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EP Plenary Session Newsletter 8-11 June 2015

04-06-2015

What will the MEPs be working on during next week's Plenary Session in Strasbourg ?
Highlights include:
- TTIP talks: MEPs to table recommendations
- FIFA corruption scandal
- Gender equality strategy: MEPs to call for clearer targets and better monitoring
- Climate change: bridging the gap after Kyoto
- EU intellectual property rights
- EU energy security strategy

 

TTIP talks: MEPs to table recommendations

Parliament’s recommendations to the European Commission for its Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) talks with the USA will be debated by MEPs on Wednesday morning and voted at noon. Investor protection (ISDS) is set to top the debate, with opinions split on whether Parliament should ask that the use of private arbitration to resolve disputes between investors and public authorities be excluded from the deal.

The TTIP deal, which the EU and the USA have been negotiating since 2013, could deliver the world’s largest free trade area. FFrom the outset, a substantial majority of MEPs strongly favoured these talks, as potentially beneficial for growth and jobs, but at the same time drew several “red lines” beyond which EU interests must be safeguarded (e.g. a  request to exclude audiovisual services).

Parliament will vote on a resolution, drafted by its International Trade Committee with contributions from 13 other committees, which assesses the progress made so far one and a half years and sets out Parliament’s views on what needs to be achieved and safeguarded in the Commission’s talks with the USA in areas such as agriculture, public procurement, data protection, energy, and labour rights.

A TTIP deal, once drawn up by EU and US negotiators, would need the backing of the European Parliament and the EU Council to enter into force.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION


IM-Press topic: External/International trade
Procedure Code: (2014/2228(INI))
Specialist: Agnese
Debate:  Wednesday, 10 June
Vote:  Wednesday, 10 June
Procedure:  Non-legislative resolution
Press conference: Wednesday, 10 June at 14.00

#TTIP #EPonTTIP #ISDS

Draft resolution: EP’s recommendations to the Commission on negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)Press release on committee vote (28.05.2015)Profile of rapporteur Bernd Lange (S&D, DE) Procedure fileBackground: The European Parliament and the TTIPAudiovisual material for professionals (after committee vote)More EP articles on TTIPEP Research briefing note: Parliament's recommendations on TTIP talks

Irish MEPs on this issue: Matt Carthy, Sinn Fein (Midlands-North West), Mairead McGuinness, Fine Gael (Midlands-North West), Sean Kelly, Fine Gael (South), Luke Ming Flanagan, Independent (Midlands-North West), Lynn Boylan, Sinn Fein (Dublin), Nessa Childers, Independent (Dublin), Marian Harkin, Independent (Midlands-North West), Liadh Ni Riada, Sinn Fein (South), Deirdre Clune, Fine Gael (South)

 

MEPs to urge EU to fight Russian propaganda and counter Black Sea threats

The EU and its member states should monitor Russia’s funding of EU political parties, earmark funds to counter its propaganda and tackle Black Sea security threats arising out of its illegal annexation of the Crimea, say MEPs in two non-legislative resolutions to be debated on Wednesday and voted on Thursday.

The call to earmark EU funds to fight Russian propaganda and misinformation abroad, and particularly in the EU, is made in a resolution drafted by Gabrielius Landsbergis (EPP, LT), which also urges the EU to support Russian citizens striving to promote democracy and the rule law  -_ human rights defenders, bloggers, independent media, academics and NGOs.

The Black Sea security situation after Russia’s illegal annexation of the Crimea will be addressed in a separate debate and resolution drafted by Mircea Pașcu (S&D, RO).

The Russian travel "stop list" banning 89 EU politicians, officials and military leaders from entering Russia is also likely to be discussed by MEPs.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

IM-Press topic: AFET
Procedure Code: (2015/2001(INI)) and (2015/2036(INI))
Specialist: Agnese Vaclav
Debate:  Wednesday, 10 June
Vote: Thursday, 11 June
Procedure: Non-legislative resolutions
Press Conference: 10 June at 16.30

#Russia #Crimea #EU #Russia

Statement of EP President Martin Schulz on reported Russian blacklistDraft report on the state of EU-Russia relationsPress release on the committee vote on EU-Russia relations (11.05.2015)Profile of rapporteur Gabrielius Landsbergis (PPE, LT) Drat report on the strategic military situation in the Black Sea Basin following the illegal annexation of Crimea by RussiaPress release on the committee vote on the Black Sea Basin situation (04.05.2015)Profile of rapporteur Ioan Mircea Pașcu (S&D, RO)EP Research study on Russia's manipulation of information on Ukraine and the EU's responseEP resolution on the invasion of Ukraine by Russia (13.03.2014)

Irish MEPs on this issue: Brian Hayes, Fine Gael (Dublin), Luke Ming Flanagan, Independent (Midlands-North West), Mairead McGuinness, Fine Gael (Midlands-North West)

 

Hungary’s stance on death penalty and immigration: MEPs to vote on resolution

A resolution wrapping up the May plenary debate with Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and European Commission Vice-president Frans Timmermans will be put to a vote on Wednesday. The debate was sparked by Mr Orban's remarks on the possibility of reinstating capital punishment in Hungary and a public consultation on immigration launched by the Hungarian government.

These issues were first discussed during a meeting in the Civil Liberties Committee on Thursday 7 May, after Parliament's Conference of Presidents had asked the committee to examine them as a "matter of urgency".

IM-Press topic: Fundamental rights
Procedure Code: ………….
Specialist: Rikke
Debate:  Tuesday, 19 May
Vote:  Wednesday, 10 June
Procedure:  Non-legislative resolution

#fundamentalrights  #Hungary  #migration #immigration

Draft resolution on the situation in Hungary (not yet available) Video recording of the plenary debate on the situation in Hungary (19.05.2015)Video recording of the debate on death penalty in the Civil Liberties Committee (07.05.2015)Statement by EP President Martin Schulz (30.04.2015)
 

"Smart border" checks at gateways to the EU: questions to Commission and Council

Are the EU’s proposed Entry/Exit System and Registered Traveller Programme for non-EU nationals "appropriate and adequate” to deal with the growing numbers of people crossing its external borders? MEPs will put the question to the Commission and Council on Wednesday. In the ensuing debate, they are also likely to ask about data retention periods, whether law enforcement agencies should be given access to the data, and the costs of these systems.

Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos, announced on 3 December last year that the “Smart Borders” proposals tabled in 2013 would be withdrawn and replaced by new ones at the end of 2015 or the start of 2016. A Smart Borders pilot scheme is testing biometric check technology at the main airports in Portugal, Germany, France, Spain, the Netherlands and Sweden from March to September 2015.

Background for editors

The Smart Borders package includes proposals for an Entry/Exit System (EES) and a Registered Traveller Programme (RTP), to improve the management of Schengen area external borders, combat irregular immigration and gather data on over-stayers, whilst at the same time making it easier for pre-vetted non-EU nationals who are frequent travellers to cross borders.

The planned EES would be used to record the time and place of entry and exit of non-EU nationals crossing EU external borders, calculate the duration of their stay and generate an alert when authorised stay periods are exceeded.

The RTP would allow some groups of frequent travellers (e.g. business travellers, family members etc.), from third countries to enter the EU, subject to appropriate pre-screening and simplified border checks, including the use of automated gates.

The Civil Liberties Committee rapporteurs on the Smart Borders Package are Agustín Díaz de Mera (EPP, ES), for the EES, and Tanja Fajon (S&D, SL), for the RTP.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

IM-Press topic: Justice and Home Affairs
Procedure Code: 2015/2614(RSP)
Specialist: Isabel
Debate: Wednesday, 10 June
Procedure:  Oral questions to Council and Commission

#SmartBorders

Oral question to the CouncilOral question to the CommissionInformation about the Smart Borders PilotProfile of rapporteur on the EES, Agustín Díaz de Mera (EPP, ES)Profile of rapporteur on RTP, Tanja Fajon (S&D, SL)Procedure file on Entry/Exit System (EES)Procedure file on Registered Traveller Programme (RTP) EP Research briefing note: Smart Borders package
 

More shareholder say on directors’ pay and new corporate tax disclosure rules

Shareholders would be able to vote at least every three years on a listed company’s remuneration policy for directors, under a draft law to be debated on Tuesday and voted on Wednesday. Legal Affairs MEPs also inserted a requirement for large companies and public interest entities, such as banks and insurance firms, to disclose, country by country, profits made, taxes paid and public subsidies received.

The draft law, approved by the Legal Affairs Committee in a close vote, aims to increase transparency and foster shareholders’ long-run commitment to companies, by making it easier for them to exercise their rights.

Note to editors

Parliament is likely to vote on its first reading position on Wednesday. But MEPs might also decide not to close the first reading, and instead to enter into informal talks with the Council of Ministers to seek agreement on the final version of the legislation.

According to the European Commission, only 13 EU member states currently give shareholders “a say on pay”, either through a vote on directors’ remuneration policy and/or a report. Only 15 require disclosure of the remuneration policy and 11 require disclosure of individual directors’ pay.

FOR COLLEAGUES:

Only 15 Member States require disclosure of the remuneration policy (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom) and only 11 Member States require disclosure of individual directors’ pay (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom).

In addition, only 13 Member States give shareholders a say on pay through either a vote on directors’ remuneration policy and/or report. 10 Member States have introduced a binding shareholder vote (Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Hungary, Latvia, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Sweden and the United Kingdom) and 3 an advisory one (Czech Republic, Italy and Spain).  

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

IM-Press topic:
Procedure Code: 2014/0121(COD)
Specialist: Niina
Debate:  Tuesday, 9 June
Vote: Wednesday, 10 June
Procedure: Co-decision (Ordinary Legislative Procedure), first reading
Press conference: Wednesday, 10 June, at 15.00

#Shareholder #ShareholderRights #shareholders #corporate #governance

Draft report on revision of shareholders’ rightsPress release after the vote in committee (7.5.2015)Profile of rapporteur Sergio Gaetano Cofferati (S&D, IT)Procedure fileEuropean Commission: Company law and corporate governance

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

 

Sports: FIFA corruption scandal, Baku Games and Azerbaijan’s political prisoners

Revelations of high-level corruption at the international football federation FIFA and calls to consider a country’s human rights record before choosing it as a venue for international sports events, will be debated on Wednesday. A resolution on corruption at FIFA will be voted on Thursday.

The question to the Council and Wednesday afternoon’s debate will focus on whether large sporting events, including the Baku Games, should be used to stand up for human rights and promote universal values.

MEPs stress that "world leaders are always invited to the opening ceremonies that represent an opportunity for autocrats to legitimise their power and improve their image in the eyes of domestic and international public opinion", adding that "the Azerbaijani government is determined to use the games to boost the country’s global reputation".

Human rights should be a key factor in choosing host countries for sporting events, MEPs argued at a 6 May  Human Rights Subcommittee and Culture Committee joint hearing with representatives of FIFA, the European Olympic Committees and NGOs. Human Rights Subcommittee chair Elena Valenciano (S&D, ES) and Culture Committee chair Silvia Costa (S&D, IT) will hold a joint press conference on Tuesday at 16.00.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION


IM-Press topic: Human Rights
Procedure Code: 2015/2720(RSP)
Specialist: Kristina/Cornelia
Debate:  Wednesday, 10 June
Vote:  Thursday, 11 June
Procedure:  Council and Commission statements with resolution (FIFA) / Oral question to Council,
Press conference: Tuesday 9 June at 16.00 Elena Valenciano (S&D, ES) and Silvia Costa (S&D, IT)

#Baku2015 #europeangames #Azerbaijan #sports #humanrights #Baku

Oral question to the Council (not available yet online)Follow the joint DROI-CULT committees hearing (06.05.2015)Procedure fileBriefing note on human rights situation in Azerbaijan First EP resolution on Sports (02.12.2012)EP resolution on Match Fixing and corruption in Sports (14.03.2013)

Irish MEPs on this issue: Brian Hayes, Fine Gael (Dublin), Sean Kelly,Fine Gael (South), Liadh Ni Riada, Sinn Fein (South)

 

President of Mongolia to address Parliament

Mongolia's President Tsakhiagiyn Elbegdorj will deliver a formal address to MEPs in plenary session on Tuesday at 12.00. This will be his first visit to the European Parliament since he was elected President in May 2009.

Mongolia, a former Soviet satellite state, ended seven decades of communist rule in 1990, and held its first elections in 1992.

Mongolia is one of the world’s five fastest-growing economies. The EU has become its third biggest trading partner, after Russia and China.
The EU and Mongolia celebrated the 25th anniversary of their cooperation in 2014.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

IM-Press topic: AFET
Specialist: Emilie ou Vaclav
Debate:  Tuesday, 9 June
Procedure: Formal sitting

#mongolia

EEAS page on EU Relations with Mongolia
 

Gender equality strategy: MEPs to call for clearer targets and better monitoring

The EU’s new post-2015 gender equality strategy needs clearer targets and more effective monitoring than today’s if it is to make real headway against discrimination in the labour market, education and decision-making, says a draft non-legislative resolution to be debated on Monday afternoon and put to a vote on Tuesday.

The text drafted by the Women's Rights and Gender Equality Committee will provide Parliament’s input to European Commission work on a new strategy to end violence against women and their discrimination in the labour market, political and economic decision making, health, and knowledge and education.

The strategy should also include provisions to protect women’s rights in third countries and promote gender mainstreaming, adds the text, which also calls for progress in all the above areas to be continuously assessed.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

IM-Press topic: Gender Equality
Procedure Code: 2014/2152(INI)
Specialist: Maja
Debate: Monday, 8 June  
Vote: Tuesday, 9 June  
Procedure:  Non-legislative resolution

#equality #women

Draft resolution on EU Strategy for equality between women and men post 2015Profile of rapporteur Maria Noichl (S&D, DE)Procedure fileEPRS study: Towards a new EU gender equality strategyEuroparlTV: Interview with Women's Rights and Gender Equality Chair Iratxe García PérezEuropean Commission report on equality between women and men 2014

Irish MEPs on this issue: Matt Carthy, Sinn Fein (Midlands-North West), Mairead McGuinness, Fine Gael (Midlands-North West), Sean Kelly,Fine Gael (South), Luke Ming Flanagan, Independent (Midlands-North West), Nessa Childers, Independent (Dublin), Marian Harkin, Independent (Midlands-North West)

 

Climate change: bridging the seven-year gap after Kyoto

The Doha amendment to the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, which would bridge the gap between the end of the Kyoto pact in 2012, and the 2020 start of a new globally comprehensive climate change agreement — to be negotiated at the Paris climate summit later this year — will be put to a vote on Wednesday.

By backing the Doha amendment, the EU and its member states would pledge to limit their average annual greenhouse gas emissions to 80% of their base year emissions (mostly 1990) from 2013-2020.

The Kyoto Protocol, signed in 1997 and ratified by the EU in 2002, set legally-binding limits on its signatories to keep their annual greenhouse gas emissions to 8% below 1990 levels from 2008-2012. A second commitment period, from 2013-2020, was agreed at the Doha Climate Change Conference in December 2012

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

IM-Press topic: Environment
Procedure Code: 2013/0376(NLE)
Specialist: Baptiste
Debate:  Tuesday, 9 June
Vote:  Wednesday, 10 June
Procedure:  Consent

#ClimateChange #Kyotoprotocol #climatechange

Draft recommendation on the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate ChangePress release on committee vote (06.05.2015)Profile of rapporteur Elisabetta Gardini (EPP, IT)Procedure fileEP Research briefing note: Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol

Irish MEPs on this issue: Lynn Boylan, Sinn Fein (Dublin), Sean Kelly,Fine Gael (South), Deirdre Clune, Fine Gael (South)

 

After ACTA: ideas on how best to protect EU intellectual property rights abroad

The need to protect EU intellectual property abroad will be stressed by MEPs in a debate on Monday and resolution to be voted on Tuesday. The ideas that MEPs table will take account of the lessons learned from Parliament’s rejection of the proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade agreement (ACTA) three years ago. In a separate debate and resolution, MEPs are likely to call for intra-EU rules to combat online breaches of intellectual property rights.

The EU’s competitiveness depends on creativity and innovation, but it has only limited means to protect its innovators against counterfeiting and other intellectual property rights (IPR) infringements in third country markets, says the draft resolution.

MEPs admit that balancing the rights of rights holders, economic operators and end users is "extremely complex" and stress that any new legislative proposals should consider the specific features of digital markets and the need to ensure affordable access to generic drugs.

The resolution is a response to the EU Commission’s strategy to ensure that IPRs are protected and enforced in third countries, given that the ACTA deal, which its backers claimed would serve this purpose, was rejected by Parliament in 2012. MEPs insist on the need for an informed public debate on how to best protect and enforce IPRs.

In a separate non-legislative resolution, on enforcing IPRs within the EU, MEPs are likely to call for a strategy to combat IPR infringements that is tailored to the online environment.

Background: IPR infringements

In 2013 EU customs authorities confiscated almost 36 million items thought to be counterfeit or to infringe IPRs, worth over €760 million. Medicines accounted for 10 % of this total.

The EU’s IP-intensive industries account for 39% of total economic activity (worth €4.7 trillion a yeary) and about 56 million jobs (about 26% of the total).

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

IM-Press topic: External/International trade
Procedure Code: 2014/2206(INI); 2014/2151(INI)
Specialist: Agnese, Niina
Debate:  Monday, 8 June
Vote:  Tuesday, 9 June
Procedure:  Non-legislative resolutions

#IPR #ACTA #propertyrights

Draft resolution on Strategy for the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in third countriesProfile of rapporteur Maria Alessia Mosca (S&D, IT)Draft resolution on enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights: An EU Action PlanProcedure file (IPR aboad)Procedure file (IPR inside EU)European Parliament rejects ACTA: press release 04-07-2012 Commission’s Communication on IPR protection in third countries Commission’s action Plan on the enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights in the EU

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

 

MEPs to debate crisis in Burundi

Violence in the run-up to Burundi’s presidential elections will be debated by MEPs on Wednesday.

MEPs are likely to welcome the recent announcement by Burundi authorities of postponing the elections, following recommendations of East African head of states set out at the Dar Es-Salaam summit. They are likelty to reiterate their call on Burundi’s authorities and President Pierre Nkurunziza to abide by electoral rules enshrined in the Arusha agreement and to refrain from taking any further repressive measures against opposition leaders, civil society and media.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

IM-Press topic: Foreign Affairs

Procedure Code:

Specialist: Vaclav

Debate: Wednesday, 10 June

Vote: July plenary session

Procedure: Non-legislative resolution, statement by the VP/HR

Watch the debate with Development Commissioner Mimica on Human rights violations in Burundi (29.04.2015)Arusha Peace and Reconciliation agreement for Burundi (1993)
 

Vote on Turkey’s 2014 reform progress

Turkey must step up the fight against corruption, guarantee the freedom of media and of expression and respect the independence of the judiciary, MEPs are likely to stress in a vote on Thursday. In a draft resolution assessing Turkey’s 2014 reform progress, they urge the Turkish government to commit itself “unequivocally” to democratic rules and principles and call for more intensive EU-Turkey cooperation on foreign policy.

Parliament votes on the Foreign Affairs Committee’s draft resolution on XXX, following the plenary debate on 21 May.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

IM-Press topic: Enlargement / Foreign Affairs
Procedure Code: 2014/2953(RSP)
Specialist: Vaclav Lebeda
Debate:  Wednesday, 20 May
Vote:  Thursday, 11 June
Procedure: Council and Commission statements followed by debate (with resolution)
Press conference: Wednesday, 20 May at 14.00

#Turkey

Draft resolution on 2014 progress report on TurkeyVideo recording of debate Video of the press conference Profile of rapporteur Kati Piri (S&D, NL)Procedure fileEPRS study: Turkey 2014: Work in progressEuroparlTV: Turkey - the state of play
 

EU Energy Security Strategy: MEPs to list key needs

Parliament’s position on the European Energy Security Strategy Communication, tabled by the EU Commission in May 2014, will be debated on Tuesday evening and set out in a non-legislative resolution to be voted on Wednesday.

To succeed, this strategy must reduce demand, boost power generation within the EU, better integrate the EU market, and step up solidarity and coordination among EU member states, says the Industry, Research and Energy Committee’s draft text.

Industry Committee MEPs are also drafting a separate non-legislative resolution on the Commission Communication from 2015 “A Framework Strategy for a Resilient Energy Union with a Forward-Looking Climate Change Policy”, scheduled for a vote later this year.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

IM-Press topic:

Procedure Code: 2014/2153(INI)

Specialist: Raluca

Debate: Tuesday, 9 June

Vote: Wednesday, 10 June

Procedure: Non-legislative resolution

Draft resolution on European Energy Security StrategyPress release on committee vote (07.05.2015)Profile of rapporteur Algirdas Saudargas (EPP, LT) Procedure fileCommunication from the European Commission on the European Energy Security Strategy (May 2014) EP Research briefing note: European Energy Security Strategy

Irish MEPs on this issue: Sean Kelly,Fine Gael (South), Luke Ming Flanagan, Independent (Midlands-North West), Deirdre Clune, Fine Gael (South)

 

Human rights and democracy resolutions

Parliament will hold urgent debates on the following topics relating to human rights and democracy, on Thursday 11 June at  9.00  with the votes following at 12.00.

1. Syria, the situation in Palmyra and the case of Mazen Darwish.
2. Paraguay: the legal aspects related to the child pregnancy.*
3. Situation in Nepal after the earthquakes.

* EPP indicated it opposes the title as proposed.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

IM-Press topic: Human rights
Specialist: Kristina
Debate: Thursday, 11 June
Vote: Thursday, 11 June
Procedure: Non-legislatives resolutions

#humanrights #democracy

 

Listing

 

OLAF investigations, OQ, debate Tuesday, vote Wednesday

 

For further information, please contact Catherine Bunyan, Press Officer on 086 8559423 or at catherine.bunyan@ep.europa.eu or contact the Irish MEPs' Press Officers directly.

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