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Budget Committee MEPs reversed all the cuts proposed by the Council to the draft 2017 EU budget to meet the needs of the migration crisis and slow economic growth, in a vote on Wednesday. They also boosted funding to fight youth unemployment and increased spending on research and infrastructure projects. The full plenary will vote on 26 October on a proposed budget amounting to €161.8bn in commitments, €4.13bn more than the original Commission proposal. (Read more: MEPs reject EU Budget 2017 Council cuts: more funds for migration, jobs, youth )

 

Cleaner cars: Internal Market MEPs to debate changes to type-approval rules

IMCO Free movement of goods / Consumers / Environment28-09-2016 - 16:05

MEPs’ plans to tighten up EU car “type approval” rules, in the wake of the VW scandal, will be outlined in 196 amendments to the EU Commission proposal to overhaul the current system, to be debated in the Internal Market Committee on Thursday at 11.00. These include stricter supervision of tests done before a car can be placed on the market and more stringent obligations on EU member states to check that those already on the road meet all EU safety, environmental and production requirements. (Read more: Cleaner cars: Internal Market MEPs to debate changes to type-approval rules )

 

Between hope and fear: the future of Jewish communities in Europe

Others Institutions28-09-2016 - 15:12
Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth Lord Jonathan Sacks  

Anti-Semitism continues to be a problem in Europe with every fifth Jew having experienced verbal or physical violence. On 27 September MEPs and representatives from Jewish communities gathered in the European Parliament to debate anti-Semitism and the future of Jews in Europe. "Jewish friends and neighbours, we stand with you against those who spread hatred," said Parliament President Martin Schulz. "Europe is not Europe without its Jews. Europe is your home!” (Read more: Between hope and fear: the future of Jewish communities in Europe )

 

Transparency register: an eagerly-awaited strengthening

Others Institutions28-09-2016 - 11:10

After five years’ existence, the transparency register, of independent organisations and people whose business is to influence EU decision-taking processes, is to evolve into a mandatory system covering all EU institutions. This is "an eagerly-awaited reform", said European Parliament Vice-President Sylvie Guillaume, welcoming the proposed inter-institutional agreement tabled by the European Commission on 28 September. (Read more: Transparency register: an eagerly-awaited strengthening )

 

Debate on possible suspension of structural funds for Spain and Portugal

ECON REGI Economic and monetary affairs / Regional policy27-09-2016 - 17:39

Should EU Structural and Investment Funds for Spain and Portugal be suspended, following Council’s 12 July decision to trigger the “excessive deficit” procedure? MEPs from the Regional Development and Economic Affairs committees will debate a possible suspension of structural funds for Spain and Portugal with the EU Commission in Strasbourg on Monday 3 October, in room Louise Weiss N1.3, starting at 18.00. (Read more: Debate on possible suspension of structural funds for Spain and Portugal )

 

The European Parliament is sending a delegation of MEPs to Colombia this week to accompany and observe its referendum on the newly signed peace agreement. MEPs “expect and hope” that on Sunday 2 October Colombian voters will back the peace agreement reached by the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). (Read more: European Parliament delegation to observe Colombia’s peace deal referendum )

 

Chair Werner Langen kicked off Tuesday’s hearing with the investigative journalists behind the Panama Papers revelations by announcing that the inquiry committee will also look into the recent Bahama Leaks affair and the case of former Commissioner Neelie Kroes, who failed to declare a directorship in an offshore firm while she held the competition portfolio. (Read more: Chairman Werner Langen: Panama Papers committee will also look into Bahama Leaks )

 

End of roaming: MEPs negotiate safeguards to prevent abuse

Others Free movement of services27-09-2016 - 13:59
 

Roaming charges are on track to be abolished next June, but the rules setting out when mobile providers can charge domestic charges still have to be finalised. Companies fear consumers will try to buy a SIM card from the EU country with the lowest charges rather than from their own country. We asked Pilar del Castillo, the Spanish EPP member responsible for negotiating with the European Commission and Council on this issue, to answer questions we received from our Facebook followers. (Read more: End of roaming: MEPs negotiate safeguards to prevent abuse )

 

Big data: MEPs look at risks and opportunities

Others Institutions27-09-2016 - 11:53
Online Security Technology ©AP Images/ European Union-EP  

Big data refers to large quantities of data collected from sources such as sensors and the internet. They can be used to improve decision-making and create better products, however they also pose challenges to fundamental rights such as privacy and data protection. Parliament's civil liberties committee discussed the risks and opportunities of using big data on Monday, while MEP Ana Gomes is drafting an own-initiative report on the issue, which MEPs will vote on during a future plenary session. (Read more: Big data: MEPs look at risks and opportunities )

 

Euro area economy showed resilience after UK referendum, Mario Draghi tells MEPs

ECON Economic and monetary affairs26-09-2016 - 18:36

The recovery in the euro area is expected to continue at a moderate and steady pace, but slower than envisaged in June due to a lower foreign demand outlook, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi told Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee members on Monday. On the positive side, he said that the euro area economy showed resilience to global and political uncertainty, notably following the UK referendum outcome. (Read more: Euro area economy showed resilience after UK referendum, Mario Draghi tells MEPs )