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A Maltese policeman carries a child rescued by the Armed forces of Malta at Hay Wharf in Valletta on October 12, 2013. More than 140 survivors, plucked from the sea after their overloaded boat sank in the latest deadly migrant tragedy to hit the Mediterranean, arrived in Malta. The sinking killed more than 30, most of them women and children, when the boat packed with people desperate to reach European shores went down off Malta near the Italian island of Lampedusa, according to officials. ©BELGA/AFP/M.Mirabelli  

Asylum applications in the EU were up by some 100,000 in 2013 compared to the year before, while at least 600 people are believed to have died while trying to reach Europe via maritime routes. MEPs will discuss the latest developments on 24 September when the European Commission presents the latest annual report on immigration and asylum to the civil liberties committee. The report stressed that the EU needed to do more on immigration, asylum and the smuggling and trafficking of human beings. (Read more: Dying to get to Europe: 430,000 asylum seekers a year make their way to EU )


Sakharov Prize 2014: Meet the nominees

Others Human rights23-09-2014 - 11:13
Sakharov Prize 2014: Meet the nominees  

They may have different jobs - gynaecologist, religious leader, journalist – but they all share a commitment to defending human rights. The nominations for the Parliament’s 2014 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought will be formally presented on Tuesday 23 September at a joint meeting of the foreign affairs and development committees and the human rights subcommittee. Follow the meeting live from 16.15 CET. The winner will be announced in October. (Read more: Sakharov Prize 2014: Meet the nominees )


Live on Monday: Mario Draghi discusses monetary policy with economic committee

Others Institutions / Economic and monetary affairs22-09-2014 - 12:12
Streaming photo - Live from the EP  

Mario Draghi, head of the European Central Bank (ECB), will discuss the euro zone's monetary policies with the economic committee this Monday, starting 15.00 CET. The two-hour meeting will focus on the ECB's latest offer of cheap loans to banks and on the inflation differentials among the euro zone members. The quarterly monetary dialogue between Draghi and MEPs will be shown live on the Parliament website (Read more: Live on Monday: Mario Draghi discusses monetary policy with economic committee )

EP building in Brussels  

MEPs meet in committee this week to prepare legislation on data protection, regional policy and discuss the annual report on immigration and asylum. They will also prepare the hearings for the new European Commission taking place from 29 September to 7 October. The nominees for the Sakharov Prize will be presented to three committees on Tuesday. On the same day EP president Martin Schulz will meet Portugal's prime minister Pedro Passos Coelho in Lisbon. (Read more: EP this week: CO2 emissions, Sakharov Prize, preparation Commission hearings )


The candidate commissioners as presented by incoming Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, will be scrutinised by the European Parliament committees from 29 September to 7 October. Members will evaluate candidates' suitability before the full house votes on the proposed Commission. The leaders of the political groups have agreed on Thursday on the format and programme for the public hearings. (Read more: Public hearings of commissioners-candidate: format and schedule )

Anne Fotyga  

As countries all over the world discuss how they can work together to tackle the threat posed by ISIS, MEPs will debate on 17 September what the EU can do to improve the situation in the Middle East. Anna Fotyga, a Polish member of the ECR group and chair of the security and defence subcommittee, shared her views with us ahead of the debate, adding that she expects a tough hearing for Federica Mogherini, the EU's incoming foreign affairs chief. (Read more: "We have an asymmetric war against western society coming from all directions" )


Youth unemployment: how successful were measures to boost the job market?

Others Youth / Employment policy16-09-2014 - 17:31

Are measures to help reduce youth unemployment working? MEPs will assess the progress of two key programmes - the European Youth Guarantee and the Youth Employment Initiative - with the Council and the Commission on Wednesday 17 September. This evaluation is sorely needed considering as many as 5.2 million young people were out of work in the EU in May. Check out the graph to see how unemployment evolved in the UK, Ireland and the EU over the last 15 years. (Read more: Youth unemployment: how successful were measures to boost the job market? )

EU ombudsman Emily O'Reilly handing over her annual report to EP President Martin Schulz  

“You have to be able to persuade, coax and cajole sometimes reluctant institutions to change long-standing mind-sets or to be more open in their decision making," said European ombudsman Emily O'Reilly. "This is where being an ombudsman can seem more like an art than a science." Elected by MEPs in July 2013, the former Irish national ombudsman is the first female European ombudsman. We talked to her about her first year in office. (Read more: Emily O'Reilly: “Being an ombudsman can seem more like an art than a science” )


Historic vote: EU–Ukraine agreement approved in Strasbourg and Kiev

Others Enlargement / External relations16-09-2014 - 15:29
EU_Ukraine Agreement picture  

The signing of agreements is rarely accompanied by applause, shouting and the flashing of victory signs, but this one was years in the making and responsible for a major change in European affairs. Many MEPs were quick to show their joy when the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement was ratified simultaneously by the Ukrainian and European Parliaments on Tuesday 16 September, the first time in the EU's history that such a vote took place at the same time in the EP. (Read more: Historic vote: EU–Ukraine agreement approved in Strasbourg and Kiev )


Import ban: how Russian measures are affecting European companies

Others External/international trade15-09-2014 - 15:01

European companies are still reeling from the impact of a Russian import ban on EU, US, Canadian, Australian, and Norwegian products such as meat, fruit and vegetables. Russia introduced the ban on 7 August in retaliation to EU measures triggered by the Ukrainian crisis and the downing of the Malaysia Airlines MH17 plane. MEPs will debate the impact on Monday 15 September. Check out our map to see which countries will be affected the most and follow the debate live from 17.00 CET. (Read more: Import ban: how Russian measures are affecting European companies )