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Summary

  1. MEPs debate change to EU rules for creditors on bank losses
  2. Discussion on the bloc's disability strategy follows
  3. They vote to ratify the draft 2018 EU budget
  4. They also pass a motion on the humanitarian crisis in Yemen

Live Reporting

By Paul Seddon

All times stated are UK

Thanks & Goodbye

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

MEPs will meet next month in Strasbourg for the final plenary of the year.

Votes finish

And with that, today's voting session comes to an end. MEPs will now be able to make short speeches explaining how they voted.

MEPs condemn Saudi-led blockade in Yemen

Voting session

Aid delivery to Yemen
EPA

MEPs pass a motion condemning a blockade on rebel-held areas in Yemen imposed by the Saudi-led multinational coalition backing the president.

War between forces loyal to President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and the Houthis has left more than 20 million people in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.

Aid deliveries to rebel-held sea and air ports have since been allowed to resume, but only a few flights and two ships have so far arrived.

The motion says the blockade has led to a “further deterioration of the situation in the country”.

It also condemns the missile fired at the Saudi capital by rebels earlier this month, which prompted the coalition to impose the blockade.

It calls for the EU to continue to push for a resolution of the conflict under a process led by the UN.

Phase-in for new accounting rules approved

Voting session

Calculator sits on top of a financial newspaper
BBC

They also approve new EU financial rules designed to help firms who need to apply new international accounting standards.

International financial reporting standard (IFRS) 9 is due to begin on 1 January 2018.

The changes to EU rules will establish a phase-in period lasting five years, already agreed in a draft deal with member states.

MEPs ratify EU budget for next year

Voting session

Parliament President Antonio Tajani
EBS
Parliament President Antonio Tajani signs the budget after the vote

After reaching a draft agreement with national ministers earlier this month, MEPs ratify the EU budget for 2018.

Under the deal, future spending commitments have been set at €160bn. The EU will make payments worth €144bn during the year on existing projects.

This is slightly less than the European Commission originally proposed in July, but more than member states suggested in September.

MEPs had pushed for more money to be spent on research projects, jobless schemes and security agencies.

Pre-accession funds for Turkey have been cut by €105m, with MEPs having become increasingly critical of mass arrests after the failed coup in 2016.

MEPs approve grants for Greece and Finland

Voting session

MEPs approve a €2.5m grant for Finland to help retrain 1,660 employees that were laid off by two department store chains.

They also approve €2.9m in grants to help 725 people let go by nine retail firms in Greece.

The money comes from the EU’s globalisation adjustment fund.

Votes to come shortly

That's the debate on the EU's disability strategy finished - MEPs are now taking their seats for today's voting session.

MEP: Plans must be implemented

Debate on EU disability strategy

European Parliament

Brussels

Igor Soltes
EBS

Slovenian Green Igor Soltes says the EU needs to focus on improving access to unemployment for disabled people.

He argues that in a number of EU countries, national disability schemes are "simply non-existent".

"Fine words" will come to nothing unless they are implemented, he adds.

UKIP's Tim Aker takes aim at cuts to disability benefits in the UK, which he calls the "shocking reality of austerity politics".

Thyssen: 'General approach' on new access rules could come soon

Debate on EU disability strategy

European Parliament

Brussels

Marianne Thyssen
EBS

Employment Commissioner Marianne Thyssen tells MEPs the EU can be "proud of our achievements" on disability access, but existing schemes must be "fully implemented".

She says the European Commission will next year extend a pilot on the EU's disability card - a scheme to improve mutual recognition of disability being trialed in 8 member states.

She adds that she is hopeful that national ministers will agree a "general approach" on the new European Accessibility Act at a meeting next Thursday.

The European Parliament has already set out its position on the proposed law.

Debate on EU disability strategy begins

After a slight delay, MEPs are now debating a report from the employment committee about the European Commission’s disability strategy for 2010-2020.

The strategy set out ambitions to improve employment rights, access to services and training for people with disabilities.

Negotiations are currently ongoing over new EU rules creating minimum accessibility requirements for disabled people for a range of products and services.

The proposed European Accessibility Act would update requirements for ATMs, ticketing machines, mobile phones, TVs and banking services, among others.

MEP: Insolvency rules bring 'market discipline'

Debate on bank insolvency rules

European Parliament

Brussels

Gunnar Hokmark
EBS

Swedish centre-right MEP Gunnar Hokmark tells MEPs that in Europe, banks are an important source of investment in the economy.

The proposed changes will amend the EU's bank recovery and resolution directive - Mr Hokmark says the tweaks will provide "legal certainty" in the banking sector.

The directive, originally passed in 2014, has helped install "market discipline" in the sector, he says.

It has forced investors in banks to get away from the belief that "someone else will save you" if things go wrong, he adds.

Good morning

Frankfurt stock exchange
Reuters

Hello and welcome to coverage of this European Parliament plenary sitting in Brussels.

The sitting will be getting underway shortly, when MEPs will be joined by Investment Commissioner Jyrki Katainen to debate a tweak to the EU rules on the order in which troubled banks’ creditors must cover losses.

A new regulation will incorporate international standards applying to the biggest banks into EU law.

The change is meant to lessen divergences between national rules on unsecured debt holders and creditors.

MEPs will vote on a draft agreement reached with national ministers on the rule changes later.