Plenary highlights: PNR, Turkey, data protection, Panama papers

MEPs adopted an agreement on the sharing of passenger name records to help fight terrorism and debated counterterrorism measures during an eventful plenary session in Strasbourg this week. They also debate revelations about the Panama papers showing how shell companies are being used to avoid paying taxes as well as the migration agreement with Turkey. In addition new rules to give people more control over their personal data were approved.

MEPs voted Tuesday in favour of a centralised asylum system to allow the EU to better manage flows of migrants and asylum seekers.

The migration agreement between the EU and Turkey is imperfect, but the most realistic tool to tackle the situation, said many MEPs during a debate on Wednesday morning. They also raised concerns over media freedom and the rule of law in Turkey in a discussion on the progress made by the country towards EU membership on Wednesday afternoon.

MEPs discussed on Tuesday the Panama papers revelations of tax evasion through offshore companies and called for more measures to improve tax transparency. Check out our coverage of the debate on Storify. In addition EP President Martin Schulz and the political group leaders agreed on Parliament setting up of an inquiry committee to investigate the Panama papers.

Parliament adopted on Thursday new rules to give companies legal protection against theft or misuse of their trade secrets, while including safeguards for journalists and whistle-blowers.

The refugee crisis needs joint solutions, said Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa during his formal address to the Parliament on Wednesday.

An agreement on the use of passenger name records (PNR) was endorsed by the Parliament on Thursday. The directive establishes common rules for airlines to share data with national authorities to help fight terrorism and serious crime. Find out more in our infographic.

Measures to fight terrorism following recent attacks in Paris and Brussels were debated with representatives of Commission and Council on Tuesday.

Parliament approved €100 million in emergency aid for refugees within the EU and €2 million to hire new staff for the EU law enforcement agency Europol’s counter -terrorism centre on Wednesday.

Measures taken by the Polish government have led to the effective paralysis of the country’s constitutional tribunal, posing a danger to democracy and the rule of law, said MEPs in a non-binding resolution adopted on Wednesday.

MEPs approved Thursday a reform of  European data protection rules to give internet users more control of their personal data.

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