Main menu (press 'Enter')
Access to page content (press 'Enter')
Direct access to list of other websites (press 'Enter')

Newsroom

Press releases

 
 
 
 
 

Jean-Claude Juncker was elected president of the European Commission on Tuesday 15 July, during the second plenary of the new term. It's the first time that Parliament has elected the candidate proposed by member state leaders based on the results of the European elections. Members also called for more transparency in the EU-US trade talks, gave Lithuania the go ahead to join the euro zone and approved four new commissioners. Read on and discover the highlights of the 14-17 July plenary session. (Read more: Things we learned in plenary: Juncker, maternity leave, US free-trade agreement )

 
 

MEPs call on Russia to cooperate with Ukrainian peace plan

Plenary Session External relations17-07-2014 - 12:25

Russia should back the peace plan offered by Ukraine, respect the ceasefire and withdraw its mercenaries via the retreat corridor, say MEPs in a resolution passed on Thursday. They call the EU countries to ban arms sales to Russia and help Ukraine to secure its gas supply via reverse gas flows. MEPs also state their readiness to ratify the association and free trade deal with Ukraine. (Read more: MEPs call on Russia to cooperate with Ukrainian peace plan )

 
 

Gaza: MEPs call for immediate ceasefire and resumption of direct peace talks

Plenary Session External relations17-07-2014 - 12:20

The European Parliament called for an immediate end to rocket attacks on Israel and to Israeli military action against Gaza in a resolution voted on Thursday The EU foreign policy chief and the member states must do more to support a ceasefire agreement and put an immediate stop to all acts of violence threatening civilians, MEPs said, calling on Israelis and Palestinians to resume direct peace talks. (Read more: Gaza: MEPs call for immediate ceasefire and resumption of direct peace talks )

 
 

Iraq: MEPs reject jihadist terrorism and call for sustainable political solution

Plenary Session External relations17-07-2014 - 12:18

Attacks by the Islamic State (IS) on the Iraqi state and its citizens, including summary executions and the imposition of harsh interpretations of Sharia law, were strongly condemned in a European Parliament resolution passed by a show of hands on Thursday. At the same time, the resolution urges the Iraqi security forces to respect Iraq's international commitments on human rights and fundamental freedoms while fighting the IS and other terrorist groups. (Read more: Iraq: MEPs reject jihadist terrorism and call for sustainable political solution )

 
 

MEPs urge EU to help 5.3 million young people find decent jobs

Plenary Session Employment policy17-07-2014 - 12:12
Applicants applying for an interview  

The European Parliament called for stronger measures to fight unemployment among young people, including common minimum standards for apprenticeships and decent wages, in a resolution passed on Thursday. EU funding of employment-related programmes should also be increased in future budgets, it added. (Read more: MEPs urge EU to help 5.3 million young people find decent jobs )

 
 

Human rights: Sudan; freedom of expression in Egypt, recent attacks in Nigeria

Plenary Session Humanitarian aid / External relations17-07-2014 - 11:42

Parliament passed three separate resolutions on Thursday, calling on the Sudanese authorities to protect minorities' religious identities, expressing its alarm at the increasingly severe clampdown and physical attacks on media and civil society in Egypt, and calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Chibok schoolgirls in Nigeria. (Read more: Human rights: Sudan; freedom of expression in Egypt, recent attacks in Nigeria )

 
 

Elmar Brok on challenges abroad: "The neighbourhood is on fire"

Others External relations17-07-2014 - 11:01
Interview with Elmar Brok  

Every day news about armed conflicts in Ukraine, Iraq and now also in Israel and in Palestine abound. While in Israel one party has agreed to a ceasefire, in Ukraine European leaders are still negotiating a solution with Russia. As all conflicts are situated in Europe's wider neighbourhood, the EU plays an important role as mediator. We asked Elmar Brok a German member of the EPP group who is the chair of the foreign affairs committee, for an assessment of the conflicts. (Read more: Elmar Brok on challenges abroad: "The neighbourhood is on fire" )

 
 
A picture taken from the Israeli Gaza border shows smoke billowing from the Gaza Strip following an Israeli air strike on July 16, 2014.  ©BELGA/AFP/J.GUEZ  

MEPs from across the political spectrum condemned the recent wave of violence in Gaza and Israel during a debate on Wednesday evening and urged all parties to immediately agree to a ceasefire. They vote today on a resolution on the escalation of violence between Israel and Palestine. (Read more: Debate: MEPs call for an immediate ceasefire in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict )

 
 
From left to right: Mr Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council; Mr Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament; Mr Uwe Corsepius, Secretary-General of the Council; Ms. Dalia Grybauskaite, President of Lithuania; Mr Enda Kenny, Irish Prime Minister. ©The Council of the European Union  

The new European Commission should include sufficient women or risk being blocked by the European Parliament, warned Martin Schulz.. “Parliament will not accept a gentlemen’s club," the EP president said, addressing heads of state and government at the start of a Council summit on Wednesday 16 July dedicated to discussing candidates for top EU jobs. (Read more: Schulz calls for balanced Commission: “EP will not accept a gentlemen’s club” )

 
 

Budget problems: EU programmes in jeopardy again

Plenary Session Budget16-07-2014 - 17:38

The EU must stop rolling over its growing portfolio of unpaid bills from one year to the next, said MEPs in Wednesday’s debate on the alarming shortage of funds for payments due in 2014. Unless a satisfactory solution is found, programmes such as Erasmus+, research projects and humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees will get stuck, new ones will be grounded and beneficiaries will have to wait for money they worked for, warned the Commission and many MEPs. (Read more: Budget problems: EU programmes in jeopardy again )