European Parliament strengthens EU consumer protection rules

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. Updates to EU consumer protection rules to improve ranking transparency in online marketplaces and to tackle dual quality of products were approved by MEPs on Wednesday. The new law, already agreed with EU ministers, updates consumer rights for the internet age, ensuring consumers will […]

The European Parliament launches a website on European election results

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. This new, dynamic website contains all results from past and present European elections and is now available in all official EU languages. http://www.election-results.eu will be updated in real time on election night on 26 May with overall European election results, including national breakdowns, as […]

Natural gas: Parliament extends EU rules to pipelines from non-EU countries

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. To provide legal clarity for operators and competitive gas supply for all Europeans, MEPs approved new gas market rules to bring incoming pipelines under EU law. MEPs adopted an overhaul of EU gas market rules on Thursday with 465 votes to 95, and 68 […]

Parliament supports plans to improve quality of tap water and cut plastic litter

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. MEPs backed plans to improve consumers’ trust in tap water, which is much cheaper and cleaner for the environment than bottled water, on Thursday. MEPs propose to tighten the maximum limits for certain pollutants such as lead (to be reduced by half), harmful bacteria, […]

European Parliament approves new copyright rules for the internet

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. Creatives and news publishers will be empowered to negotiate with internet giants thanks to new copyright rules which also contain safeguards on freedom of expression. MEPs adopted the directive in plenary by 348 votes in favour, 274 against and 36 abstentions. This marks the […]

First seat projections for the next European Parliament

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. Parliament released today the first seat projections, based on a cross-section of national polls, for the composition of the next (9th) European Parliament The European Parliament has published a first set of projections on how the next chamber would look like based on national […]

Civil protection: Parliament strengthens EU disaster response capability

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. An upgrade of the EU’s civil defence mechanism, tested to its limits by 2017 and 2018 forest fires, storms and floods, received the support of the House on Tuesday. The aim of the new legislation, informally agreed with Council in December, is to help […]

Online radio and news broadcasts: Parliament and Council reach deal

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. EP negotiators agreed on Thursday with Council on new rules facilitating online broadcasting of current affairs and radio programmes across the EU. The agreement includes mechanisms to facilitate the clearance of copyright and related rights of radio and TV content for cross-border digital broadcast […]

EU-wide protection and support for whistle-blowers

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. Proposals to protect whistle-blowers, set up safe mechanisms for reporting breaches and measures against retaliation were adopted by the Legal Affairs Committee. On Tuesday, Legal Affairs Committee MEPs approved draft legislation to guarantee that whistle-blowers in the EU can report breaches of EU law […]

Gig economy: Employment Committee MEPs want to boost workers’ rights

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. New rules on minimum rights for workers in on-demand, voucher-based or platform employment, such as Uber or Deliveroo, were approved by the Employment Committee. Employment Committee MEPs said on Thursday that a person, who for a certain period perform services for and under the […]

Parliament pushes for cleaner cars on EU roads by 2030

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. CO2 emissions from new cars should be cut by 40% by 2030 and market uptake of electric and low- emission cars should accelerate, said MEPs on Wednesday. In the draft law voted on today, MEPs proposed setting a higher target for reducing EU fleet-wide […]

Parliament adopts its position on digital copyright rules

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. Parliament adopted its revised negotiating position on copyright rules on Wednesday, adding safeguards to protect small firms and freedom of expression. Parliament’s position for talks with member states to hammer out a final deal was approved by 438 votes to 226, with 39 abstentions. […]

Venezuela: Parliament calls for urgent EU help for people fleeing the country

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. MEPs urged Venezuela to allow in humanitarian aid, and the EU to release more funds to help Venezuelans fleeing the country, in a vote last Thursday. The European Parliament is shocked and alarmed by the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, which has led to many […]

To Brexit, or not to Brexit…rather not: 10 Downing Street, London

Almost exactly two years have elapsed after the Brits voted to leave the European Union. Tomorrow, Tuesday 12 June, the elected lower House of the Parliament, the Commons, is expected to open the way for Britain to remain in EU’s customs union and the single market for an extended period of time. Most probably, Prime […]

The EU Parliament blasts the Council about the tax dealings of the wealthy

The European Parliament once more honored its role as the authentic exponent of the will of the European citizens. Last Tuesday it dismissed as a “missed opportunity” the EU Council’s decision to water down the mandatory exchange of the ‘tax rulings’ between member states. A ‘tax ruling’ is a special taxation arrangement accorded to a […]

The battle for the 2016 EU Budget to shake the Union; Commission and Parliament vs. Germany

Last Tuesday the European Parliament showed its teeth by angrily rejecting the cuts proposed by the Council to the EU budget for next year. The Commission also stated its concern at the Council’s budget cuts. Even though the Commission doesn’t participate directly in the negotiations between the Parliament and the Council, it acts as a […]

Greece’s future solely in the hands of Tsipras; he can direct the poor country any way he likes

Greece is obliged by today or the latest tomorrow Friday morning to submit to its Eurozone partners a new program with more severe austerity and deeper reforms, if the country wants to stay in the Eurozone. Alas, this is exactly the program the Greeks rejected last Sunday in a referendum. In case the Athens proposal […]

The EU Parliament and the ECB unknowingly or unwillingly fail to protect our financial assets

This week the European Parliament and the European Central Bank rather unknowingly or unwillingly failed to protect the European citizens from the attacks of ‘money sharks’. In two different occasions the two most important European institutions secured the bankers reign on peoples’ money. Let us take one thing at a time. When the average hard […]

Have Europe’s Ukrainian wounds begun to heal?

The wounds the Ukrainian civil war has inflicted on Europe have now stopped bleeding and if not begun healing at least they claim no more fatalities. The Minsk II agreement is holding well and the Europeans, most of them, have made clear to the Americans that there is no chance of starting a new war […]

Greece at the mercy of ECB while sailing through uncharted waters

In the efforts to solve the latest Greek enigma, the European Central Bank has once more proved that when it comes to what matters more in the EU, the Eurozone, it constitutes the power house of the entire European edifice. The ECB emerges imbued by truly pan-European motives in serving the Union project. When the […]

Pro-EU forces won a 70% triumph in the European elections

Today, Monday 26 May, the morrow of the EU elections, Eurosceptic and extremist newcomers in the European Parliament finally won’t be able to turn the European Union into a different and worse place. At the time when those lines were being typed, reliable result albeit partial, had already confirmed that Eurosceptic and extreme right parties […]

EU elections: The louder the threats and the doomsaying the heavier the weight of the vote

All mainstream political leaders of Europe in the socialist camp, the liberals and the center-right parties, invariably exorcise nationalism and populism, as the gravest threats to the EU project. They are quite right to do so. It’s not only the future of the EU which is at stake. Nationalism and populism already threaten the very […]

No better year for the EU’s weak chain links

The European Parliament issued a Press release this week with the ambitious target to inform us all about what is bound to change in our lives this year, resulting from the application of EU laws. It mentions the mercury ban in thermometers and some new rules in recycling of electrical and electronic equipment, the legislation […]

A day that Berlin and Brussels would remember for a long time

It was not by accident that the President of the European Central Bank Mario Draghi chose the right time to ring the danger bell against a “bad Banking Union”, while speaking yesterday in the Monetary Affairs Committee of the European Parliament. Obviously, he wanted to be heard by the new German government which is expected […]

EU: The Member States to pay for national banking problems

According to information released by global media, this week the European Union is about to conclude the discussions on its major new project, the Banking Union, with an arrangement providing that the cost of eventual bank resolutions and recoveries is to burden the country or countries where the bank in question is conducting its business. […]

Resolving banks with depositors’ money?

Tomorrow’s Ecofin council, marking the last 2013 meeting of the 28 EU ministers of Finance, constitutes the final opportunity of the member states to strike an agreement in order to finalise the construction of the European Banking Union. What is still missing for the establishment of the EBU is of course the full Single Resolution […]

Only a few months away from the single European patent space

In a major breakthrough development for EU’s internal market, the EU Justice Ministers agreed yesterday on a Commission proposal, to complete the legal framework of one pan-European patent universe. The key point in this draft regulation is that the rulings of the Unified Patent Court will be recognised in the legal systems of all signatory […]

Rehn very reserved about growth in Eurozone

  Yesterday, Olli Rehn, the Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro delivered a speech in the European Parliament, entitled “The recovery of the European economy”. In doing that, he couldn’t resist the temptation to reveal the truth that the recovery of the European economy which timidly appeared […]

Not much of a help the new EU Directive on pensions

Labour mobility within the European Union is considered as the main decompression mechanism of social and economic pressures, created by differences in growth rates between member states. Looking for a job or working in another EU country has been praised by politicians and Brussels bureaucrats as the best way to increase the overall competitiveness of […]

The European Parliament double-checks the EU 2014-2020 budget

The European Parliament approved yesterday the EU proper budget for the next seven years, set at €960 billion in commitments and €908bn in payments (at 2011 prices). This is the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020 providing the financial resources and setting the expenditure limits for all EU institutions and policies. As a general rule the Multiannual […]

EU sets ambitious targets for the Warsaw climate conference

The UN climate conferences are the kind on international tribunes, where the European Union can present its opinions with pride. It’s not only that the EU has unilaterally set a target to cut down green-house emissions by 20% below 1990 levels by 2020, but also because this programme is on track to achieve targets. On […]

Parliament seals 2014 EU budget and the spending ceiling until 2020

Finally, the European Parliament, after obtaining from the Council (that is the member state governments) what was possible to squeeze out in these times of widespread austerity, yesterday approved both the 2014 budget and the 2014-2020 financial framework, which sets limits on EU’s spending for the next seven years. Yesterday, the Budgets Parliamentary Committee voted […]

EU to spend €135.5 billion in 2014 or 6.5% less than this year

The European Parliament might not get it all from the Council but it managed to bring the 2014 EU budget payments limit at €135.5 billion or €500 million more than the initial Council’s position. Commitments were set at €142.6bn that is in line with the Commission’s budget proposal. The initial Council’s position was to restrict […]