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New Fisheries Fund, signed and sealed, concludes EU fisheries policy reform

Plenary Session Fisheries16-04-2014 - 18:36
Fishermen pull out their nets from water aboard the fishing boat "Kanedevenn" as they fish sardines on September 24, 2013 in Quiberon, western France.  

Operating rules for European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) aid to help fishermen to comply with new Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) requirements were endorsed by Parliament on Wednesday. EMFF aid will help fishermen to observe the discard ban, e.g. by buying more selective fishing gear, but will also be used to improve safety and working conditions, data collection and port infrastructure. All this will help to make EU fisheries more sustainable. (Read more: New Fisheries Fund, signed and sealed, concludes EU fisheries policy reform)

 
 

EU aid for disaster-stricken countries to arrive faster, with less red tape

Plenary Session Regional policy16-04-2014 - 18:30
L'Aquila, Italy - The fifth anniversary of the L'Aquila earthquake will be marked on 06 April 2014  

EU aid to EU and EU candidate countries hit by flooding or other natural disasters should be delivered faster and more efficiently thanks to EU Solidarity Fund (EUSF) rule changes approved on Wednesday. These changes, already agreed with EU ministers, include extending the deadline for applying for natural disaster aid from 10 to 12 weeks, paying 10% of the aid in advance, and simplifying aid approval criteria for smaller, “regional”, disasters. (Read more: EU aid for disaster-stricken countries to arrive faster, with less red tape )

 
 

MEPs refer new rules on re-registering cars back to committee

Plenary Session Transport16-04-2014 - 15:33

Draft rules to simplify re-registering of car or motorbike when the owner moves to a new EU country were referred back to the Internal Market Committee on Wednesday for further discussion, because the Council of Ministers was not yet ready to close a deal on them. (Read more: MEPs refer new rules on re-registering cars back to committee )

 
 

Never again? Debate to mark WW1 centenary

Plenary Session Institutions16-04-2014 - 14:55
From L to R_Martin Schulz EP President, Evangelos Venizelos European Coucil representative, José Manuel Barroso EC President, Joseph Daul EPP, Hannes Swoboda S&D, Guy Verhofstadt ALDE, Daniel Cohn-Bendit VERTs, Martin Callanan ECR, Gabriele Zimmer GUE/NGL, Nigel Farage EFD  

One century ago Europe was on the brink of one of history's deadliest conflicts that would change our world forever. MEPs commemorated the centenary of the Great War during a debate on 16 April, warning that peace and stability should never be taken for granted. They also called for more integration and stressed the importance of fighting nationalism to ensure peace, stability and security in Europe. (Read more: Never again? Debate to mark WW1 centenary )

 
 

The share of EU member states’ budget contributions that is based on gross national income (GNI) should be cut from 64% to 40% of total EU revenue and replaced by real “own resources”, says Parliament in three resolutions voted on Wednesday. Value-added tax based revenue, which today provides 11% of the EU budget, also needs drastic reform, it adds. (Read more: EU “own resources” should cut member states’ contributions to EU budget)

 
 

Parliament backs EU-wide plans to stem the spread of invasive alien species

Plenary Session Environment16-04-2014 - 13:29
Asian tiger mosquito feeding on a human blood.  

Measures to stop invasive alien species of plants animals or insects getting into the EU, or limit the ecological and economic damage caused by those that do, were backed by Parliament on Wednesday. The legislation bans species declared to be of “Union concern” and requires more and better-coordinated action by member states to tackle the threat. (Read more: Parliament backs EU-wide plans to stem the spread of invasive alien species)

 
 

New rules on funding EU political parties and foundations

Plenary Session Institutions16-04-2014 - 13:19

Plans to reform the funding arrangements and legal status of European political parties and their affiliated foundations were backed by Parliament on Wednesday. The new rules, informally agreed with Council, will clarify the finances of these bodies and enhance their European character. A method to monitor compliance and impose penalties for breaches is also part of the deal. (Read more: New rules on funding EU political parties and foundations )

 
 

MEPs clamp down on wasteful use of plastic carrier bags

Plenary Session Environment16-04-2014 - 13:14
A shopper with carrier bags as ministers have made a "complete mess" of moves to introduce a 5p charge on carrier bags in England  

EU countries would have to reduce the use of the most common and most polluting plastic bags by at at least 80% by 2019, under draft rules backed by Parliament on Wednesday. MEPs recommend using taxes and levies, marketing restrictions or bans. Plastic carrier bag litter is a major environmental problem, known to pollute water bodies and aquatic eco-systems in particular. (Read more: MEPs clamp down on wasteful use of plastic carrier bags )

 
 

MEPs confirm call for tougher measures against unfair imports

Plenary Session External/international trade16-04-2014 - 13:12

The EU should raise anti-dumping tariffs against dumped or subsidized imports from third countries and do much more to help small firms take advantage of EU measures to combat them, said Parliament on Wednesday, confirming its position on plans to update EU trade defence instruments. It also wants tougher tariffs against environmental or social dumping, and against dumping assisted by third country export subsidies. (Read more: MEPs confirm call for tougher measures against unfair imports )

 
 

Migrants: Parliament approves search and rescue rules to prevent deaths at sea

Plenary Session Fundamental rights / Immigration16-04-2014 - 13:01
Boat with full of refugees  

New search and rescue rules to clarify how border guards serving in Frontex sea operations should deal with migrants and where they should disembark them were approved by Parliament on Wednesday. The regulation, already informally agreed by Parliament and Council negotiators, should enter into force before this summer. (Read more: Migrants: Parliament approves search and rescue rules to prevent deaths at sea)