Opening - minute of silence in memory of murdered journalist Ján Kuciak
President Tajani led a minute of silence in honour of murdered Slovak journalist Ján Kuciak, at the opening of the session in Brussels.
President Tajani strongly condemned the murder of journalist Ján Kuciak and his partner Martina Kušnírová near Bratislava.
“This is an unacceptable attack on the freedom of press, which is a founding value of our democracy, just a few months following the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia”, he said.
Mr Kuciak carried out his job professionally and passionately. He was determined to seek out the truth on suspicious financing and tax evasion, regardless of who it affected, said President Tajani.
The police is working on the premise that he was killed to stop his investigations”, Mr Tajani noted and stressed that it is “unacceptable that journalists can be killed for doing their work”.
“We have to ensure freedom of press” and that “journalists are able to work freely”, Mr Tajani stressed. “I rely on Slovak authorities to reveal the truth”.
“On behalf of the European Parliament, I can assure you that, as in the case of Daphne Caruana Galizia, we will not stop raising our voices and continuing to keep a watchful eye so that those who are guilty are brought to justice.”
MEPs then honoured the memory of Mr Kuciak and Ms Kušnírová with a minute of silence.
President Tajani also condemned the disappearance of more than 100 girls in Nigeria, abducted by Boko Haram and a stark reminder of events in Chibok. The EP strongly condemns these attacks and call for the release of the girls. “Every child should be able to attend school freely and in a secure environment”, he noted, calling the disappearance an international humanitarian disaster. He called for closer involvement with the EU’s African partners in fighting terrorism.
The President informed the full House of an incident involving MEP Ska Keller in Bulgaria, which he witnessed himself, in which she received derogatory remarks from a member of the coalition government, Mr Simeonov. The President noted that he is grateful that the Bulgarian government have distanced themselves from Mr Simeonov’s behaviour and the incident is now closed. “We all have a fundamental right to express our opinion”, said President Tajani, “especially those of us who represent citizens.”
Ana Maria MIRANDA PAZ (ES, GUE/NGL)
Jacques COLOMBIER (FR, ENF)
Miroslavs MITROFANOVS (LV, Greens/EFA)
Elsi KATAINEN (FI, ALDE)
Hannu TAKKULA (FI, ALDE)
Josu JUARISTI ABAUNZ (ES, GUE/NGL)
Janusz KORWIN-MIKKE (PL / NI)
Tatjana ŽDANOKA (LV, Greens/EFA)
- First item: “Humanitarian situation in Syria, in particular Ghouta”, statement by the President, followed by one round of political group speakers;
- Second item: “European Council informal meeting of 23 February 2018”, statement by the President, with a full debate;
- Fourth item: “EU priorities for the UN Human Rights Council sessions in 2018”, statement by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative;
- Eight item: "Former Commission President Barroso's prohibited lobby activities, such as the meeting with Commissioner Katainen", statement by the Commission is now added to the agenda.
- The statement by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative on “EU's perspectives for the first EU-Cuba Joint Council meeting” is postponed;
- The order of the first two items is switched: the Loones report will be taken as the first item; it will be followed by the Maurel report;
- An address by Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights is added at 11:30, before the votes;
- The following items are added to the votes:
- Report by Mr Gualtieri on “Single Resolution Board: appointment of a new member”;
- Objection pursuant to Rule 106: authorisation of genetically modified maize 59122;
- Objection pursuant to Rule 106: authorisation of genetically modified maize MON 87427 × MON 89034 × NK603.
Requests by committees to start negotiations with Council and Commission
Decisions by several committees to enter into inter-institutional negotiations (Rule 69c) are published on the plenary website.
If no request for a vote in Parliament on the decision to enter into negotiations is made by Thursday 24.00, the committees may start negotiations.