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EP this week  

Parliamentarians meet in their committees this week, and on Wednesday in plenary, to discuss Commission president Juncker's investment plan, anti-terrorism measures and the international climate agreement. Meanwhile German and Italian finance ministers Wolfgang Schäuble and Pier Carlo Padoan will review rules for economic governance in the Parliament, and president Martin Schulz will take part in the International Holocaust Remembrance Day in Prague. (Read more: EP this week: anti-terrorism measures, economic governance, climate agreement )

 
 

MEPs react to the ECB's asset purchase programme

Others Economic and monetary affairs23-01-2015 - 12:23
 

On 22 January the European Central Bank announced its quantitative easing programme through which it will buy €60 billion worth of eurozone government bonds and private sector assets per month until at least September 2016. The ECB's move aims to push up inflation and breathe life into the economy in general but is also criticised by some for not being the right tool. Watch our video to find out how MEPs feel about yesterday's announcement. (Read more: MEPs react to the ECB's asset purchase programme )

 
 
Panorama of Budapest  

The recent clampdown on an NGO, media freedom and the potential for the EU to monitor the fundamental rights situation in member states were among the main issues raised at a public hearing on human rights in Hungary. The hearing took place on 22 January in the Parliament's justice committee with representatives of NGOs, international organisations and the Hungarian government in attendance. (Read more: NGOs, media freedom and EU role at the heart of Hungary human rights debate )

 
 

Latvian Presidency priorities discussed by EP committees

AFCO TRAN REGI PECH LIBE JURI ITRE INTA IMCO FEMM ENVI EMPL ECON DEVE CULT AGRI AFET Institutions22-01-2015 - 14:32

The priorities of Latvia’s EU Council Presidency will be outlined to the various parliamentary committees by Latvian ministers in a series of meetings to be held during the last two weeks of January. (Read more: Latvian Presidency priorities discussed by EP committees )

 
 

Trade committee debate on new recommendations for TTIP talks

INTA External/international trade22-01-2015 - 10:23
European Parliament Committee on International Trade INTA chair Bernd Lange  

Parliament must use its influence on framing the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) rules to ensure that they serve all EU citizens, not just a few economic players and must therefore insist that the talks are more democratic and more transparent, said trade committee chair, Bernd Lange (S&D, DE), on Wednesday (Read more: Trade committee debate on new recommendations for TTIP talks )

 
 

Food safety MEPs call for country of origin labelling of meat in processed foods

ENVI Environment / Food safety21-01-2015 - 19:17
Minced meat  

Meat used as an ingredient in processed foods, such as lasagne, should be labelled by country of origin as is already the case for bovine fresh meat, said Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee MEPs on Wednesday. They call on the European Commission, which published a report on the issue in late 2013, to come up with legislative proposals in order to rebuild consumer confidence in the wake of the horsemeat scandal and other food fraud cases. (Read more: Food safety MEPs call for country of origin labelling of meat in processed foods )

 
 

Bernd Lange on the EU-US trade deal: “a ship in troubled waters”

Others External/international trade21-01-2015 - 18:22
Interview with Bernd Lange  

In June 2013 the EU and the US launched negotiations on the world’s largest free-trade agreement to date. It was promised that the agreement would lead to faster growth and more jobs but after seven rounds of negotiations many issues remain unresolved. We spoke to German S&D member Bernd Lange, chair of the international trade committee, who is drafting a report which will assess the results of the TTIP talks and express the Parliament's views on the main issues of a potential agreement. (Read more: Bernd Lange on the EU-US trade deal: “a ship in troubled waters” )

 
 

The human rights situation in Hungary will be assessed at a mini-hearing on Thursday morning. The invited guests, representing all sides of the debate, are investigative journalist and editor of atlatszo.hu Attila MONG, head of Ökotárs Foundation Veronika MÓRA, government spokesman in charge of international media Zoltán KOVÁCS, spokesman of pro-government NGO Civil Union Forum Tamás FRITZ, Anne WEBER of the Council of Europe and Barbora CERNUSAKOVA of Amnesty International. (Read more: Human rights in Hungary to be discussed by the Civil Liberties Committee )

 
 
A computer keyboard with a CCTV Camera icon on a button ©BELGA_EASYFOTOSTOCK  

“There is a proliferation of surveillance technologies around the world. It is easy and likely that these technologies, which could be of harm to both human rights and our strategic interests, could fall into the wrong hands”, says Marietje Schaake. The Dutch member of ALDE is drafting a report on the impact of digital surveillance on human rights in third countries, a topic discussed 21 January at a hearing organised by the committee on international trade and the subcommittee on human rights. (Read more: Surveillance: can the EU ensure the democratic usage of its technologies? )

 
 

Nabil El Araby: "The EU is looked upon by many as the conscience of mankind"

Others External relations / Security and defence21-01-2015 - 15:25
 

Following the Paris attacks the secretary-general of the Arab League has urged greater cooperation between it and the EU to counter extremism. Addressing Parliament's foreign affairs committee on 20 January Nabil El Araby said "the problems we face now are of universal character and are not confined to one place." He outlined how the Arab world looks upon Europe and said that "the European Union has been to the forefront of all just causes." (Read more: Nabil El Araby: "The EU is looked upon by many as the conscience of mankind" )