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EP News No. 14/2013

Table Of Contents


European Parliament session, Strasbourg, 15-18 April 2013

MEPs meet in Strasbourg from Monday 15 April - Thursday 18 April 2013.


Among the highlights of the agenda:

Formal sitting with Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland
Ireland's President Michael D. Higgins will deliver a formal address to Members on Wednesday at noon. Ireland holds the EU Council's rotating presidency until the end of June this year.

Banking reform: votes on bonus caps, capital and loans
Parliament will cap bankers' bonuses, step up bank capital requirements and make it easier for banks to lend to small firms in banking reform package to be voted on Tuesday.

ECB crisis management to be discussed with Mario Draghi
MEPs will debate the European Central Bank's past and future activities with its President Mario Draghi on Tuesday at 15.00. Cheap ECB loans to banks must be conditional, to ensure that they lend the funds on to the real economy and the ECB itself must be made more transparent and accountable, says a draft resolution to be voted on Wednesday.

Cyprus: MEPs to seek further clarifications on financial assistance programme
MEPs will quiz Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn and Irish Minister of State for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton on Wednesday about how the recent programme of financial assistance to Cyprus was handled. They are set to seek clarification of the actual amount of the total rescue package and Cyprus' own contributions.

ETS: should a "polluter's permit" cost more?
A proposed freeze on auctions of a portion of CO2 emission quotas, envisaged to revive the very low price of "polluter's permits" in the EU, will be put to a vote on Tuesday. The proposal aims to restore the incentive effect of the Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) and to "green" industry. MEPs will also vote on an agreement with the Council to temporarily exclude intercontinental flights from the ETS.

Changes to Hungarian Constitution
Parliament will debate the constitutional situation in Hungary with the Council and Commission on Wednesday. This follows the recent adoption of a set of amendments to Hungary's basic law by the Hungarian Parliament. The EP's civil liberties committee is checking whether these changes respect EU law

Airports: EP to decide on further liberalisation of ground handling services
The EP will have its final say on Tuesday on proposals to open up airside services at major EU airports to more competition. The transport committee voted narrowly in favour of further liberalising ground handling services and inserted minimum quality standards, as well as measures to safeguard working conditions. The full House will vote without debate.

Finland's Prime Minister Katainen to debate EU's future with MEPs
Finland's Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen will visit the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday. He will debate the European Union's future with political group leaders, starting at 10.30. Mr Katainen's visit follows an invitation from EP President Martin Schulz. Messrs Katainen and Schulz will hold a press conference after the debate (tbc).

How to calculate the population of an EU member state
A new legislative proposal laying down common rules for compiling population statistics in the EU will be voted on Thursday. The data gathered will be used inter alia to calculate qualified majority voting rights in the Council and entitlements to some EU funding.

Assessing the first year of the European Citizens' Initiative
Since April 2012, EU citizens can take part in shaping EU policy through the European citizens' initiative. MEPs will assess with the Commission on Thursday the experiences and problems encountered in the first year of this new tool, which allows one million citizens from at least seven EU countries to ask the Commission to propose new laws.

Enlargement: Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Turkey in the spotlight
MEPs are expected to back further EU enlargement but insist that the progress of each specific candidate or potential candidate must be taken into account when they discuss the 2012 reports on Serbia, Montenegro and Turkey and the integration process of Kosovo on Wednesday. Separate resolutions on each country, prepared by the foreign affairs committee, will be voted on Thursday.


Among topics led by UK MEPs:

  • European Network and Information Security agency - rapporteur: Giles Chichester (South West, Cons), debate Monday, vote Tuesday
  • EU/ACP countries' Economic Partnership Agreements: exclusion of certain countries from trade preferences - rapporteur: David Martin (Scotland, Lab). Vote Tuesday
  • Second amendment to the Cotonou Agreement of 23 June 2000 - rapporteur: Michael Cashman (West Midlands, Lab). Debate Wednesday, vote Thursday.
  • Amendment of the EC-Ukraine Agreement on the facilitation of the issuance of visas - rapporteur: Claude Moraes (London, Lab). Debate and vote Thursday

Other topics include:

  • Oral question on regional state aid
  • Equal treatment between men and women in the access to and supply of goods and services
  • Trade and investment for growth in developing countries
  • Impact of the financial and economic crisis on human rights
  • Estimates EP budget 2014
  • Financial assistance for member states whose currency is not the Euro
  • Common system of VAT on vouchers
  • Amendments to the Hague Convention 2007 on international recovery of child support and family maintenance
  • Amendment of EC-Ukraine Agreement on facilitation of visa
  • Ship recycling
  • Incidental catches of cetaceans
Final draft agenda
European Parliament Press Service

Committee meetings


Further Information
European Parliament Information Office in the UK
tel 020 7227 4300


Diary Dates

Council Presidency
1 January-31 July 2013: Ireland
1 July-31 December 2013: Lithuania

European Parliament plenary sessions 2013
20-23 May - Strasbourg
10-13 June - Strasbourg
1-4 July - Strasbourg
9-12 September - Strasbourg
7-8 October - Strasbourg
21-24 October - Strasbourg
18-21 November - Strasbourg
9-12 December - Strasbourg


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