The opening day of the November plenary session began at 16.00 GMT.
MEPs first debated a motion of no confidence in the newly-installed European Commission, ahead of a vote to be held on Thursday.
This was followed by debates on the UN's post-2015 development strategy and EU spending on infrastructure projects.
After Commission statements on the EU steel industry and legislative impact assessments, the evening session closed with a round of topical speeches.
Please find on-demand video for the no confidence debate below. Video for the afternoon and evening sessions can be found on the BBC Democracy Live website.
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By Paul Seddon
All times stated are UK
Goodbye for now
That's the final topical speech finished, and Parliament Vice-President Sylvie Guillaume duly closes this evening's sitting.
You can join us tomorrow morning from 08.00 GMT for the second day of this plenary session.
Pope Francis's speech to the Parliament is expected to begin at around 10.15 GMT. Goodnight.
Slovenian MEP Patricija Šulin uses her speech to warn, 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, that she feels the development of a genuinely democratic system in Slovenia has still not been achieved, with certain "authoritarian structures" still in existence.
Irish Fine Geal MEP Brian Hayes uses his chance to speak to praise an operation from the European anti-fraud office to combat cigarette smuggling.
That's the Commission's statement on impact assessments finished.
MEPs will now close today's session with a round of short speeches.
Under the Parliament's one-minute speech rule, MEPs can make short speeches on any subject that pleases them, if they can get the attention of the acting president.
It's normally the time for members to raise a subject relevant to their country or constituency, or of personal interest to them.
Switching briefly into French to thank the translators of tonight's debate, Frans Timmermans closes the debate in English, saying he is "fully conscious of the fact" that the Commission needs to do a better job in its guidelines for legislative impact assessments.
He also adds that he thinks it is possible to improve the efficiency of the Commission's "impact assessment boards", which also look at the social and environmental impact of EU laws.
On the subject of financial targets, he says that better regulation does not necessarily mean "deregulation, or even less regulation", but in many cases a simplification of existing rules to make them easier for businesses to comply with.
Catch the eye speeches
We'll now have a round of "catch the eye" speeches, after which Frans Timmermans will close this debate on behalf of the Commission.
Problems for SMEs
Slovakian centre-right MEP Ivan Štefanec is the latest in a line of members to make a very similar point: that small and medium sized industries (SMEs) generate a huge number of jobs in Europe but find it hard to comply with EU regulation since they often don't have the resources to do so.
Conservative MEP Anthea McIntyre says she welcomes Frans Timmerman's plans to reduce EU regulation, adding that the EU executive needs to do more in this area than it has managed to do in the past.
She says she wants to see "concrete targets" for how the burden of regulation is to be reduced.
He said that the next Commission should only come up with laws when necessary, in order to win back the "confidence" of people in Europe.
Reducing EU regulation
Liberal MEP Pavel Telicka says he supports Frans Timmermans's plans to reduce EU regulation by between 10-15% as a move to boost economic growth.
He says he would even like to see financial targets to ensure regulatory reforms are more likely to be achieved.
The guidelines are meant to help the Commission to come up with better laws, that are based on robust evidence and where groups that might be concerned by them get their chance to have their say in the eventual policy.
Mr Timmermans has been given a new role in the current Commission, with a roving responsibility for ensuring "better regulation" at an EU level.
During his speech to Parliament before the confirmation of the Commission last month, Jean-Claude Juncker said that he wanted his new team to be "bigger and more ambitious on the big things, and smaller and more modest on the small things".
What are impact assessments?
Impact assessments are the tool that the Commission uses to predict what the possible impact of a policy might be, before final legislation is drafted.
Mr Timmermans says he has a "special interest" in involving small and medium-sized businesses in law-making, adding that their growth can be used as a catalyst for economic growth.
Closing the debate, Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom says the Commission is in a "careful listening mood" for how the legislation in this area can be improved.
She underlines, however, the need to "get regulation right" so that legitimate exporters of safe goods are not unduly hit by regulation in this area.
Next up, the Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans takes the floor to open a debate about the guidelines the Commission provides for impact assessments of ideas for laws.
Catch the eye
That's the end of the scheduled speeches for this debate. MEPs who were not on the list to speak now have the chance to do so, during the five-minute 'catch the eye' procedure.
After that, Ms Malmstrom will respond to the points raised in the debate on behalf of the European Commission.
The EU's export control regime emerged in the late 1990s and has been gradually changed over the last decade.
One of the most important accords in the trade of "dual-use" goods is the Wassenaar Arrangement, which was signed in a town of the same name just outside the Hague in the Netherlands.
It involves 41 different countries, including most EU members.
EU a 'master of hypocrisy'
"Europe is a master of hypocrisy", says Italian MEP Tiziana Beghin from the eurosceptic Five Star movement, claiming that certain EU countries have exported chemical substances to Syria that "probably have been used for the production of chemical weapons".
The use of these goods is currently controlled by a piece of legislation known as the 'Dual Use Regulation'.
In April this year, the Commission said that it was going to update the regulation to bear in mind new technologies and different political circumstances.
Criticism of liberal group leader
UKIP MEP Bill Dartmouth takes a pop at liberal group leader Guy Verhofstdt, whose comments earlier in the chamber that UKIP was a "racist" party caused considerable objections from members of the Eurosceptic group.
He says that the comments show that Mr Verhofstadt is rather "illiberal" and "trades in abuse, rather than debate".
"Technologies get smaller, faster and cheaper every day," says Dutch liberal MEP Marietje Schaake, who notes that often it is technologies developed inside the EU, rather than in countries like Russia or China, that go on to be used in privacy abuses both within and outside the EU.
'On the sly'
Austrian Socialist MEP Jörg Leichtfried says the main challenge for legislators in this area is the sheer difficulty of establishing rules on dual-use goods, noting that the complexity of the subject and relative lack of media interest has allowed unscrupulous groups to use certain goods to abuse human rights "on the sly".
What are dual-use goods?
Examples of things that might be classified as a "dual-use good" are IT intrusion software ('spyware') and telecommunication and internet surveillance equipment.
It could also include items used in the production or development of military goods, such as machine tools, chemical manufacturing equipment and computers.
'Effective and targeted controls'
Speaking on behalf of the Commission, Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom says she shares the concerns highlighted by MEPs about the use of surveillance technology to spy on EU citizens, but says the export controls on "dual-use" goods have been strengthened over the past decade or so.
However, she calls for "effective and targeted controls" that bear in mind that certain goods are not used for any malevolent purposes, and tells MEPs that experts from "all over the EU" have been drafted in to monitor which products should be restricted.
"Dual-use goods" debate
On behalf of the Parliament's international trade committee, its chairman Bernd Lange - is asking the Commission:
What it thinks about restricting the sale of surveillance technology to a restricted list of countries
How it intends to differentiate between those technologies that are harmful and those that might actually be used to improve human rights
How it intends to oversee the export of these items outside the EU
He says that the exploitation of certain technologies by the governments of "third countries" - that is, countries outside the EU - has led to a situation where people in Europe are being regularly "spied upon".
Structural funds debate ends
That's the debate on structural funds finished. The next item of business is another oral question, this time from German Socialist MEP Bernd Lange, about so-called "dual-use goods".
These are goods that are normally used for civilian purposes but which might be used for military applications.
Their export and transit are thus controlled by the EU for security reasons.
Closing the debate on behalf of the Commission, regional policy commissioner Corina Cretu says she understands how important cohesion policy spending is to certain countries, particularly poorer countries.
However, she says that the Commission is not solely responsible for finalising projects, which "depends hugely" on the member states.
She says she hopes that around 90% of the projects can be adopted before the end of the year.
Catch the eye
Hangarian Socialist Tibor Szanyi closes the scheduled speeches in this debate. We're now onto the 'catch the eye' procedure - MEPs can make a brief contribution if they can get the attention of the acting president.
These short free-for-alls contrast with the regimented bulk of the Parliament's debates, when speakers representing each political grouping take part according to pre-arranged lists.
Of course, this debate is taking place in the context of a breakdown in negotiations between the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers over next year's budget, with MEPs refusing to accept the level of budgets cuts favoured by the member states.
At the start of last week, the two bodies failed to agree on a budget before the end of the so-called "conciliation period", forcing the European Commission to come up with a new proposal.
MEPs are also insisting that outstanding payments from 2014 are settled first, before any agreement on next year's budget can be found.
Highlighting budget shortfalls for projects that have already been agreed, Portuguese centre-right MEP José Manuel Fernandes says he thinks it is "unacceptable" that cohesion policy is the policy that is "most penalised" when money is short.
He believes this is one EU policy that can be most used to promote "internal solidarity" and economic growth in Europe.
During the terms of the last Cohesion Policy, which ran between 2007 and 2013, spending on regional policy amounted to an average of almost €50bn per year, which is more than one third (35.7%) of the total EU budget.
The spending is put through through three funds - often called 'Structural Funds':
European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
the European Social Fund (ESF)
the Cohesion Fund.
Combating budget cuts
Rosa d'Amato, from Italy's Five Star movement, says that the money that comes from cohesion funds is "even more vital" in certain regions, such as her own in southern Italy, to combat budget cuts being made in countries that have been particularly hard hit by the financial crisis.
Referring to a debate to come later in the week, she asks whether the money in the pot for the next Cohesion Policy will be used in Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker's proposed €300bn investment package to boost the struggling EU economy.
Mr Juncker is set to unveil greater details of his plans to MEPs on Wednesday morning.
The Cohesion Policy has up to €351.8bn to spend on development projects between 2014 and 2020.
It's one of the tools that the European Commission hopes will allow it to achieve various economic goals that have been set for EU member countries to achieve by 2020, such as:
20% of the EU's energy to come from renewables
20 million fewer people in or at risk of poverty and social exclusion
3% of the EU's GDP to be invested in to research and development.
Making his maiden speech in the Parliament, Conservative MEP Andrew Lewer says the debate tonight will allow MEPs to go some way to "examining" the cohesion policies to be put forward.
Although he says he supports some of the projects that have been proposed in the past, he does not necessarily back all of them - and salutes Ms Cretu's reference to the importance of making sure EU taxpayers' money is spent wisely.
'Greater detail' sought
On behalf of the centre-right EPP group, Dutch MEP Lambert van Nistelrooij asks the commissioner to provide the Parliament with "greater detail" on how the cohesion funds should be spent, and asks for a roadmap for how new projects should be agreed.
39 projects adopted
Regional policy commissioner Corina Cretu replies that 39 cohesion policy projects have been adopted, although she admits that the agreement of the projects included in the current long-term EU budget - or "Multiannual Financial Framework" - has been later than last time.
She adds that she hopes half of the projects will be agreed either by the end of this year or by next March "at the latest".
Questions being asked
On behalf of Parliament's regional development committee, Ms. Mihaylova is asking the Commission:
what the current situation is on agreeing projects
what can be done to speed up agreement on the projects
how unpaid bills from the 2007-2013 framework might impact the new agreements .
That's the debate on the post-2015 development frameworks finished. The vote on the report will take place on Tuesday.
The next item on the agenda for today is an oral question from Bulgarian liberal MEP Iskra Mihaylova about delays to agreeing how money from the EU's various development funds should be spent.
The Commission's newly reformed 'Cohesion Policy', which sets aside money for job creation and poverty reduction in EU regions and cities, was meant to begin to be rolled out this year - but the question notes that relatively few projects have been agreed so far.
Closing for the Commission, Development Commissioner Neven Mimica notes that gender equality, migration and human rights were particular issues highlighted by MEPs during the debate as ideas for the development package.
He thanks the Parliament for its contribution to the discussion, noting that the Council of Ministers is due to adopt its position on the framework within the coming weeks.
Catch the eye
That's the end of the scheduled speeches for this debate. MEPs who were not on the list to speak now have the chance to do so, during the five-minute 'catch the eye' procedure.
MEPs can make a brief contribution if they can get the attention of the acting President David-Maria Sassoli, who is chairing the debate.
In 2010, one third of the world's 1.2 billion extreme poor lived in India alone.
China, despite progress in poverty reduction, came second, and was home to about 13% of the global extreme poor.
Nigeria (9%), Bangladesh (5%) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (5%) came next.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has said that although the efforts of national governments have yielded greater "hope and opportunity" for the world's poor, it remains that more needs to be done to accelerate progress".
Croatian centre-right MEP Dubravka Šuica says she welcomes the inclusion in the resolution of a call to promote greater economic equality and respect of fundamental rights for women in developing countries.
As she mentions, tomorrow is the UN's International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. MEPs will also be discussing the topic separately during a debate on the subject tomorrow afternoon.
Developing regions stats
According to the United Nations (UN):
about one in five people in developing regions live on less than $1.25 per day
vulnerable employment accounts for over half of all employment in developing regions, compared to just 10% in developed regions
about 173 million fewer people worldwide suffered from chronic hunger in 2011-2013 than in 1990-1992.
UKIP MEP Nathan Gill takes a more critical position on the EU's ability to help the world's poor, referring to "vindictive behaviour" in trade deals that he believes prevents poor countries from being able to trade their way out of poverty.
"There are positive development actors in the world, but the EU just isn't one of them", he concludes.
An 'historic opportunity'
The Commission's proposed position was set out in a document they published last year, called 'A Decent Life for All'.
Spanish Left MEP Pablo Echenique says he thinks the chance to update the UN's development goals is an "historic opportunity" to improve the situation for the poor in developing countries, which he says is distinguished by "rampant and unfettered" inequality with richer nations.
Financial Transaction Tax
Italian Socialist Elly Schlein says she thinks that money to promote development should come from the EU's proposed Financial Transaction Tax.
The tax - sometimes referred to as the "Tobin tax" after the economist who originally proposed it - would seek to put a levy of between 0.01% and 0.1%, on financial transactions between EU states.
This plan for an EU-wide tax was scuppered by mid-2012, because not enough member states agreed to it.
Instead, 11 member states (including France and Germany, but not the UK) said they still wanted to go ahead with the tax amongst themselves.
UN progress report
The UN's report on progress towards achieving the current goals noted that:
the number of people living in "extreme poverty" has come down by 700 million since 1990
over 2.3 billion people gained access to an improved source of drinking water between 1990 and 2012
efforts to fight tuberculosis have saved an estimated 22 million lives worldwide since 1995.
However, it also noted that more needed to be done if targets for reducing child mortality and greenhouse gases are to be met.
Development commissioner Neven Mimica says he thinks the Parliament's report is a useful contribution to agreeing a position on the development deal.
Although he says he thinks the Millennium Goals have been "enormously helpful" in helping to focus development efforts, he underlines his belief that that EU should use the renewal opportunity to address the "new challenges" that have emerged in the fight against poverty since they were agreed.
The debate is now opened to MEPs.
Dutch journalist Peter Teffer tweets: "May I ask you to stop insulting me?", Juncker asks the European Parliament at the end of a debate on his role in the #LuxLeaks scandal.
European Parliament position
The EU's broad position in the negotiations has already been outlined, but MEPs hope that the report being debated today - and the vote on a resolution tomorrow - will help the European Parliament set out its vision for the agreement, before the Council of Ministers meets next month to agree its position.
'Firm position' needed
Opening the debate, Croatian centre-right MEP Davor Ivo Stier, who is the rapporteur - or lead negotiator - for the Parliament on this issue, says it is important that the EU takes a "firm position" during the negotiations on the development deal.
He mentions the UN's 'Millennium goals" - these are time-bound targets for poverty reduction that were agreed in the year 2000.
They are due to expire at the end of next year.
Voting on Thursday
That's the debate on the "motion of censure" finished. The vote on whether to sack the Commission will take place during Thursday's voting session.
MEPs move on to the next item on the agenda: a debate about what the EU's position should be in negotiations to put together a new UN "development framework" for after 2015, which would set a series of targets and ambitions for reducing global poverty.
Jean-Claude Juncker responds
Speaking to close this debate, Jean-Claude Juncker pledges that his Commission will combat both tax evasion and tax avoidance in the EU, adding that he will ask the new Commission to table a proposal for a regulation to address the problem.
He asks MEPs to urge their compatriots to support his idea for common sharing of tax data between countries, which he believes would help solve the issue.
He repeats calls, made during his opening speech, that the Parliament should establish a "fiscal committee" to look into EU tax deals, alongside the already established economic affairs committee.
'Ugly tax scandal'
Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy
On behalf of the EFDD group, UKIP MEP Steven Woolfe says that he thinks the revelations amount to an "ugly tax scandal that will not go away".
In support of the motion, he says he thinks the revelations will leave a "stain" on Jean-Claude Juncker that will only spread to the other members of the Commission, undermining confidence in the idea that they are a suitable group to tackle the issue of tax avoidance in the EU.
'Ultimate clarification' sought
European Greens/European Free Alliance
On behalf of the Green group, German MEP Rebecca Harms says that the revelations about tax deals in Luxembourg brought fresh concerns about the operation of the European Commission, adding that she wants "ultimate clarification" on the deals rather than looking to put Jean-Claude Juncker's "head on a plate".
European United Left/Nordic Green Left
On behalf of the left-leaning GUE group, their leader and German MEP Gabriele Zimmer outlines that she will not let "let Mr Juncker off the hook", but adds that their group's vision of the EU is different to that proposed by the MEPs who have supported today's motion.
The GUE group is trying to collect 76 signatures in order to lodge its own vote to sack the Commission.
However, their MEPs haven't signed today's motion, saying they won't sign the same motion as one supported by far-right MEPs.
Ms Zimmer urges members to back her group's alternative idea, calling for a special "committee of inquiry" into the tax allegations against Mr Juncker.
Motion criticised as 'perverse'
Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
Liberal leader and former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt calls the logic of the motion "perverse", adding that he thinks to sack the Commission at the moment when it is investigating tax deals in Luxembourg is "stupid".
He says the most important thing about the debate is that it has "outed the hidden relationship between Mr Farage and Marine Le Pen" - who both signed the motion, and adds that he won't be supporting it.
'Not utterly convinced'
European Conservatives and Reformists
On behalf of the Conservative ECR group, Polish MEP Ryszard Antoni Legutko adds that he is "not utterly convinced" by the defence offered by Jean Claude Juncker, ahead of the vote on Thursday.
Two thirds support needed
Sacking the Commission requires the support of two thirds of MEPs, something which has never been achieved.
The motion has to be debated by MEPs because the EFDD group, together with other non-attached Eurosceptic members, has managed to get 76 signatures (10% of the Parliament) in its favour.
It follows revelations three weeks ago from an investigative journalists' association detailing tax breaks given to over 300 global companies in Luxembourg during the time when Jean-Claude Juncker was prime minister of the country.
Marco Zanni's comments criticised
Socialists & Democrats
On behalf of the Socialist group, their leader, Italian MEP Gianna Pittella, rounds on Marco Zanni's criticism of the Parliament as hypocritical, saying he should have more respect for the opinions of members that "represent millions of citizens".
He says he thinks the decision to get rid of the Commission only 24 days into its term would leave the EU stranded at a time that it needs leadership, adding that it would take "months" to appoint a new team.
EPP group against the motion
European People's Party
Explaining why the centre-right EPP group will vote to reject the motion, German MEP Manfred Weber says that any tax avoidance problems in the EU emerge from "national sovereign governments", rather than "European bureaucrats", adding that he supports Mr Juncker's pledges to address the problem at an EU level.
Jean-Claude Juncker explains that his tardiness is due to the high level of traffic around the Parliament building in Strasbourg.
Conservative MEP Ian Duncan tweets: Juncker apologises for arriving late to his own censure...
A 'European issue'
Jean-Claude Juncker, speaking in defence of the Commission, says that he feels the problem of tax avoidance is a "European issue" rather than one that relates just to his native country of Luxembourg.
He reiterates his calls for a common base of harmonised tax rules across to the EU to clamp minimise the issue in the future.
'Temple of hypocrisy'
Marco Zanni, an MEP from Italy's Five Star Movement and author of the motion, urges his colleagues to back the vote of no confidence in the Commission, adding that he thinks Jean-Claude Juncker is "not on the side of European citizens".
He adds, however, that he thinks the vote will probably be defeated, due to the fact he thinks the Parliament has become "the temple of hypocrisy".
Debate on European Commission
We now move onto the first item on today's agenda: a debate on whether to force the new European Commission to resign, ahead of a vote to be held in the Parliament on Thursday.
The motion has been lodged by members of the Eurosceptic EFDD group - which includes all UKIP MEPs - as well as 32 non-attached members.
It alleges that the current Commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, is unfit to hold office because of "aggressive tax avoidance schemes" that were set up in Luxembourg whilst he was prime minister there.
Proposal for motion on Poland elections
The Conservative ECR group asks for a motion to be added to Wednesday's agenda on the recent elections in Poland - with a statement to be made on behalf of the European Commission and a vote on a resolution.
The proposal to add the motion is, however, rejected.
Call to postpone vote
The centre-right EPP group is asking to postpone the vote on this week's agenda currently scheduled for tomorrow morning.
The vote is asking to refer an EU-Canada agreement on sharing airline passenger information (known as "PNR data") to the EU's top court for a legal opinion, before the Parliament decides whether to ratify it.
On behalf of the group, German MEP Monika Hohlmeier says she feels that MEPs haven't had enough time in committee stage to discuss the proposals.
The proposal, however, is rejected at a vote.
Address from the Pope
Opening the session, Martin Schulz tells MEPs that during his visit tomorrow, Pope Francis will touch upon recent events in Middle East, where a synagogue in Jerusalem was attacked last week.
He announces to MEPs that a vote will take place on Tuesday on whether to fast-track Parliament's opinion on a deal struck by EU finance ministers earlier this month that would give certain countries more time to pay extra contributions into the EU budget.
He begins to ask MEPs if they would like to propose any changes to this week's agenda.
Hello and welcome to BBC Democracy Live's coverage of the first day of this month's plenary session from the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
Parliament President Martin Schulz will soon begin the session with his opening address, after which MEPs will be asked if they wish to make any changes to this week's agenda.