MEPs debate Greece, Ukraine and the 'energy union'


MEPs opened a day-long "mini plenary" sitting in Brussels on 25 March 2015 by debating the results of last week's meeting of EU leaders in Brussels with Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk.

At the meeting, leaders agreed to extend sanctions on Russia that were due to expire in July until at least the end of this year, and give their broad backing to plans to establish an EU-wide "energy union" - although there is not much agreement yet on the details.

Heads of government said the measures - which target major firms and political figures close to Russian President Vladimir Putin - should be linked to the "complete implementation" of a new ceasefire deal concluded in Minsk last month.

The leaders also formally asked EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini to come up with a strategy to combat Russia's "disinformation campaigns" in the media by June, and called for an "immediate and unconditional" ceasefire in Libya.

Although it was not on the official agenda of the meeting, there were bilateral meetings between leaders to discuss the situation in Greece, with Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras agreeing to present a new economic reform plan in exchange for securing the additional bailout funds the country requires to prevent bankruptcy.

The debate began with a minute's silence in memory of the victims of Tuesday's airliner crash in the French Alps, which left 150 people dead.

A full text report on the debate can be found on the European Parliament live page.

The European Parliament's disclaimer on the use of simultaneous interpretations can be found here.

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