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Opening: Schulz warns against attempts to disrupt Northern Ireland peace process

Plenary Session Institutions20-10-2014 - 19:02
EP Presidnet Martin Schulz walk in the plenary chamber to open October Plenary session  

All sides in the Northern Ireland peace process should refrain from “dangerous mutual provocation” urged European Parliament President Martin Schulz in his opening address at its October session. (Read more: Opening: Schulz warns against attempts to disrupt Northern Ireland peace process )

 
 

Debate on EU countries' economic policy performance

Plenary Session Economic and monetary affairs20-10-2014 - 18:23

Parliament will hold a debate on Tuesday morning with the Italian Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Finance, Mr Della Vedova and Commissioner Katainen on EU countries' progress in implementing the 2014 priorities for economic policy coordination under the European Semester. MEPs are expected to criticise member states for their poor implementation of recommendations they themselves endorsed and to suggest improvements. (Read more: Debate on EU countries' economic policy performance )

 
 

Hearings today: Maroš Šefčovič and Violeta Bulc

Others Institutions20-10-2014 - 16:11
day20_en_  

Two additional hearings for candidate commissioners will be held in Strasbourg today. Maroš Šefčovič, who has been nominated as the vice-president for the energy Union, will be heard by the environment and industry committees. Meanwhile Violeta Bulc, the new candidate from Slovenia replacing Alenka Bratušek, will be interviewed by the transport committee regarding the transport portfolio she has been assigned. (Read more: Hearings today: Maroš Šefčovič and Violeta Bulc )

 
 
Data protection hearing  

Celebrities aren't the only ones who should care about their personal data being kept safe. The Parliament plays a key role in deciding who the European data protection supervisor should be for the next five years. The supervisor is in charge of protecting personal data and privacy as well as promoting good practice in the EU institutions and bodies. Today the EP's civil liberties committee will question the candidates from 19.00 to 22.30 CET, while the vote takes place tomorrow at 17.00 CET. (Read more: Safeguarding your privacy: appointing Europe's new data protection watchdog )

 
 

EU budget for 2015: "The Parliament will fight hard"

Plenary Session Budget20-10-2014 - 09:43
MEP Gardiazabal on Budget 2015_  

MEPs will debate the Parliament's position on the EU's budget for next year on Tuesday 21 October and vote on it the following day. The EP's budgets committee recommends reversing the Council's cuts, but this would mean the Parliament would have to negotiate with the Council. We discussed the issue with Eider Gardiazábal, who is drafting the Parliament's position on the general budget. The Spanish member of the S&D group said the Parliament would fight hard to defend its position. (Read more: EU budget for 2015: "The Parliament will fight hard" )

 
 

Decision time: MEPs about to finish evaluation of new Commission

Others Institutions17-10-2014 - 16:05
Juncker team 2.0  

The fate of the new European Commission led by Jean-Claude Juncker will be decided on Wednesday 22 October when MEPs will be asked to either approve or reject it. However, there will still be two additional hearings before that decision can be taken. Violeta Bulc, commissioner-designate for transport, and Maroš Šefčovič, proposed as Commission vice-president for the energy union, will be questioned on Monday following a reshuffle of the portfolios. (Read more: Decision time: MEPs about to finish evaluation of new Commission )

 
 
 

How easy is it to turn an intergovernmental agreement into law? Once the leaders of EU countries agree on the need for new European legislation at Council summits, it can still take a long time before the final legal texts are approved by the European Parliament and the national governments. The speed of this process depends as much on the issue as the political environment, but it is clear that translating the promises made at summits into practical measures is not an easy process. (Read more: From wish to law: EU summit conclusions and how they (not always) become law )

 
 

MEPs to debate counter-terrorism policies with UN’s Jean-Paul Laborde

AFET External relations16-10-2014 - 09:31
©BELGA_AFP_FABRICE COFFRINI  

The external and internal aspects of policies for combatting terrorism, radicalisation and the rising phenomenon of “foreign fighters” will be the focus of a debate between Foreign Affairs and Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs committees and Jean-Paul Laborde, Executive Director of the UN Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) on Thursday at 11:30. (Read more: MEPs to debate counter-terrorism policies with UN’s Jean-Paul Laborde )

 
 

Ebola: from local outbreak to global epidemic

Others Public health15-10-2014 - 16:42
A file handout picture taken and released on August 7, 2014 by the Spanish Defense Ministry shows Roman Catholic priest Miguel Pajares, who contracted the deadly Ebola virus, being transported from Madrid's Torrejon air base to the Carlos III hospital upon his arrival in Spain. The Carlos III hospital announced on August 12, 2014 that the evacuated Spanish priest Miguel Pajares has died. ©BELGA/AFP PHOTO/SPANISH DEFENSE MINISTRY/INAKI GOMEZ  

What started as an Ebola outbreak in West Africa has evolved into a world-wide threat, with the first European case having been reported in Spain. MEPs labelled the outbreak "a global security challenge" in a resolution adopted on 18 September. Europe's response to the Ebola crisis will be debated during the plenary session again on 20 October. We discussed the issue with the chairs of the development and public health committees. (Read more: Ebola: from local outbreak to global epidemic )

 
 

Lux Film Prize finalists: coming soon in a cinema near you

Others Culture15-10-2014 - 14:11
 

Silver screen enthusiasts can look forward to watching the three films short-listed for the 2014 Lux Prize for free in a cinema nearby. The European Parliament awards the prize every year to promote European cinema, but before this year's winner is announced in December, you will have the chance to watch the three finalists yourself and vote for your favourite during the Lux Film Days, which this year boasts 165 screenings at film festivals as well as special screenings and events. (Read more: Lux Film Prize finalists: coming soon in a cinema near you )