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External relations

 

EU-Turkey: anatomy of a difficult relationship

Others External relations22-03-2017 - 10:06
 

“Unacceptable.” President Antonio Tajani was clear this week in his condemnation of Turkey accusing Germany and the Netherlands of Nazi methods for preventing Turkish ministers from campaigning in their countries in favour of a referendum to give the president additional powers. Although the EU and Turkey cooperate on anything from trade to migration, relations have become strained in recent year. Read on for an overview of the current state of affairs. (Read more: EU-Turkey: anatomy of a difficult relationship )

 

Arctic: ban oil drilling and mitigate tensions, urge MEPs

Plenary Session External relations / Environment16-03-2017 - 12:44
Picture of iceland glacier lagoon bay  

Climate change is bringing new environmental and security challenges in the Arctic, as the melting ice cap opens up new navigation and fishing routes, and competition for its natural resources heats up, say MEPs in a resolution voted on Thursday. They call for measures to protect the vulnerable Arctic ecosystem, ban oil drilling there and keep it a low-tension and cooperation area. (Read more: Arctic: ban oil drilling and mitigate tensions, urge MEPs )

 

MEPs welcome 2016 reform efforts in Montenegro

Plenary Session External relations16-03-2017 - 12:34

Montenegro made further progress in its EU accession negotiations last year, topping the list of the most advanced EU accession countries, but corruption and organised crime remain a serious concern, said MEPs on Thursday. MEPs also highlight Russia’s attempts to influence developments in Montenegro, as it pursues Euro-Atlantic integration. (Read more: MEPs welcome 2016 reform efforts in Montenegro )

 

Human rights: Zimbabwe, Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia, and Philippines

Plenary Session Humanitarian aid / Development and cooperation / External relations16-03-2017 - 12:15

Parliament deplores the arrest of Pastor Evan Mawarire and political violence against human rights defenders in Zimbabwe, calls for the release of Ukrainians illegally detained in Russia and urges the Philippines to release human rights advocate Senator Leila M. De Lima, detained on drug-trafficking charges, in three resolutions voted on Thursday. (Read more: Human rights: Zimbabwe, Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia, and Philippines )

 

Arctic: MEPs debate strategy to prevent conflicts over polar region heating up

Plenary Session External relations / Environment15-03-2017 - 14:30
infographic illustration  

The melting of Arctic ice is unlocking new opportunities in the form of shipping routes and gas and oil stocks, but also increasing tensions and creating risks for the environment. A Parliament report calls for the protection of the Arctic's unique ecosystem and sets out ways to defuse possible tensions. "There is need to avoid the militarisation of the Arctic and respect for international law is essential,"said report co-author Urmas Paet. MEPs debate the report tonight and vote on it tomorrow. (Read more: Arctic: MEPs debate strategy to prevent conflicts over polar region heating up )

 

Context: MEPs concerned about consequences of global gag rule

Plenary Session External relations14-03-2017 - 17:37
Debate on Gag rule  

Several EU countries have decided to raise money for organisations offering sexual health and family planning services after US President Donald Trump decided to reintroduce a rule banning US financing for NGOs providing or promoting abortion to women in developing countries. This policy is often referred to as the global gag rule. Most MEPs criticised the US decision during a debate on 14 March, asking for action from the EU while some insisted on respecting the rights of unborn children. (Read more: Context: MEPs concerned about consequences of global gag rule )

 

US “global gag” anti-abortion rule a major setback for women’s health, say MEPs

Plenary Session Humanitarian aid / External relations14-03-2017 - 17:34

Political group speakers reacted to President Donald Trump’s reinstatement of the “global gag” rule in a debate with EU humanitarian aid Commissioner Christos Stylianides on Tuesday. The executive order, signed on 23 January, obliges US-funded foreign NGOs to certify that they will not perform or actively promote abortion. (Read more: US “global gag” anti-abortion rule a major setback for women’s health, say MEPs )

 

Debate on US “global gag” anti-abortion rule at 15.00 on Tuesday

Plenary Session Humanitarian aid / External relations14-03-2017 - 11:00

MEPs will debate US President Donald Trump’s reinstatement of the “global gag” rule, which obliges US-funded foreign NGOs to certify that they will not perform or actively promote abortion, with Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid Christos Stylianides on Tuesday at 15.00. (Read more: Debate on US “global gag” anti-abortion rule at 15.00 on Tuesday )

 

MEPs’ 2016 reform review of Montenegro and former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

AFET Enlargement / External relations28-02-2017 - 11:48

Montenegro is the most advanced EU accession candidate country, which in 2016 had to face Russian attempts to discredit its achievements, noted Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs on Tuesday. They also reviewed last year’s reform efforts in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, urging the future government to step up the pace of reform and stay on the EU track. (Read more: MEPs’ 2016 reform review of Montenegro and former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia )

 

Foreign Affairs MEPs encourage Serbia and Kosovo to do more to improve ties

AFET Enlargement / External relations28-02-2017 - 11:29

The recent progress in normalising relations between Belgrade and Pristina, after months of little or none, was welcomed by MEPs on Tuesday. However, in two resolutions they call on both countries to show more commitment and sustained political will to achieve this goal, which is a condition for their accession to the EU. (Read more: Foreign Affairs MEPs encourage Serbia and Kosovo to do more to improve ties )