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Turkey is part of the solution, not of the problem, says its EU minister

Turkey is part of the solution, not of the problem, says its EU minister

Turkey’s progress this year on the path to EU accession was debated by its EU affairs minister and chief negotiator Egemen Bağış and Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs on 2 December. His visit coincided with the committee’s first discussion of a draft report on Turkey by Ria Oomen-Ruijten (EPP, NL)

Catherine Ashton: EU should do more to “punch its weight” politically

Catherine Ashton: EU should do more to “punch its weight” politically

Catherine Ashton, the EU’s new High Representative for foreign policy, assured MEPs on Wednesday that she had the qualities needed to do the job. During a discussion with the Foreign Affairs Committee she said she would help Europe “punch its weight” politically.

Monetary exit strategies and systemic risk: MEPs hear experts

Monetary exit strategies and systemic risk: MEPs hear experts

EU co-ordination of exit strategies, links between the ECB and the European Systemic Risk Board and a possible ban on products that destabilise markets were the key issues raised by MEPs from the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee and the Special Committee on Financial, Economic and Social Crisis at a hearing of experts on Tuesday. Source : © European Parliament

EU membership candidates: Parliament outlines its criteria

EU membership candidates: Parliament outlines its criteria

Current and potential candidate countries must continue reforming to stay on track for eventual EU membership. Key issues such as rule of law, freedom of expression, treatment of ethnic minorities and the fight against corruption and organised crime must still be addressed, says a resolution approved by the Foreign Affairs Committee on Monday and scheduled for a plenary vote on 26 November

Should VAT be tax-deductible for company cars?

Should VAT be tax-deductible for company cars?

Companies in the EU Member States should possibly be allowed to deduct their input VAT for cars, laptops, mobile phones and other movable assets that form part of their business assets but first it has to be made clear what impact this would have on the internal market, said Members of the EP Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee on Tuesday. Source : © European Parliament

CRIS : phasing out of support measures not imminent

CRIS : phasing out of support measures not imminent

The monetary policy stance should be normalized and non-standard measures to support the financial system withdrawn as and when economic and financial conditions gradually improve, ECB Executive Board member José Manuel González-Páramo told the Financial, Economic and Social Crisis (CRIS) Committee on Tuesday. These policy changes are not imminent, he added. Source : © European Parliament

Start-ups: micro-credit must not be funded through the Progress programme

Start-ups: micro-credit must not be funded through the Progress programme

A plan to create a micro-finance to help people at risk of losing their jobs to start their own micro-enterprises was backed by the Employment and Social Affairs Committee on Thursday, but MEPs rejected the funding arrangements proposed by the European Commission. Source : © European Parliament

Changed Council attitude makes 2007 discharge possible

Changed Council attitude makes 2007 discharge possible

Parliament should grant the Council a discharge for the 2007 budget, said the Budgetary Control Committee on Wednesday. Its recommendation followed a marked change in the attitude of the Council, which for years had refused either to meet or to present annual activity reports to the committee

Albania and Bosnia must catch up on reform for visa waiver, say MEPs

Albania and Bosnia must catch up on reform for visa waiver, say MEPs

Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina must catch up on the reforms needed to qualify for a short-stay visa waiver like those of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, said Civil Liberties Committee MEPs on Monday. The European Commission should report on the two countries’ progress early in 2010, and also start a dialogue on visas with Kosovo, they added.

EU diplomatic service: call for power of scrutiny

EU diplomatic service: call for power of scrutiny

The EP Constitutional Affairs Committee called on Monday for the planned EU diplomatic service to be part of the Commission structure and be funded from the EU budget. This set-up would make the service subject to democratic scrutiny by the European Parliament. Source : © European Parliament