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EP Plenary Session Newsletter 6-9 June 2016

03-06-2016

What will MEPs be working on during next week's Plenary Session in Strasbourg? Highlights include:
- Vote on the establishment of an inquiry into the "Panama Papers"
- Debate on progress of EU's multi-million euro investment plan
- Debate and vote on anti-tax avoidance package
- Vote on new rules to ease cross-border acceptance of certificates
- Tackling supermarket trading practices that are unfair to farmers
- Vote on ways to boost European rail supply industry competitiveness
- CIA’s use of torture: MEPs to ask for updates on investigations
- Vote on €500 million in EU financial aid loans to Tunisia
-MEPs to discuss safety concerns on Belarus nuclear power with Commission

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MEPs to vote on setting up “Panama Papers” inquiry committee into alleged breaches of EU laws on money laundering, tax avoidance and tax evasion

Parliament is set to vote on proposal by its political leadership to set up an inquiry committee to look into the “Panama Papers” revelations on the financial arrangements of offshore companies and their ultimate beneficiaries.

The 65-strong committee is to investigate alleged contraventions and maladministration in the application of EU laws on money laundering, tax avoidance and tax evasion. It has twelve months to present its final report.

The committee’s mandate was approved on 2 June by Parliament’s Conference of Presidents (President and political group leaders).

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Vote: Wednesday, 8 June

#Panamapapers #TaxTransparency #taxevasion #MoneyLaundering

Full text of the mandateRules on setting up inquiry committees
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Debate on progress of EU's multi-billion euro investment plan

The progress of the European Commission's ‎315 billion investment plan for Europe, or "Juncker plan", will be debated on Wednesday. Launched one year ago, the European Fund for Strategic investments (EFSI) aims to mobilise private and public funds to kick-start growth, after the global financial crisis. Tabling its first progress report on 2 June, the Commission proposed to extend the plan beyond the original three years and scale up resources for SMEs.

More than 140,000 SMEs in 26 member states are expected to benefit from the plan, says to the Commission, with France, Italy, Germany, the UK, and Spain having the greatest number of approved projects.

MEPs will debate the Commission’s progress report and improvements such as the recently launched European Investment Project Portal which brings together investors and projects in need of investment.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Wednesday, 8 June

#EFSI #investEU #Junckerplan

Press release on adoption of EU Investment plan (24.06.2015)Procedure fileEP Research briefing note on European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI)EP Research note on EFSI: setup and EU budget contribution EC site on the EU Investment plan

Irish MEPs on this issue: Brian Hayes, Fine Gael (Dublin), Seán Kelly, Fine Gael (South), Mairead McGuinness, Fine Gael (Midlands - North-West), Deirdre Clune, Fine Gael (South)

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Debate on new EU plan to address root causes of migration

A new EU plan to address the root causes of migration will be presented by the EU Commission and debated in plenary on Tuesday. The “migration compact”, prepared by Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, foresees using EU funds to promote private investment in migrants’ countries of origin, particularly in Africa.

Also, to make migrant “returns” policy more effective, the Commission wants to accelerate the negotiation of “readmission” agreements with key countries, such as Pakistan and Afghanistan, in addition to the 17 already in force.

Review of the “blue card” for highly-skilled migrants and action plan for integration

In a later debate on Tuesday afternoon, MEPs will assess two other migration proposals to be presented by the Commission: a review of the “blue card” system governing admission conditions for highly qualified third-country nationals and a new action plan on integration.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Tuesday, 7 June

#migrationEU #EUFunds @TimmermansEU @FedericaMog

EP resolution on “The situation in the Mediterranean and the need for a holistic EU approach to migration” (12.04.2016)EC communication: Towards a reform of the common European asylum system and enhancing legal avenues to Europe (6.04.2016)EP Research: Cohesion Policy support for migrants and refugees (6.05.2016)Refugees: pathways to integration (Europarl TV, 31.05.2016)

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

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Parliament to reiterate its call for action on endocrine disruptors

Parliament is set to reiterate its demand that the European Commission publish the over-due scientific criteria needed to identify and tackle exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals, which should have been published by the end of 2013.

The European Court of Justice ruled, in December 2015, that the EU executive had breached EU law by failing to do so and MEPs have repeatedly urged the EU to clamp down on the substances.

In a March 2013 resolution, Parliament called on the Commission to act to reduce exposure to endocrine disruptors, which have been linked to increases in cases of impaired sperm quality, early onset of puberty, certain cancers and other disorders.

A wide range of chemicals are suspected of having endocrine-disrupting properties. that interfere with the functioning of hormones, but defining scientific criteria to identify them is a highly complex task. The Commission's delay in delivering the criteria has drawn strong reactions from industry and consumers. It is expected to come up with scientific criteria and to present the legal acts required before summer 2016.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Wednesday, 25 May

Vote: Wednesday, 8 June

#EndocrineDisruptors

Procedure fileEP research: Setting criteria on endocrine disruptors: Follow-up to the General Court judgmentEP research: Proceedings of the Workshop on Library briefing: Health threats from endocrine disruptors: A scientific and regulatory challengeEP resolution on the protection of public health from endocrine disruptors (30.01.2013)

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

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Parliament set to debate and vote its stance on anti-tax avoidance package

Parliament is set to debate its stance on the Commission's proposal for an anti-tax avoidance directive on Tuesday and vote a resolution on Wednesday. The proposal, which aims to close loopholes used by corporate tax avoiders, was welcomed by Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee in a resolution voted on 24 May. MEPs nonetheless advocated stricter limits on deductions for interest payments and an effective corporate tax rate on foreign income of 15%.

The anti-tax avoidance directive reflects the OECD's action plan to limit tax base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) and follows recommendations made by Parliament in November (TAXE 1 report) and December 2015 (legal recommendations drafted by Anneliese Dodds (S&D, UK) and Luděk Niedermayer (EPP, CZ).

It builds on the principle that tax should be paid where profits are made and includes legally-binding measures to block the methods most commonly used by companies to avoid paying tax. It also proposes common definitions of terms like “permanent establishment”, “tax havens”, “minimum economic substance”, “transfer prices” and others hitherto open to interpretation.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Tuesday, 7 June

Vote: Wednesday, 8 June

#TaxTransparency #LuxLeaks #taxavoidance

Press release on committee vote (24.05.2016): Profile of rapporteur Hugues Bayet (S&D, BE)Procedure fileOverview: the European Parliament's work on taxationEP Research: Understanding the OECD tax plan to address 'base erosion and profit shifting' Video: Interview with rapporteur Hugues Bayet (S&D, BE)

Irish MEPs on this issue: Seán Kelly, Fine Gael (South), Matt Carthy, Sinn Féin (Midlands - North West)

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Free movement: vote on new rules to ease cross-border acceptance of certificates

Parliament will vote on Thursday on new EU rules to facilitate the free movement of citizens by simplifying procedures for proving the authenticity of certain public documents, such as birth or marriage certificates, in other EU member states. To avoid the need for translations, the provisions would introduce new multilingual EU forms to be attached to the documents.

The draft regulation covers all civil status documents and some other documents that citizens moving abroad often need to demonstrate, for example, residence, nationality or the absence of a criminal record. If Parliament gives its green light, the regulation will be brought into effect gradually and apply in full from 2019.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Wednesday, 8 June

Vote: Thursday, 9 June

Press conference: Wednesday, 8 June at 14:30 with rapporteur Mady Delvaux (S&D, LU) and Commissioner Vĕra Jourová

#crossborder #certificates #EUCitizens

Draft recommendation for second reading on a regulation on promoting the free movement of citizens by simplifying the requirements for presenting certain public documents in the EUText of agreed draft law (outcome of informal negotiations between Parliament and Council)Press release on committee vote (21.04.2016)Profile of rapporteur Mady Delvaux (S&D, LU)Procedure fileInterview with rapporteur Mady Delvaux: “Easy as ABC: Filing public documents in another EU country to be simplified”EP background information:
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Tackling supermarket trading practices that are unfair to farmers

MEPs want the European Commission to take action against unfair trading practices in the food sector. It should put forward proposals to foster fair and transparent relations between food producers, suppliers and distributors, they say in a non-legislative resolution to be debated on Monday and voted on Tuesday, MEPs also express concerns on overproduction and food waste caused by the so-called Unfair Trading Practices (UTPs). (31,L)

Income and power imbalances in the food supply chain must be tackled, MEPs say. They stress that selling below the cost of production, and the serious misuse of basic agricultural foods such as dairy, fruit and vegetables as “loss leaders” by large-scale retailers, threaten the long-term sustainability of EU production of these items. (15)

Many farmers and small and medium businesses lack bargaining power in the food supply chain, which makes them particularly vulnerable to UTPs and this may in turn harm the entire EU economy. Consumers are also disadvantaged, as their choice of products and access to new and innovative goods are limited, MEPs note. (J)

Note to editors

UTPs consist, for example, of delaying payments, restricting access to the market, unilateral or retroactive changes to contract terms, sudden and unjustified cancellation of contracts, unfair transfers of commercial risk and transferring transport and storage costs to suppliers. (F)

The EU already has legislation to combat unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices (Directive 2005/29/EC), but there are no EU rules to combat unfair practices between different operators in the agri-food chain. UTPs are only partly covered by competition law.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Monday, 6 June

Vote: Tuesday, 7 June

#UTPs #UnfairTradingPractices #FoodSupply

Draft report on unfair trading practices in the food supply chainPress release on committee vote (21.04.2016)Profile of rapporteur Edward Czesak (ECR, PL)Procedure FileBriefing by the EP Policy Department on

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

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Bulgaria's President Rosen Plevneliev to address the European Parliament

The President of the Republic of Bulgaria, Rosen Plevneliev, will deliver a speech in the European Parliament on Wednesday at 12.00. The future of Europe and the current challenges that the EU is facing are expected to be among the topics addressed.

Rosen Plevneliev is the fourth democratically-elected President of the Republic of Bulgaria and its first President to address the European Parliament since Bulgaria joined the European Union on 1 January 2007.

Mr Plevneliev won the "European personality of the year in South-eastern and Central Europe" award in 2015 for his contribution to stabilizing and improving relations between the European states and in particular between Balkan neighbours.

In July 2009, Mr Plevneliev, who has a background in research and engineering, was appointed Minister of Regional Development and Public Works and introduced a new approach to managing EU funds. He was elected President in October 2011.

Note to Editors: EU Heads of State addressing Parliament during the 8th term

The latest EU Heads of State to address Parliament were:

  • King Felipe VI of Spain, on 7 October 2015,
  • President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella, on 25 November 2015,
  • President of the Republic of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves, on 2 February 2016,
  • President of Portugal Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, on 13 April 2016, and
  • King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, on 25 May 2016

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Wednesday, 8 June - 12.00-12.30

Press point: Wednesday, 8 June, 12.30

#Bulgaria

Website of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria:
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Fight against terrorism and heavy crime: better data sharing through the European information systems

What is being done to improve information exchange among member states’ law enforcement authorities and EU agencies, and also to ensure that information systems are fully interoperable? These will be the key questions that MEPs put to the EU Commission and Council in a debate on Wednesday afternoon.

Investigations into the recent terror attacks in Paris and Brussels showed that improving information exchange among EU member states’ law enforcement authorities and with and between EU agencies such as Europol (police cooperation), Eurojust (judicial cooperation) and Frontex (border management), is a key need in fighting terrorism and organised crime.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Wednesday, 8 June

#EPonTerror @europol @frontex #eurojust

EC communication on stronger and smarter information systems for borders and security:Audiovisual material for professionals
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Objections to herbicide-resistant GM carnation and maize authorisations

The EU Commission should withdraw its authorisations for the use of herbicide-resistant GM carnations and maize, say two non-binding resolutions to be voted on Wednesday. Authorising GM carnations would encourage the worldwide use of a diabetes medicine as a herbicide, while the GM maize is resistant to glyphosate, which is classified as “probably carcinogenic” by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the text says.

MEPs also point out that since the current GM authorisation process came into force, every GM authorisation decision has been taken by the Commission without the support of a qualified majority of EU member states. In effect, this turns what should be the exception into the norm.

Background

A separate draft EU law that would enable any EU member state to restrict or prohibit the sale and use of EU-approved GMO food or feed on its territory was rejected by Parliament in October 2015. MEPs are concerned that this law might prove unworkable or that it could lead to the reintroduction of border checks between pro- and anti-GMO countries. They called on the Commission to table a new proposal.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Vote: Wednesday, 8 June

#GMOs glyphosate @WHO

Draft resolution on draft EC decision authorising placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from GM maize Bt11 × MIR162 × MIR604 × GA21, and GM maizes combining two or three of the events Bt11, MIR162, MIR604 and GA21Draft resolution on the draft Commission implementing decision as regards the placing on the market of a genetically modified carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus L., line SHD-27531-4)Press release on committee vote (24.05.2016)EP research: Imports of GM food and feed: Right of Member States to opt out
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MEPs to remind Commission to brief them on talks on international agreements

Parliament has the right to be informed of the progress of negotiations on international agreements without having to ask, as established by the Treaty of Lisbon and confirmed by several Court of Justice rulings. MEPs will remind the European Commission of this obligation during a debate on Thursday.

In an oral question prepared by the Civil Liberties Committee they will ask the Commission how it plans to ensure that all relevant information is automatically forwarded to Parliament “in an exhaustive manner at all stages of the procedure”.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Thursday, 9 June

#EUagreeements

Oral question to the Commission
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Steel crisis and China: MEPs to push Council to update EU anti-dumping law

MEPs will urge EU member states to agree to update the EU’s trade defence tools in a debate on Wednesday afternoon. They want draft trade defence laws, stuck in the Council for more than two years, to be unblocked so as to better position the EU to deal with its steel industry crisis and China’s demand that the EU recognize it as a market economy.

MEPs set out their suggestions for updating EU measures against unfairly priced imports in a resolution voted back in 2014. No legislative work on these measures has been done since then, because EU countries have failed to come up with a joint position.

The current EU trade defence law dates back to 1995.

MEPs called for a reform of EU anti-dumping law in a resolution voted in May.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Wednesday, 8 June

#China #antidumping #trade

China’s proposed market economy status: defend EU industry and jobs, urge MEPS (press release, 12-05-2015)MEPs confirm call for tougher measures against unfair imports (Press release, 16.04.2014)Profile of rapporteur Christofer Fjellner (EPP,SE)EP Research: Granting Market Economy Status to China: WTO law and selected WTO members policy DG Expo study: One year to go: The debate over China's market economy status heats up

Vote on ways to boost European rail supply industry competitiveness

Recommendations to boost the competitiveness of Europe’s rail supply industry, which makes everything from rails and rolling stock to signals, and protect it from unfair overseas competition, will be set out in draft recommendations to the EU Commission to be debated and put to a vote on Thursday.

The Commission will be quizzed on future measures to promote rail supply industry manufacturing growth, innovation and sustainability but also how it would be affected if China is granted market economy status that may further threaten European jobs.

The draft text sets out recommendations on the future shape of the European rail stock sector, infrastructure and investment. MEPs are expected to ask what the Commission can do to boost demand for European rail products, while protecting the market against dumping from third countries, and whether and when it would be prepared to table a comprehensive industrial policy strategy for the sector.

Background for editors:

The European rail supply industry employs 160,000 people in Europe, almost half of whom work for German and French locomotive manufacturers.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Thursday, 9 June

Vote: Thursday, 9 June

#railway #steel #Junckerplan #4thRail

Oral Question to the Commission Procedure fileEC Study: Sector Overview and Competitiveness Survey of the Railway Supply Industry

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

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Vote on €500 million in EU financial aid loans to Tunisia

A plan to lend Tunisia €500 million on favourable terms to help it overcome short-term financing difficulties and consolidate its democratic mechanisms, will be debated on Wednesday and put to a vote on Wednesday.

The EU financial aid will take the form of medium-term loans on favourable terms to supplement International Monetary Fund (IMF) loans. In return, Tunisia would pledge to deliver structural reforms.

Note to editors

Tunisia’s economy has been in serious difficulty since the 2011 Arab Spring revolution. In 2015, it was hit by terrorist attacks that disrupted tourist flows and exacerbated its already weak fiscal and balance of payments position. The growth forecast for 2016 is 0.5%, down from 3% in 2015. Unemployment rates are 20% for women, 28.6% for young university graduates and an overall average of 15%.

The EU has granted Tunisia €300 million financial aid in 2014. In August 2015 the Tunisian Government asked the EU to contribute €500 million to a second assistance programme, supplementing loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Following a European Parliament in 2016, the EU also granted Tunisia a temporary additional quota for duty-free olive oil imports.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Wednesday, 8 June

Vote: Thursday, 9 June

Profile of rapporteur Marielle de Sarnez (ALDE, FR) Procedure filePress release: MEPs back more duty-free olive oil imports to help Tunisia but want safeguards (25.02.2016)EP Think tank: Further macro-financial aid to Tunisia
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CIA’s use of torture: MEPs to ask for updates on investigations

Has the Council acknowledged EU member states' involvement in the CIA’s secret detention and extraordinary rendition programme? And would such involvement not constitute a breach EU law? These are among the questions that MEPs will put to the Council and Commission in a debate on Tuesday. This debate, on the follow up to Parliament’s February 2015 resolution on the US Senate report on the use of torture by the CIA, will be wrapped up in a resolution to be voted on Wednesday.

The resolution and oral questions to Council and Commission follow up Parliament's resolution of 11 February 2015. The debate was postponed from the May plenary session. Parliament has repeatedly called for full investigations into the involvement of EU member states in the CIA programme.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Tuesday, 7 June

Vote: Wednesday, 8 June

#CIAPrison

Draft resolution on the follow-up to the European Parliament resolution on 11 February 2015 on the use of torture by the CIAOral question to the CouncilOral question to the Commission Profile of rapporteur Claude Moraes (S&D, UK)

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

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Debate on state of democracy in Turkey, after its MPs are stripped of immunity

The state of democracy in Turkey after its Grand National Assembly stripped MPs of their immunity from prosecution in a vote on 20 May, will be debated by MEPs with an EU Council representative on Wednesday.

MEPs will ask for more information and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini’s position on the controversial rules voted by the Turkish parliament which allegedly could apply to a large majority of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish opposition, whom Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says might have links with separatist terror groups.

The new law reportedly allows prosecutors to investigate 138 MPs.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Wednesday, 8 June

#Turkey @FedericaMog

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MEPs to discuss safety concerns on Belarus nuclear power with Commission

In the wake of concerns about safety of construction at the Ostrovets (Astravyets) Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), MEPs ask the Commission to make a statement as to the plant's safety in a plenary debate on Monday around 18.00.

MEPs are expected to ask the Commission whether the Ostrovets NPP complies with European Nuclear Safety Regulations - and what actions it plans to take to prudently ensure the proper undertaking of safety stress tests, given the plant will be operational within two years.

The Commission has taken an observer role in the construction of the Ostrovets plant. A 2009 a preliminary meeting before construction began showed internationally agreed regulatory steps had not been satisfactorily incorporated into the national licensing process. The plant is expected enter first stage operations this year and full operations in 2018.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Monday, 6 June

#Belarus #nuclear

Oral Question on state of safety of nuclear installation in BelarusProcedure File2013 Nuclear Stress Test: EP urges full implementation of safety improvementsEC Nuclear Safety informationNuclear Energy fact sheet EC Annual Action Programme 2016 for Nuclear Safety Cooperation
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Africa: debate on New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition project rules

Projects under the New Alliance for Food Security (NAFSN), an EU-backed G8 initiative to boost agriculture and relieve poverty by engaging with private partners in Sub-Saharan Africa, will need to include environment protection measures and safeguards against land grabbing, say MEPs in a draft resolution to be debated on Monday and voted on Tuesday. They are are also likely call on the EU to address transparency and governance issues, so as to target development goals better.
Background

Launched in 2012, the NAFSN aims to boost financial support from donor countries and help big companies invest in African farming. In return, the ten participating Sub-Saharan African states are expected to change their legislation on land, seeds and foreign investments. With one person in four undernourished, Sub-Saharan Africa is the region with the highest prevalence of hunger. Poor nutrition causes nearly half of deaths for children under five. Family farmers and smallholders produce about 80% of the world’s food and provide over 60% of employment in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Monday, 6 June

Vote: Tuesday, 7 June

#foodsecurity

Draft report tabled for plenary Press release on committee vote (20.04.2016)Profile of rapporteur Maria Heubuch (Greens/EFA, DE) Procedure FilePublic Hearing of the Development Committee on the New Alliance for Food and Nutrition Security (NAFSN) (1 December 2015)'The New Alliance for Food and Nutrition Security in Africa’ a study commissioned by the Development Committee (December 2015)

Irish MEPs on this issue: Brian Hayes, Fine Gael (Dublin), Mairead McGuinness, Fine Gael (Midlands - North-West), Lynn Boylan, Sinn Féin (Dublin)

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Vote on EU deal with 24-countries to end customs duties on high-tech devices

An EU deal with 24 countries, including Japan, China, and the USA, to stop charging custom duties on trade in 201 different high-demand information technology products, such as video game consoles, medical imaging machines and touch screens, will be debated on Tuesday and put to a vote on Wednesday. The EU has signed the deal, but needs Parliament’s consent to ratify it.

The deal – an update of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) – has been signed by 25 members of the World Trade Organization (WTO), with the EU counting as one. Australia, Canada, China, Japan, the USA, and South Korea are on board.

It would gradually eliminate customs duties for 201 listed information technology products, such as videogame consoles, GPS navigation systems, magnetic resonance imaging machines, TV screens, telecommunications satellites and touch screens. Tariffs are to be reduced from 1 July 2016, and eliminated by 1 July 2019.

Note to editors

The EU is among world’s leading producers of technology products such as gaming and medical devices. The value of the EU exports of products covered by the ITA is currently €189 billion. The EU Commission estimates the likely gain to EU exporters at €5 - 8.3 billion..

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Tuesday, 7 June

Vote: Wednesday, 8 June

#digitaltrade @WTO

Draft report on the conclusion of agreement on the Expansion of Trade in Information Technology Profile of rapporteur Godelieve Quisthoudt-Rowohl (EPP, DE)Text of the Information Technology Agreement (list of covered products) The EU Commission: economic impact assessment of the ITA dealProcedure FileAudiovisual material for professionals

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

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Stop whaling, MEPs to tell Japan

MEPs are to press the European Commission and EU ministers to condemn Japan’s decision to resume whaling and hunt and kill 333 minke whales in the 2015-2016 season. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Japan to halt its annual slaughter of whales in the Southern Ocean in 2014.

A debate will also take place on Wednesday, on the basis of oral questions to Council and the Commission.

4,000 whales in 12 years

In November 2015, the Japanese Fisheries Agency notified the International Whaling Commission that it would resume whaling under a revised plan. This 12-year plan would allow the killing of 333 minke whales during the 2015-2016 season, and a total of nearly 4 000 whales during the whole 12-year period.

“Not for scientific research”

“By resuming whaling, Japan is clearly ignoring the ruling of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which ordered, in its judgment of 31 March 2014, the halting of Japan’s annual slaughter of whales in the Southern Ocean. The ICJ concluded that the hunts are not, as Japan claims, conducted for scientific research”, say the oral questions.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Wednesday, 8 June

Vote: Wednesday, 8 June

#whaling #Japan

Parliamentary question to the CouncilParliamentary question to the CommissionProcedure FileEP research: Fisheries in Japan (2013)
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Vote on Venezuela

A non-binding resolution on the situation in Venezuela, wrapping up the 10 May plenary debate with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, will be put to a vote on Wednesday. Venezuela is in a deep economic crisis, and political tension is escalating. Early in May the opposition handed the electoral authorities 1.85 million signatures asking for a recall referendum against President Nicolás Maduro.

Venezuela, which has the largest oil reserves in the world, has three-digit inflation rates and is suffering shortages of basic goods and power.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Tuesday, 10 May

Vote: Wednesday, 8 June

#Venezuela

EEAS web page on EU-Venezuela relationship Rewatch the 10 May plenary debate
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Parliament to give its verdict on Lithuanian nominee to the Court of Auditors

Parliament will vote on the nomination of Rimantas Šadžius, Lithuania’s candidate member of the European Court of Auditors, on Tuesday. Mr Šadžius’ candidature was endorsed by the Budgetary Control Committee on 23 May. The final decision on this appointment will be taken by the EU Council of Ministers.

Members of the Luxembourg-based 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, Mr Šadžius was heard in the Budgetary Control Committee on 23 May, which recommended that he should be appointed to the post.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Vote: Tuesday, 7 June

@EUAuditorsECA

Draft resolution on the nomination of Rimantas Šadžius as a Member of the Court of AuditorsRapporteur Bart Staes (Greens/EFA, BE)
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Human rights and democracy resolutions

Parliament will hold urgent debates on the following human rights and democracy topics on Thursday 9 June, around 11:00, with the votes following at 12.00.

  • Cambodia
  • Tajikistan, situation of prisoners of conscience
  • Vietnam

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debates/votes: Thursday 9 June

#humanrights #Cambodia # Tajikistan #Vietnam

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Other items on the agenda:

- Technological solutions for sustainable agricultures; innovation in farm management; McIntyre (INI) and Huitema (INI), debate Mon, vote Tue
- 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)

- Commission statement - Decision adopted on New Skills agenda for Europe
- Irish MEPs on this issue: Seán Kelly, Fine Gael (South), Mairead McGuinness, Fine Gael (Midlands - North-West), Marian Harkin, Independent (Midlands - North-West)

- Commission statement - Synergies between structural funds and Horizon 2020
- Irish MEPs on this issue: Sean Kelly, Fine Gael (South), Liadh ní Riada, Sinn Féin (South), Matt Carthy, Sinn Fein (Midlands - North-West)

- Financial Instruments, Ferber (COD), Joint debate: Tue, vote: Wed
- Irish MEPs on this issue: Brian Hayes, Fine Gael (Dublin), Matt Carthy, Sinn Fein (Midlands - North-West)

- Markets in financial instruments, market abuse and securities Settlement
- Irish MEPs on this issue: Matt Carthy, Sinn Fein (Midlands - North-West)

- Eliminating illicit trade in tobacco (WHO framework convention), Szejnfeld (INI), vote Tue
Irish MEPs on this issue: Mairead McGuinness, Fine Gael (Midlands - North-West), Marian Harkin, Independent (Midlands - North-West)

- International Accounting Standards (IAS) evaluation
- Irish MEPs on this issue: Matt Carthy, Sinn Fein (Midlands - North-West)

- EU-Colombia and Peru Trade Agreement (accession of Croatia)
- Irish MEPs on this issue: Matt Carthy, Sinn Fein (Midlands - North-West)

- AFET Space capabilities for European security and defence
- Irish MEPs on this issue: Matt Carthy, Sinn Fein (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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