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Parliament should not sign off spending by the European Council and the Council of Ministers for 2012, due to their repeated failure to co-operate with its efforts to check the accounts, the Budgetary Control Committee unanimously advised on Tuesday. But it should clear spending by the Riga-based Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC), whose budget management, procurement and recruitment shortcomings, highlighted in April 2014, have now been corrected, it adds. (Read more: 2012 accounts: EU ministers fail committee test, but telecoms regulators pass )

 
 

MEPs to discuss situation in Gaza with UNRWA director

AFET External relations23-09-2014 - 09:17

The situation in Gaza following the August ceasefire agreement, the need to ensure access for humanitarian workers to the strip, its reconstruction and the need for intra-Palestinian reconciliation are expected to top a Foreign Affairs Committee debate with Robert Turner, Director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) operations in Gaza on Tuesday. The debate starts at 15:00. (Read more: MEPs to discuss situation in Gaza with UNRWA director )

 
 

Economic recovery is slowing, but banks’ confidence in SMEs is up, says Draghi

ECON Economic and monetary affairs22-09-2014 - 12:02

Economic recovery is losing momentum; European Central Bank President Mario Draghi told the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee on Monday, citing slowing growth in the second quarter and less than encouraging economic indicators in the summer. "The weak credit curb, high unemployment, political and geopolitical tensions could work against the necessary confidence the ECB is trying to build", he explained. (Read more: Economic recovery is slowing, but banks’ confidence in SMEs is up, says Draghi )

 
 

Nominees for Sakharov Prize 2014 announced

AFET DROI DEVE External relations19-09-2014 - 11:58

Seven nominees for the European Parliament’s 2014 Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought, chosen by political groups and groups of MEPs, will be presented at a meeting of the Foreign Affairs and Development committees and the Human Rights Subcommittee on 23 September, at 16:15. (Read more: Nominees for Sakharov Prize 2014 announced )

 
 

Redundant workers in the building industry in two Dutch regions, at a Greek bakery, and at a steel producer in Romania would receive European Globalisation Adjustment Fund aid to help them find new jobs under plans approved by the Parliament's Budgets Committee on Thursday. The aid still has to be approved by Parliament as a whole and the Council of Ministers. (Read more: Budgets Committee approves aid for redundant Romanian, Dutch and Greek workers )

 
 

Redundant workers in wood product manufacturing in Castilla y León and in the food and beverage services industry in Aragón could get a total of €1.66 million in European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) aid to help them find new jobs under plans approved by the Parliament's Budgets Committee on Thursday. The aid still has to be approved by Parliament as a whole and the Council of Ministers. (Read more: Budgets Committee approves EU aid for redundant Spanish workers )

 
 

Foreign affairs MEPs recommend EP consent to EU-Ukraine association deal

AFET External relations08-09-2014 - 18:51
The draft proposal, prepared by Jacek Saryusz-Wolski (EPP, PL in the photo), recommends that Parliament give its consent to concluding the deal  

The European Parliament should give its consent to the EU Association Agreement with Ukraine, recommended the Foreign Affairs Committee in a vote on Monday afternoon. The deal would establish a deep political association between the EU and Ukraine and provide for mutual free market access, by dismantling import duties and banning export duties and restrictions. (Read more: Foreign affairs MEPs recommend EP consent to EU-Ukraine association deal )

 
 

EP committees press Italian Presidency on response to Ukraine crisis

AFET INTA AGRI Institutions04-09-2014 - 17:47

The EU's response to the crisis in Ukraine was in the spotlight at Parliament this week, following President Schulz's warning to EU leaders last Saturday of the dangers of escalation and his plea for a political solution to the crisis. He called on the EU to play a more ambitious international role and said it must give Ukraine the financial and political help needed to remain a unified and independent country. (Read more: EP committees press Italian Presidency on response to Ukraine crisis )

 
 

Dijsselbloem calls for fiscal measures and flexibility to combat crisis

ECON Economic and monetary affairs04-09-2014 - 15:10

Fiscal measures, such as shifting taxation away from labour, should play a bigger role in combating the crisis, Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem told Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee MEPs on Thursday. But flexibility in implementing the Stability and Growth Pact pact is also needed, because this pact is “the anchor for confidence and it would be self-defeating to break it", he underlined. (Read more: Dijsselbloem calls for fiscal measures and flexibility to combat crisis )

 
 

EU must decide and deliver crisis aid faster, say foreign affairs MEPs

AFET External relations02-09-2014 - 16:51
Iraqi people take water from a humanitarian aid convoy in Amerli on September 1, 2014 ©BELGA_ AFP_ JM LOPEZ  

"We need to make our budgetary procedure simpler and faster: currently there is too much bureaucracy, and money given too late for humanitarian actions is wasted money", urged Foreign Affairs Committee chair Elmar Brok (EPP, DE) in Tuesday’s committee debate on international crises in the EU’s neighbourhood. The committee is to debate the crises in Iraq, Gaza, Syria, Libya and Ukraine in meetings this week. (Read more: EU must decide and deliver crisis aid faster, say foreign affairs MEPs )