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Summary

  1. MEPs debate EU accession to the Istanbul Convention
  2. Extension to flight exemption in carbon trading scheme discussed
  3. Debate on whether to include forestry in EU emissions targets
  4. Advisory report on lobbying transparency outlined later

Live Reporting

By Paul Seddon

All times stated are UK

Goodnight & coming up tomorrow

With that, the first day of this week's plenary comes to an end.

MEPs will be back in action tomorrow from 08.00 BST, when they will debate EU grants for new WiFi hotspots.

This will be followed by discussion of new rules for gas crises, to be voted on at lunchtime.

In the afternoon, they will discuss North Korea's missile tests, migration, and relations with Turkey.

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.

Canete: Commission 'has led by example' on transparency

Presentation of "own initiative" reports

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Miguel Arias Canete
BBC

Responding, Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete says the EU Commission has "led by example" in its levels of transparency.

He says this includes boosting the transparency of trade policy and allowing members of the public to "provide feedback" on draft secondary legislation.

He says that a mandatory transparency register for lobbyists would be a "major step forward", but says a common approach between the EU institutions is the best way for this to happen.

MEP calls for stricter lobbying rules

Presentation of "own initiative" reports

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Sven Giegold
EP

German Green MEP Sven Giegold has prepared a motion on behalf of the constitutional affairs committee calling for greater transparency about lobbying in the EU institutions.

The draft text suggests that EU bodies should not endorse events from groups that have not been registered in the EU’s Transparency Register.

It also calls for such groups not to be invited as speakers, not to be permitted to host events on EU premises or take part in EU Commission advisory bodies.

It also says the “cooling-off” period for former EU commissioners – before which they are not allowed to take lobbying jobs – should be extended to three years.

Advisory motions to be presented

Next tonight, there will be short debates on four 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.

MEP: EU needs 'accounting system' for forestry sector

Debate on climate targets for forestry sector

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Norbert Lins
BBC

Another German Christian democrat, Norbert Lins, has acted as Parliament's lead negotiator on the regulation.

He calls for a "robust accounting system" to assess the contribution forest management can play in meeting climate change targets.

MEPs debate new forestry emissions requirements

Debate on emissions requirements for forestry

Forestry worker
PA

MEPs are now debating proposals to include forestry in the EU’s ambition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% below 1990 levels by 2030.

The new regulation would require member states to balance emissions and removals from the land-use sector over two five-year periods between 2021 and 2030.

MEPs have said member states should boosting CO² absorption so that it offsets emissions by 2030, in line with ambitions in the Paris Agreement.

They will take an initial view on the legislation on Wednesday, ahead of negotiations with national ministers.

MEP: EU should 'hold steady' on new international rules

Debate on aviation exemption for carbon trading scheme

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Markus Ferber
BBC

German Christian democrat Markus Ferber says the EU must not "leave the others too far behind" on the issue of carbon cutting in the aviation sector.

Any international system needs to be "durable", he says, adding: "We need to hold steady until others catch up with us."

MEP justifies time-limiting flight exemption

Debate on aviation exemption for carbon trading scheme

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Julie Girling
BBC

Conservative MEP Julie Girling, who is acting as Parliament's lead negotiator, says she "fully supports" the position of the EU Commission on this issue.

She says this involves extending the exemption until the new rules from the ICAO - whose internal negotiations she says are "not yet complete" - are better known.

Talks are "not well enough advanced" to know the shape of an international regime, and exemption will provide certainty for investors, she adds.

However, she says that her recommendation for a time-limit on the exemption for flights is necessary to keep up the time pressure on EU governments to get a good deal.

MEPs debate aviation exemption in carbon trading scheme

Exemption for flights in carbon trading scheme

A plane takes off at Berlin airport
Reuters

MEPs are now debating a proposal from the EU Commission which extends a measure exempting flights from the Emissions Trading System (ETS).

The ETS scheme works by making emitters buy “allowances” authorising them to emit greenhouse gases, within an overall agreed limit.

Flights to and from the European Economic Area (EEA) were included in the ETS in 2012 but have been temporarily excluded while international regulators draw up new emissions rules.

Environment committee MEPs have recommended that the extension should not run beyond January 2021, when new International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) rules come into effect.

They will take an initial vote on the proposals on Wednesday ahead of negotiations with national ministers.

The EU and the Istanbul Convention

Debate on the Istanbul Convention

The EU signed the Convention in June, but formal accession requires national ministers to sign off on the plan and for MEPs to ratify it.

In the draft motion, to be voted on tomorrow, urges ministers to speed up this process, but also raises concerns over the scope of the EU’s accession.

MEPs have repeatedly called for the EU to accede to the Convention, as well as for the governments that have not yet done so to ratify it.

MEPs drum up support for report

Debate on the Istanbul Convention

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Christine Revault d'Allonnes-Bonnefoy
BBC

The debate ends with the authors of the report resuming their main arguments.

French Socialist Christine Revault d'Allonnes-Bonnefoy says the success of the Istanbul Convention is "undeniable" and it was "high time" the EU acceded to the treaty.

Accession would allow the member states to "fully implement" the Convention, she argues.

Swedish centre-right MEP Anne Maria Corazza Bildt says the EU already has competency in judicial co-operation to combat certain crimes.

She calls for new EU legislation to "strengthen capabilities" when it comes to violence against women.

MEP: Adequate resources also required

Debate on the Istanbul Convention

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Angela Vallina
BBC

Spanish left-wing MEP Angela Vallina calls for accession to the Convention but says there is a need to "go beyond" the provisions in the treaty itself.

She adds that this why she is supporting the report drawn by the European Parliament committees, which calls on member states to adopt adequate financial resources to tackle the problem.

"We shouldn't engage in triumphalism," she adds.

Conservative MEP sets out opposition to report

Debate on the Istanbul Convention

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Conservative MP Julie Girling urges all member states to ratify and implement the terms of the Convention.

However, she says the report drawn up by MEPs proposes things that would go "way beyond the scope" of the treaty and risk encroaching on the rights of member states.

It is for this reason alone that she will vote against it at the vote tomorrow, she adds.

Julie Girling
BBC

Many apologies

We are experiencing some problems with our video stream at the minute, which we hope to resolve as soon as possible.

In the meantime, you can watch the debates on the EBS website here.

Differing views

European Christian Political Movement and Labour MEP tweet

Commission will 'push progress' towards accession

Debate on the Istanbul Convention

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Vera Jourova
BBC

Gender Equality Commissioner Vera Jourova says the Convention is the "best available tool" at an international level to fight against violence against women.

The European Commission will "continue to push progress" towards EU accession, she adds.

MEP: EU accession gives 'better legal framework'

Debate on the Istanbul Convention

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Anna Maria Corazza Bildt
BBC

Swedish centre-right MEP Anna Maria Corazza Bildt, one of the two MEPs who has drafted the report, says EU membership of the Istanbul Convention will provide a "better legal framework" to combat violence against women.

It is the "first and only" international act to criminalise violence against women, and recognise it as a breach of human rights and act of discrimination.

She also calls on "all member states" to ratify and implement it.

MEPs debate Istanbul Convention

Debate on the Istanbul Convention

EU and national flags
AFP

With no changes made to the agenda, MEPs move onto their first debate - a motion from the women’s rights and civil liberties committees recommending that the EU speeds up its ratification of the Istanbul Convention.

The Convention, which came into force in 2014, is an international treaty proposed by the Council of Europe aiming to reduce violence against women and girls.

Signatories commit to providing 24/7 helplines, giving the police the power to remove perpetrators from their homes, and setting up an adequate number of shelters and refuges.

All 28 member states have signed the Convention, and 14 have fully ratified it.

Supporters say getting the EU to accede to the Convention as well will improve the support available to victims and the effectiveness of data collection schemes.

Good afternoon and welcome back

Hello and welcome to this first plenary sitting of the European Parliament in Strasbourg after 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.