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A reform of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), informally agreed with the Latvian Presidency of the Council of Ministers, was backed by the Environment Committee on Tuesday. The reform aims to reduce the surplus of carbon credits available for trading in order to support the price of the emission rights. The scheme would start operating in 2019. (Read more: CO2 market fix: Environment Committee MEPs back deal with Council )

 

TTIP: the Parliament takes another look at its position

Others External/international trade26-05-2015 - 16:46
 

The Parliament is updating its position on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), outlining what issues are important to MEPs. The international trade committee, which is the committee in charge, will on Thursday decide on a draft report, providing guidelines to the current negotiations. MEPs will then vote on it during the June plenary. The European Commission conducts the talks on behalf of the EU, but do you know what role the Parliament plays? Read on to find out. (Read more: TTIP: the Parliament takes another look at its position )

 

Five a day: how the EU will help children to learn about healthy eating

Plenary Session Agriculture26-05-2015 - 15:28
Happy children and healthy food ©BELGA_AGEFOTOSTOCK_D.Cervo  

Children are eating fewer and fewer fruit, vegetables and dairy products in Europe, but a new proposal could help them to adopt a healthier diet. Under the plan two existing EU schemes for handing out fresh milk, fruit and vegetables to pupils would be combined, reducing the administrative burden and creating more opportunities for teaching children about balanced diets. MEPs debate the plans during the plenary session on Wednesday 27 May from 17.00 CET, which will be followed by a vote. (Read more: Five a day: how the EU will help children to learn about healthy eating )

 

Central African Republic: MEPs to debate with interim president

AFET External relations26-05-2015 - 13:13

The foreign affairs committee meets Catherina Samba-Panza, interim president of the Central African Republic (CAR), at 16.30 on Tuesday. They are expected to debate the recently concluded national reconciliation forum in Bangui, preparations for the general and presidential elections, the political transition, the EU military advisory mission (EUMAM) in CAR and security-sector reform. (Read more: Central African Republic: MEPs to debate with interim president )

 

EP this week: TTIP, Ban Ki Moon, banking, Tunisia

Others Institutions26-05-2015 - 12:26
Parliament building in Brussels  

The committee responsible for dealing with the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will this week vote on its recommendation, while UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will address the plenary on Wednesday. Also on the agenda this week are transport, Tunisia, school fruit schemes and improving the stability of the EU's banking system. (Read more: EP this week: TTIP, Ban Ki Moon, banking, Tunisia )

 

Things we learnt in plenary: conflict minerals, migration, maternity leave

Plenary Session Institutions22-05-2015 - 09:37
 

MEPs approved measures to prevent proceeds from conflict minerals being used to fund armed conflicts and called on governments to break the deadlock on plans to harmonise maternity leave across Europe. They also debated measures to tackle irregular migrants coming to the EU during the plenary in Strasbourg on 18-21 May as well as green-lit tougher rules to prevent money laundering. Read on for an overview of the plenary. (Read more: Things we learnt in plenary: conflict minerals, migration, maternity leave )

 

Parliament urges EU member states to gear up for new security challenges now

Plenary Session External relations21-05-2015 - 12:56

Today’s unprecedented level of instability at EU borders demands that the EU and its member states shoulder more responsibility for their security and defence now, say MEPs in a resolution voted on Thursday. They urge member states to use Common Security and Defence Policy tools more effectively, improve the fit between external and internal security measures, and pool and share resources, so as to counter terrorism, fight organised crime, strengthen cyber-defence and cope with migration. (Read more: Parliament urges EU member states to gear up for new security challenges now )

 

Human rights: Zimbabwe; Thailand; Swaziland

Plenary Session Humanitarian aid / Development and cooperation21-05-2015 - 12:20

Parliament passed three resolutions on Thursday, calling for Zimbabwean human rights activist Itai Dzarana to be found immediately; the release of all political prisoners in Swaziland; protection for Rohingya asylum seekers and action against human trafficking in Thailand. (Read more: Human rights: Zimbabwe; Thailand; Swaziland )

 

Insolvency: throwing a lifeline to struggling companies

Plenary Session Justice and home affairs / Economic and monetary affairs21-05-2015 - 12:15
Insolvency proceedings  

Struggling companies will be given a second chance to improve their financial situation under new rules on insolvency approved by MEPs on 20 May. Every year 1.7 million jobs are lost in the EU due to companies going bankrupt. Under the new legislation on cross-border insolvencies, companies in financial difficulties but otherwise sound are given another opportunity to turn the situation around. The plans also include measures to help firms before they go bust. (Read more: Insolvency: throwing a lifeline to struggling companies )

 

Conflict minerals: MEPs ask for mandatory certification of EU importers

Plenary Session External/international trade20-05-2015 - 14:19
A group of boys pan for gold in a river on February 16, 2009 in Iga Barriere, 25 kms north of Bunia, north eastern Congo. DR Congo is rich in precious minerals such as diamonds and gold - but its people have gained little from this wealth because of conflict and bad government. ©BELGA_AFP_L.HEALING  

EU importers of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold for manufacturing consumer goods need to be certified by the EU to ensure that they do not fuel conflicts and human rights abuses in conflict areas, say MEPs in their position on a draft law adopted on Wednesday by 402 votes to 118, with 171 abstentions. (Read more: Conflict minerals: MEPs ask for mandatory certification of EU importers )