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Parliamentary Highlights

This is for people who want more information on actual reports/legislation going through the Parliament.

Summary of Brussels "Mini" Session (26-27 March 2003)

Spring European Summit and Iraq - Council and Commission Statements

The Council and the Commission made statements on the outcome of the Spring European Council.

The Summit was supposed to give new impetus to the EU's economic policies and give new life to the Lisbon process. However, with war in Iraq attention of the Heads of State and Governments turned to the crisis in Iraq and the humanitarian aid situation.

Parliament failed to agree and adopt any resolution on Iraq.

Geoffrey Van Orden MEP said "Thankfully, the Left failed in its bid to undermine the actions of our troops in the Gulf. At this time of conflict we should be uniting behind allied forces fighting in Iraq - not trying to undermine morale. What a disgrace it is that there are so many apologists for Saddam Hussein in the European Parliament. Listening to them, I now understand the concept of the 'Big Lie'.

This is a conflict which could have been avoided had the international community spoken with genuine resolve and made it clear to Saddam that it was united in its determination to disarm his regime with all speed. But certain countries with selfish concerns prevented this from occurring.

We must now begin to look beyond the conflict, not just to the reconstruction of Iraq, but to the revitalisation of the transatlantic Alliance with solid foundations and credible capabilities to face the very real threats that confront us, without the distraction of a French-driven EU Defence Policy."

Staff Regulations - Harbour/Medina Ortega Report

This report supported the Commission's proposed reform package for modernising the EU staff regulations.

The Parliament voted to refer the report was back to committee due to the number of amendments that the Commission was rejecting.

Morocco Fisheries Agreement - Oral Question

The European Parliament voted through a resolution to amend the financial package of €197 million and to extend the date for its implementation.

Enlargement and the Budget - Brok Report

Following the Commission and Council statements on the budget and Accession Treaties, Parliament gave its assent to enlargement and also called for the enlargement process not to be delayed.

Sustainable Use of Pesticides - Van Brempt Report

Proposals to cut the use of pesticides were voted passed by the European Parliament, at the same time criticising the Commission's "lack of ambition" in its consultation paper.

Nonylphenol Ethoxylate and Cement - Lannoye Report

The Parliament voted through this report in which the Commission calls for a restriction on the marketing and use of nonylphenol/nonylphenolethoxylate and cement.

Restrictions on CMR Substances - Nisticó report

MEPs backed the report which recommends the approval of the agreement reached between the European Council and the Parliament on restricting the marketing and use of cancerous substances.

Combating HIV/AIDS - Caudron Report

Parliament supported calls for a series of compromise amendments to the Commission proposal aimed at speeding up the development of new clinical methods in the fight against HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis in developing countries.

Roger Helmer MEP said: "AIDS, Malaria and TB collectively kill more than 5 million people per year, 95% of whom are from the developing world.

The availability of new drugs is vital for the developing world, both in terms of physical availability and financial availability. We support this report as a means of achieving that and hope that it will act as a dynamic stimulus to the research into AIDS, Malaria and TB.

Although there are many diseases affecting different parts of the developing world, we are right to concentrate on these three prolific killers at this time within these budget constraints. It draws together key partners and I hope it will focus on genuine development in tackling these killer diseases.

We must now concentrate on making sure that this research is delivered on-time, within the budget and adds real value to advancements in this field."

European Public Prosecutor - Theato Report

This Commission's Green Paper on criminal law protection of the financial interests of the Community and the establishment of a European Prosecutor, was supported by MEPs.

Chris Heaton-Harris MEP said: "Everyone knows the European Public Prosecutor is the first step to Corpus Juris, which undermines the basis of the English legal system. If Europe seriously wants to fight fraud it should not waste time on a Public Prosecutor, but concentrate on reforming its accounts and managing its own money".

Tuna Tracking - Jové Peres Report

The European Parliament approved Commission proposals for a tuna tracking and verification system.

Neil Parish MEP said: "Consumers want to enjoy tuna in the knowledge that dolphins have not been harmed. If we are to take genuine steps to protect the dolphin population, it is essential that there are real checks and provisions in law. This system should put an end to any rogue fishing, and people can eat tuna without worrying about the impact on dolphins."

Removal Of Sharks' Fins - Attwooll Report

The European Parliament supported proposals for new legislation prohibiting shark "finning".

Plenary Highlights 10-13 March 2003
Plenary Highlights 10-13 February 2003
Plenary Highlights 13-16 January 2003
Plenary Highlights 17-20 December 2002
Plenary Highlights 18-21 November 2002
"Mini" Plenary Highlights 6-7 November 2002
Plenary Highlights 21-24 October 2002
Plenary Highlights 23-26 September 2002
Plenary Highlights 2-7 September 2002