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Elmar Brok (EPP, DE), Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, called today for a strong EU foreign and security policy lead by a strong personality. “Bringing peace, stability and prosperity to the broader EU neighbourhood must be the first and utmost priority,” he said following a meeting of the Committee’s Enlarged Bureau with Commissioner Georgieva and the EEAS’s Executive Secretary General Pierre Vimont. (Read more: Elmar Brok: Strong EU foreign policy vital to end crises in the neighbourhood )

 
 

ECON chairman Gualtieri wants "bolder action" for euro area

ECON Economic and monetary affairs07-08-2014 - 15:39

The Governing Council of the ECB met on Thursday and decided that the interest rate on the main refinancing operations and the interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility will remain unchanged at 0.15%, 0.40% and -0.10% respectively. Please find below the reaction of the chairman of Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, Roberto Gualtieri (S&D, IT): (Read more: ECON chairman Gualtieri wants "bolder action" for euro area )

 
 

MEPs discuss EU trade policy with Commissioner Karel de Gucht

INTA External/international trade22-07-2014 - 18:56

MEPs quizzed trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht MEPs on the US position in transatlantic trade and investment partnership (TTIP) talks and the findings of the EU Commission’s public consultation on TTIP proposals on investor-state dispute settlement mechanisms. Some wondered about fate of a proposed trade deal with Canada, which has been described as „to be signed soon" for a year already, and asked that Parliament be given more access to trade talks documents. (Read more: MEPs discuss EU trade policy with Commissioner Karel de Gucht )

 
 

EU sanctions against Russia must be stepped up, the Ukrainian border closed to halt arms flows from Russia, and the bodies of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash victims returned, MEPs insisted in today’s debate with Ukraine’s foreign minister Pavlo Klimkin. Mr Klimkin called on the EU to show its solidarity now, as Ukraine is “being punished for its EU aspirations”. The debate opened with a minute’s silence for victims of the 17 July crash. (Read more: MH17 crash: MEPs call for solidarity with Ukraine and sanctions against Russia )

 
 

MEPs quiz four candidate EU Commissioners

BUDG LIBE JURI ITRE FEMM ECON Women's rights/Equal opportunities / Justice and home affairs / Budget / Economic and monetary affairs / Industry15-07-2014 - 10:47

Four candidate EU Commissioners, nominated to replace those who left to become MEPs, were given committee hearings on Monday. The four, who if confirmed by the full House will serve for the rest of the Commission’s current term, are Jyrki Katainen (Finland), Ferdinando Nelli Feroci (Italy) Martine Reicherts (Luxembourg) and Jacek Dominik (Poland). (Read more: MEPs quiz four candidate EU Commissioners )

 
 

MEPs quiz Draghi on growth, unemployment and structural reforms

ECON Economic and monetary affairs15-07-2014 - 10:44

The way out of debt is through growth, not spending; European Central Bank President Margo Draghi told Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee MEPs on Monday evening, in the first Monetary Dialogue session since the European elections. The ECB will support lending to the real economy and lower taxes provided they are accompanied by structural reforms and efforts to complete the EU single market, he added. (Read more: MEPs quiz Draghi on growth, unemployment and structural reforms )

 
 

Members elect chairs and vice-chairs of parliamentary committees

AFET TRAN SEDE REGI PETI PECH LIBE JURI ITRE INTA IMCO FEMM ENVI AFCO EMPL ECON DROI DEVE CULT CONT BUDG AGRI Institutions08-07-2014 - 11:26

After the election of a President, Vice-Presidents and Quaestors of the European Parliament in Strasbourg last week, parliamentary committees convened on Monday in Brussels to elect chairpersons and their deputies for next two and a half years. (Read more: Members elect chairs and vice-chairs of parliamentary committees )

 
 
An expert from Bulgaria's National History Museum shows an ancient coin, featuring Alexander The Great. ©BELGA_AFP_N.DOYCHINOV  

An informal deal with Council on revised rules to help member states recover cultural objects unlawfully removed from their territory was endorsed by the Culture and Education Committee on Thursday by 14 votes to one. (Read more: Return of illegally exported cultural objects: culture MEPs back simpler rules )

 
 

An extra €150 million for urgent humanitarian aid and food assistance and €37 million for the Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights for this year was approved by Parliament’s Budgets Committee on Thursday. This will enable the European Commission to pay the most urgent bills, but payment problems in the external action field will surely recur in the course of this year, MEPs said. (Read more: Budgets Committee approves an extra €187 million for urgent humanitarian aid )

 
 

Noise-related operating restrictions at EU airports would continue to be set by regional and national authorities, but people living nearby should be better informed and noise-related health problems should be given more consideration, thanks to a deal between Parliament and the Council of Ministers endorsed by the Transport and Tourism Committee on Thursday. Parliament as a whole will now vote on the deal at the April plenary session. (Read more: Transport MEPs back deal on noise-related operating restrictions at EU airports )