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EP Plenary Session Newsletter 4-7 July 2016

30-06-2016

What will MEPs be working on during next week's Plenary Session in Strasbourg? Highlights include:
- Plenary debates on priorities of the incoming Slovak presidency in the Council and review of the outgoing Dutch presidency.
- MEPs to debate EU’s 28-29 June summit conclusions on Brexit vote
- Parliament to vote stance on setting up a common European Border and Coast Guard

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Slovakia’s EU Council Presidency priorities

MEPs will debate the priorities of the incoming Slovak Presidency of the EU Council of Ministers with Prime Minister Róbert Fico on Wednesday morning. They will also review the achievements of the outgoing Dutch Presidency with Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Tuesday morning.

The first-ever Slovak Council Presidency will focus its six-month mandate on following priorities:

  • Economically strong Europe,
  • Modern single market,
  • Sustainable migration and asylum policies, and
  • Globally engaged Europe.

Parliament’s President Martin Schulz will hold press conferences with Slovak Prime Minister Róbert Fico on Wednesday at around 12.00.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debates:

  • Tuesday, 5 July (Review of the outgoing Dutch presidency)
  • Wednesday, 6 July (priorities of the incoming Slovak presidency)

Press conference:

  • Tuesday, 5 July at 12.00 (review of the outgoing Dutch presidency with EP President Schulz and Dutch Prime Minister Rutte)
  • Wednesday, 6 July at 12.00 (priorities of the incoming Slovak presidency, with EP President Schulz and Slovak Prime Minister Fico)

#EU2016SK @eu2016sk #EU2016NL @eu2016nl @SKPRES2016

Website of the Slovak Council PresidencyWebsite of the Dutch Council PresidencyAudiovisual material for professionals

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

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Debate on EU’s 28-29 June “Brexit” summit conclusions

MEPs will debate the conclusions of the 28-29 June EU summit, where EU leaders digested the UK referendum vote to leave the EU and insisted that “there will be no negotiations of any kind until the UK formally notifies its intention to withdraw”. Council President Donald Tusk and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker will start the debate, on Tuesday.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron confirmed at the summit that the formal decision to trigger Article 50 of the EU Treaty would be taken by a new leadership in Britain. Afterwards, Mr Tusk said the leaders were “absolutely determined to remain united and work closely together as 27”.

Other items on the summit agenda included digital single market and capital markets union proposals, “European Semester” country-specific economic policy recommendations, and the EU’s global strategy for common foreign and security policy.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Tuesday 5 July

#euco #EURef #EUreferendum #UKRef #UKReferendum

Summit conclusionsEP President Martin Schulz speech at the CouncilPress release on EP resolution calling for swift Brexit and EU reforms (28.06.2016)Parliament's debate on the consequences of the EP Research note on Article 50Audiovisual material for professionals

Irish MEPs on this issue: Mairead McGuinness, Fine Gael (Midlands - North-West), Marian Harkin, Independent (Midlands - North-West), Lynn Boylan, Sinn Féin (Dublin), Liadh ní Riada, Sinn Fein (South), Matt Carthy, Sinn Féin (Midlands - North West), Nessa Childers, Independent (Dublin)

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Parliament to vote stance on setting up a common European Border and Coast Guard

Plans to set up an EU border control system, bringing together the EU’s Frontex border agency and national border management authorities, will be debated on Tuesday and voted on Wednesday. Under these plans, national authorities will still manage their borders on a day-to-day basis but, if their EU external borders are under pressure, they will be able to seek help from the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (EBCG), which will be able to rapidly deploy border guard teams to those borders.

The EBCG Agency will not have its own guards but will be able to call on a pool of guards to be supplied by EU member states.

In cases where a member state faces increased pressures on its external border, such as disproportionate migratory pressure or cross-border crime, rapid border intervention teams could be temporarily deployed either at the request of a member state or by Council decision. The operational plan should be agreed by the member state concerned and the EBCG before deployment can take place.

If the member state concerned does not comply with a Council decision, and the situation poses a threat to the Schengen area, other EU states will be able to reimpose checks at their borders with that state,

The Agency will also have a greater role in returning migrants to their country of origin.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Tuesday, 5 July

Vote: Wednesday, 6 July

Press conference Wednesday, 6 July at 15.00

@Frontex #Schengen #coastguard #refugeecrisis #MigrationEU #EUBorders

Press release after the trilogue (22.06.2016)Profile of rapporteur: Artis PABRIKS (EPP, LV)Procedure FileEP Research : European Border and Coast Guard System:EP Study: The proposal for a European Border and Coast Guard: evolution or revolution in extrenal border management?EC press release on the border and coast guard package

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

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Vote on recommendations for fairer and clearer corporate tax rules

A lengthy list of recommendations to make corporate taxation fairer and clearer is to be debated on Tuesday and put to a vote on Wednesday.

The draft text - prepared by the Special Committee on Tax Rulings II - calls inter alia for an EU public register of beneficial owners of companies, a tax havens blacklist, sanctions against non-cooperative tax jurisdictions, action against abuse of “patent box” (intellectual property revenue) regimes, a code of conduct for banks and tax advisors, tax good governance rules in all EU trade agreements and a withholding tax on profits leaving the EU.

The co-rapporteurs were Jeppe Kofod (S&D, DK) and Michael Theurer (ALDE, DE).

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Tuesday, 5 July

Vote: Wednesday, 6July

Press conference: Wednesday 16:00 pm.

#TaxTransparency #luxleaks #PanamaPapers #TAXEII

Press release on committee vote (21.06.2016)Profile of co-rapporteur Jeppe Kofod (S&D, DK)Profile of co-rapporteur Michael Theurer (ALDE, DE)Procedure fileTop story: fairer corporate taxation

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

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Cybersecurity: new rules to make the EU more resilient to online threats

Firms supplying essential services, e.g. for energy, transport, banking and health, or digital ones, such as search engines and cloud services, will have to take action to improve their ability to withstand cyber-attacks, under the first EU-wide cybersecurity rules, to be voted by Parliament on Wednesday. Each EU country will also be required to designate national authorities and establish a strategy to deal with cyber threats. (Arts. 1, 7 and 8, Annex II)

The EU network and information security (NIS) directive aims to step up cybersecurity cooperation among member states, thus putting an end to the current fragmentation of different national systems. It lists sectors in which critical service firms will have to ensure that they are robust enough to resist cyber-attacks. These firms, to be identified by each member state, will also be required to report serious security breaches to national authorities. (operators of essential services are listed in Annex II; Art. 14 on incident notification)

Note to editors

Information systems, essential networks and services, such as online banking, electricity grids or airport control, can be affected by security incidents caused by human mistakes, technical failures or terrorist attacks. These incidents result in annual losses of €260 - €340 billion, estimates the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA). The EU currently has no common approach to cybersecurity and reporting.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Tuesday, 5 July

Vote: Wednesday, 6 July

#cybersecurity #NIS

Compromise text to be voted in plenaryCommittee recommendation tabled for plenaryPress release on committee vote (14.01.2016)Profile of rapporteur Andreas Schwab (EPP, DE) Procedure fileEuroparlTV - Cybersecurity: protecting crucial sectors from attacksInterview with rapporteur Andreas Schwab: Infographic - From malware to phishing: the top threats to your security onlineEP Research - Publications on cybersecurity Special Eurobarometer on cybersecurity, published in 2015
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Energy efficiency labelling: Parliament to vote its stance on binding new rules

Parliament will set out its position on proposed binding new rules for energy efficiency labelling on household products in resolution to be voted on Wednesday, after debating them on Monday. The draft text calls for a clear A to G scale for labelling the energy efficiency of household appliances, to replace the proliferating pluses in today's top class (A+, A++, A+++), within 5 years.

The text also calls for clear and legible labels showing the product model’s energy efficiency class its absolute consumption in kWh over a given period to help consumers make informed choices and reduce their energy costs.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Monday, 4 July

Vote: Wednesday, 6 July

#energyefficiency #EnergyUnion

Draft report on a framework for energy efficiency labellingPress release on committee vote (13.06.2016)Profile of rapporteur: Dario Tamburrano (EFDD, IT)Procedure fileAudiovisual material for professionals and existing
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Vote on recommendations for Commission’s 2017 Work Programme

MEPs will debate their recommendations for the Commission’s 2017 work programme on Wednesday morning. These recommendations will be set out in a non-legislative resolution to be voted the same day. The Commission is expected to present its priorities for 2017 to Parliament in October.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Wednesday, 6 July

Vote: Wednesday, 6 July

#CWP2017 @EU_Commission

Procedure fileCommission website dedicated to its annual Work Programme

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

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Protecting whistle blowers

Following the conviction of "Luxleaks" whistle blowers Antoine Deltour and Raphael Halet by a Luxembourg court for having revealed tax deals granted to multinationals by the Luxembourg authorities, MEPs will hold a debate with Council and Commission on Wednesday afternoon on how to better protect whistle blowers in the EU.

The revelations prompted the European Parliament to set up a special committee to look into corporate tax avoidance strategies and come up with recommendations to the EU Commission on how to ensure that multinationals pay their fair share.

Parliament has repeatedly asked for better protection of whistle blowers to prevent them being prosecuted if the information that they reveal is in the public interest. These recommendations are set out in the TAXE1 and TAXE2 resolutions..

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Wednesday, 6 July

#whistleblowers #luxleaks

Committee on tax rulings and other measures similar in nature or effect (TAXE II)Press release on vote on trade secrets directive (14.04.2016)

Irish MEPs on this issue: Nessa Childers, Independent (Dublin)

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Debates on EU’s global strategy and China

MEPs are to debate a new EU “global strategy”, setting out the EU’s core interests and principles in the world, with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on Wednesday. The old strategy, dating from 2003, was in dire need of updating to address emerging challenges in areas such as energy security, migration, climate change, terrorism and hybrid warfare, say MEPs. This debate will be followed by another, focusing on China and the EU’s engagement with it for the next five years.

Both strategies take account of Parliament’s position as set in resolutions on EU-China relations, drafted by Bas Belder (ECR, NL), and on the EU in a changing global environment, drafted by Sandra Kalniete (EPP, LV).

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Wednesday, 6 July

#EUGlobalStrategy #China

A Global Strategy for the EU’s foreign and security policy (June 2016)Element for a new EU strategy on China (22.06.2016)EP resolution on the EU in a changing global environment (13.04.2016)EP resolution on EU - China relations (16.12.2015)
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Getting refugees to work: MEPs to call for a win-win approach

Allowing refugees and asylum seekers to work in their host countries not only helps to restore their human dignity, but also reduces strain on public budgets by turning them into taxpayers, says a draft resolution to be debated on Monday and voted on Tuesday. But inclusion schemes should nonetheless emphasise language learning and pay attention to local unemployment rates, especially among young people, it adds.

The text, drafted by Brando Benifei (S&D, IT), notes that procedures for granting asylum (4) and labour market conditions differ markedly across the EU, (19) and also that refugees have a wide variety of ages, education, skills and abilities to work (M, 15).

Social inclusion schemes should therefore aim to trigger a dynamic, two-way process between refugees and host communities, in which all partners have rights and duties, while the process itself adapts to the situation on the ground, says the text. (J, 14)

The draft resolution highlights the importance of fighting all forms of discrimination, xenophobia and racism (55), but also of offering refugees early access to language training, skills assessment and civic integration courses, including courses on European fundamental rights, values and culture. (48)

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Monday, 4 July

Vote: Tuesday, 5 July

#refugees #employment

Draft resolution on refugees: social inclusion and integration into the labour market Profile of rapporteur Brando Benifei (S&D, IT) Procedure fileEP Research Service: Labour market integration of refugees: standards set by EU law Audiovisual material for professionals

Irish MEPs on this issue: Deirdre Clune, Fine Gael (South), Marian Harkin, Independent (Midlands - North-West), Lynn Boylan, Sinn Féin (Dublin)

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Fight against human trafficking: debate and vote on a new EU strategy

Plans to develop a new EU post-2016 anti-trafficking strategy to fight the flagrant reality of trafficking in human beings, one of the worst forms of human rights abuses, will be debated on Monday and put to a vote on Tuesday. This prevention strategy should include EU and member states external services' actions to address poverty, oppression, lack of respect of human rights, armed conflict and economic and social inequalities, says the draft resolution.

MEPs are likely to call for transnational, legal and practical responses to human trafficking, which is one of world’s most profitable organised criminal activities, alongside trade in illegal drugs and arms.

Background information

According to the latest Global Slavery Index, an estimated 35.8 million people are trapped in modern slavery worldwide while according to the ILO, around 21 million people worldwide are in forced labour, being trafficked for labour and sexual exploitation or being held in slave-like conditions.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Monday, 4 July

Vote: Tuesday, 5 July

#humantrafficking

Draft resolution on the fight against trafficking in human beings in the EU's external relationsPress release on committee vote (24.05.2016)Profile of rapporteur: Barbara Lochbihler (Greens/EFA, DE)Procedure fileAudiovisual material for professionals

Irish MEPs on this issue: Matt Carthy, Sinn Féin (Midlands - North-West)

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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 Thursday. 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: Thursday, 7 July

hashtags #dataprotection #EUdataP

Personal data transfers to China - what protection for EU citizens? Oral Question to the Commission:EP Research: Personal data transfers to China
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MEPs to press EU countries to use €1.3bn EU budget refund for refugee aid

Plans to refund €1.3 billion left over from the 2015 EU budget to EU member states will be put to a vote on Wednesday. Under EU rules, the money must be returned to member states through a reduction in their contributions. But in their draft resolution, MEPs nonetheless urge member states to use the refund to honour their pledges to help deal with the refugee crisis and match the EU contribution to the two dedicated Trust Funds set up for this purpose.

In their draft resolution, MEPs note “with concern” that in spring 2016, “Member States have only contributed €82 million to the Africa Trust Fund and €69 million to the Madad Trust Fund on the Syrian crisis, while the Union's contributions stand at €1.8 billion and more than €500 million respectively”.
Background information

The Draft Amending Budget (DAB) No 2/2016 is intended to enter in the budget 2016 the surplus resulting from the implementation of the budget year 2015. The 2014 and 2013 positive balances amounted to EUR 1.4 billion and EUR 1 billion respectively.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Vote: Wednesday, 6 July

#EUBudget #EUBudget2015

Draft report on the Draft amending budget No 2/2016 of the European Union for the financial year 2016: Entering the surplus of the financial year 2015Press release on committee vote (15.06.2016)Profile of rapporteur José Manuel Fernandes (EPP, PT)Procedure fileEuropean Commission press release

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

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Vote on call to veto energy drink “alertness” claims

Sugary drinks and energy drinks containing caffeine should not display claims that they help increase alertness or concentration, as this would promote sugar consumption by adolescents, the largest group of energy drink consumers, say MEPs. A proposal to veto a technical measure tabled by the EU Commission that would allow such claims is to be voted on Wednesday.

A 250ml can of energy drink can contain up to 27g of sugar and 80mg of caffeine, note MEPs, even though the World Health Organisation recommends that adults and children should get no more than 10% of their daily energy intake from free sugars, and that a further reduction to below 5% (about 25g per day) would provide additional health benefits.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Wednesday 6 July

Vote: Thursday 7 July

#caffeine @WHO

Motion for a resolution on the draft Commission regulation establishing a list of permitted health claims made on foods other than those referring to the reduction of disease risk and to children’s development and healthPress release on committee vote (15.06.2016)Profile of rapporteur Christel Schaldemose (S&D, DK)

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

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Parliament to vote on EU-Peru visa waiver agreement

An EU-Peru visa waiver agreement enabling Peruvians to travel visa-free to the EU and EU nationals to go to Peru for stays of up to 90 days within any 180-day period will be put to a plenary vote on Tuesday. The agreement, which does not apply to UK and Ireland, has been in operation since 14 March, pending approval by Parliament.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Vote: Tuesday, 5 July

#Peru #visa

Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Peru on the short-stay visa waiver Draft recommendation to plenaryProfile of rapporteur Mariya Gabriel (EPP, BG)Procedure fileEEAS web page on the EU relations with Peru
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Emission curbs for off-road machinery

Plans to update EU type approval rules and emission limits for internal combustion engines in non-road mobile machinery (NRMM), such as lawn mowers, bulldozers, diesel locomotives and inland waterway vessels, will be put to a vote on Tuesday. These plans have already been provisionally agreed with the Dutch Presidency of the Council. NRMM engines account for about 15% of all NOx and 5% of particulate emissions in the EU.

The new NRMM regulation will cover all kinds of combustion engines, used for example in small handheld equipment, generating sets, harvesting and agricultural machinery, construction machinery (such as cranes) railcars and locomotives, and inland waterway vessels. These engines will have to meet the same requirements, regardless of their fuels, in order to boost innovation in the sector.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Monday 4 July

Vote: Tuesday 5 July
#NRMM

Draft report relating to emission limits and type-approval for internal combustion engines for non-road mobile machineryPress release on committee vote (26.04.2016)Profile of rapporteur Elisabetta Gardini (EPP, IT)Procedure fileEP Research: Emissions from engines in non-road mobile machineryEuropean Commission: Non-Road mobile machinery emissions

Irish MEPs on this issue: Lynn Boylan, Sinn Féin (Dublin)

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Human rights and democracy resolutions

Parliament will hold urgent debates on the following human rights and democracy topics on Thursday 7 July, around 11:00, with the votes following at 12.00.

  • Situation of albinos in Africa, notably in Malawi
  • Bahrain
  • Myanmar, notably the situation of Rohingyas

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debates/votes: Thursday 7 July

#humanrights #democracy

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Other items on the agenda:

- Implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
- Irish MEPs on this issue: Brian Hayes, Fine Gael (Dublin), Mairead McGuinness, Fine Gael (Midlands - North-West), Deirdre Clune, Fine Gael (South), Marian Harkin, Independent (Midlands - North-West), Lynn Boylan, Sinn Féin (Dublin), Nessa Childers, Independent (Dublin)

- Social and environmental standards, human rights and corporate responsibility
- Irish MEPs on this issue: Mairead McGuinness, Fine Gael (Midlands - North-West),  Lynn Boylan, Sinn Féin (Dublin), Nessa Childers, Independent (Dublin)

- Preparation of the post-electoral revision of the MFF 2014-2020. Parliament's input ahead of the Commission's proposal.
- Irish MEPs on this issue: Mairead McGuinness, Fine Gael (Midlands - North-West), Liadh ní Riada, Sinn Fein (South)

- European Maritime Safety Agency
- Irish MEPs on this issue: Deirdre Clune, Fine Gael (South), Liadh ní Riada, Sinn Fein (South)

- Synergies between structural funds and Horizon 2020
- Irish MEPs on this issue: Liadh ní Riada, Sinn Fein (South)

- Non-tariff barriers for food exporters in the internal EU market
- Irish MEPs on this issue: Matt Carthy, Sinn Féin (Midlands - North West)

- Statements by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on foreign affairs issues
- Irish MEPs on this issue: Matt Carthy, Sinn Féin (Midlands - North West)

- PECH Community Fisheries Control Agency
- Irish MEPs on this issue: Liadh ní Riada, Sinn Fein (South)

- A forward-looking and innovative future strategy for trade and investment
- Irish MEPs on this issue: Matt Carthy, Sinn Féin (Midlands - North West)

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