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Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs will meet Ukraine’s foreign minister Pavlo Klimkin at 15.00 in Brussels today to discuss developments in Ukraine following the recent legislative elections there and amidst the lasting crisis in the east of the country. The meeting takes place in room József Antall 2Q2. (Read more: MEPs to debate situation in Ukraine with foreign minister Pavlo Klimkin today )

 

The European Parliament deplores the fact that, almost at the end of the 21-day conciliation period, the Council is still ignoring the urgent need to deliver a budget for the EU and is instead completely preoccupied with its own disputes over the member states’ GNI contributions for 2014. Parliament will give the Council extra time to come up with its stance and will resume talks on deadline day on Monday 17 November. (Read more: Parliament gives Council extra time to sort out its position on the EU budget )

 

MEPs pave the way for European Year for Development 2015

DEVE Development and cooperation12-11-2014 - 10:17

The designation of 2015 as European Year for Development (EYD), with the motto “Our world, our future, our dignity”, coined by MEPs, is an opportunity that must be taken to raise citizens’ awareness of the EU's contribution to fighting hunger and eradicating poverty worldwide, said MEPs on Tuesday afternoon, in their first debate on possible EYD activities. The EYD must also anchor “development thinking” in institutions around the world, they added. (Read more: MEPs pave the way for European Year for Development 2015 )

 

Giving the European Union a budget must take priority over redistributing resources to EU member states, said Budgets Committee MEPs on Tuesday, after a third fruitless effort to engage the Council of Ministers in budgetary negotiations within the official deadline. MEPs want the most urgent bills for 2014 to be settled before discussing the 2015 budget, but the Council has yet to agree even on the first budget top up, proposed by the European Commission as long ago as May. (Read more: EU budget: first 2014, then 2015, say Budgets Committee MEPs )

 
Green wheat and yellow colza fields © BELGA_PHOTONONSTOP  

Long-awaited draft plans to allow EU member states to restrict, or ban, the cultivation of crops containing genetically modified organisms on their own territory even if it is allowed at EU level won the support of the Environment Committee on Tuesday. MEPs voted to remove the Council-backed idea of a phase of negotiations with the GMO company, and supported plans to allow member states to ban GMO crops on environmental grounds. (Read more: Environment Committee backs flexibility for EU countries to ban GMO crops )

 

MEPs debate plans to use EU Passenger Name Record (PNR) data to fight terrorism

LIBE Justice and home affairs11-11-2014 - 14:48
Airport: Belgian passport and boarding card.  

A draft law that would oblige airlines to hand EU countries the data of passengers entering or leaving the EU, in order to help fight serious crime and terrorism, was discussed in the Civil Liberties Committee on Tuesday. MEPs were still divided on the issue, but most stressed the need to assess the European Court of Justice ruling annulling the data retention directive, to assess whether existing measures suffice before taking new ones and to put in place adequate data protection safeguards. (Read more: MEPs debate plans to use EU Passenger Name Record (PNR) data to fight terrorism )

 

Climate change talks: MEPs chart the course from Lima to Paris

ENVI Environment05-11-2014 - 18:11
Official logo of the COP20, UN Climate Change Conference in Lima  

Talks to be held in Lima next month should enable global partners to reach an ambitious climate agreement in Paris in 2015, so as to keep the world on track for a sub-2°C climate warming scenario, said the Environment Committee in a resolution voted on Wednesday. MEPs reiterated the pledge by the EU and its member states to step up contributions to the UN Green Climate Fund so as to mobilise USD 100 billion per year by 2020, and called on other donors to play their part too. (Read more: Climate change talks: MEPs chart the course from Lima to Paris )

 

EU accounts should measure the achievements of EU-funded projects, and not just payment errors, said Budgetary Control Committee MEPs debating the European Court of Auditors (ECA) annual report on EU spending in 2013 on Wednesday. Data from member states on how they spend EU funds are too often unreliable, they added. The ECA presentation marks the start of the 2013 "discharge” exercise in which Parliament vets spending. The overall error rate in 2013 was 4.7%, slightly down on 2012. (Read more: Measure EU spending results, not just payment errors, say budgetary control MEPs )

 

The EU should make available aid worth €8.8 million to help find or create new jobs for workers made redundant by fashion retailer Sprider Stores in Greece and jewellery maker Andersen Ireland Limited in Ireland, recommended the Budgets Committee on Tuesday. The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) aid still has to be approved by Parliament as a whole and the Council of Ministers. (Read more: EU job-search aid for former workers at Greek retailer and Irish jeweller )

 

MEPs to debate Colombia’s peace process with President Santos

AFET External relations04-11-2014 - 12:00

Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs and Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos Calderón will debate its peace process with the FARC on Tuesday at 16:30. The EU visa waiver for Colombian citizens is also likely to be raised. (Read more: MEPs to debate Colombia’s peace process with President Santos )