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External relations

 

Live: international trade committee votes on position on EU-US free trade deal

Others External/international trade24-04-2013 - 18:31
Watch it live  

The international trade committee will vote this Thursday on the EP's position on the EU-US free trade agreement, which will be followed by a press conference. The resolution also highlights the advantages and disadvantages a possible deal would have for people and companies in the EU. Vital Moreira, a Portuguese member of the S&D group who wrote the draft resolution, will explain Parliament's position during the press conference. Follow the vote and the press conference live on our website. (Read more: Live: international trade committee votes on position on EU-US free trade deal )

 
 
Fiorello Provera, Vice-Chair of EP Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Laurent Fabius, French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs  

French foreign minister Laurent Fabius discussed the situation in Syria and the Sahel with members of the EP's foreign affairs committee in Strasbourg on 18 April. We met him after the debate to ask him what the EU should do to help in these conflict areas. (Read more: Laurent Fabius: It would be good to have a comprehensive approach to the Sahel )

 
 
Illustration: 40 years of EU enlargement  

The EU is set to welcome Croatia as its newest member on 1 July, 40 years after the UK, Ireland and Denmark joined in the first-ever enlargement. This week MEPs will debate and vote not only on Croatia's last-ever monitoring report, but also on progress reports for Turkey, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo, which could be next in line to join the EU. Find out more in our multimedia infographic about 40 years of EU enlargement. (Read more: EU enlargement: what country will be next after Croatia joins in July? )

 
 

Croatia holds its first elections for the European Parliament

Others Enlargement12-04-2013 - 14:46
The flags of the European Union and Croatia fly at the Croatian Government building in Zagreb  

Croatia, set to become the EU's 28th member state, will hold its first elections for the European Parliament on Sunday 14 April. The country with a population of 4.3 million people will elect 12 new MEPs who will take their seats after the formal accession on 1July. EP president Martin Schulz urged Croats to vote: " Parliament carries a lot of responsibility for the European Union and its member states. On election day, go to the ballot box and choose the best." (Read more: Croatia holds its first elections for the European Parliament )

 
 
Parlamentarian Assembly Union for the Mediterranean  

Strengthening democracy, the role of parliaments and civil society as well as empowering women were the main issues discussed at the Union for the Mediterranean's parliamentarian assembly hosted by the EP on 11 and 12 April. The debate focused on the way forward in the wake of the Arab Spring. Security, environment and boosting cooperation between both shores of the Mediterranean were also on the agenda. (Read more: Union for the Mediterranean: EP hosts debate on way forward after Arab Spring )

 
 

Romano Prodi: military intervention in Mali was "inevitable"

Others External relations09-04-2013 - 14:37
Romano Prodi, UN special envoy for the Sahel, during an exchange of views with MEPs on Monday, 8 April  

Military action in Mali was necessary according to Romano Prodi. "I always looked towards peace, but the French intervention has proved to be absolutely crucial since [Mali] was on the verge of collapse," the UN special envoy for the Sahel told the EP's foreign affairs and development committees and security and defence sub-committee on Monday 8 April. Mr Prodi was at the Parliament to discuss the situation in the Sahel, an African region blighted by poverty, food scarcity and terrorism. (Read more: Romano Prodi: military intervention in Mali was "inevitable" )

 
 

Union for the Mediterranean: time for parliaments to play their role

Others Development and cooperation / External relations05-04-2013 - 06:53
 

EP president Martin Schulz will plead for parliaments to play a greater role in facilitating Arab Spring countries' transition to democracy during a meeting of the Union of the Mediterranean in Marseille on 6-7 April. Mr Schulz will meet the parliament presidents of all the countries that belong to this partnership that unites both shores of the Mediterranean to discuss how they can help further the Union's goals. This will be the Union's first-ever meeting of Parliament speakers. (Read more: Union for the Mediterranean: time for parliaments to play their role )

 
 

MEPs call for recycling levy to pay for the safe dismantling of ships

Others External relations / Industry / Environment27-03-2013 - 11:23
 

Environment MEPS have called for a recycling levy to pay for EU ships being taken apart at EU-approved facilities in order to reduce the environmental impact and make it safer for the workers involved. Dismantling ships can currently expose workers to cancer-causing chemicals and lead to harmful materials being leaked into the environment. To prevent this, the EP's environment committee approved on Tuesday 26 March new rules on the scrapping of old EU ships. (Read more: MEPs call for recycling levy to pay for the safe dismantling of ships )

 
 

Hugo Chávez: "His passing away may moderate political radicalism"

Others External relations06-03-2013 - 16:01
A boy holds a poster of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez  

The death of Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez is likely to have far reaching implications for how other countries interact with the leftist Bolivarian block led by Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia. We talked about this with Luis de Grandes, a Spanish member of the EPP group who is the chair of Parliament's delegation for relations with the countries of the Andean community. (Read more: Hugo Chávez: "His passing away may moderate political radicalism" )