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Safer medical devices: MEPs strike deal with Council

ENVI Public health26-05-2016 - 15:48

Plans for stricter monitoring and certification procedures to ensure that medical devices such as breast or hip implants comply fully with safety and traceability requirements were informally agreed by MEPs and the Dutch Presidency of the Council on Wednesday. MEPs also secured tighter information and ethical requirements for diagnostic medical devices, e.g. those used for pregnancy or DNA testing. (Read more: Safer medical devices: MEPs strike deal with Council )

 

Boost consumer power in the energy market, urge MEPs

Plenary Session Energy26-05-2016 - 12:42
©AP Images/ European Union-EP  

Consumers should be given more power in the energy market, say MEPs in a resolution on a "new energy deal for energy consumers", voted on Thursday. They recommend collective buying, household power generation, better price comparison tools for all and making it easier to switch energy providers and tariffs. In a non-binding text, intended as an input to Energy Union legislation to be tabled by the EU Commission, MEPs also call for EU funds for energy efficiency to focus on energy poverty. (Read more: Boost consumer power in the energy market, urge MEPs )

 

MEPs call for virtual currency watchdog to combat money laundering and terrorism

Plenary Session External/international trade / Economic and monetary affairs26-05-2016 - 12:03
©AP Images/ European Union-EP  

The EU Commission should set up a taskforce to monitor virtual currencies, like Bitcoin, to prevent their being used to launder money or finance terrorism, said Parliament in a non-binding resolution voted on Thursday. (Read more: MEPs call for virtual currency watchdog to combat money laundering and terrorism )

 

EU-US “Privacy Shield” for data transfers: further improvements needed, MEPs say

Plenary Session Justice and home affairs / External relations26-05-2016 - 11:58

The EU Commission should go on negotiating with the USA to remedy “deficiencies” in proposed “Privacy Shield” protection for EU citizens’ data transferred to the US for commercial purposes, Parliament says in a non-legislative resolution passed on Thursday. (Read more: EU-US “Privacy Shield” for data transfers: further improvements needed, MEPs say )

 

Parliament approved aid on Thursday worth €6,468,000 for 557 redundant workers from the “Larissa” supermarket in Greece and €5,146,800 for 2,132 former drivers for the road haulage and delivery firm MoryGlobal SAS in France. The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) aid will still need to be approved by the Council of Ministers on 6 June. (Read more: MEPs approve €11.6m in job-search aid for redundant workers in France and Greece )

 

Milk price crisis: MEPs demand further action to rescue dairy farmers

Plenary Session Agriculture26-05-2016 - 11:47
©AP Images/ European Union-EP  

The EU must quickly take further measures to stabilize milk prices and bring relief to struggling dairy farmers, urged MEPs in Thursday's plenary debate with Commissioner Phil Hogan and Dutch deputy farm minister Hans Hoogeveen. These measures should include an EU-wide lid on milk production to boost prices, a more efficient intervention system, to enable the EU to react more swiftly, and balancing the supply chain to enable farmers to earn fair returns, they said. (Read more: Milk price crisis: MEPs demand further action to rescue dairy farmers )

 

New Digital Single Market proposals are a step in the right direction, MEPs say

Plenary Session Free movement of goods / Free movement of services / Information society25-05-2016 - 17:44

New initiatives to allow consumers and companies to buy and sell products and services online more easily across the EU were welcomed by most MEPs in a debate with Commission Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, Andrus Ansip, on Wednesday. Parliament will co-decide on equal footing with the EU Council of Ministers on the Digital Single Market legislative proposals. (Read more: New Digital Single Market proposals are a step in the right direction, MEPs say )

 

King Willem-Alexander: “It’s all too easy to take peace for granted”

Plenary Session Institutions25-05-2016 - 17:44
King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands addresses the European Parliament  

King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands addressed Parliament in Brussels in a formal sitting on Wednesday for the first time since his accession to the throne in April 2013. Speaking of identity and solidarity, the King said he belonged to the first generation of Europeans in history to enjoy the good fortune of peace and expressed the hope future generations would have this opportunity too: “It’s all too easy to take peace for granted.“ (Read more: King Willem-Alexander: “It’s all too easy to take peace for granted” )

 

Opening: tribute to Marco Pannella

Plenary Session Institutions25-05-2016 - 16:06
European Parliament President, Martin Schulz, is pictured next to Dutch King, Willem Alexander, during the opening of May 2016 plenary session in Brussels  

President Schulz paid tribute to Marco Pannella, who died on 19 May. He remembered Mr Pannella, a long-serving Italian MEP with whom he worked for many years, as a passionate defender of human rights, pacifism and pluralism, a staunch opponent of the death penalty, an advocate of prisoners’ rights, LGBT rights, and an early proponent of equality between men and women. (Read more: Opening: tribute to Marco Pannella )

 

Virtual currencies: "The technology is rapidly evolving and we must follow it”

Plenary Session External/international trade / Economic and monetary affairs25-05-2016 - 12:40
MEP Weiszacker  

In recent years currencies such as Bitcoin have emerged that are not issued by banks but exist in the digital world only, relying on public and shared databases to have balances and transactions verified. The EU should set up a task force to monitor developments in this area and prepare to step in with regulations if necessary, according to a report to be debated by MEPs on 25 May and voted on the following day. We spoke to report authorJakob von Weizsäcker, a German member of the S&D group. (Read more: Virtual currencies: "The technology is rapidly evolving and we must follow it” )