09 Jul: Turkey: MEPs strongly condemn repression of opposition

(Source: European Parliament)

All political parties in Turkey must be able to freely and fully exercise their legitimate functionsDemocratically elected mayors have been removed from office and replaced by unelected trusteesEU Delegation to Turkey must observe trials and speak out against breaches of human rightsProgress in EU-Turkey relations also depends on situation of human rights and rule of law

Deep concern expressed by MEPs over constant attacks and pressure on Turkish opposition parties, in a resolution adopted on Thursday.

MEPs condemn the repression of opposition political parties, particularly the Peoples’ Democratic Party HDP, and urge the Turkish Government to ensure …

09 Jun: Belarus, climate action, COVID-19: MEPs assess EU summit results

(Source: European Parliament)

On Wednesday morning, Parliament debated the outcome of May’s special summit with European Council President Michel and Commission President von der Leyen.

A large majority of members backed the firm and united response of the European Council to Belarus and endorsed the swift imposition of sanctions on the regime. MEPs stressed the EU must step up its support for and protect civil society, journalists and all those fighting for democracy and fundamental values, inside and outside the Union.

MEPs also acknowledged the Council’s discussions on climate matters, underlining the EU must maintain climate action leadership and turn …

09 Jun: MEPs hail minimum global corporate tax rate deal as historic

(Source: European Parliament)

On Wednesday morning, MEPs debated with Commission and Council the upcoming G7 summit and the topics they expect to be raised during the EU-US summit on 11 June.

During the debate with Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis and Portugal’s Secretary of State Ana Paula Zacarias, MEPs praised the deal reached by G7 countries on the global minimum corporate tax rate of 15%. Several spoke of a “historic moment” in the fight against tax havens. Others criticised the EU for not being ambitious enough and not demanding that these taxes be higher. Some warned that the “deal is far from …

09 Jun: MEPs approve new Social Fund to support young people and the most deprived

(Source: European Parliament)

€88 billion for 2021-2027Focus on youth employment and children’s access to childcare, education, healthcare and housingAll EU member states will spend at least 3% to mitigate extreme poverty

On Tuesday, Parliament gave its final green light to the EU’s main instrument for investing in people and tackling inequalities for the next seven years.

The European Social Fund+, with a total budget of €88 billion, will play an important role in the implementation of the action plan on the European Pillar of Social Rights and in countering the socio-economic effects of the pandemic.

Investing in children and youth…

02 Jun: Data protection: MEPs urge the Commission to amend UK adequacy decisions

(Source: European Parliament)

UK data protection laws are similar to EU laws, but MEPs raise questions on enforcement and exemptionsExemptions for immigration and national security purposes need to be clarifiedOnward transfers of data to other countries and bulk access to data by law enforcement are also a concernNational authorities should suspend data transfers to the UK in the absence of guarantees

The European Commission should amend its draft decision on UK data protection to ensure EU standards for citizens’ privacy are respected.

In a resolution passed on Friday (344 votes in favour, 311 against and 28 abstaining), MEPs ask the …

20 May: Parliament demands democratic scrutiny over national recovery efforts

(Source: European Parliament)

Summary of reforms and investments from national plans neededAssessing the effective and proper spending of the fundsOversight would improve the Recovery and Resilience Dialogue

MEPs want to receive all relevant information on national recovery efforts, ensuring democratic oversight of the implementation of the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF).

In a resolution adopted on Thursday with 602 votes in favour, 35 against and 56 abstentions, MEPs restated that, in line with the contents of the RRF Regulation, the European Parliament is entitled to receive relevant information on the state of play on the implementation of national recovery and …

20 May: Getting a patent waiver is not enough, says WTO chief to Trade Committee

(Source: European Parliament)

Parliament’s Committee on Trade debated on Thursday how to increase vaccine production effectively with WTO Director-General Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

In reply to trade committee MEPs’ questions over what measures are needed to accelerate equitable access to vaccines, Dr Okonjo-Iweala argued in favour of expanding vaccine production and ending export restrictions.

She said: “Getting the Intellectual Property rights waiver for vaccines will not be enough”. She listed three other routes: reducing export restrictions and reinforcing supply chains for vaccines, working with manufacturers to expand production, including in emerging countries with idle capacity such as Indonesia, South Africa, Thailand …

20 May: MEPs approve the EU’s new culture programme

(Source: European Parliament)

Around 2.5 billion EUR investment for EU cultural and creative sectorsMore focus on music, inclusivity and promotion of female talentNews media supported for the first time

On Wednesday, MEPs adopted ‘Creative Europe’, the EU’s programme for culture and the audiovisual sector, and the EU’s biggest ever financial commitment.

The new programme, with its budget almost doubled when compared to 2014-2020, (up from 1.4 billion euro) will invest 2.5 billion euro (in current prices) in the EU’s cultural and creative sectors. MEPs recognise the importance of the continent’s cultural sector, and helping it recover from the COVID-19 pandemic …

19 May: MEPs split over waiver for COVID-19 vaccine patents

(Source: European Parliament)

At Wednesday’s debate on ensuring global access to shots, there was a lack of consensus among MEPs on a temporary waiver of patent rights for COVID-19 vaccines.

A number of speakers called on the Commission to support a waiver of the intellectual property rights (IPR) for COVID-19 vaccines as an essential element in accelerating the rollout of shots to low and middle income countries.

In turn, many MEPs argued a patent waiver is a “false good idea” that would not speed up the provision of vaccines and would harm innovation. Instead, they argued the Commission should push …