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Missing refugee children: MEPs call for better protection

Plenary Session Human rights / Fundamental rights / Immigration01-03-2017 - 19:45
A children playing in a refugee camp ©UNHCR/Achilleas Zavallis  

MEPs called for safe environments for unaccompanied refugee children, including immediate appointment of guardians, hotlines and increased cross-border cooperation, in Wednesday’s debate with Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos on the disappearance of migrant children in Europe. (Read more: Missing refugee children: MEPs call for better protection )

 

MEPs delve into priorities for upcoming European Council

Plenary Session Institutions01-03-2017 - 19:38

MEPs led a debate with Commission representatives and the Maltese presidency of the Council on Wednesday afternoon regarding the upcoming European Council of 9-10 March. Many stressed the need to continue focussing on an ambitious EU, whereas some decried the EU’s current direction and track record. (Read more: MEPs delve into priorities for upcoming European Council )

 

Future of the EU: MEPs discuss five scenarios set out by Jean-Claude Juncker

Plenary Session Future of Europe/European integration01-03-2017 - 18:06
Debate with the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker on the White Paper on the future of the EU  

Lead MEPs from Parliament’s political groups reacted on Wednesday to the Commission’s Future of Europe White Paper, presented by its President Jean-Claude Juncker to the full House. Some MEPs welcomed the Commission’s decision to outline five possible paths for the EU to take in the coming years, while others criticized it for not picking a clear preferred path or providing concrete examples. (Read more: Future of the EU: MEPs discuss five scenarios set out by Jean-Claude Juncker )

 
EC President Juncker talking with MEPs before the opening of March plenary session in Brussels  

A statement on the EU Commission’s “Future of Europe” White Paper, by its President Jean-Claude Juncker, was added as the first item on the agenda. (Read more: Opening – Commission statement on Future of Europe proposals added to the agenda )

 

Ukrainian citizens will be able to travel to the EU visa free under an informal deal struck by Parliament and Council negotiators on Tuesday. Once the change enters into force, and provided they have biometric passports, they will be able to enter the EU for up to 90 days in any 180-day-period for business, tourist or family purposes. (Read more: MEPs and Council negotiators agree to waive EU visa requirement for Ukrainians )

 
 

The inquiry committee investigating the car emissions scandal votes today on its final report and recommendations, which call for stricter controls and implementation at EU level. “We learnt the lessons from the past and we will now do our homework ... so this scandal will never happen again,” said Jens Gieseke, one of the authors of the final report. Watch the video to learn more. (Read more: Car emissions scandal: inquiry committee votes on report and recommendations )

 

MEPs’ 2016 reform review of Montenegro and former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

AFET Enlargement / External relations28-02-2017 - 11:48

Montenegro is the most advanced EU accession candidate country, which in 2016 had to face Russian attempts to discredit its achievements, noted Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs on Tuesday. They also reviewed last year’s reform efforts in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, urging the future government to step up the pace of reform and stay on the EU track. (Read more: MEPs’ 2016 reform review of Montenegro and former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia )

 

Foreign Affairs MEPs encourage Serbia and Kosovo to do more to improve ties

AFET Enlargement / External relations28-02-2017 - 11:29

The recent progress in normalising relations between Belgrade and Pristina, after months of little or none, was welcomed by MEPs on Tuesday. However, in two resolutions they call on both countries to show more commitment and sustained political will to achieve this goal, which is a condition for their accession to the EU. (Read more: Foreign Affairs MEPs encourage Serbia and Kosovo to do more to improve ties )

 

Citizens should get access to data on firm owners to fight money laundering

LIBE ECON Justice and home affairs / Economic and monetary affairs28-02-2017 - 10:13

EU citizens could access registers of beneficial owners of companies without having to demonstrate a “legitimate interest,” and trusts would have to meet the same transparency requirements as firms, under amendments, agreed by MEPs on Tuesday, to the EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive. (Read more: Citizens should get access to data on firm owners to fight money laundering )

 

Civil Liberties MEPs voted on Monday for stronger protection and a shorter retention period for data stored in the new EU entry/exit system, which is designed to modernise and step up checks on non-EU nationals travelling to the European Union. (Read more: EU borders: Civil Liberties MEPs vote to step up checks and data protection )