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Alejandro Cercas  

The European Parliament started an open discussion on LinkedIn in December on a draft report on the social aspects of Troika policies in bailout countries, with the goal of involving ordinary people and including their concerns. After three months of direct consultations, Alejandro Cercas, a Spanish member of the S&D group, wrote a report, which MEPs adopted on 13 March. We spoke to him to find out his impressions about this social media experiment. (Read more: The social media experience: Cercas on how people contributed to Troika report)

 
 

Industry MEPs call it a day on roaming charges

Others Information society18-03-2014 - 15:15
 

Making a call or sending an email from a mobile phone abroad would cost the same as doing so at home starting 15 December 2015, under proposals adopted by the Parliament's industry committee on 18 March. Before the new rules can enter into force, they will still need to be approved by both the European Parliament and the Council. Since 2007 the EU has been gradually reducing roaming charges. Find out more about it in our chart. (Read more: Industry MEPs call it a day on roaming charges)

 
 

ACP- EU meeting: migration, terrorism, fight against Aids

Others External relations17-03-2014 - 15:27
ACP-EU meeting helded in Strasbourg  

Migration, terrorism and the fight against Aids are top of the agenda of the African-Caribbean-Pacific (ACP) and the EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly in Strasbourg from 17 to 19 March. The formal sitting of the 27th meeting was opened Monday morning by its co-presidents Louis Michel, a Belgian member of the ALDE group, and Fitz A. Jackson, from Jamaica, in the presence of Evangelos Meimarakis, the speaker of the Greek parliament . (Read more: ACP- EU meeting: migration, terrorism, fight against Aids)

 
 

"We cannot deprive transitional President Catherine Samba-Panza of the means she needs", to bring about a return to constitutional order in the Central African Republic, as “this would be unpardonable”, said ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly Co-President Louis Michel, opening its 27th session in Strasbourg. (Read more: Louis Michel: denying financial support to the CAR would be "unpardonable" )

 
 

EP this week: Ukraine, roaming, workers posted abroad, banks

Others Institutions17-03-2014 - 13:05
EP building in Brussels  

The international trade committee votes on Thursday on ending or reducing customs duties on imports from Ukraine. The end of roaming costs and better protection for workers posted abroad are also on the agenda this week. In addition MEPs and negotiators from the Council will try to reach a deal on the bank resolution mechanism, while members of the economic affairs committee debate the single resolution mechanism. Finally, President Martin Schulz addresses the European Council on Thursday. (Read more: EP this week: Ukraine, roaming, workers posted abroad, banks)

 
 

27th ACP-EU parliamentary meeting, Strasbourg, 17-19 March

Others Delegations14-03-2014 - 12:02

The current crisis in the Central African Republic, the fight against AIDS and migrants' rights will top the debates of the African-Caribbean-Pacific (ACP) - EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) meeting in the European Parliament in Strasbourg from 17 to 19 March. The plenary debates will be preceded over the weekend by meetings of the JPA standing committees and the Women’s Forum. (Read more: 27th ACP-EU parliamentary meeting, Strasbourg, 17-19 March)

 
 

Defining nano-food: a big problem at a very small scale

Others Food safety13-03-2014 - 14:18
Scientist selecting a test tube containing vegetables  

Low-fat ice cream that still tastes great, cooking oil enriched in vitamins or bread enriched with fish oil that doesn't taste fishy. Adding artificial nanoparticles to food offers exciting possibilities, but they are still rare in our supermarkets. As it is not clear yet how safe they are, you should be able to make informed choices yourself. However, MEPs have rejected new labelling rules for engineered nanomaterials by the European Commission. Read on to find out why. (Read more: Defining nano-food: a big problem at a very small scale)

 
 

Lessons learnt: how troubled countries should be saved in future

Others Economic and monetary affairs13-03-2014 - 10:06
Domino effect in the euro crisis ©BELGA_AGEFOTOSTOCK  

The Troika's work has been investigated by the Parliament since December and it is now time to draw conclusions. On Thursday 13 March MEPs vote on the two own-initiative reports, which they debated the day before. We talked to the report authors - Othmar Karas (EPP, Austria), Liêm Hoang-Ngoc (S&D, France)and Alejandro Cercas (S&D, Spain) - about how EU countries in financial difficulties should be supported in the future. (Read more: Lessons learnt: how troubled countries should be saved in future)

 
 

Turkey: "They should reform the country for their citizens, not for us"

Others External relations12-03-2014 - 16:23
MEP Ria OOMEN-RUIJTEN on Turkey progress report  

Turkey is faced with the most critical progress report yet in its bid to join the European Union, due to recent allegations of fraud and massive corruption and concerns over the lack of a separation of powers. "Justice is the key issue," explained Ria Oomen-Ruijten, a Dutch member of the EPP group who wrote the report. "Turkey shouldn't do it for us. They should do it for the modernisation of the country. It's to the benefit of Turkish citizens." MEPs adopted her report on 12 March. (Read more: Turkey: "They should reform the country for their citizens, not for us")

 
 

Ukraine: MEPs call for firm action on Russia to prevent further escalation

Others External relations12-03-2014 - 12:31
Speakers from L to R, top to bottom: Dimitrios Kourkoulas, José Manuel Barroso, José Ignacio Salafranca, Hannes Swoboda, Johannes Cornelis Van Baalen, Rebecca Harms, Ryszard Antoni Legutko, Nikola Vuljanic and Jacek Kurski  

MEPs called for a strong response to Russia on 12 March in a debate over its military involvement in Ukraine. They also rejected the upcoming referendum on independence in Crimea, which they saw as manipulated and contrary to international and Ukrainian law. The EU should also support Ukraine and continue to work towards a peaceful resolution of the conflict. (Read more: Ukraine: MEPs call for firm action on Russia to prevent further escalation)