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EP Plenary Session Newsletter 21-24 November

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What will MEPs be working on in the November plenary session in Strasbourg? Highlights include: Lux Prize Award ceremony; EU-Turkey relations; European Defence Union, Tax evasion, Occupational retirement funds;  EU plan against trafficking wildlife; cod stocks, combatting violence against women

 

LUX film Prize: the winner of the 10th edition to be announced in Strasbourg

The winner of the 10th edition of the Lux film Prize will be announced by Parliament’s President Martin Schulz at a ceremony in the Strasbourg chamber on Wednesday 23 November. This year's finalists are “À peine j´ouvre les yeux/As I open my eyes” (France, Tunisia, Belgium, United Arab Emirates) by Leyla Bouzid, “Ma vie de courgette/My life as a courgette” (Switzerland, France) by Claude Barras and “Toni Erdmann” by Maren Ade (Germany, Austria, Romania).

The European Parliament pay the cost of subtitling of the three finalist films in all 24 EU official languages. The winner will be decided based on MEPs’ votes. It will be adapted for the visually and hearing impaired and will also receive support for international promotion.

A press conference with the directors of the three films is scheduled for 14.30 on Wednesday, 23 November, in Strasbourg.

The Lux Prize is the European Parliament award for European film (co)productions aiming to spark reflection on current political and social issues, build European identity and celebrate European values.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Award ceremony : Wednesday, 23 November, at 12.00

Procedure: Award ceremony

Press conference Wednesday 23 November, 14.30

#LuxPrize @LuxPrize

Lux prize webpage EP Research (At a glance) - LUX Prize – Ten years of support for EU cinema Audiovisual material for professionals and existing
 

MEPs to urge EU countries to step up defence cooperation

MEPs advocate more defence spending, creation of multinational forces and EU operational headquarters.

The EU should tackle deteriorating security in and around Europe by helping its armed forces to work together better, as a first step in building a common defence policy, says draft resolution to be debated on Monday and voted on Tuesday. (A, B, 1) Devoting 2% of GDP to defence, (40) establishing multinational forces (11) and EU headquarters to plan and command crisis management operations, (47) and enabling the EU to act where NATO is unwilling to do so (36) are among the ideas MEPs want followed up.

More support for member states fighting Daesh

The Common Security and Defence policy (CSDP) should be radically overhauled in order to assert the EU’s strategic autonomy, says a separate resolution to be debated on Tuesday and voted on Wednesday. (10)

It also urges the Council to set up a fund to provide urgent funding for the initial phases of military operations (31) and suggests launching CSDP training operations in Iraq to support member states involved in the coalition against Daesh. (26)

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Monday, 21 November (EDU), Tuesday, 22 November (CSDP)

Vote: Tuesday, 22 November (EDU), Wednesday, 23 November (CSDP)

Procedure: Non-legislative resolutions

Press Conference: Tuesday, 22 November at 15.00

#CSDP #Defence #EU

Press release on committee vote (24.10.2016) Draft resolution on the European Defence Union Draft resolution on the implementation of the Common Security and Defence Policy EP rapporteur on EDU Urmas Paet (ALDE, ET)EP rapporteur on CSDP Ioan Mircea PaŞcu (S&D, RO) Procedure file on EDU Procedure file on CSDP EU Fact Sheets on the Common Security and Defence Policy (September 2016)
 

How to tackle Russian and ISIS propaganda?

MEPs to suggest ways in countering Russian and Islamic terrorist organisations information warfare.

The EU should respond to information warfare by Russia and Islamist terrorists, with more positive messaging, awareness raising, and education in information literacy, says a resolution to be debated on Tuesday and voted on Wednesday (8, 16, 46).

The EU is under growing pressure from disinformation by countries, such as Russia, and non-state actors, like ISIS/Daesh, Al-Qaeda and other violent jihadi terrorist groups which promote violence and use pseudo-news agencies and internet trolls to challenge democratic values and divide Europe. (B)

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Tuesday, 22 November

Vote: Wednesday, 23 November

Press conference: Wednesday, 23 November at 15.00 (tbc)

Procedure: Non-legislative resolution

#StratCom #Russia #ISIS

Press release on committee vote (10.10.2016) Draft resolution on EU strategic communication to counteract propaganda against it by third parties EP rapporteur Anna Fotyga (ECR, PL) Procedure file EP study on EU strategic communication (May 2016) EPRS note on Russia’s information war (October 2016)
 

New caps on air pollutants

Parliament to approve lower national emission limits on sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOC), ammonia (NH3) and fine particulates

Plans for more ambitious national caps on emissions of key pollutants by 2030, including NOx, particulates and sulphur dioxide, will be put to a vote on Wednesday.The caps were already been informally agreed with the Dutch Presidency of the Council. Air pollution causes about 400,000 premature deaths in the EU per year.

The new legislation sets out the national emission reduction commitments for sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOC), ammonia (NH3), and fine particulates (less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter). Main sources are transport, heating, industry and agriculture.

The proposed pollution cuts would reduce health impacts of air pollution by around 50% by 2030.

Background

In 2010 air pollution caused over 400,000 premature deaths in the EU and exposed over 62% of EU territory to eutrophication, including 71% of Natura 2000 ecosystems. Its total external costs are in the range of €330-940bn per year, including direct economic damage of €15bn from lost workdays, €4bn in healthcare costs, €3bn in crop yield loss and €1bn in damage to buildings (European Commission figures).

Non-compliance with existing air quality standards and the EU's new international obligations under the Gothenburg Protocol prevent better protection of EU citizens and their environment. Areas not in compliance with PM10 and NO2 standards amount to 32% and 24% of EU territory respectively, and 40m citizens are still exposed to PM10 levels above EU limit values.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Wednesday, 23 November

Vote: Wednesday, 23 November

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

#AirQuality #emissions #NOx

Draft report on the reduction of national emissions of certain atmospheric pollutants Press release following trilogue agreement (01.07.2016) Profile of rapporteur : Julie Girling (ECR, UK) Procedure file EP Research: National emission ceilings for air pollutants

Irish MEPs following this issue: Mairead McGuinness, Fine Gael, (Midlands- North West), Sean Kelly, Fine Gael, (South), Nessa Childers, Independent (Dublin)

 

What future for EU-Turkey relations?

Debate and vote on suspending EU accession talks with Turkey after latest arrests of journalists and opposition politicians.

EU accession talks with Turkey should be frozen, MEPs are likely to urge in a debate with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on Tuesday afternoon and a resolution to be voted on Thursday. Four months after the 15 July coup attempt in Turkey, the deterioration of democracy there is straining EU-Turkey relations.

On Wednesday 16 November, European Parliament President Martin Schulz announced the EP visit to Turkey was postponed.

Background

EU accession negotiations with Turkey started in October 2005. Out of 35 chapters of the acquis communautaire needed to complete the accession process, 16 have been opened and one closed (science and research).

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Tuesday, 22 November

Vote: Thursday, 24 November

Procedure: Non-legislative resolution

#Turkey

Profile of rapporteur for Turkey, Kati Piri (S&D, NL) EP press release: Set Turkish press free, urge MEPs (27.10.2016) EP press release: Stripping 138 Turkish MPs of their immunity undermines the rule of law, say MEPs (08.06.2016) EP article: EU-Turkey: time for more dialogue and cooperation (02.09.2016)EP Joint statement by Foreign Affairs committee chair Elmar Brok and rapporteur Kati Piri on Turkey (19.07.2016) European Commission Enlargement policy: Turkey
 

CETA: vote on seeking a European Court of Justice opinion

MEPs will vote on a resolution tabled by 89 MEPs seeking an opinion from the Court of Justice on the compatibility of CETA with the Treaties

A request by 89 MEPs to refer the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for an opinion on its compatibility with EU law will be put to a vote on Wednesday.

Some MEPs question whether the EU-Canada free trade deal’s investor protection provisions are in line with the right of governments to regulate legitimate public policy aims, such as protecting health, safety or the environment.

However, the European Parliament’s Legal Service found no contradiction between CETA’s investment chapter and the EU Treaties when it assessed this issue in June this year.

Background

Under Parliament’s Rules of Procedure (108), the committee responsible, a political group or at least one-tenth of the Members may propose that Parliament seek an opinion from the ECJ on the compatibility of an international agreement with the Treaties before a vote is taken on that agreement. If Parliament approves the proposal, the vote must be adjourned until the Court has delivered its opinion.

The Court's opinion is binding and if negative, the agreement cannot enter into force.

CETA requires the European Parliament’s approval to enter into force.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Vote: Wednesday, 23 November

Procedure: Consent

CETA#

Draft motion for a resolution seeking an opinion from the Court of Justice on the compatibility of CETA with the Treaties Opinion from the EP Legal Service on the compatibility of CETA investment dispute settlement provisions with the EU Treaties (June 2016) Press release: Key MEPs on the revised CETA: EP investment protection demands are on board (February 2016) EP Research Service: Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada (October 2016) Questions and answers by the European Commission Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament

Irish MEPs following this issue: Marian Harkin, Independent, (Middlands-North-West)

 

MEPs to quiz Mario Draghi on low growth and uncertain future

MEPs will discuss low and geographically uneven growth in the euro area, low inflation rates and the lack of investment in the real economy with European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi on Monday evening, against the backdrop of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and the uncertainty it adds to the economic outlook. A plenary resolution will be voted on Tuesday.

MEPs are also concerned that the ECB is weakening the link between the provision of central bank liquidity to banks and their lending to the real economy, by enabling them to borrow at negative rates without increasing their lending to firms and households in the euro area.

They will call for the EU banking union to be completed and implemented in full and also for further work on the capital markets union, in order to improve the effectiveness of single monetary policy.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Monday, 21 November

Vote: Tuesday, 22 November

Procedure: Non-legislative resolution

#ECB @ECB #Draghi

European Central Bank annual report for 2015 Profile of the rapporteur: Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (Alde, ES) EP Think tank: Blog on ECB
 

EU economic priorities for 2017: debate with Commission Vice-president Dombrovoski

MEPs are set to urge the EU Commission to prioritise investment in innovation, growth and job creation, advocate socially-balanced structural reform and encourage responsible public finances in a debate with Commission Vice-president Valdis Dombrovoskis on Tuesday. Mr Dombrovoskis is to present key economic priorities for the EU in 2017 and report on the member states’ yearly “European Semester” economic policy coordination work.

MEPs will welcome Commission efforts to streamline European Semester work by focusing on the most economically and socially relevant, which makes economic policy recommendations easier for member states to implement. They add that member states will have a stronger sense of national “ownership” of these recommendations if they clearly target a small number of priorities and national parliaments and local authorities are closely involved.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Tuesday, 22 November

Procedure: Commission statement followed by debate

#EuropeanSemester @VDombrovskis

EP research: European Semester 'Revamping' and 2016 prioritiesEuropean Commission: The European SemesterEuropean semester for economic policy coordination: implementation of 2016 prioritiesProfile of the rapporteur: Alfred Sant (S&D, MT)
 

Syria debate with Federica Mogherini

The persistent obstruction of humanitarian aid deliveries in Syria, reports that government forces are preparing a major offensive in east Aleppo, and the EU foreign ministers’ recent decision to impose sanctions on 18 more senior Syrian officials, will be debated with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on Tuesday afternoon. A resolution will be put to the vote on Thursday at noon.

On 14 November 2016, the Council of the EU added 17 ministers and the Governor of the Central Bank of Syria to the list of those targeted by EU restrictive measures against the Syrian regime, bringing to 234 the total number of persons subject to a travel ban and an asset freeze in response to the violent repression of the civilian population in Syria.

In a resolution voted on last month, MEPs urged all parties in the Syrian war, and especially Russia and the Assad regime, to stop bombing civilians.

Since it began during spring 2011, the civil war in Syria has cost more than 300,000 lives and over 6.5 million Syrians, including 2.8 million children, have been displaced within the country. This is the biggest internally displaced population in the world, according to the UN Refugee Agency.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Tuesday, 22 November

Vote: Thursday, 24 November

Procedure: High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Statement with resolution

#Syria @FedericaMog

Draft resolution on the situation in Syria Procedure file Press release on EP resolution on Syria (06.10.2016) European Parliament resolution of 6 October 2016 on SyriaCouncil Press release: “Syria: EU adds 17 ministers and Central Bank Governor to sanctions list” (14.11.2016) Council conclusions on Syria (17.10.2016) EP Research note on conflict in Syria (January 2016) Dynamic page containing latest videos and photos

Irish MEPs following this issue: Sean Kelly, Fine Gael, (South)

 

Vote on future of EU-Belarus relations

MEPs will debate the effect of recent developments in Belarus on its relations with the EU. The Belarus authorities released political prisoners and the September election that returned the first two opposition MPs to Belarus’s 110-seat Parliament since 1996. But it continues to use capital punishment and there are growing concerns about the safety of its Ostrovets (Astravyets) nuclear power plant. A debate was held on 26 October.

MEPs took stock of EU - Belarus relations in a plenary debate on 26 October. Some were not convinced by progress made by Belarus in upholding democratic values, while others countered that even very modest progress could signal change. There is in any event a need to maintain the dialogue with civil society in Belarus and to support democratic development there, MEPs stressed.

They were united in calling on Belarus to abolish capital punishment and in asking the EU Commission and the European External Action Service to step up pressure on Belarus to conduct “stress tests” at the Ostrovets nuclear plant, just 45 kilometres from the Lithuanian capital Vilnius. The plant is widely reported to be unsafe, and some MEPs called it “a ticking time bomb”.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Wednesday, 26 October

Vote: Thursday, 24 November

Procedure: Non-legislative resolution

#Belarus

Video of the debate on the situation in Belarus (26.10.2016)EP Research note on safety of nuclear installations in Belarus (June 2016) EP Research note on Belarus (March 2016) Procedure file
 

Occupational pensions: new single market rules to benefit retirees

New rules making it easier for occupational pension schemes to move to another EU country, if they choose, to get a better deal for their beneficiaries, will be put to a vote on Thursday.

The “Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision” (IORPs) Directive aims to promote the single market in occupational retirement provision. It sets out clear procedures for pension schemes to move their assets, liabilities and operations to another member state so the funds can get a better return for their beneficiaries, for example through economies of scale.

It also strengthens information and governance requirements for funds to improve protection for their contributing members and beneficiaries. Pension funds will now have to provide an annual Pension Benefit Statement containing "relevant and appropriate information" about the scheme.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Wednesday, 23 November

Vote: Thursday, 24 November

Procedure : Ordinary legislative procedure (first reading agreement)

#SingleMarket #IORPs

Procedure File Press release after committee vote Profile of the rapporteur

Irish MEPs following this issue: Marian Harkin, Independent, (Middlands-North-West)

 

Vote on “reverse-charging” VAT to help combat fraud

Parliament is to ask the EU Commission to assess the benefits of a “reverse—charging” value added tax system, in which the customer is charged rather than the supplier, to replace current EU arrangements for collecting VAT. In a draft resolution to be voted on Wednesday, MEPs note that under today’s system, fraud and failure to collect VAT result in an estimated €170 million a year in lost revenue.

Parliament will call on the Commission to evaluate pilot projects carried out in countries like the Czech Republic, which have charged VAT to the end customer, rather than all the companies in the supply chain.

The Commission is expected to make public new proposals for a definitive VAT system for cross-border trade by the end of next year.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Vote: Wednesday, 23 November

Procedure: Non-legislative resolution

#VAT

Draft resolution “Towards a definitive VAT system and fighting VAT fraud” Profile of rapporteur : Werner Langen (EPP, DE)Procedure file

Irish MEPs following this issue: Marian Harkin, Independent, (Middlands-North-West), Nessa Childers, Independent (Dublin)

 

Tax evasion: MEPs set to back automatic exchange of data to track account owners

In the wake of several tax evasion scandals, including the “Panama Papers” revelations, Council and Parliament want to enable tax authorities across Europe to share information about bank account holders automatically under a proposal to be voted by MEPs on Tuesday.

The proposal would enable and oblige tax authorities with anti-money laundering responsibilities in any EU country to share information such as bank account balances, interest income and dividends with their counterparts in other member states automatically.

The draft text says that links between money laundering, the funding of terrorism, organised crime and tax evasion, highlight the need for close cooperation and coordination among EU countries.

The update of Directive 2011/16/EU was tabled by the Commission in July 2016 and has been endorsed by member states in September. Parliament’s vote would allow it to enter into force immediately and member states must implement it before the end of 2017.

Background

The amending proposal to update Directive 2011/16/EU was tabled by the Commission in July 2016 and has been endorsed by member states in September. Parliament’s vote would allow it to enter into force immediately and member states must implement it before the end of 2017.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Tuesday, 22 November

Vote: Tuesday, 22 November

Procedure: Consultation

#monerylaundering #taxevasion

Procedure File Press release after the committee vote (08.11.2016) Profile of rapporteur : Emmanuel Maurel (S&D, France) Fairer taxation (Topstory)
 

Bank capital rules: MEPs to ask whether Basel III update could hamper EU lending

MEPs worry that tougher bank capital requirements proposed by Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) will weaken the global competitive position of EU banks. They will debate with the Commission, on Monday, how it plans to contribute to the work on the Basel Committee. A plenary resolution will be voted on Wednesday.

MEPs worry that the extra capital that banks would have to set aside under the proposed revision of Basel III bank capital rules (to produce “Basel IV” requirements) would reduce their ability to lend to the real economy and weaken their international competitive position. They stress that any rule changes must take account of the diversity of EU banking models and the key role that banks play in financing the EU economy.

MEPs also expect the Commission, the European Central Bank and the European Banking Authority to engage in the work of BCBS and provide the Parliament with transparent and comprehensive updates.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Monday, 21 November

Vote: Wednesday, 23 November

Procedure: Oral question to Commission (with resolution)

#BaselIII, #BaselIV, #capitalrequirements

Question for oral answer to the Commission: finalization of Basel III Procedure file Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS)
 

Debate on the sharing economy and new opportunities for small transport firms

MEPs will look at the challenges for small transport firms and digital technology opportunities in the transport sector on Wednesday and vote recommendations on Thursday.

MEPs’ recommendations will focus on digital technologies, collaborative business models and tackling challenges such as anti-competitive practices and over-regulation.

The take-up of digital technologies in the sector can create new jobs, especially for young people entering the labour market, and also help to focus the market on consumer demand, but decent working conditions must be safeguarded, say MEPs

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Wednesday, 23 November

Vote: Thursday, 24 November

Procedure: non-legislative resolution

#sharingeconomy #transport

Draft resolution on new opportunities for small transport businesses, including collaborative business models Press release on committee vote (12.10.2016) Profile of rapporteur Dominique Riquet (ALDE, FR) Procedure file EP Research: Challenges and opportunities for Europe’s small transport firmsEP Research: A European agenda for the collaborative economy (November 2016)

Irish MEPs following this issue: Sean Kelly, Fine Gael, (South), Deirde Clune, Fine Gael (South)

 

North Sea cod fisheries: vote on applying discard ban in full

North Sea cod fishermen would have to land every catch – not just cod – if Parliament endorses an informal agreement with EU ministers in a vote on Tuesday. The deal would remove limits on the number of days a vessel can spend in a fishing area in exchange for implementing the EU “discard ban” on dumping unwanted fish at sea.

The landing obligation is part of a deal on an amending regulation establishing a long-term plan for managing cod stocks, which have recovered in recent years.

Fisheries Committee MEPs struck an informal agreement with the Council in June to amend the 2008 Regulation establishing a long-term-plan for cod stocks to make it fully compatible with the new Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

Council Regulation (EC) No 1342/2008 establishes a long-term plan for cod stocks in the Kattegat, the North Sea, the Skagerrak and the eastern Channel, the west of Scotland and the Irish Sea, and fisheries exploiting those stocks.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Vote: Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Procedure: Ordinary legislative procedure, 1st reading agreement

#NorthSea #EUfisheries

Draft report on a long-term plan for cod stocksProfile of rapporteur Diane Dodds (NI, UK) Procedure file Audiovisual material for professionals and existing
 

Wildlife trafficking: MEPs to call for ivory trade ban and EU penalties

EU should forbid all ivory and rhino horn trade to curb wildlife trafficking worth €20 billion annually

MEPs advocate a full and immediate EU-wide ban on ivory and rhinoceros horn trade, and call for common sanctions at EU level against wildlife trafficking, in a draft resolution to be voted on Thursday. Wildlife trafficking is worth an estimated €20 billion annually. It has grown in recent years, becoming one of the biggest and most profitable forms of organised cross-border crime.

They also underline that trophy hunting has contributed to large-scale declines in certain species, and urge the EU to establish a precautionary approach to dealing with imports of hunting trophies from species protected under the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations.

Background

The report by Catherine Bearder (ALDE, UK) sets out Parliament’s response to an EU action plan presented by the European Commission.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Wednesday, 23 November

Vote: Thursday, 24 November

Procedure: non-legislative resolution

#wildlifecrime #wildlifetrafficking

Draft report on the EU action plan against wildlife trafficking Press release on committee vote (13.10.2016)Profile of rapporteur Catherine Bearder (ALDE, UK) Procedure file EP research: EU Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking EP research: Wildlife crime

Irish MEPs following this issue: Mairead McGuinness, Fine Gael, (Midlands- North West)

 

No to violence against women: MEPs to call on EU to join the Istanbul Convention

On the eve of the 25 November International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, MEPs will quiz the EU Commission on progress in negotiations for the EU to sign and conclude the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. The debate starts at 15.00 on Wednesday and a resolution will be voted on Thursday.

On 4 March 2016, the Commission proposed that the EU should join the Istanbul Convention, the first legally binding international instrument for preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. All EU member states have signed it, but only fourteen* of them have ratified it.

To mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November, the European Parliament in Brussels will participate in the global initiative "Orange the world" and the building will be lit up in orange from the evening of 24 November until 25 November.

Background

The Council of Europe Istanbul Convention is the most comprehensive international treaty on combating violence against women and domestic violence. The Convention was adopted by the Council of Europe in 2011 and entered into force in August 2014.

An EU Fundamental Rights Agency survey found that one third of women in the EU have experienced physical and/or sexual violence since the age of 15. That means 62 million women.

* Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden have ratified the Istanbul Convention.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Wednesday, 23 November

Vote: Thursday, 24 November

Procedure: Oral question to Commission (with resolution)

#Istanbulconvention #orangetheworld

#violenceagainstwomen

Oral question to the CommissionOral question to the Council Istanbul Convention: table of signatures and ratificationsEuropean Parliament resolution of 25 February 2014 with recommendations to the Commission on combating Violence Against WomenUN Women campaignProcedure file

Irish MEPs following this issue: Mairead McGuinness, Fine Gael, (Midlands- North West), Marian Harkin, Independent, (Middlands-North-West)

 

Barroso’s job at Goldman Sachs: debate with EU Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly

On Thursday, MEPs are set to debate and vote on their report on the annual activities of the European Ombudsman in 2015

MEPs voice concern about former EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso’s appointment as non-executive chairman of Goldman Sachs International, in a draft resolution on the EU Ombudsman’s annual activity report for 2015 to be debated and voted on Thursday. Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly will join MEPs for the debate.

MEPs welcome the continuation of the ombudsman investigations into “revolving doors” cases in the Commission, says the draft resolution.

Given the recent advisory opinion from the Commission’s Ad Hoc Ethical Committee, the existing Code of Conduct for Commissioners, and persistent public concern about Mr Barroso’s decision to take up a senior position with Goldman Sachs, the EU Ombudsman is currently considering the next steps – including a possible inquiry - to be taken on this important issue.

Background

The European Ombudsman investigates complaints about maladministration in the institutions and bodies of the European Union. Emily O'Reilly (Ireland) was re-elected European Ombudsman by the Parliament at its plenary Strasbourg session on 16 December 2014.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Thursday 24 November

Vote: Thursday 24 November

Procedure: Non-legislative resolution

@EUombudsman #Barroso

Draft resolution on the annual report on the European Ombudsman’s activities in 2015Press release on committee vote (09.11.2016) Profile of rapporteur Notis Marias (ECR, GR) Procedure file Audiovisual material for professionals Web page of the European Ombudsman The annual report on the activities of the EU Ombudsman in 2015 (available in all languages)
 

Bentazone herbicide: MEPs to object to plans to renew EU authorisation

The EU authorisation for Bentazone herbicide, which expires on 30 June 2017, should not be renewed as its safety has yet to be confirmed, says a non-binding resolution to be voted on Wednesday. MEPs point out that Bentazone can easily leach directly into groundwater and is suspected to interfere with human reproduction.

The EU Commission has nonetheless proposed to renew Bentazone’s EU authorisation until 31 January 2032, the maximum period possible, while simultaneously requesting data confirming its safety.

The resolution therefore calls on the Commission to request and assess the relevant missing information before deciding to renew the authorisation.

Background

The active substance Bentazone acts as a selective post-emergent herbicide against broadleaved weeds in a broad range of crops, and is commonly used in agriculture.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Vote: Wednesday, 23 November

Procedure: non-legislative resolution

#bentazone #herbicide

Press release on committee vote (08.11.2016) Audiovisual material for professionals and existing
 

Human rights and democracy resolutions

Parliament will hold urgent debates on the following human rights and democracy topics on Thursday 24 November, at around 11:00, with the votes following at 12.00.

  • The case of Gui Minhai, jailed publisher in China
  • Situation of the Guarani-Kaiowa in the Brazilian State of Mato Grosso Do Sul
  • The case of Ildar Dadin, prisoner of conscience in Russia

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Procedure: non-legislative resolutions

Debates/votes: Thursday 24 November

#humanrights #democracy

 
Violence against women: an EU-wide survey (European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights)

Other Items on the Agenda

- Outcome of COP 22 in Marrakesh, Council and Commission statements, debate Wed- Irish MEPs following this issue: Nessa Childers, Independent (Dublin)

- International aviation agreements, OQ on Wed with resolution to be voted in Dec- Irish MEPs following this issue: Sean Kelly, Fine Gael, (South)

- Sign language interpretation, Commission statement with resolution, debate Tue, vote Wed- Irish MEPs following this issue: Sean Kelly, Fine Gael, (South), Marian Harkin, Independent, (Middlands-North-West)

- Macrofinancial assistance to Jordan, debate Wed, Vote Thu, COD (Maurel)

- Green paper on retail financial services,, debate Mon, vote Tue, INI, (Ludvigsson)

- Situation in the West Bank, including settlements, Statement by Mogherini, resolution to be voted at a future part-session

- Establishing a Skills Guarantee, OQ on Tuesday- Irish MEPs following this issue: Sean Kelly, Fine Gael, (South), Marian Harkin, Independent, (Middlands-North-West), Deirde Clune, Fine Gael (South)

Activities of the European Ombudsman in 2015- Irish MEPs following this issue: Mairead McGuinness, Fine Gael, (Midlands- North West)

Access to Energy in Developing countries, OQ on Thursday- Irish MEPs following this issue: Sean Kelly, Fine Gael, (South)

Increasing the effectiveness of development cooperation- Irish MEPs following this issue: Sean Kelly, Fine Gael, (South)