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EU rules on payment services would be updated to improve security, widen consumer choice and keep pace with innovation under an informal deal struck by Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee MEPs and the Latvian Presidency of the Council on Tuesday. The updated rules aim to stimulate competition to provide payment services and foster innovative payment methods, especially for online payment services. They still need to be endorsed by Parliament as a whole and the Council. (Read more: Updating payment service rules: MEPs do deal with the Council )

 

Killed, enslaved, forced to flee: Iraq’s Yazidi minority has found itself on the receiving end of Islamic State (IS) ever since the jihadist organisation started conquering territory in Syria and Iraq. Representatives of the Yazidis made a plea for support during a meeting with Parliament President Martin Schulz. Vian Dakhil, the only Yazidi Kurd member of Iraq's parliament, told him: "We seek help in releasing the 5,000 Yazidi women, elderly men and children who have been kidnapped by IS." (Read more: Call for help: Yazidis bear witness to violence by Islamic State )

 

Every day 315 million Europeans use the internet, but challenges still remain for consumers and companies alike. The European Commission presents its strategy for a digital single market on Wednesday 6 May. On the same day the EP's industry and research committee will discuss it with Andrus Ansip, who is the commissioner responsible for the strategy. Read on to find out more about the terminology and the remaining challenges. (Read more: From geo-blocking to cloud computing: Parliament’s guide to the digital age )

 

Travellers putting together their own package holidays online will get the same protection as those buying from traditional travel agents under a provisional deal struck by MEPs and Council negotiators on Tuesday. The deal also strengthens holidaymakers’ rights, by enabling them to cancel a package deal contract if its price rises by more than 8%, get help if they encounter difficulties or get transport home if a tour operator goes bust. (Read more: Package holiday protection: MEPs strike a deal with Council )

 
Press releases (second part)
 

Why did the EU Commission take so long to launch investigations into member states’ tax rulings? Is its strategy to go only after small countries, such as Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Ireland? Will the instruments available to it suffice? And if not, what would it take to do away with unfair tax competition? These questions were raised by MEPs in Tuesday’s Special Tax Rulings Committee debate with competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager. (Read more: Tax rulings: “We need a common corporate tax base”, says Commissioner Vestager )

 

The EU's cohesion strategy helps poorer regions catch up with richer ones by stimulating growth and employment. When European governments started to cut back spending due to the crisis, the EU's cohesion funding helped to support critical investment, according to the European Commission's sixth report on economic, social and territorial cohesion. The Parliament's regional development voted on its position on 4 May. Check out our chart to learn how the funding helped to make a difference. (Read more: Cohesion policy: helping poorer regions to kickstart employment and growth )

 

If Russia does not apply the Minsk ceasefire deals in full and return Crimea to Ukraine, the EU should step up sanctions and consider the possibility of providing Ukraine with defensive arms, say Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs in a resolution voted on Monday. Returning Crimea is vital to the EU’s long-run cooperation with Russia and EU countries must also step up their own defence capabilities, says the text, which looks at Black Sea Basin military changes since Russia illegally annexed Crimea. (Read more: Russia has transformed Black Sea military landscape, say foreign affairs MEPs )

 

MEPs vote this week on proposals to clamp down on undeclared work and a resolution on the military situation in the Black Sea. The tax rulings committee debates the recently launched investigations on state aid being given by a number of member states, while the industry, research and energy committee discusses the EU's strategy for a digital single market. (Read more: EP this week: undeclared work, Crimea, digital single market )

 

On Saturday 2 May in Strasbourg and on Saturday 9 May in Brussels and Luxembourg, the European Parliament and other EU institutions will open their doors to the general public in order to celebrate Europe Day in a fun and festive way for the whole family. (Read more: Festival of Europe - European Parliament open days )

 

The European Parliament has awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to several journalists and advocates of freedom of press since it was launched in 1988. We talked to some of those laureates about their experiences, current challenges and the importance of the press ahead of World Press Freedom Day on Sunday 3 May. (Read more: Mightier than the sword: Sakharov Prize laureates discuss press freedom )

 
 
Weekly agenda
 
Schedule by day Wednesday 06 May 2015
Committee on Legal Affairs - Parliamentary committees (06-05-2015): 09:00, Brussels, Altiero Spinelli
 
Committee on Industry, Research and Energy - Parliamentary committees (06-05-2015): 09:00, Brussels, Jòzsef Antall
 
Sport (Large sporting events) and Human Rights - Public hearings (06-05-2015): 09:00, Brussels, Altiero Spinelli
 
Subcommittee on Human Rights - Parliamentary committees (06-05-2015): 09:00, Brussels, Altiero Spinelli
 
Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety - Parliamentary committees (06-05-2015): 09:00, Brussels, Jòzsef Antall
 
Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs - Parliamentary committees (06-05-2015): 09:00, Brussels, Paul-Henri Spaak
 
Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs - Parliamentary committees (06-05-2015): 09:00, Brussels, Paul-Henri Spaak
 
Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection - Parliamentary committees (06-05-2015): 09:00, Brussels, Jòzsef Antall
 
The implementation of the security research programme for conflict prevention and peace building - Public hearings (06-05-2015): 09:00, Brussels, Paul-Henri Spaak
 
Subcommittee on Security and Defence - Parliamentary committees (06-05-2015): 09:00, Brussels, Paul-Henri Spaak
 
Committee on Fisheries - Parliamentary committees (06-05-2015): 09:00, Brussels, Paul-Henri Spaak
 
Committee on International Trade - Parliamentary committees (06-05-2015): 09:00, Brussels, Jòzsef Antall
 
Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality - Parliamentary committees (06-05-2015): 09:00, Brussels, Altiero Spinelli
 
Committee on Development - Parliamentary committees (06-05-2015): 09:00, Brussels, Altiero Spinelli
 
Workshop on "Pooling and Sharing: Member States’ engagement and the support by the EU" - Public hearings (06-05-2015): 10:30, Brussels, Paul-Henri Spaak
 
Committee on Budgets - Parliamentary committees (06-05-2015): 11:30, Brussels, Altiero Spinelli
 
"Reconciliation by truth: 70 years after the end of the war" - Press conferences (06-05-2015): 14:00, Brussels, Paul-Henri Spaak
 
The President's agenda - The President's diary (06-05-2015): 14:00
 
Women's careers in science and university and glass ceilings encountered - Public hearings (06-05-2015): 15:00, Brussels, Altiero Spinelli
 
 
Schedule by day Thursday 07 May 2015
Subcommittee on Human Rights - Parliamentary committees (07-05-2015): 09:00, Brussels, Altiero Spinelli
 
Committee on International Trade - Parliamentary committees (07-05-2015): 09:00, Brussels, Altiero Spinelli
 
Committee on Development - Parliamentary committees (07-05-2015): 09:00, Brussels, Altiero Spinelli
 
Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety - Parliamentary committees (07-05-2015): 09:00, Brussels, Jòzsef Antall
 
Committee on Employment and Social Affairs - Parliamentary committees (07-05-2015): 09:00, Brussels, Jòzsef Antall
 
Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs - Parliamentary committees (07-05-2015): 09:00, Brussels, Paul-Henri Spaak
 
Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection - Parliamentary committees (07-05-2015): 09:00, Brussels, Jòzsef Antall
 
Committee on Fisheries - Parliamentary committees (07-05-2015): 09:00, Brussels, Paul-Henri Spaak
 
Committee on Industry, Research and Energy - Parliamentary committees (07-05-2015): 09:00, Brussels, Jòzsef Antall
 
Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs - Parliamentary committees (07-05-2015): 09:00, Brussels, Paul-Henri Spaak
 
Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality - Parliamentary committees (07-05-2015): 09:00, Brussels, Altiero Spinelli
 
Committee on Legal Affairs - Parliamentary committees (07-05-2015): 09:00, Brussels, Altiero Spinelli
 
The President's agenda - The President's diary (07-05-2015): 10:00
 
EEA-Switzerland: Obstacles with regard to the full implementation of the internal market - Public hearings (07-05-2015): 11:00, Brussels, Jòzsef Antall
 
The European Commission's public consultation on the international Minamata Convention - Press conferences (07-05-2015): 11:30, Brussels, Paul-Henri Spaak
 
 
Schedule by day Friday 08 May 2015
The President's agenda - The President's diary (08-05-2015): 12:30
 
 
Schedule by day Saturday 09 May 2015
The President's diary - The President's diary (09-05-2015):
 
 
Twitter
 
Press release:Updating #payment service rules: MEPs do deal with the #Council http://t.co/Na04ijIynF @EP_Economics
Press release: Package #holiday protection: MEPs strike a deal with #Council: http://t.co/IF5pmL7zX5 #packagetravel @EP_SingleMarket
Press release: #Taxrulings: “We need a common corporate #tax base”, says Commissioner @vestager: http://t.co/Tem5UNOi8R @EP_Economics
#Lybia: hearing on security strategy with experts and #EEAS: live now http://t.co/XmUFKfPhrO
Is EU able to pay for security it needs? Will June Defence #EUCO deliver? - MEPs wonder in the debate live now http://t.co/XmUFKfPhrO
#Ukraine & #Africa #MiddleEast show need for EU defence. soft power not enough. but not all MS have same security perception- @ElmarBrok_MEP
This week @EP_HumanRights: 6 & 7 May: #sports, #humanrights in Central Asia, #humantrafficking Agenda: http://t.co/PqXxnH1reg
#EPlenary on #Indonesia’s executions: MEPs call for immediate moratorium on the #deathpenalty Press release: http://t.co/TlFoYpDYM2
More than 1100 died in #RanaPlaza collapse. #EPlenary calls on #Bangladesh to improve conditions further: http://t.co/2bAKmc4pQN
#EUCO June security summit: now debate w/ ForeignAff committees of MS parliaments & #EEAS Alain Le Roy - http://t.co/rM5zHZaQ4B
Rules-based EU defence market needed for EU security, #AFET MEPs say / reso adopted today 40 to 4 & 7 abst http://t.co/TQGi47LHte
EU has 16 #CSDP missions deployed; 5 of them military. Now overview w/ #EEAS crisis managem director Iklody http://t.co/vgK546n7T7
7 May @EP_Development: Debates on #refugee crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa, #foodsecutiry and agricultural #development
6 May @EP_Development: EOM to #Nigeria, #UN conf on #DRR, opinion vote on #Right2Water, #NepalEarthquake Agenda: http://t.co/MNYQ18t8H7
Report on #ffd3 adopted by @EP_Development with 19/1/3. Full press release here http://t.co/xZ1ud3H00h
#Investor and state disputes in #TTIP: proposals to be debated by @EP_Trade & @MalmstromEU Wed 4h30 #ISDS - read https://t.co/AVtDwUgkuf
EP in #Expo2015: press conf tmrw 9h30 be4 vote- rapporteur @paolodecastro, with MEPs @berndlange, @giovannilavia @toiapatrizia @PaulRuebig
choice btwn EU #DCFTA & #Russia is tough for ex-#Soviet states. a ground-breaking study by #EP suggests a 3rd way http://t.co/1sCAkEsDb8
.@EP_Budgets @EP_BudgControl hearing on control of #EUBudget own resources collection now http://t.co/V92lf4fMPn @J_Lewandowski #AyalaSender
15:00-18:30 today @EP_Budgets & @EP_BudgControl hearing on control of #EUBudget own resources collection in MS. http://t.co/MEAta2xy5Y
#EPlenary adopts DAB2/2015, saving lapsing commitments in #EUbudget. Rapporteur @EGardiazabal. Read more: http://t.co/Ced8nkSyXQ
.@EP_Budgets @EP_BudgControl hearing on control of #EUBudget own resources collection now http://t.co/YnowZn33Vz @J_Lewandowski #AyalaSender
15:00-18:30 today @EP_Budgets & @EP_BudgControl hearing on control of #EUBudget own resources collection in MS. http://t.co/FDj2XCRuCq
.@EP_Economics #PSD2 Updating payment service rules: MEPs do deal with the Council http://t.co/tnhWlNyjfg
.@EP_Economics @Antonio_Tajani deal on payment services directive PSD2: reduced costs, increased security, new players on payments market
'Big 4' consultancy firms present views on #taxrulings in EP's special #TAXE committee. Live: http://t.co/BdWW76T05q Sent from my iPhone
Changes to ESF for frontloading #YEI approved http://t.co/7lJ2KWe6pl Press conference @emorinchartier @ 14:30 Live http://t.co/o5Rsjk4frS
.@EPSocialAffairs next meeting tomorrow, Thursday 16 April. Follow EP Live 9.20 http://t.co/6ZWFe2qD6d 15.00 http://t.co/QFEwPUWULI
.@EPSocialAffairs meeting tomorrow, Thursday 16 April from 9.20-12.30 & 15.00-18.30 PHS 3C50. Agenda http://t.co/82NBcPVscg
RT @giovannilavia: I thank my colleagues, and especially the Rapporteur, for their work on such a delicate file #EUETS
RT @giovannilavia: This reform puts the EU in a leading position for the #COP21 & allows us to propose concrete plans to reach the 2030 cli…
RT @giovannilavia: The compromise reached today is satisfactory for all parties involved #EUETS
.@EP_Industry meets on Wed&Thu: debate w/@Ansip_EU; #TTIP; #energy security Agenda: http://t.co/BqktZdMZbW; Mtg docs: http://t.co/ZLcPgyIDkz
Now, time for exchanging views w/@JHillEU @EP_Industry live: http://t.co/Abdmx3dY0Z
Package holiday put online will get same protection as offline @EP_SingleMarket deal w/ @eu2015lv on #packagetravel http://t.co/cl8j77P4xu
On 7 May at 11 am IMCO hearing on EU rules fate in EEA & #Switzerland. Agenda http://t.co/R66pugjBa0 @Andreas_Schwab http://t.co/yCINjzf80Z
.@EP_SingleMarket to meet on 6/7 May. Debate w/ Cssrs @EBienkowskaEU, @jyrkikatainen & @GOettingerEU on #DSM. Agenda http://t.co/7RuCLiUMVa
Now @EP_Transport: discussion w/Commissioner @Bulc_EU on transport aspects of Commission Work Programme 2016 http://t.co/8jngQz0oYr
Starting now: @EP_Transport hearing on road haulage market and its social dimension http://t.co/8jngQz0oYr programme http://t.co/CBq5nPOWz6
TEN-T Coordinators' progress report presented @EP_Transport yesterday available here http://t.co/Jh3vTgKzLh debate: http://t.co/k2od3OMh99
With MEPs meeting in committees today discover all their updates with our handy #EPnewshub: http://t.co/hiozUKbThO...
Missed the @EP_Regional debates yesterday and votes today? Have a look at our press release and useful links http://t.co/erofONrT2m
José M. Fernandes: les retards de paiement, pas un problème de la politique de #cohésion mais du manque de ressources propres du #budgetUE
Missed @EP_Agriculture hearing on #CAPsimplification? Read about it & re-watch it here: http://t.co/PlYGRnfNC8 http://t.co/FGh1ILboou
.@EP_Agriculture MEPs to debate now trade in #seal products. Watch it live: http://t.co/6ExhfhL4fu
.@EP_Agriculture votes now on ideas 4 improving situation in f&veg sector & objections 2 deleg act on #ethylalcohol: http://t.co/6ExhfhL4fu
All meeting docs for this week: http://t.co/IRDDLtAVwS Watch live: http://t.co/2eSJ4sN9z5 #Fisheries
This wk's #PECH meetg: Debates on #Madagascar, #CapeVerde & #Guinee_Bissau FPAs; Vote on #driftnets tbc http://t.co/BnrDclrXqI #Fisheries
EP @EPCulture #digitaleducation: invest in teachers, not only in computers http://t.co/JxPvW48VqF
CULT meeting starts now: opinion on #girls #education and debate on #YouthEntrepreneurship on he agenda @EPCulture http://t.co/uaVyxTr7CB
.@SilviaCostaEU concluding workshop on Innovative Schools: invest in schools&technology is necessary, but investment in people top prioriy
.@EP_Legal meeting on 6-7/5: votes on #ShareholderRights, #Insolvency proceedings & #IPR enforcement. Meeting docs: http://t.co/z046M0LkLu
.@EP_Legal will meet this week on Wed 6/5 and Thu 7/5. Agenda and meeting docs are available here: http://t.co/z046M0LkLu
.@EP_Justice 7/5, 16.30: Debate possible effects, including on its rights&status as member of EU, if MS decided to reintroduce #deathpenalty
RT @EP_ThinkTank: Following the Paris attacks of Jan 2015: could a harmonised #EU PNR system help prevent terror attacks? http://t.co/U4r8v…
#PressFreedom Day: learn more about the European Parliament's role as a press freedom advocate http://t.co/rFgqC2UrXk
Lessons learned from last Hearings of EC candidate commissioners to follow @EPInstitutional @RCorbettMEP
AFCO Chair during joint @EPInstitutional @EP_Economics hearing this morning https://t.co/AoSWhJ510j
Press invited to join the event tonight in the EP Librairy https://t.co/ANNjWPM3JZ
Read more about topics to be discussed @_GenderEqual meeting tomorrow in the newsletter: http://t.co/E86kiq55LP
Tomorrow @EP_GenderEqual vote: #maternityleave, ending forced marriage of girls& #EU strategy for #equality post 2015:http://t.co/5aKLChuXmZ
Hearing @_GenderEqual on 6/5 Women’s careers in science and university and glass ceilings encountered. Programme: http://t.co/hgqzGEVsHl
Now @EP_Petitions: Petitions on #Jugendamt, German agency for children and youth issues. Live: http://t.co/tl3Keb7NXR
One shared objective for stronger Europe for its citizens @EP_Petitions and @TimmermansEU
.@EP_Petitions reflect concerns of citizens
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