EP | Mass surveillance: EU citizens’ rights still in danger, says Parliament

29/10/2015 – Too little has been done to safeguard citizens’ fundamental rights following revelations of electronic mass surveillance, say MEPs in a resolution voted on Thursday. They urge the EU Commission to ensure that all data transfers to the US are subject to an “effective level of protection” and ask EU member states to grant protection to Edward Snowden, as a “human rights defender”. Parliament also raises concerns about surveillance laws in several EU countries.

EP | Your views: how the European elections should be improved

27/10/2015 – European elections are your chance to decide how Europe should be run, but could they be run better? Although some basic principles are set down in EU law, Parliament is now looking to improve them further. MEPs discussed on 27 October a report with recommendations written by Polish EPP member Danuta Hübner and German S&D member Jo Leinen, but we were also keen to hear from you. Read on to find out what ideas people shared on our social media platforms.

EP Budget 2016: Parliament adds extra funds for migration and competitiveness

29/10/2015 – Parliament added extra funds for handling the unprecedented flow of refugees inside and outside the EU in Wednesday’s vote on the EU budget for 2016. It also topped up resources to fund help create jobs for young people, enhance the EU’s competitiveness and settle its unpaid bills. Parliament reversed all the cuts, including those on migration lines, made by EU ministers.

EP |Micro-loans: helping people out of unemployment and poverty

10/11/2015 – Microloans help people in difficult social circumstances to find their way out of unemployment and poverty. Although generally associated with South Asia and Latin America, where the first initiatives were launched four decades ago, they are also increasingly used in Europe. In 2010, the EU launched the European Progress Microfinance Facility to improve conditions for borrowers to obtain small loans. On Tuesday the EP’s employment committee votes on a report concerning its implementation.

EP | Schulz: The refugee crisis can only be tackled if all EU countries commit to dealing with it

12/11/2015 – Martin Schulz called on member states to step up their efforts to relocate refugees from EU countries faced with a heavy influx. “European solidarity can work if we all commit to it, but not if we let a small number of countries do all the heavy lifting,” the EP President said at an informal meeting of leaders of EU countries in Malta on 12 November. The meeting took place following the Valletta summit on migration to discuss collaboration with other countries.

EESC presents its recommendations to the Commission

20/10/2015 – The newly elected President of the EESC, Georges Dassis, today met with the First Vice-President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans. Mr Dassis presented to him the EESC’s recommendations for the Commission’s 2016 annual Work Programme. Among others, these included accelerated economic integration and convergence, strengthening democracy in the EU, reinforcing the European social model, and establishing a new migration policy.

EESC | EU and African civil society is ready to cooperate in tackling the refugee crisis

28/10/2015 – 2nd meeting of the EU-Africa Socio-Economic Actors Network adopts joint resolution – An approach based on full cooperation with African countries and respect for human rights in tackling the refugee flows into the EU has the full support of civil society from both continents. However, it is necessary to act now: “An action plan is not enough, it is important to equip it with the necessary funding and improve coordination and cooperation”. These were the main messages of the 2nd meeting of the EU-Africa Socio-Economic Actors Network in Brussels, organised by the European Economic and Social Committee on 27-28 October.