Strasbourg plenary session 23-26 November
Legally binding targets for CO2 emissions and an overhaul of Europe's telecoms market are just two steps MEPs have taken this week
The EU membership hopes of countries like Croatia and Turkey were weighed up by MEPs Thursday (26 November) in a parliamentary resolution. The need to fight corruption and strengthen the rule of law were key considerations for the House. With the UN climate conference approaching Members called Wednesday for emissions cuts of 80% by 2050 and funding for developing countries. Tuesday saw MEPs back an overhaul of Europe's telecoms market, which should increase competition between phone companies.
A look at the main issues this week
Green light for new EU telecoms rules
French Socialist Catherine Trautmann smiles after the proposed law ('framework directive') she steered through Parliament was passed 510 votes to 40, with 24 abstentions.
Barroso answers questions on the new Commission and energy issues
Copenhagen: MEPs urge EU to continue leading fight against climate change
The aim of the UN's Copenhagen climate summit will be to restrict global warming by less than 2 degrees. ©Belga
developed countries significantly reduce their emissions collectively (at the high end of the 25-40 % range by 2020 and a long-term reduction target of at least 80% by 2050 compared to 1990;
developing countries as a group limit their emission growth to 15 - 30% below "business as usual" but, given their economic weight, China, India and Brazil should commit themselves to targets similar to those of the industrialised countries;
developed countries are made responsible for providing sufficient, sustainable and predictable financial and technical support to developing countries - this support for climate change mitigation and adaptation must be new and additional to Official Development Assistance; about €5-7 billion of this should be fast-start funding for the period 2010 -2012;
the collective contribution of the EU towards developing countries' mitigation efforts and adaptation needs should not be less than €30 billion per year by 2020;
both emission reduction targets and financing commitments need to be subject to a tougher compliance regime, including an early warning mechanism and penalties;
stringent project quality standards must be part of future offsetting mechanisms, to prevent industrialised countries taking away the low-cost reduction options from developing countries and to guarantee reliable, verifiable and real emission reductions;
international aviation and shipping should be integrated into an international agreement with the same binding targets as for other industry sectors and an auctioning of at least 50 % of the allowances;
significant support must be provided to developing countries to halt gross tropical deforestation by 2020 and a Global Forest Carbon Mechanism should be created under the UNFCCC framework.
Regarding the input of other developed countries to the Copenhagen conference, MEPs urge the USA to make the goals set during the election campaign binding, thereby sending a strong signal. They stress that it is also extremely important for India to make a contribution, they recognise Japan's commitment to reduce its emissions by 25% by 2020 and they welcome the positive signals from China in the light of these developments.
Airline bankruptcies: MEPs call for better passenger compensation
The arrivals board at Prague-Ruzyne airport records the moment when Slovak company Sky Europe Airlines filed for bankruptcy. ©Belga
Parliament is ready for Lisbon Treaty
Tyre labelling: helping consumers make an informed choice
From 1 November 2012, suppliers of tyres for passenger cars, light and heavy duty vehicles will have to inform consumers about fuel efficiency, wet grip and noise levels. ©Belga
Fuel efficiency, wet grip and noise
Like the European energy label, the tyre label will use classes ranging from best-performance (green “A” class) to worst (red “G” class). Besides indicating how much the tyre affects the car's fuel efficiency, it will also give information about its performance in wet conditions and its external rolling noise in decibels.
To promote very quiet tyres, the Parliament negotiated a re-design of the noise pictogram. The level of external rolling noise will be indicated by ascending numbers of black "waves" emitted from the "speaker". Quiet tyres for cars (producing noise below 68 decibels), for example, will be labelled with one black and two white "waves" next to the value in decibels.
Incentives for fuel-saving and safe tyres
Clear legal basis needed to combat violence against women
A majority of MEPs want sexual violence within relationships more clearly recognised as a crime by European Union countries
EU membership candidates: Parliament outlines its criteria
The EU membership hopes of countries such as Croatia, Serbia and Turkey were covered in a Parliamentary resolution passed on Thursday, 26 November ©Belga
The battle over the "Made in" logo hots up
But most products today already have a "made in" label. What would this proposed Regulation change?
MEPs want focus on climate and economic crisis at next EU summit
"Welcome" scoops LUX film prize
From Zagreb to Brussels: Swoboda on Croatia's EU ambitions
Austrian MEP Hannes Swoboda, Parliament's rapporteur on Croatia, extending a hand of symbolic friendship to Zagreb.