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Summary

  1. MEPs call for EU leaders to move Brexit talks onto next stage
  2. They also discuss other topics for this week's EU summit
  3. MEPs adopt final report on Panama Papers tax inquiry
  4. In afternoon MEPs debate Schengen area and EU disaster response team

Live Reporting

By Paul Seddon

All times stated are UK

  1. Goodnight & coming up tomorrow...

    That's all for tonight - MEPs are back tomorrow at 08.00 GMT, when their first debate is on a report into petitions received in 2016.

    After this, they will debate a report from the transport committee with recommendations for reducing emissions reductions from the transport sector.

    They will also debate and vote on three human topical human rights motions.

  2. MEPs debate motion on tackling child abuse

    Finally tonight, MEPs are debating a motion from the civil liberties and justice committee calling for more to be done to fight sexual abuse and exploitation of children.

    It calls on member states to “step up” their efforts to implement a 2011 EU law on tackling abuse and removing child pornography from the internet.

    It also calls for greater efforts to tackle the abuse of migrant children and for national judicial authorities to take “concrete measures” to tackle so-called revenge porn.

  3. Debate on inquiry committee powers

    Next tonight is a short debate on the European Parliament’s powers to set up inquiry committees.

    In recent years the MEPs have set up committees to look into the emissions cheating scandal and various tax leaks, including the “Luxleaks” and the “Panama Papers”.

    However in an oral question a group of MEPs complain that the current framework for such committees is “outdated” and a process to reform it remains stalled.

  4. Commissioner underlines national obligations under EU law

    Debate on Nazi and fascist symbols

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Migration Commissioner

    Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos tells MEPs that the Commission shares their concerns about the "rise in racist and xenophobic" language.

    He says that under the EU's framework decision on tackling racism, EU states must criminalise publicly inciting to violence or hatred in their national law.

    This could include Nazi and fascist material, she says.

    However he adds that it is up to national authorities to implement this and they are responsible for investigating and prosecuting cases.

  5. Debate on Nazi symbols begins

    MEPs move on to their next debate, which is on whether there should be an EU-wide ban on Nazi and fascist symbols and slogans.

    The EU dropped plans for an explicit ban on Nazi symbols across the then 25 member states in 2005 after it became clear that members could not agree on which symbols to ban.

    There were also concerns that a ban was a threat to freedom of expression.

  6. EU scheme 'will not replace' national personnel

    Debate on EU disaster response team

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Christos Stylianides

    Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Christos Stylianides tells MEPs that the EU last year suffered an extended bout of forest fires, which he puts down to climate change.

    Climate change has "changed the game", he says, adding that "more unpredictable" disasters risk overwhelming national authorities.

    The current system, under which EU states volunteer resources, has "reached its limits", he says.

    The European Commission's proposal for an EU-managed pool of experts will "support and complement" national teams rather than replacing them, he adds.

  7. MEPs debate EU disaster response team

    Spanish firemen try to extinguish a forest fire in Spain
    Image caption: The EU co-ordinated a response to forest fires in Spain

    MEPs are now debating the EU’s civil protection mechanism – a framework for providing assistance to countries after natural and man-made disasters.

    This can include government aid, or the deployment of emergency service personnel or experts. Assistance is co-ordinated via an operations centre in Brussels.

    All 28 EU states are a part of the scheme, along with Iceland, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia, Macedonia and Turkey.

    Last month the European Commission announced plans for a revamped scheme, with a reserve of new civil protection capabilities managed by the EU.

  8. MEPs move to debate on anti-poverty goals

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Next up is a debate on how well the EU is doing to implement the UN’s new sustainable development goals (SDGs).

    The goals, agreed at the United Nations at the end of 2015, set new targets for tackling poverty, hunger, climate change and other global problems.

    The EU has reflected the targets in a plan called Agenda 2030.

  9. UKIP & Tory MEPs on the Brexit motion

    MEPs voting in Strasbourg
    Image caption: MEPs can vote on individual parts of a motion

    A number of British MEPs did not support the motion this morning, which recommended that EU leaders should move to the next stage of Brexit talks.

    Does that mean they don't want talks to progress? Not quite...

    In the European Parliament, MEPs get to vote on individual clauses in a motion before they vote on the final text in its amended form.

    As such, they may support elements in a motion but decide that they cannot give their overall support to the final text.

    Conservative MEPs have said they voted to move talks on but abstained on the final text because its red lines "interfere" in the talks and "set the wrong tone".

    As for UKIP - they say they voted against the motion, citing its "unacceptable demands" on the UK.

  10. Estonian minister: EU must respect national powers

    Debate on EU pillar of social rights

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Matti Maasikas

    On behalf of the Estonian EU presidency, Estonia's deputy minister for EU affairs Matti Maasikas, says EU states should do their "utmost" to make the pledges a reality.

    However at the same time, he says the EU must respect the competencies of national governments and the "diversity" of approaches in different states.

  11. Debate begins on EU social rights pledge

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    EU leaders hold the social rights document
    Image caption: The document was signed at a summit in Sweden last month

    Up next is a debate on the EU-wide pillar of social rights endorsed by EU states last month.

    The document commits states to promote “fair” wages, equal access between men and women to take leave for caring responsibilities, and the right to access “affordable” healthcare.

    However it does not contain new EU powers in areas such as minimum wage setting, employment rights or welfare policy.

  12. MEPs debate membership of Schengen area

    Customs post on the Swiss-German border

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

    First up this afternoon MEPs are debating whether Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia should join the passport-free Schengen travel area.

    European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Romania and Bulgaria should be allowed to join during his state of the union speech in September.

    The European Parliament has maintained since 2011 that both countries are ready to join but doing so would require unanimous agreement from EU states.

    The principle of check-free borders within the Schengen zone has come under increasing pressure in recent years due to migration from Africa and the Middle East.

  13. Votes finish

    That’s today’s voting session finished – MEPs will now be able to make short speeches explaining how they voted.

    After this there will be a break, after which the sitting will resume at 14.00 GMT with a debate on whether more countries should participate in the Schengen passport-free travel area.

  14. Motion objecting to kebab phosphates fails

    Voting session

    Kebab spit

    MEPs fail to endorse a motion objecting to a European Commission decision to authorise phosphate additives in frozen kebab meat.

    A resolution tabled by the centre-left and Green groups said authorisation should be withheld pending the results of a scientific study due by the end of next year.

    Some MEPs have health concerns about the additives and a possible link to cardiovascular disease, although this is disputed.

    However, the motion falls three MEPs short of reaching the absolute majority required to pass.

  15. MEPs call for Brexit talks to move to next stage

    Voting session

    Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker
    Image caption: Theresa May reached the interim deal after talks in Brussels

    By 556 votes to 62 with 68 abstentions, MEPs approve their motion recommending that EU leaders should move to the next stage of Brexit talks.

    It follows an interim deal on withdrawal issues agreed after negotiations between the UK and EU Commission last week.

    However the motion also sets out demands that the application process for UK settled status should be free of charge and rights should be extended to “future partners” of EU and UK citizens.

    It also says that a future relationship with the UK, including a trade deal, should be dependent on the UK’s “adherence” to EU law in a number of areas.

    They also add an amendment accusing UK Brexit Secretary David Davis of undermining "the good faith that has been built during the negotiations".

  16. Votes begin

    With the Sakharov human rights awards ceremony finished, MEPs begin their voting session.

  17. Venezuelan opposition to collect human rights prize

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    That’s the debate on the Brexit negotiations finished. MEPs’ draft motion will be the first to be put to the vote during the voting session, which will get underway shortly.

    Before that, however, there will be a short ceremony to award this year’s Sakharov human rights prize to political prisoners and democratic opposition in Venezuela.

    In April the European Parliament accused the government of using “brutal repression” against those protesting against the creation of a new constituent assembly in the country.

    Opposition activists say that President Nicolás Maduro has created the new body simply as a means to bypass the opposition-controlled National Assembly.

    Protests in Venezuela
  18. Barnier pledges draft for withdrawal agreement by January

    Debate on Brexit negotiations

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Michel Barnier

    Summing up the debate, European Commission Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier says Article 50 is the only legal basis on which a transition deal can be agreed.

    Without an agreement on a withdrawal agreement, he says, there can be no transition.

    Negotiations have not quite "reached the end" on the issue of citizens' rights, he says, and that final deals need to be included in the withdrawal agreement.

    The content of the interim agreement will go into a draft for a withdrawal agreement, which he hopes to present to MEPs by the end of January, he says.

    He switches temporarily out of French and into English, before describing the Prime Minister, Theresa May, as "courageous and respectable".