The recent challenges like the economic crisis, the refugees, the terrorism, the withdrawal of the UK need to be addressed in order to be able to ensure peace, security and prosperity for EU citizens.
Two reports address these issues from a dual perspective: what we can do together without changing the treaties and what actions would require treaty modifications. National and European parliamentarians had the opportunity for an open exchange of views on such institutional matters during the meeting organised by the AFCO Committee on Tuesday 29 November 2016 from 10.00 to 17.30 pm, in the premises of the European Parliament in Brussels. Moreover,the morning session hosted a debate on two files on which National Parliaments will be called to give their approval in due time: the proposal for a new regulation on the right of inquiry of the European Parliament and the proposal for the reform of the European electoral law.
The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the EU and Canada (CETA) is the most ambitious agreement the EU has negotiated, aiming to boost trade, strengthen economic relations and create jobs. The European Parliament has closely monitored the negotiations to this agreement since they started, and has also clearly influenced the final outcome, such as the revised provisions on investment protection and dispute resolution.
The content of EU trade policy and the CETA agreement in particular have been at the forefront of public debate. It has also put the spotlight on the role of parliaments. It is against this background that the European Parliament's Committee on International Trade invited national Parliaments to share experiences and expertise on this issue.
On 11 May 2016, the Co-legislators adopted a Regulation (EU)2016/794 on the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol), which provides a new legal basis for Europol. In this regulation, a Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group (JPSG) is foreseen to enable national Parliaments and the European Parliament, pursuant to Article 88 of the TFEU, to politically scrutinize Europol's activities. The regulation states that "the organisation and the rules of procedure of the JPSG shall be determined together by the European Parliament and the national parliaments in accordance with Article 9 of Protocol No 1".
In view of defining the modalities of the JPSG one of the elements of a step by step approach determined by the Conference of Speakers of the EU Parliaments in May 2016 was an Interparliamentary Committee Meeting to be organised by the LIBE Committee in autumn 2016.
Against this background, the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs invited Members of national Parliaments to an joint meeting on "Europol and its parliamentary scrutiny in the framework of EU Internal Security policies" at the European Parliament on 28 November 2016.
The European Parliament's Committee on Budgetary Control (CONT) organised an interparliamentary committee meeting on 8 November 2016, in the European Parliament in Brussels on the following theme: "Towards better spending in shared management: a more cooperative model of parliamentary scrutiny".
In keeping with its tradition of hosting colleagues from national parliaments once per semester, the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) invited Members of national Parliaments to attend an interparliamentary committee meeting on 8 November. The meeting focused on the way forward for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP).
To this end, Federica Mogherini, Vice-President of the Commission/HighRepresentative has been invited to discuss the next steps in the implementation of the Global Strategy. Other guests were the President of Bosnia and Hercegovina, the Vice-Prime Minister of Ukraine for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, the Secretary-General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation as well as the US Ambassador to the EU.
Furthermore,the meeting included a debate on AFET's annual report on the CFSP.
The meeting took place on Tuesday, 8 November from 9.00 to 18.30 in room JAN 2Q2 of the European Parliament in Brussels.
Since April 2015 the European Parliament has initiated some ground-breaking work to reflect on legal issue raised by robotics and artificial intelligence, and to pave the way for the drafting of consequent civil law rules. To this end, a working group involving several committees has been set up by the Committee on Legal affairs (JURI). Its work has led to a draft legislative initiative report on "Civil Law Rules on Robotics" which has been presented to the JURI Committee in May this year. The report should be submitted to the Plenary by the beginning of 2017 (rapporteur Mady DELVAUX-STEHRES).
With the aim of raising awareness among Parliamentarians at European and National level the Committee on Legal Affairs the Policy Department organised a workshop, with participation of EU national Parliaments, that took place on 17 October 2016 from 15.00 to 18.30 at the European Parliament premises in Brussels.
The workshop started with presentations from independent external experts dealing with ethical and policy issues raised by the development of robotics and AI, such as, how to maximise the potential of artificial intelligence to bring benefits to humanity and the needs and possibilities for common regulation and values for robotics and AI.
Subsequently, a discussion took place on more specific regulatory challenges like, for instance, driverless cars and search engines, issues of safety and liability and data ownership and use.
Given the political importance of the European Commission's "Posting of Workers" proposal (COM(2016)128), the European Parliament's Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) invited Members of the National Parliaments of the EU Member States to attend an interparliamentary committee meeting on the theme:"A targeted revision of the rules on the Posting of Workers"
The focus of this meeting was on the upcoming negotiations on this proposal in the framework of the ordinary legislative procedure. The EMPL committee invited up to four Members of the corresponding committee(s) of each National Parliament (two from each chamber in the case of bi-cameral Parliaments) to attend this event on Wednesday, 12 October 2016 in the European Parliament in Brussels.
With a view to fostering a common debate, discussing legislation and sharing experiences at national level, as well as strategic action and ideas for the way forward at European level, the European Parliament brought together European and National Parliamentarians on the theme "Cultural and Creative Sectors in the EU".
To this end, the Committee on Culture and Education invited Members of national Parliaments of the EU Member States to attend an interparliamentary committee meeting scheduled for Tuesday, 11 October 2016, at the European Parliament in Brussels.
On 28 September, the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) of the European Parliament discussed the draft report on the European Semester for economic policy coordination: implementation of 2016 priorities.
At this occasion, the committee debated the assessment of the 2016 European Semester as well as the priorities for the 2017 Annual Growth Survey, which will be the basis for next year's European Semester.
Building on the success of similar events organised in previous years, the ECON committee invited the Chairpersons of the corresponding committees of national Parliaments, or their representatives, to attend the discussion on this topic.
With the aim of providing a forum for proactive dialogue with national Parliaments, an Interinstitutional Conference on the Future Financing of the European Union was held at the European Parliament in Brussels on 7 and 8 September 2016.
The Conference brought together Members of national Parliaments and the European Parliament, representatives from Member States' governments and the European institutions as well as the members of the High Level Group on Own Resources.
It created the opportunity for an in-depth exchange of views on key issues of European public finance and in particular on the future of the financing of the European Union budget. The result of the discussions shall feed into the final report of the High Level Group which will be presented by the end of the year.
In February 2015, the European Parliament established a special committee on Tax Rulings and Other Measures Similar in Nature or Effect (TAXE 1) and it has adopted a resolution on 25 November 2015 putting forward many recommendations to tackle tax avoidance by multinational companies in the EU.
The European Parliament has then decided to set up a new special committee (TAXE 2) to build on and complete this work. Mr Alain Lamassoure, Chair of the TAXE 2 committee, continued to work in close cooperation with national Parliaments on the basis of the successful interparliamentary meeting which took place on 17 June 2015, and invited national Parliaments to an interparliamentary meeting with the TAXE 2 committee.
The meeting took place on Monday, 18 April 2016, from 15h00 to 18h30 in room JAN 4Q2 of the European Parliament's József Antall building in Brussels.
For many years now the European Parliament has celebrated International Women's Day with a special event bringing together Parliamentarians from across Europe.
To continue this important tradition, on the occasion of the2016 International Women's Day, the EP's Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) invited Members of national Parliaments of the EU Member States, the candidate countries, Norway and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to attend an interparliamentary committee meeting on the theme "Women refugees and asylum seekers in the EU".
The meeting provided the opportunity to discuss experiences and best practices on how to guarantee the rights of and protect vulnerable people, such as women refugees and asylum seekers, when they arrive in the EU.
Keeping with its tradition of hosting colleagues from national parliaments once per semester, the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) invited Members of national Parliaments to attend an interparliamentary committee meeting, which will focus on conflicts in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region, including the external aspects of the refugee crisis and the way towards the NATO Summit in Warsaw.
The meeting started with a general debate with VP/HRMs Federica Mogherini. In the afternoon Members will have an exchange of views with Mr Nabih Berri, Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament. This was followed by a discussion with the Secretary-General of NATO, Mr Jens Stoltenberg on NATO's priorities for 2016 and the preparation for the July 2016 Warsaw Summit of NATO. This part of the meeting was conducted in association with the Subcommittee on Security and Defence and with the Delegation for Relations with the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.
The day concluded with a discussion with the UN Special Representative for Libya, Mr Martin Kobler.
The meeting took place on Tuesday, 23 February 2016, from 11:30 to 18:30, at the JAN 2Q2 room of the European Parliament in Brussels.
The Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) of the European Parliament in association with the Policy Department held a Workshop on 'New rules for digital contracts' with EU national Parliaments on 17 February 2016.
The Workshop brought together JURI MEPs and Members of the EU national Parliaments with academics and experts in three sessions: 'Scope of application and general approach of the new rules for contracts in the digital environment', 'Conformity, lack of conformity and remedies in contracts' and 'Modification and termination of contracts'.
The workshop followed the presentation by the Commissioners of two proposals adopted on 9 December 2015, one for the online sale of tangible goods and the other for the online sale of digital content, aiming at better protecting consumers who shop online across the European Union. First, a directive on certain aspects concerning contracts for the supply of digital content, and second, a proposal for a directive on certain aspects concerning contracts for the online and other distance sales of goods(COM (2015)0634 and COM(2015)0635). In the context of its Digital Single Market Strategy of May 2015, the Commission had announced to come up with a revised proposal for the former "Common European Sales Law". The input and position of EU national Parliaments in framing the new EU legislation in this field is vital.
In 2014, 50% of EU consumers shopped online, rising from 30% in 2007. With an average annual growth rate of 22%, online retail sales of tangible goods surpassed EUR 200 billion in 2014, reaching a share of 7% of total retail in the EU-28. The Commission highlights that this economic potential would be further unleashed by removing barriers. Also markets of digital content products are growing rapidly. For instance, the applications("app") sector in the EU has grown significantly in less than five years, and is expected to contribute EUR 63 billion to the EU economy by 2018. Consumer spending in the video game sector is estimated at 16 billion EUR in 2013. In the music industry, digital revenues now represent 31% of total revenue in the EU. Removing barriers due to contract law differences should bring an overall benefit to the European economy.
The meeting took place on Wednesday, 17 February 2016, from 16:00 to 18:30, at the JAN 2Q2 room of the European Parliament in Brussels.