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Live Reporting

Paul Seddon

All times stated are UK

  1. Goodnight & coming up tomorrow

    And with that, today's session comes to a close.

    MEPs are back bright and early at 07.30 BST tomorrow, when they will first debate plans for new EU scheme to boost skills.

    They will also discuss the Nord Stream gas pipeline, and four topical human rights motions.

    One of the draft motions calls on Myanmar’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, to “unequivocally” condemn alleged attacks by soldiers on Rohingya Muslims.

  2. MEPs debate EU-Chile trade

    Finally tonight, MEPs are discussing a bilateral recognition agreement in trade in organic products between the EU and Chile, which will be put to a ratification vote tomorrow.

    They will also discuss a draft report from the international trade committee recommending updates to the EU’s 2002 trade agreement with the country.

    MEPs on the committee have recommended adding chapters on small businesses, investment and sustainable development.

    It also recommends using the new investment court system to resolve trade disputes.

  3. Erasmus 'must add value' - Commissioner

    Debate on Erasmus student programme

    Commissioner Navracsics says the EU Commission is "proudly celebrating" the 30th anniversary of the Erasmus scheme this year.

    Since its launch in 1987, he notes, 9 million students have taken part.

    In the future, the programme should focus on those areas "where the programme adds value" - citing priority areas such as technology and climate change research.

    Commissioner Navracsics
  4. MEPs debate Erasmus student funding

    Students at Liverpool university

    MEPs have been joined by Education Commissioner Tibor Navracsics to debate future funding for the Erasmus+ student exchange programme.

    Some MEPs are concerned about plans to use the funding for the programme to finance projects such as the EU’s new volunteering scheme.

    In an oral question, members of the culture and education committee claim that a “significant number of high-quality projects” are being denied funding due to a lack of funding.

  5. MEPs debate new North Sea fishing quotas

    Cod on a fishing deck

    MEPs are now debating multiannual fishing quotas for demersal (i.e. deep-sea) fish stocks in the North Sea, such as sole, plaice, cod and haddock.

    This would be the second multiannual management plan introduced by the EU since changes to the Commons Fisheries Policy in 2013.

    It would affect several thousand vessels from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK.

    MEPs will take their initial view on the quotas tomorrow, before talks with national fisheries ministers begin.

  6. Commissioner gives overview of EU aid

    Debate on EU response to Hurricane Irma

    European Parliament


    Commissioner Stylianides says that as well as satellite and on-the-ground support, the European Commission is mobilising funding to help affected islands.

    He says €160,000 was immediately made available to the Red Cross after the storms hit, with an "initial amount" of €2m also released for the "most affected" islands.

    "Longer-term funding" will also be made available, he adds.

    He notes that some parts of the affected areas are either part of or "closely associated" with the European Union through the UK, France and the Netherlands.

    Commissioner Stylianides
  7. MEPs debate EU response to Irma storms

    French Caribbean islands of St. Martin

    MEPs have now been joined by Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Christos Stylianides to debate the EU response to destruction in the Caribbean and US caused by Hurricane Irma.

    Last week the EU Commission said the European satellite mapping system Copernicus had provided maps to Guadeloupe, Saint Barthelemy and Saint Martin.

    Satellite imagery from the system was recently provided to the US authorities in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

    Humanitarian experts from the Commission are present in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

  8. MEPs debate new rules for investment funds

    MEPs are now debating EU legislation announced last summer which would amend frameworks for two types of investment fund.

    The first aims to help small fund managers invest in small businesses, whilst the second aims to promote investment in social undertakings.

    MEPs reached a provisional agreement on the new law in June, which they will put to a final vote at tomorrow’s voting session.

    They have agreed to increase the initial capital from €30,000 – as proposed by the European Commission – to €50,000.

  9. MEPs debate statistics programme

    MEPs are now debating plans to extend the mandate for the European statistical programme to 2020 – the current programme is due to finish at the end of this year.

  10. Disagreement over scope of Parliament text

    Debate on EU disability access rules

    European Parliament


    Tatjana Zdanoka

    Conservative Tim Dalton says the committee's position on the new rules is "realistic" and strikes a "very good balance" - and says his party's MEPs will be supporting it at the vote.

    Latvian Green Tatjana Zdanoka, however, says her group is "very disappointed" with the ambition of the Parliament's revisions and will vote against them unless the position is amended.

  11. MEP: 'Strong mandate' needed for talks with EU states

    Debate on EU disability access rules

    European Parliament


    Morten Lokkegaard

    Danish Liberal MEP Morten Lokkegaard says the new rules will need to strike a "difficult balance" between guaranteeing disabled access and ensuring the proper functioning of the single market.

    Businesses should not be overly burdened with "red tape", he adds.

    He calls on his colleagues to approve of his draft amendments to the Commission's text when they adapt their initial position at the vote tomorrow.

    A "strong mandate" will be needed, he tells MEPs, because some national governments are "very sceptical" about the proposed new rules.

  12. MEPs debate disability access rules

    A man withdraws money from an ATM

    MEPs are now debating new EU rules that would create 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.

    MEPs will take an initial position on the legislation tomorrow ahead of negotiations with national ministers, who have yet to agree a common position.

  13. UKIP MEP criticises 'tendering' of housing management

    Debate on fire safety rules

    European Parliament


    Tim Aker

    Former local councillor and UKIP MEP Tim Aker says the practice of "tendering out" the maintenance of state housing stock to outside organisations should change.

    "They deal in the profit motive instead of human welfare," he says.

    Such responsibilities should be brought back into "complete democratic control", he adds.

  14. Labour MEP calls for sprinklers in all buildings

    Debate on fire safety rules

    European Parliament


    Neena Gill

    Labour MEP Neena Gill calls for fire sprinklers in all buildings - both residential and commercial.

    She also urges "better fire testing methods" for building facades.

    Czech Liberal Dita Charanzova says the single market means building materials can circulate freely within Europe.

    She adds that this makes the case for an "EU-wide action plan" for improving fire safety, and calls for new testing rules for to determine whether building materials emit toxic fumes.

  15. EU 'a facilitator rather than a regulator'

    Debate on fire safety rules

    European Parliament


    Elzbieta Bienkowska

    Industry Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska tells MEPs that the fire safety of buildings is regulated and enforced at the national level.

    At the moment, the European Commission has "no proof" that national rules are not achieving this today, she says.

    The EU "will act" if intervention becomes necessary, she says - but adds that in this area, the EU executive sees itself as a "facilitator rather than a regulator".

    She says the Commission will be setting up an "exchange platform" to allow national regulators to exchange information about fire safety.

  16. MEPs debate fire safety rules

    Grenfell Tower

    Next up, MEPs are going to be debating what can be done at an EU and at national levels to improve the fire safety of buildings after the fire at Grenfell Tower in London in June.

    Police believe at least 80 people died in the fire in North Kensington.

    The government said last week that 165 tower blocks across the UK have failed cladding fire safety tests carried out after the disaster, with only eight passing.

  17. Austrian MEP: Greens 'want to ban diesel cars'

    Debate on new car testing measures

    European Parliament


    Georg Mayer

    Georg Mayer, from Austria's Freedom Party, which sits in the anti-EU ENF group, accuses the Green MEPs of not letting on their ultimate aims.

    "Just say it - you want to ban diesel cars," he says.

    New UKIP MEP Jonathan Bullock says it is right that firms who broke the rules should face "proportionate penalties".

    However, he says EU officials have questions to answer about reports that they were aware of problems in the testing regime before they became public.

  18. Green MEP: Deal with cars still on the road

    Debate on new car testing measures

    European Parliament


    Bas Eickhout

    Dutch Green Bas Eickhout says the "big question" is what to do with cars that are still on the road.

    "We have to do something about the millions of cars that are not compliant with European law", he adds.

    The European Commission should come forward with guidelines for new software updates for existing car models, he tells MEPs.

  19. Emissions scandal 'a failure of culture' - MEP

    Debate on new car testing measures

    European Parliament


    Daniel Dalton

    Conservative MEP Daniel Dalton says that, two years on from the original scandal, "a lot more work" remains to be done.

    New emissions testing requirements introduced this month are a step forward, he says.

    However he says the scandal also highlighted a "failure of culture" - with a "cosy club" existing between manufacturers, governments and regulators.