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Newsletter

13-05-2015 - 16:26
 
Contacts
 
 
 
 

Things we learnt in plenary: conflict minerals, migration, maternity leave

Plenary Session Institutions22-05-2015 - 09:37
 

MEPs approved measures to prevent proceeds from conflict minerals being used to fund armed conflicts and called on governments to break the deadlock on plans to harmonise maternity leave across Europe. They also debated measures to tackle irregular migrants coming to the EU during the plenary in Strasbourg on 18-21 May as well as green-lit tougher rules to prevent money laundering. Read on for an overview of the plenary. (Read more: Things we learnt in plenary: conflict minerals, migration, maternity leave )

 

Parliament urges EU member states to gear up for new security challenges now

Plenary Session External relations21-05-2015 - 12:56

Today’s unprecedented level of instability at EU borders demands that the EU and its member states shoulder more responsibility for their security and defence now, say MEPs in a resolution voted on Thursday. They urge member states to use Common Security and Defence Policy tools more effectively, improve the fit between external and internal security measures, and pool and share resources, so as to counter terrorism, fight organised crime, strengthen cyber-defence and cope with migration. (Read more: Parliament urges EU member states to gear up for new security challenges now )

 

Human rights: Zimbabwe; Thailand; Swaziland

Plenary Session Humanitarian aid / Development and cooperation21-05-2015 - 12:20

Parliament passed three resolutions on Thursday, calling for Zimbabwean human rights activist Itai Dzarana to be found immediately; the release of all political prisoners in Swaziland; protection for Rohingya asylum seekers and action against human trafficking in Thailand. (Read more: Human rights: Zimbabwe; Thailand; Swaziland )

 

Insolvency: throwing a lifeline to struggling companies

Plenary Session Justice and home affairs / Economic and monetary affairs21-05-2015 - 12:15
Insolvency proceedings  

Struggling companies will be given a second chance to improve their financial situation under new rules on insolvency approved by MEPs on 20 May. Every year 1.7 million jobs are lost in the EU due to companies going bankrupt. Under the new legislation on cross-border insolvencies, companies in financial difficulties but otherwise sound are given another opportunity to turn the situation around. The plans also include measures to help firms before they go bust. (Read more: Insolvency: throwing a lifeline to struggling companies )

 

Conflict minerals: MEPs ask for mandatory certification of EU importers

Plenary Session External/international trade20-05-2015 - 14:19
A group of boys pan for gold in a river on February 16, 2009 in Iga Barriere, 25 kms north of Bunia, north eastern Congo. DR Congo is rich in precious minerals such as diamonds and gold - but its people have gained little from this wealth because of conflict and bad government. ©BELGA_AFP_L.HEALING  

EU importers of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold for manufacturing consumer goods need to be certified by the EU to ensure that they do not fuel conflicts and human rights abuses in conflict areas, say MEPs in their position on a draft law adopted on Wednesday by 402 votes to 118, with 171 abstentions. (Read more: Conflict minerals: MEPs ask for mandatory certification of EU importers )

 

Olive trees: MEPs demand action to halt spread of killer bacteria

Plenary Session Agriculture20-05-2015 - 13:45

The EU must take effective measures to prevent the spread of Xylella fastidiosa bacteria beyond Italy, where it is severely damaging olive trees, says a resolution passed by Parliament on Wednesday. MEPs welcome EU import restrictions on plants from affected areas in third countries but say more may be needed. They also urge that growers be compensated for their losses, and suggest stepping up funding for research to combat the bacteria, which may attack other plants. (Read more: Olive trees: MEPs demand action to halt spread of killer bacteria )

 

FYROM: "The EU should act decisively to help stabilise the country"

Plenary Session Institutions / Enlargement20-05-2015 - 13:45
MEP Alojz PETERLE on FYROM  

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has been rocked by violence and mass demonstrations in recent days. This afternoon MEPs debate the situation in the country, which obtained EU candidate status in December 2005, with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini. Ahead of the debate we talked to Alojz Peterle, chair of Parliament's delegation to the Balkan country, to find out his views. (Read more: FYROM: "The EU should act decisively to help stabilise the country" )

 

Maternity leave: MEPs urge Council to restart talks

Plenary Session Women's rights/Equal opportunities20-05-2015 - 13:41
Maternity leave - illustration  

MEPs pressed the European Commission not to withdraw a draft EU directive on maternity leave, despite four years’ deadlock over it in the EU Council of Ministers, in a resolution voted on Wednesday. They also urged the ministers to resume talks and agree an official position. (Read more: Maternity leave: MEPs urge Council to restart talks )

 

EP 2016 calendar of plenary sessions approved

Plenary Session Institutions20-05-2015 - 12:56

The calendar of European Parliament part-sessions for 2016, tabled by the EP Conference of Presidents, was approved by MEPs on Wednesday. (Read more: EP 2016 calendar of plenary sessions approved )

 

Anneli Jäätteenmäki elected as a new EP vice-president

Plenary Session Institutions / Parliament's Rules of Procedure20-05-2015 - 12:36
The new Vice President Anneli JÄÄTTEENMÄKI has been elected today  

Anneli Jäätteenmäki (ALDE, FI) was elected in a secret ballot (Rule 15) as a new vice-president of the European Parliament on Wednesday, following the resignation of Olli Rehn (ALDE, FI), who was elected to the Finnish parliament in April. Fabio Massimo Castaldo (EFDD, IT) was also a candidate for the post. (Read more: Anneli Jäätteenmäki elected as a new EP vice-president )

 

Tougher rules on money laundering to fight tax evasion and terrorist financing

Plenary Session Justice and home affairs / Economic and monetary affairs20-05-2015 - 12:29
Money Laundry  

The ultimate owners of companies will have to be listed in central registers in EU countries, open both to the authorities and to people with a "legitimate interest", such as investigative journalists, under new rules already agreed with the Council and endorsed by Parliament on Wednesday. The new anti-money laundering directive aims to step up the fight against tax crimes and terrorist financing. New rules to make it easier to trace transfers of funds were also approved. (Read more: Tougher rules on money laundering to fight tax evasion and terrorist financing )

 

Migration: MEPs debate EU response

Plenary Session Justice and home affairs20-05-2015 - 12:15
European Parliament President Martin Schulz opened today debate on migration  

MEPs discussed on 20 May European Commission plans to tackle the large numbers of migrants seeking to reach the European Union, often risking their lives at sea. Commission vice president Frans Timmermans and migration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos announced a number of measures, including an emergency mechanism for relocating migrants, a resettlement scheme to take in migrants from countries outside the EU and more funds for securing borders. (Read more: Migration: MEPs debate EU response )

 

Ideas on Ethiopia, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Eastern Partnership

Plenary Session External relations20-05-2015 - 11:00

The situation in Ethiopia ahead of the 24 May parliamentary elections, the political crisis and killings in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and preparations for the 21-22 May Riga Eastern Partnership Summit will be discussed with Commissioner Christos Stylianides, the Latvian Presidency, and EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini, from 15.00 on Wednesday. (Read more: Ideas on Ethiopia, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Eastern Partnership )

 

Views on Hungary, fundamental rights and EU values

Plenary Session Fundamental rights19-05-2015 - 20:31

The situation in Hungary, following Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's remarks on the possibility of reinstating the death penalty there and the government’s public “consultation” on immigration, were debated by MEPs, Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans, Latvian State Secretary for European Affairs Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica for the Presidency of the EU Council of Ministers and Mr Orbán himself on Tuesday afternoon. (Read more: Views on Hungary, fundamental rights and EU values )

 

EU Agenda on Migration with Timmermans and Avramopoulos on Wednesday

Plenary Session Immigration19-05-2015 - 18:00

MEPs will give their views on the European Agenda on Migration presented on 13 May in a debate with Commission Vice-president Frans Timmermans, Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos and the Council Presidency on Wednesday at 9.00. (Read more: EU Agenda on Migration with Timmermans and Avramopoulos on Wednesday )

 

MEPs call for breakthrough on maternity leave

Plenary Session Social policy19-05-2015 - 15:10
 

Rules on maternity leave vary widely between EU countries, however plans to harmonise them have been blocked by national governments since 2008. Although the European Commission has threatened to withdraw its proposal, MEPs called on it to reconsider and on member states to resume negotiations in a resolution adopted on Wednesday 20 May. (Read more: MEPs call for breakthrough on maternity leave )

 

Digital single market: creating opportunities for European companies

Plenary Session Free movement of goods / Free movement of services / Information society19-05-2015 - 14:59
Debate on the digital single market  

Could creating a digital single market in the EU and removing barriers online help give a boost to European companies? The European Commission outlined its strategy on 6 May, while it will also feature on the agenda of the European Council on 25-26 June. Meanwhile the Parliament is planning to respond with an own-initiative report on the digital market. They debated the issue on 19 May, during which MEPs highlighted the challenges and potential benefits involved. (Read more: Digital single market: creating opportunities for European companies )

 

MEPs propose blueprint for safer healthcare

Plenary Session Public health19-05-2015 - 13:01
Patient Safety illustration  

Suggested ways to improve patient safety, including tackling growing resistance to human and veterinary antibiotics, using today’s treatments more responsibly and promoting innovation, are set out in a resolution voted on Tuesday. MEPs note that 8 - 12% of patients in EU hospitals suffer adverse events, such as healthcare-related infections, which are implicated in 37,000 deaths a year and place a heavy burden on limited health service budgets. (Read more: MEPs propose blueprint for safer healthcare )

 

Financing for development: EU countries to stick to foreign aid commitments

Plenary Session Development and cooperation19-05-2015 - 12:34

MEPs urged EU member countries to respect their Official Development Assistance (ODA) target of 0.7% of national income and to set timetables for reaching it by 2020 in a resolution adopted on Tuesday. They also stressed the need to mobilise domestic resources efficiently in developing countries as a key source of financing. (Read more: Financing for development: EU countries to stick to foreign aid commitments )

 

Situation in Hungary: debate on Tuesday afternoon with PM Viktor Orbán

Plenary Session Fundamental rights19-05-2015 - 11:00

MEPs will debate the situation in Hungary with Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans late on Tuesday afternoon. The debate follows Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's remarks on the possibility of reinstating capital punishment in Hungary and a public consultation on immigration launched by the Hungarian government. Mr. Orbán will also be present during the debate. (Read more: Situation in Hungary: debate on Tuesday afternoon with PM Viktor Orbán )

 

MEPs to discuss strategic choices for EU digital economy with Commissioner Ansip

Plenary Session Research and innovation / Information society18-05-2015 - 19:00

MEPs will give their views on the proposed digital single market strategy on Tuesday morning. The strategy includes measures to improve consumer and business access to digital goods and services across Europe, create better conditions and a level playing field for digital networks and innovative services to exploit the full growth potential of Europe's digital economy. The debate with digital agenda Commissioner Andrus Ansip will start around 10.00. (Read more: MEPs to discuss strategic choices for EU digital economy with Commissioner Ansip )

 

Opening of May session in Strasbourg

Plenary Session Institutions18-05-2015 - 18:31
European Parliament President Martin Schulz opening remarks of May 2015 plenary session  

President Schulz informed the House that the Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orbán, had asked to attend the debate on the situation in Hungary, scheduled for late afternoon on Tuesday. (Read more: Opening of May session in Strasbourg )

 

Benchmarks: restoring confidence in the financial markets

Plenary Session Economic and monetary affairs18-05-2015 - 13:21
House mortgage concept image © BELGA_EASYFOTOSTOCK  

Benchmarks are widely used to track market developments, however financial scandals involving benchmarks such as Libor and Eurobibor have shown that they are susceptible to manipulation.On 18 May MEPs debate new rules to ensure the full transparency of all benchmarks used in the EU and vote on them the next day. Dutch Alde member Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, who wrote the report with recommendations, said: “It is a major step forward in ensuring the future robustness and accuracy of benchmarks.” (Read more: Benchmarks: restoring confidence in the financial markets )

 
 
Plenary agenda
 
18-05-2015 -
17:00 - 23:00
Debates
 
 
Resumption of session and order of business
 
Indices used as benchmarks in financial instruments and financial contracts
Report:A8-0131/2015 ***I
Rapporteur: Cora van Nieuwenhuizen
ECON
 
Financing for development
Report:A8-0143/2015
Rapporteur: Pedro Silva Pereira
DEVE
 
Tobacco agreements
 
Rules on VAT and VAT mini one-stop shop (MOSS) for digital services, books and papers in the EU
 
One-minute speeches (Rule 163)
 
Short presentations of the following reports:
Safer healthcare in Europe
Report:A8-0142/2015
Rapporteur: Piernicola Pedicini
ENVI
Green growth opportunities for SMEs
Report:A8-0135/2015
Rapporteur: Philippe De Backer
ITRE
 
 
 
19-05-2015 -
09:00 - 11:50
Debates
 
 
Self-certification of importers of minerals and metals originating in conflict-affected and high-risk areas
Report:A8-0141/2015 ***I
Rapporteur: Iuliu Winkler
INTA
 
Decision adopted on the Digital Single Market
 
 
19-05-2015 -
12:00 - 14:00
VOTES followed by explanations of votes
 
 
Safeguard measures provided for in the Agreement with the Swiss Confederation
Report:A8-0145/2015 ***I
Rapporteur: Andrzej Duda
JURI
 
European Convention on the legal protection of services based on, or consisting of, conditional access
Report:A8-0071/2015 ***
Rapporteur: Pavel Svoboda
JURI
 
Request for the waiver of the parliamentary immunity of Viktor Uspaskich
Report:A8-0149/2015
Rapporteur: Laura Ferrara
JURI
 
Request for the waiver of the parliamentary immunity of Jérôme Lavrilleux
Report:A8-0152/2015
Rapporteur: Heidi Hautala
JURI
 
Request for the waiver of the parliamentary immunity of Janusz Korwin-Mikke
Report:A8-0150/2015
Rapporteur: Kostas Chrysogonos
JURI
 
Request for the waiver of the parliamentary immunity of Theodoros Zagorakis
Report:A8-0151/2015
Rapporteur: Andrzej Duda
JURI
 
Request for consultation of the European Economic and Social Committee on "Improving the Functioning of the European Union building on the potential of the Lisbon Treaty"
 
Request for consultation of the European Economic and Social Committee on "Possible evolutions and adjustments of the current institutional set up of the European Union"
 
Request for consultation of the Committee of the Regions on "Improving the Functioning of the European Union building on the potential of the Lisbon Treaty"
 
Request for consultation of the Committee of the Regions on "Possible evolutions and adjustments of the current institutional set up of the European Union"
 
Indices used as benchmarks in financial instruments and financial contracts
Report:A8-0131/2015 ***I
Rapporteur: Cora van Nieuwenhuizen
ECON
 
Financing for development
Report:A8-0143/2015
Rapporteur: Pedro Silva Pereira
DEVE
 
Safer healthcare in Europe
Report:A8-0142/2015
Rapporteur: Piernicola Pedicini
ENVI
 
Green growth opportunities for SMEs
Report:A8-0135/2015
Rapporteur: Philippe De Backer
ITRE
 
 
19-05-2015 -
15:00 - 23:00
Debates
 
 
Joint debate - CSDP (art.36 TEU)
Implementation of the Common Security and Defence Policy
Report:A8-0054/2015
Rapporteur: Arnaud Danjean
AFET
Financing the Common Security and Defence Policy
Report:A8-0136/2015
Rapporteur: Eduard Kukan
Rapporteur: Indrek Tarand
BUDG AFET
Security and defence capabilities in Europe
Report:A8-0159/2015
Rapporteur: Ana Gomes
AFET
 
Situation in Hungary
 
Joint debate - Money laundering
Prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing
Report:A8-0153/2015 ***II
Rapporteur: Judith Sargentini
Rapporteur: Krišjānis Kariņš
ECON LIBE
Information accompanying transfers of funds
Report:A8-0154/2015 ***II
Rapporteur: Timothy Kirkhope
Rapporteur: Peter Simon
ECON LIBE
 
Joint debate - Insolvency proceedings
Insolvency proceedings
Report:A8-0155/2015 ***II
Rapporteur: Tadeusz Zwiefka
JURI
Review and extension of the Commission recommendation of 12 March 2014 on a new approach to business failure and insolvency, with regard to family insolvency and second chances for individuals and households
 
Maternity leave
Report:O-000050/2015 European Commission FEMM
Report:O-000049/2015 Council of the European Union FEMM
 
UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
 
 
 
20-05-2015 -
09:00 - 11:50
Debates
 
 
European Agenda on Migration
 
 
20-05-2015 -
12:00 - 14:00
VOTES followed by explanations of votes
 
 
Election of a Vice-President of the European Parliament
 
Parliament's calendar of part-sessions – 2016
 
Trade, development and cooperation agreement with South Africa (Protocol to take account of the accession of Croatia)
Report:A8-0146/2015 ***
Rapporteur: Davor Ivo Stier
DEVE
 
Prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing
Report:A8-0153/2015 ***II
Rapporteur: Judith Sargentini
Rapporteur: Krišjānis Kariņš
ECON LIBE
 
Information accompanying transfers of funds
Report:A8-0154/2015 ***II
Rapporteur: Timothy Kirkhope
Rapporteur: Peter Simon
ECON LIBE
 
Insolvency proceedings
Report:A8-0155/2015 ***II
Rapporteur: Tadeusz Zwiefka
JURI
 
Self-certification of importers of minerals and metals originating in conflict-affected and high-risk areas
Report:A8-0141/2015 ***I
Rapporteur: Iuliu Winkler
INTA
 
Commission Delegated Directive ../…/EU amending, for the purposes of adapting to technical progress, Annex III to Directive 2011/65/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards an exemption for cadmium in illumination and display lighting applications"
 
Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No …/.. amending Regulation (EC) No 376/2008 as regards the obligation to present a licence for imports of ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin and repealing Regulation (EC) No 2336/2003 introducing certain detailed rules for applying Council Regulation (EC) No 670/2003 laying down specific measures concerning the market in ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin
 
Maternity leave
Report:O-000050/2015 European Commission FEMM
Report:O-000049/2015 Council of the European Union FEMM
 
UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
 
Outbreak of Xylella fastidiosa affecting olive trees
Report:O-000038/2015 European Commission AGRI
 
 
20-05-2015 -
15:00 - 23:00
Debates
 
 
2014 Progress Report on Turkey
 
Situation in Ethiopia
 
Situation in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
 
Eastern Partnership summit (21-22 May)
 
EU - CELAC summit (10-11 June)
 
Youth Employment Initiative
Report:O-000051/2015 Council of the European Union EMPL
 
Japanese whaling activities in the Antarctic
 
 
 
21-05-2015 -
08:30 - 12:00
Debates
 
 
Growth rates in EU and spring 2015 economic forecast
 
ACER - Human resources for monitoring wholesale energy markets
Report:O-000028/2015 European Commission ITRE
 
Debates on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law - One hour maximum (Rule 135)
Zimbabwe, the case of human rights defender Itai Dzamara
The plight of Rohingya refugees, including mass graves in Thailand
Swaziland, the case of human rights activists Thulani Maseko and Bheki Makhubu
 
 
21-05-2015 -
12:00 - 14:00
VOTES (or at the end of the preceding debates) 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)
 
Implementation of the Common Security and Defence Policy
Report:A8-0054/2015
Rapporteur: Arnaud Danjean
AFET
 
Financing the Common Security and Defence Policy
Report:A8-0136/2015
Rapporteur: Eduard Kukan
Rapporteur: Indrek Tarand
BUDG AFET
 
Security and defence capabilities in Europe
Report:A8-0159/2015
Rapporteur: Ana Gomes
AFET
 
2014 Progress Report on Turkey
 
 
 
Proposed report during the session
 
REPORT on Financing for Development
Reference: A8-0143/2015

Date:
27-04-2015
Pedro Silva Pereira
DEVE
 
 
REPORT on Financing for Development
Reference: A8-0143/2015

Date:
27-04-2015
Pedro Silva Pereira
DEVE
 
RECOMMENDATION FOR SECOND READING on the Council position at first reading with a view to the adoption of a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing, amending Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council, and repealing Directive 2005/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and Commission Directive 2006/70/EC
Reference: A8-0153/2015

Date:
11-05-2015
Judith Sargentini
Krišjānis Kariņš
ECON LIBE
 
 
RECOMMENDATION on the draft Council decision on the conclusion, on behalf of the European Union and its Member States, of the Additional Protocol to the Agreement on Trade, Development and Cooperation between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of South Africa, of the other part, to take account of the accession of the Republic of Croatia to the European Union
Reference: A8-0146/2015

Date:
28-04-2015
Davor Ivo Stier
DEVE
 
RECOMMENDATION FOR SECOND READING on the Council position at first reading with a view to the adoption of a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing, amending Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council, and repealing Directive 2005/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and Commission Directive 2006/70/EC
Reference: A8-0153/2015

Date:
11-05-2015
Judith Sargentini
Krišjānis Kariņš
ECON LIBE