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Summary

  1. Hit 'Key Video' for Jean-Claude Juncker's presentation to MEPs of his proposed €300bn investment package to boost the struggling EU economy.
  2. On-demand video for the rest of the day's proceedings can be found on the Democracy Live website.
  3. Mr Juncker's speech was followed by a debate on the EU's position at an upcoming UN climate change conference taking place in Peru next month.
  4. Before the lunchtime voting session, MEPs welcomed Dr Denis Mukwege, a Congolese gynaecologist, to receive Parliament's top human rights award.
  5. The afternoon saw debates on the issue of Palestinian statehood and the 25th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  6. In the evening, MEPs debated the recent G20 summit, the digital single market and the current state of the EU steel industry.
  7. Text can be slow to load on these pages. Please hit refresh (F5) if live text does not appear below.

Live Reporting

By Paul Seddon

All times stated are UK

End of business

With that, the evening session draws to a close. MEPs will resume proceedings tomorrow from 08.00 GMT for the fourth and final day of this plenary session. Goodnight.

Protecting the industry

"We must protect the competitiveness of the steel industry in Europe" says industry and market commissioner Elżbieta Bienkowska, adding that she thinks the future of the industry in Europe must be based on "quality, know-how and skills".

Elżbieta Bienkowska
BBC

Catch-the-eye

Rosa D'Amato, from Italy's Five Star movement, is the last scheduled speaker on the list tonight.

We'll now have a short round of "catch-the-eye", during which MEPs who were not on the list to speak will have the chance to do so.

'Restrictions of regulation'

After highlighting his 20 years' experience in the steel-making industry, UKIP MEP Bill Etheridge says it is the "restriction of regulation" that has stopped the continent's producers trading competitively.

He proposes the construction of a "new generation of nuclear power stations" as a possible solution to the industry's long-term decline in the UK.

Bill Etheridge
BBC

Return to ship-building?

"I wonder if reindustrialisation of Europe means going back to what we know" muses Croatian liberal MEP Ivan Jakovcic, who underlines the former dependence of the steel industry on the ship-building industry.

'Pious promises'

The Commission's action plan has evidently not pleased French Front National MEP Dominique Bilde, who calls it the "umpteenth declaration full of pious promises".

Steel industry figures

As of last year, steel demand in Europe was 27% below the pre-crisis level, with employment having fallen in the sector by 10% from 2007 to 2011.

Despite this, the EU is still the second largest producer of steel in the world, with an output of over 177 million tonnes of steel a year, which is around 11% of global output.

Reinvigorated industry

Italian Socialist Roberto Gualtieri, who heads the Parliament's economic and monetary affairs committee, says he thinks the Commission's 2013 Steel Action Plan has played a role in reinvigorating the steel industry in Europe, but that the EU must now go "beyond" its terms to meet the new "challenges of the global economy".

Roberto Gualtieri
BBC

Commission report background

Tonight's debate follows on from the publication this summer of a Commission report on the European steel industry, providing an update on an action plan for the industry prepared last year.

It reported 60,000 job losses in the industry since 2007, with production dropping from 210m tonnes in 2007 to 166m tonnes last year.

Commissioner comments

Commission vice-president for the digital single market Andrus Ansip closes tonight's debate on the single market by lending his support for the Parliament's proposals on the telecoms market, adding that the single market needs to adapt to technologies "about to come on to the market in the near future".

That's the debate on an EU digital single market finished. The three resolutions will be voted on tomorrow.

The final item on tonight's agenda is a statement from the Commission on the state of the steel industry.

Economic benefits claimed

A

2010 study commissioned by the European Policy Centre claimed that the EU could grow its GDP by 4% by bringing about a single market for digital services.

Scrap roaming charges

Bulgarian centre-right MEP Eva Paunova signals her support for the abolition of roaming charges in Europe, which she says would be a "revolutionary step" towards securing greater economic growth.

Last April, MEPs

voted overwhelmingly to scrap roaming charges - which are costs incurred by people using their mobile phone when abroad - across the EU.

With the approval of EU governments, the aim is to scrap charges completely from 15 December next year.

Eva Paunova
BBC

'Anti-google' debate

Liberal MEP Kaja Kallas says she is disappointed the discussion this evening has turned into "an anti-Google debate"

She calls on MEPs to reject over-regulation of the internet, and says its institutions could learn from the example of Estonia - where she says there is culture of digital entrepreneurship.

Estonians today vote and pay tax online. Health records are online too - read more about developments

here.

Kaja Kallas
BBC

Top priority

Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has already said that creating a digital single market is going to be one of the

top priorities of the new EU executive, which took office at the start of this month.

What is net neutrality?

German Green Julia Reda says the EU needs a new law on "net neutrality" - but what is it?

The term is used to describe a situation in which internet users can gain access to all online services without experiencing a slower-than-usual connection.

The issue became widely known when national telecoms regulators began accusing Internet access providers of slowing down traffic for certain services - in favour of paid platforms.

The European Parliament

voted last April in favour of strict net neutrality rules, which now have to be agreed by the Council of Ministers.

Julia Reda
BBC

Time for a result

"It's high time the Commission came up with a result," says German Socialist Evelyne Gebhardt, in reference to the antitrust investigations.

She outlines her belief that if the EU's digital market is allowed to become dominated by a small number of companies, it will be difficult for digital entrepreneurs emerging from Europe's universities to become successful.

Evelyne Gebhardt
BBC

Ongoing investigations

Andrus Ansip - the Commission vice-president for the digital single market - mentions the Commission's

ongoing anti-trust investigations into Google, which it has been carrying out for four years, following complaints from some of its rivals.

Andrus Ansip
BBC

It has yet to deliver a verdict.

'Digital single market'

Such a "digital single market" would seek to create a single market for digital services across the EU, similar to the single markets the EU advocates for goods and services.

Following some changes to the agenda approved on Monday, this debate will now include discussion of three motions, which will be put to the vote tomorrow.

Two of the motions support the "unbundling" of the different activities of search engines, such as Google.

The MEPs say this would prevent the other commercial services that it provides - like YouTube - from benefiting from the company's dominant position in the search engine market.

The Parliament itself has no power to split up a firm in this way - but MEPs are hoping to put pressure on new EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager to take a tougher line against the American company, whose dominance is a matter of concern for some EU politicians.

Closing speech

Italian MP Sandro Gozi closes this debate on the G20 summit on behalf of the Council of Ministers by signalling his agreement with some MEPs about the need for a "change in economic approach" in the EU, and concludes by also giving his approval to the plans announced by Jean-Claude Juncker this morning.

He reiterates, however, the need for member countries to remain within the terms of the EU's Growth and Stability Pact, which limits public deficits of member countries to 3% of national GDP.

That's the statement on the recent G20 summit finished. The next item on this evening's agenda is a statement from the Commission on the "digital single market".

Sandro Gozi
BBC

Global commitment needed

Italian Socialist Nicola Danti says that restoring growth in Europe will not just involve internal EU policies, but also a "global commitment" involving countries around the world.

Nevertheless, he signals his approval for the investment package unveiled by Jean-Claude Juncker this morning, saying that he feels it represents a "volte-face" in EU policy, and evidence that it has left the "path of austerity".

Nicola Danti
BBC

'Globalisation agenda'

French Front National MEP Nicolas Bay strikes a melancholy note as he says that he thinks the only outcome of the G20 summit was the confirmation that the EU is wedded to a "globalisation agenda" founded on the continued "economic dominance" of the Unites States.

G20 background

The G20 comprises a mix of the world's largest advanced and emerging economies, which represent:

  • About two-thirds of the world's population
  • Around 85 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP)
  • Over 75 per cent of global trade

EU must be a 'pioneer'

German Socialist Peter Simon says the EU must be a "pioneer" on the issue of tax avoidance.

Recalling Jean-Claude Juncker's investment package to revive the EU economy, which he presented to MEPs this morning, Mr Simon says there is research to show almost three times that amount is lost by national governments due to low-tax arrangements enjoyed by some multinational companies.

Peter Simon
BBC

A 'message of confidence'

"The G20 sent a message of confidence whilst remaining realistic about the global economic outlook," says social dialogue commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis, who has stayed in the chamber to represent the Commission in this next debate.

He says that leaders at the summit emphasised the importance of "taxing profits where they are generated", and greater transparency on tax rulings and "automatic exchanges" of information on tax avoidance between countries.

G20 summary

On behalf of the Council of Minsters, Italian MP Sandro Gozi says that in a nutshell, the conclusions of the summit show that the top priority for participating countries remains promoting economic growth and jobs.

The main outcome of the summit was an agreement amongst leaders to boost their economies by at least 2.1% by 2018, adding $2 trillion to global economies.

G20 statements

MEPs will now move on to the next item on the agenda: statements made on behalf of the Commission and the Council of Ministers about the outcomes of the recent G20 summit, which was held in Brisbane, Australia.

Commissioner's comments

Social dialogue commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis brings this debate on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to a close by saying that the protection of children's rights remains a "top priority" for the Commission, which support the Parliament's "staunch support" for the principle, enshrined in the resolution which will be voted on tomorrow.

Valdis Dombrovskis
BBC

Catch the eye

That's the end of the scheduled speeches for this debate. MEPs who were not on the list to speak now have the chance to do so, during the five-minute 'catch the eye' procedure.

Non-ratification

There are only two UN member countries that have not ratified the original 1989 Convention: Somalia and the United States.

There are several reasons that might explain the lack of ratification in the US. Some say that, since US law already complies with most areas of the Convention, it is simply not necessary.

Elsewhere, it has also faced opposition from parental rights groups, who say that ratifying the Convention could undermine the role of parents, preventing them from disciplining their children or taking them out of certain sex education classes.

Supporters of the Convention deny this would be the case, and say that the document in fact contains numerous references upholding the rights of parents.

UN development goals

Spanish centre-right MEP Rosa Estaras-Ferragui mentions the UN's development goals - these goals, agreed in 2000, introduced time-bound targets for poverty reduction, and are due to expire at the end of next year.

Rosa Estaras-Ferragui
BBC

Convention protocols

In addition to the original text of 1989, there are two "optional protocols" to the convention - one that seeks to prevent children being involved in armed conflict, and another that seeks to prevent child pornography and prostitution, which both came into force in early 2002.

Some of the key rights included in the Convention include:

  • The right to free and compulsory primary education
  • The right not to be sentenced to life in prison or death before the age of 18
  • The right to a name and a nationality

The role of parents

German Conservative Arne Gericke, recalling Tuesday's address to the Parliament by Pope Francis, urges his colleagues not to forget the importance of parents in the upbringing of children.

Promoting rights for girls

Labour MEP Linda McAvan, recalling this morning's speech by Congolese gynaecologist and Sakharov Prize winner Dr Denis Mukwege, says she worries that there are still far too many countries in the world where girls in particular are being "left behind" in the upholding of children's rights.

She says she hopes the newly-appointed Commission will make it a priority in its external actions in developing countries to promote rights for girls.

Committee background

Countries that ratify the treaty have to submit reports every five years to a UN committee of independent experts called the Committee on the Rights of the Child, made up of 18 experts from different countries of "high moral standing".

The committee examines each country's reports, along with information from nongovernmental organizations and UN sources to identify areas of progress and concern, as well as making recommendations for how the lives of children could be improved.

Lack of protection?

Italian Socialist Caterina Chinnici uses her speaking time to draw attention to what she sees as the lack of protection for children in migration rights.

She adds that migration centres in Europe at the moment are not upholding decent enough standards.

Caterina Chinnici
BBC

Human Rights Watch stats

According to

Human Rights Watch, in the 25 years since the Convention was first signed:

  • the percentage of children attending school in the world's least developed countries has increased from 53 to 81%
  • the number of countries that prohibit corporal punishment against children has increased from 4 to 42
  • children born today are more than twice as likely to reach their fifth birthday, due to greater attention paid to children's health.

Importance of child welfare

Conservative MEP Timothy Kirkhope begins his speech by declaring that all MEPs should be able to "put aside" their political differences to agree on the fundamental importance of child welfare.

He adds that "more needs to be done" in the online world to prevent the abuse of children on the net, as well as with "third countries" (non-EU states).

Violation of rights

"The rights of children are still being violated in many parts of the world, including in the EU" says centre-right MEP Roberta Metsola, who is a co-signatory of the motion for today's debate.

She adds that she feels it is "shameful" that her own country, Malta, has not yet transposed into national law all EU legislation on preventing child abuse.

Roberta Metsola
BBC

Convention ratified

The Convention is one of the world's most recognised international treaties - with

194 countries having signed up.

The last country to do so was South Sudan, which ratified the Convention in November last year.

What is the UN Charter?

The Charter aims to protect children from abuse and violence, as well as guaranteeing rights to healthcare, education and a decent standard of living.

The UK signed the convention in April 1990, and it came into force in early 1992. All UK government policies and practices have to comply with its terms.

As Ms Mogherini mentions, all 28 EU member states have ratified the Charter. She adds that she sees it as her role to try, through the EU's external action, to help to promote further progress towards the terms of the Charter in developing countries.