The European Presidency was transferred from Austria to Finland on the 1st July.  The Finnish President, Matti Vanhanen will present Finland's priorities over the next six months to the European Parliament on Wednesday.

The European Parliament is meeting in Strasbourg this week.  The continuing crisis in the Palestinian territories will be discussed as well as alleged CIA abductions in Europe and the handing over of private payment data to Washington by SWIFT, a company that deals with international cash transfers.

Traffic pollution and the Batteries Directive will both be discussed today.  The main points of the Batteries Directive will include ease of access to recycling facilities for consumers, and manufacturers having to design appliances in a way that means spent batteries can be easily removed.

The Commission is also expected to approve the EU's main regional funding programmes for 2007-13. 

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