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Summary

  1. MEPs debate EU defence research fund for 2019 and 2020
  2. Later: Debate on report urging 18 as universal age for marriage across EU
  3. Debates follow on climate diplomacy and a UN meeting in September

Live Reporting

By Paul Seddon

All times stated are UK

Goodnight & coming up tomorrow

Next tonight there will be short presentations of two policy reports, including one urging the EU to consider changes to copyright laws to anticipate the rise of 3D printing.

After this, MEPs will make short topical speeches.

However, that's where we leave our coverage for tonight.

MEPs will be back tomorrow from 08.00 BST, when the leaders of Bulgaria and Austria will make speeches during debates reviewing and previewing their respective EU presidencies.

MEPs debate priorities for UN meeting

European Parliament

Strasbourg

MEPs are now debating the agenda of a forthcoming session of the UN General Assembly in September.

On Thursday, they will vote on a resolution setting out their recommendations for the meeting.

Polish MEP criticises call for 'climate refugee' definition

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Polish MEP Jadwiga Wiśniewska, from the ruling Law and Justice party, critices the report for including a call for the EU to work towards an international definition of 'climate refugees'.

Providing such a legal definition would "only cause the migration crisis to deepen", she says.

"Please be reasonable," she adds.

EU 'to lead by example' on climate change

Debate on climate diplomacy report

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Miguel Arias Canete
EBS

Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete tells MEPs the Commission that tackling climate change is a "shared responsibility" at the global level.

The EU is determined to "lead by example", he says.

He says national European energy ministers have made clear that the Paris agreement will not be renegotiated.

MEPs debate report on climate diplomacy

Power plant in Germany
Getty Images

MEPs are now debating another committee report – this one on how the EU can gain a more important role in so-called climate diplomacy.

The report reiterates the EU’s commitment to the 2015 Paris climate deal despite Donald Trump’s decision last year to pull the US out of the agreement.

His decision, it says, gives the EU the chance to assume a “leading role” in climate action.

It calls on environmental concerns to be “integrated” into various EU policy areas, such as trade and development co-operation.

MEPs debate report on forced marriage

An Afghan woman at a shelter run by women for Afghan women
AFP/Getty Images

MEPs are now debating another report from the foreign affairs committee, this time on tackling “early” and forced marriages around the world.

It calls on EU countries to work with UN bodies to combat the causes of such marriages, which it says include “harmful traditions”, poverty and a “lack of regard for gender equality”.

Also included in the report is a demand for all EU countries to set 18 years old as a uniform minimum age for marriage.

People can get married aged 16 in various parts of the EU - although often this requires parental permission.

MEP: EU should give visibility to indigenous groups

Debate on report on 'traditional ownership'

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Portuguese Socialist MEP Francisco Assiss, who drafted the report, says indigenous peoples "often do not have voice".

He calls on the EU to help give them greater "visibility".

Romanian liberal Renate Weber says there should be "coherence" between the EU's trade and development policies in this area.

Indigenous groups should also be consulted on climate policy, she says.

MEPs debate report on 'traditional ownership' of tribal land

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Next up MEPs are debating an advisory report from the foreign affairs committee on how to protect indigenous groups from ‘land grabbing’ from foreign firms.

The report calls on the EU to recognise the right of indigenous peoples to own and develop lands that they “possess by reason of traditional ownership”.

It also calls on EU countries to back a declaration on “peasants’ rights” due to be voted on later this year at the UN Human Rights Council.

MEPs debate new system for farm statistics

A combine harvester near Duesseldorf, western Germany
AFP

MEPs are now debating a revision to the way in which the EU collects statistics about farms.

The statistics are important in shaping the design of the common agricultural policy (CAP), under which farmers claim EU subsidy payments.

The new system will introduce an agricultural census every 10 years, along with ad-hoc surveys.

Green MEP criticises financing of research fund

Debate on EU defence research fund

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Molly Scott Cato
EBS

Green MEP Molly Scott Cato says that despite the calls from the European Parliament, 60% of the money for the fund will come from existing civilian projects.

This is money that "could be invested in useful and peaceful projects", she says.

She says the policy is the product of lobbying from "powerful arms companies".

UKIP's Jonathan Bullock says the proposal should be rejected, calling it "another step along the away" in the eventual creation of an "EU army".

Commissioner hails 'compromise' in negotiations

Debate on EU defence research fund

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Elzbieta Bienkowska
EBS

Industry Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska says all three EU institutions have had to make compromises to reach agreement on the new fund.

She says that she is glad "most of the proposals" made by the European Commission in the original legislation have been kept in the final deal.

She says the new fund will help to give the EU greater "strategic autonomy" in defence, adding that Europe's defence industry is "fragmented".

She calls for the same "spirit of compromise" to prevail in negotiations over plans for a fully-fledged European defence fund.

MEP: Fund will avoid 'duplication' in research

Debate on EU defence research fund

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Francoise Grossetete
EBS

French centre-right MEP Francoise Grossetete, who has acted as the assembly's lead negotiator on the legislation, says EU countries have "come a long way on this subject" in recent years.

People in Europe "want to be protected in the face of new threats", she says.

The fund should reward "excellence" and avoid the need for "duplication" between research projects in different countries, she tells MEPs.

Around 10% of the total funding will be ring-fenced for smaller and medium-sized firms, she adds.

MEPs debate new EU defence research fund

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Eurofighter Typhoon (L) and a Dassault Rafale
Reuters

With the agenda approved, MEPs move to their first debate today on a €500m industrial development fund for European defence companies.

The two-year fund was announced last year as part of plans to increase military co-operation between EU members.

MEPs reached a deal on the legislation setting up the fund last month. The first projects are expected to receive funding next year if the deal is given final approval tomorrow.

After pressure from MEPs, projects will have to involve at least three different firms established in at least three member states to be eligible for funding.

Originally the European Commission said the requirement would be two firms in at least three states.

MEPs decline debates on Turkey and 'killer robots'

Opening of the sitting

European Parliament

Strasbourg

Gilles Lebreton
EBS

French MEP Gilles Lebreton, from the anti-EU ENF group, asks for a debate tomorrow afternoon on the recent elections in Turkey.

However the request is rejected at a vote.

Also rejected is a request from the Green/EFA group for a debate tomorrow morning on autonomous lethal weapons, otherwise known as "killer robots".

Good afternoon

Hello and welcome to coverage of today’s plenary sitting of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

The sitting will be getting underway shortly, when MEPs will hear administrative announcements and approve the agenda.

Proposals to add debates have to be made to the president at least one hour before the sitting opens.

They can be tabled by one of the Parliament’s committees, one of its political groups, or a group of 40 MEPs – it must then be approved by a simple majority.