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This week at the European Parliament - 17th-21st March 2014

14/03/2014

MEPs return to Brussels on 17 March for a full week of committee meetings.

To do the preparatory work for Parliament’s sessions MEPs meet in specialised standing committees each with 24 to 76 MEPs. The political make-up of committees reflects that of the Parliament. They draw up, amend and adopt legislative proposals and own-initiative reports.  They also consider Commission and Council proposals and draw up reports to be presented to the plenary assembly.

Committee highlights

Ukraine
An urgent vote to end or greatly reduce customs duties on EU imports from Ukraine will be taken by the Committee on International Trade. This is part of the EU aid package for Ukraine. (Thursday)

Posting of Workers
Workers posted abroad temporarily to provide services will be better protected under a deal with member states to be endorsed by the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs. The new rules aim to distinguish more clearly between genuine posting and attempts to circumvent the law but also to give member states some leeway in carrying out compliance inspections. (Tuesday)

Economic dialogue
The single resolution system for winding down failing banks and the upcoming review of bank assets by the European Central Bank will be discussed by MEPs from the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs with ECB supervisory board chair, Michelle Nouy (Tuesday). The committee will also hold debates with Commissioner Barnier (Tuesday) and French finance minister Pierre Moscovici (Monday).

End of roaming charges
Using a mobile phone in another EU country would cost no more than using it at home under draft telecoms legislation to be voted on by the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy. The new rules would also prevent internet operators from slowing down data traffic to disadvantage competitors and free up trade in radio spectrum rights to promote high-speed mobile connections. (Tuesday)

Aviation emission limits
Aviation emission allowance legislation designed to reduce air pollution from intra-EU flights and later from all flights to or from the EU is up for a vote in the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety. The Emissions Trading System (ETS) would also require member states to report on how they spend revenue from auctioning emission allowances. (Wednesday)

Fraud against the EU
Fraudulent use of EU funds would be subject to criminal penalties under legislation to be voted on in the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and the Committee on Budgetary Control. This would include fraud, corruption, money laundering and obstruction of public procurement procedures. (Thursday)

Other issues:

ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly
The current crisis in the Central African Republic, migrants' rights and terrorism are among the topics to be debated at the 27th meeting of ACP and EU parliamentarians in Strasbourg. (Monday to Wednesday)

Banking union
Lead MEPs will meet Council negotiators to work towards a deal on the bank resolution mechanism. Views still differ widely on many key issues and the scope for striking a deal will depend on specific proposals from Council and further movement. (Wednesday)

European Council
President Schulz, on behalf of the European Parliament, will address government leaders at the European Council (followed by a press conference). The European Semester, industrial competitiveness, climate and energy and the upcoming EU-Africa summit are on the agenda. (Thursday and Friday)

President's diary
President Schulz will meet Austrian President Heinz Fischer on Monday as part of his visit to Austria. On Tuesday he will be in Luxembourg to meet Prime Minister Xavier Bettel. On Thursday, he will meet Latvian Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma (followed by press point).

 

Among issues involving UK MEPs:

 

Hearings and workshops

Public hearing on the EU response to Russian foreign and trade policy towards the countries of the Eastern Partnership - Committee on Foreign Affairs jointly with Committee on International Trade. (Monday)
Impact of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership on the Internal Market - Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (Monday)
International Year of Family Farming (IYFF) 2014: The Role of the European Union - Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (Tuesday)
Work-life Balance and Gender Equality - Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality jointly with Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (Wednesday)

 

Petitions with UK interest

  • 1229/2013 by K.Z. (German), on enforcement of a court judgement so as to allow him to exercise his visitation rights with his child (UK/Malta)
  • 1655/2013 by Laila Brice (Latvian) on alleged discrimination in the United Kingdom on the grounds of ethnicity, religion and language
  • 1852/2013 by Maija Zargarjana (Latvian) on alleged discrimination in the United Kingdom on the grounds of ethnicity,
  • 2287/2013 by Ale Ambrasaite (Lithuanian), on alleged discrimination by UK authorities on the grounds of ethnicity, religion and language and violation of the European Convention on Human Rights
  • 2473/2013 by Ale Ambrasaite (Lithuanian) on alleged discrimination by UK authorities on the grounds of ethnicity, religion and language and violation of the European Convention on Human Rights
  • 2531/2013 by Emma Thomson (British) on alleged discrimination by UK authorities on the grounds of a mother's disability
  • 0944/2004 by Sheila Ellis (British), on behalf of 'Residents Against Toxic Site’, bearing 7 signatures, on alleged failure of the UK to implement the EU-Directive on the landfill of waste
  • 0971/2009.by Angela and William Flanagan (British), on health hazards arising from a defective sewerage system and the refusal of the authorities to take action
  • 1252/2012 by Gregory Barton (British), on alleged difficulties in obtaining a visa for his wife, who has Thai nationality, at the French consulate in Bangkok (Thailand)
  • 1952/2012 by G.A. (British), on Appointment of a Fiscal representative in Portugal
 

Further Information

Zuzana Pavlickova
Press Officer
European Parliament Information Office in the UK
zuzana.pavlickova@ep.europa.eu
Tel: 020 7227 4300

 

Diary Dates

Council Presidency
1 January - 30 June 2014: Greece
1 July - 31 December 2014: Italy


European Parliament plenary sessions 2014
14-17 April - Strasbourg
1-3 July - Strasbourg
14-17 July - Strasbourg
15-18 September - Strasbourg
20-23 October - Strasbourg
24-27 November - Strasbourg
15-18 December - Strasbourg