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Friday, 13 May 2011

Schengen, foreign policy dominate May Strasbourg plenary

While Europe celebrated its 61st birthday this week, MEPs recalled that "Europe is not a given", but a task ahead of us. They criticised the possible reintroduction of border checks in the Schengen area and asked for a stronger European voice on the international scene. Also this week, there was a musical celebration of Europe day and an unprecedented spam attack on Parliament’s Facebook page.

Europe Day On 9 May, Europe celebrated the anniversary of the signature of the Schuman Declaration in 1950 that laid the foundations of the EU. This year is also the 25th anniversary of two EU symbols - the flag and anthem. A piano concert and traditional flag raising ceremony in Strasbourg marked the event.

MEPs discussed the future of the Schengen agreement and French and Italian calls for the temporary reintroduction of border controls inside the Schengen area. Most speakers criticised the proposition, but some called for better control of immigrant flows.

Consumers suffering from allergies may be the main beneficiaries of the new textile labelling scheme, which stipulates product labels must clearly indicate if textiles contain real fur or leather, both of which can be a health hazard to allergy sufferers.

So-called cloned and other novel food will not be labelled in Europe for now, after conciliation talks between the EP and Council failed. MEPs called on the Commission to come up with new proposals as soon as possible.

Source: European Parliament