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Parliament and Council agree on basic bank accounts for all

ECON Economic and monetary affairs20-03-2014 - 13:14
A man withdraws money at a cash point ATM ©BELGA/Imageglobe/J.Hamers  

Anyone legally residing in the EU should have the right to open a basic payment account, and this right should not be denied on grounds of nationality or place of residence, Parliament's negotiators and the Council representatives agreed on Thursday. Fees and rules for all payment accounts should be transparent and comparable and it should be easy to switch to another payment account that offers better terms, under the agreed new rules. (Read more: Parliament and Council agree on basic bank accounts for all)

 
 
To get gas guzzlers off Europe’s roads, MEPS voted on new rules to give greener fuels a kick start.  

To boost the take-up of alternative fuels in transport, EU countries will have to ensure that enough refuelling and recharging stations are available to enable cars, trucks and ships using alternative fuels, such as natural gas and electricity, to move freely on EU roads and waterways, under an informal agreement reached by Council and Parliament negotiators on Thursday. (Read more: Deal struck on promoting use of alternative fuels on roads and waterways)

 
 

EU budget fraudsters to face tougher criminal penalties

LIBE CONT Justice and home affairs / Budgetary control20-03-2014 - 11:12

Rules on prosecuting and punishing fraud against the EU budget were voted by the Budgetary Control and Civil Liberties committees on Thursday. In amendments to a draft anti-fraud law, MEPs clearly defined the offences for which member states would have to introduce criminal penalties, such as fraud, passive and active corruption, money laundering or dishonest bidding for public procurement contracts. Fraud costs the EU budget an estimated €600 million each year. (Read more: EU budget fraudsters to face tougher criminal penalties)

 
 

Parliament negotiators rescue seriously damaged bank resolution system

ECON Economic and monetary affairs20-03-2014 - 11:12

European Parliament negotiators on Thursday reached a deal with their member state counterparts on the single resolution mechanism to deal with failing banks. Many elements fell into place early in the morning after 16 hours of talks. The elements agreed will help to ensure that the system cannot become a hostage to political power games and can deliver swift and credible decisions. (Read more: Parliament negotiators rescue seriously damaged bank resolution system)

 
 

Trade Committee backs plan to remove EU tariffs on imports from Ukraine

INTA External/international trade20-03-2014 - 11:06

About 98% of the customs duties that Ukrainian goods exporters pay at EU borders would be removed by a proposal backed by the European Parliament’s International Trade Committee on Thursday. This unilateral measure would boost Ukraine’s struggling economy by saving its manufacturers and exporters €487 million a year. (Read more: Trade Committee backs plan to remove EU tariffs on imports from Ukraine)

 
 
File photo dated 22/09/09 of an Environment Agency worker inspecting a shipping container filled with refuse.  ©BELGA_PRESSASSOCIATION  

Draft EU rules that would require EU member states to clamp down on illegal waste shipments within the EU and to non-EU countries were backed by the Environment Committee on Wednesday. These rules, informally agreed with EU ministers, would close legal loopholes and entail more inspections. Member states would have to include in their inspection plans a minimum number of physical checks, and inspectors would be given more powers. (Read more: Illegal waste shipments: Environment Committee backs plan to step up checks)

 
 

Draft plans to exempt intercontinental flights' greenhouse gas emissions from the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) until the start of 2017 were rejected by Environment Committee MEPs on Wednesday, even though they had been informally agreed with EU ministers. Parliament as whole will vote on the file on Thursday, 3 April. (Read more: Aviation emissions: Environment MEPs reject informal deal with EU ministers)

 
 
ACP EU Assembly  

The UN Security Council must authorise a UN peace-keeping mission to the Central African Republic (CAR), said MEPs and MPs from the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) in Strasbourg on 19 March. They asked EU countries states to speed up preparations for the EUFOR CAR mission and pointed to the urgent need to restore social and health services and reopen schools in the country. (Read more: Central African Republic: ACP-EU MPs call on UN to beef up peace-keeping efforts)

 
 

Barnier and Nouy talk banking union and bank bonuses with MEPs

ECON Economic and monetary affairs18-03-2014 - 13:57

Work on setting up the EU's bank supervisor and undertaking the planned asset quality review is "well on track", ECB bank supervisor chair Daniele Nouy told the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee on Tuesday. Legislators on all sides now need to show willingness to compromise in order to agree on a mechanism for winding down banks that can deliver rapid and reliable decisions and mobilise credible and readily accessible funding, she added. (Read more: Barnier and Nouy talk banking union and bank bonuses with MEPs)

 
 

New rules on funding EU political parties and foundations

AFCO Institutions18-03-2014 - 13:03

Plans to reform the funding arrangements and legal status of European political parties and their affiliated foundations were backed by the Constitutional Affairs Committee on Tuesday. The new rules, already informally agreed with Council, should clarify the finances of these bodies and enhance their European character. A system to monitor compliance and impose penalties for breaches is also part of the deal. (Read more: New rules on funding EU political parties and foundations )