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This Week's Top Stories from the European Parliament - 26-30 November 2018

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European Parliament marks EU accession prospects for Serbia and Kosovo
Plenary session | AFET | Yesterday

Serbia should align its foreign policy more with the EU's, also on Russia, while Kosovo should be granted visa liberalisation without delay, say MEPs.

On Thursday, the European Parliament adopted two resolutions evaluating the latest efforts by Serbia and Kosovo to get closer to the EU and a possible future membership.

Cum-ex tax fraud scandal: MEPs call for inquiry, justice, and stronger tax authorities
Plenary session | ECON | Yesterday

MEPs on Thursday called for an inquiry, rule changes and stronger tax authorities as a result of the EUR 55 billion cum-ex tax fraud.

The tax fraud, which was uncovered by a team of investigative journalists and has affected at least 11 EU member states and cost taxpayers up to EUR 55 billion, was already the subject of a debate during the October plenary session and has now been supplemented with a resolution adopted by a show of hands.

Western Balkans: European Parliament takes stock of 2018 progress
Plenary session | AFET | Yesterday

MEPs assessed the progress made in Albania, Montenegro and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on their path towards possible EU accession on Thursday.

Three resolutions evaluating the current state of play were adopted by the full House.

Role of German Youth Welfare Office in cross-border family disputes
Plenary session | PETI | Yesterday

MEPs sound the alarm over the controversial role of the German Youth Welfare Office (Jugendamt), denounced in a large number of petitions by non-German parents.

Following the plenary debate on 15 November, MEPs approved a resolution highlighting the very large number of petitions received by the European Parliament from non-German parents over the past 10 years regarding the role of the German Youth Welfare Office. The petitioners repeatedly denounce alleged discrimination and arbitrary measures taken against them in cross-border family disputes involving children, as well as insufficient counselling and legal support provided by their national authorities.

Parliament calls for the rights of children of bi-national couples to be safeguarded better to preserve their identity, including their family relations.

New rules for temporary border controls within the Schengen area
Plenary session | LIBE | Yesterday

Internal border checks within the Schengen area should be limited to a maximum of one year, instead of the current two-year period, say MEPs.

The Schengen Borders Code, currently under revision, allows member states to carry out temporary checks at internal borders within the Schengen area, in the event of a serious threat to public order or to internal security.

Parliament backs €2.3 million worth of aid to help 550 redundant media workers in Greece
Plenary session | BUDG | Yesterday

550 media workers dismissed by three publishing companies will receive EU aid worth €2,308,500 to help them find new jobs.

The aid will be used to fund a series of measures co-financed by the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF). These measures will help the 550 workers to find new jobs by providing them with occupational guidance, training, retraining and vocational training, specific advice geared towards entrepreneurship, contributions to business start-ups and a variety of allowances. All the redundant workers are expected to be included in the measures.

Brexit: the time has come to back the withdrawal deal
Plenary session | Yesterday

Parliament debated the UK's withdrawal from the EU with EU Brexit chief negotiator Michel Barnier on Thursday.

Commenting on the conclusions of the Extraordinary European Council of 25 November, where heads of state or government backed the negotiated withdrawal agreement and the political declaration regarding future relations with the UK, members of the European Parliament's Brexit Steering Group underlined the gravity of the moment.

Opening - Russia must meet its obligations in the Sea of Azov
Plenary session | Yesterday

President Tajani expressed Parliament's concern regarding Russian action in the Sea of Azov, at the opening of the session in Brussels.

Ukraine's territorial integrity is fundamental, said President Tajani, adding that Russia needs to meet its obligations and release arrested Ukrainians immediately.

EU food watchdog: more transparency, better risk prevention
ENVI | 27-11-2018

The Environment and Health Committee wants the European Food Safety Agency to act faster and publish studies before a product is authorised to go on to the market.

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