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Summary

  1. MEPs debate this week's G20 summit
  2. Estonian PM leads debate on his country's forthcoming EU presidency
  3. MEPs set out legislative wish-list for 2018 in lunchtime vote
  4. Turkey's EU accession talks debated during afternoon

Live Reporting

By Paul Seddon

All times stated are UK

  1. Goodbye & coming up

    That's all from today's plenary sitting.

    MEPs are back tomorrow at 08.00 BST, when they will be debating new copyright rules for making books available to blind associations.

    Three motions on topical human rights cases voted on at lunchtime.

    MEPs will also decide whether to set up a new committee to examine EU anti-terror measures.

  2. MEPs debate ruling on EU-Singapore trade deal

    Singapore skyline

    Finally tonight, MEPs are debating a recent ruling from the EU’s Court of Justice (ECJ) that elements of an EU trade deal with Singapore will need approval from national parliaments.

    The court said areas in the deal covering indirect "portfolio" investments and commercial arbitration would require national approval before they could come into force.

    The European Commission negotiates trade deals on behalf of the EU.

    The Singapore deal is not as wide-ranging as the EU-Canada trade deal (Ceta), whose signing was threatened by objections in Wallonia, the mainly French-speaking part of Belgium.

  3. MEPs debate new 'double taxation' rules

    MEPs are now debating proposals to change the legal frameworks for settling cross-border disputes on “double taxation” within the EU.

    Most member states have bilateral tax treaties with each other in this area – but EU rules are limited to transfer pricing disputes.

    New legislation announced last year would extend the scope of the current rules, and introduce a legal obligation for disputes to achieve a result.

    MEPs will take an initial position tomorrow, ahead of negotiations with national ministers.

  4. Commissioner outlines EU response

    Debate on forest fires in Spain and Portugal

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Christos Stylianides

    Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Christos Stylianides says that Portugal requested help through the EU's civil defence mechanism and received assistance from France, Spain and Italy.

    He says that 7 aircraft, 29 vehicles and 135 fire-fighters were sent.

    In addition, a total of 61 maps from the EU's Copernicus satellites were sent to the Portuguese authorities to help fight the fires.

    A dozen maps were sent to Spain as well, he adds, with a further 14 "in the making".

  5. Debate on forest fire response begins

    Forest fire damage in Portugal

    Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Christos Stylianides stays with MEPs to debate the EU’s response to recent forest fires in Portugal and Spain.

    The blazes in Portugal claimed dozens of lives, with Prime Minister Antonio Costa calling it "the greatest tragedy we have seen in recent years in terms of forest fires".

  6. MEPs debate support for 'outer regions'

    View over Madeira

    MEPs are now debating a report from the regional development committee on ways to boost the development of the EU’s “outer regions”.

    Areas included under this definition – to which EU treaties apply – include the Azores, the Canary Islands, French Guiana, Guadeloupe and Madeira.

    These regions get around €13bn in total EU funding as part of the current long-term EU budget.

  7. Italian MEP: Travel cost 'an insult to taxpayers'

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Italian Five Star MEP Marco Valli also favours the single seat idea, branding the money spent on the monthly travel an "insult to people who struggle to pay their taxes".

    Former UKIP MEP and shortlived party leader Diane James says that Strasbourg would be a "totally inappropriate" location for the two UK-based EU agencies.

    Moving them to the French city would not lead to any operational cost savings, she adds.

    Diane James
  8. Belgian MEP backs agency swap idea

    Debate on single seat of the European Parliament

    Frederique Ries

    Belgian Liberal MEP Frederique Ries also gives her backing to the single seat idea, which she says has public support even in France.

    She gives her backing to an idea which has reportedly been floated among MEPs of moving the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to Strasbourg in exchange for agreeing to lose the Parliament.

    The EMA is currently based in London but the EU says it should leave the UK after Brexit and has even published criteria for selecting the next location.

    It is "now up to President Macron", she says.

  9. Tory MEP: 'Travelling circus' costs €114m a year

    Debate on single seat of the European Parliament

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Ashley Fox

    British Conservative Ashley Fox says that although the Strasbourg seat was a symbol of reconciliation, it has now become a symbol "all that is wrong with the EU".

    The "endless travelling circus" costs €114m a year, he says, and means MEPs are "held in contempt by our citizens".

    He says the first two speakers in the debate do not represent the position of their political groups overall, where he says a majority of members approve of having a single seat.

  10. French MEPs defend Strasbourg seat

    Debate on single seat of the European Parliament

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Commissioner Vella makes a perfunctory statement explaining to MEPs that the locations of the European Parliament are enshrined in the treaty and are for EU governments to change.

    French centre-right MEP Anne Sander is the first MEP to speak, branding the debate "ridiculous" because MEPs do not have the power to decide themselves where they sit.

    Moving the Parliament from Strasbourg would mean "having to talk about the seats of all the institutions".

    Another French MEP, the Socialist Christine Revault d'Allonnes-Bonnefoy says to move out of Strasbourg would mean losing a "symbol of Franco-German reconciliation".

    Anne Sander
  11. MEPs debate single site for European Parliament

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Person outside the European Parliament in Strasbourg
    Image caption: MEPs decamp to Strasbourg once a month

    Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella stays with MEPs to debate whether the European Parliament should be based in a single city.

    At the moment, the Parliament holds week-long plenary sittings in Strasbourg once a month, with MEPs meeting for the rest of the month in Brussels.

    MEPs themselves have repeatedly called for this practice to end due to the cost and inconvenience of shuffling to and from the two cities.

    However such a change would require unanimous approval from all EU countries to change the bloc’s treaties – and France is opposed.

  12. MEPs debate ways to implement UN goals

    Next this afternoon, MEPs are debating a non-binding report from the environment committee about how the EU can implement the UN’s new sustainable development targets.

    The recommendations include incorporating the targets into the EU’s budget monitoring process and its external relations with non-EU countries.

    The committee’s report has been drafted by the British Labour MEP Seb Dance.

  13. MEP welcomes green spending pledge

    Debate on EU development fund

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Arne Lietz

    Italian social democrat Daniele Viotti says the EU can have no true commitment to security "without a commitment to stabilise one of the most unstable regions in the world".

    Money paid should come with conditions attached on democracy and human rights standards, he adds.

    Another social democrat, German MEP Arne Lietz, says he welcomes the commitment in the legislation that 28% of the money must go towards supporting green projects.

  14. Commissioner: Fund will boost private funds

    Debate on EU development fund

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Neven Mimica

    International Development Commissioner Neven Mimica says the new fund will allow a "focused and effective manner" to get more private funds for development projects in Africa.

    He says the EU wants to leverage €44bn in private investment before 2020.

    He adds that scrutiny will be afforded by regular reporting to the European Parliament as well as a new web portal where investments will be listed.

  15. MEPs debate EU development fund

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    MEPs are now debating legislation to set up a new EU sustainability fund to finance development projects in African and Middle Eastern countries.

    The fund, which uses money from the EU budget as guarantees to secure private investment, is part of a broader strategy to combat what the EU calls the “root causes” of migration to Europe.

    MEPs have agreed a position on the new law with national ministers, which will be voted on tomorrow.

    As part of the talks they pushed for a greater amount to be spent on climate policies, and for the European Parliament to get observer status on the fund’s management board.

  16. Changes will give Erdogan 'Sultanese role' - MEP

    Debate on Turkish EU application

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Charles Tannock

    Conservative MEP Charles Tannock says the changes would grant President Erdogan the "Sultanese role" he has craved.

    The situation in the country is "too important" to ignore, he says.

    He adds that the EU should ensure its relationship with Turkey is dictated by its "common values" as well as by diplomatic necessity.

  17. MEP: Turkish visa liberalisation 'out of the question'

    Debate on Turkish EU application

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Fabio Massimo Castaldo

    Italian MEP Fabio Massimo Castaldo lends his support to the calls in the report to suspend accession talks with Turkey if the constitutional changes are implemented.

    Such a move is a "duty of ours", he adds.

    He also says the EU should make it clear that granting Turkish citizens visa-free travel rights is now "out of the question".

    The EU pledged to speed up Turkey's long-standing application for visa liberalisation as part of its controversial agreement with the country on migration.

    However, with deadlines having come and gone, travel rights have not yet been granted.

  18. EU 'will not ignore developments' - Commissioner

    Debate on Turkish EU application

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Johannes Hahn

    The commissioner responsible for EU enlargement negotiations, Johannes Hahn, says the Commission "shares the concerns" of MEPs about the state of Turkish democracy.

    He says the EU "will not ignore" developments, but wishes to keep an "open dialogue" with the country, with which he says the bloc shares a number of strategic priorities.

    He adds that the EU immediately declared its support for the Turkish government after last year's failed coup.

    At the same time, he says the EU should make it "crystal clear" that further improvements are expected if the accession process is to progress.

  19. Silence 'worst strategy' for EU - MEP

    Debate on Turkish EU application

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Dutch social democrat Kati Piri - who drafted the committee's report - says that, one year after the failed coup, Turkey has seen a "serious decline in democratic standards".

    However, she says the large numbers of people who have joined marches against the referendum result show many in the country are still opposed to the government's "authoritarian drift".

    She adds that for the EU, silence "would be the worst strategy" - since it not only leaves people in Turkey in the cold, but also fuels Euroscepticism.

    Kati Piri
  20. Welcome back

    Protesters in Istanbul
    Image caption: People in Turkey's three biggest cities rejected the changes

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

    First up this afternoon, MEPs are debating a report from the foreign affairs committee about Turkey’s stalled EU membership application.

    Turkey started EU accession talks in 2005 but have been strained by a government crackdown on journalists and public officials after a failed coup last year.

    The draft report – which will be voted on tomorrow – says accession talks should be suspended if the new constitutional changes to increasing the president’s powers are “implemented unchanged”.

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan narrowly won backing for the changes in a controversial referendum in April.