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Volunteers from the Syria Civil Defence - better known as the White Helmets - risk their lives on a daily basis by serving as the main rescue group operating in besieged eastern Aleppo. Addressing Parliament’s foreign affairs and development committees on 5 December, their chief liaison officer Abdulrahman Al-Mawwas decried the current situation in Aleppo and called for both a no-fly zone and humanitarian corridors to prevent a large-scale humanitarian disaster. (Read more: Syria’s White Helmets: “We need a no-fly zone and humanitarian corridors” )

 

Clampdown on terrorism -new counter-terrorism law backed by civil liberties MEPs

LIBE Justice and home affairs05-12-2016 - 19:09

Foreign fighters as well as “lone wolves” training and preparing terrorist attacks on European soil will be criminalised under new EU-rules to fight terrorism backed on Monday. (Read more: Clampdown on terrorism -new counter-terrorism law backed by civil liberties MEPs )

 

Mandatory checks at EU external borders: deal done by MEPs and ministers

LIBE Justice and home affairs05-12-2016 - 19:07

All EU citizens and third country nationals entering or leaving the EU will be checked against databases, e.g. of lost and stolen documents, under a draft law informally agreed by MEPs and EU ministers on Monday. (Read more: Mandatory checks at EU external borders: deal done by MEPs and ministers )

 

Transport MEPs back reform of domestic rail services

TRAN Transport05-12-2016 - 17:33

Easier access for all rail operators to domestic rail markets should give rail passengers more choice and better quality services under draft rules backed by Transport and Tourism Committee on Monday. (Read more: Transport MEPs back reform of domestic rail services )

 

Terrorism: members to vote on new measures against foreign fighters

Others Justice and home affairs / Security and defence05-12-2016 - 17:22
 

EU nationals being radicalised and travelling to fight in Iraq or Syria represent a growing threat. Most of the recent terrorist attacks in Europe were perpetrated by home-grown terrorists, and some of them proved to be returning “foreign fighters”. The civil liberties committee votes today on a new directive on combatting terrorism. The text, drafted in the wake of the November 2015 Paris attacks, proposes the criminalisation of preparatory acts such as travelling for terrorist purposes. (Read more: Terrorism: members to vote on new measures against foreign fighters )

 
Parliament building in Brussels. Photo of glass wall with large EU flag  

With committees meeting and the final plenary session of the year to prepare for, MEPs have a busy week in store for them in Brussels. MEPs vote on proposals to help member states better fight terrorism and to make the EU more democratic and transparent. The political groups also prepare for next week’s sitting in Strasbourg where the 2016 Sakharov Prize will be awarded to Yazidi survivors and advocates Nadia Murad and Lamiya Aji Bashar. (Read more: In Parliament this week: terrorism, future of Europe, and Syria's White Helmets )

 

EYE hearings: empowering young people

Others Youth02-12-2016 - 12:46
INTRO: Remember #EYE2016? Well it’s not over yet! In the past weeks participants at May’s European Youth Event addressed members of the EP on their ideas for a better Europe.  

Some 7,500 young people came to the Parliament in May 2016 to come up with ideas on how the improve the situation in Europe as part of the European Youth Event (EYE). In recent weeks a number of these participants were invited to present their ideas on anything from asylum policy to e-voting to Parliament committees. Thanking participants at the end of the hearings this week, Vice-President Mairead McGuinness said: “Your future is determined by politics, make sure you are involved in it." (Read more: EYE hearings: empowering young people )

 

Tunisian President: "Islam is not incompatible with democracy"

Others External relations01-12-2016 - 15:39
Mohamed Beji Caid Essebsi, President of Tunisia, addressing the European Parliament  

Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi, visited today the European Parliament in Brussels, where he was welcomed by Parliament President Martin Schulz. They had a meeting during which they discussed developments in Tunisia and EU-Tunisia relations. Essebsi called the visit is a "historic and highly symbolic moment" and addressed MEPs on his country's commitment to democracy and freedom. (Read more: Tunisian President: "Islam is not incompatible with democracy" )

 

Parliament approves €31.5m in EU aid to repair flood damage in Bavaria

Plenary Session Budget01-12-2016 - 15:01

MEPs approved €31.5 million in EU aid to repair flood damage in Bavaria in a plenary vote on Thursday. Seven people died in the May and June 2016 floods, which affected more than 47,000 people in Lower Bavaria. Over 2,000 were still unable to return to their homes two months later. Hardest hit was the Rottal-Inn district in Lower Bavaria. The aid will come from the EU Solidarity Fund (EUSF). (Read more: Parliament approves €31.5m in EU aid to repair flood damage in Bavaria )

 

Data protection: "Snowden case showed US needs to deliver on trustworthy rules"

Plenary Session Judicial cooperation / Justice and home affairs01-12-2016 - 14:22
Jan Albercht on Data protection_  

Trust in the US took a hit following revelations of mass surveillance by Edward Snowden, but an agreement on data protection adopted by MEPs today should help to restore it. The deal known as the umbrella agreement covers the transfer of all personal data exchanged across the Atlantic when dealing with criminal offences, including terrorism. Green German MEP Jan Albrecht, who was responsible for steering the deal through Parliament", said it would ensure “high standards and high protection”. (Read more: Data protection: "Snowden case showed US needs to deliver on trustworthy rules" )