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The EU has yet to unleash its full potential to shape the international and security environment, Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs said on Tuesday. In a vote on the annual report on Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), they called for a more ambitious, proactive, credible and strategic EU foreign policy based on a shared vision of EU key interests and values and a common perception of threats to the Union. (Read more: EU must unleash its internal potential to shape international politics, MEPs say )

 

The European Parliament and the TTIP

Institutions / External/international trade24-02-2015 - 14:59
Flags of The United States and EU on banknotes  

Talks between the EU and US on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) could lead to the world's largest bilateral free-trade area. Increased market access and trading opportunities and the removal of unnecessary regulation and red tapecould help boost economic growth and create jobs on both sides of the Atlantic. However, there are also concerns about possible adverse impacts. (Read more: The European Parliament and the TTIP )

 

Foreign affairs MEPs on Tuesday welcomed the resumption of high-level talks between Kosovo and Serbia and called for the full normalisation of relations. However, they pointed to continuing problems in Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia with the rule of law, corruption, anti-discrimination, the pace of structural reforms, and the polarisation of politics. (Read more: MEPs assess reform efforts of Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro and FYROM in 2014 )

 

Humanitarian crisis in Iraq and Syria: MEPs call for aid and donor conference

Plenary Session External relations12-02-2015 - 11:46
Syrian refugees carry blankets at the UN-run Zaatari refugee camp, north east of the Jordanian capital Amman  

The international community must deliver on its pledges to step up humanitarian aid and assistance to the millions suffering in the crisis in Iraq and Syria, MEPs urged in a resolution voted on Thursday. They also called on the EU to consider convening a donor conference and stressed the need for a political transition in Syria and an inclusive government in Iraq to cut the ground from under the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Daesh). (Read more: Humanitarian crisis in Iraq and Syria: MEPs call for aid and donor conference )

 

Syria and Iraq: “Words are not enough to help the people in this region”

Plenary Session Security and defence11-02-2015 - 17:28
EP debate on Daesh  

MEPs condemned the violence carried out by the so-called Islamic State, also known as Daesh, and called for more support to help its victims. Because of the continuing conflict 12.2 million Syrians were in need of humanitarian assistance by January 2015. During the debate on the humanitarian crisis in Syria and Iraq on 11 February, MEPs also called for action on EU citizens joining jihadi groups and for more cooperation with other countries. (Read more: Syria and Iraq: “Words are not enough to help the people in this region” )

 

MEPs to debate humanitarian crisis in Syria and Iraq and situation in Yemen

Plenary Session External relations11-02-2015 - 13:00

MEPs will debate the grave humanitarian crisis in Syria and Iraq, aggravated by the violence of the so-called Islamic State, with Commissioner Stylianides on Wednesday from 15.00. In the following debate, the House will discuss the situation in Yemen, which has been in a deep power vacuum crisis since the resignation of the President and his government following a coup of a Shia-led rebel group, with Latvian Secretary of State for European Affairs Kalina Lukaševica. (Read more: MEPs to debate humanitarian crisis in Syria and Iraq and situation in Yemen )

 

Karas on Ukraine: If talks fail, risk of military escalation will increase

Others External relations11-02-2015 - 10:15
MEP Othmar Karas  

EU member states have relaunched peace talks with Russia and Ukraine to prevent the situation in the country from deteriorating any further. On Monday the EP's foreign affairs committee discussed the situation with Alexey Pushkov, the chair of the Duma's international affairs committee. After the meeting, we talked to Othmar Karas, an Austrian member of the EPP group and chair of the EP delegation to the EU-Russia parliamentary cooperation committee, to find out his views. (Read more: Karas on Ukraine: If talks fail, risk of military escalation will increase )

 

Ukraine peace plan: “Minsk II must deliver”, say MEPs

Plenary Session External relations10-02-2015 - 12:12
A Pro-Russian separatist fighter stands on the top of a tank as he prepares ammunitions at the Donetsk's Sergey Prokofiev international airport  

The Merkel/Hollande peace initiative in Ukraine, and in particular Wednesday’s meeting of the leaders of Germany, France, Ukraine and Russia in Minsk (Belarus) to find a way out of the crisis, were debated by MEPs with EU Foreign Affairs chief Federica Mogherini on Tuesday afternoon. (Read more: Ukraine peace plan: “Minsk II must deliver”, say MEPs )

 

Russia must admit it is part of the conflict, MEPs tell Alexey Pushkov

AFET External relations10-02-2015 - 10:08

Russia must acknowledge it is directly involved in the conflict in Ukraine and the interna-tional law must be restored, Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs told Alexey Pushkov, Chair of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs on Monday evening. In the debate, they also questioned Mr Pushkov on why his country has not respected its obligations under the September Minsk protocol. (Read more: Russia must admit it is part of the conflict, MEPs tell Alexey Pushkov )

 

January guest photographer contest topic: Europe in the world

Others Development and cooperation / Culture / Education05-02-2015 - 11:23
"United" by Emanuel Gesang is the monthly winner of the guestphotographer photo contest January topic "Europe in the world". ©Emanuel Gesang/United/www.emanuelgesang.com  

Take part in our new guest photographer contest, inspired by 2015 being the European Year for Development. Every month until September we will be announcing a different topic linked to development. Send us your photo inspired by the theme of that month, along with the submission form and you could be invited to Strasbourg to make a photo reportage. (Read more: January guest photographer contest topic: Europe in the world )