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 2012 Nobel Peace Prize might have been awarded to the EU, but EP president Martin Schulz made very clear who the honour really belonged to: "This Nobel Peace Prize is for all EU citizens." He duly accepted the prize during the official ceremony in Oslo on behalf of everyone in the EU. You now have to chance to see your prize up close in Parlamentarium, the Parliament's visitors centre in Brussels, where the medal will be displayed until 6 October.
In this age of smartphones and social media protecting people's privacy has become more important than ever. The European Parliament is currently working on a major overhaul of EU data protection legislation that should ensure Europeans' data are safe online and offline. Follow our seminar on 14-15 May which brings together MEPs, experts and stakeholders and learn more about the issues at stake.
E-cigarettes are often presented as a solution for smokers who want to quit their deadly habit but struggle to overcome their nicotine addiction, but how safe are they? Should they be regulated as medication or as tobacco products? These issues are currently being considered as part of a review of the tobacco products directive. MEPs also debated it with experts during a workshop on 7 May.
From maintaining the peace in Afghanistan and Kosovo to countering pirates off the Somali coast, NATO and the EU regularly work closely together. This cooperation is set to become even more intense. NATO secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen visited EP on 6 May to discuss the future of European defence with the foreign affairs committee and security and defence subcommittee. We took the opportunity to ask him about what is next for the partnership between the two organisations.
EP president Martin Schulz called on Italy to invest in its economy as budgetary discipline alone will only create more unemployment and worsen the recession. Mr Schulz made the appeal during a visit to Rome on Friday 10 May where he met new Italian prime minister Enrico Letta, president Giorgio Napolitano and Laura Boldrini, president of the chamber of deputies.
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.
EU budget negotiations and a discussion on the situation in Mali with the country's acting president will take centre stage in a week dominated by committee and political group meetings. There will also be a seminar for journalists on the overhaul of EU rules on data protection, the EP's vsitors centre will open an exhibition on the Nobel peace prize, the international day against homophobia will be marked on Friday and preparations for next week's plenary will get under way.
Implanting identity chips in EU citizens: are you for or against? Don't worry, this is not a new EU proposal, but a topic for debate in a role-playing game designed to teach students visiting Parlamentarium, the EP's visitors centre, about what it is like to be an MEP. As Europe Day is celebrated on 9 May, take a look at our video to see how young people are learning about the EU, the democratic process and the art of compromise.
If you missed your chance to visit Parliament when it opened its doors to the public in Brussels on 4 May, you now get to have another opportunity. We have created a 360° panoramic virtual tour of the whole event. It will be just like being there in person, except you will have access to added videos and slideshows. Experience the excitement of the open day without having to leave the comfort of your home.