During the May plenary in Strasbourg MEPs backed plans for an EU bank supervisory system and called on governments to step up their efforts to clamp down on tax evasion. They also approved EU–wide civil law protection for victims of stalking and gender violence and tougher safety rules for offshore drilling. Read on to find out more about the session's highlights.
MEPs urged member states to start EU accession negotiations with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia before July in a resolution on the country's 2012 progress report on Thursday 23 May. However, in another resolution they expressed regret that Bosnia and Herzegovina was still far from meeting the necessary conditions for a prospective membership and that it was falling behind other countries in the region.
In this age of internet, smartphones and social media, it is very easy to share and search for personal information. Maybe too easy. Your loan application could be rejected because you live in the wrong neighbourhood, photos you publish online may come back to haunt you and supposedly free websites earn their keep by selling and using your personal data. The EU is now working to overhaul its data protection rules to help people stay in control of their private information.
Strengthening air passenger rights, increasing the capacity of Europe's airports and the quality of their services, introducing more competition to EU's rail sector, as well as new rules for pilots' flying hours will keep MEPs busy for the rest of their term or even longer. Find out more about Parliament's work concerning travel–related issues in this feature.
The EU agreed in the autumn of 2010 to tighten financial supervision in the private sector in an effort to head off any future financial crisis. On 28 September 2011 MEPs approved the so-called economic governance "six-pack" of new rules. This was followed by the "two-pack" initiative aimed at stepping up financial discipline within the eurozone, which MEPs approved on 12 March 2013. Read on to find out more about how the Parliament has been working to strengthen economic governance in Europe.
EU countries ignored Parliament's call for a growth-boosting long-term budget for 2014-2020 when they agreed on 8 February 2013 to cut the budget from its previous level for the first time in the EU's history. MEPs rejected that agreement in its current form on 13 March and called for the so-called multiannual financial framework (MFF) to be more flexible and open to revision. They also insisted on a real system of own resources for the EU.
Agricultural spending accounts for about 40% of the European Union's annual budget and has been at the heart of EU policy since the very start of the European project. As the last revision of the agricultural policy dates from 2003 and 12 countries have joined the EU since then, it is clear that it must be updated in order to face new challenges. EP has now agreed what line to take and negotiations will start in earnest. Read on to find out more.
We must be just as resolute in combating youth unemployment today as European governments were in bailing out the banksEP president Martin Schulz at the opening of the European Council Article