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Summary

  1. The sitting began with a debate on anti-tax avoidance measures announced by the EU Commission in January.
  2. After this, they debated and approved legislation that would delay implementation of new EU banking rules - known as MiFID II - for the financial sector by one year.
  3. After the lunchtime voting session, the afternoon sitting began with a debate on a proposed EU migration policy with African and Middle Eastern countries.
  4. MEPs also debated a revision to the "blue card" migration scheme, and an EU co-operation agreement with the Philippines that faces a ratification vote on Wednesday.
  5. In the evening, they also discussed what involvement EU states had in facilitating alleged human rights abuses by the CIA, and the future of EU space policy.

Live Reporting

By Paul Seddon

All times stated are UK

  1. Goodnight - and join us tomorrow...

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    And with that, the final debate comes to an end and that's it from the European Parliament tonight. 

    MEPs will be back tomorrow morning at 08.00 BST, when they will debate a mid-term review of the EU's flagship investment plan.

    They will then discuss whether to sign off on EU proposals to lend €500m to Tunisia to supplement loans from the IMF.

    Before the voting session begins at 11.30 BST, MEPs will hear a speech from Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev.

    After lunch, they will debate the sharing of information between EU security authorities, EU action against Chinese steel dumping and the state of democracy in Turkey. 

  2. Commissioner: Europe's competitors 'moving fast'

    Debate on EU space policy

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Industry Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska tells MEPs that the EU's competitors are "moving fast", and pledges that the Commission will adopt an "inclusive" attitude to developing its new space strategy. 

    She says that EU countries have put 14 satellites in orbit, and will be launching a further four in November. 

    She adds that the Commission is also looking into the opportunities afforded by space technology to the EU's security and maritime policies. 

    Elzbieta Bienkowska
  3. The EU and space policy

    Debate on EU space policy

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    There has been a big increase in recent years in the number of countries using space technology for a variety of scientific, communication and military purposes.

    At the moment, France is the only EU country to have a launching capability, although over 60 states and other organisations have space-faring abilities.

    The EU-funded Galileo global satellite navigation system is expected to start operating by the end of this year and to reach its full operational capacity in 2019.

    Another EU-funded project, called Copernicus, comprises satellites and infrastructure to monitor land, seas and the earth’s atmosphere.

    The increasing number of countries with a space presence has led to discussions at an international level about rules governing behaviour in outer space. 

    Space conference
  4. Debate on EU space policy begins

    Debate on EU space policy

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    That’s the debate on the alleged involvement of EU states in the CIA’s terror suspect rendition programme finished. MEPs will set out their views in a non-binding motion vote tomorrow.

    Finally tonight, they have been joined by Industry Commissioner Elżbieta Bienkowska to debate moves to form an EU policy for activities in outer space.

    The Commission announced a public consultation into such a possibility in April, and has pledged to submit initial proposals by the end of this year.

    MEPs will vote tomorrow on a non-binding motion from the Foreign Affairs Committee setting out a number of recommendations for what should be included in the policy.

    They will also vote on a separate motion which recommends that space policy should become a greater part of the EU’s common security and defence policy. 

    Galileo takeoff
  5. Liberal MEP: States 'going out of their way' to thwart investigations

    Debate on CIA renditions

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Dutch Liberal Sophia in't Veld says that national governments are "going out of their way to frustrate judicial investigations" into the renditions process. 

    She says that it is an "absolute bloody shame" that MEPs are still discussing the issue nearly ten years on from their initial inquiry into the subject. 

    She says that it makes no sense to block an EU investigation on the grounds that this is an area of national sovereignty, given that state made a collective decision to allow CIA flights into EU airspace.

    She says that governments are "hiding behind legalistic arguments". 

    Sophia in't Veld
  6. Background to the CIA ‘black sites’

    Debate on CIA renditions

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    A total of 12 European countries – including the UK – have been accused of passive or active involvement with the CIA’s renditions programme launched after the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

    This alleged complicity ranges from allowing transit in national airspace for rendition flights, to providing intelligence to the CIA leading to the capture of suspects elsewhere.

    Poland, Romania and Lithuania have also been reported as hosting CIA secret prisons – known as “black sites” – on their territory.

    The alleged co-operation of EU states in the programme has been the subject of several European Parliament resolutions, and an inquiry from the Civil Liberties Committee. 

    National investigations are underway in the UK, Poland, Lithuania and Italy as to what involvement governments had in arranging the transfer and imprisonment of terror suspects.

    Aleksander Kwasniewski
    Image caption: Former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski has acknowledged his country let the CIA run a secret prison on its territory
  7. Commissioner repeats need for national investigations

    Debate on CIA renditions

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova tells MEPs that the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights only applies to national governments insofar as they are implementing EU law. 

    She adds that national security is "outside the remit of the Commission", and that the EU executive does not have the power to launch its own investigations into governments in this area. 

    However, she says the Commission has "consistently" stressed the need for EU countries to conduct their own independent investigations to establish the facts. 

    She adds that such investigations could eventually lead to the granting of compensation to any victims. 

    Vera Jourova
  8. Dutch minister 'ashamed' of transfers history

    Debate on CIA renditions

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Dutch foreign minister Bert Koenders says there is a "solid judicial framework" in place for seeking redress from a national governments for their involvement in facilitating the transport of prisoners. 

    He adds that the practice has also been condemned in cases brought before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). 

    He saying that "what has happened with renditions may never happen again", adding that he is "ashamed" such transfers took place on European soil. 

    Bert Koenders
  9. MEPs begin debate on CIA renditions

    Debate on CIA renditions

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    That’s the debate about the EU’s proposed partnership agreement with the Philippines finished. MEPs will vote tomorrow on whether to give final ratification to the deal.

    They have now been joined by Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova and Dutch foreign affairs minister Bert Koenders to debate what involvement EU states had in facilitating alleged human rights abuses by the CIA.

    The allegations relate to interrogation techniques used by US security services between 2001 and 2006 at “secret prisons” situated in a number of EU states.

    Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee has tabled an oral question to ask the Commission for an update on whether any member states have broken EU asylum rules as part of their collaboration.

    MEPs will also set out their position on ongoing investigations into the matter in a non-binding motion to be put to a vote tomorrow. 

  10. MEPs begin debate on EU-Philippines agreement

    Debate on EU-Philippines agreement

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    That’s the debate on the situation in Bangladesh finished. MEPs are now debating a co-operation agreement that the EU initially signed with the Philippines in July 2012.

    The EU has since started negotiations for a free trade agreement with the country, which began at the end of last year.

    The agreement contains a number of provisions to strengthen economic co-operation, as well as boosting co-operation over counter-terrorism, energy and organised crime.

    MEPs will vote tomorrow on whether to ratify the agreement – which must be done before it can come into force.

    They will also vote on a non-binding motion urging the Philippines government to boost transparency as a means of increasing investment, and expressing concern about “severe human rights violations” by the Philippine military in counter-terror operations. 

    Makati
    Image caption: The city of Makati hosts the country's main financial district
  11. EU 'could have been more vocal' on Bangladesh - MEP

    Debate on Bangladesh

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Charles Tannock

    Conservative Charles Tannock says freedom of speech and religious tolerance in the country are threatened "not by the government" but by Islamists.

    Nevertheless, Dutch Liberal Marietje Schaake says that "concerns remain that more could have been done" by the government to protect people from attacks. 

    She adds that the response of the security forces to killings, however, has also been disproportionate.

    She tells MEPs that it is "disappointing" that the EU has not "been more vocal" on this issue. 

  12. Dutch foreign minister: Worrying political situation could hamper development

    Debate on Bangladesh

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Dutch foreign minister Bert Koenders tells MEPs that the security situation in Bangladesh has "steadily deteriorated" since boycotted elections in January 2014.  

    He adds there is a need for a "new social and political consensus" in the country - and greater respect for freedom of speech. 

    He adds that the "worrying" political situation could be detrimental to the country's achievements in poverty reduction in recent years, in which EU development funding has played a part. 

    Bert Koenders
  13. Bangladesh Hindu priest murdered by militants

    A Hindu priest has been killed in Bangladesh, in the latest attack by Islamist militants.

    The body of Ananda Gopal Ganguly, 70, was found in a field near his temple in western Jhenaidah district. His head had been nearly severed from his neck.

    Separately, police have killed three suspected Islamists in a crackdown on extremists blamed for the murders.

    Critics say the government is in denial about the killings, most of which have been blamed on or claimed by Islamists.

    Read more here

    Wife of Ananda Gopal Ganguly
  14. MEPs begin debate on Bangladesh

    Debate on Bangladesh

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    That’s the debate on the EU Commission’s latest proposals to boost work-related skills finished.

    MEPs have now been joined by Dutch foreign affairs minister Bert Koenders to debate the political situation in Bangladesh.

    He will make opening and closing speeches on behalf of EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini.

    The country has seen a series of murders of religious minorities, secular activists and academics in recent months.

    More than 20 people have been killed in attacks by suspected Islamists in the past three years - with a Hindu priest in western Jhenaidah district the latest victim of the violence. 

    The killings have been blamed on various hardline groups, including so-called Islamic State and Ansar al-Islam, a Bangladeshi militant group affiliated to al-Qaeda. 

    Protests in Bangladesh
    Image caption: The killing of a university professor sparked protests last month
  15. MEP urges 'digital literacy'

    Debate on EU Skills Agenda

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Deirdre Clune

    Irish Fine Gael MEP Deirdre Clune says the skills shortage in Europe is an issue that the EU "really needs to address".

    She adds, however, that any strategy must involve industry and employers to determine the skills that are promoted. 

    Romanian centre-right MEP Siegfried Muresan picks up on the need to prepare young people for the jobs of the future by improving digital skills. 

    He says that "digital literacy" should become a "core skill" acquired from an early age.  

  16. Post update

  17. Italian MEP: EU 'does not protect' workers' rights

    Debate on EU Skills Agenda

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Laura Agea

    Laura Agea, an MEP from Italy's Five Star Movement, says the net effect of the Commission's drive to boost labour mobility has been a "brain drain from the south to the north". 

    She adds that the EU lack a "proper mechanism to protect workers' rights". 

    Parliament's youngest MEP, German Green MEP Terry Reintke, says that the skills initiative will only work if it is produced "in support of existing education systems". 

    She also calls for investment programmes to "actually create" the jobs for which young people are trained. 

  18. Commissioner promises skills boost

    Debate on EU Skills Agenda

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Employment Commissioner Marianne Thyssen says that 40% of companies in the EU say they have trouble finding recruits with the right skills. 

    She adds that Europe also faces the problem of lower employment rates for women, despite their higher rates of graduation.

    She says that the Commission's proposal will contain proposals to make it easier for skills qualifications to be compared "across borders and sectors". 

    She adds that it will also contain an EU-wide protocol for assessing the skills of immigrants from non-EU countries.  

    Marianne Thyssen
  19. MEPs begin debate on skills initiative

    Debate on EU Skills Agenda

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    That’s the debate about the Commission’s new immigrant integration strategy and revision of the blue card migration application scheme finished.

    MEPs are now debating the Commission’s latest proposal to boost work-related skills, which it is also announcing today.