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Summary

  1. MEPs debate €100m financial aid package for Moldova
  2. Six advisory reports from committees debated later
  3. Included are suggestions for increasing scrutiny of private security firms

Live Reporting

By Paul Seddon

All times stated are UK

Goodnight & Coming up tomorrow

That's it for tonight - MEPs are back tomorrow at 08.00 BST, when they will review Malta's time in charge of EU presidency.

At lunchtime they will take a position on new tax transparency rules - and decide whether to formally approve MEP Mariya Gabriel as the new commissioner for Bulgaria.

In the afternoon they will discuss next year's legislation and budget.

An EU-Cuba co-operation deal will be debated in the afternoon, ahead of a ratification vote on Wednesday.

Short speeches begin

Finally this evening, there will be a round of short one-minute speeches from backbench MEPs.

This item of business, traditionally held during the Monday plenary sitting, is normally used by MEPs to make points about topical issues or stories of interest to their country or region.

EU needs definition of 'precarious' work - MEP

Debate on advisory reports

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Left-wing Cypriot MEP Neoklis Sylikiotis has drafted a report for the Employment Committee calling for an EU-wide definition of precarious employment.

The report says that non-standards forms of employment, such as part-time working and fixed-term contracts, have been on the rise in Europe in recent years.

It also calls on EU countries to endorse the International Labour Organisation’s definition of “fair work” when reviewing employment laws.

Neoklis Sylikiotis
EP

MEP calls for greater scrutiny for security firms

Debate on advisory reports

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Hilde Vautmans
EBS

On behalf of the foreign affairs committee, Belgian MEP Liberal Hilde Vautmans has written a report calling for more stringent EU-wide rules on using private security companies.

The report notes that the EU hires staff from such companies to carry out its external policies and guard delegations and staff outside Europe.

It recommends that the European Commission, as well as EU countries, should only contract companies that are based in member states.

It also calls for the Commission to publish an open-access list of all the contractors who “comply with EU standards” in regards to financial transparency and vetting staff.

The draft report will be put to a vote tomorrow.

MEP puts forward idea for durable products definition

Debate on advisory reports

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Pascal Durand
EBS

French Green MEP Pascal Durand has drafted a report on behalf of the internal market committee about ways to make products more durable and easier to repair.

The draft text recommends creating an EU-wide definition for “planned obsolescence” for things like software that would set out when a product is likely to become obsolete.

It also calls for greater standardisation of information about the durability of products across the EU.

The report will be put to a vote tomorrow.

MEPs debate advisory reports

Next tonight, there will be short debates on six non-binding “own initiative” motions prepared by the Parliament’s committees that will be put to the vote tomorrow.

These motions do not carry any legal force and are not binding on the Commission or on member states – but effectively serve as policy suggestions from MEPs.

MEPs call for more action

Debate on HIV, tuberculosis and Hepatitis C

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Romanian centre-right MEP Cristian-Silviu Busoi calls on EU countries to implement action plans to increase access to medicines and increasing levels of screening.

Portuguese left-wing MEP Joao Ferreira says the treatment of the epidemics has been worsened by austerity policies across Europe.

He calls for "substantive education programmes" and better access to more expensive innovative medicines.

Joao Ferreira
EBS

MEP: EU should 'change relationship' with drugs firms

Debate on HIV, tuberculosis and Hepatitis C

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Piernicola Pedicini
EBS

Italian MEP Piernicola Pedicini, from the Five Star movement, says fighting the epidemics more effectively will involve "radically changing" the relationship between political institutions and drugs companies.

Dutch centre-right MEP Annie Schreijer-Pierik says that "at a time of considerable migration" it is important to screen refugees for tuberculosis.

She says a screening process in the Netherlands "has actually produced good results".

Commissioner pledges 'further action' next year

Debate on HIV, tuberculosis and Hepatitis C

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis tells MEPs that the EU Commission shares the committee's concerns about the need to tackle the epidemics.

He says it is largely "the same people" who are affected by HIV, tuberculosis and Hepatitis C - citing poorer people and the homeless among "vulnerable groups".

The Commission, he adds, supports a more integrated approach that could "show synergies".

He says the Commission is supporting co-operation and research in this area, and will be announcing "further actions" next year.

Vytenis Andriukaitis
EBS

MEPs debate EU action on epidemics

MEPs are now debating efforts to develop a combined EU action plan for tackling HIV, drug-resistant tuberculosis and Hepatitis C.

In an oral question, members of the public health committee say that greater integration of prevention services could lead to “potential synergies and savings”.

EU health ministers agreed to work towards a policy framework in this area at a meeting in Slovakia last year.

MEPs will vote on a draft motion backing such a move on Wednesday.

MEPs debate IT standards

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Next up, MEPs are debating a report from the internal market committee on EU efforts to improve the effectiveness of the single market by working with national standards authorities.

This includes trying to make standards for services and IT technologies more similar in the different EU member states.

The report recommends that new IT standards should focus on promoting 5G wireless internet, cloud storage services, smart devices and cybersecurity.

The report, which is not legally binding, will be voted on tomorrow.

MEPs express corruption concerns

Debate on EU aid to Moldova

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Heidi Hautala
EBS

Finnish Green MEP Heidi Hautala says the EU's conditions for granting financial aid should be "more linked" to associated anti-corruption and democracy rules.

The granting of money "needs to be based on the trust that the money goes towards where it is needed", she adds.

Jonathan Arnott says there are "plenty of expectations" placed on Moldova for the cash, but expresses concern about the level of corruption in the country.

The solution to Moldova's economic crisis is not to give it what amounts to "foreign aid", he says, but for the country to become more competitive.

MEP asks for electoral law guarantee

Debate on EU aid to Moldova

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Daniel Caspary
EBS

German Christian democrat Daniel Caspary calls on the commissioner to clarify that the EU money will not be paid to Moldova unless conditions set by the Council of Europe's Venice Commission are met.

"We cannot allow the democratic situation to grow worse," he adds.

Another German MEP, the social democrat Knut Fleckenstein says it is up to Moldova to choose its voting system - but how it is implemented is important.

Commission 'shares concern' on voting system proposals

Debate on EU aid to Moldova

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Valdis Dombrovskis
EBS

Euro and Social Dialogue Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis says the Commission "shares the concerns" of MEPs about plans to change Moldova's voting system.

The government has been trying to change the voting system before elections next year.

The Council of Europe recently said the changes raised “significant concerns” that it could lead to constituency MPs being influenced by business interests.

Mr Dombrovskis highlights that the EU institutions has signed a declaration to accompany new financial aid which makes it clear democratic mechanisms must be respected.

MEP: Aid to address 'short-term vulnerabilities'

Debate on EU aid to Moldova

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Sorin Moisa
EBS

Romanian social democrat MEP Sorin Moisa says the slump in Moldova's economy is not just down to internal factors such as the banking scandal, but also external ones like Russia's ban on wine imports.

The EU loans and grants, he says, are designed to address "short-term fiscal vulnerabilities" in the country's economy.

He points out that even if the aid package is approved by MEPs this week, the first payment will not be made until December.

The money will be "immediately suspended" if the conditions attached to it are not met, he adds.

MEPs debate EU financial aid for Moldova

Moldova"s Prime Minister Pavel Filip in Brussels last month
AFP
Moldovan PM Pavel Filip (L) held talks with EU leaders last month

With the agenda having been finalised, MEPs now move to their first debate, which is on a plan to provide up to €100m in EU economic assistance to Moldova.

MEPs have agreed a package with national ministers that includes €60m in loans and €40m in grants.

The country – which is part of the EU’s Eastern Partnership programme – has seen its economy hit in recent years after political instability.

A huge banking scandal in 2014 saw the EU and the IMF suspend financial support, although this resumed last year.

The money comes with a commitment from Moldova to respect democracy and human rights standards. MEPs will hold a final vote on the package tomorrow morning.

Agenda changes approved

Opening of the plenary sitting

Mr Tajani also announces that Wednesday morning's debate on last month's EU summit will be put back - a request backed by political groups, which is unopposed.

He says that EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, as well as European Council President Donald Tusk will be in Paris for Simone Veil's funeral.

A request from the anti-EU ENF group for a debate on migration off the coast of Spain is rejected on a show of hands.

However, they approve a request from the left-wing GUE group to have a debate on Thursday morning about whale hunting off the coast of Norway.

MEPs observe minute's silence for Simone Veil

Opening of the plenary sitting

Minute's silence
EBS

At the request of Parliament President Antonio Tajani, MEPs observe a minute’s silence to remember former French MEP Simone Veil, who died last week.

Ms Veil, best known in France for her instrumental role in legalising abortion in the 1970s, served as the first president of an elected European Parliament.

Mr Tajani says she was "a great figure of our era".

He announces that there will be a remembrance ceremony held tomorrow before the lunchtime voting session.

Good afternoon

Hello and welcome to this final plenary sitting of the European Parliament in Strasbourg before the summer recess.

The sitting will begin with administrative announcements, after which MEPs will have the chance to request additions or changes to this week’s agenda or make points of order.

Proposals to add a debate to the agenda have to be made to the President at least one hour before the sitting opens, and can be tabled by one of the Parliament’s committees, one of its political groups, or a group of 40 MEPs.

In order to be formally added, an item must be approved by a simple majority – and can be done on a show of hands.