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Summary

  1. MEPs express concern for rule of law in Poland and Malta in motion vote
  2. Slovak President argues against radical EU changes during speech
  3. Debate on new carbon reduction targets for cars and vans
  4. Impact of Russia's EU food import ban discussed in the evening

Live Reporting

By Paul Seddon

All times stated are UK

  1. Goodnight & coming up tomorrow

    That's it for tonight, as the final debate comes to a close.

    MEPs are back from 08.00 GMT for their fourth and final plenary day tomorrow, when they will first debate the EU's partnership agreement with New Zealand.

    Debates and votes on three topical human rights motions follow.

    At the voting session they will also vote on the report on inequality they have debated this evening.

  2. Commissioner outlines EU support to farmers

    Debate on Russian food import ban

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan says that farmers have been supported by EU emergency measures worth €490m.

    The measures have allowed farmers to "adapt to the new market situation" caused by the Russian ban, he says, adding that farmers have not been left "totally on their own".

    He also notes that attempts to diversify markets for farmers have developed "more slowly" than expected, and there are existing "structural" problems of overproduction in certain countries.

  3. MEPs debate Russian ban on EU food imports

    Farm in France

    Finally tonight MEPs are debating the impact of Russia’s ban on food imports from the EU.

    The ban, which was first introduced in 2014 in response to EU sanctions over Ukraine, has been extended until the end of next year.

    MEPs on the agriculture committee have asked the European Commission what more it can do to help European famers offset “significant losses” caused by the ban.

    In an oral question, they say the ban has “aggravated” the difficult situation already faced by EU agricultural producers.

  4. Labour MEP: Introduce EU-wide 'child guarantee'

    Debate on inequality

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Labour's Julie Ward says that "growing inequalities" are not only bad for economic performance, but are also behind "rising populism".

    She also says that women have been "more impacted" by cuts to public services.

    She calls for the adoption of an EU "child guarantee" scheme.

    In the past, some MEPs have suggested such a pledge should enshrine the guarantee a things such as a proper diet or entitlement to free medical check-ups for children in poverty.

  5. UKIP MEP calls for 'clapdown' on zero-hours contracts

    Debate on inequality

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Tim Aker

    UKIP's Tim Aker calls for a "clapdown" on the use of zero-hour contracts in the UK.

    While the government considers them a form of employment, he calls them "an absolute disgrace".

    The contracts risk "going back to casual labour", he says, and have led to him hearing "heartbreaking" stories from some of his constituents.

    People deserve "decent, well-paid jobs", he adds.

  6. MEPs debate report on inequality

    MEPs now move to an advisory report from the employment committee about reducing inequality, which will be voted on tomorrow.

    The 7,000-word report recommends more funding for the EU’s youth unemployment scheme, to bring it to “at least” €21bn.

    The draft report also expresses support for the idea of a ban on zero-hours contracts and “the use of fixed-term contracts for permanent tasks”.

    It also calls for the establishment of an EU unemployment insurance scheme.

  7. MEP: Use 'success stories' as examples

    Debate on the Environmental Implementation Review

    Benedek Javor

    Hungarian Green MEP Benedek Javor says the Environmental Implementation Review (EIR) should highlight "success stories" to serve as examples.

    The EIR's two-year assessments result in reports generates reports to member states on how they can better apply EU laws in this area.

    The tool, he says, has the potential to improve levels of compliance with environmental law.

    He says there should also be a publicly-available "scoreboard" to improve transparency.

  8. MEPs debate implementation of environmental law

    Rubbish at the Kotsiatis landfill site in Cyprus

    MEPs are now debating a review into the implementation of EU environmental law by member states.

    Members of the environment committee say the review showed “implementation gaps” in how various EU rules are being applied.

    These were particularly prevalent in the areas of waste management, air quality, noise pollution, and water quality, they said.

    They have asked what the EU can do to fix the “root causes” of this, which they said included a lack of knowledge, data and co-ordination between local and regional authorities.

  9. 'Increasing attention' on EU voting forum - Reilly

    Debate on annual report of European Ombudsman

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Emily O'Reilly

    European Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly says that although the European Commission is the EU institution that attracts the most complaints, "increasing attention" is falling on the Council of Ministers.

    This is the name for the forum in which national minsters from the 28 member states meet to debate policy and vote on EU legislation.

    She says she is glad that in their draft motion to be voted on tomorrow, MEPs express support for her "strategic inquiry" into access to documents compiled by the Council's preparatory bodies.

    Greater transparency on decisions made in the Council could counter a tendency to "blame Brussels" for decisions made by governments, she says.

  10. Debate on EU ombudsman report begins

    Magnifying glass

    MEPs have now been joined by European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly to debate the latest annual report into the activities of her office.

    The Ombudsman is a body charged with investigating cases of maladministration within EU institutions.

    Tomorrow MEPs will vote on a motion from the petitions committee calling on all EU institutions to improve their rate of compliance with the Ombudsman’s recommendations.

    It also repeats a call from MEPs for greater legal protection for whistle-blowers to be introduced at an EU level.

  11. MEP praises 'technology-neutral' plans

    Debate on carbon emission targets

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Henna Virkkunen

    Centre-right Finnish MEP Henna Virkkunen backs the "technology-neutral" approach taken by the European Commission in the latest targets.

    This will allow manufacturers to make their own choices on achieving the targets, she says, and is "the right way to do things".

    The plans also find favour from Italian social democrat Isabella de Monte, who says they will "stimulate innovation" in industry.

  12. Commissioner hails 'ambitious' new targets

    Debate on carbon emission targets

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Energy Union Commissioner Maros Sefcovic says the new announcement sends a "clear signal" to investors and industry.

    The new targets are "highly ambitious but not disruptive", with manufacturers given time to adjust.

    He calls on the European Parliament to act "swifty" alongside national governments to pass the new targets into law.

    He calls for the EU to become a leader in the manufacture of green batteries.

    Maros Sefcovic
  13. Debate on new carbon emission targets begins

    Traffic outside Paris

    MEPs are now debating new carbon emissions reduction target for cars and vans announced by the European Commission last week.

    Under the plans, carbon dioxide emissions should be 30% lower by 2030 compared to their level in 2021.

    The Commission said the new measures would help the EU to fulfil an existing commitment to reduce its CO2 emissions by 40% by the year 2030, compared to 1990 levels.

    The proposals will have to be agreed to by the European Parliament and national energy ministers before they can come into force.

  14. Criticism of communist stance

    Debate on anniversary of Russian revolution

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Tim Aker

    UKIP's Tim Aker criticises communist MEPs for using freedom of speech to "extol" a Soviet regime which took this right "from millions of people".

    "They should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves," he adds.

    Centre-right Estonian MEP Tunne Kelam says Soviet rule was "based on violence and lies".

    He says communists cannot even paint the beginning of the revolution as glorious, he says, with 300,000 political executions in two years after the Bolsheviks seized power.

  15. Row follows intervention from communist MEP

    Debate on anniversary of Russian revolution

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    There's a first intervention from a member of the GUE/NGL political group, which houses among its number MEPs from European communist parties.

    Cypriot MEP Neoklis Sylikiotis, from the communist Progressive Party of Working People, says the October revolution "overturned the rotten capitalist system".

    The left should be "inspired by the October revolution", he says, which "freed huge amounts of productive forces" in Russia.

    His speaking time runs out and he is cut off, sparking an argument with committee chair Pavel Telicka.

    Another member of the GUE group, Portuguese communist João Ferreira, accuses Mr Telicka of not chairing the debate in an impartial manner.

  16. MEPs observe minute's silence during debate

    Debate on anniversary of Russian revolution

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Petras Ausrevicius

    Lithuanian liberal Petras Ausrevicius says the Bolsheviks' seizure of power led to the "most brutal period of the 20th century".

    At his request, fellow liberal MEP Pavel Telicka, who is chairing the debate, grants a minute's silence in the middle of the debate to remember the victims of totalitarianism.

  17. Timmermans: Past 'should never be forgotten'

    Debate on anniversary of Russian revolution

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Frans Timmermans

    European Commission deputy chief Frans Timmermans tells MEPs that national authorities should make sure Europe's totalitarian past is "never forgotten".

    The people of Russia made sacrifices "on a scale that numbs the mind" to defeat Nazi Germany, but this does not change the "baleful" nature of the Soviet regime, he says.

    The transition in eastern and central Europe towards democracy and a social market economy has been "a miracle", he adds.

  18. Estonian minister warns on political extremism

    Debate on anniversary of Russian revolution

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Matti Maasikas

    Estonia's deputy minister for EU affairs, Matti Maasikas, says he was born in 1967 into the "Orwellian society" of Soviet Estonia.

    His tells MEPs that the slogans of the 1917 revolution led ultimately to "destruction, famine and war".

    He says the revolution also led to the division of Europe, which was overcome by the formation of the EU - whose rotating presidency his country now currently holds.

    He moves into a general denunciation of populism, extremism and the impact of "fake news", which he says need to be "countered on many different levels".

  19. MEPs debate legacy of Russian revolution

    Russian Communists rally in Moscow
    Image caption: Russian Communists marked the anniversary with a rally last week

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

    First up this afternoon they will be debating the legacy of the Russian revolution, one hundred years after the Bolsheviks seized power and created the world's first Marxist state.

  20. Votes finish

    That’s today’s voting session finished – MEPs will now have to the chance to make short speeches to explain how they voted.

    After a break the sitting will then resume at 14.00 GMT with a debate on the legacy of the 1917 Russian revolution.