Europe Day address by President Schulz
European Parliament President Martin Schulz will mark Europe Day on Wednesday, 9 May, by addressing the House on the state of the European Union and laying out his vision for the future. The debate starts at 15.00. Political group leaders will also take the floor.
New deal to cut mobile roaming prices, including data services
The cost of using mobile phones, smart phones and tablets when travelling within the EU will fall sharply from 1 July this year, under a provisional agreement between MEPs and national governments to be voted by Parliament on Thursday.
MEPs to call on the EU to help regional airports to boost local economies
With EU help, regional airports could do much more to boost local economies and ease air traffic congestion at key hubs, say MEPs in a resolution to be voted on Thursday. Ground and air transport networks should be better integrated to make smaller airports more competitive and attractive to travellers, says the draft.
MEPs to call for international maritime piracy court and release of hostages
Some 200 seafarers are being held by pirates who continue to hijack humanitarian aid, merchant and fishing vessels for ransom. The attacks occur mainly off the Somali coast and in the Western Indian Ocean. MEPs will vote on Thursday on a resolution urging the EU foreign policy High Representative to secure the release of the hostages and vessels and support the creation of an international piracy tribunal.
Parliament to question accounts of some EU agencies and the Council
Parliament debates and votes on Thursday on 43 reports concerning the 2010 accounts of EU institutions and agencies, as part of the EU's annual discharge (approval) procedure. The Budgetary Control Committee wants the House to postpone granting discharge to the European medicines, food safety and environment agencies, as well as the Council of the EU. It has approved the accounts of 39 agencies and institutions.
Trading for change in Arab countries
As the age of having to deal with Arab dictators and oligarchs is "happily coming to an end", EU trade and investment policy in southern Mediterranean countries should strive to promote their economic progress and transition to democracy, says a draft resolution to be voted on Thursday.
Anti-fraud vetting of Member States' spending of EU funds
The spending of EU funds by Member States must be monitored more rigorously, says a draft resolution to be voted on Thursday. Reported cases of fraud have been rising in many Member States, although this may reflect better reporting, rather than a rise in fraud cases. However, as some Member States have yet to upgrade their reporting systems, MEPs may also call on the Commission to step up the legal requirements for them to do so.
Cross-border defamation by the press
Clearer rules are needed to protect not only the victims of cross-border defamation, but also journalists accused of it, says a resolution to be voted on Thursday.
Patentability of conventionally-bred plants and animals
Plants or animals produced by conventional breeding techniques, such as anti-carcinogenic broccoli or high-yield dairy cows, should not be patentable, a large majority of MEPs are likely to say in a debate with the Commission on Wednesday. MEPs believe that excessively broad patent protection can prevent innovation and progress by small and medium-sized breeders. A resolution will be voted on Thursday.
MEPs set to favour strict rules for dangerous chemical exports
Strict controls should be maintained when exporting dangerous chemicals outside the EU, according to draft legislation to be voted on Thursday. MEPs want to ensure a proposed update to "prior informed consent" rules will not compromise importing countries' interests in terms of health and environment.