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Things we learnt in plenary: Ukraine, CO2 reductions, regulating tobacco

Plenary Session Article - Institutions28-02-2014 - 10:42
 

The situation in Ukraine was extensively debated by MEPs during February's second plenary session in Strasbourg that took place on 24-27 February. MEPs also approved measures to reduce CO2 emissiosn from new cars and vans and ways to discourage young people from taking up smoking. In addition Czech President Miloš Zeman visited the Parliament.


A minute’s silence for the victims of violent repression in Ukraine was observed at the opening of the session.


The Parliament secured a budget of €3.5 billion for the fund for the most deprived for the period of 2014-2020, despite member states wanting to cut it. The fund will provide food, basic material assistance and social welfare to the EU’s poorest.


EU countries should reduce demand for prostitution by penalising the clients, not the prostitutes, the Parliament said in a non-binding resolution.


A draft tobacco directive adopted by MEPs would require all cigarette packs to carry picture warnings covering 65% of their surface. E-cigarettes would be regulated either as medicinal products if they claim to help smokers quit, or as tobacco products.


Emergency call devices that automatically alert rescue services when the car crashes must be fitted to all new models of cars and light vans in the EU by October 2015, said MEPs.


New rules designed to cut  CO2 emissions to 95g/km for new cars by 2020 were endorsed by Parliament.


Rules to make it easier for national authorities to freeze and confiscate crooks' assets across the EU were approved by Parliament.


All websites managed by public sector bodies will have to be made accessible to everyone, including the elderly and the disabled, under a draft law endorsed by Parliament. More than 167 million Europeans have difficulties  accessing public websites to use online public services.


Clandestine migrants from the EU to Turkey or Turkey to the EU would have to be returned under an EU-Turkey “readmission” agreement signed by both parties in December and endorsed by Parliament this week.


MEPs approved new rules aiming to improve competition in the rail sector by giving new and/or small operators better access to rail infrastructure and simplifying complex authorisation procedures for putting trains on tracks.

REF. : 20140227STO37254