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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 )

 
 

Gender equality: MEPs work on strategy to offer people the same opportunities

Others Women's rights/Equal opportunities14-10-2014 - 16:07
(L-R) Ms. Genoveva Tisheva, Managing director of the Bulgarian Gender research foundation and Ms. Claudia Menne Confederal Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation  

With the glass ceiling far from shattered and the pay gap not any closer to being bridged, much still needs to be done to achieve equality between women and men. The gender equality committee discussed the progress made in 2013 with experts, which will be fed into an upcoming report by Marc Tarabella, a Belgian member of the S&D group. They also debated a report being written by Maria Noichl, a German member of the S&D group, proposing a strategy for improving equality after 2015. (Read more: Gender equality: MEPs work on strategy to offer people the same opportunities )

 
 
Sept. 30, 2014 - Kobane, Border Syria - Refugees from Kobane escape from the attacs of IS to the Turkish side, on September 30, 2014. ©BELGA_Zumapress_Sebastian Backhaus  

More than nine million Syrians have been forced to leave their homes in the last few years. Now, with IS advancing in both Syria and Iraq, the situation is getting worse. “No conflict has ever seen so many deaths, so many refugees, so many internally displaced people in so little time,” said Frej Fenniche, a representative of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), during a hearing on 13 October organised by human rights subcommittee. (Read more: Syria and Iraq: growing numbers of refugees put pressure on nearby countries )

 
 

European Semester: act on your economic policy pledges, MEPs urge EU countries

ECON Economic and monetary affairs13-10-2014 - 17:51

EU countries need to do more to put their EU economic policy reform pledges into effect at home, especially in the euro area, urged Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee MEPs on Monday. Noting that only 10% of the European Commission's country-specific reform recommendations (CSRs) for 2013 were implemented in full and that little or no progress was made on 45% of them, MEPs also pressed the Commission and the Eurogroup President to see that they are put into practice. (Read more: European Semester: act on your economic policy pledges, MEPs urge EU countries )

 
 

Over 3,100 workers made redundant by Peugeot Citroën Automobiles (PSA) in France and crude steel producer Carsid SA Belgium are to get EU aid worth €13.5 million to help them to find or create new jobs. The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) aid, approved by Budgets Committee MEPs on Monday, still has to be approved by Parliament as a whole and the Council of Ministers. (Read more: EU job-search aid for former car workers in France and steel workers in Belgium )