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Summer time: all you need to know to make your life easier

Others Institutions27-03-2015 - 12:27
 

EU countries switch to summer time every year, as they will do this Sunday., but what are the benefits and are there any drawbacks? These and other questions were discussed by MEPs and experts on 24 March. “We need to move forward with this legislation and giving an oral question to the European Commission could be one of the ways to accelerate the whole thing,” said Czech EPP member Pavel Svoboda, chair of the legal affairs committee, summing up the discussion. (Read more: Summer time: all you need to know to make your life easier )

 
 

“When I look ahead to the future of Congo, I can’t picture it without these women activists, who have suffered atrocities,” said Dr Denis Mukwege during a visit to Parliament on 26 March. The 2014 Sakharov Prize Winner, who treats victims of sexual violence in DR Congo, discussed his country's future as well as violence against women with the human rights subcommittee. He also called for Congolese unity: “Whenever there is evil in society, that society must mobilise to fight it.” (Read more: Mukwege: “Whenever there is evil, society must mobilise to fight it” )

 

Gabrielius Landsbergis: "Sanctions against Russia are already bearing fruit"

Plenary Session External relations26-03-2015 - 12:34
MEP Landsbergis  

Ukraine will benefit from €1.8 billion worth of financial assistance after MEPs approved it during plenary on 25 March. Although this constitutes the EU's largest package ever given to a non-EU country, Ukraine's troubles are far from over. We spoke to Lithuanian EPP member Gabrielius Landsbergis, who wrote the resolution on financial assistance as well as a report on EU-Russia relations, about how the money will make a difference to Ukraine and the impact of sanctions against Russia. (Read more: Gabrielius Landsbergis: "Sanctions against Russia are already bearing fruit" )

 

Democracy and values are problematic in DRC, says Denis Mukwege

DROI Human rights / External relations26-03-2015 - 12:31
Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI) of the European Parliament exchange of views with Denis Mukwege, Sakharov Prize Laureate 2014  

Dr Denis Mukwege, the 2014 Sakharov Prize laureate, described political problems in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and his difficulties in tackling the problem of sexual abuse of women and even small children, in a Human Rights Subcommittee debate on Thursday. MEPs discussed how the EU could best support Dr Mukwege’s work, and some called for legally-binding rules on trade in conflict minerals. (Read more: Democracy and values are problematic in DRC, says Denis Mukwege )

 

Commission to clarify whether minimum wage may apply to foreign lorry drivers

Plenary Session Employment policy / Transport25-03-2015 - 22:32

The question of whether Germany’s minimum pay rules should apply to foreign lorry drivers using its roads divided MEPs evenly in a debate with transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc on Wednesday evening. The European Commission is still assessing the implications of these rules, which the Germany partially suspended (for transit drivers) early this year, but they must in any event comply with EU law, she said. (Read more: Commission to clarify whether minimum wage may apply to foreign lorry drivers )

 

Terror attacks targeted Tunisia's democratic path: MEPs call for more EU support

Plenary Session External relations25-03-2015 - 21:39

The 18 March terrorist attacks on the Tunis Bardo museum were clearly directed against Tunisia’s transition to democracy, as the “lone success story of the ‘Arab Spring’”, said MEPs in a debate with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on Wednesday evening. All speakers insisted on the need to maintain or beef up EU support for Tunisia, so to in encourage it to pursue its democratic transition and not be intimidated by attempts to cause anarchy and chaos. (Read more: Terror attacks targeted Tunisia's democratic path: MEPs call for more EU support )

 

EP takes stance on tax transparency, burdens, avoidance and evasion

Plenary Session Taxation25-03-2015 - 20:19

Tackling tax evasion should be a top EU priority. EU countries and the European Commission should play a leading role in discussing how to fight tax fraud and aggressive tax planning in the OECD and other relevant fora, says Parliament in its resolution on tax, voted on Wednesday. (Read more: EP takes stance on tax transparency, burdens, avoidance and evasion )

 

Moscovici debate: MEPs make the case for fairer taxation

Plenary Session Taxation25-03-2015 - 19:55
EU budget revision illustration  

EU member states must be more transparent about their national tax rulings, because unfair tax competition distorts competition among companies and could lead to a “race to the bottom”, warned many MEPs in Wednesday’s debate with taxation Commissioner Pierre Moscovici. (Read more: Moscovici debate: MEPs make the case for fairer taxation )

 

European Parliament approves €1.8 billion EU loan to Ukraine

Plenary Session External/international trade25-03-2015 - 19:32
Men push a cart over the destroyed Putilovka bridge near Donetsk airport on March 21, 2015.  

EU plans to lend Ukraine €1.8 billion to help plug its short-term balance of payments gap were approved by MEPs on Wednesday. The EU will borrow the money externally and lend it on to Ukraine with the same interest rate. The disbursement will be tied to Ukraine pledging structural reforms to tackle problems that contributed to the current crisis. (Read more: European Parliament approves €1.8 billion EU loan to Ukraine )

 

Parliament approves EU aid for redundant workers in Greece and Ireland

Plenary Session Budget25-03-2015 - 19:16

More than 2,000 workers made redundant in Greece and Ireland in 2014 will receive EU aid worth €11.3 million to help them find jobs, Parliament decided on Wednesday. The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) aid has already been approved by the EU Council of Ministers. (Read more: Parliament approves EU aid for redundant workers in Greece and Ireland )