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Press releases

European Parliament President Martin Schulz opens EP plenary with a minute of silence for victims of Nepal Earthquake and Mediterranean tragedies  

The session opened with a minute’s silence for victims of the Nepal earthquake on 25 April and migrants drowned in the Mediterranean on 20 April. President Schulz conveyed Parliament’s deepest sympathy to their families and friends. (Read more: Opening:minute’s silence for Nepal earthquake victims and Mediterranean migrants )


Alcohol: the risks of excessive consumption

Plenary Session Public health27-04-2015 - 15:30

Alcohol poses a major risk to public health: the direct and indirect social cost of alcohol abuse in Europe in 2010 alone is estimated at €155.8 billion. Although alcohol is high in calories and can contribute to obesity, most people have no idea how many calories there are in their drinks. A draft resolution to be debated today and voted on Wednesday calls among other things for mandatory labelling of calories in alcoholic drinks. Check out our chart on alcohol consumption in the EU. (Read more: Alcohol: the risks of excessive consumption )

Interview with Olga Sehnalová  

Imagine having a serious car accident and not being able to call the emergency services. Soon your car might do it for you. MEPs debate the deployment of the eCall automatic alert system for cars on Monday 27 April and vote on it on Tuesday 28 April. Czech S&D member Olga Sehnalová, who wrote the report, explained us earlier why eCall is needed, how data will be protected and what it will cost consumers. (Read more: Sehnalová on eCall: "We've put great emphasis on protection of personal data" )


Bangladesh: has the situation improved two years after the Rana Plaza disaster?

Plenary Session Delegations24-04-2015 - 12:26
Relatives of Rana Plaza victims hold photos of their loved ones. A year ago this week, more than 1,100 factory workers died when the eight-story Rana Plaza building in Dhaka, Bangladesh collapsed into a heap of bricks and fabric bolts. @Rohat Ali Rajib  

The Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh collapsed two years ago today, claiming the lives of more than 1,100 people. The tragedy highlighted the human cost of cheap clothing. On 29 April MEPs vote on a resolution on the progress made since then in the garment industry in Bangladesh. Ahead of the vote, we talked to UK Greens/EFA member Jean Lambert, chair of the Parliament's South Asia delegation, about the improvements that have been implemented since the Rana Plaza disaster. (Read more: Bangladesh: has the situation improved two years after the Rana Plaza disaster? )

EP President Martin Schulz press conference at the special European Council on migratory pressure in the Mediterranean © European Union 2015  

Europe should come up with a common asylum and migration policy that is humane and realistic, Martin Schulz warned EU leaders. The EP President was speaking at the start of an extraordinary European summit dedicated to migration after hundreds of people died in one week trying to cross the Mediterranean. Schulz said: “Our immediate priority must be to save lives at sea.” (Read more: Schulz: “Lack of European migration policy turning Mediterranean into graveyard” )


Parliament, Council start negotiations on investment fund

BUDG ECON Budget / Economic and monetary affairs23-04-2015 - 14:01

Negotiators of the European Parliament and the Council opened negotiations on the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) on Wednesday. (Read more: Parliament, Council start negotiations on investment fund )


Carbon monoxide can kill, so gas ovens should be professionally installed and maintained. But oven gloves need not be subject to EU safety rules unless they are labelled “protective”, said Internal Market Committee MEPs voting on draft EU rules on Thursday. (Read more: Gas ovens need EU safety rules, but oven gloves do not, say MEPs )


Better law-making with Frans Timmermans

Others Institutions22-04-2015 - 17:56

Annual and multi-annual programming and the revision of the 2003 Inter-institutional agreement on "Better Law making", which aims to simplify and improve the regulatory environment, will be discussed by the Conference of Presidents (EP President and political group leaders) and Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans on Thursday at around 11.00. (Read more: Better law-making with Frans Timmermans )


€150,000 for a kidney: the lethal trade in illegal organs

Others Human rights22-04-2015 - 16:51
The first cut of a kidney transplant operation ©BELGA_EYEVINE_C.Stennett  

The demand for organs far outstrips what is available, leading to illegal trafficking in organs all over the world. With Europeans travelling to other countries to receive one of these illegally harvested organs, it also forms a challenge for the EU. The EP's public health committee and human rights subcommittee held a workshop on 21 April dedicated to organ harvesting in China to discuss these issues. However, MEPs warned that the problem was not limited to China. (Read more: €150,000 for a kidney: the lethal trade in illegal organs )


Mady Delvaux: "Robotics will bring about a revolution"

Others Research and innovation22-04-2015 - 12:33
Interview with MEP Mady Delvaux  

Robots used to exist only in the realm of science fiction, but these days they are rapidly becoming a part of everyday life in the shape of drones, intelligent cars, industrial robots and robotic vacuum cleaners. The Parliament's legal affairs committee has decided to set up a working group to come up with proposals for legislation on how to make best use of robotics. We spoke to Luxembourg S&D member Mady Delvaux, who will write a report on this on behalf of the working group. (Read more: Mady Delvaux: "Robotics will bring about a revolution" )