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.
During the May plenary in Strasbourg MEPs backed plans for an EU bank supervisory system and called on governments to step up their efforts to clamp down on tax evasion. They also voted on the EU's mandate in the run-up to negotiations with the U.S. on a free trade agreement, also approving EU–wide civil law protection for victims of stalking and gender violence. Read on to find out more about the session's highlights.
The Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the EU last year is on display at Parliament's visitors centre until October 6, 2013. Inaugurating the exhibition, EP president Martin Schulz said: "Understand what kind of precious gift it is for all of us to live in the EU in an era of peace on a continent that was too long, too often, a continent of war, of hate, of racism, of xenophobia, of anti-Semitism."
The situation in Syria continues to deteriorate and the violence threatens to spread to neighbouring countries. MEPs will debate what can be done for the millions of refugees during next week's plenary session on 22 May. Elmar Brok, a German member of the EPP group who chairs of the foreign affairs committee, speaks about the risks facing the region.
Parliament must be kept on board in talks with the US on what could become the world's largest free trade area, it warns in a resolution voted on Thursday. MEPs strongly favour starting the talks, but also state their expectations, e.g. as regards opening up access to the US procurement market and safeguarding the EU's cultural and audiovisual services market. This resolution is Parliament's input to the EU negotiating mandate.