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External relations

 

MEPs urge Moldova, Georgia, Ukraine to pursue reform and Russia to leave

Plenary Session External relations21-01-2016 - 12:43

Russia must end its direct or indirect involvement in conflicts in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine and stop interfering with their EU aspirations, say MEPs in a review, voted on Thursday, of their progress on reform. One year after the three ratified their association and deep and comprehensive free trade agreements (AA/DCFTAs) with the EU, MEPs highlight remaining reform tasks for each country and take note of the 6 April Dutch referendum on the EU-Ukraine deal. (Read more: MEPs urge Moldova, Georgia, Ukraine to pursue reform and Russia to leave )

 

Next step in mutual defence – European Defence Union, say MEPs

Plenary Session External relations / Security and defence21-01-2016 - 12:28

France’s decision to invoke the EU treaty’s mutual defence clause and to ask for EU member states’ help in its “war” against the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) should serve as an incentive to strengthen European security and defence, said MEPs in a resolution passed on Thursday. They call on EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini to draw up guidelines for similar future cases, so as to avoid any need for ad hoc measures and explicitly involve EU institutions. (Read more: Next step in mutual defence – European Defence Union, say MEPs )

 

MEPs ratify EU-Kosovo Association Agreement

Plenary Session External relations21-01-2016 - 12:14

The European Parliament gave its consent to the EU-Kosovo Stabilisation and Association agreement, an important first formal step in Kosovo’s integration into Europe, on Thursday. The deal will form the backbone of strengthened political association and economic integration between the EU and Kosovo. (Read more: MEPs ratify EU-Kosovo Association Agreement )

 

Terrorism debate: “Threat seems to be increasing in the EU and further afield”

Others Judicial cooperation / Justice and home affairs / External relations / Security and defence21-01-2016 - 11:12
MEPs debated the increased terrorism threat with the European Council and European Commission  

As terrorists continue to strike across the globe, MEPs discussed the best way to tackle the increasing threat. During the debate on Thursday morning speakers stressed the importance of exchanging information as well as the need to strengthen border controls and called on member states to step up collaboration. (Read more: Terrorism debate: “Threat seems to be increasing in the EU and further afield” )

 

Mutual defence clause: what the requirement to help other member states means

Plenary Session Security and defence20-01-2016 - 14:37
infographic illustration  

The mutual defence clause, requiring EU countries to help a member state under attack, was invoked for the first time by France in November in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris. In a resolution adopted on 21 January, MEPs said this cooperation should serve to strengthen European security and defence and also called for a stronger role for EU institutions. Check out our infographic and learn more about the legal basis and its implications. (Read more: Mutual defence clause: what the requirement to help other member states means )

 

EU should set up a trust fund to support Colombia peace process, say MEPs

Plenary Session External relations20-01-2016 - 13:21

EU countries should set up trust fund for Colombia, to help victims of its recently-ended 50-year internal conflict to seek truth, justice, and reparations and prosecute war criminals, say MEPs in a resolution voted on Wednesday. They praise the political effort, realism and perseverance shown by both the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), in ending the conflict and urge the EU to support their peace-building efforts. (Read more: EU should set up a trust fund to support Colombia peace process, say MEPs )

 

TiSA talks: Trade MEPs recommendations

INTA External/international trade18-01-2016 - 20:49

Negotiations on a Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), with countries representing 70% of world trade in services, should deliver international rules and more opportunities for EU firms to supply services such as transport and telecoms in third countries. But "nothing should prevent EU, national and local authorities from maintaining, improving and applying their laws", notably on labour and data protection, say international trade MEPs in recommendations, voted on Monday, to EU negotiators. (Read more: TiSA talks: Trade MEPs recommendations )

 

Viviane Reding on TiSA negotiations: “The right to regulate has to be preserved”

Others External/international trade15-01-2016 - 12:22
MEP Viviane Reding on TISA -  ©European Union 2016 - EP  

The EU and 22 countries, representing 70% of world trade in services, are currently negotiating the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA). It can’t enter into force with the approval of the Parliament. MEPs are closely following negotiations and have demanded more transparency. The international trade committee votes on a report with recommendations on 18 January. We asked report author Viviane Reding, a Luxembourg member of the EPP group, what will determine Parliament's approval of any deal. (Read more: Viviane Reding on TiSA negotiations: “The right to regulate has to be preserved” )

 

Prevent irreversible damage to Virunga National Park, says EP

Plenary Session Development and cooperation17-12-2015 - 13:22

The Virunga National Park, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has become one of the most dangerous places in the world when it comes to wildlife conservation, said Parliament in a resolution adopted on Thursday. MEPs called for measures to protect this UNESCO World Heritage Site which is also home to the endangered mountain gorilla species. (Read more: Prevent irreversible damage to Virunga National Park, says EP )

 

Parliament calls for tougher arms export regime

Plenary Session Security and defence17-12-2015 - 13:12
Arm export controls  ©AP Images/ European Union-EP  

Member states must apply the EU's eight-point code on arms exports more rigorously, particularly with the changed security environment in the EU's neighbourhood, the EP said on Thursday. It stressed that these trade flows are not in the EU's direct security interests and national political and economic considerations must not override decision-making on export licences. (Read more: Parliament calls for tougher arms export regime )