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Things we learned in plenary: Paris attacks, GMOs, rotating presidencies

Plenary Session Institutions16-01-2015 - 09:31
 

The Parliament paid tribute to the victims of the terrorist attacks in Paris on Monday at the start of the January plenary. On the legislative side, MEPs approved a proposal to give member states more flexibility to restrict or ban GMOs on their territory, while they also debated the programme of the new Latvian presidency of the Council as well as the outcome of the Italian presidency that ended in December. (Read more: Things we learned in plenary: Paris attacks, GMOs, rotating presidencies )

 
 

European Ombudsman: transparency a key concern for citizens in 2013

Plenary Session Ombudsman15-01-2015 - 13:07

MEPs stress the citizen’s right to good administration, and endorse the European Ombudsman’s calls for more transparent policymaking and an information campaign on the TTIP talks, in a resolution voted on Thursday. They also reiterate that the Ombudsman has a crucial role in addressing citizens’ concerns and helping the EU institutions become more open, effective and citizen friendly. (Read more: European Ombudsman: transparency a key concern for citizens in 2013 )

 
 

MEPs voice concerns at attacks on media freedom and rule of law in Turkey

Plenary Session Human rights15-01-2015 - 13:02
Workers of the Zaman newspaper hold placards in Istambul  

MEPs condemn the police raids and arrests of journalists in Turkey in December in a resolution adopted on Thursday. They call on the Turkish government to address media freedom as a priority, recalling that "a free and pluralistic press is an essential component of any democracy" and pointing to the need to make progress with reforms in order to gain pre-accession funding. (Read more: MEPs voice concerns at attacks on media freedom and rule of law in Turkey )

 
 

Commission's 2015 work programme: no resolution adopted

Plenary Session Institutions15-01-2015 - 13:00

On Thursday MEPs voted on seven draft resolutions dedicated to the 2015 work programme setting out the Commission's priorities for the 12 months ahead. None of the resolutions won the necessary majority to be adopted. (Read more: Commission's 2015 work programme: no resolution adopted )

 
 

Ukraine: MEPs condemn terrorist acts and say sanctions against Russia must stay

Plenary Session External relations15-01-2015 - 12:58

EU sanctions against Russia should stay in place until it changes its aggressive policy in Ukraine, respects the ceasefire, withdraws its troops and stops supporting separatists, says Parliament in a resolution voted on Thursday. MEPs condemn “acts of terrorism” in Ukraine. urge the EU to come up with a plan to counter the Russian "information war" and help Ukraine to carry out reforms, cope with its humanitarian and health emergency and enhance its defence capabilities. (Read more: Ukraine: MEPs condemn terrorist acts and say sanctions against Russia must stay )

 
 

MEPs call for Italian marò accused of killing Indian fishermen to be repatriated

Plenary Session External relations15-01-2015 - 12:51

The European Parliament hopes that diplomatic dispute between Italy and India over the prosecution of two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen in 2012 during anti-piracy operations will soon be settled, under Italian jurisdiction and/or through international arbitration, it says in a resolution voted on Thursday. Members also called for the marines to be repatriated, as their detention without charge is a "serious breach of human rights". (Read more: MEPs call for Italian marò accused of killing Indian fishermen to be repatriated )

 
 

Human rights: The case of Alexei Navalny in Russia; Pakistan; Kyrgyzstan

Plenary Session External relations15-01-2015 - 12:48

Parliament passed three resolutions on Thursday: stressing that the convictions of Alexei Navalny and his brother were "based on unsubstantiated charges" and calling for the judicial proceedings to be "free of political interference"; condemning the "brutal massacre of schoolchildren" in Pakistan; and deeply concerned by the homosexual propaganda bill in Kyrgyzstan. (Read more: Human rights: The case of Alexei Navalny in Russia; Pakistan; Kyrgyzstan )

 
 

MEPs debate European Year for Development 2015

Plenary Session Development and cooperation15-01-2015 - 10:08

Plans for the European Year for Development (EYD2015), aiming to show how development cooperation benefits both rich and poor and help shape the global development agenda for the next 15 years, were debated in plenary on Wednesday with the High Representative Federica Mogherini and the Council. (Read more: MEPs debate European Year for Development 2015 )

 
 

Inquiries: putting the European ombudsman on the map

Plenary Session Ombudsman14-01-2015 - 20:00
infographic illustration  

EU institutions refusing to give access to documents is the most common complaint received by European ombudsman Emily O'Reilly, as revealed by her annual report for 2013. MEPs discuss the report on Thursday and vote on a resolution later that day. The document also revealed people and companies in Spain complain about maladministration by EU institutions the most, followed by Germany, Poland and Belgium. Check out our graphic to find out how many people from your country complained. (Read more: Inquiries: putting the European ombudsman on the map )

 
 

MEPs condemn Boko Haram massacres in Nigeria

Plenary Session Security and defence14-01-2015 - 19:29
Nigerian security inspect the scene of a bomb blast at the Jos Terminus Market,Nigeria  

MEPs strongly condemned the atrocities committed by Boko Haram in Nigeria and voiced their solidarity with the families of victims and the Nigerian people, in a debate with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on Wednesday. They also deplored the lack of international attention to the massacre committed in the city of Baga and called on the international community to help Nigeria to eradicate the causes of terrorism there. (Read more: MEPs condemn Boko Haram massacres in Nigeria )

 
 

Foreign policy: MEPs call for more European unity

Plenary Session External relations14-01-2015 - 18:14

The EU must be more united and more coordinated to face new challenges to its security, a majority of MEPs said in Wednesday's debate with Federica Mogherini on the EU's foreign, security and defence policies. Many said, following the Paris terrorist attacks, that internal and external policies must be coherent and called for more cooperation and intelligence- sharing between EU member countries. (Read more: Foreign policy: MEPs call for more European unity )

 
 

Security and jobs: MEPs debate priorities of the Latvian presidency

Plenary Session Institutions14-01-2015 - 12:33
Latvia's PM Laimdota Straujuma presents Latvian Presidency's priorities #eu2015lv at the European Parliament  

Increasing security, boosting growth, creating jobs, establishing a digital single market: Latvia will have plenty to do at the helm of the Council presidency the coming six months. Latvian Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma discussed her country's priorities during a debate in the European Parliament on 14 January. Some MEPs welcomed plans to focus on passenger name record legislation to improve security, while others stressed the importance of investment. (Read more: Security and jobs: MEPs debate priorities of the Latvian presidency )

 
 

Egypt: "We need to support the transition process"

Plenary Session Institutions14-01-2015 - 11:55
Streaming photo - Live from the EP  

The EU should help to stabilise the situation in Egypt where the political situation continues to be difficult, according to MEP Marisa Matias. The chair of the delegation for Mashreq countries, which includes Egypt, said: "We need to support the transition process and the EU could propose itself as an intermediary." MEPs discuss the situation in Egypt with EU foreign chief Federica Mogherini on Wednesday and vote on a resolution Thursday. They will also discuss the situation in Nigeria. (Read more: Egypt: "We need to support the transition process" )

 
 

Security and 'Juncker Plan' at heart of debate with Council president Tusk

Plenary Session European Council13-01-2015 - 18:37
Newly-elected European Council President Donald Tusk attends his first EP plenary debate on the outcome of December summit  

"The European Strategic Investment Plan is not the silver bullet. But if anyone has ideas to overcome the economic crisis with one stroke, stand up please," said European Council President Donald Tusk in the debate on the results of the December European Council, which also covered tax avoidance and — in the wake of the Paris attacks — security and passenger name records. (Read more: Security and 'Juncker Plan' at heart of debate with Council president Tusk )

 
 

Secret service surveillance of lawyers in the EU

Plenary Session Fundamental rights13-01-2015 - 18:30

Reports alleging tapping by some member states' secret services of phone calls between lawyers and their clients were raised by MEPs in a debate with Latvian Secretary of State for European Affairs Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica and Commissioner Vĕra Jourová on Tuesday evening. (Read more: Secret service surveillance of lawyers in the EU )

 
 

Frédérique Ries: It should not be up to courts to decide on GMO bans

Plenary Session Environment / Public health13-01-2015 - 17:50
Interview with Frederique Ries  

Legislation should be decided by lawmakers, not courts, according to Frédérique Ries. On 13 January MEPs approved new rules enabling member states to restrict or ban the cultivation of GMOs, even if approved by the EU. Ries, a Belgian member of the ALDE group who steered the proposal through the EP, said the changes were needed as countries kept being taken to court to justify why they had banned a certain GMO crop: " I don't think it's a good idea that legislation is being created by courts." (Read more: Frédérique Ries: It should not be up to courts to decide on GMO bans )

 
 

Debate on the smuggling of migrants in the Mediterranean

Plenary Session Immigration13-01-2015 - 16:30
Syrian refugees who were rescued off the coast of North Cyprus look out of a bus at a port in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) in Kyrenia  

MEPs discussed the recent cases of migrants smuggled in cargo ships from Turkey to Italy and abandoned at sea by the crew and other incidents in the Mediterranean with Commissioner Avramopoulos on Tuesday evening. The new routes used by smugglers, the role of the EU border agency Frontex, legal channels of migration to the EU and a comprehensive approach to migration came under the spotlight. (Read more: Debate on the smuggling of migrants in the Mediterranean )

 
 

Matteo Renzi: "We should not invest in fear, but in a future for our children"

Plenary Session Institutions13-01-2015 - 14:30
Matteo Renzi  

Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi pleaded in favour of focussing on investment rather than austerity to revive Europe's economy in a speech at the European Parliament, where he was for a review of his country's presidency of the Council over the last six months. "In recent year Europe gave the impression of being too focussed on the economy, on constraints and parameters: this was a mistake," he said. (Read more: Matteo Renzi: "We should not invest in fear, but in a future for our children" )

 
 

Debate: “Libya is at risk of becoming a failed state"

Plenary Session Delegations13-01-2015 - 14:05
Libyans wave the national flag as they gather at Martyrs' Square  

Almost four years after the beginning of the Libyan uprising, rival political groups and armed militias continue to fight for power. MEPs will debate the deteriorating situation in the country with EU foreign chief Federica Mogherini on Tuesday afternoon and vote on a resolution on Thursday. “Libya is at risk of becoming a failed state," said Pier Antonio Panzeri, the chair of the delegation for relations with the Maghreb countries, ahead of the plenary debate. Follow it live on our website. (Read more: Debate: “Libya is at risk of becoming a failed state" )

 
 

Parliament backs GMO opt-out for EU member states

Plenary Session Environment13-01-2015 - 13:24
Golden ears of wheat  

New legislation to allow EU member states to restrict or ban the cultivation of crops containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on their own territory, even if this is allowed at EU level, was passed by MEPs on Tuesday. The legislation, informally agreed by Parliament and Council in December, was originally tabled in 2010 but was then deadlocked for four years due to disagreement between pro- and anti-GMO member states. (Read more: Parliament backs GMO opt-out for EU member states )

 
 

Auschwitz was "the worst breakdown of civilization in human history" says Schulz

Plenary Session Institutions13-01-2015 - 10:14
A picture of inmates behind barbed wire taken in 1945 when the concentration camp of Auschwitz was liberated in Poland  

Commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, European Parliament President Martin Schulz said that "Jews in Europe still fear for their safety today. That is something that must frighten us and we need to resist that fear”. Referring to last week’s attacks on Charlie Hebdo magazine, police officers and a Jewish supermarket in Paris, he added that “We need to ensure that this hatred does not become contagious". (Read more: Auschwitz was "the worst breakdown of civilization in human history" says Schulz )

 
 

EP pays tribute to victims of Paris terrorist attacks

Plenary Session Institutions12-01-2015 - 20:15
A minute of silence in the European Parliament hemicycle to pay triubute to the victims of Paris terrorism attacks #JeSuisCharlie  

“Violence with Kalashnikovs will not make us downgrade our European values”, promised Parliament President Martin Schulz, naming the 17 people killed in last week’s attacks on Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket. After a minute’s silence, Parliament’s political groups paid their tributes too. Several saw the outpouring of solidarity demonstrated by millions of citizens across Europe and worldwide as a renaissance and reaffirmation of Europe’s core values. (Read more: EP pays tribute to victims of Paris terrorist attacks )

 
 

Members to review Italian Presidency achievements

Plenary Session Institutions12-01-2015 - 20:00

Members will review the work of the Italian Presidency of the Council with Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Tuesday starting at around 9.10. (Read more: Members to review Italian Presidency achievements )

 
 

House pays tribute to Philip Bradbourn and Leo Tindemans

Plenary Session Institutions12-01-2015 - 18:30

President Schulz opened the normal business of the January session, following the statements and minute's silence marking last week's terrorist attacks in Paris, with a tribute to UK MEP Philip Bradbourn, who died on 19 December, and to Belgian statesman Leo Tindemans, who died on 26 December. This was followed by a minute's silence in their memory. (Read more: House pays tribute to Philip Bradbourn and Leo Tindemans )

 
 
 
Plenary agenda
 
12-01-2015 -
17:00 - 19:00
Debates
 
 
Resumption of session and order of business
 
One-minute speeches (Rule 163)
 
 
 
13-01-2015 -
09:00 - 12:20
Debates
 
 
70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz
 
Review of the Italian Presidency
 
Possibility for the Member States to restrict or prohibit the cultivation of GMOs
Report:A8-0038/2014 ***II
Rapporteur: Frédérique Ries
ENVI
 
 
13-01-2015 -
12:30 - 14:30
VOTES followed by explanations of votes
 
 
Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the EU and São Tomé and Príncipe: fishing opportunities and financial contribution
Report:A8-0061/2014 ***
Rapporteur: João Ferreira
PECH
 
EU-Seychelles Agreement on access for fishing vessels to waters of Mayotte
Report:A8-0055/2014 ***
Rapporteur: Alain Cadec
PECH
 
Protocol to the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement between the EC and Tunisia, to take account of the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the EU
Report:A8-0049/2014 ***
Rapporteur: Elmar Brok
AFET
 
Request for consultation of the European Economic and Social Committee on "Implementation of the 2011 White Paper on Transport: taking stock and way forward towards sustainable mobility"
 
Possibility for the Member States to restrict or prohibit the cultivation of GMOs
Report:A8-0038/2014 ***II
Rapporteur: Frédérique Ries
ENVI
 
Provisions for fishing in the GFCM (General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean) Agreement area
Report:A8-0057/2014 ***I
Rapporteur: Gabriel Mato
PECH
 
 
13-01-2015 -
15:00 - 23:00
Debates
 
 
Conclusions of the European Council meeting (18 December 2014)
 
Situation in Libya
 
Recent human smuggling incidents in the Mediterranean
 
Women on company boards
 
European measures to fight against organised crime and corruption
 
Surveillance of lawyers in the EU
 
 
 
14-01-2015 -
09:00 - 11:50
Debates
 
 
Programme of activities of the Latvian Presidency
 
 
14-01-2015 -
15:00 - 23:00
Debates
 
 
Main aspects and basic choices of the common foreign and security policy and the common security and defence policy (Article 36 TEU)
 
Recent atrocities in Northern Nigeria
 
Situation in Ukraine
 
Launch of the European Year for Development
 
Situation in Egypt
 
The case of the two Italian "Marò"
 
 
 
15-01-2015 -
09:00 - 11:50
Debates
 
 
Ombudsman's annual report 2013
Report:A8-0058/2014
Rapporteur: Jarosław Wałęsa
PETI
 
Debates on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law (Rule 135)
Russia, in particular the case of Alexey Navalny
Pakistan, in particular the situation following the Peshawar school attack
Kyrgyzstan: homosexual propaganda bill
 
 
15-01-2015 -
12:00 - 14:00
VOTES followed by explanations of votes
 
 
Motions for resolutions concerning debates on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law (Rule 135)
 
Ombudsman's annual report 2013
Report:A8-0058/2014
Rapporteur: Jarosław Wałęsa
PETI
 
Situation in Libya
 
Situation in Ukraine
 
Situation in Egypt
 
The case of the two Italian "Marò"
 
Commission work programme 2015
 
Freedom of expression in Turkey: Recent arrests of journalists, media executives and systematic pressure against media
 
 
 
Proposed report during the session
 
RECOMMENDATION on the draft Council decision on the conclusion, on behalf of the European Union and its Member States, of a protocol to the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Tunisia, of the other part, to take account of the accession of the Republic of Bulgaria and Romania to the European Union
Reference: A8-0049/2014

Date:
04-12-2014
Elmar Brok
AFET