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Tuesday 31 January 2023 Dublin: 7°C

# European Parliament

This month
January 2023
# graft scandal
EU Parliament chief moves to lift two MEPs' immunity amid corruption scandal
It comes after four suspects were arrested last month during a series of police raids in which at least €1.5 million in cash was seized.
Last year
2022
# graft scandal
Greek MEP who is a suspect in EU corruption scandal refused release from custody
Eva Kaili has been held in custody since December 9, accused of corruption, membership of a criminal organisation and money laundering.
# Eva Kaili
Greek MEP at centre of Qatar-linked corruption scandal faces key court ruling
Eva Kaili was arrested last week during a series of police raids across homes and offices in which at least €1.5 million in cash was seized.
# European Parliament
Kerry man who helped migrants reach Greece faces prison sentence as trial begins next month
Seán Binder is facing felony charges related to his efforts to help migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea.
# Eva Kaili
EU parliament sacks vice president amid Qatar corruption probe
The assembly’s MEPs voted 625 to one to strip Greek socialist MEP Eva Kaili of her vice presidential role.
# Arrests
Explainer: What's been going on with the European Parliament arrests over Qatar?
Four people have been charged with “money laundering and corruption”.
# Sakharov Prize
'Brave' people of Ukraine win EU's top human rights prize
The Sakharov Prize is awarded every year to those fighting for human rights or democracy.
# Tech
EU lawmakers impose single charger for all smartphones from 2024
The move will push Apple to replace its Lighting port on phones sold in the EU, with expectations that the change will ripple around the world.
# Tax avoidance
Ireland remains 'hub' of tax avoidance, says Dutch MEP ahead of visit to Dublin
Tang will lead a delegation of MEPs to Dublin this week to speak with senior civil servants on Ireland’s tax regime.
# how it works
The EU and You: What's working, not working and what we don't understand
In the final topic of our 18-month initiative, we shone a spotlight on the EU itself and our part in it. Turns out we had a lot to learn.
# influencers
MEPs, assemble: Could Ireland's MEPs do more to influence Europe?
How do we punch above our weight on the European stage? Get into groupings, get specialised and stick around, writes CJ McKinney.
# European Parliament
'A preposterous waste of money': Irish MEPs raise concerns over Strasbourg parliament sittings
Independent studies showed that a total of €109 million a year could be saved if all parliament activity was moved to Brussels.
# how it started
WATCH: Open Newsroom - Ireland and the EU after 50 years together
Watch our webinar on how Ireland found itself at the heart of the EU 50 years ago – and how it’s working for us now.
# EU say
The Big MEP Questionnaire: What do our Irish MEPs think of the EU?
The Good Information Project set each of our 13 MEPs five questions: here are their answers in full.
All 13 of our MEPs reveal their personal highs and lows of working within the European Parliament.
Frustrations include defence issues, pace of progress on climate, and feeling unheard by the Council and Commission.
Division among MEPs on whether the EU should have more power - or already has enough.
Priorities for next five years range from climate action to mental health to fostering EU businesses.
# EU Quiz
QUIZ: How much do you know about the EU and European Parliament?
How much do ‘EU’ know?
# register
Open Newsroom Invitation: Ireland and The EU at 50 years
Join us at 1pm this Thursday to see how it started… and how it’s going.
# Explainer
The European Parliament has the second largest electorate in the world. How does it actually work?
Historically, the Parliament lacked legislative power – but the Lisbon Treaty aimed to fix that.
# Power
MEPs signal discontent at proposal to label gas and nuclear as 'sustainable' energy sources
Two EU committees have formally objected to the contentious proposal from the European Commission.
# address
Taoiseach tells European Parliament that Ireland strongly supports Ukraine joining EU
Micheál Martin said Ireland supports the strongest possible sanctions on Russia, understanding that it will involve costs.
# Strasbourg
All sides must honour Good Friday Agreement, Taoiseach says at unveiling of John Hume bust
Micheal Martin is in Strasbourg for a series of engagements in the Council of Europe, marking Ireland’s presidency of the body.
# European Parliament
EU delegation to Gaza cancels trip after chair denied entry to Israel
Ireland South MEP Grace O’Sullivan, who was one of the delegates, criticised the decision.
# Ukraine
MEP Clare Daly criticises EU sanctions on Russia in European Parliament speech
Daly has previously voted against a resolution to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
# full working language
'The European Union is more faithful to the Irish language than the Irish state is'
On 1 January, the Irish language became a full official and working language of the European Union. It’s been a long road to get here.
# European Parliament
Ukraine's Zelenskyy urges European Parliament to 'prove that you are with us'
The President of the European Parliament welcomed Ukraine’s application to join the EU, saying “we will work towards that goal.”
# Energy
EU sets out green label proposal for gas and nuclear power
At least five Irish MEPs said last month that they plan to oppose the contentious proposal.
# Roberta Metsola
Centre-right Maltese MEP becomes EU's youngest parliament president
The vote comes a week after the sudden death of outgoing centre-left president David Sassoli.
# EU
Irish politicians pay tribute as European Parliament president David Sassoli dies aged 65
The Italian had been in hospital for over two weeks due to a dysfunction of his immune system.
All time
# future of europe
What does euroscepticism in the EU look like now that Brexit has happened?
Up to 30% of MEPs have been characterised as being of various shades of eurosceptic.
The tumultuous nature of the UK's exit may have changed what euroscepticism means.
Is there a difference between 'hard eurosceptics' and soft eurosceptics'?
The next 12 months may tell us a lot about the EU's stability, writes Rónán Duffy.
# polexit
Polish Prime Minister accuses the EU of ‘blackmail’ during clash over rule of law
Ursula von der Leyen warned that the European Commission “will act” to protect Polish citizens’ democratic institutions.
# CLIMATE CRISIS
'This can't just be politics as usual': What are the EU's main climate goals?
Let’s explore the Green Deal and the EU’s other plans and policies around climate.
# The Good Info Project
What led to the 2019 Fine Gael MEP migration vote?
In October 2019, 290 MEPs voted against resuming search and rescue efforts in the Mediterranean. Four were Fine Gael MEPs. What was behind that vote?
# Speaking out
Irish citizens' assemblies part of inspiration for EU-wide panels starting this weekend
A series of four EU citizens’ panels will run over the next few months – with one taking place in Dublin.
# Violence
MEPs vote to make gender-based violence a crime in the EU
Ursula von der Leyen said legislation would be drawn up by the end of this year.
# climate action
Future 'wars over water and food if we do not act now' on climate crisis, EU parliament hears
A climate report has said the scale of recent changes to the climate system are “unprecedented” over hundreds and thousands of years.
# TGIP
Irish MEPs criticise Poland for pushing migrants back at new border wall with Belarus
Poland is also refusing to host any Afghan refugees, labelling them as ‘challenges to the traditional makeup of their society’.
Gráinne Ní Aodha asked all 13 Irish MEPs for their thoughts on the EU's response to the border wall in Poland.
One Irish MEP said that what Poland was doing was "no better than what Trump was trying to do along the US-Mexico border", and that the EU should condemn it.
This month, The Good Information Project will focus on migration and the EU.
# European Parliament
Clare Daly and Mick Wallace dispute 'fake' election observer allegations
Daly and Wallace said that Ecuador’s and Venezuela’s elections were “conducted fairly and impartially, and their results are beyond question”.
# Brexit
The final hurdle: Post-Brexit trade deal given 'big green light' by MEPs
Members of the European Parliament had threatened to reject the agreement over the UK’s actions on the NI Protocol.
# sofagate
'I felt alone as a woman': von der Leyen says Turkey chair controversy wouldn't have happened to a man
The commission president was denied a chair at top-level talks in Ankara this month.
# covid passports
EU countries agree to five key amendments to the Digital Green Certificate proposal
If approved by the European Parliament, the Irish Government would be obliged to issue Digital Green Certificates when they are requested by citizens for EU travel.
# stop the clocks
Remember the plan to stop twice-yearly clock changes across the EU? Well, it's stalled - here's why
The summer and winter changes were set to be scrapped from 2021, but there’s disagreement among EU countries.