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Press releases


UNRWA chief on Gaza: "We're essentially talking about a time bomb"

Others Asylum policy03-03-2015 - 15:26
Interview with UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl at the European Parliament  

The hostilities in the Middle East also affect the five million Palestine refugees living throughout Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinian Territories, with a risk of radicalisation as the region becomes more unstable. Pierre Krähenbühl, the commissioner-general of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), issued the warning when he addressed the EP's foreign affairs committee on 2 March. He also said the EU had a crucial role to play. (Read more: UNRWA chief on Gaza: "We're essentially talking about a time bomb" )


Italian president Sergio Mattarella visits the EP

Others Institutions03-03-2015 - 14:11
European Parliament President Martin Schulz met Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella on Tuesday 03/03/2015  

New Italian president Sergio Mattarella visited the European Parliament in Brussels on 3 March as part of his first foreign visit. He was welcomed by EP President Martin Schulz, with whom he exchanged views on issues such as the economic crisis, migrants dying while trying to cross the Mediterranean and the situation in Libya . (Read more: Italian president Sergio Mattarella visits the EP )


Schulz on denial of entrance onto Russian territory of MEP Kalniete

Others External relations03-03-2015 - 13:16

EP President Martin Schulz said: "The repeated and arbitrary denial of entrance onto Russian territory of elected parliamentarians, as testified by the latest case of MEP Sandra Kalniete, is a high affront to the EU-Russia relations and the work of democratic institutions. (Read more: Schulz on denial of entrance onto Russian territory of MEP Kalniete )

Interview with Alain Lamassoure  

Are multinational companies paying their fair share of taxes? While the European Commission launched a series of inquiries in all EU member states, the Parliament has set up its own special committee to investigate into tax rulings involving large international companies. We talked to committee chair Alain Lamassoure, a French member of the EPP group, to find out his views and expectations. (Read more: Lamassoure on tax rulings committee: "We have an obligation to produce results" )


Due to works at the European Parliament accreditation centre in Brussels, journalists needing an access badge for one or more days should address themselves to a special desk in the entrance hall of the Altiero Spinelli building. The works will start on 3 March and will last until 12 April. (Read more: Information to the press: renovation work at the accreditation centre )


Juncker investment plan must complement other EU tools, say MEPs

BUDG ECON Budget / Economic and monetary affairs02-03-2015 - 18:40

The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) must focus on currently underfunded areas, so as to complement, not duplicate, other EU budget tools, said MEPs at Monday’s expert hearing on the Juncker investment plan proposals. The hearing was held by the Budgets and Economic and Monetary Affairs committees with a view to shaping legislation for the investment plan. (Read more: Juncker investment plan must complement other EU tools, say MEPs )


Events: empowering women through education

Others Women's rights/Equal opportunities02-03-2015 - 17:14
Poster of the EP interparliamentary committee meeting: "Empowering women and girls through education, International Women's Day 2015"  

Education plays a crucial role in helping women and girls achieve equality. Little wonder then that it was chosen as the theme of this year's International Women's Day. In the run-up to this annual day on 8 March, the Parliament is organising several events to highlight access to education in developing countries and the gap between women's high level of education in the EU and the professional opportunities available to them afterwards. Follow the events live on our website. (Read more: Events: empowering women through education )

EP this week  

MEPs will this week focus on the €315 billion investment plan to boost growth in Europe, discussing with experts its three pillars: an investment fund, an advisory hub and a project pipeline. The foreign affairs committee will discuss the refugee situation in the Middle East with UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl, while the EP will also prepare for International Women's Day on Sunday and for next week's plenary session. (Read more: EP this week: €315 bln investment plan, refugees and International Women’s Day )

A Syrian soldier walks on the roof of the damaged church of Saint Sarkis, in the ancient Christian town of Maalula, 56 kilometers northeast of the Syrian capital Damascus, on December 20, 2014. ©BELGA/AFP/Y.Karwashan  

Religious minorities in the Middle East are increasingly under threat from jihadist groups such as the so-called Islamic State (IS). To call attention to the situation of Christians and other religious minorities in the region, the human rights subcommittee and the EP's Mashreq delegation held a joint hearing on 26 February. "Death has become something banal," warned guest speaker Nawras Sammour, of the Jesuit Refugee Service in Syria, saying the upsurge in radicalism was worrying Christians. (Read more: Religious minorities at risk in Middle East: "Death has become something banal" )


Changes to planned European Passenger Name Record (PNR) system discussed by MEPs

LIBE Justice and home affairs26-02-2015 - 18:38
An evaluation of the necessity and proportionality of the proposal in the face of current security threats, its scope (list of offences covered), retention periods, the inclusion or exclusion of intra-EU flights, the connection with the on-going data protection reform, as well as the consequences of the EU Court of Justice judgement annulling the 2006 data retention directive, were among the issues discussed by MEPs.  

A new draft text on an EU system for the use of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data, tabled by lead MEP Timothy Kirkhope (ECR, UK), was discussed in the civil liberties committee on Thursday morning. (Read more: Changes to planned European Passenger Name Record (PNR) system discussed by MEPs )