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Six months later, new MEPs at the EP (Top to bottom) Hayes, Bresso, Duncan, Petersen, Rodriguez, Reintke, Winberg  

The new mandate of the European Parliament officially started on 1 July with 751 MEPs from across the continent taking up their seats. Approximately half of those elected last May were not in the previous legislature and we interviewed seven such MEPs following their arrival in Brussels. Almost six months into their five year term, how are they progressing and what are their hopes for 2015? We asked them to share their experiences and thoughts. (Read more: New MEPs: reflections on the first six months of the parliamentary term )

 
 

Get connected: discover the European Parliament on social media

Others Institutions / Information19-12-2014 - 09:00
 

From Pinterest to LinkedIn, the European Parliament is present on most major social media platforms in order to better communicate with you. On these platforms we offer not only background information and the latest news, but also videos, photos, infographics and the opportunity to discuss topical issues. Try out our interactive infographic to get a taster of what we serve up on each platform. (Read more: Get connected: discover the European Parliament on social media )

 
 

Things we learned in plenary: EU's 2015 budget, Palestine, CIA torture

Plenary Session Institutions19-12-2014 - 09:00
 

The last plenary session of 2014 saw the European Parliament adopt a hard-fought compromise on the EU budget. Other topics on the agenda included Palestine statehood, the use of torture by the CIA and media freedom in Turkey. MEPs also reappointed Emily O'Reilly as European ombudsman until 2019 and awarded the Lux Film Prize to the Polish-Danish co-production Ida. Read our summary of an eventful week in Strasbourg. (Read more: Things we learned in plenary: EU's 2015 budget, Palestine, CIA torture )

 
 
Martin Schulz at the summit in October.  

Martin Schulz called on government leaders to back the €315 billion investment plan for the EU and help plug the investment gap with the US and China. Speaking at the opening of the EU summit in Brussels, the EP President said: “The Investment Plan is a strong signal that we are committed to a new path for Europe towards growth and jobs. And it is of the utmost importance that you clearly commit yourself to its success too.” (Read more: Schulz: “Investing is about building bridges to a successful future” )

 
 

European Parliament approves EU-Georgia association deal

Plenary Session External relations18-12-2014 - 12:18
Press conference on the ratification of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement with (L-R) the rapporteur Andrejs Mamikins, the Vice-President of the European Parliament Ryszard Czarnecki and Georgia President Giorgi Margvelashvili  

The European Parliament gave its green light to the EU-Georgia Association Agreement on Thursday. The deal will establish deep political association and economic integration between the EU and Georgia, including the progressive opening up of their respective markets. (Read more: European Parliament approves EU-Georgia association deal )

 
 

Human rights: Venezuela; Sudan and Mauritania

Plenary Session Development and cooperation / External relations18-12-2014 - 12:01

Parliament passed three resolutions on Thursday, calling on the Venzuelan authorities to withdraw "unfounded" charges against the opposition leader; condemning the arrest of human rights activist Dr Amin Mekki Medani in Sudan; and demanding the immediate release of anti-slavery activist Biram Dah Abeid in Mauritania. (Read more: Human rights: Venezuela; Sudan and Mauritania )

 
 

MEPs secure deal to cap card payment fees

ECON Economic and monetary affairs17-12-2014 - 19:02

The fees that banks charge retailers to process shoppers’ payments should be capped under uniform rules across in the EU following a deal struck by Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee and Council negotiators on Wednesday. The cap would apply to both cross-border and domestic card-based payments and should result in lower costs for consumers. (Read more: MEPs secure deal to cap card payment fees )

 
 

MEPs critical of breaches of freedom of expression in Turkey

Plenary Session External relations17-12-2014 - 18:45

MEPs from all political groups expressed their concerns over the recent arrests of journalists in Turkey and condemned all actions against media freedom, in a plenary debate on Wednesday afternoon. They agreed that the deterioration in the rule of law and fundamental rights in the country is an issue that needs to be tackled. Parliament will put a resolution to a vote in January. (Read more: MEPs critical of breaches of freedom of expression in Turkey )

 
 
Interview with Lux Film Prize 2014 Director Paweł Pawlikowski  

The EP's Lux Prize was today awarded to the Polish/Danish film Ida, directed by Paweł Pawlikowski. It is a story about a young novice nun, who meets her aunt and goes on a road trip to discover the dark secrets of her past. We talked to the director after the award ceremony to ask him about the film, its success and what he thinks about European cinema. (Read more: Lux Prize winner Pawlikowski: "I tried to make a film about universal things" )

 
 

Torture: MEPs call for investigation into EU countries' role in CIA practices

Plenary Session Institutions / Human rights / External relations17-12-2014 - 16:53
Press conference at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia  

Waterboarding, chaining people to walls, rectal feeding: the recently published US Senate’s report on CIA interrogation methods makes serious allegations about the agency using torture to extract information from detainees. In a plenary debate about the report on 17 December, MEPs said that trampling fundamental values in the fight against terrorism is unacceptable and that the possible complicity of EU member states in this should be investigated. (Read more: Torture: MEPs call for investigation into EU countries' role in CIA practices )