Saturday, 17 March 2018
News with tag European Parliament  RSS
Turkey raps European Parliament over call to halt Afrin offensive in Syria

Added: 17.03.2018 10:08 | 0 views | 0 comments

Turkey slammed a motion approved by the European Parliament on Thursday that calls for a halt to Ankara's military offensive in northern Syria's Afrin region, saying it demonstrated "clear support" for militants. The non-binding motion also urges Turkey to remove its troops from Afrin, where Ankara is targeting the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia in an offensive launched nearly two months ago. The Parliament's motion stressed "the need to focus on defeating the U.N.-listed terrorist organizations", a reference to Islamic State and other militant Islamist groups operating in Syria.

European Parliament in 'secret' talks with North Korea

Added: 16.03.2018 9:06 | 0 views | 0 comments

A European Parliament delegation said Wednesday it has been conducting secret talks with North Korea over the last three years to try to persuade Pyongyang to negotiate an end to its nuclear programme. The group led by British MEP Nirj Deva has met senior North Korean officials, including ministers, 14 times and plans another meeting in Brussels in the near future. News of the below-the-radar diplomacy effort comes after the surprise announcement that US President Donald Trump plans a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, part of fast-paced developments following an Olympic detente. Mr Deva said he and his colleagues on the European Parliament Delegation for Relations with the Korean Peninsula had been "relentlessly advocating the case for dialogue without preconditions" to end the increasingly tense nuclear standoff with the North. "I did much of the advocacy in secrecy with my colleagues. It is only now that I am revealing our efforts to a wider audience in the light of the proposed talks," Mr Deva said. It comes as Donald Trump plans a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un Credit:  JUNG YEON-JE/AFP The group also met senior officials in the US, China, Japan and South Korea, Mr Deva said, for dialogue aimed at achieving a "verifiable denuclearised Korean peninsula". "We met in secret with senior North Koreans on 14 occasions. We understood their concerns and they understand ours," he told a press conference at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. The MEPs held regular clandestine meetings with the North Koreans in Brussels, Mr Deva said, listening to their concerns and trying to convince them of the risks of nuclear war. "We told them in no uncertain terms that if they carry on with the missile programme and the nuclear bomb programme they will only lead to an inevitable conclusion which is unthinkable," Mr Deva said. What is Junche? | North Korea's official state ideology EU diplomacy is normally carried out by the bloc's dedicated foreign affairs department, which has diplomatic missions all around the world. Mr Deva said his delegation had a role to play in developing "confidence building measures" to support the planned US-North Korea dialogue. And Mr Deva said that from his meetings he believed the tough sanctions the EU has in place against North Korea had been an important factor in driving Pyongyang to agree to talks. "Part of the reason that this happened was the sanctions started to bite poor people - not the elite," he said. The sudden announcement of the summit between Mr Kim and Mr Trump and Pyongyang's reported willingness to discuss ending its nuclear programme have raised hopes of detente after months of tension. As well as the Kim-Trump meeting, North and South Korea are also planning a summit next month. Paul Ruebig, an Austrian MEP who is deputy chair of the committee and took part in the secret meetings, called for the UN to take part in the summits to give them a global scope.

[Ticker] MEPs accept Amsterdam as seat for EU medicines agency

Added: 15.03.2018 13:27 | 1 views | 0 comments

The plenary of the European Parliament voted on Thursday, with 507 against 112, to approve the decision that the European Medicines Agency should move from London to Amsterdam, due to Brexit. None of the amendments tabled by mostly Italian MEPs to reject the proposal attracted more than 129 votes. The parliament did stress it was not happy with the new HQ-selection procedure, in which it was not involved.

[Visual Data] Meet the European Parliament's twittersphere

Added: 15.03.2018 10:50 | 1 views | 0 comments

The first post in a 'deep-dive' analysis of who tweets from the European Parliament, when - and why.

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Anti-austerity Portuguese PM warns of financial crisis risks

Added: 14.03.2018 14:36 | 0 views | 0 comments

Portugal's prime minister Antonio Costa, who vowed to fight austerity when elected into government in 2015, told the European parliament that the future of Europe depends, in part, on fiscal and economic convergence.

New pesticides committee begins work on EU approvals

Added: 14.03.2018 12:46 | 0 views | 0 comments

The new European Parliament committee will try to restore citizens' trust in the procedure after the glyphosate affair. Its 30 members have some experience on pesticide issues - but different positions.

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[Ticker] ECB 'vice-president' gets weak backing from EU parliament

Added: 14.03.2018 12:16 | 0 views | 0 comments

Luis de Guindos, the Spanish candidate to become the next vice-president of the European Central Bank, managed to receive only a weak approval from the European parliament. MEPs in the Strasbourg plenary on Wednesday voted 331 for his appointment, 306 against, with 65 abstentions. "From the start, we had our doubts about the candidacy of Luis de Guindos to the ECB," said French centre-left MEP Pervenche Beres in a statement.

[Ticker] MEPs support fast-track status for fossil fuel projects

Added: 14.03.2018 11:45 | 0 views | 0 comments

Members of the European Parliament once again gave indirect support to giving fast-track status to a list of energy projects which include fossil fuel projects. An attempt to veto the so-called 'Projects of Common Interest' (PCI) list failed on Wednesday, with only 177 MEPs supporting a veto, and 485 rejecting it. A previous veto attempt in the parliament's energy committee by also failed.

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[Ticker] 'Make trade, not war', Tusk tells Trump

Added: 14.03.2018 11:33 | 0 views | 0 comments

European Council president Donald Tusk said on Wednesday that the US and the EU should restart free trade negotiations, instead of fighting over steel and aluminium tariffs. "Make trade, not war," . EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said earlier in the European Parliament that the EU was in "intense" dialogue with the US over the dispute.

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