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Economic affairs MEPs target conflicts of interest in benchmark setting

ECON Economic and monetary affairs31-03-2015 - 12:10

A draft EU law to make the benchmarks used to price EU citizens’ mortgages, loans and bonds more trustworthy was backed by the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee on Tuesday. The text (lead MEP Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, ALDE, NL) aims to clean up the benchmark-setting process, by curbing conflicts of interest like those that led to the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) rigging scandals of recent years. (Read more: Economic affairs MEPs target conflicts of interest in benchmark setting )

 

Fair trials: MEPs beef up draft EU law on presumption of innocence

LIBE Judicial cooperation31-03-2015 - 10:46
. ©BELGA_DPA  

Draft EU rules to ensure that the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty is fully respected in member states were approved by the Civil Liberties Committee on Tuesday. MEPs inserted amendments to prevent statements by public authorities that might suggest a suspect is guilty before a final conviction, ensure that the burden of proof stays with the prosecution and guarantee the rights to remain silent, not to incriminate oneself and to be present at trial. (Read more: Fair trials: MEPs beef up draft EU law on presumption of innocence )

 

Democracy and values are problematic in DRC, says Denis Mukwege

DROI Human rights / External relations26-03-2015 - 12:31
Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI) of the European Parliament exchange of views with Denis Mukwege, Sakharov Prize Laureate 2014  

Dr Denis Mukwege, the 2014 Sakharov Prize laureate, described political problems in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and his difficulties in tackling the problem of sexual abuse of women and even small children, in a Human Rights Subcommittee debate on Thursday. MEPs discussed how the EU could best support Dr Mukwege’s work, and some called for legally-binding rules on trade in conflict minerals. (Read more: Democracy and values are problematic in DRC, says Denis Mukwege )

 

Commission to clarify whether minimum wage may apply to foreign lorry drivers

Plenary Session Employment policy / Transport25-03-2015 - 22:32

The question of whether Germany’s minimum pay rules should apply to foreign lorry drivers using its roads divided MEPs evenly in a debate with transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc on Wednesday evening. The European Commission is still assessing the implications of these rules, which the Germany partially suspended (for transit drivers) early this year, but they must in any event comply with EU law, she said. (Read more: Commission to clarify whether minimum wage may apply to foreign lorry drivers )

 

Terror attacks targeted Tunisia's democratic path: MEPs call for more EU support

Plenary Session External relations25-03-2015 - 21:39

The 18 March terrorist attacks on the Tunis Bardo museum were clearly directed against Tunisia’s transition to democracy, as the “lone success story of the ‘Arab Spring’”, said MEPs in a debate with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on Wednesday evening. All speakers insisted on the need to maintain or beef up EU support for Tunisia, so to in encourage it to pursue its democratic transition and not be intimidated by attempts to cause anarchy and chaos. (Read more: Terror attacks targeted Tunisia's democratic path: MEPs call for more EU support )

 

EP takes stance on tax transparency, burdens, avoidance and evasion

Plenary Session Taxation25-03-2015 - 20:19

Tackling tax evasion should be a top EU priority. EU countries and the European Commission should play a leading role in discussing how to fight tax fraud and aggressive tax planning in the OECD and other relevant fora, says Parliament in its resolution on tax, voted on Wednesday. (Read more: EP takes stance on tax transparency, burdens, avoidance and evasion )

 

Moscovici debate: MEPs make the case for fairer taxation

Plenary Session Taxation25-03-2015 - 19:55
EU budget revision illustration  

EU member states must be more transparent about their national tax rulings, because unfair tax competition distorts competition among companies and could lead to a “race to the bottom”, warned many MEPs in Wednesday’s debate with taxation Commissioner Pierre Moscovici. (Read more: Moscovici debate: MEPs make the case for fairer taxation )

 

European Parliament approves €1.8 billion EU loan to Ukraine

Plenary Session External/international trade25-03-2015 - 19:32
Men push a cart over the destroyed Putilovka bridge near Donetsk airport on March 21, 2015.  

EU plans to lend Ukraine €1.8 billion to help plug its short-term balance of payments gap were approved by MEPs on Wednesday. The EU will borrow the money externally and lend it on to Ukraine with the same interest rate. The disbursement will be tied to Ukraine pledging structural reforms to tackle problems that contributed to the current crisis. (Read more: European Parliament approves €1.8 billion EU loan to Ukraine )

 

Parliament approves EU aid for redundant workers in Greece and Ireland

Plenary Session Budget25-03-2015 - 19:16

More than 2,000 workers made redundant in Greece and Ireland in 2014 will receive EU aid worth €11.3 million to help them find jobs, Parliament decided on Wednesday. The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) aid has already been approved by the EU Council of Ministers. (Read more: Parliament approves EU aid for redundant workers in Greece and Ireland )

 
One minute silence at EP plenary_  

The session opened with a minute’s silence for victims of the Germanwings air crash in the French Alps on 24 March and the terrorist attack on Tunisia’s Bardo museum on 18 March. President Schulz conveyed Parliament’s deepest sympathy to their families and friends. (Read more: Opening: minute’s silence for victims of Germanwings air crash and Tunis attacks )