The Commission will analyse direct flows and identify strategic concerns and solutions
The Commission unveiled last Thursday proposals to set up a European framework for screening foreign direct investment into the EU. In parallel, the Commission will start a detailed analysis of the foreign direct investment flows into the EU and set up a coordination group with Member States to help identify joint strategic concerns and solutions in the area of foreign direct investment, the EU press service reported. The idea was firstly presented by EC President Jean-Claude Juncker in his State of the Union speech a day earlier.
Neighbouring Member States will help each other to avoid crises
An EU country facing urgent or unexpected gas shortages can trigger cross-border assistance from its neighbours, under new cooperation rules approved last Tuesday by Parliament. The rules establish four risk groups of Member States, which will take part in “risk associated cooperation” and undertake joint risk assessments and joint preventive and emergency measures.
 
Mogherini wants safe channels for those in need of protection to come to Europe
The EU is planning to present by the end of the month new proposals on how to speed up sending illegal migrants back to their home countries and at the same time creating new legal routes for those requiring international protection.
 
EU repeal bill wins first vote challenge
The British government's bid to lead the UK out of the EU has passed yet another parliamentary test, news wires reported. Last Monday, MPs backed the EU Withdrawal Bill by 326 votes to 290 despite critics warning that it represented a “power grab” by ministers, according to the BBC.
Parliament adopted EU-wide free WiFi hotspots scheme
Maria Koleva, Brussels
In a few months, municipalities and other public sector bodies from across the Union will be able to apply for EU-funded WiFi hotspots scheme, the so called WiFi4EU initiative. High-quality internet can be provided by 2020 to main public places such as town halls, museums, stations, libraries, hospitals and parks, covering about 6,000-8,000 local communities. The total budget of the programme will be €120m.
MEPs unravel egg scandal across EU
Maria Koleva, Brussels
A criminal act resulting in food fraud, but the risk to human health remains very low. In such a way named Vytenis Andriukaitis, EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, during a debate at a plenary in Strasbourg on 12 September, the scandalous contamination of eggs with the insecticide fipronil that was revealed last month.
Engaging more in healthcare
Patients should not pay the cost of non-Europe in healthcare, a group of over 70 lawmakers from the main political families in the European Parliament warned in a statement sent to Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker a day before he delivered the State of the Union address at the European Parliament in Brussels.
New code to tighten conduct of commissioners
Members of the European Commission will have to wait two years before taking up new employment after they quit the EU executive under a new ethical code of conduct proposed by the President of the Commission on 13 September. Seeking to bolster the public's trust in the EU institutions, Jean-Claude Juncker called for more enforced ethical standards and greater transparency in the Commission.
Smugglers test to reactivate the Black Sea route
Smugglers in Turkey are testing to revive the route through the Black Sea to transfer migrants to Western Europe, Frontex said last week.
Leaving customs union could cost Britain dearly, disrupt trade
New customs arrangements after Brexit could cost the UK £4bn a year and cause massive disruption to trade and business, according to a new study.
MEPs look how to shrink Parliament after Brexit
The European Parliament should be reduced from 751 to 700 MEPs, according to the EP Constitutional Affairs Committee, with 22 British seats being re-distributed among the remaining 27 Member States. The committee was debating the issues last Monday.
Spain's police ordered to take action against referendum
Prosecutors in Catalonia ordered police to seize ballot boxes, election flyers or any item that could be used in a banned independence referendum called by the Spanish region's separatist executive for 1 October, news wires reported.
Internet firms to act faster removing illegal content
Companies, including Google, Facebook and Twitter, could face EU laws forcing them to be more proactive in removing illegal content if they do not do more to police what is available on the internet.
Checks on food from Fukushima to continue
In a resolution adopted last Wednesday by 543 votes to 100 and 43 abstentions, MEPs call on the European Commission to withdraw its proposal to relax checks on food from Fukushima region.
In Brief
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Extra €500m to further fight youth unemployment voted
 
Parliament approved last Wednesday an extra €500m for the Youth Employment Initiative, part of a €1.2bn top-up agreed for 2017-2020, the EP press service reported. In a resolution, MEPs called on the Commission and Member States to ensure that all the additional money is fully taken up by the end of 2017. “Despite recent positive news about EU economies, the number of young people not in work is still disgracefully high. This extra €500m will help support new job placements, traineeships and further education for those most in need,” rapporteur Jens Geier (S&D, DE), said.

EU arms export control needs serious 'facelift', MEPs claim
 
The EU's arms export control should be upgraded by setting up a supervisory body and sanctioning Member States not complying with minimum requirements, MEPs said last Wednesday in a non-binding resolution. They criticised Member States for violating the EU's common arms export control system and taking conflicting decisions on arms exports. To remedy the situation, MEPs advocate for setting up an arms control supervisory body; creating a mechanism which sanctions Member States for not complying with the EU's common position on arms exports; and widening the list of arms export criteria.

Plans to help forests remove greenhouse gases backed
 
Plans to cut greenhouse-gas emissions and boost absorption from forests as a way to tackle climate change received last Wednesday Parliament's support. MEPs backed a legislative proposal, under which EU countries have to ensure a balance in CO2 emissions and absorption from forests, croplands and grasslands. MEPs bolstered these provisions by adding that, from 2030, Member States should boost CO2 absorption to exceed emissions, in line with the EU's long-term objectives and the Paris Agreement.

Intercontinental flights exempt from paying for CO2 until 2020
 
Airlines would remain exempt from paying for CO2 emissions from intercontinental flights until 2020 under plans backed by MEPs last Wednesday. They voted to prolong the intercontinental exemption from EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) rules until December 2020, pending the introduction of a worldwide scheme to offset CO2 emissions from air transport. However, from 2021 onwards, the aviation sector should receive only half of its EU ETS allowances for free.

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