Music and architecture, video games, crafts, design and fashion offer considerable growth potential which the EU should support and exploit, says a draft resolution voted by the Culture Committee on Tuesday. It calls for a stronger partnership with universities to equip young people with the requisite skills. It also advocates creating a social status to counter the precarity of many professionals in these fields.
Members asked the six candidates for the post of European Ombudsman what they could offer by way of independence, visibility and transparency, in a series of public hearings held by the Petitions Committee on Tuesday. The new Ombudsman will be elected by the full Parliament in July.
"The European Parliament clearly welcomes the launch of trade negotiations with the US and will monitor closely the entire process, which should be as transparent as possible", said the European Parliament's International Trade Committee chair Vital Moreira (S&D, PT) on Friday, following today's EU Trade Council decision to grant EU negotiators a mandate to proceed with the talks.
The Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee stood by its guns on Tuesday in supporting the Commission's proposal for a wide-scope financial transaction tax, with stocks and bond trades taxed at 0.1% and derivatives trades taxed at 0.01% in 11 EU countries. The committee proposed lower rates until January 2017 for trades in sovereign bonds and the pension fund industry's trades. A new legal ownership principle was also inserted to make tax avoidance more costly.
The extra economic reform "breathing space" granted to enable EU countries to meet deficit-cutting requirements and boost growth was welcomed by MEPs in Monday's joint economic affairs and employment committee debate with Commissioners Olli Rehn and László Andor. MEPs also criticized the analysis and economic theories underlying austerity recommendations.
User rules for new "smart" digital tachographs for trucks and buses were approved by the Transport and Tourism Committee on Tuesday. These devices will use satellite tracking technology to make it easier to check and enforce driving and rest times, whilst reducing the number of roadside checks. The rules now need to be approved by Parliament as a whole and the Council of Ministers.
"Holding presidential elections in Mali on 28 July is the only way to restore legitimacy there' said ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly Co-President in Brussels on Monday, at the opening of its 25th session. When the UN mission is deployed in Mali in July, replacing most French troops there, "it should take care to avoid a security vacuum at all costs", he added.
Parliament passed three separate resolutions on Thursday condemning the grave violations of human rights and the violence perpetrated against Rohingya Muslims in Burma/Myanmar; calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Ilgar Mammadov in Azerbaijan; and expressing its serious concerns about the recent repressive laws and their arbitrary enforcement in Russia.
Jobs for young people, social investment responses to economic crisis and the architecture of European Monetary Union were the key issues debated by MEPs, the Council Presidency and the Commission President on Wednesday, in the run-up to the European summit on 27 and 28 June. Decisions are being taken, but not put into effect, MEPs stressed. Parliament summarized the key issues in three resolutions voted after the debate.
The Conference of Presidents is very disappointed that the Council's reluctance to compromise has not yet allowed for an agreement on the MFF 2014 - 2020 to be reached. The European Parliament has already made far-reaching concessions, taking into account the difficult budgetary situation in the Member States, and is clearly showing its willingness to reach a reasonable deal.