The European Parliament Web Team's blog on EU Affairs
We are the Web Team of the European Parliament.
The European Parliament is the only directly-elected EU body. Members of the Parliament represent you, the citizen. The European Parliament is co-legislator for most of Europe's laws. It is a place where people from 27 member states come together to disagree, a place where political ideas and ideals meet, sometimes to clash, sometimes to be reconciled. Alliances are formed, deals are struck, compromises made, in other words, it's the usual, sometimes glorious, sometimes inglorious, business of democratic politics.
Members of the European Parliament make decisions which affect you directly. The car you drive, the air you breathe, the mobile phone in your pocket, the food you eat, the water you drink, the worker you employ, the bank you borrow from, the waste you discard...
In this small digital corner, we will offer news from the European Parliament - what's going on, the most important debates and decisions. We will also give the floor as often as possible to the Members of the European Parliament, who will give their own various views and perspectives on EU politics.
No-one would order a Cornish pasty made in Belgium or take seriously a Scotch whisky distilled in Finland. Luckily these delicacies are protected through so-called geographical indications, reassuring food enthusiasts about the origin and the quality of their purchases.
David Cameron will join the leaders of other EU countries on Thursday and Friday for a special summit to discuss the EU's migration policy, following a dramatic increase in the number of irregular migrants trying to enter the EU this year. In recent months there have also been more cases of migrants drowning while trying to cross the Mediterranean.
In the EU food from clones currently needs pre-market approval based on a scientific food safety assessment by the EFSA before it can be put on the market. To date there has not been a single application and therefore authorisation has never been granted.
Freedom of Press is considered an essential element of democracy by the European Parliament, which strongly supports it within the EU and beyond. Article 11 of the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights clearly states that "freedom and pluralism of the media shall be respected"...
It has the potential to create the world's largest bilateral free-trade area, creating jobs and boosting economic growth on both sides of the Atlantic, yet the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) has proved controversial from the start.
Do you have a problem linked to the EU? The European Parliament can help. The EP's petitions committee ensures that people's complaints are heard at the highest level. And thanks to a new website launched this week, it is now easier than ever.
On 10 February MEPs will discuss with Commission representatives what measures are needed, such as funding for support services, protection of asylum seekers and the prevention of violence against women and girls in general.