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EP President Martin Schulz opens October plenary session in Brussels © EU 2015 - European Parliament 

President Schulz condemned the brutal terrorist attack on peaceful demonstrators as an attack on democracy and voiced concern at the escalating violence and polarisation in Turkey ahead of the elections.

President Schulz condemned in the strongest possible terms the Ankara bomb attacks that left nearly 100 dead and over 500 wounded, expressing his deepest condolences to the victims' families and his hopes for the swift and full recovery of the injured. He said: 'This brutal terrorist attack on peaceful demonstrators was an attack on democracy. It is clear that these criminals want to sow discord and spread fear in the run-up to the elections. The perpetrators must not be allowed to succeed in this.'

Mr Schulz said he had told Turkish opposition politicians and the Turkish president that: 'The EU and Turkey are in a dialogue to find a common solution to the refugee situation. Current dramatic events and developments are bound to influence the ongoing debate on Turkey's status as a safe third country.'

The President appealed for a ceasefire and a return to the political process with the Kurds. He stressed that freedom and pluralism of the media must be defended by the state as an essential pillar of democracy.


Agenda changes

Safe Harbour


Mr Schulz announced that the House would hear statements by the Council and Commission at 19.30 on the consequences of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling invalidating the US Safe Harbour Decision.

European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI)

Votes on two reports concerning candidates Wilhelm Molterer (AT) and Iliyana Tsanova (BG) proposed by the EFSI Steering Board for the posts of managing director and deputy managing director of EFSI were added to the agenda.