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New legislation to allow EU member states to restrict, or ban, the cultivation of crops containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on their own territory, even if it is allowed at EU level, were agreed by Parliament and Council delegations on Wednesday night. (Read more: Deal reached on new rules allowing flexibility for EU countries to ban GMO crops )

 
 

MEPs back deal with Council on automatic emergency call system for cars

IMCO Research and innovation04-12-2014 - 10:26

An EP/Council deal on a life-saving automatic emergency call system for cars, agreed on Monday evening, was backed by Internal Market Committee MEPs on Thursday.The “eCall” system would use the 112 number to call the emergency services automatically, enabling them to reach crash scenes faster and thus save lives and reduce the severity of injuries. The deal would require all new car models to be equipped with eCall technology from 31 March 2018. (Read more: MEPs back deal with Council on automatic emergency call system for cars )

 
 

TTIP “fresh start” means more clarity, debate, and realism, Malmström tells MEPs

INTA External/international trade03-12-2014 - 18:32

The “fresh start” to the EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) talks includes more transparency, to show EU citizens “what’s in there for them”, stepping up civil society involvement in the talks, and “ambitious and realistic” goals for EU access to the US goods, services and public procurement markets, EU trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström told the International Trade Committee on Wednesday. (Read more: TTIP “fresh start” means more clarity, debate, and realism, Malmström tells MEPs )

 
 

Mikhail Khodorkovsky asks MEPs to back Russia’s opposition

AFET External relations02-12-2014 - 18:54
Kodorkovsky  

Russia’s “neo-totalitarian regime” leaves open no legitimate means for a “sober-minded” and “pro-European” opposition to come to power. So the opposition needs strong support from the EU, which must understand that Russia does not equal Putin, Russian businessman and philanthropist Mikhail Khodorkovsky told Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs on Tuesday. MEPs asked him to say how they could help the cause of democracy in Russia and to explain his controversial views on developments in Ukraine. (Read more: Mikhail Khodorkovsky asks MEPs to back Russia’s opposition )

 
 

MEPs acknowledged Lebanon's struggle with the enormous migration flows and voiced their concerns about the internal crisis there and growing extremism across the region, in a Foreign Affairs Committee debate with its Prime Minister Tammam Saeb Salam on Tuesday afternoon. (Read more: Foreign Affairs Committee acknowledges Lebanon’s efforts to cope with migration )

 
 

Employment and trade MEPs quiz TTIP experts

EMPL Employment policy02-12-2014 - 15:24

Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiators and experts were quizzed on safeguards for labour standards and public services, and how a TTIP deal could help to create high-quality jobs, at a joint public hearing held by the Employment and International Trade committees on Tuesday. (Read more: Employment and trade MEPs quiz TTIP experts )

 
 

Moscovici quizzed on extra time for three EU countries to hit Eurozone targets

ECON Economic and monetary affairs02-12-2014 - 15:05

Commissioner Pierre Moscovici was asked to account for the European Commission’s decision to give France, Italy and Belgium more time to hit Eurozone budgetary targets by Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee MEPs on Tuesday. MEPs urged that budget plan deadlines should be met and that criteria for applying rules more flexibly to some EU member states than others should be clear and detailed. (Read more: Moscovici quizzed on extra time for three EU countries to hit Eurozone targets )

 
 

Deal secured to boost infrastructure investment in the EU

ECON Economic and monetary affairs27-11-2014 - 09:46

A negotiating team led by Alain Lamassoure (EPP, FR) struck a political deal with the Council and the Commission on European Long Term Investment Funds (ELTIFs) on Wednesday evening. These funds should boost non-bank financing for projects that deliver infrastructure, intellectual property or research results which benefit the real economy and society. (Read more: Deal secured to boost infrastructure investment in the EU )

 
 

Draft plans to encourage food innovation via a new, simplified authorization procedure for novel foods were approved by the Environment Committee on Monday. MEPs nonetheless amended the text and proposed a moratorium on the use of nanomaterials in food, based on the precautionary principle. They also added provisions for compulsory labelling of cloned food products. (Read more: Novel foods: MEPs call for moratorium on nano-foods and labelling of cloned meat )

 
 

The EU should provide aid worth €2.35 million to help find or create new jobs for workers made redundant by shipbuilders STX Finland Oy and the GAD abattoir in France, the Budgets Committee recommended on Thursday. The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) aid still has to be approved by Parliament as a whole and the Council of Ministers. (Read more: EU job-search aid for former workers at Finnish shipyard and French abattoir )