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EP News No. 20/2012

Table Of Contents


European Parliament session, Strasbourg, 11-14 June 2012

MEPs meet in Strasbourg for the penultimate plenary session before the summer recess.


Among the highlights of the agenda:

Economic governance: EP to weigh up fiscal tightening and growth promotion
Parliament's vote on the economic governance "two pack" on Wednesday will reveal the true extent of support for strengthening the European Commission's powers to vet Member States' budgets. The committee vote on these powers was too close to give a clear mandate to start negotiations with Member States, after the Socialists and Democrats Group argued that the legislation should be made friendlier to growth.

MEPs to debate possible reforms to EU budget for 2014-2020
Member States' contributions to the EU budget could be slashed under proposals by MEPs to reform the EU's revenue system set out in a draft resolution to be voted on Wednesday, following a debate with Commission President José Manuel Barroso and Commissioner Janusz Lewandowski on Wednesday. The EU's next seven-year budget plan can only be adopted with Parliament's consent. The European Council will discuss it for the first time at the 28-29 June summit.

New rules for baby milks and "gluten-free" foods
Rules on the labelling and content of baby milks and food for people with special medical needs must be stricter and better defined to protect consumers and give clarity to the food industry, according to draft legislation to be put to a vote on Thursday. MEPs say it should also cover gluten intolerance and certain low calorie diets.

Spotlight on Afghanistan, the Middle East, Tibet and Africa
MEPs will question foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on the EU's policies for Afghanistan and the Middle East, including Syria, on Tuesday afternoon. They will also debate the current situation in Tibet after several self-immolation protests and renewed violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Parliament is also set to adopt resolutions on Guinea-Bissau and Sudan-South Sudan on Wednesday.

President of Peru to address Parliament
The President of Peru, Ollanta Humala, will address the house at a formal sitting at 12.00 on Wednesday. Shortly beforehand, MEPs are expected to vote on a resolution on the EU trade agreement with Colombia and Peru. Parliament must consent to the trade agreement before it can enter into force and is scheduled to vote on it by the end of the year.

Parliament to call on UN states to report all arms trade deals
UN member states which sign a UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), to be negotiated in July, should be required to report regularly on all arms trade deals, including transfers of small arms and light weapons, says a draft resolution to be voted on Thursday. The ATT should also require states to pass national laws to ensure that measures taken to enforce it are credible, adds the draft.

MEPs to call for human rights envoy with strong mandate
On Wednesday, Parliament will adopt a set of recommendations for the new post of EU Special Representative for Human Rights, created in line with its repeated demands. It wants the Council to appoint a high-level envoy with an international reputation, tasked with raising the EU's human rights profile worldwide.

Development cooperation funding for Latin America Though Latin American countries have gained political and economic importance in recent years, cuts to EU development assistance to this region should not be as drastic as the Commission has proposed, says a draft resolution to be debated on Monday and voted on Tuesday.

Investing in jobs
Job creation must be a top priority for Europe, say MEPs. In a resolution to be voted on Thursday, they will call for an investment pact to tap the potential for jobs and growth in the green economy, health, social services and new technologies.

MEPs to quiz Commission on economic policy recommendations to Member States
On Tuesday, in the presence of Commission President José-Manuel Barroso and Commissioner Olli Rehn, the house will debate the European semester process for economic policy coordination and more particularly the latest country-specific recommendations issued by the Commission.


Among topics led by UK MEPs:

Stock of herring distributed to the West of Scotland
The report, steered by Struan Stevenson (Scotland, Conservative) gives the EP view on Commission proposals amending a 2008 regulation establishing a multi-annual plan for the stock distributed in that part of Scotland and the fisheries exploiting that stock. Debate and vote on Thursday.


Other topics include:

• The single market as a driver for growth
• Dangerous chemicals: tougher inspections and more public information
• Learning the lessons of the breast implants scandal
• MEPs to vote on stronger safeguards for the EU textiles market
• Volunteering: recognising skills for use in future employment
• €18 million from European Solidarity Fund to help repair flood damage in Italy    
• MEPs to approve €1.6 million in EU aid to redundant Spanish shoemakers    
• Parliament to endorse Court of Auditors candidate Iliana Ivanova    
• Parliament must have its say on EU-Japan trade talks    
• Human rights and democracy resolutions - Sahel region, the Philippines and Iran

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
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