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Summary

  1. Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker debate EU Brexit guidelines with MEPs
  2. UN chief Antonio Guterres makes speech at 11.00 BST
  3. MEPs call for EU action over Hungarian university law
  4. Afternoon sees debate on rules for accessing online TV abroad

Live Reporting

By Paul Seddon

All times stated are UK

  1. Goodnight & coming up tomorrow

    And with that, tonight's sitting draws to a close.

    MEPs will be back tomorrow at 08.00 BST, when they will debate EU infrastructure spending.

    Human rights debates follow on Zambia, Ethiopia and South Sudan.

    At the voting session, they will vote on a non-binding motion on EU migrant quotas and widening access to online TV abroad.

  2. MEPs debate relations with Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland

    Fishing boat

    Finally tonight MEPs are debating trade relations between the EU and Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

    In an oral question, MEPs express concern about higher tariffs that Norway put on certain cheeses, lamb and beef back in 2013.

    They consider the higher duties a breach of the bilateral agreement the country has with the European Economic Area (EEA) and want the Commission to take action to resolve it.

    They will also debate plans to renew EU fisheries protocols with all three countries, which will be put to a vote tomorrow morning.

  3. Commission 'shares concerns' on Bangladesh

    Debate on rights pact with Bangladesh

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Cecilia Malmstrom

    EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom says she shares the "concerns" expressed by MEPs about labour standards in Bangladesh.

    She says there have been "some positive signals" from the country in this regard - including the retraction of a law on exporting zones which she says contravened International Labour Organisation (ILO) standards.

    She adds that the EU has made it "very clear" to the authorities there that they expect progress on labour standards.

    She adds that she hopes "we don't have to use" the bloc's GSP regulation - which would allow the withdrawal of Bangladesh's preferential access to EU markets - but the situation will be monitored closely.

  4. MEPs discuss rights pact with Bangladesh

    Mourners mark the fourth anniversary of the disaster
    Image caption: Mourners recently marked the fourth anniversary of the disaster

    MEPs are now debating the EU’s “sustainability compact” with Bangladesh – an agreement which promotes better working conditions in the country’s textiles sector.

    The EU signed the agreement in 2013, after the Rana Plaza factory collapse in which over a thousand people died.

    A delegation of MEPs from the international trade committee who have just returned from the country have said they have concerns about how the compact is being implemented.

    In an oral question, they have said the Bangladeshi authorities “often” fail to punish crimes against trade unionists and improving labour rights “remain a challenge”.

    They have asked the EU Commission whether it considers the country is violating the terms of its trade arrangements with the EU, under which preferential trade terms are offered in return for commitments to improve human rights.

  5. MEPs debate impact of EU-Korea trade deal

    Hamburg port

    MEPs are now debating a draft report from the international trade committee on the EU’s trade deal with South Korea, which has been applied since 2011 and fully came into force two years ago.

    The agreement eliminated tariffs on most products – except some food products – and also contained some rules to reduce non-tariff barriers to trade.

    The EU Commission says it wants to amend the deal to include additional rules on investment protection.

    The trade committee’s report – to be voted on tomorrow – says the agreement has led to “significant growth” between the two parties.

    However it also said some technical barriers to trade remain in certain areas, for example over intellectual property rights.

  6. Commission 'has understood' complaints on cabotage rules

    Debate on new EU transport rules

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan tells MEPs that the Commission is mulling new recommendations on extending the scope of environmental charges to passenger cars and buses.

    He adds that greater compatibility of national charging systems would make it easier for those who choose to do so to roll out this policy across several countries.

    He says that the Commission has "understood" the feedback it has received from various parties that the current EU rules on cabotage are "too difficult to enforce".

  7. MEPs debate new EU transport rules

    Motorway traffic

    MEPs have been joined by Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan to debate a forthcoming review of EU rules relating to the road haulage and transport sectors.

    A draft motion to be voted on tomorrow calls for “ambitious” carbon dioxide reduction standards for trucks and buses.

    It will also call for future legislation to clarify rules for “cabotage” – when drivers work in another EU state whilst making deliveries there.

    EU rules say drivers posted temporarily away from home should be guaranteed the minimum conditions and pay in the host nation – but critics say firms can exploit loopholes in the law.

  8. Extra checks 'in place for a reason' - MEP

    Debate on extra border checks

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Gerard Deprez

    Belgian Liberal Gerard Deprez says that there have clearly been "some difficulties" in introducing the extra checks at certain borders.

    However he says that "waiting for fifteen minutes is not unbearable" and the extra checks are "in place for a reason".

    Greek Syriza MEP Kostas Chrysogonos says that border checks should not "go too far" or impose a cost on national governments that might lead them to run down national security systems.

  9. MEPs debate implementation of extra Schengen checks

    Helsinki airport

    Digital Single Market Commissioner Andrus Ansip remains with MEPs to debate implementation of checks at the external border of the passport-free Schengen area.

    Under new rules introduced last month, holders of EU passports are checked against the Interpol stolen and lost travel documents database (SLTD) and Schengen Information System (SIS).

    The new system also applies to non-EU nationals leaving the Schengen zone.

    The aim is that extra checks will make it easier to determine someone’s identity and whether they are a potential security threat.

  10. Greek MEP: Rules will aid digital market in EU

    Debate on access to online TV services

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Giorgos Grammatikis

    Greek social democrat Giorgos Grammatikis says the new rules are an "excellent idea" that will contribute to the development of a European digital market.

    Estonian Liberal Kaja Kallas expresses support as well, saying no one is prevented from taking a DVD across a border and this should apply online as well.

    She adds that she hopes "many" public broadcasters take up the opportunity to offer greater access, and that firms use user-friendly means - such as e-IDs - to verify the location of customers.

  11. MEPs disagree on new access rules

    Debate on access to online TV services

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Julia Reda

    German Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda says that consumers would be willing to pay an estimated €1bn in order to have greater access to their subscriptions across Europe.

    She adds that this is revenue effectively being denied to European filmmakers and TV companies.

    However French Front National Gilles Lebreton says he will vote against the new rules tomorrow, saying that "geoblocking" content is a matter of national sovereignty.

    He also says the time period during which people will be able to access content abroad has not been adequately defined, meaning greater access may become "the rules and not the exception".

  12. MEPs express support for new rules

    Debate on access to online TV services

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Sabine Verheyen

    German Christian democrat Sabine Verheyen, who sits on the assembly's culture committee, says the new law is a "good compromise".

    The new rules will permit companies to use various systems to verify their users' identities, without the demands being too intrusive on their personal data, she adds.

    Conservative MEP Sajjad Karim also gives his backing to the new law, adding it will give people access abroad to paid content that "rightfully belongs to them".

  13. Ansip urges MEPs to back new rules

    Debate on access to online TV services

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Andrus Ansip

    Digital Single Market Commissioner Andrus Ansip tells MEPs that there is clearly an appetite for internet users to be able to access paid-for content when abroad.

    He says this is revealed by surveys which show the use of virtual private networks - or VPNs - to bypass national restrictions on accessing online services.

    He adds that he is glad a compromise on the legislation has been reached, and urges MEPs to back the text at the vote tomorrow.

  14. MEPs debate access rules for online TV

    Netflix displayed on screen

    MEPs are now debating legislation which would allow people who have paid for online TV content to access it all over the EU.

    The new law would require TV companies to offer access to paid-for online services to customers if they are in a different EU member state for “a limited period of time”.

    Under the rules, broadcasters will have to conduct checks to verify a user’s normal country of residence before access is allowed.

    Broadcasters such as the BBC whose income depends on a licence fee can offer their subscribers access if they set up a verification scheme. However, they will not be required to do so.

    MEPs have agreed a compromise on the new regulations with national ministers that they will put to a final vote tomorrow. The rules are expected to come into force in the first half of next year.

  15. Split over ECB powers

    Debate on ECB accountability

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Another German conservative, Bernd Lucke, says there should be some sort of mechanism for "controlling" the activities of the ECB.

    However Portuguese Liberal Antonio Marinho e Pinto argues that the ECB's powers in fact need to be strengthened and extended.

    This is "the only way that banks will be put back to serve those they were intended to serve", he adds.

    Antonio Marinho e Pinto
  16. Italian MEP: 'Broad majority' for ECB independence

    Debate on ECB accountability

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Roberto Gualtieri

    Italian social democrat Roberto Gualtieri, who chairs the econmic affairs committee, mounts a defence of the ECB, adding that "a broad majority" of MEPs support its independence.

    He adds that the Bank's quantitative easing (QE) policies "have been a success", with the positive effects outstripping the negative ones.

    However Belgian Sander Loones, from the conservative Flemish national party, says that QE is "monetary hocus pocus" that erodes savings and does not lead to sustainable growth.

  17. 'No reason' to question ECB mandate - Maltese minister

    Debate on ECB accountability

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Carmelo Abela

    On behalf of Malta's EU presidency, Maltese Home Affairs minister Carmelo Abela says the ECB has a mandate to pursue price stability across the eurozone as a whole.

    He says studies have suggested this objective is better implemented when central banks are "shielded from short-term political influence".

    He adds that the Council of the EU - in which national ministers meet to discuss policy - believes the level of accountability over the ECB is "commensurate with its independence".

    He says ministers have "no reason to question" whether the Bank is operating outside its mandate or the role prescribed for it in the EU's treaties.

  18. MEP: Draghi 'must be held accountable'

    Debate on ECB accountability

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Joachim Starbatty

    German Conservative Joachim Starbatty says that ECB chief Mario Draghi is the "most important man in the eurozone", whose decisions affect millions of people.

    He says the Bank's quantitative easing programme and low interest rates have had consequences for which he "needs to be accountable".

    He suggests that ECB policy of undermining the viability of pension funds and "expropriating" savers.

    The European Parliament is "choosing not to see" what is happening, he adds.

  19. Good afternoon

    Hello and welcome back to coverage of this plenary sitting of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

    First up this afternoon, MEPs are debating their powers to hold the European Central Bank (ECB) to account.

    ECB headquarters in Frankfurt
    Image caption: The ECB is headquartered in Frankfurt
  20. Votes end - short speeches begin

    That’s today’s voting session finished – MEPs now have the chance to make short speeches explaining how they voted.

    After this there will be a break, after which the sitting will resume at 14.00 BST with a debate on the powers of the European Central Bank (ECB).