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Summary

  1. MEPs debate attempts to boost EU industrial strategy
  2. They later pass motions on three topical human rights cases
  3. Proposal to postpone vote on Azerbaijan motion rejected
  4. Committee report on EU investment plan approved

Live Reporting

By Paul Seddon

All times stated are UK

  1. Sitting ends

    And with that, this week's plenary sitting comes to a close.

    MEPs' next plenary sitting will be between 3-6 July in Strasbourg.

  2. Commissioner gives overview of rules

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis says that the terms of the current e-commerce directive should be interpreted on a "case-by-case basis".

    He says that "progress can be made" without re-opening the directive, and highlights areas where the Commission is working, for example, to see videos taken offline as a result of "anti-radicalisation" efforts.

    He says the responsibility of video-sharing website will be addressed in the current overhaul of a separate piece of legislation, the audiovisual directive - which is still being negotiated.

    The Commission is proposing a "limited" extension of responsibility that will help protect minors from harmful content, and the dissemination of hate speech more generally.

    Vytenis Andriukaitis
  3. Debate on online video platforms begins

    That’s the debate on the International Day of the Family finished.

    The second debate this afternoon is on the responsibility of video-sharing websites to prevent the dissemination of hate speech and harmful content online.

    The left-wing GUE group has asked the European Commission whether it believes the EU’s e-commerce directive should be revised in order to offer better protections.

  4. Commissioner: States can participate 'as UN members'

    Topical debate

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Representing the Commission, Food Safety Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis says EU countries can observe the day "in their capacity as United Nations members".

    He says that on the matter of the role of parents in education, the Commission is prepared to use existing schemes to support those member states who want to "deepen" parental involvement,

    He also points to recently-announced proposals to boost parental leave as an example of EU action to "modernise" laws in favour of the role of parents.

    In April the Commission proposed to give fathers the right to take at least 10 days off around the birth of their child, and introduce new leave rights for family carers.

    Vytenis Andriukaitis
  5. Welcome back

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

    There are only two short topical debates scheduled this afternoon, requested by two of Parliament’s political groups.

    The first, which will be getting underway shortly, is on the UN’s International Day of the Family.

    The Eurosceptic EFDD group has asked whether the European Commission would be prepared to come up with measures to “highlight the value of the ‘invisible work’ of the family”.

  6. Short speeches begin

    The voting session has now finished - MEPs will have the chance to make short speeches to explain how they voted.

  7. MEPs call for EU to consider law on 'fake news'

    MEPs also give their backing to two draft reports from the Parliament’s internal market committee.

    The first urges EU countries to provide “legal clarity” on the status of companies in the so-called sharing economy – but says regulation of new industries should not be “restrictive”.

    Technological changes in various sectors have prompted legal uncertainty about the status of people working for firms like taxi-hailing app Uber.

    The second asks the European Commission to consider using EU legislation to force internet companies to do more to stop “fake news” spreading on social media platforms.

    Social media icons
  8. MEPs back report on investment in EU

    Voting session

    Construction site

    MEPs also approve a report from two of Parliament’s committees on the EU’s flagship investment programme, which aims to boost private investment in the EU after the financial crisis.

    The scheme was set up in 2015, having been announced by Jean-Claude Juncker shortly after the present European Commission took office.

    It does so by using a certain amount from the EU budget and money raised by the European Investment Bank to stimulate financing for infrastructure projects and loans for businesses.

    The MEPs’ report says richer EU states have been the overwhelming beneficiaries of the loans from the scheme so far, and more needs to be done for central and eastern European countries.

  9. MEPs pass other human rights motions

    Voting session

    MEPs also pass the two other human rights motions they debated this morning, which condemn the death sentence recently given to a man in Pakistan accused of blasphemy, and the recent caning of two men in the Indonesian province of Aceh.

  10. MEPs call for release of Azerbaijani journalist

    Voting session

    MEPs begin the voting session by approving the motion they debated this morning condemning the recent arrest of exiled Azerbaijani investigative journalist Afgan Mukhtarli.

    A request from several political groups for the vote to be postponed is rejected.

    The request for a delay had been made by Johannes Hahn, the Commissioner responsible for EU enlargement negotiations, who visits Baku tomorrow.

  11. MEPs observe minute's silence for London tower victims

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    At the request of European Parliament President Antonio Tajani, MEPs observe a minute's silence to remember the victims of the fire at Grenfell Tower in west London.

    Mr Tajani also praises the work of those working in the emergency services, whom he says risked their lives to save others.

    Minute's silence
  12. Votes soon

    With the debates on this morning’s human right motions finished, MEPs are taking their seats for today’s voting session, due to begin at 11.00 BST.

  13. MEPs debate public caning in Indonesian province

    Debate on human rights motions

    A man is caned in public in Indonesia
    Image caption: Public caning has previously been used to punish gambling and drinking

    The third and final motion condemns the recent caning of two men in the Indonesian province of Aceh after being caught having sex.

    Gay sex is not illegal in most of Indonesia but it is in Aceh, the only province which exercises Islamic law. It is the first time gay men have been caned under Sharia law in the province.

    The draft motion says there has been a rise in violence and harassment of LGBT people in the country and notes that such attacks “have reportedly been stoked, directly or indirectly by government officials”.

    It calls for the province to amend its laws to decriminalise homosexuality and to immediately stop the practice of public flogging.

  14. MEPs debate death sentence in Pakistan

    Debate on human rights motions

    The second motion condemns the death sentence recently given to a man in Pakistan accused of posting blasphemous content on Facebook.

    Taimoor Raza was convicted after allegedly posting remarks about the Prophet Muhammad, his wives and companions within the site's comments.

    The public prosecutor involved said he believed it was the first time the death penalty had been awarded in a case related to social media.

    Pakistan resumed executions in 2015 following the Peshawar school massacre the previous year.

    A draft motion calls on the country to restore a moratorium on the death penalty, and recalls that reduced tariff rates with the EU under the GSP scheme are dependent on “effective implementation of international conventions”.

  15. Commission to 'step up diplomatic effort'

    Debate on human rights motions

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Elzbieta Bienkowska

    Industry Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska says the European Commission is "attentively" monitoring imprisonments and media freedom in Azerbaijan.

    She says that a number of "recent developments" run counter to previous "positive developments" since 2015, including the release of human rights defenders.

    "We will step up our diplomatic effort to return to this path", she says.

    She pledges that Johannes Hahn, the Commissioner responsible for EU enlargement negotiations, will raise the issue during a visit to Baku tomorrow.

  16. MEPs debate whether to postpone vote

    Debate on human rights motions

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    A number of MEPs have said they favour postponing the vote on the draft motion.

    Polish conservative Anna Elżbieta Fotyga is among them, urging the use of "silent diplomacy" with Azerbaijan.

    Dutch social Kati Piri democrat is among those who argue the vote should go ahead, adding that a postponement would "set a precedent which we shouldn't want".

    Kati Piri
  17. MEPs debate arrest of Azerbaijani journalist

    Debate on human rights motions

    Protests in support of Azerbaijani journalist Afgan Mukhtarli
    Image caption: Mr Mukhtarli's arrest has prompted protests from fellow journalists

    The first motion condemns the recent arrest of exiled Azerbaijani investigative journalist Afgan Mukhtarli.

    Mr Mukhtarli was arrested in Azerbaijan late last month on charges of smuggling, despite having moved to Georgia in 2015.

    His lawyer has claimed he was abducted in Georgia, before being taken to Azerbaijan where a large sum of cash was planted on him.

    A draft motion from six political groups calls for Mr Mukhtarli to be released and urges the Georgian authorities to launch an investigation.

  18. Debates on human rights motions begin

    That’s the debate on an EU industrial strategy finished.

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

  19. UKIP MEP: EU-wide strategies 'do not work'

    Debate on EU industrial strategy

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Raymond Finch

    UKIP MEP Raymond Finch says his colleagues should resist their urge to intervene, which he says only results in rules which hold industry back.

    Each country, he says, has different "strengths, circumstances and psyches", and EU-wide strategies "simply not work".

    Additional rules, he adds, only gift greater power to lobby groups and NGOs.

    "This incessant desire to do something is actually a drag on innovation and employment", he says.

  20. Commissioner: Industry 'well placed' in skills strategy

    Debate on EU industrial strategy

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Bienkowska

    Industry Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska points to the EU's main investment programme and the Horizon 2020 research budget as examples of European Commission help for industry.

    She also says that industry is now "well placed" in the EU's new skills strategy.

    However, she says that more important that these things is to "improve the climate for investors".

    She says that the efforts of the European Commission must be "joined by the member states".