MEPs issued a call on Tuesday for a range of measures to promote mobility among young Europeans and improve educational and training opportunities.
Port state measures to combat illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing should apply worldwide, said the Fisheries Committee MEPs on Tuesday, as it backed an agreement to this end sponsored by the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO). If Parliament as a whole backs committee's recommendation, the EU will become the third entity to ratify the agreement out of the 25 needed for it to enter into force.
Better internet connections for Europe's citizens are on the way following a vote at Parliament's Industry Committee. Full broadband coverage by 2013 throughout the EU and universal high-speed internet access by 2020 are now firmly on the horizon.
Plans to draw up EU model contracts for cross-border trade, which firms could use to make deals with firms and consumers in other EU Member States, were approved by the Legal Affairs Committee on Tuesday. The models would be backed by an EU contract law system, offered as an alternative to coping with disparate national laws. MEPs say that this system could boost single market trade by improving consumer protection and certainty as to the law. Its use would be entirely voluntary.
Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs on Tuesday welcomed ex-President Laurent Gbagbo's arrest the previous day and stressed that the Côte d'Ivoire will achieve national reconciliation only by bringing criminals "from both sides" to justice. Some MEPs from the ALDE, GUE and ECR groups questioned the role of French and UN troops in ousting Mr Gbagbo.
The findings of the US Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission were presented by its chairman Phil Angelides to the European Parliament's Financial, Economic and Social Crisis Committee on Monday afternoon. MEPs found its account of the causes of the crisis plausible, and stressed the need for EU-US co-operation to help overcome it.
Parliament's Legal Affairs Committee wants the EU to take steps to improve debt recovery across EU borders and thereby encourage trade. To this end, it is asking the European Commission to bring forward new legislation laying down measures for the freezing and disclosure of debtors' assets in cross-border cases.
A delegation from the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs will visit Washington from 12 to 15 April 2011 to discuss several issues on the transatlantic agenda, including the EU-US data protection agreement, the EU-US Passenger Name Record (PNR) agreement and the implementation of the Terrorist Finance Tracking Programme (TFTP) agreement. Cyber security will also be discussed.
EU Member States should be able to state environmental grounds, such as pesticide resistance, for restricting or banning the cultivation of EU-approved genetically-modified crops, said the Environment Committee on Tuesday. Stating these grounds could strengthen legal protection against possible WTO challenges to GMO bans, it added.
Road toll prices for the haulage industry as capped under the Eurovignette directive were originally intended to cover only infrastructure costs. In future they will reflect the cost of noise and air pollution as well. The EP Transport and Tourism Committee today approved new rules designed to strike a balance between the economic interests of the countries on the EU's periphery and environmental needs.