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Summary

  1. MEPs began the sitting by debating the results of the recent G20 summit in China.
  2. They also reviewed evidence gathered so far by the Parliament's special emissions inquiry into the Volkswagen emissions scandal.
  3. This afternoon, they have debated an EU investigation into controversial changes at the Polish constitutional court.
  4. EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini then joined them to debate the situation in Turkey following the failed coup against the government over the summer.
  5. In the evening, MEPs also debated forthcoming negotiations over the EU's budget for next year.

Live Reporting

By Paul Seddon

All times stated are UK

  1. Goodnight

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    And with that, tonight's sitting comes to an end. 

    MEPs will be back tomorrow at 08.00 BST, when Jean-Claude Juncker gives his "state of the union" speech, his second as EU Commission President.

    MEPs will then debate the speech until the start of the day's voting session at 11.00 BST. 

    In the afternoon, EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager joins MEPs to debate the Commission's recent tax ruling on Ireland and Apple. 

    MEPs will also debate legislation to set up an updated European travel document to speed up the process of deporting migrants who do not have the legal right to stay in the EU.

    They will also debate a plan from the EU Commission to transfer 54,000 places from its two-year asylum seeker relocation scheme.

  2. Debate on protecting wildlife begins

    Debate on CITES conference

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    That’s the debate on the EU’s trade partnership agreement with six countries in southern Africa finished. MEPs will vote tomorrow on whether to ratify the deal.

    Finally tonight, MEPs will debate the forthcoming CITES conference in South Africa on protecting endangered animal and plant species in international trade.

  3. Italian MEP predicts 'major impact' on European fruit growers

    Debate on EU-SADC trading agreement

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Italian centre-right MEP Giovanni La Via says, however, that there is an "overlap" between the liberalisation period in the agreement and the European growing season. 

    He adds that this means producers in his constituency will be obliged to compete "directly" with growers in southern Africa during the early period of the season. 

    This, he argues, will have a "major impact" on the income of farmers in Sicily. 

    Giovanni La Via
  4. Malmstrom: Opposition to deal 'not grounded'

    Debate on EU-SADC trading agreement

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom says the agreement will allow the signatory Southern African countries to diversify their economies.

    She adds that sustainable development clauses in the deal "must be monitored" to ensure they are complied with. 

    She dismisses some of the opposition from those concerned about the deal's impact on the European orange industry, saying some of the concerns "are not really grounded".

    She points out, for instance, that trade in citrus fruit will only be liberalised outside of the growing season. 

    Cecilia Malmstrom
  5. MEP calls on colleagues to back deal with 'growth continent'

    Debate on EU-SADC trading agreement

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    German Liberal Alexander Graf Lambsdorff,who has acted as the Parliament's negotiator on the deal, says the agreement will aid the African countries' "smooth and gradual integration" into the world economy. 

    As well as aiding economic growth in Europe, the agreement will aid sustainable development and help reduce poverty in the six African countries. 

    He calls Africa the world's "growth continent", with countries now less dependent on commodities. 

    He calls on MEPs to back the deal at tomorrow's ratification vote, and to overcome "last minute, sudden opposition", which he puts down to lobbying from citrus fruit industry. 

    Alexander Graf Lambsdorff
  6. MEPs debate EU trading agreement with African countries

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    That’s the debate on the EU budget for next year finished. MEPs will vote at the end of next month on their position to take into negotiations with national ministers and the EU Commission.

    They now move on to the next of this evening’s debates, which is on a draft trade partnership agreement between the EU and six countries in southern Africa.

    The agreement, which faces a ratification vote tomorrow, will lower trade duties on a number of products imported from Namibia, Mozambique, Botswana, Swaziland and Lesotho – and will offer improved EU market access for South Africa.

    For tonight’s debate, MEPs on the international trade committee have tabled an oral question asking the EU Commission how it intends to ensure provisions in the agreement relating to sustainable development are properly monitored. 

  7. Commissioner denounces 'bad uses of knife' in proposed cuts

    Debate on EU budget

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Budgets Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva says the Commission is agreed on the need to concentrate spending on migration and job creation as the top two priorities for next year. 

    However she says there is "more in alignment" with the governments' position on migration spending than on jobs. 

    She adds that she was "surprised to see" proposed cuts from the governments in EU research and transport projects, describing some of them as a "bad use of the knife".

    For instance, she says that delays to an EU space satellite scheme can incur additional storage costs. 

    Kristalina Georgieva
  8. How is the EU budget set?

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    The EU budget for each year must be within the limits specified by the long-term budget, the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), which runs over a seven-year period.

    The European Parliament must approve the annual budgets before they can come into force.

    The long process over setting an annual budget normally begins in the spring of the preceding year, when the European Commission publishes its initial draft proposals.

    The national governments then take an initial position, normally in the summer, before the Parliament adopts its stance in the autumn.

    If there is a difference between the positions, then “conciliation” talks begin, where the various participants thrash out their differences behind closed doors. 

    Euro notes
    Image caption: The EU financial year, unlike in the UK, runs from January to December.
  9. Migration 'key priority' for budget

    Debate on 2017 EU budget

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Vazil Hudak, Slovakia's chief negotiator on the EU budget, tells MEPs that national governments wish to create "sufficient margins" in spending limits to cope with future crises. 

    He says tackling the refugee crisis and financing for the EU's migration projects is a "key priority", and governments have agreed to an increase in spending in this area. 

    He says spurring growth and employment is a second priority.

    He says, however, that the member states are very concerned about achieving planned budget cuts on spending by the EU institutions. 

    Vazil Hudak
  10. MEPs begin debate on EU budget

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    That’s the debate on labour standards and “social dumping” in the EU finished – MEPs will vote on their resolution on Thursday.

    MEPs have now been joined by EU budgets commissioner Kristalina Georgieva and Vazil Hudak, Slovakia's chief negotiator on the EU budget, to debate the bloc’s budget for next year.

    The EU Commission has proposed that the 2017 budget should total €157bn in commitments (money pledged for future projects) and €135bn in payments.

    In July the national governments proposed to cut those totals by 0.81% and 0.82% respectively.

    The final budget – which MEPs must ratify – must be decided before the end of this year. MEPs will outline their position next month, where they are likely to criticise the scale of the proposed cuts.

  11. MEPs begin debate on employment standards

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    That’s the debate on EU support for Tunisia finished – the vote on the non-binding motion will take place tomorrow lunchtime.

    MEPs are now debating another non-binding motion, which will be put to a vote on Thursday, calling for greater co-operation between EU states over enforcing employment standards.

    The draft text says that national governments should exchange more information to help improve the efficiency of workplace inspections.

    The motion, which will not be binding, calls on the EU Commission to look into setting up an EU-wide social security cards system to tackle bogus claims and prevent fraud.

  12. MEP backs EU 'technical support' in Tunisia

    Debate on Tunisia

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Romanian centre-right MEP Ramona Nicole Manescu says she supports the EEAS - the EU diplomatic service - providing funding and "technical assistance" to the electoral authorities in Tunisia.  

    She says the €500m in aid loans to the country recently endorsed by the European Parliament must be spent on projects with a "long-lasting" effect. 

    Ramona Nicole Manescu
  13. Economic development 'bedrock' of stability - MEP

    Debate on Tunisia

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Conservative MEP Amjad Bashir tells MEPs that economic development will be the "bedrock" of ensuring the country's stability.

    He says the EU should encourage "internal reforms" to reduce bureaucracy and make the country a friendlier environment for small businesses. 

    Although he says carefully-managed macroeconomic assistance" can be effective, it is teacher training and steps to end water shortages that will "win over the Tunisian man in the street".

    He warns, however, that long-term political stability will be difficult to achieve without peace in neighbouring Libya. 

    Amjad Bashir
  14. MEPs begin debate on EU support to Tunisia

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    That’s the debate about this month’s UN summit on refugees and migrants finished.

    Federica Mogherini will remain with MEPs to debate a non-binding motion urging EU states to provide “concrete support” for the democratically elected government in Tunisia.

    The country’s economy has struggled since the Arab Spring in 2011, as well as following terror attacks which have hit its tourist industry.

    Before the summer recess MEPs approved an EU proposal to lend €500m to Tunisia to supplement medium-term loans from the IMF. 

  15. MEP warns against 'creeping constitutionality' of EU aid

    Debate on UN refugee summit

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Labour MEP Linda McAvan, who chairs the Parliament's development committee, says the EU representatives should attend next month's UN summit with a "certain humility".

    She adds that the bloc only started to take the issue of migration seriously when refugees started washing up on Europe's shores. 

    "We weren't particularly bothered until that point," she adds. 

    She also warns against the "creeping constitutionality" of EU aid policy - where development cash is only offered in return for agreements to stop migration or take back failed asylum seekers.

    Linda McAvan
  16. MEP: Need to 'look again' at UN refugee convention

    Debate on UN refugee summit

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Conservative MEP Charles Tannock says all it takes is to look at the huge number of refugees in Jordan and Lebanon to realise that migration is not an "isolated and regional phenomenon".

    He says that although war and despotic regimes are major reasons that might lead people to flee their homelands, moving for better economic prospects is "no less of a natural motivation".

    He suggests that given declining levels of absolute poverty in the developing world, there is a need to "look again" at the 1951 UN refugee convention to reflect an increased ability of people to move between borders. 

    Charles Tannock
  17. Commissioner: Migration 'here to stay'

    Debate on UN refugee summit

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Federica Mogherini begins the debate by thanking the Parliament for raising the profile of migration as an issue for EU politicians. 

    She says that the issue has gone from being "very low" on the political agenda to becoming "maybe the central issue" of this year's UN general assembly. 

    She tells MEPs that the EU has finally "woken up" to the "new normal" of global migratory trends - adding that long-term migration is "here to stay", even if that is something that "some of our citizens" don't "like to hear". 

    Migration is a long-term issue, she adds, that the Commission is seeking to "manage properly in an orderly way". 

    Federica Mogherini
  18. MEPs begin debate on UN refugee summit

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    That’s the debate about the situation in Gabon finished. 

    Federica Mogherini will stay with MEPs for the next debate, which is on a UN summit on refugees and migrants taking place in New York later this month. 

  19. Mogherini: Attacks on EU observers 'cannot be tolerated'

    Debate on disputed election in Gabon

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini tells MEPs that it is important to re-establish the confidence of the Gabonese people in the country's democratic processes. 

    She says that some of the EU electoral observers working in the country have been subject to personal attacks, something she says "cannot be tolerated".

    She pledges, however, that EU observers will work with the Gabonese authorities until the disputed election result is resolved.  

    Federica Mogherini