MEPs

    • EU Blue Card: More flexible criteria for highly qualified immigrants admitted

      EU Blue Card: More flexible criteria for highly qualified immigrants admitted

      MEPs on Wednesday adopted the reform of the EU Blue Card to facilitate the employment of highly qualified non-EU nationals and help alleviate labour shortages in key sectors, EP Press service reported. The Blue Card Directive, in place since late 2009, defines the conditions of entry and residence that third country nationals (and their family members) must meet to take up highly qualified employment in the member states. However, the scheme has not attracted enough of these much-needed workers, with only 36 806 Blue Cards issued in the EU in 2019 (and Germany issuing most of them).

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    • MEPs: Same-sex marriages and partnerships should be recognised across the EU

      MEPs: Same-sex marriages and partnerships should be recognised across the EU

      The EU should lift all obstacles facing LGBTIQ people when exercising their basic rights, MEPs say on Tuesday, EP Press service reported. In a resolution on the rights of LGBTIQ persons in the EU (adopted with 387 votes in favour, 161 against and 123 abstaining), the European Parliament emphasises that these citizens should be able to fully exercise their rights, including the right to free movement, everywhere in the Union. The resolution states that marriages or registered partnerships formed in one member state should be recognised in all of them in a uniform way, and same-sex spouses and partners should be treated the same as their opposite-sex counterparts.

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    • MEPs call for return to borderless Schengen area and reform of Border Code

      MEPs call for return to borderless Schengen area and reform of Border Code

      MEPs call for the restoration of free movement within the Schengen area, which has been disrupted by border controls, most recently because of the Covid-19 crisis. The European Parliament argues that member states should swiftly restore free movement in the Schengen area in its newly adopted Schengen report (505 votes in favour, 134 against and 54 abstentions), EP Press service reported on Thursday.

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    • MEPs agree to strengthen the European Medicines Agency’s capacity

      MEPs agree to strengthen the European Medicines Agency’s capacity

      Public health MEPs agree to change the European Medicines Agency’s mandate to reinforce its role and better equip the EU to manage future health crises, EP Press service reported. The Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) adopted on Tuesday, with 68 votes in favour, 3 against and 8 abstentions, its negotiating position on the extension of the mandate of the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The position is scheduled to be voted on during the July plenary session.

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    • MEPs reach political agreement on €5bn Brexit Adjustment Reserve

      MEPs reach political agreement on €5bn Brexit Adjustment Reserve

      EU legislators reached a political agreement on Thursday on the €5bn Brexit Adjustment Reserve, paving the way for a first payment by December, EP Press service reported. With a budget of €5bn (in 2018 prices - €5.4bn in current prices), the Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR) will focus on countries and sectors worst affected by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. A first instalment of €1.6bn in pre-financing will be available by December 2021. Two other pre-financing tranches of €1.6bn will be paid at the beginning of 2022 and 2023. The remaining €1bn will be paid in 2025.

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    • MEPs update rules to allow EU Ombudsman to serve Europeans better

      MEPs update rules to allow EU Ombudsman to serve Europeans better

      Parliament is updating the rules on how the European Ombudsman works to provide a broader mandate for inquiries into poor administration at EU level, EP Press service reported on Tuesday. MEPs are expected to adopt a modernised statute that strengthens the office of the European Ombudsman during the plenary session on 23-24 June. Parliament negotiators reached an agreement on the rules with the Council and the Commission in May 2021 following a couple of years of political deadlock.

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    • European Parliament calls for Covid-19 vaccine patent waiver

      European Parliament calls for Covid-19 vaccine patent waiver

      To accelerate global vaccine rollout, MEPs demand the temporary lifting of intellectual property rights protection for Covid-19 vaccines, EP Press service reported on Thursday. In a resolution adopted with 355 votes in favour, 263 against and 71 abstentions, Parliament proposes negotiations start for a temporary waiver of the WTO TRIPS Agreement on patents to improve global access to affordable Covid-19-related medical products and to address global production constraints and supply shortages.

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