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EP News No. 14/2012

Table Of Contents


European Parliament session, 17-20 April 2012, Strasbourg

MEPs meet in Strasbourg for a plenary session from 17-20 April 2012 with an unusual Tuesday start.


Among the highlights of the agenda:

Air passenger data
MEPs will vote on new rules to govern the transfer of EU air passengers' personal data (PNR) to the US authorities, including how long data are stored, and how they are used and protected (debate and vote Thursday). The agreement is intended to replace another deal applied provisionally since 2007. A number of MEPs including rapporteur Sophie in't Veld (ALDE, NL) have voiced concerns over data protection standards included in the agreement.

Combating the crisis and tax evasion
MEPs will debate how to combat the economic crisis, especially in the Eurozone, with Commission President José Manuel Barroso on Wednesday afternoon. ECB President Mario Draghi is also invited. A debate on measures to combat tax fraud and tax evasion follows immediately thereafter.

Diesel tax advantage
Fuel taxes should reflect energy content and polluting potential, which means diesel could lose its tax advantage over petrol, says a draft resolution (debate Wednesday, vote Thursday).

EU farm policy/BiodiversityMEPs will pass two resolutions, one urging that biodiversity targets be built into EU farm policy and environmentally harmful subsidies be phased out by 2020, and the other calling for deeper cuts in EU energy and natural resource consumption (debate and vote Friday).


Among topics led by UK MEPs:

Human rights
Voting on Parliament's human rights report, steered by Richard Howitt (Eastern, Lab), MEPs are set to urge the European Commission to step up monitoring of internet censorship by autocratic regimes, and call for better enforcement of children's rights and more cooperation with the International Criminal Court (debate Tuesday, vote Wednesday).


Other topics to be discussed:

Syria, Mali, Myanmar, Black Sea strategy
MEPs will debate developments in Syria, Mali and Myanmar and also the EU's Black Sea strategy, with EU foreign policy High Representative Catherine Ashton (Tuesday). Resolutions on Mali and Myanmar will be put to the vote.

EU accession to the European Convention on Human RightsA Council and Commission statement on Thursday afternoon will explore progress on this issue. While all EU member states are signatories to the ECHR the EU as an entity is still in the process of becoming a signatory to it too. The move might be seen as controversial in some countries, such as the UK, where a domestic debate is already taking place about the level of influence of Convention on domestic laws.

King Abdullah II of Jordan
Jordan's King Abdullah II will deliver a formal address on Wednesday at noon, and then meet President Schulz.  

Final draft agenda
European Parliament Press Service

Committee meetings

Foreign Affairs
Human Rights
Security and Defence
International Trade
Budgetary Control
Economic and Monetary Affairs
Employment and Social Affairs
Environment, Public Health and Food Safety
Industry, Research and Energy
Internal Market and Consumer Protection
Transport and Tourism
Regional Development
Agriculture and Rural Development
Culture and Education
Legal Affairs
Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs
Consititutional Affairs
Women's Rights and Gender Equality
Special Committee on Organised Crime, Corruption and Money Laundering


Further Information

Paola Buonadonna
European Parliament UK Office
tel 020 7227 4300


Diary Dates

1 January-31 July 2012: Danish Presidency

European Parliament plenary sessions 2012
17-20 April - Strasbourg
9-10 May - Brussels
21-24 May - Strasbourg
11-14 June - Strasbourg
2-5 July - Strasbourg
10-13 September - Strasbourg
22-23 October - Strasbourg
25-26 October - Strasbourg
7-8 November - Brussels
19-22 November - Strasbourg
10-13 December - Strasbourg