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Strasbourg Roundup, 11th - 14th April

A roundup of news and votes from the Strasbourg plenary session from 11th - 14th April.

 

EU adopts Labour proposals for tax transparency, including country-by-country reporting and list of tax havens:

  • The European Commission has announced new proposals to tackle tax dodging by multinational corporations, including public country-by-country reporting and a common list of tax havens - proposals contained in a Labour report approved by MEPs last year.
  • By making companies publicly declare where they make their profits and where they pay their tax, they will be forced into playing by the rules throughout Europe.
  • And the new list of tax havens, which will be based on objective criteria, will ensure greater transparency.
  • Conservative MEPs have repeatedly failed to support EU action in the past, and David Cameron and the UK government have continually blocked stronger EU measures at meetings of European leaders.

 

Labour MEPs: PNR directive and data protection laws will help combat terror and safeguard privacy:

  • The European Parliament voted this week for the EU Passenger Name Record (PNR) directive and data protection package.
  • The PNR directive will provide uniform regulation on the processing and sharing of flight data between EU countries, enabling law enforcement to view the data via a dedicated database.
  • At the same time, the data protection package - as called for previously by Labour MEPs in several resolutions - will ensure the provisions of the measures are aligned and will mean a clear legal framework is in place for the use and sharing of personal data

 

Tear-gassing of migrants at the Greek-Macedonian border highlights urgent need for organised and compassionate EU response, warn Labour MEPs:

  • The clashes between Macedonian authorities and migrants highlight the urgent need for an organised and compassionate EU response to the refugee crisis, Labour MEPs have warned.
  • Also this week, Labour MEPs voted for a report on the situation in the Mediterranean that calls for the EU to show solidarity with countries on the periphery such as Greece and Italy by offering humanitarian assistance, quickly implementing the relocation agreement and working together to enhance safer and legal routes to Europe.

 

Labour MEPs back extending EU's Erasmus student exchange scheme to include more disadvantaged young people:

  • Labour MEPs have voted for a report calling for the EU's Erasmus student exchange programme to be extended to more disadvantaged young people, for example those in vocational training, who cannot currently access the scheme.
  • The report calls for expanding and improving mobility for vocational training and education, including specific support for disabled young people.
  • Labour MEPs believe one of the challenges of programmes such as Erasmus is to ensure they not only reach out to students in higher education but also to more disadvantaged young people who would not otherwise have access to such opportunities as learning abroad.

 

Labour MEPs back report calling for greater role for national parliaments and regular reviews of EU's legislative process:

  • Labour MEPs have voted for a report calling for reform of the European Union's law-making procedures, including a greater role for national parliaments, and regular reviews of the legislative process.
  • Labour MEPs support a greater role for national parliaments, including enabling better and earlier communication between parliaments, and parliaments being able to submit proposals or amendments for the European Commission's consideration.
  • Labour MEPs also back the report's proposals for mid-term and full-term evaluations of the legislative process, full impact assessments and more regular checks to decisions are taken at the most local, least centralised level of governance.

 

Labour MEPs vote for resolution condemning Pakistan terror attacks:

  • Labour MEPs voted this week for a resolution that unequivocally condemns the terrorist attacks on a playground in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park in Lahore on March 27, where a suicide bomb attack caused the death of more than 73 people and injured more than 300, including many women and children.
  • Labour MEPs have also warned that the best way to offer support to Pakistan in the fight against terrorism is by remaining in the European Union.

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