EP News No. 23/2012
Table Of Contents
European Parliament session, Strasbourg, 2-5 July 2012
MEPs meet in Strasbourg from 2-5 July for the last plenary session before the summer recess.
Among the highlights of the agenda:
EU summit outcomes under scrutiny
Europe's economic concerns top yet another summit agenda as EU leaders meet on 28-29 June. The heads of state and government will also begin talks on the EU's budget for the next seven years. MEPs will debate the conclusions - on key topics such as a cross-border banking union and a debt redemption fund - with European Council President Van Rompuy and Commission President Barroso on Tuesday morning and vote on a resolution on Wednesday.
EU patent: final act
The EU should at last get a single patent system, after thirty years of trying, if Parliament votes on Wednesday to endorse a deal with the Council brokered by MEPs in December 2011. The new EU patent would be much cheaper and easier to apply for than a bundle of national ones, and hence more competitive. Parliament helped adapt the proposed regime to small firms' needs.
2013 budget: MEPs to call on governments to negotiate responsibly
To avoid deadlocks in the budget talks, Member States should refrain from making "artificial cuts" in payments and instead make sure that their claims for EU funds are correct, MEPs will say in a resolution to be voted on Wednesday. Parliament will also instruct its negotiators to push for a budget promoting growth and jobs at budget talks on 9 July.
Mandatory emergency eCall system in cars would save lives
All new cars must be fitted by 2015 with eCall devices to alert the rescue services to road crashes automatically using the 112 emergency call system, say MEPs in a draft resolution to be voted on Tuesday. This would speed up the arrival of the emergency services, saving lives and reducing injuries, they add.
Animal welfare: better enforcement and a non-stunned slaughter label
The wellbeing of animals is closely linked to public health and animal welfare rules must be properly enforced across the EU to prevent the spread of animal-related diseases, say MEPs in a draft non-binding resolution to be debated on Monday and voted on Wednesday. They also stress that this would also create a level playing field for all EU farmers.
Cyprus takes over EU presidency from Denmark
President Demetris Christofias will present the programme and priorities of Cyprus' incoming Council presidency "Towards a better Europe", followed by a debate with MEPs, at 9.00 on Wednesday. Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt will take stock of the Danish presidency on Tuesday morning.
Among topics led by UK MEPs:
ACTA faces plenary verdict
The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which is being steered through Parliament by David Martin MEP (Scotland, Lab) reaches a decisive stage when Parliament as a whole votes Wednesday on whether to consent to it. If Parliament says "no", then ACTA's prospects are dead so far as the EU is concerned.
Insurance and re-Insurance
Taking-up and pursuit of the business of Insurance and Reinsurance (Solvency II), is a technical dossier steered by Sharon Bowles MEP (South East, LibDem) concerning the dates of transposition and application, and the date of repeal of certain Directives. The report will be voted on Tuesday.
Other topics include:
- New tachographs to track lorries
- Parliament prepares to open up rail competition
- Basic banking services for all
- New plans to safeguard water resources
- More effective customs checks to protect property rights and consumer safety
- Parliament to vote on project bonds
- Spotlight on Syria, Egypt and Georgia
- Three deals to improve trade terms with Russia
- Free trade area must spread eastward
- MEPs to help shape Commission priorities for 2013
- MEPs to assess EU policy on the West Bank and East Jerusalem
- Human rights and democracy resolutions - Africa, Belarus and China
Security and Defence
Economic and Monetary Affairs
Employment and Social Affairs
Environment, Public Health and Food Safety
Industry, Research and Energy
Internal Market and Consumer Protection
Transport and Tourism
Agriculture and Rural Development
Culture and Education
Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs
Women's Rights and Gender Equality
Special Committee on Organised Crime, Corruption and Money Laundering
European Parliament UK Office
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1 January-30 June 2012: Danish Presidency
1 July-31 December 2012: Cypriot Presidency
European Parliament plenary sessions 2012
10-13 September - Strasbourg
22-23 October - Strasbourg
25-26 October - Strasbourg
7-8 November - Brussels
19-22 November - Strasbourg
10-13 December - Strasbourg