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EP Plenary Session News 24-27 February 2014

24-02-2014

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

Highlights include:

  • 2020 target to reduce CO2 emissions from new passenger cars
  • Confiscating crooks' assets
  • Aid to the EU’s most deprived citizens for 2014-2020
  • Vote on life-saving emergency call system for cars
  • Tobacco directive
  • Insurance: MEPs to call for honest advice and an end to small print
  • EU-Swiss relations under fire
  • EU action to halt escalation of violence in Ukraine
  • Formal sitting with Czech President Miloš Zeman
  • Making the EU more attractive to foreign students and researchers
  • Vote on visa-free travel to the Schengen area for Moldovan citizens
  • Rail reform: MEPs want to lift market entry barriers to boost passenger services
  • Progress of “Youth Guarantee” schemes to get young people into jobs
  • Vote on EU-Turkey deal to return clandestine migrants
  • Iraq: MEPs to discuss outbreak of violence in Anbar province
  • Making cross-border crime investigations easier
  • Overhauling European Arrest Warrant rules
  • Making online public services accessible to everyone
  • Indonesia: MEPs to back deal to combat rainforest destruction
  • Economic coordination must deliver more on jobs and growth
  • Tackling human rights flaws in the European Union
  • Punish the client, not the prostitute
  • Balancing private copying levies and artists' income
  • Visa-free travel for 16 ACP countries, UAE, Colombia and Peru
Draft agendaFollow the plenary liveEuroparlTVPress conferences and other eventsEP Audiovisual websiteEP Newshub
 

2020 target to reduce CO2 emissions from new passenger cars

The CO2 emission limit for new cars sold in the EU is to be reduced from 130 g/km in 2015 to 95 g/km by 2020, under draft legislation to be voted on Tuesday. The text, already informally agreed with EU ministers, also paves the way for achieving further reductions after 2020, and provides for the introduction of a new emissions test protocol that better reflects real-world driving conditions.

The 95g/km by 2020 target is the maximum average authorised for cars sold in the EU. It would apply to manufacturers producing more than 1,000 vehicles per year.

If a given manufacturer’s emissions average exceeds the target, then penalties would apply, unless the excess is offset by very low emissions from other models in the range.

Debate: Monday, 24 February
Vote: Tuesday, 25 February
Procedure: Co-decision (Ordinary Legislative Procedure), first reading agreement

Irish MEPs on this issue: Liam Aylward (Fianna Fail-East), Nessa Childers (Independent-East), Marian Harkin (Independent-North West).

Draft report on reducing CO2 emissions from new passenger cars Press release on committee vote (17.12.2013) Profile of rapporteur Thomas Ulmer (EPP, DE) Procedure file
 

Confiscating crooks' assets

EU-wide rules to make it easier for member states to trace, freeze, manage and confiscate crooks’ assets will be voted by Parliament on Tuesday. Today, less than 1% of the proceeds of crimes such as drug trafficking, counterfeiting, human trafficking and small arms smuggling are frozen and confiscated.

The draft law, already informally agreed with national governments, is part of a broader EU strategy to fight fraud and corruption. The new rules would enable national authorities quickly to identify and trace criminals’ assets – such as cash held in bank accounts, real estate, vehicles, livestock, artworks, company shares, businesses, and collector's items - and to freeze, manage and confiscate them consistently across the EU

Debate: Monday, 24 February
Vote:  Tuesday, 25 February
Procedure: Co-decision (Ordinary Legislative Procedure), 1st reading agreement
Press conference: Tuesday, 25 February, at 14.00

Irish MEPs on this issue: Emer Costello (Labour-Dublin).

Press release on committee vote (17.12.2013)Profile of rapporteur Monica Luisa Macovei (EPP, RO)Procedure file
 

Aid to the EU’s most deprived citizens for 2014-2020

EU aid to the most deprived citizens will be prolonged until 2020 and maintained at €3.5 billion thanks to Parliament. The informal deal with the Council of Ministers, to be endorsed in a vote on Tuesday, ensures that the Fund is immediately fully operational, covering bills as from 1 January 2014.

The new programme for 2014-2020 replaces the Food Distribution Programme, which distributed food surpluses produced under the Common Agricultural Policy to those in need.  The new fund aims to provide food and basic material assistance and to finance social inclusion measures for the EU's most deprived citizens.

Vote: Tuesday, 25 February
Procedure:  Co-decision (Ordinary Legislative Procedure), 1st reading agreement

Irish MEPs on this issue: Nessa Childers (Independent-East), Emer Costello (Labour-Dublin), Phil Prendergast (Labour- South).

Draft report on Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (2014-2020)Press release on agreement with Council (28.11.2012)Profile of rapporteur Emer Costello (S&D, IE)Procedure file
 

Vote on life-saving emergency call system for cars

Emergency call devices that automatically alert rescue services to car crashes would have to be fitted to all new models of cars and light vans by October 2015 under draft rules to be voted on Wednesday. “eCall” technology would use the 112 emergency number to enable rescuers to reach crash scenes faster, thus saving lives and reducing injuries.

Each year emergency services across the EU deal with road accidents which in 2012 took 28,000 lives and left 1.5 million injured.

The eCall installation rules were tabled by the European Commission, acting on a resolution voted by Parliament in July 2012. MEPs note that the eCall in-vehicle system is a public service and should therefore be accessible free of charge to all car users.

Draft rules on eCall infrastructure, which would require EU member states to have the emergency service equipment needed to receive and process eCalls in place by October 2015, will be put to a vote at the same time.

Debate: Tuesday, 25 February
Vote: Wednesday, 26 February
Procedure: Co-decision (Ordinary Legislative Procedure), 1st reading

Irish MEPs on this issue: Jim Higgins (Fine Gael-North West), Mairead McGuinness (Fine Gael-East), Phil Prendergast (Labour- South).

Draft report on eCall in-vehicle systemDraft report on eCall infrastructurePress release on committee vote (11.02.2014)Profile of the rapporteur Olga Sehnalova (S&D, CZ): eCall in-vehicle systemProfile of the rapporteur Philippe De Backer (ALDE, BE): eCall infrastructureLegislative Observatory file on eCall in-vehicle systemLegislative Observatory file on eCall infrastructureEP resolution on eCall: a new 112 service for citizens
 

Tobacco directive set for final vote in Parliament

Legislation to make tobacco products less attractive to young people will be put to a vote on Wednesday. Already informally agreed with EU ministers, it would require all packs to carry a health warning covering 65% of their surface. E-cigarettes would be regulated, either as medicinal products, if they are presented as having curative or preventive properties, or as tobacco products.

Current legislation requires that health warnings cover at least 30% of the area of the front of the pack and 40% of the back. The proposed text would increase this to 65%, front and back. Packs of fewer than 20 cigarettes would be banned.

As proposed by MEPs, e-cigarettes would be regulated, either as medicinal products, if they are presented as having curative or preventive properties, or as tobacco products. In the latter case, their nicotine concentration could not exceed 20 mg/ml. Refillable cartridges would be allowed.

A single cartridge should contain the equivalent in nicotine of a pack of cigarettes. Electronic cigarettes would have to be childproof, carry health warnings, and would be subject to the same advertising restrictions as tobacco products.

Vote: Wednesday, 26 February
Procedure: Co-decision (Ordinary Legislative Procedure), first reading agreement
Press conference: Wednesday, 26 February

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).

Draft report on the tobacco products directive Press release on committee vote (22.01.2014) Profile of rapporteur Linda McAvan (S&D, UK) Procedure file
 

Insurance: MEPs to call for honest advice and an end to small print

Amendments to a proposed update of the EU directive how insurance brokers and salesmen should advise clients will be debated on Tuesday and voted on Wednesday. The update aims to put an end to unfair or misleading information, including small print and marketing communication, by further harmonising rules on how insurance is sold in Europe.

Insurance buyers should receive unambiguous information about the identity and contact details of the insurance seller, their obligations under the contract, the risks insured and excluded and means of payments and premiums. The update pays special attention to insurance sold in packages.

Debate: Tuesday, 25 February  
Vote: Wednesday, 26 February
Procedure: Co-decision (Ordinary legislative procedure), first reading, amendments only

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

Draft reportProfile of rapporteur Werner Langen (EPP, DE) Procedure file
 

EU-Swiss relations under fire

The issue of how Switzerland’s 9 February referendum vote to curb immigration from EU countries will affect its relations with the EU will be debated by political group leaders on Wednesday morning. The majority in favour was 50.3%.

The Swiss government has three years to translate the outcome of the vote into specific measures. If it is not prepared unilaterally to break its cooperation agreements with the EU, then it will have to find a way to continue complying with the free movement rules laid down in the Schengen treaty.

Switzerland joined the Schengen area and did away with frontier checks at the end of 2008, further to a referendum held in June 2005.

Some 1.2 million EU citizens live in Switzerland and almost 270,000 more commute there each day to work. Some 430,000 Swiss nationals live in the EU (source: European Commission).

Debate: Wednesday, 26 February

Irish MEPs on this issue: Mairead McGuinness (Fine Gael-East), Pat the Cope Gallagher (Fianna Fail-North West).

 

EU action to halt escalation of violence in Ukraine

Possible EU sanctions and further diplomatic efforts to stop violent clashes in Ukraine will be debated on Wednesday afternoon. MEPs will vote a resolution on Thursday.

In their resolution of 6 February, MEPs asked Member States to prepare targeted individual sanctions, such as a travel ban and an asset freeze, against those responsible for violent crack-down on protesters and human rights violations.

Debate: Wednesday 26 February
Vote: Thursday 27 February
Procedure: High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Statement (with resolution)

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

Press release on EP’s resolution of 6 February calling for sanctions EP’s resolution of 6 February 2014 on the situation in Ukraine
 

Formal sitting with Czech President Miloš Zeman

President of the Czech Republic Miloš Zeman will deliver a formal address on Wednesday at noon. Mr Zeman, who was Prime Minister from 1998 to 2002, became the country’s first directly-elected President in March 2013.

EP President Martin Schulz will hold a press conference with President Zeman at 12:30.

Debate: Wednesday, 26 February
Procedure: Formal Sitting
Press conference: Wednesday, 26 February at 12:30

Official website of the Presidency of the Czech RepublicThe visiting heads of state in Parliament since 1979 (interactive map)
 

Making the EU more attractive to foreign students and researchers

The EU would offer better working and living conditions to non-EU students, researchers, trainees, volunteers, school pupils and au pairs, as a way to boost member states' competitiveness, under draft rules to be voted by Parliament on Tuesday. MEPs say researchers and students should be able to stay in the EU one and a half extra years to set up a firm or search for a job. They also suggest stricter deadlines for deciding on applications to stay.

According to the European Commission, each year Europe spends 0.8% of GDP less than the US and 1.5% less than Japan on Research and Development (R&D). Many of the best researchers and innovators are moving to countries where they get better conditions.

This update of current EU rules would introduce fairer conditions and make the EU more attractive to third-country nationals seeking opportunities to do research, study, take part in a student exchange, or do paid or unpaid training, voluntary service or au pairing.

MEPs suggest a 30-day deadline for member states to decide on applications(the Commission proposed 60 days). Researchers' and students' family members would have the right to join their relatives and work in the same member state, the draft text points out.

Debate: Tuesday, 24 February
Vote: Wednesday, 25 February
Procedure: Co-decision (Ordinary Legislative Procedure), 1st reading

Irish MEPs on this issue: Emer Costello (Labour-Dublin).

Press release on committee vote (05.11.2013)Profile of rapporteur Cecilia Wikström (ALDE, SE)Procedure file
 

Vote on visa-free travel to the Schengen area for Moldovan citizens

Moldovan citizens would no longer need a visa to travel to the Schengen area, under a draft law to be voted by Parliament on Tuesday and already informally agreed with the Council. Moldova is the first Eastern Partnership country to meet all the requirements of its Visa Liberalisation Action Plan allowing for visa-free travel to be put in place.

Moldovans who have biometric passports (with a chip storing the holder's facial image and fingerprints) would be able to travel to the Schengen area for 90 days within a 180-day period.

Vote:  Tuesday, 25 February  
Procedure: Co-decision (Ordinary Legislative Procedure), 1st reading agreement

Draft report on third countries whose nationals are subject to or exempt from a visa requirementPress release on committee vote (12.2.2014)Profile of rapporteur Tanja Fajon (S&D, SL)Procedure file
 

Rail reform: MEPs want to lift market entry barriers to boost passenger services

Measures to improve domestic rail services by opening them up to more competition and granting all operators fair access to rail infrastructure will be debated on Tuesday and put to a vote on Wednesday. The “fourth railway package” legislation would also help to cut costs and simplify market entry for new operators by introducing common certification procedures for rolling stock.  

The draft rules would make it easier for new rail service operators to bid for public service contracts, by limiting their size ensuring that they could not be granted directly to a firm chosen by the authorities without a call for tenders or at least appropriate justification.

The rules would also streamline certification and authorization procedures for putting trains on tracks, and gradually transfer responsibility for these procedures to the European Railway Agency.

Debate: Tuesday, 25 February
Vote: Wednesday, 26 February
Procedure:  Co-decision, 1st reading
Press conference: Wednesday, 26 February, 14.00

Press release after the committee vote (17.12.2013)Draft report: opening of the market and governanceDraft report: award of public service contractsDraft report: interoperability of the rail systemDraft report: railway safetyDraft report: European Union Agency for RailwaysDraft report: normalisation of accounts (repeal)Profile of rapporteur: Saïd El Khadraoui (EPP, BE)Profile of rapporteur: Mathieu Grosch (EPP, BE)Profile of rapporteur: Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE, ES)Profile of rapporteur: Michael Cramer (Greens/EFA, DE)Profile of rapporteur: Roberts Zile (ECR, LV)Profile of rapporteur: Jaromir Kohlicek (GUE-NGL, CZ)Procedure file: Opening of the market and governance Procedure file: award of public service contractsProcedure file: interoperability of the rail systemProcedure file: railway safetyProcedure file: European Union Agency for RailwaysProcedure file: normalisation of accounts (repeal)
 

Progress of “Youth Guarantee” schemes to get young people into jobs

MEPs will quiz the Council and Commission on Wednesday on EU countries’ progress in setting up “Youth Guarantee schemes” to get young people into jobs. Following a 2010 resolution in which Parliament urged all EU countries to set up these schemes, EU employment ministers finally agreed in February 2013 on a Council recommendation to introduce them.

Youth Guarantee schemes aim to ensure that no young person in the EU goes without a job, education or training for more than four months. These schemes are financed primarily by the member states, but those in dire financial straits may obtain contributions from the EU’s €6 billion Youth Employment Initiative.

Debate: Wednesday, 26 February
Procedure:  Council and Commission statements followed by debate

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), Mairead McGuinness (Fine Gael-East), Marian Harkin (Independent-North West), Phil Prendergast (Labour- South), Sean Kelly (Fine Gael-South).

Commission's webpage on Youth GuaranteePR Parliament urging EU Ministers to introduce Youth Guarantee schemes (16.01.2013)First EP resolution on Youth Guarantee (02.06.2010)
 

Vote on EU-Turkey deal to return clandestine migrants

Clandestine migrants from the EU to Turkey or Turkey to the EU would have to be returned under an EU-Turkey “readmission” agreement signed by both parties in December and to be voted by Parliament on Thursday. The return rule would apply not only to EU nationals and Turks, but also to third-country nationals who enter either the EU or Turkey via the other.

Debate: Wednesday, 26 February
Vote:  Thursday, 27 February
Procedure: Consent

Draft report on the EU-Turkey readmission agreementPress release on committee vote (22.1.2014)Profile of rapporteur Renate Sommer (EPP, DE)Procedure file
 

Iraq: MEPs to discuss outbreak of violence in Anbar province

The recent wave of violent clashes between Sunni militants and security forces  in Anbar province, will be the key issue in Wednesday afternoon’s EU foreign policy debate. The fighting has led to the biggest wave of internal refugees in Iraq since sectarian violence in 2006 to 2008.

With a view to Iraq’s parliamentary elections scheduled for April, MEPs will vote a resolution on recent developments in Iraq on Thursday.

Debate: Wednesday, 26 February
Vote: Thursday, 27 February
Procedure: High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Statement (with resolution)

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

Procedure file
 

Making cross-border crime investigations easier

Judicial authorities asking colleagues in another EU country to help them investigate crimes there, e.g. by searching houses or interviewing witnesses, should get a faster and more favourable response, under the new European Investigation Order (EIO) rules to be voted by Parliament on Tuesday.

The EIO rules aim to make it easier for judicial authorities to request investigations to obtain evidence in another EU country. For example, French judicial authorities tracking criminals holed up in Germany could ask their German counterparts to carry out a house search or to interview witnesses there. This is already possible, but investigators have to rely on a patchwork of rules, which in many cases lead to unjustified delays and additional burdens.

Debate: Tuesday, 25 February
Vote:  Tuesday, 25 February
Procedure: Co-decision (Ordinary Legislative Procedure), 1st reading agreement

Text of the agreementPress release on committee vote (5.12.2013)Profile of rapporteur Nuno Melo (EPP, PT)Procedure file
 

Overhauling European Arrest Warrant rules

The European Commission should table proposals to reform European Arrest Warrant (EAW) rules within a year, says a draft resolution to be debated on Wednesday and voted the next day. The text recommends ways to ensure that these arrest decisions are used effectively, but also proportionately, with safeguards for the fundamental rights of the accused such as the right to effective legal remedies.

The EAW is a crucial crime-fighting tool because it replaces long and cumbersome extradition procedures. Since 2004 it has ensured that open borders are not exploited by those seeking to evade justice. It requires judicial authorities in each member state to recognise, with a minimum of formalities, requests for the surrender of a person made by judicial authorities of another member state.  

Despite its success in speeding up surrender procedures, MEPs say the system needs to be overhauled to better protect the procedural rights of suspected and accused persons, improve detention conditions, and prevent alleged overuse of EAWs by some member states. Between 2005 and 2009 54,689 EAWs were issued but only 11,630 were executed.

Debate: Wednesday, 26 February
Vote:  Thursday, 27 February
Procedure:  Initiative pursuant to Article 225 of the TFEU
Press conference: Wednesday, 26 February, at 10.30

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

Draft report with recommendations to the Commission on the review of the European Arrest WarrantPress release on committee vote (13.1.2014)Profile of rapporteur Sarah Ludford (ALDE, UK)Procedure file
 

Making online public services accessible to everyone

Websites would have to be designed to enable anyone to use them to submit a tax declaration, claim unemployment benefit or enrol a child at a kindergarten, under draft rules to be voted on Wednesday. Over 100 million EU citizens, including elderly and disabled people, have difficulty in accessing public websites to use online public services.

There are over 761,000 public sector websites in the EU that offer access to information and services. However, only a third of them meet international web-accessibility standards.

Debate: Tuesday, 25 February
Vote: Wednesday, 26 February
Procedure:  Co-decision (Ordinary Legislative Procedure), 1st reading

Irish MEPs on this issue: Liam Aylward (Fianna Fail-East), Marian Harkin (Independent-North West).

Press release on committee vote (28.11.2013)Profile of the rapporteur Jorgo CHATZIMARKAKIS (ALDE, DE)Procedure file
 

Indonesia: MEPs to back deal to combat rainforest destruction

MEPs plan to approve a deal that will help combat deforestation in Indonesia, which has the world’s third-largest area of rainforest but it also its third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases. The deal will oblige Indonesia to prove that all the timber it exports to the EU has been harvested legally.

The Voluntary Partnership Agreement between Indonesia and the EU was concluded on 30 September 2013, as part of the EU’s Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) action plan. To take legal effect, it needs the European Parliament’s consent.

A 2007 United Nations Environment Programme report estimated that 73-88% of timber logged in Indonesia is illegally sourced.

Debate: Wednesday, 26 February
Vote:  Thursday, 27 February
Procedure: Consent, Commission statement followed by debate, non-legislative resolution

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

Draft report on the conclusion of the agreement between the EU and Indonesia on trade in timber productsProfile of rapporteur Yannick Jadot (Greens, FR)Procedure file (consent)Procedure file (resolution)
 

Economic coordination must deliver more on jobs and growth

EU countries’ efforts to coordinate their economic policies must do more to deliver jobs and growth, MEPs will say in three resolutions to be debated on Wednesday and voted on Thursday. Fiscal restraint must continue but its stifling impact on investment, growth and jobs must be remedied, they add.

A Social Affairs Committee resolution will call on member states to increase investment and table general and youth employment plans in the 2014 national reform programmes.

An Economic Affairs Committee resolution will stress the need for long-run investment, job creation and easier access to finance for small firms.

An Internal Market Committee resolution will call for further action in key sectors such as services, transport, energy and the digital economy to complete the single market and reiterate that its performance should be assessed in economic policy coordination work.

Debate: Tuesday, 25 February
Vote: Thursday, 27 February
Procedure: non-legislative resolutions

Irish MEPs on this issue: Marian Harkin (Independent-North West), Sean Kelly (Fine Gael-South), Gay Mitchell (Fine Gael-Dublin), Phil Prendergast (Labour- South).

Draft resolution on European Semester for economic policy coordination:employment and social aspects Draft resolution on the European Semester for economic policy coordination:Annual Growth Survey 2014 Profile of rapporteur Sergio Gutiérrez Prieto (S&D, ES) Profile of rapporteur Philippe De Backer (ALDE, BE) Procedure file - Employment and social aspects Procedure file - Annual Growth Survey Draft resolution on Single Market governance within the European Semester Profile of the rapporteur Sergio Cofferati (S&D, IT) Parliament's procedure file
 

Tackling human rights flaws in the European Union

The European Commission should immediately set up a new mechanism to monitor all member states' compliance with EU values and accession criteria, including binding recommendations and penalties for breaches says a draft resolution to be voted on Thursday.

The resolution analyses respect for fundamental rights in the EU in 2012. The "Copenhagen mechanism" suggested by MEPs would serve to set indicators, draw up binding recommendations and impose penalties, such as freezing EU funding for countries that fail to comply.

MEPs also suggest reviewing EU Treaty Article 7 (rules for determining whether there is a clear risk of a serious breach of EU values in a member state). The aim would be to separate clearly the "risk" and "violation" stages.

Debate: Wednesday, 26 February
Vote: Thursday, 27 February
Procedure: Non-legislative resolution

Draft report on fundamental rights in the EU - 2012Press release on committee vote (05.11.2013)Profile of rapporteur Louis Michel (ALDE, BE)Procedure file
 

Punish the client, not the prostitute

Prostitution should be tackled by punishing not the prostitutes, but their clients, says a draft resolution to be debated and voted on Thursday. With a view Tto mark International Women’s Day on 8 March, MEPs will also call on the European Commission to table measures by the end of 2014 to prevent gender-based violence against women.

Debate:  Wednesday 26 February debate on violence and Thursday 27 February debate on prostitution  
Vote:  Thursday, 27 February
Procedure: Initiative pursuant to Article 225 of the TFEU (Parvanova) and Non-legislative resolution (Honeyball)

Irish MEPs on this issue: Nessa Childers (Independent-East), Emer Costello (Labour-Dublin), Mairead McGuinness (Fine Gael-East), Phil Prendergast (Labour- South).

Draft resolution combating Violence against WomenProfile of rapporteur Antonyia Parvanova (ALDE, BG) Draft resolution on sexual exploitation and prostitution and its impact on gender equalityProfile of rapporteur Mary Honeyball (S&D, U.K)
 

Balancing private copying levies and artists' income

EU countries’ rules on private copying, e.g. of music, videos and films, should be harmonized at EU level, says a draft resolution to be voted on Thursday. MEPs also urge Commission and member states to ensure that buyers are properly informed about the size and purpose of the levies they pay when buying recording or storage media or services.

The private copying levies system is worth preserving as there is currently no alternative way to balance the right to make copies for private use with the artists’ right to fair remuneration, says the text. However, further discussions will be needed to assess the long-term suitability of the private copying system and to explore possible alternatives.

Debate: Thursday 27, February  
Vote: Thursday 27, February  
Procedure:  Non-legislative resolution

Profile of rapporteur Françoise Castex (S&D, FR)Procedure file
 

Visa-free travel for 16 ACP countries, UAE, Colombia and Peru

Citizens from 16 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, the United Arab Emirates, Colombia and Peru would be able to travel to the EU without a visa, under an amended EU visa regulation to be voted on Thursday. The visa waivers would apply from the dates of entry into force of agreements to be concluded between each of these countries and the EU.

Also on Thursday, Parliament will vote on a non-binding resolution evaluating the current situation and future prospects of the common visa policy.

Vote: Thursday, 27 February
Procedure: Co-decision (Ordinary Legislative Procedure), first reading agreement / Oral question to Commission (with resolution)

Press release on committee vote (12.02.2014) Profile of rapporteur Mariya Gabriel (EPP, BG) Procedure file
 

Other Topics on the Agenda

- One minute speech on hearing and deafness in the EU

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

 

 

- Appointment of a member of the Court of Auditors Oskar Herics (AT), vote Tue (Ayala Sender)

 

- Horticulture, debate Mon, vote Tue, (McIntyre INI)

 

- Plant breeding, debate and vote Tue, (Paulsen INI)

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

 

- Community trade mark, debate Mon, vote Tue (Wikström, 1st reading)

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

 

- Request for defence of the parliamentary immunity of Gabriele Albertini, vote Tue, (Rapkay)

 

- Request for the waiver of the parliamentary immunity of Tadeusz Cymański, vote Tue (Stoyanov)

 

- Guidelines for the employment policies of the Member States, vote Wed (Berès)

 

- Common system of value added tax, vote Wed (Strejcek)

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

 

- Use of armed drones, Council and Commission statements, debate Wed

 

- Common European sales law, debate Tue, vote Wed (Lehne, Berlinguer 1st reading)

Irish MEPs on this issue: Phil Prendergast (Labour- South).

 

- Svalbard Archipelago and its fisheries resources, debate Wed (OQ Commission)

 

- European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps - EU Aid Volunteers, debate Mon, vote Tue, (Striffler (agreement)

Irish MEPs on this issue: Marian Harkin (Independent-North West), Gay Mitchell (Fine Gael-Dublin).

 

- Vote Europol, debate Mon, vote Tue (Díaz de Mera García Consuegra, 1st reading)

 

- Consequence of adverse weather conditions in different member states, Statement by the Commission, debate Thurs

Irish MEPs on this issue: Pat the Cope Gallagher (Fianna Fail-North West), Mairead McGuinness (Fine Gael-East), Phil Prendergast (Labour- South).

 

- Report on the European Commission’s 7th and 8th progress reports on the EU Cohesion Policy and the
Strategic Report 2013 on programme implementation 2007-2013, Wed (Vilja Savisaar-Toomast)

Irish MEPs on this issue: Sean Kelly (Fine Gael-South).

 

- SOLVIT, presentation of the report on Wed (Morten Løkkegaard)

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

 

- Use of broadcasting media as a tool of EU diplomacy, vote on Wed (Graham Watson)

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

 

- EC-Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement, vote on Wed (José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra)

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

 

- EC-Indonesia framework agreement on comprehensive partnership and cooperation, with the exception of matters related to readmission, vote on Wed (Ana Gomes)

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

 

- Long-term financing of the European economy, vote on Wed (Wolf Klinz)

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

 

- Union programme in the field of financial reporting and auditing 2014-2020, Thurs (Theodor Dumitru Stolojan)

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

 

- Occurrence reporting in civil aviation,Tues (Christine De Veyrac)

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

 

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.

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