19 Dec 2014
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT PLENARY 15 -18 DECEMBERBrussels Daily
Things we learned in plenary: EU’s 2015 budget, Palestine, CIA torture
The last plenary session of 2014 saw the European Parliament adopt a hard-fought compromise on the EU budget. Other topics on the agenda included Palestine statehood, the use of torture by the CIA and media freedom in Turkey. MEPs also reappointed Emily O’Reilly as European ombudsman until 2019 and awarded the Lux Film Prize to the Polish-Danish co-production Ida. Read our summary of an eventful week in Strasbourg.
The Parliament adopted the EU’s budget for 2015 following tough negotiations with EU governments. MEPs secured more funds for research, student exchange and external action programmes in 2015 and an extra €4.25 billion to settle outstanding bills to companies and individuals in 2014. Text adopted – New general budget 2015
MEPs condemned the use of torture in CIA interrogation practices and called for an investigation of possible cooperation from EU member states in a plenary debate on Wednesday.
Also on Wednesday the Parliament said it supports “in principle recognition of Palestine statehood and the two-state solution” to the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Turkey is moving away from core EU values such as rule of law and fundamental rights, MEPs said in a debate on breaches of media freedom in Turkey. Parliament will vote on a resolution in January.
The EP’s Lux Prize went to Ida, a film about a young orphan seeking her identity and confronting dark secrets in Europe’s past. Every year the EP awards the Lux Prize to promote European cinema. The winner is chosen by MEPs.
On Tuesday the Parliament re-elected O’Reilly as European ombudsman, tasked with dealing with complaints about the work of European institutions.
The Parliament approved on Thursday an EU-Georgia association agreement in the presence of Georgian president Giorgi Margvelashvili. Earlier this week, MEPs voted to open up EU markets to exports of Moldovan fruit in order to help the country recover from losses due to a Russian import ban.
Plans by the European Commission to ditch several legislative proposals were met by a mixed response from MEPs on Tuesday. Some praised the drive to reduce red tape, others were concerned it was going too far.
The Parliament backed German Elke König as the chair of the Single Resolution Board, an independent body set up to manage the resolution of failing banks. The appointment will be finalised by the Council.
Our Facebook Editor for a Day competition winners Kalina, Magda and Vicky managed the Parliament’s Facebook page on Wednesday. They met EP President Martin Schulz and posted on key topics of the day, including the Lux Prize.