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Summary

  1. Click the 'Key Video' tab for video of Pope Francis's address to MEPs. Video for the rest of the day's proceedings can be found on the Democracy Live website.
  2. The second day of the November plenary session began at 08.00 GMT.
  3. Pope Francis addressed the Parliament at 10.15 GMT, following debates on EU budget contributions and employment targets for 2020.
  4. It was only the second time that a Pope has addressed MEPs, following John Paul II's speech in 1988.
  5. After the lunchtime voting session, there were debates on combating violence against women, EU migration in the Mediterranean and migrant expulsions in Spain.
  6. The evening session saw debates on EU employment equality legislation and extending the powers of the European Central Bank.
  7. Text can be slow to load on these pages. Please hit refresh (F5) if live text does not appear below.

Live Reporting

By Paul Seddon

All times stated are UK

  1. End of business

    Closing the debate tonight, Conservative MEP Kay Swinburne urges members to back the Parliament's proposals tomorrow to call for increased transparency in the bank regulation changes. The vote on the reports will take place tomorrow.

    That's all from tonight's sitting. Tomorrow's session will begin at 08.00 GMT, when Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker will unveil details of his 300bn euro investment package to MEPs.

  2. Protecting information

    Although backing the changes in the ECB's powers, Mr Gualtieri's report recommends that the new powers need to be balanced by "a requirement of the receiving authorities to take all necessary regulatory, administrative, technical and organisational measures" to ensure that the information is properly protected.

  3. European Central Bank background

    Earlier this month, the ECB became solely responsible for monitoring the health of the eurozone's biggest banks, under plans introduced in the wake of the financial crisis.

    This is known as the "Single Supervisory Mechanism", or SSM.

    The reforms, a key part of the EU's proposed banking union, aim to introduce more uniform regulation of banks across the eurozone, so that the health of large banks is better monitored.

    According to a progress report published by the ECB, around 900 staff have already been recruited into the teams charged with monitoring banking activity.

  4. Welcome proposals

    Cypriot Socialist Costas Mavrides says he welcomes some key points in the Parliament's text that adds to the ECB proposals: a provision that there should be no discrimination against member states in the application of the rules, and that fines against banks start to rack up when infringement proceedings begin against them, rather than at the moment the decision is made legal.

    He says his group is concerned, however, by an amendment proposed by the centre-right EPP group that the publication of ECB sanctioning could be delayed until "all legal means have been resolved" - as he believes this might undermine transparency.

    Votes on whether to endorse the reports - and their amendments - will take place tomorrow.

  5. Commission backing

    Lord Hill says the changes in the law being proposed by the ECB have the full political endorsement of the Commission, adding that they will give the central bank "means to enforce EU law" in its new role.

    He says that the Commission legal services team has identified two inconsistencies between the ECB's proposals and the report that has been prepared by the Parliament, but that he hopes these can be resolved "in a sensible way".

    Lord Hill
  6. Background on reports

    The first report, compiled by British Conservative MEP Kay Swinburne on behalf of the economic affairs committee, is about updating the laws that govern the ECB to impose sanctions on national central banks that fail to comply with its decisions and rulings.

    The second report, compiled by Italian MEP Roberto Gualtieri, who chairs the Parliament's economic affairs committee, is endorsing changes that would let the ECB collect confidential statistical information in order to monitor the health of Eurozone banks.

    Roberto Gualtieri
  7. European Central Bank debate

    That's the statement on the recent bank stress tests finished.

    We now move on to the final item on tonight's agenda - debates on two reports about proposed laws being drawn up by the Council of Ministers to change the role and powers of the European Central Bank (ECB), after it took on new powers this month to formally monitor the health of Eurozone banks.

    Although the Parliament doesn't have the right to formally amend the legislation, it must be consulted on it.

  8. 'No trust' in banking system

    German Conservative Bernd Lucke says that, despite the stress test, "we have no trust in the European banking system today".

  9. Affected banks

    Ten of the banks have taken measures to bolster their balance sheets since the tests were carried out. The remaining 14 includes four Italian banks, two Greek banks, two Belgian banks and two Slovenian banks.

    The worst affected was Italian bank Monte dei Paschi, which had a capital shortfall of €2.1bn.

  10. Banking test

    The EBA said that 24 European banks had failed the tests, which were based on a review of financial institutions' health at the end of last year.

  11. Lord Hill's maiden speech

    Making his maiden speech in the Parliament chamber, the financial services commissioner Lord Hill - the UK's member of the Commission - tells MEPs that the tests were "most severe anywhere in the world" - but that they were worth it because the tests gave European banks "international credibility".

    He continues that the recent transfer of powers to the ECB, which saw it become solely responsible for monitoring the health of eurozone banks last month - will hopefully allow the EU to "turn the page" on the financial crisis.

    Lord Hill
  12. Commissioner's response

    Employment commissioner Marianne Thyssen closes the debate on employment equality legislation by reiterating her calls to make more data available to lawmakers.

    She says the regulations do not currently force member states to collect such data, so for the moment this information must be found elsewhere.

    Next, MEPs are going to hear a statement from the European Commission about the recent stress tests of European banks conducted by the European Banking Authority (EBA) and the European Central Bank (ECB).

  13. 'Kafkaesque' debate

    Labour MEP Siôn Simon lashes out at the whole premise of tonight's debate, saying it is almost "Kafkaesque" they they should be debating such an old piece of racial equality legislation whilst employees of the EU institutions and its civil service are "almost entirely" white.

    He says that his attempts to get the Commission to reveal how many of its employees come from ethnic minorities have been repeatedly refused.

  14. Improving awareness

    Although she acknowledges the directives were "ground-breaking piece of legislation" at the time of their introduction, Green MEP Jean Lamberts highlights the low number of people that are aware of their rights under the laws as an area that could be improved, so that a higher number of discrimination cases are reported.

    A special Eurobarometer survey in November 2012 found that only 37% of respondents said they were aware of their anti-discrimination rights under EU law.

    Jean Lamberts
  15. Roma discrimination

    Spanish centre-right MEP Verónica Lope Fontagne highlights the case of Roma workers, whom she says are particular victims of workplace discrimination in certain countries.

    At the end of last month, the Commission initiated so-called "infringement proceedings" against the Czech Republic for failing to apply the Racial Equality Directive with its Roma population.

    It follows a landmark ruling by the European Court of Human Rights in 2007 that said the country was breaching the European Convention on Human Rights by sending a disproportionate number of Roma children to special schools for children with learning disabilities.

    The Commission effectively considers this to be a form of racial discrimination, since it can be shown to have an adverse effect on the life and employment opportunities of Roma children.

    Schoolchildren
  16. Proper implementation

    Staying in the chamber, employment commissioner Marianne Thyssen, representing the commission, says that both directives "must be properly implemented" in all member states, and that she stands ready to use "all means", including infringement proceedings, to make sure that they are.

    She refers to a report produced by the Commission at the start of this year found that, although all EU member states had implemented the legislation, there were still a number of "challenges" in applying it in a number of countries.

  17. What do they do?

    Both of these pieces of legislation were adopted in the year 2000, and "transposed" (i.e. converted) into national laws in the member states between 2003-2007.

    The first prohibits discrimination at work on the grounds of religion, age, disability or sexual orientation - and the second prohibits discrimination on the grounds of race.

  18. Oral question

    That's the debate on workplace safety finished. We now pass on to another oral question, again from Swedish Socialist MEP Marita Ulvskog, about how well member states have been implementing two pieces of EU legislation: the Racial Equality Directive and the Employment Equality Directive.

  19. Commissioner's response

    Employment commissioner Marianne Thyssen, closing for the Commission, reiterates the Commission's commitment to improving health and safety legislation, adding that 24 EU directives are currently being assessed to see how they might lead to an "improved situation on the ground".

    Marianne Thyssen
  20. Increased stress

    The survey also found that people working in the EU think stress is the main risk they face at work - with 53% of respondents giving this as their answer.

    People in Sweden were the most likely to say they were stressed (67%), whilst only 34% of employees in Estonia mentioned this.

    Over a quarter of people in the EU said that they had experienced "bone or muscle problems" that had been caused or worsened at work.

  21. Eurobarometer survey

    According to a Eurobarometer survey carried out earlier this year, satisfaction with health and safety conditions at work is highest in Austria, the UK, the Netherlands and Belgium - where 92% of respondents said they were satisfied.

    The bottom of the class was Greece, with satisfaction rates down at 53%.

  22. 'It's blarney'

    "It's blarney", says Labour MEP Siôn Simon, asking where the concrete proposals are in the Commission's strategic framework to address issues like asbestos.

    "It's not strategic, and not a framework", he concludes.

    Siôn Simon
  23. Simpler and cheaper regulation

    Conservative MEP Anthea McIntyre says the priority for the EU should be to ensure simpler and cheaper health regulation for small and medium-sized businesses, so that they are not burdened by the costs of following the rules.

  24. 'Strategic Framework'

    Employment commissioner Marianne Thyssen refers to the Commission's 'Strategic Framework' on workplace safety for the period 2014-2020, which was adopted last June.

    The Commission proposed, amongst other things, that:

    • Small businesses should be given "practical support" to help them comply with health and safety rules
    • Health and safety legislation is simplified across the EU
    • New rules are established to deal with new risks in certain workplaces, like nanomaterials and biotechnologies

    She says it also acknowledges the need for a database on workplace safety statistics.

  25. Question demands

    Ms. Ulvskog's oral question includes a number of suggestions for the Commission in this area proposed by the committee, including:

    • Helping to produce "user-friendly guides" for small businesses to help them understand how to conform to safety rules
    • Collecting more information about road accidents that occur to and from places of work
    • Setting up an EU-wide monitoring programme of workplace hazards
  26. Health and safety debate begins

    That's the debate on so-called "hot returns" in Spain finished.

    The next item on today's agenda is a debate on health and safety at work, to follow an oral question being posed by Swedish Socialist MEP Marita Ulvskog, on behalf of the employment and social affairs committee.

    Marita Ulvskog

    It follows the publication this June of a so-called 'Strategic Framework' on workplace safety by the European Commission for the period 2014-2020.

  27. Catch the eye

    With the scheduled speakers finished, we're now onto the "catch-the-eye" procedure.

  28. Mapping migration

    You can read a BBC guide to Mediterranean migration here.

    Migration
  29. Vice-presidential intervention

    French Socialist MEP Sylvie Guillaume is also one of the Parliament's 14 vice-presidents, meaning she sometimes chairs debates in the chamber.

    Sylvie Guillaume
  30. Migrant magnets

    Together with a second Spanish enclave, Melilla, Ceuta represents the EU's only land border with Africa.

    As a result the territories, both located along Morocco's Mediterranean coast, have become a magnet for migrants seeking work or asylum in Europe.

  31. Concern over law changes

    Home Affairs Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos thanks the Parliament for the chance to discuss this issue, and adds that he will be visiting the areas concerned "within the coming months".

    He says that any EU border measure must respect the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights and respect human dignity, and says the Commission is "concerned" by Spain's recent law changes and its interpretation of its external border, and that an investigation began under the previous Commission must be allowed to continue.

    Dimitris Avramopoulos
  32. Migration to hell?

    "It is hypocritical for you to praise the words of the Pope on migration" says Spanish Left MEP Marina Albiol Guzman, adding that she believes the Parliament has passed laws to worsen the problem.

    "I don't know", she concludes, "maybe you'll all go to hell".

    Marina Albiol Guzman
  33. What does the question ask?

    The question has been tabled by five of the Parliament's political groups. It asks:

    • whether the Commission thinks the Spanish government has been acting in compliance with EU law
    • what it intends to do to prevent "abuses" happening again in the future
    • whether it thinks the actions of the Spanish government have been consistent with "European values".
  34. Court referral sought

    Swedish liberal Cecilia Wikstrom says she thinks the proposed law changes in Spain are in contravention of EU law, and asks for changes to be referred to the EU's top court, the European Court of Justice, to examine whether it is legal.

  35. Why has the question been tabled?

    The MEPs tabling the question say they think the planned changes might lead to the "indiscriminate summary and collective expulsion of migrants", and could run contrary to human rights law.

    'Hot return' is an expression for the expulsion of people from a country without certain legal procedures having been carried out.

  36. Moving on...

    With Italian MP Sandro Gozi having closed this debate on behalf of the Council, we move on to the next item on the agenda.

    This is another oral question being put to the Commission, this time about planned changes to Spanish law which some MEPs say would allow the country to expel clandestine migrants caught entering its cities of Ceuta and Melilla in north Africa without proper legal safeguards.

  37. 'Charter for migrants'

    Replying on behalf of the Commission, Home Affairs Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos recalls his time as mayor in Athens, when he remembers the huge numbers of people trying to enter Europe via the Mediterranean "in search of better life".

    He adds, however, that it is possible for Europe to point to some achievements in this area, and calls for there support in favour of drawing up a new "charter for migrants".

    "We cannot simply pull up the drawbridge," he concludes, adding that there must be "values that inform the decisions we make".

    Dimitris Avramopoulos
  38. 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.

  39. 'Not the answer'

    Another Italian MEP speaking in this debate, Giovanni la Via, says he thinks that Triton is "not the answer" to the problem of migrant deaths off his country's coast.

    Instead, he says he want to see greater investment in north African countries. In a familiar theme in the this debate, he also claims his policies would echo the Pope's desire to "underscore the value of human dignity".

  40. Search and rescue

    "Neither at national level, nor at EU level, have we found solutions," says Italian centre-right MEP Elisabetta Gardini, in reference to the Triton search-and-rescue operation to rescue stranded migrants, which has just been rolled out near the Italian coast.

    Elisabetta Gardini

    The operation has a smaller budget than "Mare Nostrum", the operation set up after the Lampedusa crisis last year that it is replacing.

    The new operation's smaller budget has led to criticism from some human rights groups, who consider that it will result in more migrant deaths at sea.

  41. 'Pull factors'

    Finnish Conservative Jussi Halla-Aho takes a different line from most of the other members who have spoken so far, by saying EU asylum policy needs to address the "pull factors" that attract migrants to the EU rather than just what can be done to help migrants who encounter fatal dangers whilst making sea crossings.

    "A message must be sent that risking your life and paying the smugglers is not acceptable," he concludes.

    Jussi Halla-Aho

    His reasoning chimes with that of the UK government, which recently announced that it would be withdrawing support for future search-and-rescue operations for migrants in the Mediterranean, arguing that the operations only encourage people to make the dangerous crossings, resulting in more deaths.

    That decision was criticised by the Labour party, who said the decision was "shameful", and wouldn't do anything to deter people. from making the crossing.

  42. Who is responsible?

    The "Dublin system" that MEPs are referring to follows the co-called "Dublin Regulation" - piece of EU legislation that seeks to establish the member state responsible for the examination of an asylum application.

    The criteria for establishing responsibility runs as follows:

    • Family considerations
    • Recent possession of visa or residence permit in a member state
    • Whether an applicant has entered EU irregularly, or regularly.
  43. Lampedusa crisis

    The tiny island of Lampedusa, near Italy, was the site of at least 360 migrant deaths last year after the boat that was carrying them sank.

    For years, the island - which is closer to North Africa than Italy - has been the destination for many African migrants fleeing poverty, conflict or persecution.

    The island's normal population is just 6,000, and migrant reception facilities have proved inadequate in the past in dealing with the large numbers of migrants attempting to pass through.

    Lampedusa map
  44. Asylum rights

    "Europe's asylum policy has failed" says Leftist MEP Cornelia Ernst, adding that the "right to asylum" is one the greatest achievements of the post-war period, and that it should not be so dangerous to achieve it that many die each year attempting to do so.

  45. Fleeing conflict

    Between January and September last year, the UN's refugee agency, UNHCR, said that 30,100 migrants reached Italy on boats from North Africa.

    The biggest groups were from Syria (7,500 in total), Eritrea (7,500) and Somalia (3,000).

  46. 'Political will'

    On behalf of the Commission, Home Affairs Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos tells MEPs that there is a "strong political will" among the new Commission team to take steps towards reducing deaths in the Mediterranean.

    He says the Commission will seek to "rebuild trust" between member states, as well as increasing co-operation with "third countries", i.e. countries outside the EU.

    Dimitris Avramopoulos
  47. Mediterranean dangers

    Referring to comments made by the Pope earlier in the day, Italian MP Sandro Gozi says that the Council has always agreed that the Mediterranean cannot "become a graveyard" for migrants fleeing to the continent.

    He adds that the Italian presidency has worked towards implementing a "genuinely common asylum system", as well as rebuilding the loss of mutual trust between EU countries.

    Sandro Gozi
  48. What steps to take?

    "How many times have we debated this question?" asks Labour MEP Claude Moreas, who chairs the Parliament's civil liberties committee.

    He is asking the Commission how it intends to promote greater "solidarity" between the member states on the issue, how to ensure that different responsibilities are properly shared between EU countries and how to make sure that search and rescue operations are properly carried out.

    Claude Moreas
  49. Migrants in Mediterranean debate

    That's the debate on violence against women finished.

    The next item on today's agenda is a debate in which MEPs will ask what the Council and Commission intend to do to reduce the number of deaths in the Mediterranean from migrants trying to enter the EU.

    It follows an incident last year near the tiny island of Lampedusa, near Italy, in which at least 360 migrants drowned after the boat that was carrying them sank.

    MEPs are planning to vote on a resolution about the issue at next month's plenary session.

  50. Commissioner's revelation

    "If I promise a new directive, it will become an excuse to wait for the directive," concludes Justice Commissioner Vĕra Jourova - although she pledges to push for more countries to ratify the Istanbul Convention.

    In a personal revelation to members, she says she too has been the victim of physical and verbal violence - and can remember her feeling that it was "normal" and "her shame".

    To applause from the MEPs, she says that the shame for such crimes should fall on the perpetrators of the crimes.

    Vĕra Jourova
  51. Interventions encouraged

    That's the end of the scheduled speeches for this debate, and we're now onto another round of "catch-the-eye" interventions - limited to six, as acting President McGuiness explains, due to time constraints.

  52. Turkish president criticised

    There has been much criticism of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during this debate.

    It comes after he recently told a meeting in Istanbul that "You cannot put women and men on an equal footing," and that to do so would be "against nature."

    Recep Tayyip Erdogan
  53. Study on violence against women

    In her question that opened this debate, Ms García Pérez quoted a study on violence against women in Europe conducted by the EU's fundamental rights agency.

    Based on interviews with 42,000 women in all 28 EU member countries, the report concluded that:

    • One in three women has experienced physical and/or sexual violence since the age of 15
    • 8% of women had experienced physical and/or sexual violence in the 12 months before survey was done
    • 22% of women with a current or previous partner have experienced physical and/or sexual violence at the hands of a partner since the age of 15
    • 1 in 20 women had been raped since the age of 15
  54. Istanbul Convention

    Although she says she supports the idea of a new EU-wide law, Spanish liberal MEP Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea proposes that a more "radical" solution to the problem of violence against women would be to put pressure on more countries to sign up to the Council of Europe's Istanbul Convention.

    Governments that sign up to the Convention agree to train professionals in close contact with victims of violence, regularly run awareness-raising campaigns and set up treatment programmes for perpetrators of domestic violence and for sex offenders.

    As things stand, not all EU member states have signed the Convention.

  55. New law needed

    Spanish Socialist Maria Arena defends the idea of a new EU-wide law on gender-based violence, adding that the laws in this area are insufficient in a number of member states.

    Maria Arena
  56. Existing expertise

    On the issue of data collection, her message is similar - calling for "an orchestrated effort to make use of the existing expertise" rather than the establishment of any new bodies.

  57. New laws?

    Justice Commissioner Vĕra Jourova begins by stating that violence against women "affects society as a whole", as well as having deleterious effects on the economy.

    She pledges that there will be a chapter on gender-based violence on the Commission's forthcoming strategy, although she underlines that the fight against violence must be addressed "as part of a greater common struggle for equality" between men and women.

    Expounding a long list of EU regulations that already exist to militate against violence against women, as well as EU-funded awareness raising projects in the area, she says that "necessity to adopt new laws" should be addressed as a result of the new strategy.

    Vĕra Jourova
  58. Commission plea

    On behalf of the Parliament's women's rights and gender equality committee, Ms Perez is asking the Commission:

    • How it intends to combat violence against women without EU legislation
    • Whether it is willing to commit to reviewing existing legislation to update it in the light of "emerging forms" of violence against women, including online harassment
    • What it could do to help member states better share any information they have on violence against women.
  59. Legislation needed?

    "Seven women a day are murdered in Europe because of violence against women" begins Ms Garcia Perez, adding that today's motion is "not about a minority group - but half of the population".

    Ms Garcia Perez

    Her motion is calling for EU-level legislation to specifically address the issue. Earlier this year, the Parliament passed a resolution calling on the Commission to propose legislation before the end of this year to bolster efforts in the member states seeking to reduce violence of this sort.

    However, the Commission said last May that it doesn't consider it appropriate for it to legislate on prevention measures.

  60. Question on violence against women

    That's the debate on the budget finished.

    We now move on the next item of business: an oral question from Spanish Socialist MEP Iratxe García Pérez about violence against women.

    I comes today, on the UN's International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

  61. Recriminations

    Enrico Zanetti

    In response to a wave of criticism from MEPs on the Council's performance during the talk, Italian Undersecretary Enrico Zanetti tells the chamber that "now is not the time for recriminations" on the failed talks, but that the Council will continue to work towards a budget "that will satisfy everyone".

    Italy currently holds the rotating presidency of the Council, to be replaced by Latvia from the beginning of next year.

  62. Solving problems?

    On behalf of the Commission, budgets commissioner Kristalina Georgieva renews her pledge that the Commission is prepared to work constructively with both the Parliament and the Council of Ministers to solve the budget problems.

    She says two "crucial talks" will take place at the start of next month that will hopefully move talks forward.

  63. 'Catch-the-eye' session

    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, who is chairing the debate.

  64. Budget talks

    French Socialist Jean-Paul Denanot becomes the latest in a long line of members to blame the Council of Minsters for the failure of the budget talks.

    A number of MEPs have also complained during this debate that the Council was late to propose its position during the conciliation talks - with 3pm on the final day being mentioned as the time that MEPs received their proposals.

  65. UK criticised

    French Front National MEP Sophie Montel lambasts the recent decision of EU finance ministers to give certain member states - including the UK - extra time to pay budget surpluses they are due to pay following a revision to the way contributions are calculated.

    She adds that this will make it harder for the EU to meet its debt obligations for this year, and for next year's budget to be agreed.

    George Osborne
  66. Money flow

    After long talks last year, EU leaders agreed that the long-term budget (or "Multiannual Financial Framework") for 2014 to 2020 would be 960bn euros in total.

    You can read a guide to how the money is due to be divided here.

  67. System in place?

    German Conservative Bernd Kolmel, referring to the fact that the different EU institutions have failed several times to agree on budgets in recent years, asks whether this shows that the bloc even has the "proper system" for agreeing its spending.

    Bernd Kolmel
  68. 'Differing needs'

    "When will we see an end to this situation every year?" asks German Socialist Jens Geier.

    UKIP MEP Bill Etheridge makes an intervention to propose that the reason why budget deals are so hard to reach is because of the differing needs and demands of the EU member states.

    "That's why this doesn't work," he concludes.

  69. Commission proposal

    Arriving slightly late in the chamber, Budgets Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva replies on behalf of the Commission.

    Reflecting on the papal address made earlier this morning, she says the Commission regrets the fact that negotiation have broken down, and that EU institutions must come together to "bring forwards money" help projects to promote economic growth.

    She confirms that the Commission will announce a new budget plan this Friday so negotiations can begin anew.

    Kristalina Georgieva
  70. New proposals for budget needed

    With talks on the Commission's original draft budget for next year having failed, the Commission will need to come up with a new proposal that can be voted on at the next plenary sitting of the Parliament in December.

    If the Parliament and the Council can't agree on a budget for 2015 before the end of this year, then the EU will have to rely on a monthly set of figures from the 2014 budget, rather than on a new annual plan.

    This "provisional twelfths" system will simply roll over the amount for each month spent last year, on a month-by-month basis.

  71. Post update

    @VivianeRedingEU

    MEP Viviane Reding tweets: I welcome @EU_Commission today's decision to increase the transparency of the #TTIP negotiation process but what about #tisa negotiations ?

  72. Paying up

    "Nobody understands that we have money in our accounts but we have unpaid bills," says German centre-right MEP Monika Hohlmeier, accusing member states of wanting to "keep for their own budgets" windfall surpluses from last year's budget.

    Monika Hohlmeier
  73. Budget 'credibility issue'

    "We can't let unpaid bills stack up," says Jean Artuis, on behalf of the Parliament's budgets committee, calling the budget issue an "issue of credibility for the EU".

    Jean Artuis

    EU member states are insisting on making cuts to the budget, but MEPs are maintaining that the amount of money spent on research, education and development must be increased to try to give a boost to the flagging EU economy.

    MEPs are also insisting that legally-binding outstanding payments from 2014 are settled first, before any agreement on next year's budget can be found.

    The "trialogue" he referred to there is the name given to the three-way negotiating team that represents the Commission, the Parliament and the Council of Ministers - the body composed of government minsters from EU countries.

  74. Vice-president presiding

    In the chair is Hungarian MEP Ildiko Gall-Pelcz, one of Parliament's 14 vice-presidents.

    Ildiko Gall-Pelcz
  75. MEPs return

    The first item on this afternoon's agenda is a debate on the collapsed talks between the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers to agree on next year's EU budget and amendments to the budget for 2014.

    The Parliament was meant to be holding a final vote of approval on the budget during this week's plenary session, but that has now been postponed till next month's sitting.

    Two bodies failed to agree on a budget before the end of the so-called "conciliation period", which ended at the start of last week.

  76. See you later...

    That's the explanation of votes finished.

    The session will resume at 14.00 GMT, when MEPs will be debating the failed talks between the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers to agree next year's EU budget, as well as amendments to this year's budget.

  77. Growth creation

    "We assume that the world is centred in Europe," says Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan of the development strategy resolution, adding that the continent cannot "create growth by bureaucratic decree".

    Daniel Hannan
  78. Resolutions

    The resolution urging greater action to address unemployment in Europe has been carried.

    To recap, MEPs voted this lunchtime to:

    • Approve a protocol to an international convention that seeks to give companies that finance railway stock greater guarantees on when and how they will be paid.
    • Approve the EU's signing of a convention that gives greater certainty to companies who want to agree in which country legal disputes on certain matters should be settled.
    • Refer an EU-Canada agreement on sharing airline passenger information to the EU's top court for a legal opinion, before they decide whether to ratify it.
    • They also approved two motions to give €2.3m in EU aid to retrain workers at a French meat processing plant and a Finnish shipyard.

    MEPs will now have the chance to make short speeches to explain how they voted.

  79. Motion carried

    Ivo Stier's motion has been carried. MEPs will now debate amendments to the resolution on employment in Europe that was debated this morning.

  80. UN goals

    MEPs are now voting on amendments to a resolution on a topic debated yesterday - a report which has been written by centre-right Croatian MEP Davor Ivo Stier on behalf of the development committee to help the European Parliament set out its vision for UN's post-2015 development agenda.

  81. Motion carried

    German MEP Elmar Brok, who chairs the Parliament's foreign affairs committee, asks MEPs to delay the vote on the motion to refer the airline data measure to the ECJ until the December plenary session. The proposal, however, is rejected.

    Instead, the motion to refer the agreement to the ECJ is carried by 383 to 271.

    Result
  82. Sharing data

    In addition, MEPs will also vote on a proposal submitted by the liberal group to refer an agreement signed in June between the EU and Canada to the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

    The agreement provides a framework for European airline companies to share passenger information with the Canadian authorities, with the aim of helping to fight organised crime and terrorist groups.

    The deal must be approved by the Parliament before it can come into force, and if MEPs approve today's motion, the vote will be postponed until the ECJ has given a legal opinion on whether it complies with EU treaties and the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

  83. Voting resolution

    During the session MEPs will hold votes on:

    • Approving a protocol to an international convention that seeks to give companies that finance railway stock greater guarantees on when and how they will be paid.
    • Approving the EU's signing of a convention that gives greater certainty to companies who want to agree in which country legal disputes on certain matters should be settled.
    • And two motions to give money to retrain workers that have been laid off at a meat processing plant in France and a shipbuilding company in Finland.
  84. Farewell words

    "You are a person that gives guidance at a time when we have lost our compass," finishes Parliament President Martin Schulz.

    With Pope Francis's speech over, MEPs will soon move on to today's voting session, after a short break.

  85. Post update

    ‏@euronews

    euronews tweets: #PopeFrancis: "It's time to restore dignity by creating proper working conditions" http://eurone.ws/EQwsY

    Pope Francis
  86. Applause for the Pontiff

    Pope Francis finishes his speech, which is greeted by a long, standing ovation from some MEPs, with the plea that Europe becomes a "repository of arts, science and faith".

    Pope Francis
  87. Europe's migration problems

    "The Mediterranean cannot become a vast graveyard," says Pope Francis, telling MEPs that Europe needs a migration policy that has greater "respect for human dignity".

    According to the UN's refugee agency (UNHCR), 165,000 refugees and migrants have arrived in Europe via the Mediterranean so far this year, compared to 60,000 in 2013.

    The UK government recently announced that it would be withdrawing support for future search-and-rescue operations for migrants in the Mediterranean, arguing that the operations only encourage people to make the dangerous crossings, resulting in more deaths.

  88. Post update

    @EuroParlPress

    EP PressService tweets: #PopeFrancis: #Mediterranean must not "become a vast graveyard". Boats landing daily w/ men and women "who need acceptance and assistance"

  89. Challenge of democracy

    "You bear the responsibility of keeping democracy alive for the the peoples of Europe," Pope Francis tells MEPs, before saying he feels this goal is a "challenge" at a moment of globalisation.

    Young people today are looking for a "complete education" he adds - before highlighting scientific research in developing sources of energy as a source of potential future economic growth.

    Pope Francis
  90. 'Open dialogue'

    "I should like to reiterate the readiness of the Holy See to engage in a meaningful and open dialogue with the institutions of the European Union," continues Pope Francis, adding that he feels there is currently a "vacuum of ideals in the West".

    The Holy See has an EU representative, officially called the Apostolic Nuncio to the EU, which is currently French Archbishop Alain Paul Lebeaupin.

  91. Mistrust of markets expounded

    Pope Francis, who became Pope in March last year, is the first leader of the Catholic church to come from South America, and the first non-European since Gregory III in 731 AD, who was from Syria.

    In November last year, he published an "apostolic exhortation" - a type of papal communication - called Evangelii Gaudium, in which he outlined his vision and priorities for his papacy.

    It generated headlines because of his overtly stated mistrust of free-market capitalism - saying he felt that economic inequality needed would only be resolved by "rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets".

  92. 'Mistrust of institutions'

    "As the EU has expanded, there has been a growing mistrust of institutions they regard as aloof," continues Pope Francis, adding that he thinks "technical and economic questions" have come to dominate political discussion in Europe.

    He adds that he feels human dignity "cannot be an object of trade or of commerce".

  93. Post update

    @Europarl_Photo

    EU Parliament Photo ‏tweets: Pope Francis @Pontifex addresses the @Europarl_EN in Strasbourg #EPlenary #EPhoto #POD

    Pope Francis
  94. Post update

    @BBCGavinHewitt

    Gavin Hewitt

    Europe editor

    Pope in Strasbourg says 'the time has come for us to abandon the idea of a Europe which is fearful and self-absorbed'.#Pope

  95. Criticism of visit

    Of course, Pope Francis's visit to the hemicycle today has not pleased everyone.

    Last month, over a dozen European secular societies wrote an open letter to Parliament president Martin Schulz criticising the decision, arguing that it is not appropriate "for any religions leader to be invited to speak to a secular parliament".

    The letter also claimed that the Church's doctrinal positions on abortion and women's reproductive rights were "generally at variance with the majority of the European population as a whole".

  96. Human rights

    "Today, the promotion of human rights is central to the workings of the European Union," Pope Francis continues, before adding that he sees this goal as an "important and praiseworthy commitment" - although he notes that feels there are still "too many instances" where too many people are treated as "instruments".

  97. Post update

    ‏@EP_President

    EP President tweets: Words of @Pontifex #PopeFrancis carry enormous weight: they speak to everyone, are universal and provide council in times of confusion

  98. Post update

    ‏@CharlesTannock

    Charles Tannock MEP tweets: Excited to be in EP to hear address by HH Pope Francis to a packed audience of MEPs from across political spectrum

    Pope Francis
  99. Political changes

    Pope Francis begins his speech by highlighting the political changes that have occurred since the last papal address in 1988.

    "As the EU has expanded, the world itself has become more complex," he continues, adding that the world today feels "less Eurocentric" than it did.

    Pope Francis
  100. Post update

    @EPPGroup

    EPP Group ‏tweets: .@pontifex: a great deal has changed in Europe and the World since Pope John Paul II was last here in 1988

  101. President's address

    "The concerns of the European institutions and the Catholic church to a large degree coincide," says Martin Schulz ahead of the papal address, highlighting equality, solidarity and peace as values he sees as being shared by the various bodies.

  102. Pope arrives

    The Pope arrives in the chamber, accompanied by Martin Schulz.

    Pope arrives
  103. Last papal visit

    This is only the second time that a Pope has addressed MEPs in the chamber of the Parliament.

    The last Papal visit was made by John Paul II in 1988, when the speech he made to parliamentarians was disrupted by Rev. Ian Paisley, leader of Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party.

    He unveiled a poster branding the Pope an "antichrist" and shouted that he renounced the pontiff and all his "cults and creeds".

    You can watch the moment on the Democracy Live website.

    European Parliament, 1988
  104. Invitation to speak

    That's the debate on unemployment finished. MEPs are now taking their seats for Pope Francis's speech, which will start after a short break at 10.15 GMT.

    Pope Francis was invited to make this speech by Parliament President Martin Schulz, during a visit he made to the Vatican last year.

  105. Coming up

    The hemicycle is filling up for the Pope's address, which is due to begin in just over 15 minutes.

    European Parliament chamber
  106. EU economy background

    Earlier this month, the quarterly economic figures for the EU showed that growth was still low across the bloc, with growth in the Eurozone at just 0.2%, although both France and Germany narrowly escaped a new recession.

    Last week, the boss of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, said it would be prepared to do "whatever it takes" to secure the long-term future of the euro, including buying up government bonds if necessary.

  107. Youth Guarantee

    German centre-right MEP Sven Schulze mentions the EU's Youth Guarantee - that's a Commission project to guarantee that young people in Europe can get an offer of a job or training within 4 months of them leaving formal education or becoming unemployed.

  108. Employment context

    The headline figures on EU employment mask some big discrepancies in the employment rate between the member states. The employment rate in Germany last year was 77%, whilst in Spain it was just 59%.

    The worst-performing EU country last year was Greece - where employment in the age range was just 52%.

    As Ms. Ulvskog mentioned in her question at the beginning of this debate, the number of people in the EU in or at risk of poverty is currently going up instead of down, with over 120m in this situation last year.

  109. SME potential

    Spanish Centre-right Verónica Lope Fontagne, however, urges her colleagues not to "lose hope" in the 2020 growth strategy, and highlights the potential of SMEs - small or medium-sized businesses - to create growth.

    She finishes by adding that she hopes that the Commission investment proposals due to be unveiled by Jean-Claude Juncker tomorrow morning contain proposals to help businesses of this size.

  110. 'Precarious' employment

    Leftist Portuguese MEP Inês Cristina Zuber uses her speech to draw attention to what she calls the precarious nature of employment for many young people in the EU.

    Inês Cristina Zuber
  111. Targets off course

    The Eurostat website currently shows that the EU is not currently meeting the 75% employment target for people aged 20-64 - as of last year, it was down at 68.4% across the 28-member bloc.

    Only 5 of the 28 member countries were meeting this target as of last year, three years after the strategy was launched.

    At 74.9%, the UK's employment rate was just under the target, although it was over the target in 2007 and 2008.

  112. Missed targets 'a joke'

    "If it weren't such a serious subject, it would be joke" says UKIP MEP Jane Collins - referring to the target of 75% employment which is not being met in most EU countries.

    "It is the EU that is responsible for this lack of growth", she continues, adding that spending on "crackpot projects" will never manage to boost economic growth.

    Jane Collins
  113. 'Sobering reading'

    Irish liberal MEP Marian Harkin says the Commission's own assessment on how well the EU is doing to meet these targets makes "sobering reading", adding that she worries that the continent is "fracturing economically and politically".

    She adds that proposals to the Commission need to include targets for social goals - adding that the number of NEETs - people not in employment, education or training - is rising in many parts of Europe.

    Marian Harkin
  114. 2020 vision

    The Europe 2020 strategy was a ten-year growth plan launched in 2010, shortly after the financial crisis.

    It sets a number of targets to achieve by this year, including:

    • 20% of the EU's energy to come from renewable sources
    • 20 million fewer people in or at risk of poverty and social exclusion
    • 3% of the EU's GDP to be invested research and development
  115. Commission reply

    On behalf of the Commission, employment commissioner Marianne Thyssen begins by highlighting the grave situation of unemployment in the EU - stating that the number of people living in poverty has increased by 6 million, a statistic which she admits "calls into question the fairness of our social market economy".

    She highlights two EU projects that she thinks have been used to provide greater help to remedy the situation: the Social Fund, and the co-called Globalisation Adjustment Fund - a pot of money given to retrain workers who have been laid off due to changes in the labour market caused by globalisation.

    Marianne Thyssen
  116. Investment package

    Calling for a "fresh start" in Europe, Mr Gozi draws the attention of MEPs to the €300bn investment package to boost the struggling EU economy that has been proposed by the European Commission.

    Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker is due in the Parliament tomorrow morning to unveil more details of the plan to MEPs.

  117. Council reply

    On behalf of the Council of Ministers, Italian MP Sandro Gozi says that tackling employment has "always been one of the priorities of the Italian presidency".

    Italy currently holds the rotating presidency of the Council, which is made up of government ministers from EU countries in different policy areas, or "configurations". Latvia is due to take on the presidency from the start of next year.

    "We don't want to work with a Council of unconnected elements", he adds - proposing that the issue of high unemployment in Europe needs to be dealt with by EU ministers working in a number of different policy areas.

    Sandro Gozi
  118. Questions to Council

    The EU's employment targets are not being met in a number of countries and regions - with already high rates of unemployment increasing in countries like Spain and Greece.

    On behalf of the Parliament's employment and social affairs committee, Ms Ulvskog is asking the Council:

    • Whether it wants to increase investment spending to try to create jobs
    • What it thinks would happen if countries' employment targets were made binding, like the targets that govern fiscal consolidation
    • Whether it plans to increase the involvement of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in trying to achieve employment targets
  119. Unemployment debate begins

    We now move on to the next item of business: two oral questions by Swedish Socialist MEP Marita Ulvskog, about steps the Council and Commission are intending to take in order to meet the unemployment targets set out in the Europe 2020 growth strategy.

    The strategy sets a target that at least 75% of working-age people in the EU should be in employment.

    Marita Ulvskog

    Stating that "22 million people are on the breadline" in Europe, Ms Ulvskog begins the debate by calling on the Commission to improve investment in EU economies to lower the current rates of unemployment, which she calls "alarming".

  120. Motion rejected

    The Parliament does not have the right to amend the agreement that was reached, but it must give its opinion on it.

    Following a review of the economic performance of member states since 1995, the UK was told to pay an additional £1.7bn into the budget last month.

    Following a show of hands, MEPs vote to reject the motion asking for Parliament to fast-track its opinion. The opinion of MEPs will now have to be given at a later date.

  121. Budget intervention

    French MEP Jean Artuis, who chairs the Parliament's budgets committee, refers to the recent collapse in negotiations between the Parliament and the Council of Ministers on next year's budget.

    The Parliament was meant to be holding a final vote of approval on the budget during this week's plenary session, but that has now been postponed.

    Two bodies failed to agree on a budget before the end of the so-called "conciliation period", which ended at the start of last week.

    Jean Artuis
  122. Session begins

    Chairing the debate during this first part of the session is Irish MEP Mairead McGuinness, one of the Parliament's 14 vice-presidents.

    Mairead McGuinness
  123. Good Morning

    Hello and welcome to BBC Democracy Live's coverage of this second day of this week's plenary sitting of the European Parliament from Strasbourg.

    The highlight of today's session will be a speech to MEPs by Pope Francis, scheduled for 10.15 GMT.

    The day will begin, however, with an urgent debate - announced formally to MEPs yesterday - on whether to fast-track Parliament's opinion on 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.