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Summary

  1. MEPs debate report into petitions received in 2016
  2. Report into reducing car emissions also discussed
  3. Three human rights motions approved at vote
  4. One calls for Aung San Suu Kyi's Sakharov prize to be reviewed

Live Reporting

By Paul Seddon

All times stated are UK

Goodbye & see you in 2018

And with that, today's voting session comes to an end. MEPs will now have the chance to make short speeches to to explain how they voted.

After this the sitting itself will end - there had been a debate scheduled on a dispute over snow crab in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard (that's right), but it was postponed earlier this week.

This is also the last plenary action from the European Parliament for 2017 - MEPs will next be back in Strasbourg between 15-18 January, and we'll be covering then.

Thanks for joining us.

Motion on anti-child abuse efforts passed

Voting session

European Parliament

Strasbourg

MEPs also pass a report from the civil liberties and justice committee calling for more to be done to fight sexual abuse and exploitation of children.

It calls on member states to “step up” their efforts to implement a 2011 EU law on tackling abuse and removing child pornography from the internet.

It also calls for greater efforts to tackle the abuse of migrant children and for national judicial authorities to take “concrete measures” to tackle so-called revenge porn.

MEPs call for review of Aung San Suu Kyi’s rights award

Voting session

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Aung San Suu Kyi
EPA
Ms Suu Kyi won the award for her efforts to bring democracy to Myanmar

MEPs also adopt a motion condemning the “killing, harassment and rape” of Rohingya Muslims by the security forces in Myanmar.

The United Nations described the military offensive in Rakhine state, which has provoked an exodus of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya, as a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing".

Myanmar's military says it is fighting Rohingya militants and denies targeting civilians.

The motion calls on the Myanmar government to work with the EU and UN to allow “unhindered” humanitarian access to Rakhine for international aid agencies.

It also calls for “consideration” of whether the European Parliament can revoke the award of its Sakharov human rights prize, which it gave to Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi in 1990.

Her failure to denounce the military or address allegations of ethnic cleansing has been criticised by world leaders and groups such as Amnesty International.

MEPs pass human rights motions

Voting session

MEPs begin by approving the three human rights motions presented this morning, which:

  • condemn the recent jailing of an environmental blogger in Vietnam
  • express concern the dissolution of Cambodia’s main opposition party
  • condemn the imprisonment of women in El Salvador for miscarriages and stillbirths

Votes shortly

With the short debates on the human rights motions finished, MEPs there will now be short break before today’s voting session begins at 11.00 GMT.

Debate on abortion laws in El Salvador begins

Debate on human rights motions

Supporters of jailed woman in El Salvador
Reuters
Supporters of Ms Vásquez had gathered outside the court

The third motion condemns the sentencing and imprisonment of women in El Salvador who have miscarriages or stillbirths.

Rights activists say women are often prosecuted on suspicion of having undergone an abortion, which face a blanket ban in the country.

It comes after judges in the country yesterday rejected an appeal against a 30-year prison sentence for a woman jailed under the country's abortion laws.

Teodora Vásquez says she is innocent and that she passed out after she called an ambulance because of abdominal pains and awoke to find her baby dead.

The draft text lends its support to a draft bill which would legalise abortion after cases of rape or incest, or where the health of the women or foetus is endangered.

MEPs debate dissolution of Cambodian opposition party

Debate on human rights motions

A man near posters the Cambodia National Rescue Party and Cambodian People"s Party
Reuters

The second motion expresses “serious concerns” at a recent decision from Cambodia's Supreme Court to dissolve the country's main opposition party.

The Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) is accused of plotting to topple the government - charges it denies, and describes as politically motivated.

More than 100 party members are now banned from politics for five years.

The draft motion urges the government to reverse the decision, which it says is “evidence of further autocratic action” by Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has ruled for 32 years.

Debate on jailed Vietnamese blogger begins

Debate on human rights motions

Nguyen Van Hoa in court
AFP

The first motion condemns the recent jailing of an environmental blogger in Vietnam for conducting "propaganda against the state".

Nguyen Van Hoa had blogged about a toxic spill from Taiwanese Formosa Plastics steel plant in April 2016.

A court in central Ha Tinh province said that Hoa, 22, had produced videos calling for protests and handed him a seven-year sentence.

The draft motion calls for his immediate release and criticises the Vietnamese authorities for an “increasingly restrictive approach” to free speech.

MEPs to hear presentation of human rights motions

That’s the debate on emissions from the transport sector finished.

MEPs will now hold short debates on this month’s three topical motions on human rights cases.

Transport 'must contribute' to emissions reduction

Debate on transport emissions strategy

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Karmenu Vella
EBS

Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella says the transport sector "has to contribute" to the drive towards reducing greenhouse emissions.

This could also make the transport industry "stronger and more competitive".

"Global solutions" are required for reducing emissions in aviation, he says, and the EU is committed to working towards this in international negotiations.

MEP: Commission strategy 'very general'

Debate on transport emissions strategy

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Dutch Green Bas Eickhout says that the EU Commission's white paper on transport emissions is a "a good start" but "very general" on details.

"Words are nice, but deeds are more complicated", he tells MEPs.

He says the committee's report calls for this white paper to be updated in a number of areas.

A "very important message" of the text is that a move to make the transport sector more green can help the economy through creating new jobs.

Bas Eickhout
EBS

Debate on transport emissions begins

Motorway
PA

Next up is a report from the transport committee with recommendations for reducing emissions reductions from the transport sector.

The report says that transport is responsible for almost a quarter of Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions.

It calls on the European Commission to encourage the use of low-emission technologies and says driverless cars could be an “important asset” in improving efficiency.

Good morning

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

MEPs are first debating a report from the petitions committee about petitions it received in 2016.

A total of 1,569 petitions were submitted to the European Parliament in 2016, around a 9% increase on the year before.

Italians, Germans and Spaniards accounted topped the table for submissions – whereas single market rules, justice measures and fundamental rights were the most quoted topics.