From witches to fireworks, bunnies and flying church bells - European countries have a lot of different traditions to celebrate Easter. One of them is to decorate eggs, but how safe are they really? The European Parliament has worked on different laws to ensure hens and their eggs are healthy. This includes last year's ban on the use of battery cages for hens and the use of the egg code to inform shoppers how an egg was produced. Check out our infographic for more information.
Environment MEPS have called for a recycling levy to pay for EU ships being taken apart at EU-approved facilities in order to reduce the environmental impact and make it safer for the workers involved. Dismantling ships can currently expose workers to cancer-causing chemicals and lead to harmful materials being leaked into the environment. To prevent this, the EP's environment committee approved on Tuesday 26 March new rules on the scrapping of old EU ships.
They both agree more Europe is needed to provide a way out of the crisis, but disagree on much else. Facebook fans had the chance to question the leaders of EP's two largest political groups during a chat on 26 March. Joseph Daul, the French leader of the EPP group, and Hannes Swoboda, the Austrian leader of the S&D group, talked about Cyprus, the crisis and how to get more people to vote in European elections in our first-ever double chat with EP's political leaders.
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.
The deal on Cyprus banks has been given a cautious welcome by Parliament, although it still has many reservations over how the situation was handled. EP president Martin Schulz said the deal "has brought us back from the edge", in a statement following the Eurogroup agreement on the bail-out of the Cypriot banking sector. However, he warned that this "is no way to do business in Europe", a sentiment also reflected in the statements of many parliamentary political leaders.
MEPs will this week vote on new rules for recycling ships and financial support for redundant workers. They will also meet their national counterparts to discuss the implementation of European environmental legislation as well as how the EU can help to prevent conflicts. On Tuesday, the leaders of Parliament's two biggest political groups will chat with our fans on Facebook.
The rescue of Cypriot banks should not be at the expense of ordinary people, according to the majority of Parliament's political group leaders. As Cyprus is working to find agreement on an alternative plan, EP leaders hit out at the original Eurogroup proposal, which would have included a levy on all deposits. EP president Martin Schulz said: "The priority of the EP is that people who put money in their bank accounts are sure they can get it back."
The planned cap on bankers' bonuses continues to stir up debate with the UK and the City of London lobbying to water down the agreement reached by EP and Council on 28 February. The new rules are designed to help prevent excessive risk taking and a future financial crisis, however critics fear it is a counterproductive witch-hunt that will drive investments and bankers out of Europe. We asked MEPs on opposite sides of the issue if they think the cap will work.
Some €1.5 billion could be saved each year simply be making it easer to re-register your vehicle in the EU. Difficulties when transferring a vehicle to another member state is one of the 20 problems Europeans complain the most about. On 20 March EP's internal market committee discussed with experts the Commission proposal to improve the situation.
MEPs on Wednesday sounded out EU Council president Herman Van Rompuy and Commission vice-president Maroš Šefčovič on the results of last week's EU summit. Economic policy and the EU's long term budget featured prominently, along with questions about Hungary and Syria. The Cypriot crisis took centre stage, with many MEPs highly critical of the Eurogroup's decisions and demanding clear information.