This week at the European Parliament: 15th-19th December 2014
MEPs meet in Strasbourg for a plenary sitting from Monday 15th - Thursday 18th December.
The plenary is when Members of the European Parliament from all political groups and from all countries meet in the parliamentary chamber in Strasbourg to discuss and vote on legislation. This the forum where, following committee meetings in the preceding weeks, MEPs take part in the decision-making and express their standpoint to the European Commission and Council of the European Union.
Highlights of the agenda
Commission work programme 2015
MEPs will discuss the implementation of Parliament’s political priorities with Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Vice-President Frans Timmermans, after the College of Commissioners approves the Commission work programme in the morning. A press conference is scheduled after the debate, at 16.30 (tbc). (Tuesday)
Parliament is to vote on the EU’s 2015 budget and top up funds to pay pending 2014 bills, sealing a provisional deal struck by budget negotiators for Parliament and the Council of Ministers on 8 December. The deal must first be formally approved by Parliament’s Budgets Committee on Monday. EP negotiators will hold a press conference after Wednesday's vote at 14.30.
MEPs will debate the €315 billion investment package to boost growth, jobs and competitiveness with the Italian Presidency of the Council on the eve of the 18-19 December European Council meeting, where it will top the agenda. (Wednesday)
Following a plenary debate in November, MEPs will vote a resolution on whether Palestine should be recognised as a state. (Wednesday)
LUX Film Prize award
EP President Martin Schulz will announce the winner of this year's LUX Prize on Wednesday at a ceremony in the plenary chamber, in Strasbourg. A press conference with the laureate and the other two finalists will be held at 15.00. (Wednesday)
CIA’s use of torture
US Senate revelations of the CIA's use of torture and other cruel or degrading treatment of detainees in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, with the alleged complicity of some EU member states, will be debated with the Council and Commission on Wednesday, at 15.00.
Natural disaster relief
Parliament will vote on a total of €126.7 million in EU aid from the European Solidarity Fund to help Italy, Greece, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Bulgaria to cope with the aftermath of natural disasters in 2013 and 2014. (Wednesday)
Parliament will elect the European Ombudsman in a secret ballot on Tuesday. Current European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly (IE), in office since July 2013, is the only candidate for the post in the 2014-2019 parliamentary term. (Tuesday)
EP President Martin Schulz will chair the plenary debate on the Commission’s 2015 work programme with President Juncker on Tuesday and the debate on preparations for the December European Council on Wednesday. Mr Schulz will take part in the European Council meeting (followed by press conference), on Thursday.
Pre-session press briefing
The EP Press Service will hold a press briefing at 16.30 on Monday. (EP Press conference room, Strasbourg)
European Parliament Information Office in the UK
Tel: 020 7227 4300
1 July - 31 December 2014: Italy
1 January - 30 June 2015: Latvia
1 July - 31 December 2015: Luxembourg
European Parliament plenary sessions 2015
12 - 15 January
9 - 12 February
9 - 12 March
27 - 30 April
18 - 21 May
8 - 11 June
6 - 9 July
7 - 10 september
5 - 8 October
26 - 29 October
23 - 29 November
14 - 17 December