Article – Things we learnt in plenary: TTIP, Russia, Hungary, Fifa

EU-Russia relations were high on Parliament’s agenda this plenary week in Strasbourg. In two separate resolutions, MEPs called on EU member states to maintain their unity following Russia´s illegal annexation of Crimea and drew attention to the militarisation of the Black Sea basin. Meanwhile the debate and vote on Parliament´s recommendations for the ongoing Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations were postponed due to the high number of amendments.

The debate and vote on Parliament’s recommendations on the negotiations for EU-US trade agreement TTIP were postponed due to the  high number of amendments.  The text was sent back to the international trade committee to determine the next steps. The next committee meeting is on 15-16 June.

The EU must maintain a common front in the face of Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and create a plan to counter the country’s aggressive and divisive policies, say MEPs in a resolution adopted on Wednesday. In addition Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its enhanced military presence in the Black Sea pose serious risks to the EU’s security, MEPs said on Thursday, calling on the European  Commission and the European External Action Service to draw up a comprehensive EU strategy for the region.

On Wednesday MEPs called on EU countries to ratify the Doha climate agreement, setting targets for emissions reduction up until 2020, by the end of the year.

MEPs condemned Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s statements on the possibility of reinstating the death penalty in his country and asked the Commission to assess the situation of democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights in Hungary, in a resolution approved on Wednesday.

On Tuesday Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj addressed the plenary, expressing his gratitude to the EU as an important supporter and partner in his country’s transition to democracy.

Turkey should respect media freedom, freedom of expression and judicial independence and must put its reform process at the centre of domestic policy choices, MEPs said on Wednesday.

Reacting to Fifa corruption allegations, MEPs urged the organisation on Thursday to establish clear and transparent rules for awarding World Cups and called for the decisions to hold the 2018 World Cup in Russia and the 2022 in Qatar to be invalidated should evidence emerge that they were the result of corruption.

On Tuesday MEPs adopted a resolution on the EU’s post-2015 gender equality strategy, asking for clearer goals and more effective monitoring.

MEPs adopted on Tuesday a resolution asking the Commission for new tools to tackle counterfeiting, the sale of fake products via online platforms and the growing involvement of organised crime in countries outside the EU. In a separate report adopted the same day MEPs called for a new legal framework to combat online breaches of intellectual property rights within the EU.

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