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This Week's Top Stories from the European Parliament - 8-12 October 2018

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Deal on protecting workers from exposure to harmful substances
EMPL | Yesterday

A deal on new EU rules to better protect workers from exposure to carcinogenic and mutagenic substances was struck by Employment Committee MEPs and the Council.

12 million workers in the EU potentially exposed to diesel engine exhaust emissions (DEEE) will now be better protected, as diesel fumes and their corresponding exposure limit value were added to the final deal.

The second revision of the 2004 directive intends to further lower the risk for workers of getting cancer, which is the primary cause of work-related deaths in the EU.


The future of international election observation missions
Yesterday

"Our citizens gain from living in a world with more democracies and fewer authoritarian regimes" said President Tajani at a high-level conference on electoral observation.

Organised together with the EEAS, the event gathers MEPs, former heads of state, national parliamentarians, representatives of international organisations, election observers, donors and civil society to share best practices on how to conduct elections and to debate the future challenges and opportunities of election observation.


Facebook: MEPs demand a full audit by EU bodies to assess data protection
LIBE | 09-10-2018

EU bodies should be allowed to fully audit Facebook to assess data protection and security of users' personal data, said Civil Liberties MEPs on Wednesday.

MEPs take note of the privacy improvements undertaken by Facebook after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, but recall that the company has yet not carried out the promised full internal audit. They recommend that the company makes "substantial modifications to its platform" to comply with EU data protection law.


Plastic Oceans: MEPs back EU ban on polluting throwaway plastics by 2021
ENVI | Yesterday

Single-use plastic items such as plates, cutlery or cotton buds, making up over 70% of marine litter, will be banned under plans backed in the Environment Committee.

Single-use plastic products such as cutlery, cotton bud sticks, plates, straws, beverage stirrers and balloon sticks will be banned from the EU market from 2021, under draft plans approved on Wednesday by the Environment and Public Health Committee.


Humanitarian visas to avoid refugees' deaths
LIBE | Yesterday

EU countries should be able to issue humanitarian visas at embassies and consulates abroad, so people seeking protection can access Europe without risking their life.


Portugal: Budget MEPs back €4.66 m in job-search aid for 730 redundant workers
BUDG | 09-10-2018

Following the dismissal of 1,161 textile workers in three regions, the most disadvantaged among them should receive EU aid worth €4,655,883 to help find new jobs.

The measures, co-financed by the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF), would provide the 730 workers facing the greatest difficulties, along with up to 730 young people not in employment, education or training (NEETs) under the age of 30, with various options to improve their skills, including vocational training, and help for those who want to start a business. In total, 1,460 targeted beneficiaries are therefore expected to participate in the measures, including NEETs.


EU Budget 2019 to focus on young people
BUDG | 09-10-2018

Budgets Committee MEPs demanded an EU budget for 2019 capable of tackling the numerous challenges that the EU continues to face, in a vote on Tuesday.

MEPs' priorities for next year's budget are "sustainable growth, innovation, competitiveness, security, tackling the root causes of refugee and migration flows, managing refugee and migration flows, the fight against climate change and the transition to sustainable energy, and a particular focus on young people."


Western Balkans: MEPs take stock of 2018 progress
AFET | 09-10-2018

In resolutions adopted on Tuesday, Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs mark the progress made in five Western Balkan countries on their path towards possible EU accession.


MEPs back update of rail passenger rights across EU
TRAN | 09-10-2018

Transport MEPs backed strengthened rail passengers' rights, such as higher compensation rates for delays and better assistance to persons with reduced mobility.


Sakharov Prize 2018: three finalists selected
AFET | DEVE | DROI | 09-10-2018

Non-governmental organisations saving migrants in the Mediterranean Sea, Oleg Sentsov and Nasser Zefzafi were shortlisted for the 2018 Sakharov Prize on Tuesday.


Leading female EU politicians urge women to vote and stand in European elections
09-10-2018

Ahead of the European Council 17-18 October, top EU politicians call on women to vote and to stand as candidates in the next European elections.


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