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The European Parliament is in session from 5 to 8 October 2015


French President François Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will make a historic joint appearance in the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 7 October. They will speak on topical European issues and will have a debate with political group leaders. It is the first joint address of French and German leaders since November 1989, when President François Mitrterand and Chancellor Helmut Kohl debated the end of the Cold War with MEPs. Follow our coverage live on Wednesday from 15.00 CET. (Read more: Next week in plenary: President Hollande and Chancellor Merkel to address MEPs )


Germany celebrates on 3 October 25 years of reunification. After the Berlin wall fell in 1989, East and West Germany reuniting became an obvious next step. Parliament set up a special committee to look at the possible impact of this. "German reunification was, in a way, an informal form of enlargement of the European Union," said Elmar Brok, who was a committee member and is still an MEP today. He and other MEPs share with us their memories of this period. (Read more: 25 years since German reunification: The role of the European Parliament )


The 2015 guest photographer contest, inspired by 2015 being the European Year for Development, is coming to an end. Every month until September we have announced a different topic linked to development and selected the 10 best photos. The jury will pick one winner, the second winner is chosen by you. Both winners will be invited to Strasbourg during the November plenary. (Read more: Choose who will be the public winner of the guest photographer contest )


The sky and stars have always fascinated us and life outside our planet remains one of the great mysteries facing mankind. Monday, NASA announced that it has serious evidence of water on the surface of Mars. We asked MEP and astrophysicist Giorgos Grammatikakis (S&D, Greece), to talk to us about Mars and what this discovery means. (Read more: Grammatikakis: Discovery of water on Mars reopens question of life in universe )

Press releases (second part)

The civil liberties committee will debate the current situation at the borders inside the Schengen area in the wake of the temporary reimposition of border controls by some member states with Commission representatives on Thursday morning. The Commission is required to monitor the situation closely and keep Parliament and the Council fully informed under the Schengen Borders Code. (Read more: Civil liberties committee to debate situation at Schengen internal borders )


The nominations for Parliament´s 2015 Sakharov Prize were formally presented this Monday 28 September at a joint meeting of the Foreign Affairs and Development committees and the Human Rights subcommittee. The Sakharov prize is awarded every year to honour exceptional individuals who combat intolerance, fanaticism and oppression. The winner will be selected in late October. (Read more: Sakharov Prize: the nominations for 2015 presented )


Council cuts in EU 2016 budget funding for refugees and agencies dealing with migrants were reversed by Budgets Committee MEPs in votes on Monday and Tuesday. MEPs also added funding for youth employment programmes, the Erasmus + student mobility programme and for research, transport and energy networks. (Read more: EP adds funds for migration, jobs, youth to draft EU budget 2016 )


Germany, Belgium and Italy should get over €14.6 million in EU aid to help more than 7,300 workers made redundant by three firms get back on to the job market, following a vote by the budgets committee on Tuesday. The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) aid still needs to be approved by Parliament as a whole and by the Council of the EU. (Read more: Budget MEPs approve EU aid for redundant workers in Germany, Belgium and Italy )


Parliament's foreign affairs committee held an exchange of views with Mohammed bin Amin Al-Jefri, Deputy Speaker of the Majlis Al-Shura, the Consultative Assembly of Saudi Arabia in Brussels on Monday 28 September. The situation in Saudi Arabia and the region as well as the migration crisis centring on Syria and relations between the kingdom and the European Union were discussed. (Read more: Mohammed bin Amin Al-Jefri discusses Syrian refugees with foreign affairs MEPs )


This week in Parliament, the Budgets committee members vote their amendments to next year's EU budget. The nominees for the Sakharov Prize are to be officially presented by the members sponsoring them, and Parliament's political groups are set to prepare for the plenary session to be held in Strasbourg this 5-8 October. (Read more: EP this week: the EU budget, novel food and the Sakharov Prize )

Weekly agenda
Schedule by day Sunday 04 Oct 2015
MEPs to observe elections in Kyrgyzstan - Delegations (04-10-2015):
President @fhollande & Chancellor #Merkel debate with MEPs at #EPlenary on 7/10 at 15:00. LIVE: #HollandeMerkelEP
The week ahead (5-11 Oct) at #EPlenary incl: #HollandeMerkelEP, #KingofSpain, #Volkswagen & more. Full agenda:
Pre-session briefing on October #EPlenary at 11:00 (PHS0A050).LIVE: &
Watch live @EP_ForeignAff debating w/ Mohammed bin Amin Al-Jefri, Vice-Speaker of Majlis Al-Shura of #Saudi Arabia:
.@EP_ForeignAff debates with Mohammed bin Amin Al-Jefri, Vice-Speaker of Majlis Al-Shura of #Saudi Arabia at 17.00:
.@EP_ForeignAff meets at 3pm: #SakharovPrize nominees presentation & VP of Majlis Al-Shura of #SaudiArabia: see docs:
"@IntlCrimCourt is complementary to national jurisdictions", said the Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda More info:
RT @beatrizbecerrab: Chairing today #EP #HumanRights Committee Pleased to welcome MsFatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the Int'l Criminal Court …
Fatou Bensouda Prosecutor @IntlCrimCourt "#ICC is a court of last resort"complementary to national jurisdictions Live
#HybridWarfare - is the EU ready? Watch @EP_Defence debates w/ @eu_eeas @NATO experts now:
Is the EU ready for #HybridWarfare? @EP_Defence debates w/ @eu_eeas @NATO experts on Thursday at 9.30:
.@EP_Defence w/ @eu_eeas DSG #Popowski debriefing 2-3 Sept informal meeting of EU defence ministers:
2015 – a year for development: This week the Parliament web team manages @EYD2015. But what is #EYD2015 all about?
EP is very active in the #development area. Not into reading? Watch 1’ video → #EYD2015
This week, the Parliament web team is managing @EYD2015 account. Follow & learn about EP's work #EYD2015
.@EP_trade delegation, led by @berndlange, during #WTO Public Forum in #Geneva with EU #WTO ambassador #Vanheukelen
RT @EUAuditorsECA: New #audit report | #EU support for fight against #torture and #abolition of #deathpenalty http:/…
RT @KGeorgievaEU: Speaking now in @EP_Budgets on proposal for increase of funding for refugee crisis. Need to move quickly.…
RT @KGeorgievaEU: Today's proposal part of package for 2015/16 worth €1.7 billion, brings total for 2 years to 9.2 billion already vs 4.5 o…
Changes to #EUbudget 2015 presented @EP_Budgets now by @KGeorgievaEU. Live
RT @KGeorgievaEU: Meeting with EU Institutions on fight against fraud by #OLAF. @EP_BudgControl @eu2015lu @EUCouncil
RT @EP_Budgets: Check MEP amendments to @EUCouncil pos on #EUBudget Vote starts 16:30, live:
.@EP_Economics Chair @gualtierieurope & #Balz on #CapitalMarketsUnion action plan CORRECT LINK
"We will not hesitate to act if inflation outlook weakens", #Draghi tells @EP_Economics MEPs. Press release: #ECB
.@EPSocialAffairs Public hearing on re-shoring EU starts at 15:00 JAN 6Q2. Programme EPLive
.@EPSocialAffairs Public hearing on re-shoring EU Wed 15.00-17.30; JAN 6Q2. Programme EPLive
.@EPSocialAffairs next meeting on Wednesday, 23 September 9.00-12.30 &15.00-18.30 in JAN 6Q2. Follow EP Live
RT @Groote: .@JytteGuteland confirmed as @TheProgressives shadow for #ETS Reform today.
#COP21: towards an international climate agreement in #Paris - report by @gillespargneaux as adopted by ENVI cttee
#Volkswagen scandal: "We want a real assessment of emissions" ENVI chair @giovannilavia
Starting now: @EP_industry debate on 10% electricity interconnection target. Watch live
Starting now: @EP_Industry debates #energy market design with @MAC_europa . Watch live
Today's votes in @EP_Industry industry postponed.
.@EP_SingleMarket WG on #digitalsinglemarket starts now. Ways to lift #geoblocking. Live
#geoblocking & online consumers at the focus of next @EP_SingleMarket WG on #digitalsinglemarket 28 Sept 3 pm. Webstr
Draft report on promotion of tourism in Europe adopted in TRAN committee: 42 in favour, 4 against, 1 abstention
Draft report on safe use of drones in civil aviation adopted in TRAN committee this morning: 45 in favour, 1 against, 0 abstentions
Now @EP_Transport: discussion on sustainable urban mobility Webstreaming: draft report
Visita delegazione PE in #Sicilia per valutare utilizzo #FondiStrutturali:
RT @CorinaCretuEU: At the conference #EUbudget4Results. Reformed for 2014-20, #CohesionPolicy is now clearly performance-oriented. http://t…
REGI MEPs to visit #Sicily on 23-25/09 to assess the use of #StructuralFunds. See the programme:
#Agriculture #milk & #meat #crisis: MEPs welcome €500m #farmer aid package but want more action. More in PR:
#EPlenary debate on #crisis on #agriculture #milk & #meat markets starts now. Live: &
EU must step in now to help member states tackle #UnfairTrading practices, @EP_Agriculture MEPs say. More in PR:
#Fisheries committee webstream for this afternoon's session:
Missed Tuesday's hearing on #Fisheries plans? VOD here: Presentations soon available here:
New study/nouvelle analyse (in French) "Le contrôle de la #pêche européenne: Une vue d'ensemble" #Fisheries
RT @sportintergroup: This 29th of september Conférence about 'ethics, gouvernance & sport' with #uefa #fifa #cio #fidh #csi #FA @Europarl_E…
RT @sportintergroup: Ethics, governance & sport: criteria for the allocation of international sporting évents. Conférence at the EP soon ht…
Online activities of public service media @EuAvObservator, #Interculturaldialogue, #Erasmus+: @EPCulture meeting now
Next week at #EPlenary: #SmallClaims procedure, protection of #GeographicalIndications & more. Newsletter:
.@EP_Legal meeting at 15h: discussion on proposal to increase the number of judges at the General Court. Live:
Video extracts from @EP_Justice debate on the situation at #Schengen internal borders
RT @bendrath: full text of today's #CJEU judgements on #EUdataP: Bara, Weltimmo
#Refugeecrisis: @EP_Justice rapporteur on EU common list of safe countries of origin is @sylvieguillaume. More info
All EU citizens living abroad should vote in EU elections says AFCO @danutahuebner @jo_leinen
RT @jo_leinen: #European Elections 2019:EP Committee AFCO votes in favour of zip lists and equality of men and women in the next Parliament
next AFCO meeting 22/10
RT @MimicaEU: # Refreshed approach to #GenderEquality in external relations will increase the impact of our actions worldwide:…
Read about gender pay gap, childcare services, women in top positions in the analysis on Gender Equality in Ireland:
Read about pay gap,childcare services,women in top positions in the analysis on Gender Equality in...
Missed @EP_Petitions meeting last week? Video recording available here:
Now @EP_Petitions: petitions on a theft of a newborn at a hospital in Spain and the failure of authorities to investigate the case.
.@EP_Petitions meeting continues at 15h with petitions on rights of people with disabilities. Live:
The Parliament is on...