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News & Press

The EU police agency Europol will be able to step up efforts to fight terrorism, cybercrime and other criminal offences and respond faster, thanks to a deal struck by Parliament and Council on new governance rules endorsed by Civil Liberties Committee MEPs on Monday. The new powers come with strong data protection safeguards and democratic oversight.
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The Conference of Presidents of political groups has decided today, with the vote in favour of all political groups, to set up a temporary committee to follow up on the work done by the Special Committee on Tax Rulings, which looked into the tax rulings practised by various EU member states. The new committee will last six months.
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On Wednesday 25 November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Parliament asked the Commission what new measures it planned to take to prevent gender-based violence against women in the EU and whether it could propose an EU directive on combating violence against women, as requested by Parliament in 2014.
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The terrorist attacks in Paris have highlighted once more the urgent need for coordinated action by the member states and the EU to prevent radicalisation and fight against terrorism, says Parliament in a non-binding resolution passed on Wednesday. The resolution sets out concrete proposals for a comprehensive strategy to tackle extremism, to be applied in particular in prisons, online and through education and social inclusion.
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Parliament sets out its ideas on how to make corporate taxes fairer across Europe in a resolution voted on Wednesday. MEPs urge EU member states to agree on mandatory country-by-country reporting by multinationals of profits and taxes, a common consolidated corporate tax base, common definitions for tax terms and more transparency and accountability with regard to their – so far secret - national tax “rulings” for companies.
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“Political grandstanding” that equates refugees with terrorists only foments the hatred and disillusion that inspires those who join terrorist groups, argued many MEPs in Wednesday’s debate. Rather than allow Europe’s freedoms and tolerance to be eroded, EU countries must strive to strengthen security, by stepping up intelligence cooperation and data-sharing, and investing in the skills and technology needed to fight terrorism, MEPs urged.
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President Martin Schulz announced that Mustang had won the 2015 European Parliament LUX Prize for cinema at a ceremony in the Chamber in Strasbourg at noon on Tuesday. Mustang tells the story of five sisters who have been promised to husbands through forced marriages but who, determined to live their own lives, break the yoke of tradition.
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More than one in four children in Europe are at risk of poverty and social exclusion, which will have repercussions for them throughout life. On Tuesday 24 November MEPs adopted a resolution urging EU countries to boost their efforts to combat child poverty and social inequalities. The text was adopted with 569 in favour, 77 against and 49 abstentions. Check out our map for the latest statistics on child poverty.
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“Those who fail to reconcile freedom and security fail in everything”, said President Schulz, citing the credo of late German statesman Helmut Schmidt, whose funeral he had just attended. “Security has to be organised, but we must not let our freedom be curtailed by those who want to scare us”. The brutal attacks on France ten days ago targeted Parliament’s values too. MEPs held a minute’s silence for terror victims everywhere, including Mali, Syria and Iraq.
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The urgent need to step up information-sharing among EU member states and between them and Europol to fight terrorism, the work on the Passenger Name Records data (EU PNR) proposal and the de-radicalisation of EU citizens joining terrorist organisations were among the topics discussed by MEPs with Europol chief Rob Wainwright and Council and Commission representatives on Thursday.
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Harmonised EU entry and residence rules that will make it easier and more attractive for students and researchers from third countries to study or do research at EU universities were informally agreed by MEPs and ministers on Tuesday. The deal also has provisions to clarify and improve conditions for non-EU interns, volunteers, school pupils and au pairs, so as to facilitate cultural exchanges. These rules still need to be approved by Parliament as a whole and the Council of Ministers.
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