Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 32 n° 312

Posts Tagged ‘meps’

Member states must stop selling EU passports immediately, MEPs demand

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 23 ottobre 2020

EU citizenship cannot be traded as a commodity, according to a majority of speakers, who want to end the “golden passports” schemes currently in place in some member states.In a plenary debate with Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders, MEPs stressed the inherent risks that these programmes give rise to, namely money laundering, tax evasion and corruption. They insisted that Europe must not have “a fast-track entrance for criminals”.MEPs underlined that granting EU citizenship to third-country nationals without proper checks and transparency has negative consequences in other member states, eroding mutual trust and undermining common values.Several speakers referred to the recent scandal in Cyprus, where high-ranking officials – including the Speaker of the national parliament – were secretly recorded offering to assist a fictional Chinese executive with a criminal record in getting a Cypriot passport through the national “citizenship by investment” scheme. They also acknowledge the Commission’s decision to open infringement procedures against Cyprus and Malta, though some complained that it has taken too long to act. Some MEPs noted that the share of revenues from these programmes is significant for countries such as Cyprus, whilst many argued that EU values and rights should not be for sale.

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MEPs reiterate their support for Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 22 ottobre 2020

European Parliament.In a resolution adopted on Wednesday by 641 votes in favour, 5 against and 47 abstentions, MEPs briefed EU representatives on the stance to take in preparing the 2020 Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty (NPT) review process, stressing the importance of the Treaty’s three central elements: non-proliferation, disarmament, and the peaceful use of nuclear energy. They also point out that effective multilateralism and rules-based international order are a pre-condition for countering the proliferation of nuclear weapons.MEPS warn that the NPT will be reviewed in a particularly challenging international security context; no progress has been made in the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula; the US has withdrawn from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran; the INF Treaty has collapsed; and negotiations to extend the new START Treaty between Russia and the US have reached a deadlock.With the collapse of the INF treaty last summer in mind, MEPs recommend that EU representatives call on the US and Russia to resume dialogue and move towards a new legally-binding agreement for short- and medium-range missiles. MEPs also recommend that the EU’s continuing commitment to the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) should be reaffirmed as it represents the best possible means for obtaining assurances of an exclusively peaceful use of nuclear energy by Iran. They welcome the opposition expressed by France, Germany, and the UK (E3) at the United Nations to the US motion to reimpose sanctions on Iran, whilst at the same time calling on Iran to ensure full compliance with its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA and the NPT. Regarding North Korea, MEPs recommend urging the country to abandon its nuclear weapons programme and return to the NPT and IAEA safeguards. They also reiterate that North Korea continues to represent a regional and international nuclear and ballistic threat.In force since 1970, the NPT is a multilateral treaty aimed at limiting the spread of nuclear weapons. According to the Treaty, non-nuclear power states have committed themselves to not acquiring nuclear weapons and states with nuclear powers are obliged to pursue disarmament. All states can access nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, under certain constraints. The UN reviews the NPT every five years with the next review due at the April/May conference. 191 states are parties to the NPT. Iran ratified the treaty in 1970, but since 2005 has been under international pressure for failing to provide relevant information on its nuclear programme. North Korea ratified the NPT in 1985. In January 2003, it unilaterally withdrew and has so far conducted several increasingly sophisticated nuclear tests.

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PESCO: MEPs call Member States to deepen defence cooperation at EU level

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 21 ottobre 2020

Bruxelles. The EU’s overall level of security and defence would be higher if an effective EU system for the coherent, strategic and joint use of resources would be in place, say MEPs. No member state can protect itself alone against the common multifaceted threats that the EU faces in its security and defence today, warn MEPs in the resolution on the implementation and governance of Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO).In their recommendations to the Council and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, adopted on Wednesday by 464 votes in favour, 90 against and 137 abstentions, MEPs stress that member states participating in PESCO projects should be encouraged to evolve from a strictly national focus on defence to a stronger European one and prioritise using a more European collaborative approach. An effective EU system for efficient, coherent, strategic and joint use of resources would be advantageous for the EU’s overall level of security and defence and is necessary, more than ever, in a security environment that is quickly deteriorating, point out MEPs. They warn that member states should not reduce their defence spending in the coming years, and especially their financial involvement in European cooperative projects. There should be more ambition in the EU budget to strengthen defence capabilities, they say, by sufficiently financing the future European Defence Fund (EDF) and the military mobility project in the upcoming Multiannual Financial Framework.MEPS note that several of the 47 PESCO projects, if funded accordingly, could strengthen member states’ preparedness, should another massive public health crisis occur. They also stress that, in order to better counter the hybrid threats, increasing efforts to cooperate on cyber defence are needed, such as information sharing, training and operational support.

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Hold police accountable for violent incidents, say MEPs

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 21 ottobre 2020

Bruxelles. Police violence is unacceptable and should always be investigated, said MEPs in a debate on Tuesday, calling for more transparency and scrutiny in law enforcement.In a debate with Commissioner Johansson and the German Presidency, several MEPs raised the case of Jozef Chovanec, a Slovak citizen who died in police custody at Charleroi airport in February 2018. They urged the Belgian authorities to carry out a full investigation into this case, which will be closely followed by the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs.Referring to other cases of alleged police brutality against vulnerable minority groups and protesters across member states, MEPs called for those involved to be held accountable and for such incidents to be subject to independent scrutiny.Some MEPs highlighted the difficult work carried out by national police forces and praised their service and dedication in ensuring the safety of citizens across the EU.

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MEPs blueprint for a new Industrial strategy

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 17 ottobre 2020

Industry, Research and Energy MEPs advocated a shift in the EU approach to industrial policy, to help businesses cope with the crisis and face the digital and environmental transitions.MEPs call on the Commission to come up with a revised industrial strategy, in a report adopted on Friday in the Industry, Research and Energy committee. The original strategy, from March 2020, was published in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic and before the Next Generation EU plan was set up. The new strategy should have two distinct phases, one focusing on recovery and the other on reconstruction and resilience, say MEPs.First, the industrial strategy should contribute to recovery from the current economic crisis, and first aim to consolidate jobs, reactivate production and adapt it to a post-COVID “new normal”. The second phase should be aimed at reconstruction and transformation of the European industry.The new strategy should in particular help the EU achieve climate-neutrality, deliver on the European Green Deal, manage the twin green and digital transitions and create high-quality jobs, say MEPs.In particular, it should contain a strong social pillar and address the social consequences of structural change. The European Commission should put in place a policy facilitate economic and social revitalization of territories at risk, say MEPs, who highlight that the twin transition is an opportunity for fossil-dominated areas to move towards the frontline of innovation.MEPs also stress that industrial transformation requires a significant boost in research and development efforts, and recall Parliament’s position to increase the budget for Horizon Europe up to 120 billion euro and to ensure the program’s consistency with the Union’s climate neutrality targets.MEPs highlight the importance of a research-based pharmaceutical industry, and reiterate the need to put in place a medicine shortage risk mitigation plan to manage any vulnerabilities and risks for the supply chain for critical medicines.MEPs call for particular attention to be given to the situation of SMEs, and consider that measures set up by Members States to help them cope with the current cash crunch are useful, but might in some cases increase their debt levels. They call on the Commission to support EU and national programmes incentivising capital increase and to facilitate recovery. The non-binding report was adopted with 52 votes to 7, with 12 abstentions. It will be put to a vote by the full House during the 23-26 November plenary session.

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MEPs quiz EU financial supervisors

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 16 ottobre 2020

MEPs on Monday evening quizzed the three bosses of the EU’s financial watchdogs, primarily on non-performing loans, Wirecard, Brexit and the pandemic effects on the financial sector. Jose Manuel Campa, Chairman of the European Banking Authority (EBA), Steven Maijoor, Chairman of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), and Gabriel Bernardino, Chairman of the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) fielded questions from the MEPs of the economic and monetary affairs committee.MEPs asked for more details on the EU financial system’s preparedness for Brexit, especially in the case of no-deal, and for dealing with a spike of non-performing loans as a result of the pandemic’s considerable negative effect on the economy. They also sought their interlocutors’ views of how banks and insurers could better help the economic recovery, including by passing on negative interest rates to consumers, and better supporting SMEs.MEPs were also interested in obtaining more information on when ESMA had first been informed about problems with Wirecard, and when it would be publishing its findings. Mr Maijoor confirmed that ESMA was first informed at the time of short selling restrictions on Wirecard (early 2019), and that his authority would publish its findings by the end of October.MEPs also asked questions on what should be done to avoid the ever-repeating scandals, the latest of which being the FINCEN files. They also questioned the reasons for the big differences in the development of capital markets among member states, and the role of investors in reaching the long-term climate objectives.

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EU-UK relations: MEPs approve rules to ensure Eurotunnel safety and cooperation

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 12 ottobre 2020

MEPs endorsed on Thursday two proposals concerning the Channel Tunnel with the goal to maintain the same set of rules governing the whole railway tunnel once the UK has the status of a third country.The legislation will empower France to negotiate a new international agreement with the UK and maintain the Intergovernmental Commission as the main safety authority for the Eurotunnel.Additionally, the regulations on the safety and interoperability arrangements will allow, as amended by the Parliament, negotiations between France and the UK to begin without delay.The decision empowering France to negotiate an agreement supplementing its existing bilateral Treaty with the UK concerning the operation of the Channel Fixed Link was endorsed with 687 votes in favour, three against and four abstentions.The regulation on application of railway safety and interoperability rules within the Channel Fixed Link was adopted with 687 votes in favour, four against and four abstentions.The amendments adopted by the Parliament correspond to the Council’s position. The Council will now have to formally adopt its first reading position. The regulation will enter into force the day after its publication in the Official Journal of the EU.

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MEPs approve changes in the European Commission

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 10 ottobre 2020

Parliament approved the appointment of Mairead McGuinness as Commissioner and Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis’s change of portfolio, on Wednesday. Mairead McGuinness (Ireland), currently Vice-President of the European Parliament, will be Commissioner in charge of Financial Services, Financial Stability and Capital Markets. Her appointment was approved with 583 in favour, 75 against and 37 abstentions.The change of portfolio for Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis (Latvia) was approved with 515 in favour, 110 against and 70 abstentions. He is now in charge of Trade.The reshuffle at the European Commission comes after Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan resigned at the end of August.Both candidates had to undergo three-hour public hearings in the European Parliament on 2 October so that MEPs could evaluate their competencies with regard to their respective portfolios.

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We should strive for greater strategic autonomy and a speedy recovery, say MEPs

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 7 ottobre 2020

Bruxelles.Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, replacing Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, insisted that investing in digitalisation and decarbonisation and preparing the EU for any scenario with regard to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU should top the agenda of the 15-16 October summit. When closing the debate, he mentioned that the Commission will soon table a proposal on a minimum wage and will do everything it can to foster a speedy agreement between Parliament and Council on both the recovery plan and the long-term budget.Manfred Weber (EPP, DE) wants EU leaders to focus on jobs, investment in recovery, exports and digital transformation. He wondered why Belarus president Alyaksandr Lukashenka is not on the list of those to be sanctioned and why accession talks with Turkey have not been stopped.Iraxte García Pérez (S&D; ES) reminded MEPs that social fairness must be at the heart of economic recovery in the single market, even more so given that the cuts in health and education during the 2008 crisis have left many unprotected in the current sanitary crisis.For the EU to become a credible international actor, member states need to take geopolitical decisions by qualified majority and agree on strictly respecting common values and rule of law within the EU, said Dacian Cioloş (Renews, RO).EU funds will probably arrive too late and be insufficient to drive economic recovery, said Marco Zanni (ID, IT) while warning that new taxes might come. Philippe Lamberts (Greens/EFA, BE) pointed out that the lack of energy, digital etc. independence weakens the EU on the international stage and called for simple and efficient instruments to ensure common rules and values are respected within the EU. Derk Jan Eppink (ECR, NL) called for more “Trumpism” and stronger cooperation with the US in EU foreign policies to put third countries under pressure. Giorgos Georgiou (GUE/NGL, CY) called upon EU member states to stop Turkish settlements in Famagusta, which are threatening peace in the Eastern Mediterranean.

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Council President Charles Michel to discuss recent and next EU summit with MEPs

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 6 ottobre 2020

Bruxelles.On Tuesday morning, Council President Charles Michel will present the outcome of the summit, including on other Foreign Affairs topics such as relations with China, the situation in Belarus and the poisoning of Alexei Navalny. MEPs will also look ahead to the next regular European Council meeting, to be held 15-16 October, with a focus on the EU’s Climate Law and the state of the negotiations on the future EU-UK partnership including preparing for all scenarios after 1 January 2021.

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MEPs to discuss 2020 enlargement package with Commissioner Várhelyi

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 6 ottobre 2020

Bruxelles Tuesday, 6 October, 15.15-16.15 CET. European Parliament’s Antall building in Brussel The Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement will present the 2020 Enlargement Package and the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans to Foreign Affairs MEPs on Tuesday. Besides taking stock of the situation in the candidate countries and potential candidates in the Enlargement Package, Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi will present a plan that should stimulate the long-term recovery, boost economic growth and support reforms in the Western Balkans in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.Each year, the Commission adopts its “Enlargement package”, a set of documents explaining its policy on EU enlargement. The package includes a Communication on enlargement, which sets out the way forward for countries aspiring to join the EU. It also contains the reports in which the Commission presents its detailed assessment of the progress each candidate and potential candidate has made in fulfilling the criteria for membership.This year, the Commission will also present the Economic and Investment Plan, which should concentrate on flagship areas and projects that will directly create long-term growth and jobs as well as an attractive investment climate in the Western Balkans.

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Binding legislation needed to stop EU-driven global deforestation, say MEPs

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 4 ottobre 2020

MEPs call on the Commission to put forward rules to stop EU-driven global deforestation through mandatory due diligence for companies placing products on the EU market. Currently, there is no EU legislation prohibiting products that contribute to the destruction of forests from being placed on the European market and consumers do not know whether or not the products they buy contribute to deforestation. Therefore, the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee adopted a report today with 45 votes to 11 and 25 abstentions calling on the Commission to present an EU legal framework to halt and reverse EU-driven global deforestation. This is the first time the committee will make use of the possibility in the Treaty for Parliament to ask the Commission to come forward with binding legislation.MEPs say that voluntary initiatives, third-party certification and labels have so far failed to halt deforestation worldwide. They therefore call for a new EU legal framework based on mandatory due diligence, reporting, disclosure and third party participation requirements. Penalties should be introduced for companies that place products on the EU market derived from commodities that endanger forests and ecosystems. All operators on the EU market must ensure that their products can be traced to be able to identify their origin and ensure the rules are enforced.The report refers to several studies showing that prohibiting the entry into the EU of products linked to deforestation will have no impact on volume and price and that any extra costs incurred by operators would be minimal. It would also benefit businesses, as it would level the playing field by holding competitors to the same standards.MEPs state that such an EU legal framework should also be extended to include high-carbon stock and biodiversity-rich ecosystems other than forests, such as marine and coastal ecosystems, wetlands, peatlands or savannahs, to avoid pressure being shifted onto these landscapes. The Commission should also provide binding definitions of what constitutes deforestation and forest degradation.Members finally underlined how EU trade and investment policy should include binding and enforceable sustainable development chapters that fully respect international commitments.

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MEPs spell out their priorities for the Digital Services Act

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 3 ottobre 2020

MEPs’ demands on how digital services, including online platforms and marketplaces, should be regulated were set out in a vote in the Internal Market Committee on Monday.With the upcoming Digital Services Act (DSA), the EU aims to shape the digital economy not only at European Union level but also to be a standard-setter for the rest of the world, as it did with data protection.In a “legislative initiative” report approved in the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee, MEPs request that the Commission addresses and tackles current shortcomings in the online environment in its DSA package, due to be presented by the end of the year. The principle of “what is illegal offline is also illegal online”, as well as the principles of consumer protection and user safety, should become “guiding principles” of the future DSA, they say.The committee recommendations touch upon a wide range of issues, including obligations related to transparency and information for online marketplaces, product safety online, effective enforcement and supervision measures, including fines, the spread of illegal content online, artificial intelligence (AI), and ex-ante regulation to prevent (instead of merely remedy) market failures caused by big platforms. The Internal Market Committee rapporteur on the DSA, Alex Agius Saliba (S&D, MT), said: “We live in a digital world where digital services have become the new utilities of our time. Their importance for our lives will only continue to grow. The report we voted on today recognises that a unique holistic, common approach built on trust, choice, and a high level of protection fully integrating users’, consumers’, and SMEs’ concerns is needed”.“For the first time, we are introducing at EU level new concepts, such as Know your Business Customer, ex-ante rules for the digital sectors, special responsibilities for online marketplaces to guarantee consumer safety, stricter rules on targeted advertising and AI mechanisms and a scope that will encompass companies established even outside the EU”, Mr Saliba highlighted.

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MEPs quiz Lagarde with stuttering economy as the backdrop

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 3 ottobre 2020

MEPs on Monday quizzed ECB President Christine Lagarde on the state of the economy and raised both suggestions and concerns regarding the ECB’s current and future actions. MEPs, speaking during the meeting held in the economic and monetary affairs committee, were evenly spread between those thinking that the current circumstances warrant a more interventionist and bold ECB and those fearing that the prolonged programmes of the ECB risked having considerable negative impacts.During the discussion MEPs also called for a more decisive move by the ECB towards helping to green the economy, to bring the inflation rate up towards the target rate, including through non-conventional measures, and to mitigate the looming disparities between the EU’s economies as a result of the pandemic. Some also reminded that the ECB was only one arm to help economic recovery signalling that the EU’s and other budgetary tools remained crucial as well as continued structural reforms at national level. MEPs also asked Ms Lagarde for more information about the upcoming ‘ECB strategic review’, especially on accountability, communication, and on new ways of reaching the inflation target. Ms Lagarde warned that “we are not out of the woods yet”, laying out the need for an ECB accommodative approach in the medium term. She also took the opportunity of announcing new transparency policies and that the strategic review should be completed by June 2021.

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MEPs question whether the new Migration Pact will bring about real change

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 29 settembre 2020

The new Migration Pact is insufficient for the majority of EP groups. Some demand compulsory relocation of refugees; others want a firmer stance on irregular arrivals.The Civil Liberties Committee held a first debate about the Commission’s proposals with Vice-President Margaritis Schinas and Commissioner Ylva Johansson on Thursday. Some MEPs considered the initiative to be “a step in the right direction”, to help front-line countries, and others admitted it might be the only way forward, given the position of several EU member states. All requested more information about how the pact would be applied on the ground.Many speakers referred to the situation on Lesvos, following the fire in Moria refugee camp, and asked whether the new rules will prevent that humanitarian disaster from being repeated. They raised questions about whether fundamental rights will be respected in the new screening and border procedures and the detention of asylum-seekers. Several regretted that the Commission has not removed the contentious principle of the current Dublin Regulation, that the country of first-entry must deal with an asylum-claim.EU countries that do not want to transfer refugees to their territory would be given the option to sponsor returns of those without a right to stay instead; MEPs wondered what will happen if most member states opt for the latter. There were also questions raised about the enforcement mechanisms to ensure the new rules are effectively applied.Some MEPs complained that cooperation with third countries does not include the establishment of hotspots to process asylum requests outside European territory and insisted the EU must be tougher on smugglers.

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Tourism Committee MEPs: EU must act, 22 million jobs are at stake

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 28 settembre 2020

Members of Parliament’s Tourism Task Force reiterate that the tourism sector needs EU-level coordination and substantial support to give SMEs a chance of survival.The Transport and Tourism Committee met on Wednesday with travel and tourism stakeholders to take stock of the dire situation facing the sector and to discuss ways to overcome this unprecedented crisis. (Catch up with the debate here.) Even when travelling is partially possible, the wide array of rules make it extremely difficult. People are confused and have no guarantees that their planned trips can and will go ahead.The tourism sector, that employs 22 million people in Europe, is on the verge of collapse. This is no small threat: depending on the country, tourism accounts from 4.3% to 25% of the GDP. As things stand, hundreds of thousands of SMEs will not survive until the end of this yeaIt is still not clear which crisis management tool can be used by the tourism sector, besides the “European instrument for temporary Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency (SURE)”. We insist on urgent concrete action from the European Commission and the member states. A well-defined crisis management mechanism is needed; the sector is fighting to survive.It is high time for the EU to come forward with a strategy on sustainable tourism and a dedicated budget line in the next long-term EU budget. A €300 million budget line to implement a common vision for sustainable tourism over the next seven years is not too much to ask. It is essential, to make sure that this economic sector will have a chance to get back on its feet after months of stagnation and so that we can shape it to become more sustainable.

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Employment MEPs call for more ambition to boost Youth Guarantee

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 27 settembre 2020

With youth unemployment in the EU expected to continue to rise sharply, member states should pull out all the stops to tackle the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on young people. In light of the youth unemployment rate that stood at 17% in the EU in July 2020 (up from 14.9 % before the COVID-19 crisis) and is expected to continue to rise sharply, Employment and Social Affairs Committee MEPs welcome the Commission’s proposal to strengthen the Youth Guarantee to ensure that all people under 30 years receive an offer for a job, further education, an apprenticeship or traineeship within four months of becoming unemployed or leaving formal education. MEPs furthermore condemn the practice of unpaid internships, traineeships and apprenticeships, which “represent a form of exploitation of young people’s work and a violation of their rights”. They call on the Commission and member states, in collaboration with the European Parliament and respecting the principle of subsidiarity, to work on the necessary legal framework for an effective and enforceable ban of unpaid internships, traineeships and apprenticeships.The resolution also emphasises that not all member states comply with the voluntary recommendations for a Youth Guarantee, thereby leaving young people behind. MEPs therefore call on the Commission to propose a Youth Guarantee instrument that is binding for all member states.

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Vote on Own Resources: MEPs clear way for COVID-19 recovery plan

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 23 settembre 2020

Bruxelles. MEPs accelerate the procedure that will enable the EU to borrow €750 billion for the “Next Generation EU” recovery plan.MEPs have fast-tracked and voted already during the September plenary session on their legislative opinion on the Own Resources Decision (ORD). This removes an important barrier and speeds up the procedure to implement the key EU law to restart the economy, allowing the Commission to raise €750 billion on the markets for the recovery fund.
Wednesday’s vote makes it possible for the Council of the EU to swiftly adopt the ORD and start the ratification process in 27 EU countries – so that the recovery plan can be launched as soon as possible.In its opinion, adopted on Wednesday by 455 votes in favour, 146 against and 88 abstentions, Parliament upholds its position on the need to introduce new sources of revenue to the EU budget that should at least cover the costs related to the recovery plan.Parliament requests a legally binding calendar to introduce these new own resources. Financing the recovery must be sustainable through the introduction e.g. of taxes on transnational polluters and multinational corporations and not become a burden for the next generation, Parliament insists.

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MEPs want new cars to respect emission limits under real driving conditions

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 23 settembre 2020

As of September 2022, cars must meet EU limits on NOx emissions under real driving conditions to comply with air pollution limits, says the European Parliament.
On Thursday, Parliament adopted its position with 485 votes to 169 and 42 abstentions on the Commission proposal to re-introduce legal exemptions (through a so-called conformity factor) on nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from light passenger and commercial cars (Euro 5 and Euro 6) for type approval of vehicles tested under real driving conditions in order to comply with the EU General Court ruling of 13 December 2018.Previously, data on car emissions such as NOx were obtained through laboratory tests. The EU is the first region in the world to use real driving emissions (RDE) tests to measure such pollutants emitted by vehicles while driven on the road. However, emissions from these vehicles in real-world driving conditions tend to be significantly higher.To address technical uncertainties regarding measurements obtained through Portable Emission Measurement Systems (PEMS), which measure emissions from engines while they are being used, the Commission introduced the so-called ‘conformity factor’, which allows for higher emissions under real driving conditions to take into account a margin of error.To reduce NOx emissions, Parliament wants the conformity factor currently in place to be annually lowered, based on assessments by the Joint Research Centre. After being immediately lowered from 1.43 to 1.32, it should be gradually reduced and cease to apply by 30 September 2022, after which only the raw data from tests carried out under real driving conditions would be used to determine compliance with EU emission limits.The report also asks that the Commission establish by June 2021 more stringent requirements for the portable measuring equipment to be used for RDE tests.

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MEPs approve €6.2 billion to tackle crisis and speed up vaccine deployment

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 23 settembre 2020

The funds will allow the EU to improve its chances of having an effective and safe vaccine available as soon as possible, and to step up COVID-19-related cohesion funding.Cohesion funds will be topped up with €5.1 billion to ensure that requests for reimbursements from member states for actions taken under the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative Plus (CRII+) can be covered. The CRII+ was created to relax the cohesion spending rules to increase flexibility, whereas the CRII redirected unspent money from the EU budget to tackling the COVID-19 crisis.The vaccine-related €1.1 billion will increase payments for the Emergency Support Instrument (ESI), a significant part of which is used to secure the production of vaccines in the EU and sufficient supplies for its member states. This is part of the European Commission’s COVID-19 vaccine strategy.Parliament approved the proposal with 643 votes in favour, 29 against and 14 abstentions.

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