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.
As the European Commission proposed a change in legislation for the inclusion of aviation in the European Emission Trading Scheme, European Parliament rapporteur Peter Liese (EPP, DE) and Environment committee chairman Matthias Groote (S&D, DE) welcomed the proposal. In early October, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) agreed to establish a global market-based system for the reduction of international aviation emissions until 2020.
The EU’s new Erasmus+ programme, which will fund grants for students, teachers, trainers and apprentices to study abroad in the EU, was approved by the European Parliament on November 19. Youth leaders, volunteers and young sportsmen/women will also be eligible.
It was a budget deal that was long in the making, but the effort has been worth it. On November 14, the European Parliament's budget committee approved deals struck with member states on the EU budget for next year and the coming seven years, also known as the multiannual financial framework. The Parliament succeeded in its push to ensure more flexibility in funding EU programmes for the next seven years and successfully resisted calls for spending cuts in employment, research and innovation in the 2014 budget.
Allegations of the US conducting a mass surveillance of Europeans continue to affect EU-US relations with some fearing it could jeopardise the ongoing free-trade agreement talks. Led by Claude Moraes, the European Parliament's civil liberties committee launched an inquiry to find out the truth. Members from the civil liberties and foreign affairs committees met with US representatives in Washington at the end of October to discuss the allegations. We asked Mr Moraes about their findings.
A major overhaul of current EU data protection rules, to put people in control of their personal data while at the same time making it easier for companies to move across Europe, was voted by the Civil Liberties Committee on Monday. Responding to mass surveillance cases, Members of the European Parliament inserted stronger safeguards for data transfers to non-EU countries. They also inserted an explicit consent requirement, a right to erasure, and bigger fines for firms that break the rules.