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Benchmarks: restoring confidence in the financial markets

Others Economic and monetary affairs30-03-2015 - 16:15
House mortgage concept image © BELGA_EASYFOTOSTOCK  

Benchmarks are widely used to track market developments, however financial scandals involving benchmarks such as Libor and Eurobibor have shown that they are susceptible to manipulation. The EP's economic committee votes on 31 March on new rules to ensure the full transparency of all benchmarks used in the EU. Dutch Alde member Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, who wrote the report with recommendations, said: “It is a major step forward in ensuring the future robustness and accuracy of benchmarks.” (Read more: Benchmarks: restoring confidence in the financial markets )

 

Gilles de Kerchove, EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, will brief the Foreign Affairs Committee on the latest measures taken by the EU in its fight against terrorism on Monday at 17.00. MEPs are also likely to raise questions about the EU counter-terrorism cooperation with the third countries, namely those in the EU neighbourhood. (Read more: Foreign Affairs MEPs debate counter-terrorism measures with Gilles de Kerchove )

 

Foreign Affairs Committee debate with NATO Secretary General on Monday

AFET External relations30-03-2015 - 12:16

The Foreign Affairs Committee will hold a debate with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, today from 16.00 in room JAN 2Q2. Discussion is likely to focus on recent developments in Ukraine, relations with Russia, the security situation in the south and east of the Mediterranean and EU-NATO relations after NATO’s 2014 Wales summit. (Read more: Foreign Affairs Committee debate with NATO Secretary General on Monday )

 

EU counter-terrorism coordinator: “Jail is a major incubator of radicalisation”

Others Justice and home affairs30-03-2015 - 11:42
Gilles de Kerchove  

With the threat of terrorism growing every day, the task of Gilles de Kerchove, the EU’s counter-terrorism coordinator, becomes increasingly more important. It’s his job to coordinate the Council's work in combating terrorism, keep an eye on all the instruments available to the EU and make policy recommendations. We talked to him about how terrorism should be fought and the role the European Parliament could play. (Read more: EU counter-terrorism coordinator: “Jail is a major incubator of radicalisation” )

 
EP this week  

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and EU Counter-terrorism Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove visit Parliament this week to discuss security challenges and the EU's response to terrorist threats. In addition MEPs vote on legislation to increase transparency when setting key interest rates, while the new special committee on tax rulings will debate how to fight against tax evasion and tax havens. (Read more: EP this week: tax evasion, Libor scandal, Nato and counter-terrorism )

 

Summer time: all you need to know to make your life easier

Others Institutions27-03-2015 - 12:27
 

EU countries switch to summer time every year, as they will do this Sunday., but what are the benefits and are there any drawbacks? These and other questions were discussed by MEPs and experts on 24 March. “We need to move forward with this legislation and giving an oral question to the European Commission could be one of the ways to accelerate the whole thing,” said Czech EPP member Pavel Svoboda, chair of the legal affairs committee, summing up the discussion. (Read more: Summer time: all you need to know to make your life easier )

 
 

“When I look ahead to the future of Congo, I can’t picture it without these women activists, who have suffered atrocities,” said Dr Denis Mukwege during a visit to Parliament on 26 March. The 2014 Sakharov Prize Winner, who treats victims of sexual violence in DR Congo, discussed his country's future as well as violence against women with the human rights subcommittee. He also called for Congolese unity: “Whenever there is evil in society, that society must mobilise to fight it.” (Read more: Mukwege: “Whenever there is evil, society must mobilise to fight it” )

 

Gabrielius Landsbergis: "Sanctions against Russia are already bearing fruit"

Plenary Session External relations26-03-2015 - 12:34
MEP Landsbergis  

Ukraine will benefit from €1.8 billion worth of financial assistance after MEPs approved it during plenary on 25 March. Although this constitutes the EU's largest package ever given to a non-EU country, Ukraine's troubles are far from over. We spoke to Lithuanian EPP member Gabrielius Landsbergis, who wrote the resolution on financial assistance as well as a report on EU-Russia relations, about how the money will make a difference to Ukraine and the impact of sanctions against Russia. (Read more: Gabrielius Landsbergis: "Sanctions against Russia are already bearing fruit" )

 

Democracy and values are problematic in DRC, says Denis Mukwege

DROI Human rights / External relations26-03-2015 - 12:31
Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI) of the European Parliament exchange of views with Denis Mukwege, Sakharov Prize Laureate 2014  

Dr Denis Mukwege, the 2014 Sakharov Prize laureate, described political problems in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and his difficulties in tackling the problem of sexual abuse of women and even small children, in a Human Rights Subcommittee debate on Thursday. MEPs discussed how the EU could best support Dr Mukwege’s work, and some called for legally-binding rules on trade in conflict minerals. (Read more: Democracy and values are problematic in DRC, says Denis Mukwege )

 

Commission to clarify whether minimum wage may apply to foreign lorry drivers

Plenary Session Employment policy / Transport25-03-2015 - 22:32

The question of whether Germany’s minimum pay rules should apply to foreign lorry drivers using its roads divided MEPs evenly in a debate with transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc on Wednesday evening. The European Commission is still assessing the implications of these rules, which the Germany partially suspended (for transit drivers) early this year, but they must in any event comply with EU law, she said. (Read more: Commission to clarify whether minimum wage may apply to foreign lorry drivers )