The US PRISM internet surveillance case highlights the urgent need to pass legislation to protect EU citizens' personal data, most MEPs agreed in Wednesday's Civil Liberties Committee debate with Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding. MEPs also called for safeguards for personal data transferred outside the EU.
Dialogue and conciliation must prevail over violence in the Republic of Guinea and the Central African Republic, said MEPs and MPs from the African, Caribbean and Pacific states meeting in Brussels on 17-19 June 2013 for the 25th ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA).
Suspects or accused persons will be entitled to access to a lawyer before the start of any questioning by the police and throughout criminal proceedings wherever they are in the EU, under a deal struck by Parliament and Council negotiators on 28 May and endorsed by the Civil Liberties Committee on Wednesday.
A freeze on the auctioning of some CO2 permits to help boost investment was approved for a second time by Environment Committee MEPs on Wednesday after the full House narrowly rejected the measure in April. The committee proposes stricter conditions and advocates an earlier, predictable reintroduction of credits. MEPs also propose earmarking a portion of permit auction revenues for innovation.
Use of climate-unfriendly fluorinated gases should be banned in new air-conditioning appliances and refrigerators by 2020, according to a vote on draft legislation in the Environment Committee on Wednesday. Overall use of potent hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) greenhouse gases should be reduced 84% by 2030, MEPs say.
Civil Liberties Committee recommendations to Hungary and the European Commission on how to remedy any breaches of key EU values promptly and avoid double standards are set out in a report voted on Wednesday. Should the Hungarian authorities fail to abide by EU values, MEPs ask the European Parliament's authorities to consider resorting to EU Treaty Article 7 (1), which would enable the EU Council of Ministers to determine whether there is a clear risk of a serious breach.
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.
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.
"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.