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Three decades of EP observation missions

Others Institutions / Delegations24-11-2014 - 10:32
 

The EP is not only the EU's only directly-elected institution, but it also does its best to promote democracy outside Europe. This year marks 30 years of European Parliament involvement in election observation. Last year the Parliament sent delegations to observe elections in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Honduras, Jordan, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Nepal, Pakistan, Paraguay and Tajikistan. In recent months MEPs participated in missions to Egypt, Tunisia and Ukraine. (Read more: Three decades of EP observation missions )

 
 

EU countries would have to reduce the use of the commonest and most polluting plastic carrier bags, under draft rules informally agreed between MEPs and the Italian Presidency of the Council on Monday and confirmed by the member states’ permanent representatives on Friday. Plastic carrier bag litter is a major environmental problem, as it is known to pollute bodies of water and aquatic eco-systems in particular. (Read more: Reducing use of plastic bags: MEPs strike deal with Council Presidency )

 
 

Pope Francis to pay official visit to the European Parliament

Others Institutions21-11-2014 - 13:57

Pope Francis will pay an official visit to the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday 25 November. He will deliver a formal address to the Members in in the Chamber. (Read more: Pope Francis to pay official visit to the European Parliament )

 
 

Fundamental rights conference: "Things are improving"

Others Human rights20-11-2014 - 17:56
Ulrike Lunacek  

Tirana in Albania is hosting a conference on fundamental rights, non-discrimination and the protection of vulnerable groups, including LGBTI on 21 November, organised by the Parliament, the European Commission and the Italian Presidency. EP vice-president Ulrike Lunacek, who wrote a report on homophobia and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, will be one of the speakers. We talked to the Austrian member of the Greens/EFA group about the conference's importance. (Read more: Fundamental rights conference: "Things are improving" )

 
 

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 )

 
 

New petitions web portal: more transparent and user friendly

Others Petitions20-11-2014 - 11:58
PETI_web  

The EP's new web portal for petitions has been launched, enabling people to sign petitions online and better follow their progress in the Parliament. The aim is to make the process easier and more transparent. Read on to find out more. (Read more: New petitions web portal: more transparent and user friendly )

 
 

Dr Südhof: “We understand maybe one or two per cent of what happens in brain”

Others Research and innovation20-11-2014 - 09:41
Professor Thomas Südhof_  

"The brain is incredibly difficult to understand. We know maybe one or two per cent," said Dr Thomas Südhof, speaking to us ahead of a lecture about the brain at the European Parliament on 18 November. The 2013 Nobel Prize for Medicine laureate was invited by the EP’s Science and Technology Options Assessment (STOA) body for its annual lecture. (Read more: Dr Südhof: “We understand maybe one or two per cent of what happens in brain” )

 
 

COSME: in the business of helping small and medium-sized firms

Others Economic and monetary affairs19-11-2014 - 16:23
Infographic  

Representing more than 99% of EU businesses and providing two out of three private sector jobs, small and medium-sized firms are rightly known as the backbone of Europe's economy. But things are not always easy for them. That´s why the European Commission has launched the COSME programme to facilitate their access to finance and markets and improve their competitiveness and entrepreneurial spirit. The EP's industry committee discussed the programme on Monday. (Read more: COSME: in the business of helping small and medium-sized firms )

 
 

Unpaid bills sink EU budget talks

BUDG Budget18-11-2014 - 00:21

Parliament wants to reduce the growing pile of unpaid bills, while Council’s proposal, revealed on the very last day of the budget talks, only aggravates the payment crisis, said Budgets Committee MEPs after conciliation talks between member states and the Parliament broke down on Monday night. The Commission will now present a new draft budget. (Read more: Unpaid bills sink EU budget talks )

 
 

“No time for complacency”, Draghi tells economic and monetary affairs MEPs

ECON Economic and monetary affairs17-11-2014 - 19:52
ECB President Draghi met MEPs today to discuss financial market issues  

The European Central Bank will take unconventional monetary measures if the economic situation in the euro area requires them, ECB President Mario Draghi reiterated to economic and monetary affairs MEPs on Monday. As the Banking Union takes shape, risks could migrate from banks to the non-banking sector, he warned. Also, speaking as chair of the Systemic Risk Board, he added that there is "a vast scope for more coordination of sanctions against banks between the US and Europe". (Read more: “No time for complacency”, Draghi tells economic and monetary affairs MEPs )