Welcome to the European Parliament Office in Washington DC
This is the website of the European Parliament's Liaison Office with the U.S. Congress. Our presence here is intended to strengthen cooperation between legislators in the U.S. and the European Union and to provide information to the public in the United States. Americans and Europeans together constitute the leading force in the world economy and, over the last 60 years, we have cooperated closely to enhance the cause of peace, freedom and human rights. Together we also face contemporary challenges most notably the threat of terrorism and the need to increase economic growth while protecting our environment. This website is intended as a window on the European Parliament to all those in the United States who are concerned with developments as legislators, officials, civil society, business, trade unions, reporters and all those studying the history and institutions of the European Union at school.
Back to back: Parliament in Strasbourg, Congress in Washington
How do their roles and powers compare? EuroparlTV followed representatives from each side of the pond.
Struggling companies will be given a second chance to improve their financial situation under new rules on insolvency approved by MEPs on 20 May. Every year 1.7 million jobs are lost in the EU due to companies going bankrupt. Under the new legislation on cross-border insolvencies, companies in financial difficulties but otherwise sound are given another opportunity to turn the situation around. The plans also include measures to help firms before they go bust.
Military groups in conflict areas such as in the Democratic Republic of the Congo often use the sale of minerals found in their territory to fund their activities. A new EU proposal aims to put an end to this by setting up an EU system of self-certification to encourage importers, smelters and refiners to source their minerals responsibly. MEPs will debate the plans on Tuesday 19 May and vote on them the following day. Follow it live on our website.
MEPs will debate the situation in Hungary with Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans late on Tuesday afternoon. The debate follows Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's remarks on the possibility of reinstating capital punishment in Hungary and a public consultation on immigration launched by the Hungarian government. Mr. Orbán will also be present during the debate.
MEPs urged EU member countries to respect their Official Development Assistance (ODA) target of 0.7% of national income and to set timetables for reaching it by 2020 in a resolution adopted on Tuesday. They also stressed the need to mobilise domestic resources efficiently in developing countries as a key source of financing.
Could creating a digital single market in the EU and removing barriers online help give a boost to European companies? The European Commission outlined its strategy on 6 May, while it will also feature on the agenda of the European Council on 25-26 June. Meanwhile the Parliament is planning to respond with an own-initiative report on the digital market. They debated the issue on 19 May, during which MEPs highlighted the challenges and potential benefits involved.