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Things we learnt in plenary: Ukraine, data protection, Troika

Plenary Session Article - Institutions14-03-2014 - 11:34
 

The crisis in Ukraine and an update of EU data protection legislation were two of the main topics during the March plenary session in Strasbourg. MEPs also concluded the assessment of the Troika's work during the financial crisis and adopted tougher rules to fight money laundering. Meanwhile, the campaign for the European elections on 22-25 May is heating up as the political parties name their candidates.


The Russian invasion of Crimea is a breach of international law, the referendum to be held on March 16 illegal, and actions taken by the Kremlin “a threat to EU security”, MEPs said in a resolution approved on Thursday. They urge Russia to withdraw its military forces immediately.


The right to have private information erased as well stronger safeguards when transferring data to countries outside the EU are part of the data protection reform approved by MEPs on Wednesday. MEPS also warned that the free trade deal with the US will be endangered if NSA mass surveillance doesn't stop.


Two Troika reports were adopted in plenary on Thursday as members endorsed their assessment of how the adjustment programmes from the group of international lenders affected the economies and societies of the bailout countries.


MEPs rejected a proposal on the handling of nanomaterial food additives, seeking stronger consumer protection, and also opposed new marketing rules for seeds, saying they do not give EU countries enough flexibility to adapt the rules to their needs.


Tougher anti money laundering rules were approved on Tuesday to help combat tax evasion and better identify suspicious transactions. A public EU register will list company owners, while banks and financial institutions would have to report suspicious transactions.


A European Commission report on the progress of equality between women and men in the European Union in 2012 was rejected by MEPs on Tuesday.


On Wednesday, MEPs approved a ban on fluorinated gases in new air-conditioning units and fridges by 2022-2025. Overall, the use of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) greenhouse gases is to be reduced by 79% by 2030, as they have a greenhouse effect up to 23,000 times greater than CO2.


Mobile phone manufacturers are encouraged to introduce a universal charger for environmental and practical reasons, the EP agreed on Thursday


MEPs updated EU rules for vehicle testing, improving road safety and ensuring cross-border recognition of roadworthiness certificate.


People from all over the EU tell us why they think it important to vote in the European elections in a series of videos prepared for the final stage of the EP's communication campaign ahead of the European elections on 22-25 May. Several European political parties have already named their candidates for the European Commission presidency.

REF. : 20140313STO38908