David Martin MEP

Labour Member of the European Parliament and one of the six MEPs representing Scotland in Brussels and Strasbourg

Strasbourg Round-up

Round-up of the European Parliament Plenary Session, Strasbourg, 2 - 5 October 2017

European Parliament resolution on the progress of the Brexit negotiations

Any withdrawal agreement at the end of the UK-EU negotiations will need to win the approval of the European Parliament and MEPs debated and put to the vote a motion on the progress of the negotiations so far. The consensus was that that sufficient progress has not been made on the EU’s three key aims which have been made clear for some time. These are the safeguarding of UK and EU citizen’s rights, clarifying the UK’s financial commitments and resolving the Northern Ireland Border issue.

Pooling resources to fight cybercrime

About 80% of companies in Europe have experienced at least one cyber security incident, but many of them go undetected or unreported. The EU, its institutions, national governments and parliaments, companies and networks are acutely vulnerable to sophisticated attacks engineered by large criminal organisations or terrorist groups. MEPs voted for a resolution asking for firmer action to prevent cyber attacks on critical infrastructure and interference in democratic processes.to step up information exchange among the police and cybercrime experts as well as condemning any type of interference undertaken or directed by a foreign nation or its agents to disrupt the democratic process of another country.

Ryanair flight cancellations

MEPs demanded that the European Commission to exert the strongest possible pressure on national governments to ensure air passenger rights are fully enforced following the Ryanair flight cancellation crisis, which has affected 700,000 journeys. Under European Law, passengers whose flights are cancelled are entitled to reimbursement, re-routing or return – yet Ryanair initially failed to inform customers of their rights, only belatedly doing so following the threat of legal action from the Civil Aviation Authority.

Reverse 112 system

MEPs voted for the setting up of a new ‘reverse 112 system’ that would alert citizens in case of a terrorist attack or natural catastrophe. The Telecoms package also aims to make calls within the EU cheaper.

Parliament backs new rules for passenger ships

Although very infrequent over the years cruise ships and ferry disasters have happened, and in some cases search and rescue efforts have been hampered by in accurate or incomplete passenger lists. Under new EU rules voted for in plenary passenger data will be sent digitally to national authorities within 15 minutes of a ship’s departure. Technical standards have also been updated for ships’ construction, fire protection and stability.

Catalonian referendum

MEPs held a debate on the constitution, rule of law and fundamental rights in Spain. Parliament President Antonio Tajani deplored the excessive use of force, called for calm and profound deliberation and encouraged dialogue in Spain.

Endocrine disruptors

MEPs rejected a European Commission proposal that would have exempted some chemicals and pesticides from having to be assessed on whether they disrupt the endocrine system.

 

 

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