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Employment: MEPs to discuss plans to reinforce workers' rights 
Society 
 

The labour market has drastically changed in recent years due in part to the digital economy, leading to more temporary jobs and more people being treated as independent contractors. However, the EU is preparing legislation to reinforce workers' rights as part of the European pillar of social rights initiative. The European Commission will present the plans to MEPs on Wednesday 26 April. We asked two MEPs about the best ways to create fair working conditions for employees.

New rules to prevent further car emissions scandals        

Car emissions scandal: MEPs call for stricter and clearer oversight 
Society 
 

The European Commission and most EU countries failed to prevent car manufacturers from cheating emissions test, according to the final report by Parliament's inquiry committee investigating the car emissions scandal. It was set up in December 2015, a few months after Volkswagen admitted to falsifying test results in their diesel cars. In the report adopted on 4 April, MEPs propose a set of measures to prevent dishonest practices by car manufacturers in the future.

MEPs Elena Valenciano (S&D, ES) and Agustín Díaz de Mera (EPP, ES) told us how to address the situation on migration flows.        

Interview: working together to tackle migration and refugee flows 
Society 
 

Some 244 million people were living abroad in 2015, including more than 20 million refugees forced to leave their country due to conflicts or human rights violations. On 5 April MEPs vote on a report regarding migration movements. According to report authors Agustín Díaz de Mera and Elena Valenciano, migration flows are a global responsibility requiring a global response. Read on for an overview of the current situation and how Díaz de Mera and Valenciano believe it should be tackled.

Curbing Europe's appetite for palm oil        

Palm oil: the high cost of cultivating the cheap vegetable oil 
Society 
 

Palm oil is extensively used in food, cosmetics and biofuels, however the unsustainable production of the cheap vegetable oil leads to deforestation, loss of nature habitats and greenhouse gas emissions. MEPS vote on 4 April on a report by Czech GUE member Kateřina Konečná calling on the European Commission to take measures to ensure among others the phasing out of palm oil in biofuels by 2020 and a single certification scheme for palm oil entering the EU market.

Safety and welfare for the food chain        

From farm to fork: strengthening food checks in Europe 
Society 
 

Consumers are entitled to know that the food they buy and eat is safe, however food fraud cases such as the 2013 horsemeat scandal show that is not always the case. On Wednesday 15 March MEPs adopted new rules to tighten up official inspections throughout the food chain. We talked to Austrian S&D member Karin Kadenbach, the MEP responsible for steering the proposal through Parliament, about the benefits of the new legislation.

infographic illustration on waste management in the EU        

Waste management: MEPs to vote on plans to boost recycling rates 
Society 
 

MEPs vote Tuesday 14 March on four directives concerning waste management, mainly waste from households and small firms, representing 8% of total waste. These plans are a first step towards creating a circular economy where products are designed in order to facilitate reuse. One of the key issues is how ambitious targets should be for recycling rates and limiting landfilling, which is probably the most harmful way of getting rid of waste.