Commission President José Manuel Barroso delivered his State of the Union address and debated with MEPs about the EU's future. In response to the use of chemical weapons in Syria, MEPs called for a coordinated EU approach, not excluding deterrent measures if political and diplomatic ones fail. They also approved tougher sanctions for insider trading and called for a cap on the use of traditional biofuels. The EP also launched its information campaign for the European elections in May 2014.
In the debate following Mr Barroso's State of the Union speech in the plenary, MEPs stressed the need to restore confidence in the EU and outlined priorities they feel need to be addressed. President Martin Schulz then discussed the future of the EU with our fans on Facebook.
The EP has launched its information campaign ahead of the European elections in May 2014 to show how EU decisions influence everyday life and to say that it is up to voters to decide which direction the EU should go.
In a resolution voted on Thursday, MEPs condemned the use of chemical weapons in Syria . It was a war crime and a crime against humanity, which demands a clear, strong, targeted and united response, not excluding eventual deterrent measures if the political and diplomatic measures fail. MEPs also called on Egypt to end the state of emergency and release all political prisoners, including former president Morsi.
MEPs adopted legislation on banking supervision , tasking the European Central Bank with the supervision of 150 of the eurozone's biggest banks from September 2014.
In a bid to ease pressure on farmable land and food prices, MEPs called for a speedy switchover to new biofuels from alternative sources such as seaweed and waste.
MEPs voted for tougher sanctions for market abuse and insider trading in all member states on Tuesday. Convicted companies could be fined up to 15% of their annual turnover.
Home buyers taking out a mortgage could be better protected from rising repayments, if new rules approved on Tuesday are finalised.
Quality standards for pay and working conditions for traineeships should prevent that trainees get exploited, said MEPs in a resolution.
Outgoing European Ombudsman Nikiforos Diamandouros presented his 2012 annual report on Thursday. In his opinion the EU administration has become more transparent and citizen-friendly over the past few years. The new ombudsman, Emily O'Reilly, starts her term in October.
MEPs called for equal property rights for registered partners and married couples.The resolution defines rules for identifying which national law applies and which court has jurisdiction in property disputes when an international marriage or registered partnership ends.