On Wednesday and Thursday one of the six annual short plenary sessions was held in Brussels. During the plenary session in Brussels MEPs debated various issues, which included the derivatives trade; progress reports on Turkey, Serbia, Kosovo and Montenegro; air passenger rights; EU resettlement programme for refugees, the EP budget 2013, and voted on a resolution enforcing EU citizens` basic rights.
The adoption of the Annual Report on Human Rights in the World 2010 and the European Union`s policy on the matter, although significantly late, is coming to an end in the European Parliament. Last Thursday the EP`s Foreign Affairs Committee approved a text of a draft report, whose main Rapporteur was representative from Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament (S&D) Richard Howitt, and voted on more than three hundred amendments submitted for this document. The final vote on this report is foreseen for the EP plenary session in April. (Read more...)
Leonidas Donskis went to Lithuania after the plenary session in Strasbourg, where he dedicated Friday, 16 March, for meetings in the Šiauliai area. There were three meetings organised on that day in Radviliškis Lizdeikos high school, Šiauliai S. Daukantas high school and Šiauliai Community house. Although the auditorium and topics of the meetings varied, they were all united by the activeness, curiosity, openness for discussions and questions of the participants. (Read more...)
This week MEPs gathered in Strasbourg, where they focused on the countries outside the EU, the new potential EU members and the partners of the Community, as well as EU internal affairs. MEPs expressed their position on Russian presidential elections, assessed the situation in Kazakhstan and Belarus, as well as the progress of Iceland, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina towards joining the EU, conclusions of the summit, voted on the creation of a special parliamentary committee on organised crime. (Read more...)
A group of MEPs who, last summer, had submitted a Written Question to the European External Action Service (EEAS) concerning the EU actions for pushing Russia for a thorough investigation into the death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in prison have finally received an answer from High Representative Catherine Ashton. Unfortunately, MEPs found more political correctness than principles in the answer, which was signed by one of the EU`s leaders. (Read more...)
On Tuesday, a hearing on Russia was held during the Subcommittee on Human Rights meeting. Several representatives of civil society and human rights defenders from Russia attended the Subcommittee meeting in order to share information about elections, and problems relating to violations of the freedom of association, discrimination and the rule of law. (Read more...)