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Eight things you should know about GMOs

Others Food safety13-10-2015 - 13:48
A macro of a soya seed ©AP Images/ European Union-EP  

The use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) remains controversial, which is why the EU has very strict rules and complex authorisation procedures concerning their cultivation and commercialisation. Since April 2015, EU countries are able to ban the cultivation of GMOs on their territory, but should they have the same power regarding their commercialisation? Parliament's environment committee has rejected plans for this, fearing it could lead to problems. Read on for all the facts. (Read more: Eight things you should know about GMOs )


Organic farmers, processors, traders and importers must meet higher but realistic sustainability criteria and undergo strict food fraud checks to boost trust in the EU organic label, said agriculture MEPs on Tuesday. They introduced measures to avoid contamination of organic food, including on mixed organic and conventional farms, and endorsed plans to help small farmers turn organic. (Read more: Organic food: boosting EU production and enhancing consumer trust )


The budgets committee on Tuesday demanded more funds to handle the migration and refugee crisis, help young people into jobs, and fully offset the cuts to the EU's research and transport networks programs, in a political resolution on the 2016 budget. The committee had earlier reversed all the Council's cuts to the Commission's initial proposal. (Read more: Budgets MEPs want more money for migration and jobs in 2016 )


MEPs to debate Digital Single Market strategy on Tuesday

ITRE IMCO Industry / Free movement of goods / Free movement of services13-10-2015 - 12:12

The vision and specific steps needed to unlock the potential of the EU digital single market will be debated by Internal market and Industry MEPs on Tuesday afternoon. As the internet and mobile communications are revolutionising the ways in which users and businesses communicate, invest, consume and share, the EU is looking at how best to harness their power to boost growth and jobs. The debate starts at 15.00. (Read more: MEPs to debate Digital Single Market strategy on Tuesday )


Environment MEPs oppose national GMO import bans proposal

ENVI Food safety13-10-2015 - 10:33
Examining corn cob on field ©AP Images/ European Union-EP  

A draft EU law that would enable any member state to restrict or prohibit the sale and use of EU-approved GMO food or feed on its territory was opposed by Environment Committee MEPs on Tuesday. Members are concerned that the proposal might prove unworkable and lead to the reintroduction of border controls between pro and anti-GMO countries. The recommendation will be put to a vote by Parliament as a whole at the 26-29 October plenary session in Strasbourg. (Read more: Environment MEPs oppose national GMO import bans proposal )

infographic illustration  

Only two months left before world leaders gather in Paris to hammer out a global agreement to fight climate change. Parliament will send a delegation of 15 MEPs to the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) in December to help obtain a successful result. MEPs debate and vote on Parliament's position on Wednesday. Follow it live on our website and find out more about the stakes involved in our infographics. (Read more: COP21: the road leading to the vital climate change conference in Paris )

A mother carries her 8 months old son towards the village of Sikaminea in Lesbos after arriving on the shores of the island in an inflatable boat from Turkey. © UNHCR/Achilleas Zavallis  

Budget MEPs on Monday endorsed the Commission's proposal for new funds of €330.7 million and a redeployment of €70.6 million in commitment appropriations to cope with the refugee crisis. At the same time, the committee said a long-term solution to finance migration measures must be found when the EU's multiannual budget is reviewed in 2016. (Read more: Budget MEPs approve extra €401.3 million for migration in 2015 budget )


EP this week: migration, GMOs, organic food, climate change

Others Institutions12-10-2015 - 13:40
Parliament building in Brussels  

MEPs vote this week on Parliament's position regarding December's climate change conference in Paris as well as on measures to tackle the refugee crisis during the plenary session on Wednesday. In addition the agriculture committee votes on a plan to improve the reliability of EU labels on organic food, while the three finalists of this year's Sakharov Prize will also be presented this week. Also EP President Martin Schulz will address the European Council on Thursday. (Read more: EP this week: migration, GMOs, organic food, climate change )


Registrations for Parliament's European Youth Event (EYE) are now open and the first programme has also been released. The first edition took place in May 2014 when thousands of young Europeans discussed the future of Europe at the Parliament in Strasbourg before submitting concrete proposals to parliamentary committees. (Read more: EYE 2016: registrations for Parliament's youth event are now open )


Things we learnt in plenary: Hollande and Merkel, Volkswagen and Kunduz bombing

Plenary Session Institutions09-10-2015 - 09:38

French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel debated with MEPs the challenges facing Europe, from the refugee crisis to the situation in Syria, during October's first plenary session. MEPs also discussed the Volkswagen scandal with the European Commission, which is preparing new legislation to tighten vehicle testing. In addition the refugee crisis was discussed with European Council President Donald Tusk, following September's extraordinary EU summit. (Read more: Things we learnt in plenary: Hollande and Merkel, Volkswagen and Kunduz bombing )