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What's happening this week in the European Parliament: 13-19 January 2014

This week the European Parliament holds its monthly plenary session in Strasbourg.   Freedom of movement for EU citizens;  Public services: better value for money; CO2 emissions: cleaner vans by 2020 are just some of the topics on the agenda.   Find out more.

aerial view EP Strasbourg
aerial view EP Strasbourg

Council presidency. Parliament will discuss the programme of the incoming Greek Presidency of the Council with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Commission President Barroso on Wednesday morning. In a separate debate, on Tuesday, MEPs will review the outgoing Lithuanian Presidency with President Dalia Grybauskaitė.

Free movement. MEPs will debate the right to freedom of movement within the EU with the Commission after new restrictions were imposed when the transitional restrictions applying to Romanian and Bulgarian workers expired on 1 January.

Public procurement. More flexibility to procure greener, more social and innovative works, goods or services or concluding concession contracts will give public authorities more scope to pick the best rather than the cheapest offer. MEPs will hold a joint debate on Tuesday at 15.00 before voting on an informal agreement with Council on Wednesday. A press conference is scheduled on Wednesday at 15.00.

CO2 Emissions of vans. The CO2 emission limit for new light commercial vehicles sold in the EU is to be reduced from 203 g/km today to 147 g/km by 2020, under draft legislation informally agreed with member states and put to the vote on Tuesday.

Reducing plastic waste. MEPs will call for a European strategy to reduce the amount of plastic waste in the environment by banning the most dangerous substances and by reducing the use of non-recyclable plastic bags, in a resolution to be adopted on Tuesday.

EU passports for sale. MEPs will debate the controversial Maltese citizenship scheme with the Commission and Council on Wednesday afternoon and vote a resolution on Thursday.

Troika under scrutiny.  Commissioner Rehn, former ECB President Trichet and ESM director Regling will be heard by  the Economic Affairs Committee as part of the on-going evaluation of the Troika, the body entrusted with overseeing economic reforms in countries receiving  help to service their debts. Members will also discuss this week’s visits to Portugal and Cyprus and present their preliminary findings (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday).

President's Agenda. The president will hold a press conference with President Dalia Grybauskaitė and Commission President Barroso on the outgoing Lithuanian Presidency on Tuesday, 11.00, and with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and President Barroso on the Greek presidency on Wednesday at noon.