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The EU and its institutions


Know your rights: summer travelling in the EU

Others European Council / Tourism09-07-2014 - 08:40  

About to go on holiday? Thanks to the EU it will be an even better experience. The European Parliament is working on legislation to boost passenger rights, while roaming charges were reduced again from 1 July and are getting closer to being scrapped in December 2015. In addition enabling planes to take shorter routes and increased competition for railway services should help to drive prices down for passengers. (Read more: Know your rights: summer travelling in the EU )


An old group with a new name and a new co-president: David Borrelli, an Italian member of “Movimento 5 Stelle”, has become one of the two co-presidents of the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) group, alongside British MEP and UKIP leader Nigel Farage. The priorities of EFDD, according to its new co-president Borrelli, are strongly reflected in its new name: “We believe that we embody this new trend of giving citizens the opportunity to choose.” (Read more: New EFDD co-chair David Borrelli: Giving people the opportunity to choose )

Jean-Claude Juncker during the elections night press point at the European Parliament  

Jean-Claude Juncker will meet the EP’s political groups this week in a bid to secure backing for the European Commission’s top job. Although the former Luxembourg prime minister was nominated as the candidate to become Commission president by the EU Council on 27 June, he will still need the Parliament’s support in order to take up the post. The parliamentary vote will take place on 15 July during the plenary in Strasbourg. (Read more: Juncker: the battle to secure Parliament support for Commission presidency )


Italian MEP Gianni Pittella has become the new leader of the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) group in the European Parliament, after Martin Schulz got re-elected as EP president and left the post. The centre-left group’s priority for this term will be to tackle inequality in Europe. “The middle class is being marginalised," Mr Pittella said. "We need to stop this social divide with policies to invest in human capital, to support business, research and training." (Read more: New S&D leader Gianni Pittella: We need to stop Europe's social divide )

EP building in Brussels  

Jean-Claude Juncker will be grilled by political groups this weeks ahead of the Parliament vote on his candidacy for the European Commission presidency during the 14-17 July plenary session. In addition, the Parliament's committees and sub-committees elect their new chairs and vice-chairs during their first meeting on Monday. (Read more: EP this week: Juncker rallies Parliament's support, committees pick their chairs )


Things we learned in plenary

Others Institutions04-07-2014 - 09:55

MEPs gathered this week for the first session of the European Parliament following the European elections. They elected the president, vice-presidents and quaestors and also debated the outcome of the latest EU summit. As Italy took over the helm of the EU Council from Greece on 1 July, the achievements of the outgoing and the priorities of the incoming presidency were also discussed. Read on for the highlights of the plenary session on 1-3 July. (Read more: Things we learned in plenary )


Future of Europe: MEPs debate Italian Council presidency priorities

Others European Council / Institutions02-07-2014 - 18:33
Matteo Renzi presents Italian Presidency's priorities to MEPs  

“If Europe was to take a selfie today, it would be a tired, resigned image," said Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi in a debate with MEPs on his country's priorities for the Council presidency for the next six months. He said European leaders should act with conviction and determination to keep Europe in the lead on global issues. The debate on 2 July touched upon a broad range of issues, from the Italian contribution to Europe through the ages to the place of Europe in a fast-changing world. (Read more: Future of Europe: MEPs debate Italian Council presidency priorities )

Who's who in Parliament Infographic - Institutions01-07-2014 - 19:10

MEPs elected Martin Schulz as the new president of the European Parliament and also selected 14 vice-presidents on Tuesday 1 July. In addition five quaestors, responsible for administrative and financial matters, were elected on Wednesday 2 July. Check out our infographic to find out who is who in the Parliament. (Read more: Who's who in Parliament )


How the EP president and vice-presidents get elected

Others Institutions30-06-2014 - 17:29

The Parliament's key post will be decided on 1 and 2 July when MEPs elect the president, vice-presidents and quaestors. Check out our infographic for more information about the elections procedures and follow it live on our website. (Read more: How the EP president and vice-presidents get elected )