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European Commission: what Juncker's new team will be working on

Others Institutions31-10-2014 - 10:59
Parliament voting in the plenary chamber.  

The new European Commission will start its five-year term on 1 November, but what will it be working on? President Jean-Claude Juncker has already announced a €300 billion investment plan, but there will be many other plans that will have to be scrutinised and voted on by the European Parliament before they can enter into force. There are also plans inherited from the previous Commission that have to be dealt with, from roaming charges to banking reforms. Read on to find out what is coming up. (Read more: European Commission: what Juncker's new team will be working on )

 
 

ABC of the EU institutions

Others Institutions30-10-2014 - 11:04
EU institutions  

What does the Parliament do and what are the responsibilities of the Commission? What do we mean with the European Council and how is it different from the Council of the European Union? Read our infographic for a brief guide to the EU's institutions. (Read more: ABC of the EU institutions )

 
 

MEPs urge Ukraine leaders to swiftly form government and launch reforms

Others Institutions / Delegations28-10-2014 - 16:39
"European Parliament was one of the first to support my intention to hold early Ukrainian Parliament election", reminded Ukraine's president Pavlo Poroshenko whom MEPs saw the morning after elections  

Ukraine should swiftly form a new government and launch reforms, MEPs told the country's leaders following the parliamentary elections on Sunday won by pro-European parties. The European Parliament was present with an observation mission to ensure the elections were run fairly and transparently. In a meeting with Ukraine's president and prime minister the following day, the MEPs vouched to do everything in the EP's power to help implement the recently ratified association agreement. (Read more: MEPs urge Ukraine leaders to swiftly form government and launch reforms )

 
 

Michael Gahler (EPP, DE), head of the European Parliament delegation observing the parliamentary elections in Tunisia, on Tuesday welcomed the "remarkable success of the Independent High Authority for the Elections, which organised a transparent, professional poll in a very short space of time." (Read more: Tunisia: head of EP election observers hails transparent and professional poll )

 
 

Stronger democracy and a "strategic choice for peace and Europe" was the Ukrainian people's message in Sunday's elections to the Verkhovna Rada, said Andrej Plenkovic (EPP, HR), head of the EP delegation at the international election monitors' press conference in Kiev on Monday. "Our assessment is very positive. The elections were conducted in line with international standards," he said. (Read more: Ukrainians have voted for peace and Europe, says EP chief observer Plenkovic )

 
 
EP building in Brussels  

As MEPs undertake activities outside the Parliament this week, no committee meetings are scheduled in Brussels. Members will use the opportunity to interact with people in their home constituencies. Others have duties in the parliamentary delegations, which are responsible for maintaining relations with non-EU countries. Two delegations of MEPs who were in Tunisia and Ukraine to observe elections there are due to present their findings this week. (Read more: EP this week: findings of electoral observation missions to Ukraine and Tunisia )

 
 

Schulz: “We need targeted investment to stimulate the economy"

Others Institutions24-10-2014 - 12:48
EP President Martin Schulz during the European Summit press conference on 23/10/2014 © European Union 2014 - European Council  

Europe needs an investment package to overcome low growth and high unemployment, EP President Martin Schulz warned government leaders at the European Council summit on 23 October. Schulz also pointed out that investment levels were still below what they were before the crisis. “Our economy is slowing down, a clear warning to which we must respond.” (Read more: Schulz: “We need targeted investment to stimulate the economy" )

 
 

European Parliament delegations elect their bureaus

Others Delegations24-10-2014 - 12:36

The European Parliament’s delegations, the official bodies which maintain and develop its contacts with third countries, have elected their chairs and vice-chairs. The delegations’ compositions reflect the political composition of the House. The delegations are also bound to represent the views expressed by the Parliament as a whole. (Read more: European Parliament delegations elect their bureaus )

 
 

Things we learnt in plenary: new Commission, Sakharov Prize and the EU budget

Plenary Session Institutions24-10-2014 - 08:00
 

The October plenary saw the new European Commission led byJean-Claude Juncker receive the Parliament's approval to start its five-year term, while outgoing president José Manuel Barroso gave his farewell speech to MEPs. The Parliament also voted against cuts proposed by EU governments to the EU's budget for next year, as MEPs want to preserve spending for growth and jobs. Meanwhile Denis Mukwege, who helps the victims of sexual violence, was announced as the 2014 Sakharov prize laureate. (Read more: Things we learnt in plenary: new Commission, Sakharov Prize and the EU budget )

 
 

MEPs prolong Ukraine's duty-free access to the EU market

Plenary Session External/international trade23-10-2014 - 12:26

Plans to prolong a largely duty-free access to the EU market for Ukraine’s exports until the end of 2015 were backed by the European Parliament on Thursday. (Read more: MEPs prolong Ukraine's duty-free access to the EU market )