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, 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.
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
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
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 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.
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