July's plenary session dealt with issues such as Turkey, the first ever EU-Cuba deal and anti-dumping measures. MEPs paid tribute to Simone Veil and adopted a resolution regarding accession talks with Turkey (M. Kyrkos voted against it). New anti-dumping rules were approved to help protect European firms from unfair practices outside the EU. The Parliament called on EU countries to use €6.4 billion left over from last year's EU budget to finance refugee relief measures.
A survivor of the Nazi concentration camps and central figure of feminism in Europe, Simone Veil became the first president of the directly elected European Parliament in 1979 and the first woman to hold the post. She was a French lawyer and politician who served as Minister of Health under Valery Giscard d'Estaing and member of the Constitutional Council of France. She passed away on 30 June 2017.
The UK formally announced its intention to withdraw from the EU on 29 March, signalling the start of lengthy negotiations between the UK and the EU to determine the terms of their new relationship. The European Parliament will play a key role in determining the outcome. If there is no deal and there is no agreement on extending the deadline, then the UK automatically leaves the EU after the two-year period.