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EP Plenary Session News 10-13 March 2014

10-03-2014

What will the MEPs be working on during this week's Plenary Session in Strasbourg ?

Highlights include:

    • Tougher rules against money laundering to fight tax evasion
    • Stronger data protection rules in the EU
    • NSA spying: Parliament wraps up work on mass surveillance programmes
    • Russian troops in Ukraine: key debate
    • Troika: MEPs to adopt findings and recommendations
Draft agendaFollow the plenary liveEuroparlTVPress conferences and other eventsEP Audiovisual websiteEP Newshub
 

Tougher rules against money laundering to fight tax evasion

The ultimate owners of companies and trusts would have to be listed in public registers in EU countries, under draft anti-money laundering rules to be voted by Parliament on Wednesday. The aim is to make dodgy deals harder to hide and fight tax evasion. Casinos are included in the scope of the draft rules, but decisions to exclude other gambling services posing a low risk are left to member states.

Under the updated anti-money laundering directive (AMLD), as amended by MEPs from the Economic and Civil Liberties committees, public central registers would list information on the ultimate beneficial owners of all sorts of legal arrangements, including companies, foundations and trusts.

The draft rules would step up monitoring of suspicious activities by banks and financial institutions, and also auditors, lawyers, accountants, notaries, tax advisors, asset managers, trusts and real estate agents. Casinos are included as well.

MEPs will also vote on an update of the Transfer of Funds regulation to improve cross-border traceability of payers and payees and their assets.

The UN estimates that money laundered globally each year amounts to 2-5% of global GDP.

Debate: Tuesday, 11 March
Vote: Tuesday, 11 March
Procedure: Ordinary legislative procedure (co-decision), first reading

#moneylaundering #AMLD

Irish MEPs on this issue: Emer Costello (Labour-Dublin), Pat the Cope Gallagher (Fianna Fail-North West)

Draft report on the proposal for a directive on money launderingDraft report on the proposal for a regulation on transfers of fundsPress release on committee vote (20.02.2014)Profile of Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee rapporteur on money laundering, Krišjānis Kariņš (EPP, LV)Profile of Civil Liberties Committee rapporteur on money laundering, Judith Sargentini (Greens/EFA, NL)Profile of Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee rapporteur on transfers of funds, Mojca Kleva Kekuš (S&D, SI)Profile of Civil Liberties Committee rapporteur on transfers of funds, Timothy Kirkhope (ECR, UK)Procedure file on money launderingProcedure file on transfers of funds
 

Stronger data protection rules in the EU

MEPs are set to insert stronger safeguards for data transfers to non-EU countries when the House votes on Wednesday on a major overhaul of the current EU data-protection laws. The new rules seek to give people control over their personal data while at the same time making it easier for companies to move data across Europe. MEPs also want to increase the fines imposed on firms that break the rules.

The new rules update the existing 19-year-old data-protection laws to meet the challenges posed by new information technologies, globalisation and the growing trend to use personal data for law enforcement purposes.

If a country requests a company (eg. a search engine, social network or cloud provider) to disclose personal information processed in the EU, the firm would have to seek authorisation from the national data protection authority before transferring any data. The company would also have to inform the person of such a request, MEPs say. This proposal is a response to the mass surveillance programmes unveiled in June 2013. (AM 140, Art 43a)

Under MEPs' amendments, companies breaking the rules would face fines of up to €100 million, or up to 5% of annual worldwide turnover, whichever is greater (the Commission proposed penalties of up to €1 million or 2% of worldwide annual turnover). (AM 188, Art 79 2a-c)

The right to have personal data erased, the obligation to use clear and plain language when explaining privacy policies and to obtain a person's permission before processing her/his personal data and new limits to profiling are other key improvements backed by MEPs.

Debate: Tuesday, 11 March
Vote: Wednesday, 12 March
Procedure: Co-decision (Ordinary Legislative Procedure), 1st reading
Press conference: Wednesday, 12 March at 09.30

#EUdataP #DataProtection #NSA # #personaldata

Irish MEPs on this issue: Nessa Childers (Independent-East)

Draft report on the general data protection regulationDraft report on the directive - data protection in the law enforcement fieldPress release on committee vote (21.10.2013)Profile of rapporteur Jan Albrecht (Greens/EFA, DE) - regulationProfile of rapporteur Dimitrios Droutsas (S&D, EL) – directiveProcedure file - regulationProcedure file - directive
 

NSA spying: Parliament wraps up work on mass surveillance programmes

Data protection should be kept out of the EU-US trade talks and negotiated separately, MEPs say in a draft resolution closing their six-month inquiry into US mass surveillance programmes. The EU should suspend its bank-data deal with the US and the Safe Harbour privacy principles for US firms, they add, saying the fight against terrorism can never justify secret and illegal mass surveillance. (73, 131.4, 39, 5)

The draft resolution, in which MEPs draw up conclusions and recommendations to boost EU citizens' privacy, also calls for a "European whistle blower protection programme" and points out that Europe should develop its own IT clouds to ensure a higher level of personal data protection. (88, 63)

The civil liberties committee inquiry into mass surveillance of EU citizens began in September 2013. A total of 16 hearings have been held since then.

Debate: Tuesday, 11 March
Vote: Wednesday, 12 March
Procedure: Non-legislative resolution
Press conference: Wednesday, 12 March at 14.00

#EPinquiry #NSA #EUdataP #DataProtection #PRISM

Irish MEPs on this issue: Liam Aylward (Fianna Fail-East), Paul Murphy (Socialist-Dublin)

Draft resolution on the Parliament's inquiry into mass surveillance of EU citizensPress release on committee vote (12.02.2014)Profile of rapporteur Claude Moraes (S&D, UK)Procedure fileAudiovisual material for professionalsSpecial web page on the Civil Liberties Committee inquiry
 

MEPs to debate next EU summit agenda

MEPs will state their views on agenda items for the 20-21 March European Council in a debate with Commission President José Manuel Barroso and Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Dimitris Kourkoulas on Wednesday morning. Topping the list will be the European Semester, industrial competitiveness, climate and energy policies, preparations for the upcoming EU-Africa summit and relations with Africa.

Debate: Wednesday, 12 March
Procedure: Council and Commission statements

#EUCO

Irish MEPs on this issue: Marian Harkin (Independent-North West)

Annotated draft agenda of the European Council 20-21 March 2014
 

Russian troops in Ukraine: key debate

The presence of Russian troops in Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula and EU help to defuse the crisis there will be debated by MEPs and Council and Commission representatives on Wednesday morning.

A resolution will be voted on Thursday.

Debate: Wednesday, 12 March
Vote:  Thursday, 13 March
Procedure: Statement by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy with resolution

#Ukraine #Crimea

Irish MEPs on this issue: Marian Harkin (Independent-North West), Paul Murphy (Socialist-Dublin)

EP Resolution of 27 February 2014 on the situation in Ukraine
 

Holiday makers should be guaranteed help getting home if their travel agency goes bust while they are abroad, say new draft rules on package travel to be put to the vote on Wednesday. MEPs want travel organisers to be obliged to offer travellers reimbursement if they raise the price or change the flight times significantly after a sale is concluded.

Online sales have significantly changed the way travel is booked and today many package holidays are either not covered by the current EU rules, which date back to 1990, or leave consumers without clear legal rights. The new legislation will clarify the rules on package travel consisting of a combination of different elements such as flights, hotel accommodation and car hire.

The new rules should ensure that holiday makers are repatriated if their travel organiser goes bust while they are on holiday, say MEPs. They also want travellers in difficulty to be given information on health services and consular assistance or help in making alternative travel arrangements.

If travellers are prevented from returning home on time by "unavoidable" and "unforeseeable" circumstances, the travel agent must arrange accommodation for them at a similar standard to the accommodation originally booked or alternatively pay for a stay of up to five nights at up to €125 per night, MEPs are expected to say. The vote on Wednesday will constitute Parliament's first reading position with a view to negotiations with the member states after the elections in May.

Debate: Tuesday, 11 March
Vote: Wednesday, 12 March
Procedure: Co-decision (ordinary legislative procedure), 1st reading

#packageholiday #consumerprotection
#packagetravel #travelpackages

Irish MEPs on this issue: Liam Aylward (Fianna Fail-East)

Draft report on package travels and assisted travel arrangementsPress release on committee vote (11.02.2014)Profile of the rapporteur Hans-Peter Mayer (EPP, DE)Procedure file
 

Troika: MEPs to adopt findings and recommendations

The EU/ECB/IMF "Troika" helped four EU countries through the crisis and prevented it from getting worse. But flaws in the Troika’s structure and working methods hindered national "ownership", and compromised transparency and accountability, says a draft resolution on the inquiry findings. A second resolution deplores the widespread negative impacts that Troika-inspired reforms had on employment and calls for a revision of the measures put in place.

Both resolutions will be debated on Tuesday, before Wednesday’s votes.

Worst avoided but urgent improvements still needed

The draft resolution on the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee inquiry findings, drafted by Othmar Karas (EPP, AT) and Liem Hoang-Ngoc (S&D, FR), highlights many weaknesses and recommends urgent improvements. It also delves into the individual cases of each of the four "programme countries" (Greece, Ireland, Portugal, and Cyprus).

The resolution acknowledges that the immediate aim of avoiding disorderly defaults was achieved and that the challenges that the Troika was set up to tackle were "immense". It also deplores the fact that EU institutions were made a scapegoat for the adverse effects of reforms, even though it is finance ministers who should bear political responsibility for them.

Employment and social aspects

Growing unemployment, especially among the young, leading to their emigration, the loss of small firms and rising poverty rates, even among the middle class, are the key impacts of the economic crisis and adjustment measures designed by the “Troika” underlines the second resolution, drafted for the Employment and Social Affairs Committee by Alejandro Cercas (S&D, ES). In their recommendations, MEPs call for a job recovery plan, taking particular account of the need to create favourable conditions for small firms, and EU funding to help restore social protection standards

Debate: Wednesday, 12 March
Vote:  Thursday, 13 March
Procedure:  non-legislative resolutions

#Troika #Troikainquiry #employment

Irish MEPs on this issue: Liam Aylward (Fianna Fail-East), Nessa Childers (Independent-East), Emer Costello (Labour-Dublin), Pat the Cope Gallagher (Fianna Fail-North West), Marian Harkin (Independent-North West), Mairead McGuinness (Fine Gael-East), Gay Mitchell (Fine Gael-Dublin), Paul Murphy (Socialist-Dublin)

Draft resolution on Employment and Social Aspects of the role and operations of the Troika (ECB, Commission and IMF) with regards to euro area programme countriesDraft resolution on the inquiry into the role and operations of the Troika in the programme countriesPress release on committee vote - employment and social aspects (13.02.2014)Press release on committee vote - inquiry into Troika (25.02.2014)Profile of rapporteur Alejandro Cercas (S&D, ES) - employment and social aspectsProfile of rapporteur Othmar Karas (EPP, AT) - inquiry into TroikaProfile of rapporteur Liem Hoang Ngoc (S&D, FR) - inquiry into TroikaProcedure file- Employment and social aspectsInquiry into Troika
 

Red light for controversial seed regulation

MEPs vote on Thursday on whether or not to throw out the Commission's controversial proposal for plant reproductive material law, also known as the seed regulation, amid concerns that it would give the Commission too much power and leave EU countries without any leeway to tailor the new rules to their needs.

A majority of members of Parliament's agriculture committee,believe that the draft regulation fails to meet its core objectives such as simplification and innovation and blame the Commission for not checking properly the impact of the proposed rules on small and micro-enterprises.

If Parliament rejects the current draft, MEPs will specify their reasons for doing so in a separate, non-binding resolution.

Debate: Monday 10 March  
Vote: Tuesday 11 March  
Procedure: Co-decision (Ordinary Legislative Procedure), 1st reading and Oral question to Commission (with resolution)
Press conference: Wednesday, 12 March at 16.00

#SeedRegulation, #SeedLaw, #Seeds

Irish MEPs on this issue: Marian Harkin (Independent-North West), Mairead McGuinness (Fine Gael-East)

Draft report on the plant reproductive material lawOral question to the CommissionPress release on committee vote (11.02.2014)Profile of rapporteur Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (EPP, IT)Procedure file
 

Speeding up reform of air traffic control services

Plans to streamline air traffic management, so as to make Europe’s airlines more competitive, use airspace better and reduce pollution, will be put to a vote on Tuesday.

The proposed update of today’s “Single European Sky” rules, dubbed “SES2+” would merge them into a single EU regulation laying down oversight rules that would allow national air traffic control authorities more independence.

SES2+ would streamline the process of setting service improvement targets and also provide for more flexible cooperation among national authorities, air navigation service providers and airlines, so as to reduce the current fragmentation of air traffic management along national lines.

The update aims to speed up the reform of air navigation services, while retaining the original Single European Sky aims and principles.

Debate: Tuesday, 11 March
Vote: Wednesday, 12 March
Procedure:  Co-decision (ordinary legislative procedure), 1st reading

#ses2+ #aviation #SingleSky

Irish MEPs on this issue: Liam Aylward (Fianna Fail-East), Paul Murphy (Socialist-Dublin)

Draft report on implementation of the Single European Sky (recast)Draft report on aerodromes, air traffic management and air navigation services Press release on committee votes (30.01.2014)Profile of rapporteur Marian-Jean Marinescu (EPP, RO)Profile of rapporteur David-Maria Sassoli (S&D, IT)Procedure file: implementation of Single European SkyProcedure file: aerodromes, air traffic management and air navigation services
 

Final approval of roadworthiness package agreement

A deal with EU member states on minimum common standards for periodic vehicle inspections, vehicle registration documents and roadside inspections of commercial vehicles will be put to a final vote on Tuesday.

The revised rules, designed to improve road safety, would set new EU-wide standards for periodic technical inspections of vehicles and a minimum number of commercial vehicles to be checked on EU roads.

Testing equipment would have to meet minimum technical standards and inspectors making periodic checks would have to satisfy minimum skills requirements laid down in the new rules.

To simplify vehicle re-registration, member states in which vehicles are re-registered would be required to recognise a valid roadworthiness certificate issued by another member state.

Vote:  Tuesday, 11 March
Procedure:  Co-decision (ordinary legislative procedure), 1st reading agreement

#roadworthiness

Irish MEPs on this issue: Pat the Cope Gallagher (Fianna Fail-North West), Jim Higgins (Fine Gael-North West)

Text of the informal agreement on periodic roadworthiness inspectionsText of the informal agreement on roadside inspections of commercial vehiclesText of the informal agreement on vehicle registration documentsPress release on committee vote (21.01.2014)Profile of rapporteur Werner Kuhn (EPP, DE)Profile of rapporteur Olga Sehnalova (S&D, CZ)Profile of rapporteur Vilja Savisaar-Toomast (ALDE, ET)Procedure file: periodic technical inspectionsProcedure file: technical roadside inspections of commercial vehiclesProcedure file: vehicles documents
 

Opening up public access to EU documents and protecting whistle blowers

EU citizens should be given wider access to EU documents, to enable them to comment effectively on all aspects of EU activity, says a draft resolution to be voted on Tuesday. MEPs call on the Council of Ministers to act to overhaul EU rules on access to documents. They also urge each EU institution to appoint a “transparency officer” and do more to protect whistle blowers.

Refusals to allow full access to documents are growing ever more frequent. Annual reports show that the European Commission’s refusal rate rose from 12% of requests in 2011 to 17% in 2012 and the Council’s from 12% to 21%. Parliament’s remained stable at 5% in both 2011 and 2012.

Debate: Monday, 10 March
Vote:  Tuesday, 11 March
Procedure:  Non-legislative resolution

#webaccessibility

Press release on committee vote (20.02.2014)Profile of rapporteur Sophie in 't Veld (ALDE, NL) Procedure file
 

Sharing the benefits of using genetic resources

Companies, private collectors and institutions who use valuable genetic resources derived, for example, from third world plants and animals, will have to obtain an international certificate under new rules to be put to a vote on Tuesday. These rules, already informally agreed with the Council of Ministers, are designed to prevent biopiracy.

The agreement also covers traditional knowledge held by indigenous or local communities. The new rules should contribute to the conservation of biological diversity and the sustainable use of its components.

The rules will oblige users, such as private collectors and companies, academic researchers and scientific institutions, to check that genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge have been accessed legally and ensure that the benefits are shared fairly and equitably, on mutually agreed terms.

Vote:  Tuesday, 11 March
Procedure:  Co-decision (Ordinary Legislative Procedure), 1st reading agreement

#Nagoyaprotocol #Biopiracy #Biodiversity#geneticresources

Draft report on access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization in the UnionPress release on committee vote (22.01.2014)Profile of rapporteur Sandrine Bélier (Verts/ALE, FR)Procedure file
 

Parliament to decide on aid for redundant textile workers in Spain

Unemployed textile workers in Spain’s Comunidad Valenciana region could get European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) aid worth €840,000 to help them find new jobs if Parliament approves the aid on Tuesday. The EP's decision will then need to be endorsed by Council.

Vote: Tuesday, 11 March
Procedure: Budget

#EGF #Spain #Valenciana
#EUfunds #Spain

Press release on committee vote (03.03.2014) Profile of the rapporteur: Frédéric Daerden (S&D, BE)Procedure file
 

MEPs to vote on beefed up environmental impact assessment directive

A proposed update of EU law to make environmental impact assessments clearer, build in biodiversity and climate change, and involve the public, is to be put to a vote on Wednesday. This update, already informally agreed with the Council of Ministers, would also ensure that decisions to authorize development projects are not influenced by conflicts of interest.

Around 200 types of project are covered by the Environmental Impact Assessment directive (EIA) – from bridges, ports, motorways and landfill sites to intensive rearing of poultry or pigs. The updated law would require impact assessments to take account of new environmental factors, such as biodiversity and climate change. It would also make assessment methods clearer, facilitate public participation via a central web portal, and include beefed-up rules to prevent conflicts of interest and restrict recourse to exemptions.

Vote:  Wednesday, 12 March
Procedure:  Co-decision (Ordinary Legislative Procedure), 1st reading agreement

#EIA #environment #environmentalprojects

Draft resolution on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environmentPress release on committee vote (10.02.2014)Profile of rapporteur Andrea Zanoni (ALDE, IT) Procedure file
 

Nanomaterials in food: possible veto over new labelling rules

Plans to veto a new definition of “engineered nanomaterials” authorised for use in food will be put to a vote on Wednesday. MEPs say this definition would exempt foods containing nanomaterials that are already on the market from having to be labelled as such. They also consider the definition too narrow to properly protect the public right to information, citing the European Food Safety Authority recommendations.

The draft resolution opposes the proposed definition on the grounds that it would grant a blanket exemption to EU-approved “food additives” which may in fact be nanomaterials, given that the labelling requirement would not apply to nano-additives already on the market.

Nano-engineering techniques could, for example, reduce the fat or salt content of food without affecting its taste, or be used to add nutrients.

Vote:  Wednesday, 12 March
Procedure:  Legislative resolution

#nanomaterials #consumers #food

Draft resolution on food information to consumers on ‘engineered nanomaterials’Procedure file
 

Cooling without climate warming: phasing out F-gases

The use of climate-unfriendly fluorinated gases would be banned in new air-conditioning appliances and refrigerators by 2022-2025, under draft rules to be put to a vote on Wednesday. These rules, already informally agreed with EU ministers, aim to reduce the overall use of potent hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) greenhouse gases by 79% by 2030.  

Following bans on chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in the 1980s to stop depletion of the ozone layer, the draft legislation targets the use of several other fluorinated gases that are harmful to the climate. "F-gases" can have a greenhouse warming effect up to 23,000 times greater than equivalent amounts of CO2.

The legislation would entirely phase out the use of F-gases in several new sectors where safe, energy-efficient and cost-effective alternatives are available.

Debate:  Tuesday, 11 March
Vote:  Wednesday, 12 March
Procedure:  Co-decision (Ordinary Legislative Procedure), 1st reading agreement

#Fgas

Draft report on fluorinated greenhouse gasesProfile of rapporteur Bas Eickhout (Greens/EFA, NL)Procedure file
 

EU strategy for the Arctic

MEPs will set out their priorities for the EU strategy for the Arctic in a non-binding resolution to be voted on Wednesday. Likely issues include the sustainability of natural resource use, new economic opportunities and transport links, the impact of global warming, and how best to meet the needs of local people, both indigenous and non-indigenous.

The EU strategy for the Arctic was debated by MEPs on 17 April 2013.

Vote:  Wednesday, 12 March
Procedure:  Non-legislative resolution

#Arctic

Irish MEPs on this isue: Pat the Cope Gallagher (Fianna Fail-North West)

Video recording of the debate (17.04.2013)Resolution on a sustainable EU policy for the High North (20.01.2011)Commission and EEAS Joint Communication on the EU’s Arctic Policy (2012)Procedure file
 

MEPs set to approve more funds for asylum and migration until 2020

EU countries would have to allocate more funds to improve their asylum systems and their integration of migrants, if Parliament approves a draft deal with national governments on the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund for the next seven years in a vote on Thursday. The text lists the minimum amounts that each EU country will have to spend. MEPs are also set to back the new EU Internal Security Fund, for police cooperation and border surveillance.

The Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) has a total budget of €3.1 billion for 2014-2020. At least 20% of the €2.4 billion that member states will draw from the AMIF must be spent on measures to support legal migration and promote the effective integration of migrants. Member states will also be obliged to allocate at least an additional 20% of the funds to asylum measures.


The Internal Security Fund (ISF) which is designed to improve police cooperation, border surveillance and crime prevention, will get €2.8 billion for 2014-2020.

Debate: Wednesday, 12 March
Vote: Thursday, 13 March
Procedure: Co-decision (Ordinary Legislative Procedure), 1st reading agreement

#Asylum #EUmigration #InternalSecurity
#MFF #asylum #migration

Irish MEPs on this issue: Paul Murphy (Socialist-Dublin)

Draft report on AMIF and ISF (general provisions)Draft report on the AMIFDraft report on the ISF (police cooperation, preventing and combating crime and crisis management)Draft report on the ISF (external borders and visas)Press release on committee vote (10.01.2014)Profile of rapporteur Lorenzo Fontana (EFD, IT) - general provisionsProfile of rapporteur Sylvie Guillaume (S&D, FR) - AMIFProfile of rapporteur Salvatore Iacolino (EPP, IT) - ISF (police cooperation, etc.)Profile of rapporteur Marian-Jean Marinescu (EPP, RO) - ISF (external borders and visas)Procedure file - General provisionsProcedure file - AMIFProcedure file - ISF (police cooperation, etc.)Procedure file (external borders and visas)
 

Parliament to debate Turkey’s EU future

MEPs will take stock of Turkey’s progress towards EU accession in 2013 in a debate on Wednesday afternoon. They are expected to call for constitutional reform and criticise the judicial system for falling short of preventing corruption.

A report on Turkey’s progress towards the EU in 2013 will be adopted by MEPs the following day.

Debate: Tuesday, 11 March
Vote:  Wednesday, 12 March
Procedure:  Council and Commission statements with resolution

#Turkey

Press release on committee vote (03.03.2014)Profile of rapporteur Ria Oomen-Ruijten (EPP, NL)Procedure file
 

Common charger for mobile phones

Mobile phone manufacturers will be encouraged to provide a common battery charger under draft rules to be voted on Tuesday. This will simplify the use of radio equipment and reduce unnecessary waste and cost for consumers.

The draft directive, informally already fine-tuned with Council, lays down harmonised rules for placing radio equipment, including cellular telephones, car-door openers and modems, on the market. The rules aim to keep pace with the growing number and variety of radio equipment devices and ensure that they do not interfere with each other while respecting essential health and safety requirements.

Vote: Thursday, 13 March
Procedure:  Co-decision (Ordinary Legislative Procedure), 1st reading agreement

#charger
#mobilechargers

Press release on committee vote (19.12.2013)Profile of the rapporteur Barbara WEILER (S&D, DE)Procedure file
 

Reducing insurance firms’ investment risks

Draft EU legislation to reduce the riskiness of insurance firms’ investments – and taxpayer exposure to them – will be debated and put to a vote on Tuesday. The rules for insurers will be similar to those already in place for banks, but tailored to their typically longer-term investment profile, so as not to penalise them for taking a long-run view.

The “Solvency II” legislation, thirteen years in the making, would require the EU’s €8 trillion insurance industry, its largest institutional investor, to set aside enough capital to cover investment risks. If approved, it will take effect on 1 January 2016.

Debate:  Tuesday
Vote:  Tuesday
Procedure:  Co-decision, agreement in first reading

#solvencyII
#EIOPA #insurance #pensions

Irish MEPs on this issue: Gay Mitchell (Fine Gael-Dublin)

Draft report on amendments to the Solvency II directiveProfile of rapporteur Burkhard Balz (EPP, DE) Procedure file
 

Promoting European gastronomy and healthy eating

MEPs will recommend classes in healthy eating and gastronomy as part of school curricula in a non-binding resolution tabled for a vote on Wednesday. MEPs will also call for measures to raise young people's awareness of the dangers of alcohol abuse and improve their health and to ban advertising or sponsorship of junk food in schools. EU countries should also take measures to protect Europe's gastronomic heritage, they will say.

The draft resolution calls for the variety and quality of Europe's different local and regional culinary traditions to be protected as part of our shared cultural heritage with schemes for the recognition and labelling of European products, such as  designations of origin, geographical indications and guarantees of traditional specialities.

Vote:  Wednesday, 12 March
Procedure:  Non-legislative resolution

#gastronomic #nutritional

Motion for a resolution on the European gastronomic heritage: cultural and educational aspectsProfile of rapporteur Santiago Fisas Ayxela (PPE, ES)Procedure file
 

EP elections: candidate for Commission President should reflect voters’ choice

The European Council - EU heads of state and government - should honour the citizens’ choice when proposing a candidate European Commission President for Parliament to elect, says a draft resolution to be voted on Tuesday. As many members of the next Commission as possible should be chosen from among elected MEPs, it adds.

The resolution stresses that the new Lisbon Treaty procedure whereby the Commission President is elected by Parliament "will make the European elections more important, by linking the voters’ choice in the elections to the European Parliament more directly to the election of the Commission President".

Vote:   Wednesday, 12 March
Procedure:  Non-legislative resolution

#LisbonTreaty

Irish MEPs on this issue: Liam Aylward (Fianna Fail-East), Gay Mitchell (Fine Gael-Dublin), Paul Murphy (Socialist-Dublin)

Draft report on the Implementation of the Treaty of Lisbon with respect to the European ParliamentPress release on committee vote (11.02.2014)Profile of rapporteur Paulo Rangel (EPP, PT)Procedure file
 

"Mackerel war" with Iceland and the Faroes: MEPs to warn against hasty deal

The European Commission must not rush into a deal to end the EU’s mackerel fishing dispute with Iceland and the Faroe Islands, warns a draft resolution to be voted on Thursday. As any deal could have "a severe impact on the future of the EU fisheries sector", all options should be considered, it adds.

Differences over how to divide up mackerel fishing opportunities in the North-East Atlantic have persisted since 2009, when Iceland and the Faroe Islands unilaterally increased their overall share of the catch, claiming a mackerel migration shift in their favour.

However, recent scientific advice recommending a large increase in the total mackerel catch has improved the chances of finding an agreed end to the dispute.

Debate:  Thursday, 13 March
Vote: Thursday, 13 March
Procedure:  Non-legislative resolution

#mackerel

Irish MEPs on this issue: Pat the Cope Gallagher (Fianna Fail-North West)

Draft resolution on the status of the Northeast Atlantic mackerel fisheryQuestion for oral answer to the Commission on the status of the Northeast Atlantic mackerel fisheryQuestion for oral answer to the Commission on the conservation of sea-bass at European level Background information on North-East Atlantic fish stock disputesPlenary debate on 09.12.2013Press release on plenary debate (17.04.2013)Procedure file
 

Green light expected for Copernicus, the EU’s new Earth Observation System

Copernicus, the EU’s new Earth Observation System, must ensure access to full, open and free-of-charge information in the areas of land, marine, atmosphere, climate change, emergency management and security monitoring, say MEPs. On Wednesday the House is expected to vote to endorse a deal with the Council in late December last year. The programme has a €3.79 billion budget for 2014-2020.

This data would be gathered from several Earth observation satellites and a multitude of sensors on the ground, at sea or in the air.

For instance, Copernicus data on water quality will help public authorities to enhance protection of bathing waters, detect jelly fish populations and predict algal blooms.

Prior to the vote on Copernicus, a debate on space will take place, including on issues linked to the European GlobalNavigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) Agency.

Debate: Wednesday, 12 March
Vote: Wednesday, 12 March
Procedure: co-decision, first reading agreement
Press conference: Wednesday,12 March, 16.30 tbc

#Copernicus

Procedure file: Copernicus Programme 2014-2020 Procedure file: European GNSS Agency Draft text of the agreement on Copernicus Draft report on the European GNSS Agency Profile of rapporteur Vittorio Prodi (S&D, IT)Profile of rapporteur Amalia Sartori (EPP, IT)
 

Human rights and democracy resolutions

Parliament will hold urgent debates on the following topics relating to human rights and democracy, in the morning on Thursday 13 March at 15.00 with the votes following at around 16.00.

Russia: sentencing of demonstrators involved in the Bolotnaya Square events

Myanmar

Security and human trafficking in the Sinai

Irish MEPs on this issue: Paul Murphy (Socialist-Dublin)

 

Other Topics on the Agenda:

- Facilitating the exercise of rights conferred onworkers in the context of freedom of movement for workers, debate Tuesday, Vote Wednesday (Bauer, 1st reading)

 

- An anti-missile shield for Europe and its political and strategic implications, vote Wednesday (Terho, INI)

Irish MEPs on this issue: Gay Mitchell (Fine Gael-Dublin)

 

- Copernicus Programme, vote Wednesday, (Prodi, 1st reading)

 

- Setting up the European GNSS Agency, vote Wednesday (Sartori, 1st reading)

 

- Saudi-Arabia - EU relations, debate Monday, vote Tuesday (Gomes, INI)

Irish MEPs on this issue: Gay Mitchell (Fine Gael-Dublin)

 

- Eradication of torture in the World, debate Monday, vote Tuesday (De Keyser, INI)

Irish MEPs on this issue: Gay Mitchell (Fine Gael-Dublin)

 

- Annual Report of the activities of the Committee on Petitions 2013, debate Monday, vote Tuesday, (Walesa, INI)

Irish MEPs on this issue: Marian Harkin (Independent-North West), Mairead McGuinness (Fine Gael-East)

 

- Electronic invoicing in public procurement, debate Monday, vote Tuesday, (Collin-Langen, 1st reading)

 

- EIB Annual Report 2012, debate Monday, vote Tuesday (Marinescu, INI)

Irish MEPs on this issue: Pat the Cope Gallagher (Fianna Fail-North West), Marian Harkin (Independent-North West)

 

- The European System of Financial Supervision (ESFS) Review, debate Monday, vote Tuesday (Giegold, INI)

Irish MEPs on this issue: Gay Mitchell (Fine Gael-Dublin)

 

- European Public Prosecutor's Office, debate Tuesday, vote Wednesday (Iacolino,INI)

 

- Priorities for EU relations with the Eastern partnership countries, debate Monday, Vote Wednesday (Kowal INI)

 

- Farm structure surveys and survey on agricultural production methods - Report: Paolo De Castro

Irish MEPs on this issue: Liam Aylward (Fianna Fail-East), Mairead McGuinness (Fine Gael-East)

 

- Goods resulting from the processing of agricultural products - Report: Paolo De Castro

Irish MEPs on this issue: Mairead McGuinness (Fine Gael-East

 

- Equality between women and men in 2012 - Report: Inês Cristina Zuber

Irish MEPs on this issue: Nessa Childers (Independent-East), Emer Costello (Labour-Dublin), Marian Harkin (Independent-North West), Paul Murphy (Socialist-Dublin)

 

Horticulture - Report: Anthea McIntyre

Irish MEPs on this issue: Mairead McGuinness (Fine Gael-East)

 

General guidelines for the 2015 budget - Section III - Report: Eider Gardiazábal Rubial

Irish MEPs on this issue: Mairead McGuinness (Fine Gael-East)

 

- Assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment - Report: Andrea Zanoni

Irish MEPs on this issue: Mairead McGuinness (Fine Gael-East)

 

- EC-Serbia Stabilisation and Association Agreement - Recommendation for second reading: Iuliu Winkler

Irish MEPs on this issue: Gay Mitchell (Fine Gael-Dublin)

 

- Statistics for the macroeconomic imbalances procedure - Report: Derk Jan Eppink

Irish MEPs on this issue: Gay Mitchell (Fine Gael-Dublin)

 

- Statistics relating to external trade with non-member countries (delegated and implementing powers) -
Report: Vital Moreira

Irish MEPs on this issue: Gay Mitchell (Fine Gael-Dublin)

 

- Humanitarian engagement of armed non-State actors in child protection - Report: Judith Sargentini

Irish MEPs on this issue: Gay Mitchell (Fine Gael-Dublin)

 

- Use of broadcasting media as a tool of EU diplomacy - Recommendation: Graham Watson

Irish MEPs on this issue: Gay Mitchell (Fine Gael-Dublin)

 

- Pakistan's regional role and political relations with the EU - Report: Boris Zala

Irish MEPs on this issue: Gay Mitchell (Fine Gael-Dublin)

 

- Policy coherence for development - Report: Charles Goerens

Irish MEPs on this issue: Gay Mitchell (Fine Gael-Dublin)

 

- Union programme in the field of financial reporting and auditing 2014-2020 - Report: Theodor Dumitru
Stolojan

Irish MEPs on this issue: Gay Mitchell (Fine Gael-Dublin)

 

- Role of property and wealth creation in eradicating poverty and fostering sustainable development -
Report: Nirj Deva

Irish MEPs on this issue: Gay Mitchell (Fine Gael-Dublin)

 

- EU priorities for the 25th session of the UN Human Rights Council - Statement by the Vice-President of the
Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

Irish MEPs on this issue: Paul Murphy (Socialist-Dublin)

 

For further information, please contact Catherine Bunyan, Press Officer on 086 8559423 or at catherine.bunyan@ep.europa.eu or contact the Irish MEPs' Press Officers directly.

To watch any part of the Plenary Session live, please click on the EP Live section of the Parliament's website and select Live Broadcast from the menu on the left-hand side.

To view a debate which has already taken place, please click on the Multimedia Library section of the Parliament's website, select 'search by date' from the menu on the left-hand side and choose the debate.  You can also scroll through the speakers and just listen to a speaker of your choice.

To access raw audio of interviews with the Irish MEPs recorded during the Plenary Session, please visit www.radioep.ie.