Plenary highlights: single-use plastics, water quality, border management, antibiotics 


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Improving drinking water quality, limiting the use of antibiotics on farm animals and a ban on plastic straws and cutlery were among the highlights of this week’s plenary session.

To tackle marine littering, single-use plastic items such as cutlery, plates and straws will be banned in the EU by 2021. Check out our interview with MEP Frédérique Ries to learn more about Wednesday’s vote.

On Tuesday, Parliament backed new rules to improve the quality of drinking water and promote drinking tap water.

An update of the Schengen Information System was approved by MEPs on Wednesday. The upgraded system will contribute to the EU’s fight against terrorism, cross-border crime and irregular migration.

On Thursday MEPs voted in favour of setting stricter limits on the use of antibiotics on farm animals to fight against antimicrobial resistance and keep drug-resistant bacteria out of our food.

Also on Thursday, MEPs called on Facebook to allow EU authorities to run a thorough investigation in order to ensure that users’ personal data are respected. The measures are a follow-up to the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

EU countries will need to change from time-based road charges to distance-based charges in order to guarantee road users are treated equally and to reach CO2 emission reduction targets in the transport sector, according to new rules approved by MEPs on Thursday.

MEPs strongly condemned the torture and killing of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi and called on those responsible to be brought to justice, in a resolution adopted on Thursday.

On Wednesday, Parliament reversed cuts proposed by the Council to the draft EU budget for 2019. MEPs want to boost funding for the Erasmus+ programme, as well as additional resources for dealing with migration and promoting innovation.

Members criticised the lack of progress made by EU leaders at last week’s Council summit on migration, internal security and Brexit, while on Tuesday Romanian President Klaus Iohannis called for “unity, cohesion, solidarity and for one common European voice” in a debate on the future of Europe.

Oleg Sentsov was announced as this year's Sakharov Prize laureate, following a decision by Parliament President Antonio Tajani and the political group leaders on 25 October. The prize will be awarded on 12 December