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Summary

  1. MEPs debate revised EU energy efficiency labels for appliances
  2. They also debate a law implementing carbon reduction targets
  3. Debate on future eurozone reform during afternoon sitting
  4. Humanitarian situation in Yemen also discussed

Live Reporting

By Paul Seddon

All times stated are UK

  1. Goodbye & Coming up tomorrow

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

    MEPs will be back tomorrow from 08.00 BST, when they will first be debating the summit of EU leaders taking place in Brussels later this month.

    After this, they will discuss the implications of Donald Trump's decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement.

    Newly-elected Maltese PM Joseph Muscat will join MEPs in the afternoon to give his side of the story over corruption allegations that led him to call a snap election last month.

    The country is coming to the end of its time in the six-month EU presidency.

  2. MEPs debate Kosovo EU hopes

    Finally tonight, MEPs will debate another report from the foreign affairs committee, this time on the EU membership prospects of Kosovo.

    A landmark deal in 2013 paved the way for Kosovo to make progress towards EU accession – although it is not an official candidate.

    Five EU states do not recognise the breakaway Balkans territory, which unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008.

    Kosovo’s membership bid depends on normalising ties with Serbia.

    Relations may be complicated by the recent electoral success of Ramush Haradinaj, whose coalition of parties performed well in inconclusive parliamentary elections earlier this week.

    Mr Haradinaj served as a commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) during the war with Serbia in 1998 and 1999.

    He has been tried and acquitted twice at the UN war crimes tribunal at The Hague, although Serbia said it had further evidence involving civilian murders.

    Ramush Haradinaj
    Image caption: Mr Haradinaj has denied war crimes allegations and stepped down in 2005 to face the charges
  3. MEPs debate report on Serbia's EU accession bid

    Aleksandar Vucic
    Image caption: Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic, a former nationalist, now supports EU membership

    Next up this evening, MEPs are debating a report from the foreign affairs committee about Serbia’s prospects of EU membership.

    Since starting accession talks in 2014, Serbia has opened eight out of the total 35 chapters in its EU negotiations, and has provisionally completed two.

    A European Commission report published last year praised the country’s economic progress but stressed the need to further reform the judiciary, improve protection of minorities and more success at fighting corruption.

    The committee’s report expresses similar concerns, whilst also expressing concern about the country’s use of urgent procedures to adopt legislation.

  4. MEPs debate freedom of speech guidelines

    The Commissioner responsible for EU enlargement negotiations, Johannes Hahn, joins MEPs as they move on to their next debate, which is on a review of the EU’s freedom of expression guidelines adopted in 2014.

  5. MEPs repeat calls for EU arms embargo on Saudi Arabia

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    There's an outbreak of consensus, as MEPs from the Liberal ALDE, left-wing GUE and centre-right EPP group criticise EU countries that are selling arms to Saudi Arabia.

    The country is leading a multinational coalition carrying out airstrikes against Houthi rebels.

    German Christian democrat Barbara Lochbiler says states willing to sell arms to Saudi Arabia are "at risk of taking part in war crimes" against civilians.

    The US is the largest international supplier of arms to Saudi Arabia. The UK and France are the main European suppliers, while Germany has also licensed arms exports to the kingdom.

    The European Parliament backed a non-binding motion backing an EU arms embargo against Saudi Arabia in February last year.

    Barbara Lochbiler
  6. EU 'biggest donor' in Yemen

    Debate on humanitarian crisis in Yemen

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Christos Stylianides

    Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Christos Stylianides says that at a recent aid conference in Geneva, the EU pledged €430m out of over €1bn in commitments.

    This made the EU the biggest humanitarian donor in the crisis, he says.

    However, he says the EU "cannot act alone" and will be pushing for a "truly concerted international effort" in the area.

    He repeats the Commission's position that there will not be a military solution to the conflict, and calls for peace talks under a UN process to begin.

  7. Debate begins on humanitarian crisis in Yemen

    Hospital in Yemen
    Image caption: More than 8 million Yemenis lack access to safe drinking water

    Commissioner Stylianides will stay with MEPs to debate the humanitarian situation in war-torn Yemen.

    Two years of war between government forces and the rebel Houthi movement has left 18.8 million of Yemen's 28 million people needing humanitarian assistance and almost 7 million on the brink of famine.

    More than half of the country's health facilities are no longer functioning, with almost 300 having been damaged or destroyed in the fighting.

    The World Health Organization recently said there are over 100,000 suspected cases of cholera in the country, following the collapse of water and sanitation systems.

  8. MEPs back EU involvement in DR Congo

    Debate on instability in DR Congo

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Belgian Socialist Maria Arena says the effects of the transition agreement negotiated last year "have not yet been felt" and the government should stick to the commitment to hold new elections.

    She backs "targeted" EU sanctions on individuals over rights abuse.

    Spanish centre-right MEP Rosa Estaras Ferragut says all crimes should be investigated, and the EU should not be a bystander in trying to broker an end to the conflict.

    Rosa Estaras Ferragut
  9. Commissioner urges speedy investigations in DR Congo

    Debate on instability in DR Congo

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Commissioner Stylianides

    Commissioner Stylianides says he is concerned with the "serious upsurge" in violence in DR Congo.

    He says the succession agreement brokered by the Catholic Church last year remains the "only pathway" to a peaceful transition of power.

    He calls for quick and independent investigation of possible war crimes - a matter, he says, the EU is "pursuing" with the country's government both bilaterally and in international organisations.

    He says EU sanctions brought against nine government and security officials in May over alleged rights abuses could be lifted if they demonstrate they "have turned away from violence".

    Such sanctions are not a replacement for justice, he adds.

  10. MEPs debate instability in DR Congo

    UN troops in DR Congo
    Image caption: The UN operates a peacekeeping mission in the country

    MEPs have now been joined by Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Christos Stylianides to debate the political situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    DR Congo has been plunged into a constitutional crisis since President Joseph Kabila refused to step down after his term ended last year.

    A succession deal brokered by the Catholic Church, that would see Mr Kabila hand over power by the end of this year, has failed to resolve the crisis.

    A UN chief recently called for an investigation into massacres and crimes in the country’s central province of Kasai, where the government has been fighting the Kamuina Nsapu militia.

  11. Irish MEP calls for trust in EU science agencies

    Debate on EU chemical approvals process

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Estefania Torres Martinez
    Image caption: Spanish Podemos MEP Estefania Torres Martinez

    Spanish Podemos MEP Estefania Torres Martinez accuses the European Commission of ignoring the precautionary principle in its suggestion that Glyphosate might be renewed for 10 years.

    The controversy surrounding Glyphosate shows the EU is "dominated by agro-industry lobbies", she says.

    However Irish Fine Gael MEP Mairead McGuinness says the European Parliament should be "mindful" of the limited options for farmers.

    She adds that MEPs also "need to be careful" about putting EU scientific bodies on trial - adding: "We do have to have trust in these agencies."

  12. MEPs clash over chemical renewal

    Debate on EU chemical approvals process

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Julie Reid

    Dutch Green Bas Eickhout accuses the Commissioner Andriukaitis of "not paying attention" to the "huge scientific debate" on the safety of Glyphsiate since the 1980s.

    He says the documents recently revealed in the US show Monsanto was "unduly influencing" studies that were later used by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in its assessment.

    He calls for a "good investigation" of the role of the European Commission, threatening "otherwise we'll do it ourselves".

    However UKIP MEP Julie Reid says that the Glyphosate-based herbicides are currently a "necessary tool" for many farmers, and is "safer" than "earlier-used products".

    She says that it should not be taken off the market in the absence of an alternative.

  13. Commissioner defends 'strict' authorisation process

    Debate on EU chemical approvals process

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Vytenis Andriukaitis

    Health and Food Safety Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis says that the legislation under which chemicals are authorised in the EU is "very strict".

    He says the study by the UN agency raising doubts about the safety of Glyphosate was "fully considered" as part of the reviews by the EU agencies.

    He says the agencies say the industry-funded research about which more has been revealed in the US "did not have an impact" on its overall assessment.

    Food safety bodies in Japan, New Zealand and Australia have backed up the findings of the EU bodies that Glyphosate is probably not carcinogenic.

  14. MEP: 'Lack of transparency' can undermine approvals process

    Debate on EU chemical approvals process

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Miriam Dalli

    Maltese social democrat Miriam Dalli says that despite conflicting accounts of the safety of Glyphosate, it is clear there are "serious doubts" over its safety.

    She says that a "lack of transparency" over the approval mechanism, and the scientific research it is based on, can "erode public trust" in the process.

    Calling for an "independent review" of the EU agencies' assessment, she says the chemical should not be allowed to be sold on the market until there is greater certainty about its safety.

  15. MEPs debate approval of weedkiller chemical

    Next up MEPs are debating the research studies used by the EU’s food safety and chemicals agencies to determine the safety of the herbicide Glyphosate.

    The chemical’s safety certificate is due to expire by the end of the year. The European Commission is considering whether to extend it, which would allow its use to be authorised by national bodies.

    MEPs on the environment committee say 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.

    According to the MEPs, the industry-sponsored research was used by the EU agencies as part of an evaluation that concluded Glyphosate was “unlikely” to be carcinogenic to humans.

    This was in conflict with a study by the UN’s specialist cancer agency, which said the chemical may pose cancer risks.

  16. Socialist MEP backs eurozone finance minister

    Debate on future of the eurozone

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Another Portuguese MEP, the Socialist Maria João Rodrigues, says the eurozone is in need of what she calls a "proper fiscal capacity".

    She lends her support to the idea that the eurozone should have its own finance minister, who could also double as a senior member of the European Commission.

    She says this "makes sense" to her, but that the new position must be accountable to the European Parliament.

  17. Portuguese MEP denounces 'neoliberal' eurozone

    Debate on future of the eurozone

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Miguel Viegas

    Catalan nationalist Ramon Tremosa i Balcells says the EU would be better off using political capital to push through existing reform proposals, before attempting new ones.

    Miguel Viegas, from the Portuguese Communist party, says the current structure of the eurozone is "oppressive" and a vehicle to impose "neoliberal" monetary policy on participating countries.

    Eurozone countries should regain control over their currencies and monetary policies, he says.

  18. French MEP: Eurozone must be 'renewed'

    Debate on future of the eurozone

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Francoise Grossetete

    French centre-right MEP Francoise Grossetete says that "everything should be on the table" when it comes to changes for "renewing faith" in the single currency.

    However, she says that it will also be important that promises made are actually kept.

    But German conservative Joachim Starbatty says that sharing a single currency has caused eurozone countries to use the "wrong exchange rates".

    Greater sharing of risk will not allow states to "overcome" this fact, he says.