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EP Plenary Session Newsletter 22-23 June 2016

21-06-2016

What will MEPs be working on during this week's Plenary Session in Brussels? Highlights include:
- MEPs to debate EU member states’ progress towards hitting energy efficiency and renewables targets.
- Vote naming inquiry committee to investigate alleged breaches by EU Commission or countries of EU laws on money laundering, tax avoidance and tax evasion
- MEPs to vote on first EU (Baltic) fish stock management plan to focus on interactions between species, e.g. cod eat sprats, sprats eat cod roe.

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Presidents of Israel and Palestine to address European Parliament

President of the State of Israel Reuven Rivlin will deliver a formal address to the House on Wednesday 22 June at 15:00. President of the Palestinian National Authority Mahmoud Abbas will also give a formal speech in Parliament’s plenary session, on Thursday 23 June at 11:00. The latest developments in the Middle East peace process, the situation in Syria and the migration crisis are likely to be raised by both presidents.

President Rivlin and President Schulz will give a press point after the formal address on Wednesday (at around 15:45, PHS ground floor). Presidents Abbas and Schulz will hold a press point on Thursday at noon (also PHS ground floor).

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Formal sitting: Wednesday, 22 June (Israel); Thursday, 23 June (Palestine)

Thursday, 23 June, 12:00 (Presidents Abbas and Schulz)

#Israel #Palestine @PresidentRuvi #Abbas

Audiovisual material for professionals: EU - IsraelAudiovisual material for professionals: EU - PalestinePress release: MEPs press the EU to come up with a bold peace initiative for the Middle East (10.09.2015)
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EU energy efficiency and renewables: debate on progress and targets

The EU’s renewable energy target - 20% of total consumption by 2020 - has already been hit by many EU member states. But others lag behind and must do more, MEPs will urge in a debate and vote on the EU Commission’s “renewables progress report” on Thursday. And to hit the EU’s energy efficiency target - a 20% gain by 2020 – member states need to implement EU legislation in full, says a second resolution, also to be debated and voted on Thursday.

Renewables: aim for 30% by 2030

Access to capital (3) is vital and all existing funding schemes must be used efficiently (10) to achieve the 20% by 2020 target for renewable energy use, say MEPs in their draft non-legislative resolution, prepared by Paloma López Bermejo (GUE/NGL, ES).

The renewables resolution reiterates Parliament's call for a binding target for 2030 of at least 30% share of renewable energy consumption. (21) A basic right to self-generation and self-consumption is crucially important (35) to enhance consumers' participation in and benefits from the energy market, while a better integrated market could support the further development of renewables and cost reductions for consumers, says the draft text. (8)


Efficiency: more effort needed to hit 20% target by 2020

The EU target of improving energy efficiency by 20% by 2020 might be missed unless the current EU legislation is implemented in full (7), warns the second resolution, drafted by Markus Pieper (EPP, DE).

Even the efficiency gains made so far could be lost unless the future review of the Energy Efficiency Directive extends its key provisions (15) beyond 2030, warn MEPs. Their draft resolution assesses energy efficiency measures taken in the EU member states to date.

Note to editors

On renewables, the report notes that whilst the EU is on track to meet its 2020 target overall, Commission estimates suggest that Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK may have to strengthen their policies and tool to meet their 2020 objectives, and Hungary and Poland are not certain to hit them either. Member States that have already met or are about to meet their 2020 targets include Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Croatia, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Austria, Romania, Finland and Sweden.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Thursday, 23 June

Vote: Thursday, 23 June

#energyefficiency #energyunion #renewableenergy

Draft resolution on renewable energy progress reportDraft resolution on the implementation report on the Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EU)Procedure file - renewables Procedure file - energy efficiencyEP TV Video: Reviving efforts to hit 2020 climate goals Implementation of the Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EU): Energy Efficiency Obligation Schemes -European Implementation Assessment (Study, April 2016)Audiovisual material for profissionals
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Clarifying property rules for 16 million international couples

If an international couple divorces, which country’s courts should settle its property disputes? MEPs will debate Wednesday and vote Thursday on new rules for deciding which country’s judge hears international divorce or death cases. These rules should end parallel proceedings – costing around €1.1bn annually – in various member states whose courts have to settle such property disputes. They would apply in 18 EU countries which were willing to join this “enhanced cooperation” initiative..

The two regulations, one on matrimonial property regimes and one on property consequences of registered partnerships, would determine which court will have jurisdiction and which law will be applicable in procedures concerning the property of international couples. They would also facilitate the recognition and enforcement of a judgment given in one member state on property matters in another member state.

Background information

According to the European Commission, there are an estimated 16 million international couples in the EU.

The eighteen member states participating in the enhanced cooperation are Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Italia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Finland and Sweden. Other member states are free to join at any time after its adoption. Estonia, for example, has announced its intention to take part in the cooperation after its adoption.

On 7 June 2016 the European Parliament gave its consent to this enhanced cooperation enhanced cooperation, which can now go ahead in accordance with the consultation procedure.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Wednesday, 22 June

Vote: Thursday, 23 June

#propertyrights #EUcitizens

Draft resolution on property consequences of registered partnerships Draft resolution on matrimonial property regimes Press release on committee vote (14.06.2016)Profile of rapporteur Jean-Marie Cavada (ALDE, FR) Procedure file on property consequences of registered partnerships. Procedure file on matrimonial property regimesCouncil press release: “18 EU countries agree to clarify rules on property regimes for international couples” (09.06. 2016)
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Parliament to name “Panama Papers” inquiry committee members  

Following its decision to set up an inquiry committee into the “Panama Papers” revelations on offshore companies and their ultimate beneficiaries, Parliament will vote Thursday on a list of 65 members and 65 substitute members.

The committee, whose acronym will be PANA, is to investigate alleged contraventions and maladministration in the application by the EU Commission or member states of EU laws on money laundering, tax avoidance and tax evasion. It will have 65 members and twelve months to present its report.

Parliament approved the committee’s mandate in a plenary vote on Wednesday 8 June, following a proposal by the Conference of Presidents (EP President and political group leaders).

The draft list of committee members can be found here.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Vote: Thursday, 23 June

#PanamaPapers #taxavoidance #antimoneylaundering #taxevasion

Mandate of the Committee of Inquiry to consider recent revelations in the Panama papers in relation to tax evasion and money launderingEP Research: Parliament's committees of inquiry and special committeesAudiovisual material for professionalsPanama Papers Inquiry Committee explainedRule 200 - substitute members
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Ending EU citizens' bank secrecy in Monaco

The European Parliament is set to endorse an EU deal with Monaco, which will make it harder for EU citizens to hide cash from the tax man in bank accounts there. Under the deal, the EU and Monaco will automatically exchange information on the bank accounts of each other's residents, starting in 2017.

The agreement ensures that Monaco will apply stricter measures, equivalent to those in place within the EU since March 2014. The agreement also complies with the 2014 global standard on the automatic exchange of financial account information promoted by the OECD.

Similar agreements have already been approved with Switzerland, Liechtenstein, San Marino and Andorra.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Vote: Thursday, 23 June

#EU-Monaco

Draft ResolutionProfile of rapporteur Andreas Schwab (EPP, DE)Procedure File
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“Baltic plan”: first long-term fishing plan under new Common Fisheries Policy

The EU multiannual plan for managing Baltic Sea cod, sprat and herring stocks will be debated on Wednesday and put to the vote on Thursday. This is the first new Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) regional plan that takes account of interactions between species. It aims to ensure the sustainability of fisheries and offer fishermen better economic conditions in the long run. Parliament and Council negotiators reached an informal agreement on it in March.

The multispecies management approach is much more effective than managing a single species. It takes account of inter-species interactions, such as cod eating herring and sprats and sprats eating cod roe. The new plan aims to ensure balanced and sustainable exploitation of these stocks and guarantee stable fishing opportunities and livelihoods for fishermen.

Background

A multiannual management plan is an instrument for managing fish stocks in a given area. Fish mortality rates are an essential factor for this management, as they provide a basis for the setting of the Total Allowable Catches (TACs) and quotas.

A Baltic cod stock management plan has been in place since 2008, but herring and sprats had yet to be covered. The new plan replaces the existing one. The stocks concerned are interdependent.

Multiannual stock management plans aim to keep stock sizes within safe biological limits. They lay down maximum catches and a range of technical measures, taking due account of the characteristics of each stock and the fisheries in which it is found (species targeted, gear used, status of target stocks) and the economic impact of the measures on the fisheries concerned.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Wednesday, 22 June

Vote: Thursday, 23 June

#fisheries #CFPreality #BalticMAP

Draft report on a multiannual plan for the stocks of cod, herring and sprat in the Baltic SeaProfile of rapporteur Jarosław Wałęsa (EPP, PL) Procedure FileEP Thinktank on multiannual plan for fisheries in the Baltic SeaEP Background note on the Common Fisheries Policy
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Transfer of personal data to China - how to protect EU citizens?

How can the EU Commission ensure that transfers of EU citizens' personal data to China are compatible with EU privacy and data protection standards? MEPs will put the question to it in a debate on Wednesday afternoon. They will also ask if the Commission has looked into the consequences for EU firms of potential restrictions on the free flow of data, including the so-called "big data dam" planned by China to curb data transfers.

MEPs point out in an oral question to the Commission that China has not enacted any laws on the collection, storage, transmission or handling of personal information, nor is there any overall agreement between the EU and China on data transfers. Yet data transfers between EU and China are a reality, in particular due to an expanding cloud computing industry in China.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Wednesday 22 June

Procedure: Oral question to the Commission

#dataprotection #EUdataP #China

Personal data transfers to China - what protection for EU citizens? Oral Question to the Commission:Procedure File
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Vote on EU aid for 488 redundant machinery workers in Belgium

A proposal to grant Belgium €1,824,041 in EU aid to help find new jobs for 488 workers made redundant by construction machinery manufacturers in Wallonia will be put to a vote on Thursday. A further 300 young unemployed people should also benefit from the aid, to come from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF).

The 488 employees were made redundant by several construction machinery manufacturers in the province of Hainaut (Wallonia, Belgium): Caterpillar Belgium, Carwall S.A. (a principal supplier of cabs for Caterpillar Belgium) and Doosan S.A..

The job losses were the result of major structural changes in world trade patterns due to globalisation, which has led to a decline in competitiveness and the delocalisation of substantial production capacity to non-EU countries.

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.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Vote: Thursday, 23 June

#EGF #Caterpillar #Belgium #EUFunds #Hainaut

Draft ReportPress release on committee vote (15.06.2016)Profile of rapporteur Victor Negrescu (S&D, RO)Procedure File
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Massacres in eastern Congo

MEPs will debate the deteriorating situation in the north east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on Wednesday afternoon and vote a non-binding resolution on Thursday. According to many reports, massacres, the recruitment and use of children by armed groups and sexual and gender-based violence are spreading.

During last week's 31st ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly session, Members of the European Parliament and of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries unanimously approved a resolution which condemns all acts of political violence and calls on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) authorities to put an end to impunity and human rights violations.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Wednesday, 22 June

Vote: Thursday, 23 June

#Congo #RDC

Draft resolution on Massacres in eastern CongoProcedure FileEU-ACP resolution of 15 June on EP Resolution on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (10.03.2016)Audiovisual material for professionals
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Other items on the agenda:

- US sanctions impacting EU business in Iran, oral question, debate Wed

- Multiannual recovery plan for Bluefin tuna, report Gabriel Mato, (COD), vote Thu

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