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The hostilities in the Middle East also affect the five million Palestine refugees living throughout Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinian Territories, with a risk of radicalisation as the region becomes more unstable. Pierre Krähenbühl, the commissioner-general of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), issued the warning when he addressed the EP's foreign affairs committee on 2 March. He also said the EU had a crucial role to play. (Read more: UNRWA chief on Gaza: "We're essentially talking about a time bomb" )

 

New Italian president Sergio Mattarella visited the European Parliament in Brussels on 3 March as part of his first foreign visit. He was welcomed by EP President Martin Schulz, with whom he exchanged views on issues such as the economic crisis, migrants dying while trying to cross the Mediterranean and the situation in Libya . (Read more: Italian president Sergio Mattarella visits the EP )

 

EP President Martin Schulz said: "The repeated and arbitrary denial of entrance onto Russian territory of elected parliamentarians, as testified by the latest case of MEP Sandra Kalniete, is a high affront to the EU-Russia relations and the work of democratic institutions. (Read more: Schulz on denial of entrance onto Russian territory of MEP Kalniete )

 

Are multinational companies paying their fair share of taxes? While the European Commission launched a series of inquiries in all EU member states, the Parliament has set up its own special committee to investigate into tax rulings involving large international companies. We talked to committee chair Alain Lamassoure, a French member of the EPP group, to find out his views and expectations. (Read more: Lamassoure on tax rulings committee: "We have an obligation to produce results" )

 
Press releases (second part)
 

Due to works at the European Parliament accreditation centre in Brussels, journalists needing an access badge for one or more days should address themselves to a special desk in the entrance hall of the Altiero Spinelli building. The works will start on 3 March and will last until 12 April. (Read more: Information to the press: renovation work at the accreditation centre )

 

The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) must focus on currently underfunded areas, so as to complement, not duplicate, other EU budget tools, said MEPs at Monday’s expert hearing on the Juncker investment plan proposals. The hearing was held by the Budgets and Economic and Monetary Affairs committees with a view to shaping legislation for the investment plan. (Read more: Juncker investment plan must complement other EU tools, say MEPs )

 

Education plays a crucial role in helping women and girls achieve equality. Little wonder then that it was chosen as the theme of this year's International Women's Day. In the run-up to this annual day on 8 March, the Parliament is organising several events to highlight access to education in developing countries and the gap between women's high level of education in the EU and the professional opportunities available to them afterwards. Follow the events live on our website. (Read more: Events: empowering women through education )

 

MEPs will this week focus on the €315 billion investment plan to boost growth in Europe, discussing with experts its three pillars: an investment fund, an advisory hub and a project pipeline. The foreign affairs committee will discuss the refugee situation in the Middle East with UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl, while the EP will also prepare for International Women's Day on Sunday and for next week's plenary session. (Read more: EP this week: €315 bln investment plan, refugees and International Women’s Day )

 

Religious minorities in the Middle East are increasingly under threat from jihadist groups such as the so-called Islamic State (IS). To call attention to the situation of Christians and other religious minorities in the region, the human rights subcommittee and the EP's Mashreq delegation held a joint hearing on 26 February. "Death has become something banal," warned guest speaker Nawras Sammour, of the Jesuit Refugee Service in Syria, saying the upsurge in radicalism was worrying Christians. (Read more: Religious minorities at risk in Middle East: "Death has become something banal" )

 

A new draft text on an EU system for the use of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data, tabled by lead MEP Timothy Kirkhope (ECR, UK), was discussed in the civil liberties committee on Thursday morning. (Read more: Changes to planned European Passenger Name Record (PNR) system discussed by MEPs )

 
 
Weekly agenda
 
Schedule by day Tuesday 03 Mar 2015
The impunity of crimes against humanity in the Spanish State - Press conferences (03-03-2015): 12:00, Brussels, Paul-Henri Spaak
 
Creation of the working group against the interference of the tobacco industry - Press conferences (03-03-2015): 15:00, Brussels, Paul-Henri Spaak
 
The President's diary - The President's diary (03-03-2015):
 
 
Schedule by day Wednesday 04 Mar 2015
6th Inter-Parliamentary Conference on CFSP and CSDP - Delegations (04-03-2015): 09:00
 
The victims of terrorism in Spain and ETA's entourage - Press conferences (04-03-2015): 09:30, Brussels, Paul-Henri Spaak
 
Seminar for journalists: Empowering women and girls through education - Special events (04-03-2015): 10:00, Brussels, Paul-Henri Spaak
 
Human rights and penitentiary policy in the EU - Press conferences (04-03-2015): 11:30, Brussels, Paul-Henri Spaak
 
The launch of MEP Group against Wildlife Crime - Press conferences (04-03-2015): 13:30, Brussels, Paul-Henri Spaak
 
The President's diary - The President's diary (04-03-2015):
 
Conference: “Political participation of women in the Western Balkans and Turkey” - Special events (04-03-2015):
 
 
Schedule by day Thursday 05 Mar 2015
Committee on Employment and Social Affairs - Parliamentary committees (05-03-2015): 09:00, Brussels, Jòzsef Antall
 
Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs - Parliamentary committees (05-03-2015): 09:00, Brussels, Jòzsef Antall
 
Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality - Parliamentary committees (05-03-2015): 09:00, Brussels, Paul-Henri Spaak
 
Interparliamentary committee meeting on "empowering women and girls through education" - Special events (05-03-2015): 09:00, Brussels, Paul-Henri Spaak
 
6th Inter-Parliamentary Conference on CFSP and CSDP - Delegations (05-03-2015): 09:00
 
Workshop on the role of private sector in sustainable development - Special events (05-03-2015): 10:00, Brussels, Altiero Spinelli
 
TTIP: Benefits and costs - Press conferences (05-03-2015): 10:30, Brussels, Paul-Henri Spaak
 
Venezuela: attempts by the extreme right to destabilize the country - testimonies by the relatives of the victims of the Guarimba - Press conferences (05-03-2015): 12:00, Brussels, Paul-Henri Spaak
 
International Womens Day - Press conferences (05-03-2015): 12:30, Brussels, Paul-Henri Spaak
 
The President's diary - The President's diary (05-03-2015):
 
 
Schedule by day Friday 06 Mar 2015
6th Inter-Parliamentary Conference on CFSP and CSDP - Delegations (06-03-2015): 09:00
 
Seminar for new journalists in Brussels - Special events (06-03-2015): 09:30, Brussels, Paul-Henri Spaak
 
Pre-session briefing - Press conferences (06-03-2015): 11:00, Brussels, Paul-Henri Spaak
 
The President's diary - The President's diary (06-03-2015):
 
 
Twitter
 
Press release: #Juncker #investment plan must complement other EU tools, say MEPs: http://t.co/wsMf3OaHJ1
#EP Committees meet from 15:00.LIVE: http://t.co/Ky3o2NnN3F & updates via #Twitterlist: https://t.co/DMvxTH6ve0 http://t.co/T7N7i5ukKO
Seminar for journalists: 6/3 09:00(PHS 0A50):How the #EP works & what the Press service can do for you. Registration: http://t.co/6JWc7TQonm
#ENP review now discussed w/ G.#Gromadzki &M.#Hassan http://t.co/XeTcol4LI8 @ISPThinkTank @CairoUniv #Neighbourhood Rapporteur @EduardKukan
.@ElmarBrok_MEP on @BorisNemtsov:Dem.opposition in Russia lost one of its lights. Danger of veil put over Russia,ever more autocratic regime
#Tajikistan elections: MEPs welcome peaceful conduct amidst shortcomings concerns http://t.co/kHc7fqQ7ru
.@ElenaValenciano:"#EU needs to urgently review its policies to protect minorities in #Syria & #Iraq" Full statement: http://t.co/gawEmElgbh
.@ElenaValenciano welcomes the release of B #Rugurika:"Gratifying to see our Feb resolution had an impact" Statement: http://t.co/g8aSrBRBBB
Hearing on Freedom of religion in the Middle East starts in 15 min. Watch live: http://t.co/6WPFMH6et2
#Eurocorps : use it or lose it! @EP_Defence debates with @HQEurocorps Commander LtGen Guy #Buchsenschmidt live http://t.co/cLYJg4WlJl
.@EP_Defence discussing Annual #CSDP report by @ArnaudDanjean live now http://t.co/3TdZARGZjb Draft text: http://t.co/k8BAcbrbbX
.@EP_Defence @EP_Budgets debate CommonSecurity&DefencePolicy financing on Thu at9.00.Draft http://t.co/1lUC0LA3Bi @EduardKukan @indrektarand
Tax evasion in developing countries: @EP_Development workshop starts now. Follow live: http://t.co/N6DlBN1k1N http://t.co/L5NMTiE0PF
Tax evasion in developing countries:@EP_Development workshop today @ 16h,Programme:http://t.co/vky5TDIURD Follow live:http://t.co/N6DlBN1k1N
"Financing development: making every euro count", Debate w/ @WFPErtharin & @StylianidesEU Full article: http://t.co/YKjsdk5Y9d
#TTIP in the EP: all dates, links, drafts, timelines & other details you've been asking about in one place http://t.co/leOYR7Evjh
#TTIP talks: MEPs work on their recommendations for negotiators/ @EP_trade debate & @EP_Development vote summarized http://t.co/KEyemJAw8Z
Debate on trade deal with #Vietnam, rapporteur @ZahradilJan live now http://t.co/jD8XTLpye9
#JunckerPlan shld be complementary, must help SMEs: 6 experts heard in @EP_Budgets @EP_Economics on EFSI. More: http://t.co/LZJCYO940A
Today 15:30-18:30 hearing w 6 experts on #JunckerPlan EFSI @ep_economy @EP_Budgets. Live: http://t.co/SwKLHhnEYT
Next Mon 15:30-18:30 hearing w 6 experts on #JunckerPlan EFSI @EP_Economy @EP_Budgets. Agenda: http://t.co/RBB4193wS2
Commission shld check spending of #EU funds better and claw back more lost money, says @EP_BudgControl. Read more: http://t.co/Nbcd3Z6Oyy
Fight against #EUbudget fraud vote @9, then debate continues on #discharge 2013 @r_czarnecki @AndersVistisen. Live: http://t.co/oC5jCnVenq
Vote on fight against fraud on #EUbudget, debate on #discharge 2013 to EU instits, agencies Tue @9:00. Docs, live: http://t.co/IaWZ0qfGgH
.@EP_Economics meeting 5/3 is cancelled. Next week only hearing with BUDG on EU Fund for Strat. Investments. Agenda: http://t.co/9LMYSw6DER
Chair new #tax rulings committee @ALamassoure : “This is about transparency and justice” #luxleaks Press release: http://t.co/tB1YFrL94B
.@EP_Economics adopted @NeenaGmep report on money market funds, check for details http://t.co/r8oAOoqdbF
.@EPSocialAffairs & @EPCulture Joint Hearing on early school leaving Follow it on EP Live http://t.co/yBeUTqGeEO
.@EPSocialAffairs February 2015 Newsletter http://t.co/WQpr9uRftW
.@EPSocialAffairs & @EPCulture Joint Hearing on early school leaving: Thu, 26 Feb, 15.00-17.30 Follow on EP Live http://t.co/yBeUTqGeEO
#EUETS #MSR: report by @IvoBelet adopted 58/10/1 negotiations with @eu2015lv opened 57/10/1
#Biofuels: report by @NilsTorvalds adopted 39/26/4 negotiations opened 46/20/2 #ILUC
2/2 Lead #MEPs: @IvoBelet (@EPPGroup, Belgium) on #EUETS #MSR and @NilsTorvalds (@ALDEgroup, Finland) on #Biofuels #ILUC
In a few minutes, MEPs will give their first reactions to today's proposed #energyunion. Watch live: http://t.co/EdQLuZFBzD #EPlenary
"Energy union can help to boost economic growth and jobs." Interview with @EP_Industry chair @JerzyBuzek http://t.co/lIwviiAS35 #energyunion
.@MarosSefcovic & @MAC_europa just presented #energyunion. At 15h, MEPs will give first reactions. #EPlenary live: http://t.co/EdQLuZFBzD
Today at 3 pm @EP_SingleMarket working group on #DigitalSingleMarket kicks-off. Webstreaming http://t.co/PfYhtQzuAJ @rozathun
.@EP_SingleMarket working group on #DigitalSingleMarket to resume its work on 2nd March at 3 pm. Agenda http://t.co/5iaaFEIx6c @rozathun
Starting now @EP_Transport: debate on new financial schemes for European transport projects, streaming: http://t.co/pyTFPBE843
In 10min @EP_Transport: presentation of ECA report on effectiveness of EU-funded urban transport projects, streaming http://t.co/pyTFPBE843
In TRAN at 16h Christophersen-Bodewig-Secchi report on fin.instruments for transport http://t.co/O66ilGcVCT streaming http://t.co/pyTFPBE843
"Unacceptable that 1/3 of Operational Prgrms have not yet passed" says rapporteur on 6th #Cohesion rprt @dajcstomi http://t.co/xxAimHdTah
In-depth analysis: Economic, Social and Territorial Situation of the #Netherlands http://t.co/WdNlhUbARf #CohesionPolicy
Missed yesterday's joint hearing w/ @EP_Environment on #Cloning of animals for farming purposes? Watch it here: http://t.co/T24TJWbRpb
Today in #AGRI: Debate on #TTIP http://t.co/chVRIEjNnu) & other topics. Watch live: http://t.co/DY0LoJzfIa Agenda: http://t.co/bw8hgi3BwZ
Hearing on #MSY on 23/02 - Download the presentations: http://t.co/ElVFIB0Vpy #Fisheries #CFPreality
Extraordinary #Fisheries cttee meetg in #Strasbourg on 9/3 @ 19:00 to vote on "Omnibus" regulation http://t.co/bTDbVCFatI #discards
#Fisheries committee vote results from 24/02/2015: http://t.co/AZ0ClJzXZn
Joint hearing @EPCulture and @EPSocialAffairs on early school leaving, #child poverty and #youth #unemployment http://t.co/6pxvK6jhrY
Members @EPCulture have an exchange of views with @mariannethyssen http://t.co/48Vj6XmFdI
Workshop "Cross-border activities in the EU - Making life easier for citizens" starting now. LIVE: http://t.co/n2z6G9JBRU
Workshop "Cross-border activities in EU - Making life easier for citizens" today at 9:30. Live http://t.co/joS0O740bp http://t.co/5w3pMpjtkL
RT @EU_EDPS: #EDPS Strategy 2015-2019 official launch today @EU_Commission @EP_Justice @EUCouncil with @TimmermansEU @ClaudeMoraes http://t…
RT @Europol_EU: Massive changes in the criminal landscape – #Europol releases report on the future of #crime #FutureCrime https://t.co/3c7a…
RT @europarlAV: #ZeroDiscrimination Day: today we celebrate #diversity & recognize that every person counts. Go here http://t.co/0ojn6SCnr9…
Discussion on #TTIP rapporteur Gonzales Ponz presents its draft opinion in @EPInstitutional
Meeting @EPinstitutional starting in ASP03G2 follow it live http://t.co/GZL3GeIKFq
Follow live the press conference on the European Citizens' Initiative here: http://t.co/SC6D1og0tb Starts at 13.00 #EPHearingonECI
Globally 28 million males and 30 million females of primary school age are out of school. http://t.co/FHCspyw8py #IWD2015
International women’s day “empowering women and girls through education” @EP_GenderEqual on 5/3. Programme: http://t.co/hgqzGEVsHl #IWD2015
Average #maternityleave duration in #EU=23 weeks.Have a look at #EP study on #maternity,#paternity & #parental leave:http://t.co/tqBtzPr6hb
Missed the hearing on #ECI @EP_Petitions & @EPInstitutional on 26/02? Video recording available here: http://t.co/QF4FMafDQg #EPhearingonECI
.@EP_Petitions discussing now petition on the metro accident in Valencia #Spain on 3 July 2006. Live: http://t.co/9WSPyOoACJ
Follow discussion @EP_Petitions about opinion on #TTIP. Live: http://t.co/9WSPyOoACJ
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