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This week at the European Parliament - 31st March - 4th April 2014


MEPs return to Brussels on 31st March for a mixed week of Committee meetings, Political Group meetings and plenary.

The plenary is the forum where the elected Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) debate and vote on legislation.


MEPs are to give their green light to lifting EU customs duties on imports from Ukraine, so as to boost its ailing economy. The EU’s action on Russia following the recent events in Crimea and its strategy towards Iran will be addressed in a joint debate with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on EU common foreign and security policy.  (Debate Wednesday, votes Thursday)

Credit cards*
The fees that banks charge retailers for processing shoppers’ card payments in the EU should be capped at 0.3% of the transaction value for credit card transactions and at a maximum of 7 euro cents for debit cards.  Measures to make online payments safer will be put to a separate vote on the same day. (Votes Thursday)

Net neutrality and roaming*
MEPs will vote on stricter rules to prevent telecoms firms from degrading or blocking data flow to their competitors’ services and advocate abolishing roaming charges by the end of 2015 in a first reading plenary vote on the telecom package. (Debate and vote Thursday)

Patients' safety
Draft rules on the safety and traceability of medical implants* and on requirements for diagnostic devices* are up for a vote on Wednesday. Rules agreed with the Council on the transparency of clinical trials are to be endorsed by the full house. (Debate and vote Thursday)

Pension rights
The supplementary pension rights of citizens moving to another member state or working across borders will be safeguarded under an informal deal with member states to be approved by plenary. (Debate Wednesday, vote Thursday)

ETS aviation
MEPs will have to decide whether long-haul flights should continue to be  exempt from participating in the EU Emission Trading System. (Debate Wednesday, vote Thursday)

Banking Union/Single Resolution Mechanism
MEPs from the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs will hold a final discussion and vote to approve the informal deal struck with EU countries on the single resolution mechanism for banks.  The plenary will give its verdict in the last session of this legislature. (Tuesday)

President's diary
President Schulz will meet Xi Jinping, President of the People's Republic of China on Monday 10.00. On Tuesday he will attend the EU-Africa Parliamentary summit at 11.30 and meet Bulgaria's President Rosen Asenov Plevneliev at 18.00. A meeting with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, is to be held in Brussels on Thursday at 12.30.

Pre-session press briefing
The EP Press Service will hold a press briefing at 11.00 on Monday. (EP Press conference room, Brussels)

European elections
A conference with very well known social media experts on how to use social media networks in politics effectively, particularly for the 2014 European elections, will  be held on Wednesday in the EP. A seminar for journalists on the European elections 2014 will take place the same day,

*Note to editors: Votes closing parliament's first reading on legislation without agreement with Council.



Hearings and workshops

Public hearing on the political and economic situation in Belarus. Committee on Foreign Affairs (Tuesday)
Workshop "Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions in the EU's International Investment Agreements". Committee on International Trade (Tuesday)
Hearing on 'Implementing the Youth Employment Initiative'. Committee on Budgets (Tuesday)
Public Hearing: The prospects of establishing a debt redemption fund and introducing Eurobills - Presentation of the final report. Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (Tuesday)


Petitions with UK interest

  • 0429/2010 by Robert Houliston (British), on behalf of the 'Partido para Orihuela Costa', bearing 7 000 signatures, on the Cala Mosca urban development project in Orihuela, Valencia (Tuesday)
  • 0028/2013 by Singh Chumber Ravinder (British), on Financial Assistance to new business starters (Tuesday)
  • 0096/2013 by N. S. (British), on behalf of Training for Women Network, on Training for Women Network (Tuesday)
  • 0155/2013 by Clive Bates (British), on ending the ban on snus (oral tobacco) outside Sweden (Tuesday)
  • 0248/2013 by Rodney Enderby (United Kingdom) on vehicle registration tax in Malta (Tuesday)
  • 0629/2013 by Munday Richard Henry (British), on double taxation of vehicles (Tuesday)

Further Information

Zuzana Pavlickova
Press Officer
European Parliament Information Office in the UK
Tel: 020 7227 4300


Diary Dates

Council Presidency
1 January - 30 June 2014: Greece
1 July - 31 December 2014: Italy

European Parliament plenary sessions 2014
14-17 April - Strasbourg
1-3 July - Strasbourg
14-17 July - Strasbourg
15-18 September - Strasbourg
20-23 October - Strasbourg
24-27 November - Strasbourg
15-18 December - Strasbourg