MEPs voted to make the recognition of official documents easier in another EU member state during the 3-6 February plenary session, backed rules to punish manipulators of financial markets and urged an EU-wide strategy to combat homophobia and protect the rights of LGBTI people. Addressing the European Parliament, Italian president Giorgio Napolitano warned about the dangers of nationalism. Read on for more highlights of February's first plenary session.
Italian president Giorgio Napolitano was received with full honours by Parliament on Wednesday. Addressing the chamber, he reminded Europeans of the need “to fight against national egoism and anachronistic conservatism”.
MEPs called for an EU strategy to protect the fundamental rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people, in a resolution adopted on Tuesday 4 February. According to a EU-wide survey last year, 47% of LGBTI people have felt discriminated against. Such strategies already exist for the Roma and people with disabilities.
The EU and its member states should impose travel sanctions and freeze the EU assets of those personally responsible for Ukrainian protesters getting killed, MEPs said in a resolution approved on Thursday. In another text they criticised Russia for exerting economic and political pressure on the EU's eastern neighbours.
To make moving abroad in the EU easier, MEPs approved on Tuesday plans to establish EU standard forms for events such as births, deaths and marriages in order to reduce or eliminate the need for official translations or certified copies.
People manipulating the financial markets will face lengthy jail sentences throughout the EU, under draft rules approved on Tuesday to restore confidence in the EU's financial markets and better protect investors.
Taxpayers should not bear the cost of bank failures, Parliament said in a resolution amid ongoing negotiations with member states on the creation of a true EU banking union.
Parliament has backed new rules to ensure stranded passengers receive fair compensation. In the EU, only 2% of passengers get compensation after filing a complaint.
It will be easier for online providers to get licences to stream music across Europe, under new rules approved on Tuesday. They should also stimulate the development of online music services and ensure that artists' rights are better protected.
Seasonal workers from outside the EU will be entitled to better working and living conditions, under rules approved Wednesday. More than 100,000 seasonal workers from outside the EU are employed in the EU every year.
MEPs approved a revised partnership between Greenland, Denmark and the EU to use natural resources in a sustainable way and preserve the fragile Arctic ecosystem. They also approved a regulation to consider Greenland as a part of the EU when it comes to diamond trading.