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EP Plenary Session Newsletter 11-14 April 2016

08-04-2016

What will MEPs be working on during next week's Plenary Session in Strasbourg? Highlights include:
- EU-Turkey deal up for a debate
- EP to request a centralised EU asylum system and legal ways for migration
- MEPs to approve extra funds for refugee aid and fight against terrorism
- Calls for an EU-wide ban on glyphosate herbicide
- “Panama Papers” tax scandal debate
- Erasmus+ also for travelling apprentices in the EU
- Fighting poverty: help poor families lower heating bills
- Parliament to give its verdict on six nominees to the European Court of Auditors
- International fisheries: stricter rules for fish products and vessels

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EU-Turkey deal up for a debate

The agreement to return migrants and asylum seekers from the Greek islands to Turkey, reached at the meeting of heads of state and government on 18 March in Brussels, will be at the centre of a debate with Council President Donald Tusk and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday afternoon.

Under the new agreement, all people arriving irregularly from Turkey to the Greek islands are to be returned, the EU to take in one Syrian refugee for each person sent back. Once irregular crossings from Turkey have been substantively reduced, a Voluntary Humanitarian Admission Scheme will be activated. The deal also opens up for faster visa liberalisation for Turkish citizens traveling to the EU, provided Ankara complies with the requirements.

2015 reform efforts of Turkey under scrutiny

Following the first debate, Parliament will also discuss the 2015 reform efforts of Turkey towards EU membership with Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn on Wednesday and vote on a resolution on Thursday.

The draft outlines that EU-Turkey cooperation on migration should be uncoupled from the EU accession negotiating process and flags areas that are lagging behind in the reform process, such as the rule of law, freedom of expression and fundamental values.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Wednesday, 13 April

Vote: Thursday, 14 April

Procedure: European Council and Commission statements; non-binding resolution on progress report

#euco #EUTurkey #refugeecrisis

European Council conclusions 17-18 March 2016EU-Turkey statement, 18 March 2016 (Council)EU-Turkey agreement: Questions and Answers (European Commission 19 March 2016)Press release on committee vote on 2015 Progress report (15.03.2016)Profile of rapporteur Kati PIRI (S&D, NL)Procedure fileEuropean Commission - Fact Sheet: Key findings of the 2015 report on Turkey

Irish MEPs on this issue: Brian Hayes, Fine Gael (Dublin)

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A centralised asylum system would allow the EU to better manage the increasing flows of migrants and asylum seekers, according to the draft resolution MEPs will debate and vote on Tuesday. The text advocates for safe and lawful ways for third-country nationals to enter the Union without risking their lives and resorting to human smugglers.

The draft resolution, prepared by Roberta Metsola (EPP, MT) and Kashetu Kyenge (S&D, IT) demands a radical overhaul of the so-called Dublin rules (which determine the member state responsible for processing an asylum application) to ensure shared responsibility, solidarity and quicker processing of asylum claims. It also calls on member states to honour their commitments regarding relocation of refugees and insists on the need of a binding EU resettlement scheme.

Debate: Tuesday, 12 April

Vote: Tuesday, 12 April

Procedure: Non legislative resolution

#refugees #migration

Draft resolution on “The situation in the Mediterranean and the need for a holistic EU approach to migration”Press release after committee vote (16.03.2016)Profile of rapporteur, Roberta Metsola (EPP, MTProfile of rapporteur, Kashetu Kyenge (S&D, IT)Procedure fileEPRS on migration and refugees

Irish MEPs on this issue: Seán Kelly, Fine Gael (South), Mairead McGuinness, Fine Gael (Midlands - North-West), Deirdre Clune, Fine Gael (South), Marian Harkin, Independent (Midlands - North-West)

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New counterterrorism strategies following recent attacks

Recent terrorist attacks and existing and new measures to fight terrorism will be debated on Tuesday at 15.00 with Commission and Council. MEPs are likely to reiterate their urgent call on member states to step up information-sharing and ensure that all existing legislative instruments are fully implemented and operational.

The European Parliament is currently working on a range of counter-terrorism measures to ensure the safety of EU citizens. Council and Parliament have already worked out agreements on EUROPOL, cyber security and data transfers for law enforcement purposes.

Additional Information

Debate: Tuesday, 12 April

Procedure: Council and Commission statements

#terrorism #Brussels

Press release (24.03.16) Fight against terrorism: EU and all Member States must use all available means to deliver, Parliament says

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

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“Panama Papers” tax scandal debate

Following the "Panama Papers" revelations of more than 200,000 offshore companies and their secret owners, including many politicians and celebrities, Parliament will debate with Commission and Council on Tuesday afternoon. The key question: are existing EU measures against tax evasion and money laundering working?

The Panama Papers were revealed by the International Consortium for Investigative Journalism, the same organisation behind the so-called 'Luxleaks' corporate tax scandal of 2014. "LuxLeaks" triggered the set-up of Parliament's Special Committee on Tax Rulings, which resulted in a long list of legal recommendations for fairer and more transparent tax policies in the EU.

Parliament pushed for registration of beneficial ownership

Thanks to Parliament, mandatory registration of beneficial owners of companies became part of the Anti-Money Laundering Directive which Parliament adopted in May 2015 (deadline for transposition is 26 June 2017). Although not public, this information must be made accessible for competent authorities (tax, law enforcement) and 'persons with a legitimate interest'.

Background on Panama Papers

The Panama Papers are a leaked set of 11.5 million confidential documents that provide detailed information about more than 214,000 offshore companies listed by the Panamanian corporate service provider Mossack Fonseca, including the identities of shareholders and directors of the companies. The documents show how wealthy individuals, including public officials, hide their money from public scrutiny.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Tuesday around 16:30

Procedure: Commission and Council statements

#PanamaPapers #LuxLeaks #TaxTransparency #TaxFairness

Press release after the plenary vote Anti-Money Laundering Directive (20.05.2015): Text of the Anti-Money Laundering DirectiveStorifyEPRS Study: New EU tools to fight money launderingPress release after adoption report Special Committee on Tax Rulings I (25.11.2015)Press releases after adoption in the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee of legal recommendations for fairer, more transparent tax policies (16.12.2015)

Irish MEPs on this issue: Marian Harkin, Independent (Midlands - North-West), Brian Hayes, Fine Gael (Dublin), Nessa Childers, Independent (Dublin)

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MEPs to approve extra funds for refugee aid and fight against terrorism

Parliament is set to give the go-ahead for 2016's first draft amending budget, to provide for €100 million of emergency support for refugees within the EU as well as €2 million to hire new staff at EUROPOL’s European Counter Terrorism Centre (ECTC). Given the urgency, MEPs fast-tracked the procedure to be completed in just over a month.

The €100 million for humanitarian aid, in view of the current influx of refugees and migrants into the Union, represents the first slice of the new €700m Emergency Assistance instrument proposed by the Commission on 2 March. The funds could be used for: food assistance, emergency healthcare, shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene, protection, and education.

In the light of recent terrorist attacks, a further €2 million would be made available to reinforce staff at the European Counter Terrorism Centre (ECTC), established at EUROPOL on 1 January 2016, which is expected to be the central hub in the fight against terrorism in the EU.

The funds for providing humanitarian assistance to refugees within the EU are redeployed from the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) and those for Europol from the Internal Security Fund (ISF), thus not taken from existing external humanitarian aid programmes outside the EU.

Vote: Wednesday, 13 April

Procedure: Budgetary procedure

@Europol #refugeecrisis #refugees #EUBudget

Committee draft report (BUDG committee will vote on 11 April in Strasbourg)Press release on debate in committee (16.03.2016)Profile of rapporteur José Manuel Fernandes (EPP, PT) Procedure file
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Calls for an EU-wide ban on glyphosate herbicide

As long as serious concerns remain about the carcinogenicity and endocrine disruptive properties of the herbicide glyphosate, which is widely used in farming, forestry and gardening, the EU Commission should not renew its market authorisation, says a non-binding resolution to be put to a vote on Wednesday.

The EU Commission should launch an independent review and disclose all the scientific evidence that the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) used to assess glyphosate, the text says, rather than renewing its market approval for another 15 years without any restrictions.

Note

The decision on authorisation has to be taken by national experts sitting in the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (Phytopharmaceuticals Section). It can adopt or reject the Commission proposal by qualified majority. If there is no such majority, it is up to the European Commission to decide.

Glyphosate is an active substance widely used in herbicides. Patented in the early 1970s, it introduced to the consumer market in 1974 a broad-spectrum herbicide. Since its patent expired in 2000, glyphosate has been marketed by various companies and several hundred plant protection products containing glyphosate are currently registered in Europe for use on crops.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Vote: Wednesday, 13 April

Procedure: Non-legislative resolution

#glyphosate

Press release on committee vote (22.03.2016)

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

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Shaping the future of EU foreign policy

Stabilising Europe's neighbourhood, keeping up EU's enlargement and integration commitments, dedicating at least 2 % of EU member states GDP for defence expenditures — these are some of the MEPs suggestions on the upcoming EU global strategy to be debated on Tuesday and voted on Wednesday/Thursday. MEPs will also scrutinise last year's common foreign and security policy choices in a debate with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.

The debate and the resolution will set out MEPs' input to EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy to be presented by Ms. Mogherini by June 2016.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Tuesday, 12 April

Vote: Wednesday, 13 April

Procedure: High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Statement; Non-legislative resolution

#EUGlobalStrategy

Draft resolution on the EU in a changing global environmentEP rapporteur Sandra Kalniete (EPP, LV) Procedure file
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Portugal's President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa to address the European Parliament

The new President of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, elected on 24 January 2016, will deliver a speech in the European Parliament on Wednesday at 12.00 (CEST). The 30th anniversary of Portugal's EU membership, the migration and refugee crisis, the economic situation in the Eurozone and the current terrorism challenges are expected to be among the topics addressed by Mr Rebelo de Sousa. Portugal joined the European Communities on 1 January 1986.

Law Professor Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa won the presidential elections with 52% of the votes in the first ballot, on 24 January 2016. He started his five year mandate on 9 March.

He was one of the founders of the People’s Democratic Party, later the Social Democratic Party (PSD, member of the EPP group), and party leader from 1996 to 1999. Apart from his political and governmental positions, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was also involved in founding the Portuguese newspapers Expresso and Semanário. He has been a regular political commentator since the 1960s, first in newspapers and later on radio and television.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Procedure: Formal Sitting

#Portugal

Website of the Presidency of the Portuguese RepublicBiography of Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, President of the Portuguese RepublicResult of the presidential elections in Portugal on 24 January 2016
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Trade secrets

Draft rules to help businesses obtain legal redress against the theft or misuse of their trade secrets are up for final vote on Thursday. MEPs inserted safeguards to ensure that new rules won't restrict the work of journalists or deter whistle-blowing. The vote confirms an informal agreement with Council, reached in December 2015.

In the negotiations with member states, MEPs insisted the new directive should not curb the freedom and pluralism of the media or restrict the work of journalists, in particular with regard to their investigations and the protection of their sources.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Wednesday, 13 April

Vote: Thursday, 14 April

Procedure: Co-decision (Ordinary Legislative Procedure), 1st reading agreement

#tradesecrets

Draft report on protection of trade secretsPress release on committee vote (28.01.2016)Press release after informal agreement with councilProfile of rapporteur Constanze Le Grip (EPP, FR)Procedure file

Irish MEPs on this issue: Seán Kelly, Fine Gael (South), Nessa Childers Independent (Dublin)

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Rule of law in Poland: MEPs to vote on resolution

MEPs are set to vote on a non-binding resolution on the situation in Poland wrapping up the plenary debate of 19 January with Poland’s Prime Minister Beata Szydło and Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans.

The January debate followed the Commission’s 13 January decision to initiate the first stage of the "Framework for addressing systemic threats to the Rule of Law" in Poland. The European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) issued its opinion on the Polish authorities' amendments to the law on the country's Constitutional Tribunal on 11 March.

Additional Information

Debate: Tuesday, 19 January

Vote: Wednesday, 13 April

Procedure: non-legislative resolution

#Poland #ruleoflaw #mediafreedom

Live replays (debate 19.01.2016)Poland: MEPs debate rule of law issues with Prime Minister Szydło (press release 19.02.2016)Framework for addressing systemic threats to the Rule of Law College Orientation Debate on recent developments in Poland and the Rule of Law Framework: Questions & AnswersOpinion on amendments to the law on the Constitutional Tribunal by Venice Commission of 11 March 2016.
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Albania and BiH: 2015 progress reports on EU

Parliament will debate the 2015 reform efforts of Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina with Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn on Wednesday. It is likely to call on Albania to intensify its reform efforts in key priority areas, such as the rule of law or the fight against corruption, needed to start EU accession talks. MEPs are also likely to welcome Bosnia and Herzogovina’s recent EU membership application.

The House will vote on the two separate resolutions on Thursday.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Wednesday, 13 April

Vote: Thursday, 14 April

Procedure: Council and Commission statements (with resolution)

#BiH #Albania

EP rapporteur on Albania Knut Fleckenstein (S&D, DEEP rapporteur on Bosnia and Herzegovina Cristian Dan Preda (EPP, RO) Procedure file on AlbaniaProcedure file on Bosnia and Herzegovina

Irish MEPs on this issue: Brian Hayes, Fine Gael (Dublin)

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Erasmus+ also for travelling apprentices in the EU

MEPs, on Tuesday, will vote on a resolution asking for a better use of the Erasmus+ funding programme to increase mobility of young apprentices and students in vocational education. Mobility strategies and partnerships between local and regional authorities and businesses, chambers of commerce, trade unions and other organisations should be put in place to promote, plan and manage apprentices' professional training schemes abroad, asks the resolution.

Recognition and validation of learning outcomes, including those developed through non-formal and informal learning, should be better organised at national level, whether via credits or certificates, language knowledge and organisation of the curricula or studies, insist the Parliament.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Monday, 11 April

Vote: Tuesday, 12 April

Procedure: Non-legislative resolution

#education #VET #EUErasmusPlus #vocationaltraining

Draft resolution on Erasmus+ and other tools to foster mobility in VET - a lifelong learning approach Profile of rapporteur Ernest Maragall (Greens/EFE, ES)Procedure fileEuropean Commission - Vocational education and training (VET)

Irish MEPs on this issue: Seán Kelly, Fine Gael (South), Mairead McGuinness, Fine Gael (Midlands - North-West), Deirdre Clune, Fine Gael (South), Liadh ní Riada, Sinn Fein (South), Marian Harkin, Independent (Midlands - North-West)

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Ways out of the agriculture crisis

MEPs will quiz EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan, on Tuesday, on details of the Commission's latest aid package to help EU farmers cope with combined impacts of inter alia falling prices, costly inputs and the Russian embargo on EU foodstuffs. They will also assess the effectiveness of 2015's package and present their ideas about an efficient response to the ongoing agriculture crisis.

EU lawmakers will stress aid must primarily reach farmers in worst hit sectors and improve their market position. They might also reiterate their previous call for additional measures, including legislative ones, to strengthen farmers' positions and introduce more balance in the food supply chain.

MEPs will also discuss ways to make EU agriculture more resilient to any future shocks or disturbances beyond the EU's borders. They will probably call on the Commission to ensure farmers' access to flexible and innovative financial instruments to better protect their income and react promptly to market changes.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Tuesday, 12 April

Procedure: Oral question to Commission

#AgriCrisis #RussianBan #milk #pigmeat #beef #fruits #vegetable

Oral question to CommissionCommission's aid package helpful but not enough to tackle farm crisis, says Agriculture committee chair (press release, 16.03.2016)Agriculture MEPs hold a minute of silence for victims of EU farm crisis and urge the Commission to act (press release, 08.03.2016)Agriculture committee demands an EU law to fight unfair trading practices (press release, 12.11.2015)European Commission activates exceptional measures to further support European farmers in crisis (Commission's press release, 14.03.2016)Procedure file

Irish MEPs on this issue: Mairead McGuinness, Fine Gael (Midlands - North-West), Matt Carthy, Sinn Féin (Midlands - North West), Marian Harkin, Independent (Midlands - North-West)

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MEPs to approve EU support for 500 former truck industry workers in Sweden

The Parliament will vote on a proposal to grant €1,793,710 in EU aid to Sweden to support the reintegration in the labour market of 500 workers made redundant by Volvo Trucks, mainly in the Umeå plant, and four suppliers and downstream producers. The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) aid still needs to be endorsed by the EU Council of Ministers once the Parliament has given its green light.

The employees were laid off because of falling market share faced in recent years by European truck manufacturers caused by newly emerging Asian producers. Volvo says it has therefore been forced to increase efficiency and decrease costs to tackle global competition.

Background

The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund contributes to packages of tailor-made services to help redundant workers find new jobs. Its annual ceiling is €150 million.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Vote: Wednesday, 13 April

Procedure: Budgetary

#EGF #Volvo #Sweden

Press release on committee vote (04.04.2016)Profile of rapporteur Victor Negrescu (S&D, RO)Procedure file

Irish MEPs on this issue: Liadh ní Riada, Sinn Féin, (South), Marian Harkin, Independent (Midlands - North-West)

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Fighting poverty: help poor families lower heating bills

Member states should adopt a moratorium on winter heating disconnections, so no household can be cut off from energy in the cold, says a draft resolution to be put to a vote on Thursday. To step up the fight against poverty in the EU in the light of increasing household costs, MEPs call for increasing support for poor families and further investment in energy efficiency projects to reduce utility bills.

The non-binding resolution, drafted by Tamás Meszerics (Greens/EFA, HU), argues that the EU is getting further away from its' 2020 strategy goal to bring at least 20 million people out of poverty in next 4 years. It also calls on the Commission to assess minimum income schemes in the EU if they enable households to meet basic needs. Adequate minimum income should be above the poverty threshold, which is approximately 60% of respective national median income.

Background

Poor households spend the largest share of their income on food, housing and utilities. According to EU statistics on income and living conditions 10% of citizens had arrears on utility bills in 2015, 12% were unable to keep their home adequately warm in 2014, while 16% of the population were living in dwellings with leaking roofs and damp walls in 2014.

Between 2008 and 2013, the number of poor people in the EU increased from 117 million to 122.6 million: 16.7% of the population were at risk of poverty after social transfers, 9.6% were in a situation of serious material deprivation and 10.7% of households were considered to have very low work intensity.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Thursday, 14 April

Vote: Thursday, 14 April

Procedure: Non-legislative resolution

#fightagainstpoverty

Draft resolution on meeting the antipoverty target in the light of increasing household costs Profile of rapporteur Tamás Meszerics (Greens/EFA, HU) Procedure file

Irish MEPs on this issue: Lynn Boylan, Sinn Féin (Dublin), Marian Harkin, Independent (Midlands - North-West), Nessa Childers, Independent (Dublin)

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Parliament to give its verdict on six nominees to the European Court of Auditors

Parliament will vote on the nominations of auditors from Slovakia, Latvia, Czech Republic, Poland, Malta and Slovenia to the European Court of Auditors on Wednesday on the basis of recommendation from the Budgetary Control Committee. The final decision on appointments to the Luxembourg body will be taken by the EU Council of Ministers.

Members of the Court of Auditors are appointed for six years. The Council, after consulting the European Parliament, decides upon the proposals made by each member state. Before the plenary vote, the six nominees were heard in the Budgetary Control Committee (CONT) on 15 March, which recommended rejecting the candidates from Slovakia, Poland and Malta.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Vote: Wednesday, 13 April

Procedure: Consultation

Questionnaires sent by the nominees before the hearing in CONT Committee Rapporteur Igor Šoltes (GREENS/EFA, SI)Rapporteur Bart Staes (GREENS/EFA, BE)

Irish MEPs on this issue: Brian Hayes, Fine Gael (Dublin)

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International fisheries: stricter rules for fish products and vessels

The EU fisheries agreement with Mauritania should serve as a role-model of transparency and enforcement, says a draft resolution on the external dimension of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) to be debated on Monday and voted on Tuesday. MEPs will call for stricter rules on imported fish products and sanctions against non-complying vessels.

Using the fisheries agreement with Mauritania as a role model for transparency; any fish or fishery-derived product that doesn't comply with certain conditions or consumer protection requirements will be barred from European markets. An EU database covering all private agreements between EU ship-owners and local and regional bodies, authorities and third countries, will also be created, as part of the main proposals included in the resolution drafted by Linnéa Engström (Greens/EFA, SV) to be put to plenary vote on Tuesday.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Monday, 11 April

Vote: Tuesday, 12 April

Procedure: non-legislative resolution

#CFPreality #EUfisheries

Draft ReportProfile of rapporteur Linnéa Engström (Greens/EFA, SV) Procedure FileEP research in-depth analysis on the external dimension of the Common Fisheries PolicyThe Common Fisheries Policy: origins and developments (background information avaialble in all languages)

Irish MEPs on this issue: Liadh ní Riada, Sinn Féin (South), Seán Kelly, Fine Gael (South)

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New five-year EU-Greenland fisheries agreement

Under the new five-year-deal to be approved by plenary on Tuesday, EU vessels targeting mainly prawn, halibut, cod and redfish would be allowed to continue to fish in the waters of the Greenlandic Exclusive Economic Zone. In return, the EU would pay Greenland a financial contribution of €17.8 million per year. This Protocol follows the expiration of the 2013-2015 Protocol.

The Fishing Partnership Agreement (FPA) is a ‘mixed-agreement’, which permits the EU vessels to fish for a wide range of species. The first fisheries agreement between the EU and Greenland was concluded in 1985 for an initial period of ten years and thereafter extended for additional six-year periods until it was replaced by the FPAs. The first fisheries agreement was implemented by successive protocols.

Background information

Greenland joined the European Communities (EC) as a part of Denmark in 1973, but left the EC following a referendum in 1985. Today, Greenland is one of the overseas countries and territories (OCT) of the Union. In 1979 Denmark granted ‘Home Rule’ to Greenland, and following a referendum in 2008 all functions of government rest with the Government of Greenland except for those related to defence, fisheries inspection outside the territorial waters, constitutional affairs, currency and monetary policy, which are retained by Denmark.

The Ministry of Fisheries, Hunting and Agriculture (MFHA) has overall responsibility for fisheries policy and the management of fish resources in Greenland.

Fish account for nearly 90 % of exported goods. Virtually all of Greenland’s exports of fish products are destined for the EU, with Denmark accounting for more than 90 % of EU imports.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Vote: Tuesday, 12 April

Procedure: Consent

#Greenland #Denmark #EUfisheries

Draft report Profile of rapporteur Marco Affronte (EFDD, IT)Procedure FileCommission webpage on Greenland

Irish MEPs on this issue: Liadh ní Riada, Sinn Fein (South)

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Debate on Nagorno-Karabakh

The recent resurgence of the 22 years old frozen-conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, an enclave in Azerbaijan that declared its independence in 1991 backed by Armenia, will be debated with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on Tuesday to see how the EU could help in mitigating the crisis.

More than 60 people were killed and dozens wounded in three days of fighting in the worst combat in the last two decades. Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to enact a ceasefire on 5 April.

Additional Information

Debate: Tuesday, 12 April

#NagornoKarabakh

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EU-Cuba deal up for debate

The EU-Cuba political and cooperation agreement, and how it will enhance EU-Cuba relations, will be discussed on Tuesday afternoon with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.

Accompanying the ongoing process of reforming the Cuban economy, promoting cooperation to foster sustainable development, democracy and human rights and finding common solutions to global challenges, are some of the objectives of the EU-Cuba political and cooperation agreement concluded by Federica Mogherini and Cuban Minister of Foreign Affairs Bruno Rodriguez on 11 March 2016 in Cuba. The deal should be swiftly signed and ratified possibly towards the end of 2016.

Additional Information

Debate: Tuesday 12 April

#EU #Cuba #EUCuba

EEAS webpageEEAS webpage on EU relations with Cuba
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Human rights and democracy resolutions

Parliament will hold urgent debates on the following human rights and democracy topics on Thursday 14 April, at 10.30, with the votes following at 12.00.

- Pakistan, in particular the attack in Lahore

- Honduras: situation of human rights defenders

- Nigeria

Additional Information

Debates/votes: Thursday 14 April

Procedure: non-legislative resolutions

#humanrights #democracy #Pakistan #Lahore #LahoreStrong #Honduras #Nigeria

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Other items on the agenda:

- Public tax transparency, Statement by the Commission (Tue)
- Irish MEPs on this issue: Brian Hayes, Fine Gael (Dublin), Liadh ní Riada, Sinn Féin (South), Matt Carthy, Sinn Féin (Midlands - North West)

- Minimum standard rate VAT, Simon (INI), (vote Tue)
- Irish MEPs on this issue: Brian Hayes, Fine Gael (Dublin), Matt Carthy, Sinn Féin (Midlands - North-West)

- Breeding animals, Dantin (COD), (vote Tue)
- Irish MEPs on this issue: Mairead McGuinness, Fine Gael (Midlands - North-West), Matt Carthy, Sinn Féin, (Midlands - North-West)

- Small-scale coastal fishing in regions dependent on fishing, INI Tomasic,(debate Mon, vote Tue)
- Irish MEPs on this issue: Liadh ní Riada, Sinn Fein (South)

- Learning EU at school
Irish MEPs on this issue: Seán Kelly, Fine Gael, (South), Liadh ní Riada, Sinn Féin, (South)

- The EU role in the framework of international financial, monetary and regulatory institutions and bodies
- Irish MEPs on this issue: Brian Hayes, Fine Gael (Dublin), Matt Carthy, Sinn Féin (Midlands - North-West), Nessa Childers, Independent (Dublin)

- Private sector and development
- Irish MEPs on this issue: Seán Kelly, Fine Gael (South), Lynn Boylan, Sinn Féin (Dublin)

- Towards improved single market regulation
- Irish MEPs on this issue: Deirdre Clune, Fine Gael (South), Matt Carthy, Sinn Féin (Midlands - North-West)

- United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea: fisheries aspects
- Irish MEPs on this issue: Liadh ní Riada, Sinn Féin, (South)

- EU-Macao Agreement on certain aspects of air services
- Irish MEPs on this issue: Lynn Boylan, Sinn Féin (Dublin)

- Products originating in certain ACP states
- Irish MEPs on this issue: Seán Kelly, Fine Gael (South)

- Annual reports 2012-2013 on subsidiarity and proportionality
- Irish MEPs on this issue: Matt Carthy, Sinn Fein (Midlands - North-West)

- Parliament's estimates of revenue and expenditure for the financial year 2017
- Irish MEPs on this issue: Liadh ní Riada, Sinn Féin (South)

- Draft Amending Budget No 1/ 2016 : New instrument to provide emergency support within the Union
- Irish MEPs on this issue: Liadh ní Riada, Sinn Féin (South)

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Draft agendaFollow the plenary live (EbS+)EuroparlTVPress conferences and other eventsEP Audiovisual websiteEP Newshub
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