Parliament endorses landmark EU-Japan free trade agreement

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. The European Parliament gave its consent to the EU’s trade agreement with Japan, the largest bilateral trade deal ever negotiated by the EU. The Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and Japan, approved with 474 votes to 152 with 40 abstentions on Wednesday, will […]

EP Group leaders on Brexit: “the agreement is not open to renegotiation”

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. The Conference of Presidents indicated that the Withdrawal Agreement is fair and balanced and the only deal possible. It is therefore one not open to renegotiation. The Conference of Presidents, together with the Brexit Steering Group, discussed today the state of play of the […]

Deal on faster exchange of non-EU nationals’ criminal records

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. Plans to create an EU database to enable EU countries to exchange non-EU citizens’ criminal records faster, were informally agreed with Council negotiators on Tuesday. Currently, national authorities often rely solely on data on non-EU nationals’ convictions available from their own national criminal record […]

EU Elections: new rules to prevent breaches of data used to influence elections

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. Constitutional Affairs Committee backed a proposal introducing penalties on European political parties deliberately breaching data protection to tamper with EU elections. The new provisions are aimed at protecting the electoral process from online disinformation campaigns based on misuse of voters’ personal data. Some recent […]

First EU collective redress mechanism to protect consumers

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. Rules allowing groups of consumers harmed by illegal practices to launch collective actions and seek compensation were approved by Legal Affairs Committee. Currently, only 19 member states provide some form of legal remedy to victims of mass harm and proceedings can often be lengthy […]

Online platforms: improving transparency and fairness for EU businesses

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. Rules requiring online platforms to end unfair practices to businesses and set up effective redress mechanisms were approved by the Internal Market Committee. Online intermediation services, such as e-commerce market places (e.g. Amazon, eBay) and search engines (e.g. Google Search) would be required to […]

New EU short-stay visas: more advantages for legitimate travellers

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. Simpler procedures for legitimate travellers and incentives for cooperating with the EU on migration are part of new rules on short-stay visas for non-EU nationals. Civil Liberties Committee MEPs backed, on Monday, changes to the EU Visa Code which establishes the procedures and conditions […]

European Parliament marks EU accession prospects for Serbia and Kosovo

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. Serbia should align its foreign policy more with the EU’s, also on Russia, while Kosovo should be granted visa liberalisation without delay, say MEPs. On Thursday, the European Parliament adopted two resolutions evaluating the latest efforts by Serbia and Kosovo to get closer to […]

Western Balkans: European Parliament takes stock of 2018 progress

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. MEPs assessed the progress made in Albania, Montenegro and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on their path towards possible EU accession on Thursday. Three resolutions evaluating the current state of play were adopted by the full House. Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia MEPs […]

Agreement reached on new EU measures to prevent electricity blackouts

  This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.  EU citizens will be better protected against sudden electricity supply shortages under a provisional deal reached between MEPs and EU Member States on Thursday. After the deal was reached, rapporteur Flavio Zanonato (S&D, IT) said: “This agreement ensures that if an electricity crisis […]

MEPs want to ensure sufficient funding for Connecting Europe’s future

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. MEPs voted to renew the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for the 2021-2027 period to ensure continued development of trans-European transport, energy and telecom networks. Following Parliament’s adoption of its position on the EU’s long-term budget (Multiannual Financial Framework – MFF 2021-2027) last week, the […]

Fertilisers/cadmium: Parliament and Council negotiators reach provisional deal

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. New rules easing access to the EU single market for fertilisers made from organic or recycled materials and setting limits for cadmium were agreed on Tuesday. Internal Market Committee rapporteur, Mihai Ţurcanu (EPP, RO), said: “I am pleased that today we finally reached a […]

EU Budget 2019: no deal before the end of the conciliation period

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. Two hours before the end of the conciliation period on Monday Parliament and Council acknowledged that it was not possible to reach a deal on next year’s budget before midnight. Jean Arthuis (ALDE, FR), Chair of the Committee on Budgets, said: “Everyone has made […]

MEPs vote for upgrade to rail passenger rights

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. Updated rail passengers’ rights should include higher compensation rates for delays and better assistance to people with reduced mobility. MEPs backed changes to the 2009 rules that aim to ensure better assistance to people with reduced mobility, better access for cyclists, and clearer complaints-handling […]

Mechanism to protect democracy in the EU needed more than ever, says the EP

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. The EU needs a comprehensive, permanent and objective mechanism to protect democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights, said EP on Wednesday. In a non-legislative resolution, MEPs regret that the European Commission has so far not presented a legislative proposal to set up […]

Combatting terrorism: EP special committee calls for closer EU cooperation

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. Europol should become a true “hub” for information exchange and cooperation in the field of counter-terrorism at EU level, if necessary with a stronger mandate. The special committee on terrorism adopted on Tuesday evening its final report, which includes a wide set of measures […]

European Parliament backs CO2 emissions cuts for trucks

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. Today, the European Parliament has backed plans for lorries to cut CO2 emissions by 2030. MEPs adopted a higher target (35%) than the European Commission (30%) for new lorries to reduce the EU´s greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, with an intermediate target of 20% […]

Romania: MEPs are deeply concerned about judicial independence and rule of law

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. The EP is “deeply concerned” about the reform of the Romanian judicial and criminal laws, which risks undermining separation of powers and the fight against corruption. In a resolution wrapping up the plenary debate held on 3 October with Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă, the […]

MEPs call for EU rules to better protect minorities’ rights

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. In the face of persistent discrimination, Parliament calls for common rules to ensure that the rights of all national minorities are redressed and respected across the EU. In the face of persistent discrimination, Parliament calls for common rules to ensure that the rights of […]

MEPs demand Bulgaria’s and Romania’s swift accession to Schengen area

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. EU ministers should admit Bulgaria and Romania to the border check-free Schengen area as soon as possible, the Civil Liberties Committee urges. MEPs reiterated on Monday their call on EU Ministers to take a swift and affirmative decision on the accession of Bulgaria and […]

MEPs back plans to halt spread of drug resistance from animals to humans

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. Plans to limit the use of antibiotics on farms, in order to keep food free from resistant bacteria, were adopted by Parliament on Thursday. Veterinary medicines must not under any circumstances serve to improve the performance or compensate for poor animal husbandry, says the […]

Facebook-Cambridge Analytica: MEPs demand action to protect citizens’ privacy

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. As follow-up action to the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal, MEPs call for a full audit on Facebook and new measures against election meddling. In a resolution adopted on Thursday, MEPs urge Facebook to allow EU bodies to carry out a full audit to assess data […]

Portugal: €4.66 million in aid for 1,460 dismissed workers and jobless young

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. Following the dismissal of 1,161 textile workers in three regions, the most disadvantaged among them should receive EU aid worth €4,655,883 to help find new jobs. The measures, co-financed by the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF), would provide the 730 workers facing the greatest […]

Schengen: new rules for temporary checks at national borders

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. Internal border checks within the Schengen area would be limited to a maximum of one year, instead of the current two-year period, the Civil Liberties Committee agreed. The Schengen Borders Code currently under revision allows member states to temporarily carry out checks at internal […]

Facebook: MEPs demand a full audit by EU bodies to assess data protection

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. EU bodies should be allowed to fully audit Facebook to assess data protection and security of users’ personal data, said Civil Liberties MEPs on Wednesday. MEPs take note of the privacy improvements undertaken by Facebook after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, but recall that the […]

Western Balkans: MEPs take stock of 2018 progress

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. In resolutions adopted on Tuesday, Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs mark the progress made in five Western Balkan countries on their path towards possible EU accession. Serbia In a report adopted by 49 votes to 3 with 6 abstentions, MEPs welcome Serbia’s continued engagement on […]

EP President praises Nobel Peace Prize award to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. Following the award of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize to former Sakharov winners Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad, EP President Antonio Tajani stated: “The courage and resilience of Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad, in their fight for common human values, richly deserve the Nobel […]

MEPs condemn attacks on civilians, including children, in Yemen

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. EU countries should refrain from selling arms to all parties of Yemeni civil war to ease the world’s largest humanitarian crisis in Yemen, said MEPs on Thursday. The resolution on Yemen, passed by show of hands , notes that Yemen has been devastated by […]

Green light for VAT overhaul to simplify system and cut fraud

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. MEPs on Wednesday backed the bulk of the European Commission’s proposed reform of the VAT system, while proposing some adjustments, such as to set a maximum VAT rate. Two pieces of legislation were put to the vote. One aims to facilitate trade, especially for […]

The EU will always have a stable partner in Montenegro, says President Đukanović

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. The President of Montenegro, Milo Đukanović, addressed MEPs in a formal sitting on Tuesday. In his speech, Mr Đukanović outlined recent important developments in his country, notably on economic reform, boosting growth and foreign investment, increasing living standards and the progress made in strengthening […]