Strasbourg Roundup, 7th - 11th March

A round up of what your Labour MEPs voted for in the European Parliament, 7th -11th March.

 

Labour MEPs welcome Commission's posted workers' proposals, but more needs to be done to close loopholes:

  • Labour MEPs have welcomed the European Commission's proposals for pay equality between posted workers and locals, but called for more to be done to close loopholes and create a truly fair system.
  • The Commission has proposed a revision to the posted workers' directive, that workers from one EU country posted to work in another must be legally entitled the same pay as local host country workers, rather than only to the host country's minimum wage.
  • Labour MEPs also reiterated calls this week for urgent action to tackle zero-hours contracts, following the latest figures showing a rise in their usage in the UK.
  • More information can be found here.

 

MEPs back Labour report calling for EU asylum policies to be more gender sensitive:

  • The European Parliament voted for a Labour MEP's report calling for urgent action to ensure EU asylum policies are more gender sensitive.
  • Recommendations include greater safety and security for the most vulnerable refugees; the use of female interviewers, translators and interpreters; childcare during screening and asylum interviews; trauma counselling for women who have experienced gender-based violence; legal assistance for women in reception centres; and an end to the detention of children, pregnant women and rape victims.
  • The vote took place on International Women's Day.
  • Also this week, Labour MEPs voted to adopt a European Parliament plan to include gender equality in every aspect of its decision-making and legislation.

 

Labour MEPs vote to reject Commission’s proposals for an EU Port Services Regulation:

  • Labour MEPs have voted to reject the European Commission's proposal for an EU Port Services Regulation, on the grounds that the proposed legislation includes few tangible benefits for the ports sector, its workers or the environment.

 

Labour MEPs: EU-Turkey migration agreement is welcome, but Ankara must do more to allay concerns:

  • Labour MEPs have called for more guarantees from Turkey to ensure basic conditions to claim asylum are met following the agreement between the European Union and Turkey - whereby all irregular migrants not in need of international protection that enter Greece will be returned to Turkey.

 

Labour MEPs back EU scheme that delivers milk for UK schoolchildren:

  • Children across Europe will eat and drink more healthily thanks to a vote in the European Parliament on new legislation which will give EU countries the option to freely distribute fruit, vegetables and milk in schools.
  • The changes, which Labour MEPs voted for, will promote healthy eating habits, local food, organic farming and the fight against food waste. There was also a special mention of fairly traded bananas from the developing world.
  • The UK has benefited from the support to milk distribution in schools financed by the scheme, and has opted out from distributing other products.

 

Tory MEPs oppose the ending of "ineffective" EU agreement with big tobacco firm:

  • Conservative MEPs have opposed the ending of the EU's agreement with tobacco giant Philip Morris International (PMI).
  • The PMI agreement was designed to tackle the smuggling of counterfeit tobacco products, but while it led to a reduction in the amount of counterfeit Philip Morris products sold, it did not lead to an overall reduction in the trade in illicit tobacco products.
  • Labour MEPs voted to end the agreement, and have called on the European Commission to come up with proposals to deal with the trading of unbranded 'cheap white' cigarettes.

 

Labour MEPs vote for EU ban on antibiotic use that hampers fight against antimicrobial resistance:

  • Labour MEPs have voted to ban the routine use antibiotics on healthy animals to help fight antimicrobial resistance.