Chapter News

EU Plenary highlights: energy prices, tax revelations, Arctic

MEPs discussed solutions to the current energy price hikes as well as new tax avoidance revelations during October’s first plenary session.

Energy prices

Parliament approved an update of the selection rules for energy projects eligible for EU funding to support making cross-border energy infrastructure more sustainableIn a debate with Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson, MEPs stressed the urgent need to support vulnerable households in the EU faced with record high gas and electricity prices.

Tax revelations

MEPs discussed the Pandora papers revelations, documenting global tax avoidance and tax evasion, and slammed governments’ inability to properly reform outdated tax laws.

Arctic

Arctic states and the international community should preserve the Arctic as an area of low tension and constructive cooperation, Parliament said in a resolution adopted on Wednesday, underlining the the EU’s commitment to long-term sustainable and peaceful development of the region.

Gender-based violence and abortion rights

MEPs adopted a report calling for urgent measures to protect victims of domestic violence in custody battles. The report highlights the surge in violence by a partner during the pandemic and the difficulties in accessing support services and justice. Members also adopted a resolution expressing solidarity with the women of Texas and all the others involved in legal challenges regarding the recent restrictions on abortion.

Road safety

Road safety measures, including a 30 km/h speed limit in residential areas and zero-tolerance for drink-driving, are the way to reach zero deaths on EU roads by 2050, MEPs said in a resolution adopted on Wednesday.

EU-US relations

In a resolution on future EU-US relations, MEPs called for better coordination on China to avoid tensions, but also advocated strategic EU autonomy in defence and economic relations.

Cyber security and artificial intelligence

A common cyber defence policy and substantial EU cooperation on cyber capabilities are among the key issues needed for the development of a deeper and enhanced European Defence Union, MEPs stressed in a report adopted on Thursday. In a separate report, they demanded strong safeguards when artificial intelligence tools are used for law enforcement or border controls in order to prevent discrimination and ensure the right to privacy.

Belarus

Parliament urged EU countries to further strengthen targeted economic sanctions keeping the focus on the  main Belarusian sectors, in a resolution adopted on Thursday, and expressed solidarity with Lithuania, Poland and Latvia, as well as other EU countries targeted by the regime’s attempts to direct migrants and refugees towards the EU’s external borders.

Compliments of the European Parliament.