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The EU and its institutions


Council summit: MEPs debate energy union and situation in Greece

Plenary Session Institutions25-03-2015 - 18:30
(L-R):Françoise Grossetête PPE; Kathleen Van Brempt S&D; Syed Kamall ECR; Guy Verhofstadt ALDE; Neoklis Sylikiotis GUE/NGL; Rebecca Harms Verts/ALE; Paul Nuttall EFDD; Jean-Claude Juncker (Commissioner); Donald Tusk (European Council)  

The energy union, Greece and how to boost the economy were all hotly debated during a discussion on last week’s Council summit during the plenary session on 25 March. MEPs welcomed plans for closer collaboration on energy issues, but also called attention to the situation in Greece. (Read more: Council summit: MEPs debate energy union and situation in Greece )

One minute silence at EP plenary_  

The session opened with a minute’s silence for victims of the Germanwings air crash in the French Alps on 24 March and the terrorist attack on Tunisia’s Bardo museum on 18 March. President Schulz conveyed Parliament’s deepest sympathy to their families and friends. (Read more: Opening: minute’s silence for victims of Germanwings air crash and Tunis attacks )


Inter-religious dialogue: the way to defeat extremism

Others Institutions24-03-2015 - 19:08
A minute of silence to commemorate the victims on the Germanwings  flight at the opening of the Inter-religious dialogue event held in the European Parliament: "The rise of religious radicalism and fundamentalism and the role of inter-religious dialogue in the promotion of tolerance and respect for human dignity"  

“We will defeat radicalism only if we stay united” said Parliament’s First Vice-President Antonio Tajani, opening Tuesday’s high-level conference of MEPs and religious community leaders on the rise of religious radicalism and fundamentalism. EP President Martin Schulz, who closed the debate, said “We have to have the courage to take people on board and encourage dialogue between religions”. (Read more: Inter-religious dialogue: the way to defeat extremism )

Streaming photo - Live from the EP  

The European Central Bank (ECB) started at the beginning of the month with its controversial quantative easing programme, buying government bonds with the goal of lowering interest rates, increasing inflation and kick-starting economic growth. ECB president Mario Draghi meets the EP's economic affairs committee today to discuss the initiative. Read on to find out more about how it works and watch the debate live on our website. (Read more: Quantitative easing: what is it and what does the ECB want to achieve with it? )


EP this week: Ukraine, tax avoidance, inter-religious dialogue

Others Institutions23-03-2015 - 11:32
EP this week  

MEPs vote this week on a financial grant to Ukraine, debate the results of last week's European Council summit as well as discuss new legislation to tackle corporate tax avoidance. They will also take part in a meeting on the importance of inter-religious dialogue. (Read more: EP this week: Ukraine, tax avoidance, inter-religious dialogue )


Schulz: “Energy union is a historic project”

Others Institutions19-03-2015 - 19:47
From left to right: Ms. Federica MOGHERINI, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy; Ms. Laimdota STRAUJUMA, Latvian Prime Minister; Mr Donald TUSK, President of the European Council; Mr Martin SCHULZ, President of the European Parliament; Mr Uwe CORSEPIUS, Secretary-General of the Council. © European Union 2015  

Martin Schulz welcomed plans for an energy union calling it a “historic project on a par only with the Coal and Steel Community” in a speech at the start of the Council summit on 19 March. The EP President also called for more energy efficiency and diversification of energy suppliers: “Depending on just a few suppliers makes us vulnerable to divide-and-rule tactics and threats of blocking energy supply routes.” (Read more: Schulz: “Energy union is a historic project” )

European Parliament President Martin Schulz meeting with the Chairman of the National People's Congress Zhang Dejiang in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China.  

“China-EU relations are 40 years old and deserve the highest level of support and ambition,” tweeted EP President Martin Schulz after meeting Chinese president Xi Jinping in Beijing. Schulz is in China until Wednesday for a three-day official visit to discuss furthering cooperation between the EU and China, especially at the parliamentary level. (Read more: Schulz: China-EU relations deserve highest level of support and ambition )

EP this week  

MEPs vote on financial aid to Ukraine this week and debate the EU-US free trade agreement, also known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Meanwhile EP delegations visit Washington to debate data protection with US government representatives and also Yerevan in Armenia to discuss EU relations with countries near its eastern border. (Read more: EP this week: Ukraine, US trade agreement, EU relations with other countries )

MEPs cast their vote during a plenary sitting  

Starting out as a consultative body, the European Parliament now has a say on nearly all EU legislation, but how much do you really know about the only directly-elected EU institution ? Read on to find out the essentials about the world's largest international parliament. (Read more: Democracy in action: 8 things you need to know about the European Parliament )


Single media accreditation office to open on 16 March

Others Institutions13-03-2015 - 10:16

To make accreditation easier and more efficient for media, the European Parliament is to open a new media accreditation office on 16 March. It will process all accreditation requests, whatever the type of media or the type of accreditation required. The office will be next to the reopened press entrance to the Paul-Henri Spaak building. (Read more: Single media accreditation office to open on 16 March )