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Opening: Schulz deplores drowning of Mediterranean migrants

Plenary Session Institutions15-09-2014 - 18:13
EP President Martin Schulz speech at the opening of September plenary session  

The EU must do its utmost to prevent further deaths at sea of Mediterranean migrants - this is a humanitarian catastrophe, said President Schulz of breaking news that over 200 would-be migrants had drowned when their boat sank off Libya and over 500 had drowned when their boat sank off Malta the previous week. (Read more: Opening: Schulz deplores drowning of Mediterranean migrants )

 
 

EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and EU-Russia relations

Plenary Session External relations15-09-2014 - 18:04
The silhouette of a Ukrainian soldier is seen against a Ukrainian flag  

MEPs will debate the latest developments in Ukraine and EU-Russia relations on Tuesday morning, before Parliament is set to debate and vote the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, including its free trade component, into law, at noon. The vote in the Ukrainian parliament (Verkhovna Rada), is scheduled at the same time in Kiev. (Read more: EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and EU-Russia relations )

 
 

Import ban: how Russian measures are affecting European companies

Others External/international trade15-09-2014 - 15:01
 

European companies are still reeling from the impact of a Russian import ban on EU, US, Canadian, Australian, and Norwegian products such as meat, fruit and vegetables. Russia introduced the ban on 7 August in retaliation to EU measures triggered by the Ukrainian crisis and the downing of the Malaysia Airlines MH17 plane. MEPs will debate the impact on Monday 15 September. Check out our map to see which countries will be affected the most and follow the debate live from 17.00 CET. (Read more: Import ban: how Russian measures are affecting European companies )

 
 
 

Candidate commissioners face a thorough scrutiny by MEPs before the new European Commission can start its five-year term. From 29 September they will have to appear in front of parliamentary committees dealing with their proposed responsibilities. These hearings will affect the Parliament’s vote on whether to approve the new Commission. Unless MEPs vote in favour, the Commission will not be able to take office. (Read more: New Commission: how MEPs will scrutinise the candidate commissioners )

 
 

Globalisation Adjustment Fund: helping redundant workers find work again

Others Institutions / Social policy12-09-2014 - 15:08
 

Tens of thousands of workers were helped to retrain, look for a new job or launch a new company in 207-2013 if they had been laid off as a result of globalisation or the economic crisis thanks to €400 million in EU funding. This aid came from the EU's Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF). On 11 September the EP’s budget committee approved another aid package for workers in Greece, the Netherlands, Romania and Spain. Find out more about the fund in our article and our chart. (Read more: Globalisation Adjustment Fund: helping redundant workers find work again )

 
 
Anointed as Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker lays out the EU's priorities and commitments for the coming years with a focus on energy, welfare and prosperity.  

The candidate commissioners, as presented by incoming Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, will need to appear in hearings before parliamentary committees from 29 September to 7 October. (Read more: Candidate commissioners to appear before EP committees from 29 September )

 
 
Martin Schulz  

“What happens in Ukraine concerns all Europeans, because we cannot stand by and watch idly while the founding principles of the international community are being violated,” said EP president Martin Schulz during a visit to Kiev on Friday. “We have agreed on rules for states to follow when dealing with each other. These rules apply to all.” During his two-day visit, Schulz met Ukrainian prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk as well as president Petro Poroshenko. (Read more: Schulz in Kiev: ”What happens in Ukraine concerns all Europeans” )

 
 

Meet the European Parliament's political groups

Others Institutions12-09-2014 - 09:40
European Parliament political group leaders  

The European Parliament is a political institution where different ideas on issues from the EU's spending priorities to privacy rights and trade relations are hotly contested. Political groups play an essential role in this clash of ideas, as they bring together like-minded representatives from across Europe and give them a voice in the decision-making process. Find out from our dedicated page what groups there are at the start of the new term, what they stand for and who their leaders are. (Read more: Meet the European Parliament's political groups )

 
 

Russian import ban: how should the EU support the affected companies?

Others External/international trade11-09-2014 - 16:18
Apples are packed in a Polish fruit factory Rajpol in Wola Leczyszycka on September 3, 2014. ©BELGA_AFP_J.SKARZYNSKI  

European companies have started to feel the impact of the Russian import ban introduced on 7 August. The measure, which includes anything from Polish apples to Belgian pork, is Russia’s response to EU sanctions over the country’s involvement in the crisis in the Ukraine. We talked to Bernd Lange (Germany, S&D), chair of the international trade committee, and Czesław Siekierski (Poland, EPP), chair of the agriculture committee, about how the EU can make a difference in this trade conflict. (Read more: Russian import ban: how should the EU support the affected companies? )

 
 

Parliament’s President Martin Schulz this morning informed the Conference of Presidents, made up of the leaders of the political groups, that His Holiness Pope Francis has accepted his official invitation to the European Parliament. This invitation was extended by President Schulz during his official visit to the Vatican on 11 October 2013. (Read more: His Holiness Pope Francis on official visit to European Parliament in November )