What's happening in the European Parliament: 20-26 October 2014
Among the items on the the agenda next week:Hearings of Commissioners-designate, Election of new Commission, EU budget 2015, Duty-free access for Ukrainian goods, European Semester and Aid for the unemployed
Hearings of Commissioners-designate. Violeta Bulc, the new Slovenian Commissioner-designate for transport, and Slovak Maroš Šefčovič, newly proposed as Commission Vice-President for the Energy Union will be quizzed on their skills and qualifications for these posts by the Environment, Energy and Transport committees in parallel meetings on Monday evening from 19.00.
Election of new Commission. Provided the hearings procedure can be closed on Tuesday by the Conference of Presidents, Jean-Claude Juncker, President-elect of the new Commission, is to present his team of 27 Commissioners-designate and their portfolios on Wednesday morning. He will discuss the future Commission’s work programme priorities with political groups. After final statements by the heads of political groups at noon and a vote on a resolution winding up the evaluation of the candidate commissioners, Parliament is scheduled to elect (or reject) the new Commission as a college. A press conference by EP President Schulz and Commission President-elect Juncker is scheduled after the vote. (Debate and vote Wednesday)
EU budget 2015. Parliament is set to reverse all Council cuts in the EU draft budget for 2015 and even add to the amounts originally proposed by the Commission for priorities such as growth, job creation, research and education as well as external policies. The Budget Committee chair and rapporteurs will hold a press conference at 14.00, after the vote. (Debate Tuesday, vote Wednesday)
Duty-free access for Ukrainian goods. Plans to prolong duty-free access (which expires on 1 November) to the EU market for Ukraine’s exports until the end of 2015, so as to support Ukraine’s struggling economy, will be put to a vote in the International Trade Committee on Monday evening, before being tabled for a plenary debate and vote. (Debate Tuesday, vote Wednesday)
European Semester. On Tuesday MEPs will discuss EU member states’ slowness to implement the European Commission’s economic policy recommendations and may call for closer monitoring by the Commission and the single-currency Eurogroup. A press conference is scheduled before Wednesday's vote, at 11.00.
Aid for the unemployed. MEPs will vote on EU aid from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund to help workers made redundant in various industries in Spain, France and Belgium find new jobs. (Wednesday)
President's agenda. President Schulz chairs the meeting of the Conference of Presidents of political groups that will decide Tuesday on the winner of this year's Sakharov prize. A press point will follow. On Thursday, President Schulz will speak at the European Council and hold a press conference.
Pre-session press briefing. The EP Press Service will hold a press briefing at 16.30 on Monday. (EP Press conference room, Strasbourg