A reform of Europe's banking system, quicker aid for member states hit by natural disasters and stricter checks for workers posted abroad... It might have been the last plenary session before the European elections in May, but MEPs managed to approve many new laws that will benefit Europeans for years to come. Read on for an overview of the main legislative proposals that were adopted this week.

The EU is one step closer to a banking union after MEPs approved on Tuesday plans for winding down troubled banks and protecting deposits below €100,000. Banks, not tax payers, should bear the cost of propping up failing banks.

The EP backed on Tuesday a mandatory “made in” label indicating the country of origin for non-food products to replace the current voluntary system. This would make it easier to trace the origin of potentially dangerous or non-compliant goods.

With almost nine out of ten lightweight plastic bags thrown away after being used only once, the EP voted on Wednesday to reduce their use in the EU by 50% by 2017, and by 80% by 2019.

All EU residents, even if they are homeless, will be entitled to a bank account, providing access to basic payment services for a small fee or no fee at all, under new rules approved by the Parliament on Tuesday.

On Tuesday MEPs adopted rules to limit high-frequency trading, in which complex computer algorithms carry out huge amounts of trades in fractions of a second. This can cause stock market volatility and price fluctuations for small investors.

Member states hit by flooding or other natural disasters will get aid much faster after MEPs approved new rules for the EU Solidary Fund on Wednesday.

MEPs warned against the dangers of nationalism and emphasised the importance of a united and strong Europe for peace and stability during a debate on Wednesday to mark the First World War's centenary.

Europeans will be able to take their full pension rights with them when moving to another part of the EU, thanks to a proposal adopted by the Parliament on Tuesday.

Small investors would be entitled to receive key information on investment products in a short document to allow easy comparisons with other products, under rules approved by MEPs on Tuesday.

MEPs approved on Wednesday new laws to protect workers posted abroad and ensure that minimum employment rules are enforced in order to avoid unfair competition in the labour markets.