MEPs react to the road transport “mobility package” proposals
MEPs share first views on proposals to boost fairness and sustainability in road transport presented by Commissioners Šefčovič and Bulc.
Freedom of Czech media under scrutiny on Thursday at 8:30
Risk of political abuse of Czech media will be discussed by MEPs and the Commission on Thursday morning from 8:30.
Minute’s silence for terror victims in Manchester, Egypt, Baghdad and Kabul
The session opened with a minute’s silence for the victims of terror attacks since 22 May, in Manchester, Egypt, Baghdad and Kabul.
MEPs debate situation in Venezuela with National Assembly Speaker Julio Borges
The economic, social and political crisis in Venezuela was discussed by foreign affairs MEPs and Venezuela’s National Assembly Speaker Julio Borges on Wednesday.
MEPs quiz Jean-Claude Juncker on change of heart in fight against tax avoidance
MEPs suggest that the President of the European Commission has undergone a damascene conversion in the fight against tax evasion.
Making durable, reparable goods for consumers and tackling planned obsolescence
The EU Commission, member states and producers should take measures to ensure consumers can enjoy durable high-quality products that can be repaired.
MEPs back national carbon cuts under Paris Agreement
Plans for national greenhouse gas emission cuts were backed by Environment Committee MEPs on Tuesday.
Asylum: MEPs tighten internal security and improve safety for refugee children
Europol should have access to fingerprints and names of asylum seekers; refugee children should be fingerprinted to keep them safe from traffickers, MEPs say.
WiFi4EU: EP and Council strike a deal on EU scheme for free internet access
29-05-2017 - 22:01
A scheme for more than 5000 wireless internet connections in public areas across the EU were agreed by Parliament and Council negotiators on Monday evening.
Minute of silence at the EP for the victims of the Manchester attack
24-05-2017 - 11:06
The European Parliament will hold a minute of silence to commemorate the victims of the terrorist attack in Manchester at 15.00 today.
Brexit and the EP: what does it mean for free movement?
18-05-2017 - 16:30
The European Parliament Office in London held a panel debate earlier this month to a full house on the impact of Brexit on freedom of movement, one of the fundamental four freedoms of the EU.
MEPs want EU to step up its peace-building efforts in Syria
18-05-2017 - 13:06
Only a political process led by the different Syrian groups and supported by the UN could end a war in Syria and the EU should take a more active role.
EP urges EU countries to speed up relocation of refugees, particularly children
18-05-2017 - 12:53
EU countries must fulfil their obligations to take in asylum-seekers from Greece and Italy, giving priority to unaccompanied minors, said Parliament on Thursday.
Persecution of gay men in Chechnya: MEPs call for urgent investigation
18-05-2017 - 12:44
Chechen authorities must end the persecution of gay men and an investigation must be held as a matter of urgency, MEPs said on Thursday.
Watching online films and TV while abroad
18-05-2017 - 12:29
EU citizens with subscriptions for online films and TV will soon be able to access their content while temporarily in another EU country.
Brexit: the challenge of deciding new EU-UK relations
29-03-2017 - 12:18
The UK formally announced its intention to withdraw from the EU in March, signalling the start of lengthy talks between the UK and the EU to determine the terms of their new relationship.
Parliament reacts to Council Brexit summit
The European Parliament will play a key role in determining the outcome.
A majority of voters in the UK voted in favour of taking their country out of the EU on 23 June 2016. The government triggered the official process on 29 March by invoking article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which describes how the EU and the withdrawing state need to negotiate a withdrawal agreement to define the country’s future relationship with the EU. Any agreement would have to be approved by both the European Parliament and the Council. MEPs will vote on the Parliament's red lines during April's plenary session in Strasbourg.
Red lines on Brexit negotiations
06-04-2017 - 09:58
An overwhelming majority of the house (516 votes in favour, 133 against, with 50 abstentions) adopted a resolution officially laying down the European Parliament’s key principles and conditions for its approval of the UK's withdrawal agreement. Any such agreement at the end of UK-EU negotiations will need to win the approval of the European Parliament.
MEPs stress the importance of securing equal and fair treatment for EU citizens living in the UK and British citizens living in the EU. They also point out that the UK remains an EU member until its official departure, and that this entails rights but also obligations, including financial commitments which may run beyond the withdrawal date.
The resolution warns against any trade-off between security and the future EU-UK economic relationship, opposes any sort of cherry picking or a piecemeal economic relationship based on sector-specific deals, and reiterates the indivisibility of the four freedoms of the single market - free movement of goods, capital, services, and people.
Finally, the resolution says that only when “substantial progress” has been made in talks on how the UK is to leave the EU can discussions begin on possible transitional arrangements. These arrangements must not last longer than three years, while an agreement on a future relationship can only be concluded once the UK has left the EU.
Citizens’ interests must be at the forefront right from the beginning, says the resolution, which goes on to note that Irish citizens “will be particularly affected”. MEPs urge all parties to remain committed to the Northern Ireland peace process and avoid a hard border. The special circumstances presented by this situation must therefore be addressed as a matter of priority in the withdrawal agreement.
The resolution also warns the UK against any attempt to limit rights linked to the freedom of movement before it effectively withdraws from the EU and asks the EU-27 to examine how to address the fear of British citizens that Brexit will lead to the loss of their current EU citizenship rights.
MEPs call for both sides to act in good faith and full transparency so as to ensure an orderly exit.
The resolution notes that it would be a breach of EU law for the UK to negotiate trade agreements with third countries before it left the EU, and warns against the UK engaging in bilateral talks with one or some EU member states on the withdrawal proceedings or the EU-UK future relationship.
The UK will continue to enjoy its rights as a member of the EU until its departure. At the same time, however, it will also have to shoulder its obligations, including financial obligations stemming inter alia from the current long-term EU budget. Such financial commitments could run beyond the date of departure, the resolution adds.
European Parliament closely involved
The European Parliament intends to build on the elements set out in this resolution as the negotiations develop, for example by adopting further resolutions, including on specific matters or sector-specific issues, the resolution says.
Plenary debate on Brexit before the vote
Earlier, leaders of the European Parliament political groups debated their priorities in the negotiations on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. The crucial role of MEPs during the negotiations was underlined by EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, who also took part in the debate.
Opening the debate, European Parliament President Antonio Tajani said that “Parliament’s vote will be decisive for the final outcome of the conditions for the UK’s withdrawal and for future EU-UK relations. The recent terrorist attacks make it clear that all European countries will need to continue working closely with each other.”
The debate showed wide cross-party support for giving top priority to protecting the interests of the citizens most affected by Brexit. The majority of group leaders also underlined that whereas it was important for the talks to take place in a serene atmosphere, the EU 27 would need to remain united and strongly defend their own interests. All left-leaning groups also said that maintaining high levels of social protection would be a top priority for them.
Several leaders stressed that Brexit must serve as a catalyst for renewing the EU in that it demonstrates how intrinsically bound together the member states are.
Leaders of the EFDD and ENF groups rejoiced at the launch of the withdrawal process and accused the EU of seeking to “punish” the UK.
CLick on individual names to watch the full statements
Opening by President Tajani
Manfred Weber (EPP, DE)
Gianni Pittella (S&D, IT)
Helga Stevens (ECR, BE)
Guy Verhofstadt (ALDE, BE)
Gabriele Zimmer (GUE/NGL, DE)
Philippe Lamberts (Green/EFA, BE)
Nigel Farage (EFDD, UK)
Marcel De Graaf (ENF, NL)