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Human rights: Cambodia and Laos; elections in Bangladesh; LGBTI rights;

Plenary Session External relations16-01-2014 - 17:07

The EP passed three separate resolutions on Thursday, voicing concern at the situation of rights defenders and opposition activists in Cambodia, and demanding clarifications on the investigation into the Sombath Somphone case in Laos; calling for an immediate halt to the repression in Bangladesh; and condemning the threats, discrimination and restrictions faced by LGBTI people. (Read more: Human rights: Cambodia and Laos; elections in Bangladesh; LGBTI rights; )

 
 

Parliament backs Sabine Lautenschläger for European Central Bank Executive Board

Plenary Session Economic and monetary affairs16-01-2014 - 15:32

MEPs on Thursday approved the appointment of Sabine Lautenschläger to the European Central Bank's Executive Board, replacing fellow German Jörg Asmussen. (Read more: Parliament backs Sabine Lautenschläger for European Central Bank Executive Board )

 
 

Parliament calls for an EU-wide strategy for the homeless

Plenary Session Social policy16-01-2014 - 13:06
Homeless people near Westminster Cathedral, London  

MEPs again press the Commission for a European strategy for the homeless, following a similar appeal in a resolution in 2011 and proposals from other EU institutions and bodies, in a resolution adopted on Thursday. (Read more: Parliament calls for an EU-wide strategy for the homeless )

 
 

Iceland: MEPs await further decisions

Plenary Session Enlargement / External relations16-01-2014 - 12:52
Belga/Agephotostock/M.Lohmann  

MEPs took note on Thursday of Iceland’s decision to put the EU accession talks process on hold and not to wait until they end before holding an EU accession referendum. They now await its further decisions on how to proceed. (Read more: Iceland: MEPs await further decisions )

 
 

Serbia and Kosovo: MEPs hail progress after historic agreement

Plenary Session Enlargement / External relations16-01-2014 - 12:43
View of Pristina, capital city of Kosovo  

MEPs on Thursday hailed the progress made by Serbia and Kosovo in 2013 on their path to the EU, in particular their historic agreement reached in April. They called for more transparency in communicating its outcome and for civil societies and parliaments to be involved in its implementation. (Read more: Serbia and Kosovo: MEPs hail progress after historic agreement )

 
 

EU citizenship should not be for sale at any price, says European Parliament

Plenary Session Justice and home affairs16-01-2014 - 12:31
Maltese passport  

EU citizenship must not have a "price tag" attached to it, says the European Parliament in a resolution voted on Thursday. MEPs are concerned about schemes established by various EU member states and in particular Malta, which result in the sale of national, and hence EU, citizenship. Parliament calls on the Commission to state clearly whether these schemes respect the letter and spirit of the EU treaties and EU rules on non-discrimination. (Read more: EU citizenship should not be for sale at any price, says European Parliament )

 
 

Food safety: MEPs oppose authorising new genetically modified maize

Plenary Session Consumers / Public health16-01-2014 - 12:25
Corn on a field in Brandenburg  

The genetically modified maize “Pioneer 1507” should not be placed on the market for cultivation, because its insect-resistant pollen might harm non-target butterflies and moths, says the European Parliament in a resolution passed on Thursday. MEPs call on the EU Council of Ministers to reject its proposed authorisation, and urge the European Commission not to propose or renew authorisations of any GMO variety until risk assessment methods have been improved. (Read more: Food safety: MEPs oppose authorising new genetically modified maize )

 
 

No to GMO: "We are clearly lacking evidence on the safety of this new strain"

Plenary Session Agriculture / Environment / Food safety16-01-2014 - 12:09
Interview with Dagmar Roth-Behrendt  

MEPs called on the Commission not to allow the genetically modified maize crop Pioneer 1507 on the EU market. This insect-resistant crop could be dangerous to harmless butterflies and moths, said a resolution approved on Thursday. We spoke to Dagmar Roth-Behrendt, a German member of the S&D group, who opposed approval along with other members of the environment committee. “Based on this proposal, we are clearly lacking evidence on the safety of this new GMO strain to have it on the EU markets." (Read more: No to GMO: "We are clearly lacking evidence on the safety of this new strain" )

 
 

Debate on equal access to sexual and reproductive health care

Plenary Session Women's rights/Equal opportunities15-01-2014 - 18:46

MEPs discussed the basic right of EU citizens to high-quality health care, including sexual and reproductive health care, in a debate on Thursday morning with Commissioner Kallas. The debate also focused on the abortion bill tabled by the Spanish government. (Read more: Debate on equal access to sexual and reproductive health care )

 
 

“Self-employment should not be used as a means to bypass social security laws”

Plenary Session Social policy / Employment policy15-01-2014 - 16:08
Interview with Vilija Blinkevičiūtė  

Working for yourself rather than for a company can have benefits such as flexibility and more control, but it can also mean having fewer social rights than employees. The Parliament adopted a resolution on 14 January calling for adequate social protection for the growing number of self-employed workers, who now represent more than 15% of total employment in the EU. We discussed it with Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, a Lithuanian member of the S&D group, who wrote the report on it. (Read more: “Self-employment should not be used as a means to bypass social security laws” )

 
 
 
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