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Live Reporting

By Paul Seddon

All times stated are UK

  1. Good evening & Coming up tomorrow

    That's the debate on antibiotics finished - the committee's draft report will be put to a vote tomorrow.

    That's where we leave our coverage for this evening...MEPs will be back tomorrow at 08.00 BST.

    They will be debating the EU's authorisation process for pesticides following the controversy last year over the renewal of the licence for glyphosate, a weedkiller widely used by farmers.

    They will also debate an internal market committee report about standardising food quality for branded foods across the EU.

  2. Commissioner: Superbugs 'serious threat' to worldwide health

    Debate on antibiotics restrictions

    European Parliament


    Vytenis Andriukaitis

    Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis says the growing resistance of certain bacteria to antibiotics poses a "serious threat to public health worldwide".

    Around 25,000 people in Europe every year die from infections from bacteria that have become resistant, he says.

    He says the EU's latest version of its antimicrobial resistance strategy brings EU "added value" to the fight against drug-resistant bacteria.

    He pledges to examine the committee's report, which he says contains "many valuable suggestions".

  3. MEPs debate report advocating antibiotics restrictions

    Image caption: Drug-resistant 'superbugs' were discussed at the last G20 meeting

    MEPs are now debating another report from the environment committee, this time advocating greater restrictions on the sale of antibiotics.

    The report says the EU states and the European Commission should work to reduce incentives to prescribe antibiotics, and calls for their use on animals to be banned.

    Antibiotics have been used to treat bacterial infections for 70 years but are becoming less and less effective, partially because of their widespread use in farms.

    The use of certain antibiotics, it says, should be reserved for the treatment of humans in order to preserve their effectiveness “for as long as possible”.

  4. Commission 'shares concerns' on plastic waste

    Debate on EU plastics strategy

    European Parliament


    Jyrki Katainen

    Investment Commissioner Jyrki Katainen says the European Commission and MEPs "share the same concerns" about plastic waste.

    More than 95% of the value of plastic packaging is lost when it is thrown away, he says - which "doesn't make any sense".

    He says he hopes the Commission's proposed EU tax on plastic waste for the next long-term EU budget will be approved - but that if not, member states should introduce it as a "national solution".

  5. French MEP: Don't blame consumers for pollution

    Debate on EU plastics strategy

    European Parliament


    French Socialist Eric Andrieu says it is wrong to "play on consumers' consciences" about plastic waste and says banning things like plastics straws will not solve the problem.

    Blaming consumers for pollution is a "neoliberal" idea, he says.

    Instead he says European businesses and industrial giants should take greater responsibility for the problem and change their manufacturing processes.

  6. MEP: Europe's use of plastics 'untenable'

    Debate on EU plastics strategy

    European Parliament


    Mark Demesmaeker

    Flemish nationalist MEP Mark Demesmaeker, who drafted the report on behalf of the committee, says the use of plastics in Europe is "untenable".

    The continent is responsible for almost 26m tonnes of plastic waste every year, which is having a "disastrous" impact on the environment, he says.

    Europe has previously "outsourced" its plastic waste to China but a recent ban on imports should be used as an "opportunity" to invest in better recycling capacity, he tells MEPs.

    The EU needs to use plastic in a more sustainable way and recycle more, he adds.

  7. MEPs debate report on EU plastics strategy

    European Parliament


    Plastic bottles on the beach

    MEPs are now debating an advisory report from the environment committee on the EU’s strategy for reducing plastic waste launched earlier this year.

    The plan, launched by the European Commission, would mean all plastic packaging should be designed to be recyclable or reusable by 2030.

    The committee’s report, which will be put to a vote tomorrow, also advocates a ban on micro-plastics in cosmetics and cleaning products by 2020.

    It also calls for new EU-wide standards for biodegradability and compostability.

  8. MEPs discuss data protection rules for EU bodies

    European Parliament



    MEPs are now debating a new set of rules for how the EU institutions should handle personal data.

    EU institutions and bodies are not exempt from data protection requirements but are subject to a specific set of rules dating from 2001.

    The European Commission proposed an update to these rules in early 2016, aiming to establish an equivalent level of data protection to the GDPR.

    Compliance with the rules is assessed by the European Data Protection Supervisor.

    MEPs have reached a deal on the rules update which will be put to a final vote tomorrow.

  9. Make research a priority - MEP

    Statement on 2019 EU budget

    European Parliament


    Jean Arthius

    French liberal MEP Jean Arthius, who chairs the budgets committee, says it has become a "ritual" for the governments to propose cuts to the draft budgets presented by the European Commission.

    Next year's budget should be "commensurate" with the bloc's political ambition and should make research a priority, he says.

    He adds that there is a need for adequate funding for the Erasmus student programme, where he says over half of eligible applications have to be turned down.

  10. EU budget commissioner 'grateful' for continued UK payments

    Statement on 2019 EU budget

    European Parliament


    Gunther Oettinger

    Budget commissioner Gunther Oettinger says the 2019 budget will be the first where there will be "ramifications" because of the Brexit vote.

    However he says next year's budget will be a "normal" one because of the UK's agreement to "honour their obligations" - for which he says the EU is "grateful".

    He says it must be a priority to allocate funding to the EU's Horizon research fund, and calls for EU states to spend at least 3% of their GDP on research.

    However he pledges that the European Commission will take a "critical view" of administrative spending, but in this area follows the lead of member states.

  11. Austrian finance minister defends EU budget plans

    Statement on 2019 EU budget

    European Parliament


    Hartwig Loger

    On behalf of Austria's EU presidency, Austrian finance minister Hartwig Loger says the European Commission has proposed a 3% rise from last year's budget.

    This, he points out, is a larger increase than that in many national budgets for next year, including that of Austria, which made the start of talks "difficult".

    The blueprint advocated by governments still represents an increase of over 2%, he says - with increased spending on energy infrastructure, research and other areas.

    There is however a need to limit "administrative expenditure", he says.

  12. MEPs debate next year's EU budget

    European Parliament


    Euro notes

    MEPs are now debating proposals made by governments last week for next year’s EU budget.

    Member states proposed that the EU should make payments worth €148bn during 2019 on existing projects, with future spending commitments set at €164bn.

    These overall totals are larger than this year’s budget, but would represent a reduction from the draft plan set out by the European Commission in May.

    In July MEPs called for spending on the Erasmus student exchange programme to be “at least doubled”, and for spending on migration to be maintained at an “adequate” level.

    MEPs will now negotiate with national ministers on a final version of the budget, which they are due to ratify before the end of the year.

  13. Catalan MEP: Precarious jobs threat to pensions

    Debate on EU pension schemes

    European Parliament


    Catalan nationalist Ernest Urtasun says the real challenge to pension schemes in Europe is not demographics but the precarious nature of many jobs today.

    UKIP's Tim Aker says many private pension schemes in the UK used to be "gold standard" before they were "raided" by former chancellor Gordon Brown.

    Public sector schemes have been "protected but under-funded", whilst the British state pension is now "one of the worst in the developed world", he adds.

  14. Socialist MEP: Migration can improve pensions sustainability

    Debate on EU pension schemes

    European Parliament


    Maria João Rodrigues

    MEPs are back from their lunch break, and are now taking part in a debate on the EU's pensions systems.

    Portuguese Socialist MEP Maria João Rodrigues says European state pension schemes are facing "difficult challenges", including pensioner poverty and aging populations.

    Migration, she says, if "properly managed" could improve the demographic sustainability of these schemes.

    German conservative Ulrike Trebesius says private pension schemes have been damaged by the low interest rates and the policies of the European Central Bank.

  15. Article 13 – what about that?

    Voting session

    They also backed a version of Article 13 – which puts the onus on web giants to ensure that content uploaded by web users does not breach copyright.

    The version of the article endorsed by MEPs says platforms should conclude “fair and appropriate” licensing agreements with right holders to cover content uploaded by users.

    These licensing agreements would not cover content uploaded for “commercial purposes”.

    Critics say this will require all internet platforms to filter content put online by users, which many believe would be an excessive restriction on free speech.

  16. Article 11 – what have MEPs backed?

    Voting session

    In the version of the copyright directive they backed earlier, MEPs voted to keep an amended version of Article 11.

    Article 11 is controversial because it forces online platforms to pay news organisations for linking to their stories, something critics refer to a "link tax".

    The version of the Article endorsed earlier says publishers should get “fair and proportionate” payment for digital reproductions of their work.

    It also specifies that this should not prevent “legitimate” private and non-commercial use of press publications by individuals, or extend to hyperlinks.

    These rights would expire five years after publication – rather than the original 20 years proposed by the European Commission.

    MEPs are divided over that the effect of this drafting will be.