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EP's presidential election: Tajani, Pittella and Stevens lead after first ballot

Plenary Session Institutions17-01-2017 - 11:40

No candidate won the required absolute majority of valid votes cast (342) in the first round of voting in Parliament’s presidential election on Tuesday morning. Of the six candidates, Antonio Tajani (EPP, IT) did best, with 274 votes, ahead of Gianni Pittella (S&D, IT) and Helga Stevens (ECR, BE). (Read more: EP's presidential election: Tajani, Pittella and Stevens lead after first ballot )

 

Follow it live: Parliament set to elect new president

Plenary Session Institutions / Parliament's Rules of Procedure16-01-2017 - 22:32
EP Presidents first ballots candidates: Antonio Tajani (EPP, Italy), Gianni Pittella (S&D, Italy), Helga Stevens (ECR, Belgium), Guy Verhofstadt (ALDE, Belgium), Eleonora Forenza (GUE/NGL, Italy), Jean Lambert (Greens/EFA, UK) and Laurenţiu Rebega (ENF, Romania)  

MEPs elect on Tuesday 17 January Parliament's new president to replace Martin Schulz who is stepping down after five years. Seven candidates have put themselves forward for the post so far ahead of the first ballot on Tuesday morning. In case the president is not elected during the first ballot, nominations can still be added or withdrawn before each subsequent round of voting. Follow the candidates' speeches and the votes live on our website and on social media. (Read more: Follow it live: Parliament set to elect new president )

 

Opening – Minute’s silence for Mário Soares

Plenary Session Institutions16-01-2017 - 18:19
Opening remarks of January plenary session by EP President Martin Schulz  

President Schulz called a minute’s silence for the late Portuguese statesman Mário Soares, who died on 7 January. Mr Soares fought oppression and dictatorship to bring about Portugal’s transition to democracy and accession to the European Community. It is our duty to honour and defend his political legacy, said Mr Schulz. (Read more: Opening – Minute’s silence for Mário Soares )

 

Refugee crisis: "The scenes of 2015 must not be repeated"

Others Immigration13-01-2017 - 16:16
A mother and her baby rescued after crossing the sea in search of a safe life ©UNHCR/Achilleas Zavallis  

EU border force Frontex, estimates that the number of people landing on Europe's shores fell by two-thirds in 2016. A drop in arrivals on Greece’s islands contrasts however with record numbers of migrants reaching Italy. With over 5,000 people killed or missing, the UN reports that 2016 was the deadliest year ever for migrants crossing the Mediterranean. In meetings with Commission, Council and UNHCR representatives on 12 January, civil liberties committee MEPs shared their views on the crisis. (Read more: Refugee crisis: "The scenes of 2015 must not be repeated" )

 

Maltese Presidency priorities discussed in committee

LIBE JURI Institutions12-01-2017 - 17:37

The priorities of the Maltese Presidency of the EU Council of Ministers are being outlined to parliamentary committees by Maltese ministers at a series of meetings taking place in January. (Read more: Maltese Presidency priorities discussed in committee )

 

Following an exchange of views with the members of the Committees on Budgets, Budgetary Control and Legal Affairs, a majority of the committees’ coordinators were satisfied that Commissioner Günther Oettinger is in a position to assume the portfolio that is transferred to him and look forward to a close working relationship. (Read more: Committees satisfied that Oettinger is in a position to assume budget portfolio )

 

Rise of the robots: Mady Delvaux on why their use should be regulated

Others Research and innovation12-01-2017 - 13:32
Interview with Mady Delvaux  

From drones to medical equipment, robots are increasingly becoming a part of our everyday life. But although some 1.7 million robots already exist worldwide, their use is still not properly regulated. A report being voted on today by the legal affairs committee calls on the European Commission to produce a legislative proposal to deal with issues such as who should be liable if someone gets hurt due to robots. We talked to report author Mady Delvaux, a Luxembourg member of the S&D group. (Read more: Rise of the robots: Mady Delvaux on why their use should be regulated )

 

Robots: Legal Affairs Committee calls for EU-wide rules

JURI Industry12-01-2017 - 12:27
Robot and human hands in handshake  

EU rules for the fast-evolving field of robotics, to settle issues such as compliance with ethical standards and liability for accidents involving driverless cars, should be put forward by the EU Commission, urged the Legal Affairs Committee on Thursday. (Read more: Robots: Legal Affairs Committee calls for EU-wide rules )

 

Progress in transferring asylum seekers from Greece and Italy to other EU countries under an intra-EU deal and from third countries to EU territory will be assessed by Civil Liberties Committee MEPs on Thursday. They will also discuss the results of the March 2016 deal with Turkey to improve the management of migration and refugee flows. (Read more: Refugees: MEPs to assess progress on transfers among EU countries )

 
Interview with Alain Lamassoure  

The EU should in the future have more possibilities to finance itself directly instead of being mostly funded by member states, according to a report to be presented to Parliament on Thursday 12 January. Such a system of own resources was already in place for decades in the past and should be readopted. Report co-author Alain Lamassoure spoke to us ahead of the presentation, pointing out that the proposals would not result in a power shift from national governments to Brussels. (Read more: Lamassoure: Changing how EU is funded won't shift power to Brussels )