Page last updated at 15:26 GMT, Thursday, 6 December 2012

Opening of the session

The December plenary session of the European Parliament was formally opened by vice-president Gianni Pittella on 10 December 2012.

The opening of the session gives MEPs the opportunity to approve and amend the agenda, and for points of orders and general announcements to be made.

Highlights of the session include what is expected to be the final debate and vote on the EU's budget for 2013, following weeks of negotiations with member states.

There will also be votes on key pieces of legislation including the potential introduction of a financial transaction tax, the implementation of an EU-wide patent scheme, and a package of laws on noise and capacity at the EU's airports.

Useful links:

Democracy Live's guide to how the plenary sessions work.

A disclaimer on the use of simultaneous interpretations, on the European Parliament's website.

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