Parliaments broadly agree on next steps for economic, monetary union

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. Concluding the banking union, beefing up democratic accountability, and developing a budget for the Eurozone were raised regularly in a meeting between parliaments. The debate on Tuesday, held within the yearly conference on the European Semester bringing together MEPs and national MPs, allowed participants […]

MEPs and EU ministers agree on closing information gaps to enhance security

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. New measures to improve data exchange between EU information systems to manage borders, security and migration were informally agreed with Council negotiators on Tuesday. Currently, EU information systems used in security, border and migration management do not talk to each other and the information […]

Parliament and Council agree drastic cuts to plastic pollution of environment

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. Single-use plastic items such as plates, cutlery, straws and cotton buds, will be banned in the EU under plans provisionally agreed between Parliament and Council, on Wednesday. Lead MEP Frédérique Ries (ALDE, BE) said: “Citizens expected only one thing from the European Union, that […]

Parliament demands ban on neo-fascist and neo-Nazi groups in the EU

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. Parliament is concerned by the increasing normalisation of fascism, racism and xenophobia and calls on EU member states to ban neo-fascist and neo-Nazi groups. In a resolution passed with 355 votes to 90 and 39 abstentions, MEPs denounce that the lack of serious action […]

New rules for audiovisual media services approved by Parliament

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. MEPs voted on updated rules on audiovisual media services, protecting children better, with stricter rules on advertising, and 30% European content in video-on-demand. Following the final vote on this agreement, the revised legislation will apply to broadcasters, but also to video-on-demand and video-sharing platforms, […]

Rule of law in Hungary: Parliament calls on the EU to act

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. Parliament has asked EU member states to determine, in accordance with Treaty Article 7, whether Hungary is at risk of breaching the EU´s founding values. The request was approved by 448 votes to 197, with 48 abstentions. To be adopted, the proposal required an […]

Parliament in favour of lifting visa requirements for Kosovars

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. Parliament confirmed on Thursday the mandate for negotiations with the Council on the proposal to waive visa requirements for Kosovo’s citizens. MEPs backed, with 420 votes to 186 and 22 abstentions, the decision by the Civil Liberties Committee to start discussions with the ministers […]

Northern Ireland: Parliament wants to secure post-Brexit regional funding

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. Continuing the PEACE and Interreg programmes after Brexit, as the EU Commission intends, is crucial to peaceful development in Northern Ireland, MEPs say. EU regional funding should be maintained at an adequate level post-2020, says a resolution which was approved by 565 votes in […]

Parliament backs a modernised EU electoral law

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. The European Parliament endorsed new measures to modernise the European electoral law last Wednesday. The purpose of the updated electoral law is to boost EU citizens’ participation in the European elections and enhance the European character of the procedure. The new measures were endorsed […]

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 […]

Disintegrating Tories will void May’s pledge for Brexit deal in seven weeks

Last Friday, Theresa May, the British Prime Minister, said from China, where she was on official visit, that in seven weeks she will have a Brexit transition deal with the EU. Surely, nobody believes her. The reason is that her Tory governing party is so deeply split over the Brexit terms, up to the point […]

Junker for Commission President: What were the stakes in this affair

Jean-Claude Juncker’s was confirmed last Tuesday as President of the European Commission for the next five years. In a secret ballot 422 MEPs who voted for him and 250 against. This goes beyond what David Cameron had imagined, when he decided to fervently oppose this appointment for the top EU job. To be reminded, that […]

Will the three major parties retain control of the new EU Parliament?

Say farewell to the European Parliament you knew and be prepared to work with the new legislature to be constituted after the elections of 22-25 May. This is what the Brussels’s bureaucracy must be thinking these days. The composition of the new Parliament remains a puzzler. If the tendencies the voters have shown in national […]

EU: Protecting victims’ rights from cartels and market abuses

It was high time that the European Union took care of citizens and companies, usually SMEs, who have suffered economic losses and other damages from infringements of the EU antitrust rules, such as cartels and abuses of dominant market positions. Until now it was very difficult for the victims to substantiate their claims for damages […]

The ECB proposes a swift solution for SMEs’ financing

The European Central Bank is deeply worried about the ability of Eurozone’s SMEs to access bank financing at a reasonable cost and under competitive terms. The present business loan stalemate has already bitten into the growth prospects of the euro area, mirrored in the dangerous fall of inflation rate towards the deflation zone and the […]

Youth unemployment: No light at the end of the tunnel

Last Friday the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) held a public hearing on the implementation of European Union policies to counter youth employment. EESC is a consultative body made up by representatives of Europe’s socio-occupational interest groups and others (employers, workers and various interest groups). It gives its members a platform to express their […]

The EU Commission is lying to the “Right2Water” campaign

As expected, yesterday, the European Commission said ‘yes’ to the very first successful European Citizens’ Initiative, organized by the Right2Water campaigners. A ‘no’ reply was unthinkable, just sixty days ahead of the European election. On 1st April 2011, the EU Regulation No 211/2011, under the title of “European Citizens’ Initiative” (ECI), entered into force. According […]

EU Parliament: No EU-US trade agreement without safe data

The European Parliament, in a strongly worded and overwhelmingly voted resolution, set a definite condition for the legislature’s approval of the currently under negotiation EU-US free trade agreement (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – TTIP). The condition is that American NSA’s mass surveillance practices be completely stopped. The relevant Press release clearly states that “Parliament’s […]

168 hours left for MEPs – ECOFIN Council to deliver a Banking Union

Contradicting messages are emitted from a statement issued yesterday by the lead MEPs currently negotiating the details of the legislation on the Single Resolution Mechanism and Fund for Eurozone banks with the ECOFIN council. This legislation is set to complete the legal and structural background of the European Banking Union. The other pillar of the […]

EU Parliament: A catastrophic crisis management by European leaders

The European Parliament once more confirmed its reputation as the authentic channel transiting the social and the economic realities the European people have to endure to decision makers. Yesterday, the MEPs disagreed with the Commission President Manuel Barroso and Dimitrios Kourkoulas, the Greek deputy Foreign Minister speaking for the Council Presidency, that economic recovery was […]

The EU Parliament unanimously rejects Commission’s ideas about ‘seeds’

Yesterday the European Parliament rejected by 650 votes to 15 the new Regulation on seeds for sowing. The draft law was introduced in the legislative by EU Commissioner Dacian Cioloș. Undeniably, the extent of the negative vote is an indication that ‘something is rotten in the state’ of Berlaymont. The Romanian Commissioner even refused to […]

Bank resolutions to remain a politically influenced affair

Today in Strasbourg the three EU decision making bodies, the Council as represented by its Greek Presidency, the Parliament and the Commission, in a procedure called ‘trilogue’ will try to bridge their differences and come up with a ground breaking agreement to complete the European Banking Union. This is the most important project enterprised by […]

Close to final agreement on the EU Banking Union

Yesterday’s Eurogroup and today’s ECOFIN councils are convened almost exclusively to discuss the details of the two remaining gaps in the legal and of course the operating framework of the European Banking Union, which are, the Single Resolution Mechanism and the Resolution Fund. The two legislative bodies of the European Union, the Parliament and the […]

A week to decide if the EU is to have a Banking Union

This Monday and Tuesday, 10 and 11 March during the Eurogroup and the ECOFIN meetings respectively, the member states will show their willingness to compromise with the Parliament, in order to finalise the legal base of the European Banking Union. This would be the most important EU project after the common currency. The Banking Union […]

Parliament: Last compromise on bank single resolution mechanism

Undeniably, the European Banking Union’s prime target is to definitely cut the umbilical cord between banks and sovereigns, through the creation of a uniform supervision and insolvency dealing environment for all Eurozone lenders. Yet, Germany and France insist that the final decision for the resolution of a failing bank must be taken by member state […]

EU Parliament: Follow the fraudulent money and confiscate it

In two parallel actions the European Parliament approved, with stormy majorities, two draft laws; one against money laundering and one more to facilitate the confiscation of fraudulently acquired assets. In the first case, the Economic Affairs and the Justice and Home Affairs committees amended a Commission proposal to list in public registers the ultimate owners […]

Banking Union: ECOFIN and Parliament ready to compromise

The absolute necessity to conclude before May the trilateral negotiations on the functioning of the Single Resolution Mechanism (SRM) for failing banks and clarify the role of the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) (in relation to the control and the use of the Single Resolution Fund), united yesterday all the representatives of three decision-making bodies of the […]

Right2Water initiative: Is the Commission ready to listen to citizens?

Predictably, the Right2Water campaigners while presenting yesterday in the European Parliament their ‘citizens’ initiative’, met opposition from some MEPs only when they crossed the line of the usual pompous but vacuous words about ‘universal rights’ and laid down their meaningful demand to ban privatization of water supply. It turned out that the organisers of the […]

The Eurogroup+ is born to govern the EU Banking Union

The importance of the Single Resolution Fund, which is supposed to bear the cost of Eurozone’s failing banks, was underlined yesterday evening by the fact that the President of Eurogroup, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch minister of Finance, baptized the group of people who will govern the function of the SRF as Eurogroup+. The Eurogroup is […]

The EU Parliament backs the ‘Right2Water’ initiative all the way through

This afternoon the European Parliament is to hold a public hearing on the universal right to clean water, the first such hearing under the European Citizens’ Initiative, which enables the public to ask the EU authorities to table new legislation, provided the initiative is backed by one million people across seven member states. The ‘right2Water’ […]

The Parliament rejects cultivating the wrong seeds of the Commission

Production, reproduction, trade and use of seeds for sowing are highly complex activities with far-reaching implications, affecting the entire agro-food sector. They concern mainly the productivity in the cultivation of cereals and oil seeds; that is, products which play a crucial role in food self-sufficiency and constitute the very base of the entire food chain, […]

Draghi proposes timeframe for full Banking Union in five years

Yesterday Mario Draghi, the President of European Central Bank, proposed that the time horizon for the full mutualisation of all bank resolution costs among the EU Banking Union member states, should be cut by half from ten to five years. Also yesterday, in a different occasion, Benoît Cœuré, Member of the Executive Board of the […]

Commission to decide definitely on genetically modified Maize 1507 seed

The Commission is now expected to definitely authorize or deny the cultivation on EU soil, of the genetically modified seed of maize 1507 developed by the American company Monsanto, an affiliate of US giant DuPont. This decision will allow EU member states to exercise their freedom to choose, whether or not to allow the cultivation […]