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"When freedom of the press ends, so does democracy."        

“When freedom of the press ends, so does democracy. We've seen this in the past,” said MEP Jaromír Štětina. The Czech member of the EPP group is a former journalist who lost his job during the Prague Spring back in 1968 when the Warsaw Pact armies invaded Czechoslovakia. He has been a member of the European Parliament since 2014. On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, we asked him about the importance of free media. Watch our video to find out what he had to say.

Turkey's bid to join the EU under unprecedented strain        

From trade to Nato, the EU and Turkey have enjoyed a productive relationship in many domains for decades. However, recently relations have turned frosty as concerns mount over the state of democracy in the country with media outlets being closed and journalists being jailed. MEPs also keep a close eye on developments and wonder if it may not be time to rethink how the EU cooperates with Turkey. Read on for an overview of the options.

Mauritania/Malian refugee/ Fati, 13, poses for a picture in Mbera refugee camp, 50 km away from the Mali border, on Wednesday 13/02/13. Fati arrived to the camp in October 2012, when she was six months pregnant along with her husband. Few weeks after their arrival, her husband left for Nouakchott, Mauritania's capital, to look for a job. UNHCR staff observed several cases of child marriages and forced marriages in the camp. This category needs additional support and protection. ©UNHCR/B.Malum        

One in every three girls in developing countries is married before turning 18, and one in nine before 15. Child marriages limit future prospects as children are usually forced to drop out of school. Girls also face dangerous complications from pregnancy and childbirth, the leading causes of death among adolescent girls in developing countries. They are also at great risk from suffering abuse. On 11 April Parliament's women's rights and human rights subcommittee discussed the issue with experts.

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A visa-free regime for Ukrainians travelling to the EU is just the latest step in the European Parliament’s continued support of Ukraine. The Parliament has consistently shown solidarity by condemning Russia’s military involvement and illegal annexation of Crimea and promoting political and economic reforms.