.
Use of climate-unfriendly fluorinated gases should be banned in new air-conditioning appliances and refrigerators by 2020, according to a vote on draft legislation in the Environment Committee on Wednesday. Overall use of potent hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) greenhouse gases should be reduced 84% by 2030, MEPs say.
Civil Liberties Committee recommendations to Hungary and the European Commission on how to remedy any breaches of key EU values promptly and avoid double standards are set out in a report voted on Wednesday. Should the Hungarian authorities fail to abide by EU values, MEPs ask the European Parliament's authorities to consider resorting to EU Treaty Article 7 (1), which would enable the EU Council of Ministers to determine whether there is a clear risk of a serious breach.
Members asked the six candidates for the post of European Ombudsman what they could offer by way of independence, visibility and transparency, in a series of public hearings held by the Petitions Committee on Tuesday. The new Ombudsman will be elected by the full Parliament in July.
Music and architecture, video games, crafts, design and fashion offer considerable growth potential which the EU should support and exploit, says a draft resolution voted by the Culture Committee on Tuesday. It calls for a stronger partnership with universities to equip young people with the requisite skills. It also advocates creating a social status to counter the precarity of many professionals in these fields.
The extra economic reform "breathing space" granted to enable EU countries to meet deficit-cutting requirements and boost growth was welcomed by MEPs in Monday's joint economic affairs and employment committee debate with Commissioners Olli Rehn and László Andor. MEPs also criticized the analysis and economic theories underlying austerity recommendations.
User rules for new "smart" digital tachographs for trucks and buses were approved by the Transport and Tourism Committee on Tuesday. These devices will use satellite tracking technology to make it easier to check and enforce driving and rest times, whilst reducing the number of roadside checks. The rules now need to be approved by Parliament as a whole and the Council of Ministers.