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PTC Open John on Welcome to our round-up of the European Parliament's latest plenary session here in Strasbourg.
The week saw the ECB President Mario Draghi tell Parliament that he is ready to defend by all means against the threat of deflation.
Now unleashing the power of cloud computing has been approved in Parliament, as was improved funding for the EUs civil protection mechanism.
And the winner of the 2013 LUX cinema prize is...? We´ll tell you shortly.
But we begin with the visit of Mario Draghi, "Mr. ECB", to Strasbourg...
B roll, plenary pictures John off Mario Draghi, who received parliamentary praise for helping stabilise the European banking sector, returned the complement, saying Parliament has done much of late to help secure the future of the Euro.
Seance en Direct
09:40 - 10:16 Through a concerted legislative effort the Euro area and the EU as a whole has been put on a more stable footing. Your institution has made a decisive contribution to this effort. The establishment of the Single Supervisory Mechanism represents probably the most significant change to the European Union since the establishment of the single currency. And I´m happy to report the internal preparations are well underway.
B roll John off
Draghi again insisted that Europe does not face a deflation risk a la Japan.
Seance en Direct images Mario Draghi, President ECB
01:44 - 02:09
We don´t see deflation in the Euro area today. Our situation is different from what it was in Japan in the 90s and early 2000s. The inflation expectations in the medium-long term are firmly anchored. The monetary stimulus that we have injected in the last two years as many of you have acknowledged was not there in Japan at that time.
However inflation is to stay low for a protracted period of time and therefore we are well aware of the downside risks that this might entail.
PTC Bridge John on
Reaping the benefits of Cloud computing remains a priority for the Parliament, which this week voted to improve the ability of citizens to utilise it both effectively and safely.
John off Estimates suggest Cloud-related revenue could reach nearly 150 billion Euros in 2014, with more than 60% of all computer server workloads taking place in the virtual sphere.
But critical infrastructure on the ground still lags behind and funding has not been forthcoming while competitors haggle over a comprehensive Telecoms Single market agreement. It´s an agreement which would strengthen and harmonise fixed and mobile communications networks vital to the Cloud´s viability.
To improve the advantages of the cloud, proponents say a veritable "jungle of standards" has to be cut down to size.
The EPP Group´s Pilar del Castillo wrote the report in Parliament on how to realise the benefits of the Cloud without endangering choice or competition.
Interview Pilar Del Castillo, EPP Group Rapporteur
Pilar del Castillo, MEP Spain
There are a lot of benefits which we cannot deny. But it is crucial that we have choices. Having choices means that all aspects of possibility to change service providers who are not satisfied and then having the real competitive market is extremely important. So portability must be assured, interoperability is extremely important, standards are extremely important in this field.
Plenary pix John off
Madame del Castillo said fair contractual terms also need to be safeguarded and that security concerns due to the outsourced nature of the Cloud need to be addressed.
Interview Pilar Del Castillo, EPP Group Rapporteur Pilar del Castillo, MEP Spain
All these initiatives are a way of really securing protection in terms of privacy and security in the Cloud system for data.
John on Meanwhile more help is on the way in the area of civil protection-- essentially helping communities survive and rebuild after man-made and natural disasters both here in the EU and abroad.
B roll disaster relief, plenary shots John off It´s all part of EPP Group efforts to help create a more reliable European disaster response system, and one which would reduce the overall costs to the EU economy from such disasters.
Parliamentarians agreed on a compromise package of 368 million Euros--20 percent to be spent on prevention, 50 percent on preparedness and 30 percent on response. At present 70 percent of the budget is spent within the EU and 30 percent outside of it on disaster management.
Natural disasters have increased dramatically in recent years both in Europe and in areas of the world like Syria and the Philippines where the EU has significantly helped to ease the suffering. Within the EU, more regional cross border cooperation is essential.
EPP Group author of the package proposal is Italian Member Elisabetta Gardini.
Plenary speech (Séance en direct) Elisabetta Gardini, Italian MEP, EPP Group
If we´re talking about prevention it is billions of course. However let´s not forget that prevention is much cheaper than paying for the damage and the aftermath. Italiano
Perché se apriamo il capitolo prevenzione, lì dobbiamo metterci miliardi – ma noi sappiamo comunque che prevenire costa molto meno che intervenire dopo, a catastrofe avvenuta.
B roll John off
Civil protection, Madame Gardini said, was about communities helping each other in their hour of need, no matter how far apart they may be on a map.
B roll, plenary Elisabetta Gardini, Italian MEP, EPP Group
And that is the whole point of this belonging to a community. This sense of solidarity, the fact that you can look to the future and get back to normal, get back to life, to normal life, giving back to our kids and to coming generations a better and more resilient environment. This is the real and best meaning that the European Union can have.
Credo che in questo stia il senso della protezione civile, il senso di appartenere ad una comunità, il senso di solidarietà, il senso di poter guardare al futuro e restituire una società e una comunità e un territorio più resiliente ai nostri figli e alle generazioni che verranno dopo di noi. In questo, credo, è racchiuso tutto il senso positivo e migliore che può avere l'Unione europea.
B roll, Plenary event LUX prize 2013
John on Finally, the winner of the 2013 LUX Prize goes to "The Broken Circle Breakdown"-- a Belgian love story involving a couple struggling to come to terms with the tragic illness of their young daughter as well as their own very different approaches to religion and spirituality.
LUX Prize ceremony Plenary John off The other finalists-- The Selfish Giant and Miele were from UK and Franco-Italian coproductions respectively.
Since its inception in 2007 this innovative European film prize, voted on exclusively by members of the European Parliament, has been a platform for examining sensitive European policies such as immigration, integration and poverty.
The EPP Group´s Doris Pack, chairwoman of the Parliament´s Cultural and education committee, said the LUX Prize is unique.
Doris pack Doris Pack, German MEP
00:05 - 00:29 This prize is a tool of the European Parliament to communicate; to communicate with the citizens via culture. And I think film is a part of culture which is easier to access for normal people who are not perhaps going to opera, who are not so much enthusiastic for museums or galleries. But film is something which attracts people.
Pack in action John off Madame Pack said the LUX Prize, although awarding no money, gives the winning filmmakers valuable exposure through wide distribution and subtitles--itself a significant cost.
Interview EPP Group German MEP
Doris Pack Doris Pack, German MEP
00:34- 00:55 This can only be done through subtitling because we have 24 languages in the European Union and if the film is not subtitled it will not be seen. So this is a film we are trying to promote. It is a drop in the ocean but it is a drop which has been felt and it is now in 15 European film festivals where we are present.
John on That´s all for now from the Strasbourg session. See you again next week in Brussels.
Find out more about the activities of Parliament´s largest political force by going to eppgroup.eu. Thanks for looking in.
Headline Round-up of EP plenary: ECB's anti-deflation policy; cloud computing; civil protection; 2013 LUX film prize winner
Description The European Parliament in its last plenary session of 2013 gives qualified support for cloud computing, boosts civil protection measures and awards the 2013 LUX film prize to Belgian melodrama "The Broken Circle Breakdown"
Tags European Parliament, EPP Group, European Central Bank, Cloud Computing, Civil Protection Mechanism, LUX Film Prize 2013, Mario Draghi, Pilar Del Castillo, Elisabetta Gardini, Doris Pack, Brussels, Strasbourg