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Green wheat and yellow colza fields © BELGA_PHOTONONSTOP  

Long-awaited draft plans to allow EU member states to restrict, or ban, the cultivation of crops containing genetically modified organisms on their own territory even if it is allowed at EU level won the support of the Environment Committee on Tuesday. MEPs voted to remove the Council-backed idea of a phase of negotiations with the GMO company, and supported plans to allow member states to ban GMO crops on environmental grounds. (Read more: Environment Committee backs flexibility for EU countries to ban GMO crops )

 
 

MEPs debate plans to use EU Passenger Name Record (PNR) data to fight terrorism

LIBE Justice and home affairs11-11-2014 - 14:48
Airport: Belgian passport and boarding card.  

A draft law that would oblige airlines to hand EU countries the data of passengers entering or leaving the EU, in order to help fight serious crime and terrorism, was discussed in the Civil Liberties Committee on Tuesday. MEPs were still divided on the issue, but most stressed the need to assess the European Court of Justice ruling annulling the data retention directive, to assess whether existing measures suffice before taking new ones and to put in place adequate data protection safeguards. (Read more: MEPs debate plans to use EU Passenger Name Record (PNR) data to fight terrorism )

 
 

Climate change talks: MEPs chart the course from Lima to Paris

ENVI Environment05-11-2014 - 18:11
Official logo of the COP20, UN Climate Change Conference in Lima  

Talks to be held in Lima next month should enable global partners to reach an ambitious climate agreement in Paris in 2015, so as to keep the world on track for a sub-2°C climate warming scenario, said the Environment Committee in a resolution voted on Wednesday. MEPs reiterated the pledge by the EU and its member states to step up contributions to the UN Green Climate Fund so as to mobilise USD 100 billion per year by 2020, and called on other donors to play their part too. (Read more: Climate change talks: MEPs chart the course from Lima to Paris )

 
 

EU accounts should measure the achievements of EU-funded projects, and not just payment errors, said Budgetary Control Committee MEPs debating the European Court of Auditors (ECA) annual report on EU spending in 2013 on Wednesday. Data from member states on how they spend EU funds are too often unreliable, they added. The ECA presentation marks the start of the 2013 "discharge” exercise in which Parliament vets spending. The overall error rate in 2013 was 4.7%, slightly down on 2012. (Read more: Measure EU spending results, not just payment errors, say budgetary control MEPs )

 
 

The EU should make available aid worth €8.8 million to help find or create new jobs for workers made redundant by fashion retailer Sprider Stores in Greece and jewellery maker Andersen Ireland Limited in Ireland, recommended the Budgets Committee on Tuesday. The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) aid still has to be approved by Parliament as a whole and the Council of Ministers. (Read more: EU job-search aid for former workers at Greek retailer and Irish jeweller )

 
 

MEPs to debate Colombia’s peace process with President Santos

AFET External relations04-11-2014 - 12:00

Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs and Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos Calderón will debate its peace process with the FARC on Tuesday at 16:30. The EU visa waiver for Colombian citizens is also likely to be raised. (Read more: MEPs to debate Colombia’s peace process with President Santos )

 
 
Oct. 20, 2014 - Suruc, Turkey - Kurdish refugee camps in the Turkish town of Sruc, on 20th October 0214, nuear the borders of Syria and Turkey. ©BELGA_ZUMAPRESS_Giannis Papanikos  

Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs will debate the deadly conflict with the “Islamic State” (IS) and the need for political reconciliation in Iraq with Masrour Barzani, Head of the National Security Council of Iraqi Kurds, on Tuesday. The debate, set to start at 10:15, follows September’s plenary debates on Kobane and the European IS fighters. (Read more: MEPs to debate IS conflict with Head of Iraqi Kurds’ National Security Council )

 
 

Mr Giovanni Buttarelli was voted top candidate for the post of European Data Protection Supervisor by the Civil Liberties Committee on Tuesday after three and a half hours of hearings on Monday evening. Top candidate for Assistant Supervisor is Mr Wojciech Wiewiorowski. The appointments still need to be agreed with the Council of Ministers. (Read more: Civil liberties MEPs vote on their preferences for EU data protection watchdog )

 
 

MEPs to debate counter-terrorism policies with UN’s Jean-Paul Laborde

AFET External relations16-10-2014 - 09:31
©BELGA_AFP_FABRICE COFFRINI  

The external and internal aspects of policies for combatting terrorism, radicalisation and the rising phenomenon of “foreign fighters” will be the focus of a debate between Foreign Affairs and Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs committees and Jean-Paul Laborde, Executive Director of the UN Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED) on Thursday at 11:30. (Read more: MEPs to debate counter-terrorism policies with UN’s Jean-Paul Laborde )

 
 

European Semester: act on your economic policy pledges, MEPs urge EU countries

ECON Economic and monetary affairs13-10-2014 - 17:51

EU countries need to do more to put their EU economic policy reform pledges into effect at home, especially in the euro area, urged Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee MEPs on Monday. Noting that only 10% of the European Commission's country-specific reform recommendations (CSRs) for 2013 were implemented in full and that little or no progress was made on 45% of them, MEPs also pressed the Commission and the Eurogroup President to see that they are put into practice. (Read more: European Semester: act on your economic policy pledges, MEPs urge EU countries )