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European Parliament approves EU-Georgia association deal

Plenary Session External relations18-12-2014 - 12:18
Press conference on the ratification of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement with (L-R) the rapporteur Andrejs Mamikins, the Vice-President of the European Parliament Ryszard Czarnecki and Georgia President Giorgi Margvelashvili  

The European Parliament gave its green light to the EU-Georgia Association Agreement on Thursday. The deal will establish deep political association and economic integration between the EU and Georgia, including the progressive opening up of their respective markets. (Read more: European Parliament approves EU-Georgia association deal )

 
 

Human rights: Venezuela; Sudan and Mauritania

Plenary Session Development and cooperation / External relations18-12-2014 - 12:01

Parliament passed three resolutions on Thursday, calling on the Venzuelan authorities to withdraw "unfounded" charges against the opposition leader; condemning the arrest of human rights activist Dr Amin Mekki Medani in Sudan; and demanding the immediate release of anti-slavery activist Biram Dah Abeid in Mauritania. (Read more: Human rights: Venezuela; Sudan and Mauritania )

 
 

MEPs secure deal to cap card payment fees

ECON Economic and monetary affairs17-12-2014 - 19:02

The fees that banks charge retailers to process shoppers’ payments should be capped under uniform rules across in the EU following a deal struck by Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee and Council negotiators on Wednesday. The cap would apply to both cross-border and domestic card-based payments and should result in lower costs for consumers. (Read more: MEPs secure deal to cap card payment fees )

 
 

MEPs critical of breaches of freedom of expression in Turkey

Plenary Session External relations17-12-2014 - 18:45

MEPs from all political groups expressed their concerns over the recent arrests of journalists in Turkey and condemned all actions against media freedom, in a plenary debate on Wednesday afternoon. They agreed that the deterioration in the rule of law and fundamental rights in the country is an issue that needs to be tackled. Parliament will put a resolution to a vote in January. (Read more: MEPs critical of breaches of freedom of expression in Turkey )

 
 
Interview with Lux Film Prize 2014 Director Paweł Pawlikowski  

The EP's Lux Prize was today awarded to the Polish/Danish film Ida, directed by Paweł Pawlikowski. It is a story about a young novice nun, who meets her aunt and goes on a road trip to discover the dark secrets of her past. We talked to the director after the award ceremony to ask him about the film, its success and what he thinks about European cinema. (Read more: Lux Prize winner Pawlikowski: "I tried to make a film about universal things" )

 
 

Torture: MEPs call for investigation into EU countries' role in CIA practices

Plenary Session Institutions / Human rights / External relations17-12-2014 - 16:53
Press conference at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia  

Waterboarding, chaining people to walls, rectal feeding: the recently published US Senate’s report on CIA interrogation methods makes serious allegations about the agency using torture to extract information from detainees. In a plenary debate about the report on 17 December, MEPs said that trampling fundamental values in the fight against terrorism is unacceptable and that the possible complicity of EU member states in this should be investigated. (Read more: Torture: MEPs call for investigation into EU countries' role in CIA practices )

 
 

MEPs urge EU to step up efforts to help steel industry out of the crisis

Plenary Session Industry17-12-2014 - 13:59

The EU should step up its efforts to help the steel industry out of the crisis, MEPs say in a non-binding resolution voted on Wednesday. They ask the European Commission to ensure that trade deals improve steel export conditions and check that EU competition and state aid rules do not lead to unfairness between EU countries. MEPs also call for investments in workers' education and training as well as in steel research. (Read more: MEPs urge EU to step up efforts to help steel industry out of the crisis )

 
 

New EU Security Strategy must tackle emerging threats, MEPs say

Plenary Session Justice and home affairs17-12-2014 - 13:45

The new Internal Security Strategy for 2015-2019 should be "easily adaptable to evolving situations" with a joined-up approach across the Union to tackle foreign fighters, cyber-security, human trafficking, organised crime, money laundering and corruption, , says a resolution passed by Parliament on Wednesday. (Read more: New EU Security Strategy must tackle emerging threats, MEPs say )

 
 

Migration: MEPs call on EU countries to share responsibility

Plenary Session Immigration17-12-2014 - 13:34

MEPs call for a comprehensive EU approach to migration and more effort to prevent further loss of life at sea in a resolution passed on Wednesday. Parliament asks the civil liberties committee to assess the various policies at stake, draw up a set of recommendations and report back to plenary with a "strategic initiative report" before the end of 2015. At least 3 072 people died in the Mediterranean Sea in the first nine months of this year. (Read more: Migration: MEPs call on EU countries to share responsibility )

 
 

European Parliament resolution on recognition of Palestine statehood

Plenary Session External relations17-12-2014 - 13:16
A view of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, past the Israeli separation wall in Abu Dis in the West Bank, September 29, 2014.  ©BELGA_EYEVINE  

The European Parliament supports "in principle recognition of Palestinian statehood and the two state solution, and believes these should go hand in hand with the development of peace talks, which should be advanced", it says in a resolution passed on Wednesday. To support EU diplomatic efforts in the Middle East peace process, it also decided to launch a “Parliamentarians for Peace” initiative to bring together MEPs and MPs from the Israeli and Palestinian parliaments. (Read more: European Parliament resolution on recognition of Palestine statehood )