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Women’s Day 2017: Parliament highlights women’s economic empowerment

Others Women's rights/Equal opportunities06-03-2017 - 15:41
Female and male symbols depicting women equality. ©AP Images/European Union-EP  

For this year's International Women's Day the European Parliament highlights the issue of women’s economic empowerment in a series of events. On Wednesday 8 March Spanish Green MEP Ernest Urtasun, author of a report on equality, answers your questions during a Facebook live session. Women are still often paid less, receive lower pensions and are less represented in top corporate posts and politics. Join our debate on Facebook and follow all Parliament events on International Women's Day. (Read more: Women’s Day 2017: Parliament highlights women’s economic empowerment )

 
President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor (R) welcomes Antonio Tajani, President of European Parliament during their meeting in Ljubljana, Slovenia on March 3, 2017.  

Parliament President Antonio Tajani was in Slovenia on 3 March where he opened the new Europe House in Ljubljana with European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker. At the opening Tajani said: "We need to strengthen our European identity and sense of belonging. We need to be united if we want to compete at the European level in a globalised world.” (Read more: Tajani: “We need to be united if we want to compete in a globalised world” )

 
Parliament building in Brussels. Photo of glass wall with large EU flag  

On the occasion of International Women's Day Parliament calls attention to women's economic situation. Other issues being dealt with this week include the reform of EU asylum rules and the environmental impact of the production of palm oil as well as a debate on the rule of law in Poland. In addition political groups and parliamentary committees prepare for next week's plenary session. (Read more: In Parliament this week: International Women´s Day, EU asylum rules, palm oil )

 
Irish PM Enda Kenny meets EP President Tajani_  

"Brexit will be a particular challenge for Ireland and its people," said Parliament President Antonio Tajani after welcoming Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny to the Parliament on 2 March. Tajani also expressed his "understanding for the deep political and economic ties that link Ireland and the UK”. Describing Ireland “as a small European country that has been transformed by its EU membership”, Kenny stressed the “fundamental role" that the European Parliament would play in any Brexit deal. (Read more: Tajani: "Brexit will be a particular challenge for Ireland and its people" )

 

Brexit: Parliament looks into rights of Europeans living in the UK

Others Future of Europe/European integration02-03-2017 - 15:43
European flags and Great Britain flag on hands ©AP Images/European Union-EP  

Ever since the Brexit referendum EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals living in other EU countries face uncertainty about their ability to stay where they are. The British government has so far refused to guarantee the rights of EU nationals. Following reports of administrative barriers, MEPs are increasingly concerned that EU citizens’ right to stay in the UK are not being fully respected. They held a debate on the issue on 1 March and will also organise hearings to gather evidence. (Read more: Brexit: Parliament looks into rights of Europeans living in the UK )

 

MEPs propose ways to make medicines more affordable

Plenary Session Public health02-03-2017 - 12:17
Medicine bottles behind pills ©AP Images/European Union-EP  

New medicine prices in the EU have risen over the past few decades, to the point of being unaffordable for many EU citizens and threatening the sustainability of national health care systems, say MEPs in a resolution voted on Thursday. To strike a better balance between EU countries’ public health interests and those of the pharmaceutical industry, it calls for measures to improve the traceability of R&D costs, public funding and marketing expenditure. (Read more: MEPs propose ways to make medicines more affordable )

 

Energy deals with third countries: MEPs approve rules on EU Commission help

Plenary Session Energy / Research and innovation02-03-2017 - 12:06

The rules requiring EU member states to inform the EU Commission of their plans to negotiate energy supply deals with third countries before opening negotiations were approved by MEPs on Thursday. This is the first item of Energy Union legislation to be completed. (Read more: Energy deals with third countries: MEPs approve rules on EU Commission help )

 

Using EU trade tools to combat wildlife trafficking

Plenary Session External/international trade02-03-2017 - 12:05
Elephant in National park of Kenya  

Recommendations on how to make better use the EU’s trade tools to fight an unprecedented surge in wildlife trafficking were approved by MEPs on Thursday. (Read more: Using EU trade tools to combat wildlife trafficking )

 

Parliament asks EU Commission to press for full US-EU visa reciprocity

Plenary Session Visa policy02-03-2017 - 11:57
VISA on a passport ©AP Images/European Union-EP  

The EU Commission is legally obliged to take measures temporarily reintroducing visa requirements for US citizens, given that Washington still does not grant visa-free access to nationals of five EU countries. In a resolution approved on Thursday, MEPs urge the Commission to adopt the necessary legal measures “within two months”. (Read more: Parliament asks EU Commission to press for full US-EU visa reciprocity )

 

Future of Europe: MEPs debate the five scenarios outlined by the Commission

Plenary Session Future of Europe/European integration / Institutions02-03-2017 - 11:34
 

How should the EU evolve in response to challenges such as Brexit and globalisation? Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, presented five possible options to the Parliament on 1 March, ranging from business as usual to deeper integration across most areas. During the subsequent plenary debate most MEPs welcomed the opportunity to reflect on the direction Europe should take. Watch our video for highlights from the debate. (Read more: Future of Europe: MEPs debate the five scenarios outlined by the Commission )