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14-01-2017

EP Plenary Session Newsletter 16-19 January 2017

Hemicycle in Strasbourg
Hemicycle

What will MEPs be working on in the November plenary session in Strasbourg? Highlights include: Mid-term elections of Parliament’s governing bodies;Malta’s EU Council Presidency priorities; Blacklist of states at risk of money laundering; debate on EU summit outcome and challenges in 2017

 

Parliament to elect its new President, Vice-Presidents and Quaestors

Mid-term elections of Parliament’s governing bodies to take place on Tuesday and Wednesday.

MEPs will cast their votes to choose the new President of the European Parliament for the next two and a half years. After five-minute presentations by each candidate on Tuesday at 9.00, the secret ballots will be chaired by outgoing President Martin Schulz.

Seven official candidates from different political groups are so far declared for Parliament’s top position. Fresh candidatures could emerge before any of the first three ballots. If no candidate wins an absolute majority of valid votes cast during the three first ballots, the President will be elected by a simple majority in a fourth and last ballot between the two candidates who scored best in the third ballot.

At the time of writing, the declared candidates were:

Eleonora Forenza, European United Left-Nordic Green Left Group (IT),

Jean Lambert, Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance (UK),

Gianni Pittella, Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats Group (IT),

Laurenţiu Rebega, Europe of Nations and Freedom Group (RO),

Helga Stevens, European Conservatives and Reformists Group (BE),

Antonio Tajani, European People’s Party Group (IT), and

Guy Verhofstadt, Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (BE)

14 Vice-presidents, 5 Quaestors, 22 Committees

On Wednesday, MEPs will elect Parliament’s 14 Vice-Presidents and five Quaestors in secret electronic votes, chaired by the newly-elected President. They will also approve the numerical composition of Parliament’s 22 standing committees. On Thursday at noon, MEPs will vote on the appointments of members to committees.

Read more on the election process and duties in the background note.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Votes: Tuesday, 17 and Wednesday, 18 January

Procedure: Elections

#EPresident @EP_President

Mid-term election of new EP President, 14 Vice-Presidents and five Quaestors | News | European Parliament

Irish MEPs following this issue: Mairead McGuinness, Fine Gael (Midlands-North West); Marian Harkin, Independent (Midlands-North West); Brian Hayes, Fine Gael (Dublin)

 

Malta’s EU Council Presidency priorities up for debate with PM Joseph Muscat

Plenary debate on priorities of the incoming Maltese presidency in the EU Council with PM Joseph Muscat.

MEPs will debate the priorities of the incoming Maltese Presidency of the EU Council of Ministers with Prime Minister Joseph Muscat on Wednesday morning.

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

  • migration
  • the single market,
  • security
  • social inclusion
  • Europe’s neighbourhood, and
  • maritime issues.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debates: Wednesday, 18 January

Procedure: Council and Commission statements with debates

Press conference: Parliament’s new president will hold a press conference with Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat on Wednesday at around 12.00 (tbc)

@EU2017MT #EU2017MT

Website of the Maltese Council PresidencyAudiovisual material for professionals

Irish MEPs following this issue: Mairead McGuinness, Fine Gael (Midlands-North West); Marian Harkin, Independent (Midlands-North West); Brian Hayes, Fine Gael (Dublin)

 

MEPs set to return EU Commission blacklist of states at risk of money laundering

MEPs may decide that the EU Commission must revise its blacklist of countries deemed to be at risk of money laundering and terrorist financing. A draft resolution to be voted on Thursday argues that this list is too limited, and should for expanded, e.g. to include territories that facilitate tax crimes.

The Commission lists eleven countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Syria, which it judges to be deficient in countering money laundering and terrorist financing. People and legal entities from blacklisted countries face tougher than usual checks when doing business in the EU.

If MEPs vote to return the list to the Commission, an existing inventory of third countries thought to fall short in this area will remain in force while the Commission considers any revisions.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Vote: Thursday, 19 January

Procedure: Objection to Delegated Acts

#moneylaundering #terrorism

Procedure File: 2016/3007(DEA) | Legislative Observatory | European ParliamentCommittees reject Commission’s blacklist of states at risk of money laundering | News | European Parliament

Irish MEPs following this issue: Matt Carthy, Sinn Fein (Midlands-North West); Brian Hayes, Fine Gael (Dublin)

 

Debate with Messrs Juncker and Tusk on EU summit outcome and challenges in 2017

MEPs will assess political challenges in 2017 with Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Council President Donald Tusk in a Wednesday afternoon debate on the outcome of the European Council meeting of 15 December 2016.

MEPs are likely to focus on the EU’s external and internal security, investment in jobs and migration, but may also comment on procedural arrangements for the Brexit negotiations, EU-Russia relations, Ukraine, and Cyprus reunification talks.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Wednesday, 18 January

Procedure: European Council and Commission statement

#euco #migrationEU, #security, #Russia, #Brexit @JunckerEU @eucopresident


European Council, 15/12/2016 - ConsiliumBrexit negotiations: Statement of state or government

Irish MEPs following this issue: Mairead McGuinness, Fine Gael (Midlands-North West); Liadh Ni Riada, Sinn Fein (South)

 

Welfare state: MEPs to call for “EU core” of social rights for all

The forthcoming “European Pillar of Social Rights” (EPSR), announced in 2015, should not just be a statement of good intentions. It must include concrete proposals to reduce inequality and poverty in the EU, says a draft resolution to be debated and voted on Thursday. The EU Commission should also prepare a law guaranteeing every worker a core set of rights, such as equal treatment, health and safety protection, and parental leave, it adds.

The text, drafted by Maria João Rodrigues (S&D, PT), notes that the EPSR, as a review and update of the so called “European Social Model”, should enable people to live a dignified life by safeguarding the principles of equal treatment, non-discrimination and equal opportunities. The new instrument should also ensure that international labour standards are properly applied in all member states, which is not always the case, it adds.

The draft resolution also calls for decent pay for internships, at least covering basic expenses and clarification of whether a person, working for a digital platform is really self-employed or is in an employment relationship which entails a set of rights and obligations (5b). It also suggests introducing a European social security card with a record of individual contributions to social security systems wherever a person has been employed.

Debate: Thursday, 19 January

Vote: Thursday, 19 January

Procedure: Non-legislative resolution

#socialrights

REPORT on a European Pillar of Social Rights - A8-0391/2016Maria João RODRIGUES | Home | MEPs | European Parliament European Parliament Audiovisual

Irish MEPs following this issue: Deidre Clune, Fine Gael (South); Marian Harkin, Independent (Midlands-North West); Lynn Boylan, Sinn Fein (Dublin); Nessa Childers, Independent (Dublin)

 

Sharing intelligence on terror attacks - debate with Council and Commission

Recent terror attacks in the EU have highlighted deficiencies in the sharing of law enforcement and intelligence information among EU member states. On Wednesday evening, MEPs will quiz the Council and Commission on their plans to ensure that vital information is exchanged quickly and update legislation to this end.

Parliament has repeatedly stressed the need to ensure smooth information exchanges between EU countries’ law enforcement authorities to strengthen the collective fight against terrorism, a field which until the Lisbon treaty was an exclusive competence of the member states.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Wednesday, 18 January

Procedure: Council and Commission statements followed by debate

#counterterrorism

Clampdown on terrorism -new counter-terrorism law backed by civil liberties MEPs

Irish MEPs following this issue: Brian Hayes, Fine Gael (Dublin)

 

Refugees: MEPs to call for cold snap emergency aid

Debate with Council and Commission on the situation of refugees facing severe weather conditions

Parliament will call on the Commission and the Council to provide emergency aid to thousands of migrants and refugees in dire straits due to freezing weather and snow in several parts of Europe. The situation is particularly grave in the Greek islands, where there are still around 15,000 asylum-seekers. The debate takes place on Wednesday afternoon.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Wednesday, 18 of January

Procedure: Council and Commission statements followed by debate

hashtags #refugees


Irish MEPs following this issue: Brian Hayes, Fine Gael (Dublin)

 

Human rights and democracy resolutions

Parliament will hold urgent debates on the following human rights and democracy

topics on Thursday 19 January, at around 10.30, with the votes following at 12.00.

  • Indonesia: the cases of Hosea Yeimo and Ismael Alua, and the Governor of Jakarta
  • Central African Republic
  • Burundi

Procedure: non-legislative resolutions

Debates/votes: Thursday 19 January

#humanrights #democracy #Indonesia #CentralAfricanRepublic #Burundi

 

Other Items on the Agenda

- Imports of Textile products from certian thir counries not covered by specific Union import rules vote Thursday - Irish MEPs following this issue: Brian Hayes, Fine Gael (Dublin)

- EU-Kosovo Stabilisation and Association AgreementVote Thursday- Irish MEPs following this issue: Brian Hayes, Fine Gael (Dublin)

- Council Statement - State of play on Financial Tax negotiations Wednesday - Irish MEPs following this issue: Nessa Childers, Independent (Dublin)