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Summary

  1. Donald Tusk joins MEPs to debate last week's EU summit in Brussels
  2. In vote they call for weedkiller glyphosate to be phased out by 2022
  3. EU Commission announces 2018 legislative programme
  4. MEPs condemn killing of Maltese investigative journalist

Live Reporting

By Paul Seddon

All times stated are UK

Goodnight & coming up tomorrow

And with that, tonight's sitting comes to an end.

MEPs will be back tomorrow from 08.00 BST, when first up they will be debating plans for a new border system in Schengen area.

A debate on sexual harassment will follow, after which MEPs will take a position on the EU budget for next year.

People smuggling and economic policy will be debated in the afternoon.

MEPs will also debate EU trade talks with Australia and New Zealand.

MEPs debate motion on anti-Roma discrimination

Finally tonight, MEPs are debating an advisory report from the civil liberties committee about tackling discrimination against Roma people in Europe.

The draft says that the 10-12m Roma living in the EU are subject to “structural” discrimination in areas such as housing, education and employment.

It accuses member states – without naming countries – of a “lack of political will” in securing their rights and a willingness to blame them for their “social exclusion”.

Among its recommendations is the establishment of an EU truth and reconciliation commission to examine the “persecution, exclusion and disownment of Roma throughout the centuries”.

MEPs debate new chemical exposure limits

MEPs are now debating proposals to add eleven potentially carcinogenic materials to the list of substances subject to EU exposure limits.

The new legislation will also lower the existing exposure limits for hardwood dust and vinyl chloride monomer, which is mainly used to produce PVC.

The new standards will mainly affect businesses and workers in the construction, chemical and car-making industries.

MEPs have reached an informal deal on the new rules with member states which will be put to a final vote tomorrow.

MEP condemns 'attack on European democracy'

Debate on death of Maltese journalist

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Gianni Pitella
EBS

The leader of the Socialist and Democrat group, Italian MEP Gianni Pitella says the killing of Ms Caruana Galizia is an "attack on European democracy".

"Whoever carried out this attack is an enemy of Europe", he adds.

Dutch Liberal MEP Sophia in't Veld says the Maltese government must launch a murder investigation, but that the issue goes wider than that.

The European Parliament needs to continue her investigations into money laundering and corruption, she adds.

Commissioner backs calls for investigation

Debate on death of Maltese journalist

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Frans Timmermans
EBS

European Commission deputy chief Frans Timmermans says it appears Ms Caruana Galizia was killed by someone who "wanted to stop her reporting".

He says the European Commission "very much agrees" that an independent investigation into her death "must be the top priority now".

He says that "wherever useful", the EU's police and justice co-operation agencies are "there to help".

He adds that "too many journalists" are threatened in Europe, and that the right of journalists to report effectively must be guaranteed.

MEPs debate death of Maltese journalist

Protests in Malta
Reuters
The weekend saw protests outside the HQ of the Maltese police

MEPs have now been joined by EU Commission deputy chief Frans Timmermans to debate the protection of journalists following the death of an investigative reporter in Malta last week.

Maltese officials say they believe Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed by a bomb under her car that was triggered remotely.

A government spokeswoman has said this assumption was based on initial results of an investigation into the explosion in Bidnija, near Mosta.

Caruana Galizia was known for her blog accusing top politicians of corruption. European Parliament President Antonio Tajani has previously called for a full investigation.

MEPs debate costs of new EU building

The Europa building in Brussels
Reuters
The Europa building took over a decade to complete

MEPs are now discussing whether to sign off spending by the EU Council of Ministers and the European Council during the 2015 financial year.

The budgetary control committee has recommended, for the second time, that spending should not be signed off due to inadequate auditing information.

Their report, which will be voted on tomorrow, calls for a detailed breakdown of costs incurred by the delayed completion of the new Europa building in Brussels.

It also calls for the European Council budget to be formally separated in the EU’s accounts from the Council of Ministers, where national ministers meet to discuss new legislation.

Commission 'looking at' Turkey pre-accession funding

Debate on 2018 EU budget

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Gunther Oettinger
EBS

Responding to the debate, budget commissioner Gunther Oettinger says the Commission is "looking" at the issue of pre-accession funds to Turkey.

It should be a "special priority", he adds.

He says the Commission will also be producing a document showing where they is "wiggle room" to adjust programme spending, which should speed up negotiations.

How is the EU budget set?

The EU budget for each year must be within the limits specified by the long-term budget, the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), which runs over a seven-year period.

The long process over setting the budget normally begins each spring, when the European Commission publishes its initial draft proposals.

The national governments then take an initial position, normally in the summer, before the Parliament adopts its stance in the autumn.

If there is a difference between the positions, then “conciliation” talks begin, where the various participants thrash out their differences behind closed doors.

The European Parliament must approve annual budgets before they can come into force.

UKIP MEP: Make 'genuine cuts' to EU budget

Debate on EU leaders' summit

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Jonathan Arnott
EBS

UKIP's Jonathan Arnott says the issues raised in this year's budget debate are "pretty much the same" as in previous years.

Talking about EU spending as a proportion of gross national income (GNI) doesn't "tell the whole story" because the share compared to government spending is often higher, he says.

He calls for "genuine cuts" to the EU budget, as he believes project funding is "better and more efficient" coming directly from national governments.

EU states 'concerned' at MEP spending plans

Debate on 2018 EU budget

European Parliament

Strasbourg

On behalf of of Estonia's EU presidency, special representative Märt Kivine says national governments will focus on funding projects with the "highest European added value".

He says this includes promoting jobs and growth,security and migration - and notes that no "priority areas" will see funding cuts next year.

EU states are "significantly concerned" about budget increases proposed by MEPs, he says - although he says the gap in starting positions is not as big as in some previous years.

MEP: EU funds to Turkey 'should be reduced'

Debate on 2018 EU budget

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Siegfried Muresan
EBS

Romanian centre-right Siegfried Muresan, one of the European Parliament's lead budget negotiators, says their spending plans are "realistic and honest".

He says the European Commission's plan was a "good starting point".

He calls for more pooling of defence spending at an European level, as well as more cash for programmes in potential future EU countries.

However he says that pre-accession funds to Turkey "should be reduced" given that the country is "drifting apart" from the EU.

MEPs debate stance on EU budget

Euro notes
Creative Getty Stock

MEPs are now debating next year’s annual EU budget with the budget commissioner Gunther Oettinger.

Tomorrow MEPs will set out their position on spending ahead of formal negotiations with the EU Commission and member states.

Their draft position proposes to increase the budget proposed by the European Commission and reverse cuts suggested by the member states.

This would set the budget at €162bn in budgetary commitments, with payments made during the year to total €146bn.

Commission publishes 2018 legislative programme

European Commission tweets:

MEPs seek clarity on economic policies

Debate on 2018 legislative programme

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Udo Bullman
EBS

Portuguese centre-right MEP Jose Manuel Fernandes asks for greater clarity on the amount that will be given over to the euro area budget line.

German social democrat Udo Bullman says that he is in favour of the setting up of a European monetary fund.

However, he says that MEPs must "have some control" over how it is run.

EU labour authority proposals next year - Commissioner

Debate on 2018 legislative programme

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Frans Timmermans
EBS

European Commission deputy chief Frans Timmermans tells MEPs that before May next year the Commission will table a "limited" number of proposals in priority areas.

He says this will include proposals to enact a dedicated budget line within the EU budget for the euro area and a European Monetary Fund.

There will also be plans tabled to set up an EU labour authority, an initiative to give workers in the so-called gig economy greater access to social protection, and a proposal for "fair taxation" in the digital economy, he says.

Longer-term measures to be tabled include plans for a euro area finance minister.

Welcome back

Hello and welcome back to coverage of this plenary sitting of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

MEPs have been joined European Commission deputy chief Frans Timmermans to debate the EU executive’s legislative programme for next year.

Short speeches begin

That’s today’s voting session finished – MEPs will now have the opportunity to make short speeches explaining their votes.

After this there will be a break, after which the sitting will resume at 14.00 BST.

First up, MEPs will be joined by the European Commission’s deputy chief Frans Timmermans to debate its legislative programme for next year.

Just in time...

Labour MEP tweets:

More on MEPs' glyphosate demands

Environment committee tweets:

MEPs call for glyphosate renewal to be withdrawn

Voting session

Glyphosate result
EBS

MEPs also pass a non-binding motion calling on the European Commission to withdraw its proposal to renew the licence for the weedkiller glyphosate.

The EU chemical and food safety regulators have concluded that a renewal of the market authorisation is safe, but some MEPs have questioned the evidence used.

National governments are due to vote on whether to renew the licence this week.

Some MEPs have said documents released during a US trial involving American agrochemical firm Monsanto “shed doubt” on the credibility of studies sponsored by the company.

The firm manufactures Roundup, a weed killer which has glyphosate as a main ingredient.

Remembering Daphne Caruana Galizia

Scottish MEP tweets

Donald Tusk speaking in the European Parliament

Donald Tusk says the talks are the bloc's "toughest stress test" and the EU cannot become divided.

Read more

MEPs call for more information on jobs scheme

Voting session

MEPs also approve a report from the budgetary control committee which calls for “more precise information” on the effectiveness of an EU jobs scheme.

The Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) was set up in 2013 in a drive to tackle high rates of youth unemployment in certain EU countries.

It also says national authorities should make sure EU funds are not used to “replace” public expenditure, and local employers should be better used in the scheme.

MEPs agree to quota change on French overseas rum

Voting session

MEPs agree to ratify a request from France to retroactively increase the 2016 quota of rum from some of its overseas territories subject to a special excise duty.

A certain amount of traditional rum from places like Guadeloupe, French Guiana, and Martinique has been subject to special duty rates in France since 1923.

The quota for the lower duty rate is adjusted periodically.

However production last year exceeded the eligible quota by about a fifth, meaning pre-paid producers would be subject to higher taxes unless the quota is changed.

Tajani leads tributes to Daphne Caruana Galizia

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Antonio Tajani
EBS

European Parliament President Antonio Tajani begins the sitting by expressing his condemnation at the recent killing of investigative reporter Daphne Caruana Galizia in Malta last week.

Maltese officials say they believe she was killed by a bomb under her car that was triggered remotely.

Mr Tajani says Ms Caruana Galizia was a "courageous woman and an outstanding journalist".

He says an international investigation, possibly involving EU police agency Europol, should take place to bring the perpetrators to justice.

At his request, MEPs observe a minute's silence.

Votes soon

That’s this morning’s debate on last week’s EU leaders’ summit finished. MEPs are now taking their seats for today’s voting session, which will get underway soon.

Labour MEP defends Tory rebels

Debate on EU leaders' summit

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Richard Corbett
BBC

Labour MEP Richard Corbett defends the two Conservative members who were stripped of the party whip after endorsing the European Parliament's Brexit motion earlier this month.

In voting to say that not enough progress has been made to move onto trade talks, he says that the pair were simply "daring to tell the truth".

He adds that some in the Conservative party "actually want" a no-deal Brexit because they want to put "maximum distance" between the UK and the EU regardless of the cost.

Whilst some claim this is a negotiation tactic, he adds that this amounts to "holding a gun to your own head and saying 'give me what I want' or I will shoot myself".

EU's Brexit stance unfair, MEP Hans-Olaf Henkel says
The EU's stance to Brexit talks is "illogical, dangerous and unfair" and has to change, German MEP Hans-Olaf Henkel tells the European Parliament.

MEP warns against return of 'physical' Irish border

Debate on EU leaders' summit

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Matt Carthy
BBC

Irish Sinn Fein MEP Matt Carthy says any Brexit deal must not lead to a return of "physical manifestations" of the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

To do so would be an "economic, political and social catastrophe", he adds.

He tells MEPs that "all of Ireland" must stay in the single market and the EU's customs union.

Juncker 'appears sick of Brexit chat'

Guardian Brussels bureau chief tweets

Workplace rules to be adopted

European Parliament tweets

German MEP criticises EU Brexit stance

Debate on EU leaders' summit

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Hans-Olaf Henkel
BBC

German conservative Hans-Olaf Henkel says the time has come to criticise the negotiating strategy of the EU in the Brexit talks, which he calls "illogical", "dangerous" and "unfair".

In particular, he takes aim at the demand to settle a financial settlement before talking about a future trading relationship.

He also says a border arrangement between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland will require discussions on trade to take place.

"Nowhere in the world is there a border arrangement without a trade or customs arrangement - how will you ever get such an agreement without negotiations on trade?" he asks.

MEP: Don't wait for unanimity on migration reforms

Debate on EU leaders' summit

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Cecilia Wikstrom
BBC

There's an intervention from Swedish Liberal Cecilia Wikstrom, who is the European Parliament's lead negotiator on a proposed revision of the Dublin asylum rules.

The EU's Dublin regulation requires refugees to claim asylum in the member state in which they arrive.

Members of the home affairs committee recently took a position on changes to the system suggested by the EU Commission last year.

She says any new arrangements negotiated with member states must include automatic relocation of asylum seekers and "solidarity" between EU states.

A compromise should be put to a qualified majority vote rather than waiting for all the 28 countries to agree on a solution so it can be decided unanimously, she adds.

UKIP MEP: Theresa May 'surrendering' in Brexit talks

Debate on EU leaders' summit

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Ray Finch
BBC

UKIP MEP Ray Finch accuses Theresa May of "conceding ground" and "quietly surrendering" in the Brexit talks.

He says the "supine" behaviour of the British government will still leave the UK "subervient" to the EU.

He accuses ministers of "betraying" the voters who put them into government at the last election on the back of a promise that "Brexit means Brexit".

Predicting that negotiations over money will "poison" relations between the EU and the UK for years to come, he adds:

for the good of us all, we should shake hands and walk away"

German MEP: Citizens' rights 'must be properly enforced'

Debate on EU leaders' summit

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Gabriele Zimmer
BBC

Left-wing GUE group leader Gabriele Zimmer questions whether the "sufficient progress" test on the EU side is not simply a matter of "political discretion".

EU citizens should not have to "pay the price" of a no-deal Brexit, he adds, but any deal must ensure that citizens' rights are "properly enforced".

Verhofstadt in call to end 'Europe a la carte'

Debate on EU leaders' summit

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Guy Verhofstadt
BBC

Guy Verhofstadt, who leads the Liberal ALDE group and is also the Parliament's chief Brexit spokesman, does not mention Breixt specifically.

Instead, he describes what he calls the "structural problems" of the EU, and calls for the end of "Europe a la carte" and the "endless" opt-ins and opt-outs.

He also picks up on Donald Tusk's remarks about cutting the number of MEPs - adding that he expects the eventual outcome to be that favoured by the Parliament, not EU leaders.

Tory MEP calls for Brexit 'pragmatism'

Debate on EU leaders' summit

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Syed Kammall
BBC

On both Brexit and migration, Conservative MEP Syed Kammall says the EU has been "allowing idealism to get in the way of pragmatism".

He says that whilst it may appear "logical", the decision to sequence talks in two stages brings a risk that negotiators might become "trapped".

Instead, he calls for pragmatism and a greater focus from the EU side on British needs.

Pittella: 'Lack of preparation' on British side

Debate on EU leaders' summit

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Gianni Pitella
BBC

The leader of the Socialist and Democrat group, Italian MEP Gianni Pitella, blames the lack of progress in Brexit talks on a "lack of preparation" on the British side.

On the future composition of the European Parliament, he says MEPs "won't have the law laid down to us" by the European Council.

Tusk calls for fewer MEPs

BBC Brussels reporter tweets: