Shades of green on the European Parliamentary Week 2020

The EuropeanParliamentary Week 2020, co-organised by the European Parliament and the Croatian Presidency, took place last week (18-19/02). This conference brought together 111Parliamentarians from 28 Parliaments (34 chambers) from 25 Member States, 2 candidate countries and Norway.

The conference was structured around two days. On Monday, the opening plenary session of the European Semester Conference provided an opportunity to exchange information on best practices in implementing the Semester cycle, to strengthen cooperation and take stock of the national experiences related to scrutinise the actions of the executives at national and European levels within the European Semester cycle.  The opening addresses by ECON Chair Irene Tinagli, ECOFIN Chair Zdravko Marić, Eurogroup President Mário Centeno, the European Commission Vice-President, Valdis Dombrovskis and the Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni were followed by a live debate with the participation of the Members from the national Parliaments and the European Parliament. ECON Chair Irene Tinagli stressed the areas where progress is most needed including completing the banking union and the capital markets union, reforming the economic governance architecture and making economic governance more democratically accountable. Commission Executive Vice-President Dombrovskis and Commissioner Gentiloni presented their plans to review this architecture. Eurogroup President Centeno mentioned the priorities of the Eurogroup. Zdravko Marić, the current ECOFIN chair, listed the priorities of the Croatian Presidency of the Council. Fabio Panetta, Executive Board member of the ECB talked about the Eurozone's monetary outlook and described the actions necessary to complete the EMU. Other recurrent topics included the delivering the new Budgetary Instrument for Convergence and Competitiveness, the proposal for a European Unemployment Benefit Reinsurance Scheme and the review of the European Semesterframework.

This plenary session was followed-up by three parallel Interparliamentary Committee Meetings co-organized by the BUDG, ECON and EMPL EP Committees. They tackled the number of topics like international tax system, the sustainability of finances, a European Child Guarantee, the fair minimum wages, the next MFF and the new own resources addressing the global challenges.

The busy first day of the conference concluded by a walking dinner at the European House of History where participants could attend a tour of the museum and some more multinational networking and exchanges.

Wednesday morning was dedicated to the Interparliamentary Conference onStability, Economic Coordination and Governance in the European Union [Article13 Conference]. European Parliament. The President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, opened the plenary session dedicated to climate change and the role that EU economic, budgetary and social policies can play in this regard. In his welcoming words, he praised the Economic Semester framework as a tool that allows transmitting to the European Commission the issues facing the European citizens through this exchange with their national Parliament's Members. He stressed the importance of the revision of the framework into an instrument that integrates the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This increased climate ambition will only be possible with public support and acceptance of the changes that are needed to our societies and economies, he added. The Deputy Speaker of the Croatian Parliament, Željko Reiner joined the EP President in stressing the importance of an immediate action in the fight against climate change and its impact on the economic, budgetary and social policies of the European Union. The European Green Plan will become a new cycle of great change. Nevertheless, it must be seen as a plan for transforming the European economy in a way that all Member States are at a level playing field in the transition to a low carbon economy. This will require large public and private investment that has to be taken into account in the current negotiations on the new Multiannual Framework, which provides for the Mechanism for Fai rTransition. The introductory remarks by the panellist in this session were given by incoming special envoy on Climate Action and Finance of the UN, Mark Carney, director-General of the ILO, Guy Ryder and the Vice-President of the EIB, Emma Navarro. They presented the global perspective of the green transition and the necessary financial instruments to finance it. A fruitful exchange of views between the Members of the national and European Parliaments concluded this session that was co-chaired by EP Vice- President, Mairead Mc Guinness, and Domagoj Ivan Milošević, Chair of the European Affairs Committee of the Croatian Parliament.

The afternoon plenary session was dedicated to skills and jobs for inclusive growth. Commissioner Nicholas Schmit introduced the subject by presenting the priorities of the European Commission. He reiterated his willingness to promote employment and inclusion, starting with the young people through reinforcing the European Youth Guarantee. The Members of the national Parliaments from the past (Finnish), present (Croatian) and future (German)Presidencies followed his intervention. The debate was moderated by EP Vice-President, Dita Charanzová and by Gordan Maras, Chair of the Labour, Retirement System and Social Partnership Committee of the Croatian Parliament. There were numerous interventions that tackled the development and adaptability of the workforce to the changing need of the labour markets. The green and digital transformation is a great opportunity but at the same time a threat. The adequate education and trainings systems must be developed to harness the potential of this revolution by developing relevant skills and competences. A competitive labour market for 21st century has to be sustainable and secure in creating inclusive growth, Members said.

The 2 days debates contributed to the purpose of bringing together Members of the national and European Parliaments in order to work more closely together on issues related to the European Semester and the current challenges. The aim of the European Parliamentary Week is to increase democratic oversight of EU economic governance and it provides an opportunity to exchange information on best practices in implementing the Semester cycles.

The event was organised by the Legislative Dialogue Unit (LDU) in the Directorate for Relations with national Parliaments and the Economic Governance Unit (EGOV), alongside the ECON, EMPL, BUDG Committee Secretariats and DGLINC. This was the ninth edition of this event and the first one for this legislature.

The next meeting of the Interparliamentary Conference on Stability, Economic Coordination and Governance in the European Union [Article 13 Conference] will take place in Berlin in autumn of this year under the German Presidency.

European Parliamentary Week 2020

For the first time under this term of the European Parliament and in the context of the economic and budgetary policies scrutiny, the European Parliament together with the Croatian Presidency organised the European Parliamentary Week 2020. It took place on 18 and 19 February 2020, at the European Parliament in Brussels. The European Parliamentary Week brings together Parliamentarians from the European Union, candidate and observer countries to discuss economic, budgetary and social matters. It consists of the European Semester Conference and the Interparliamentary Conference on Stability, Economic Coordination and Governance in the European Union.

The European Semester Conference provides an opportunity to exchange information on best practices in implementing the Semester cycles, and to strengthen cooperation in order to scrutinise the actions of the executives at national and European levels within the framework of the European Semester.

The Interparliamentary Conference on Stability, Economic Coordination and Governance in the European Union [Article 13 Conference of the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union (Fiscal Compact)] provides a framework for debate and exchange of information and best practices in implementing the provisions of the Treaty and aims to strengthen cooperation between national Parliaments and the European Parliament. The Conference also contributes to ensuring democratic accountability in the area of economic governance and budgetary policy in the EU, particularly in the European Monetary Union, taking into account the social dimension and without prejudice to the competences of national Parliaments and the European Parliament.

European Parliamentary Week 2019

In the context of the economic and budgetary policies scrutiny, the European Parliament together with the Romanian Presidency organised the European Parliamentary Week 2019, on 18 and 19 February 2019, at the European Parliament in Brussels. The European Parliamentary Week brought together Parliamentarians from all over the European Union to discuss economic, budgetary and social matters. The event consists of the European Semester Conference and the Interparliamentary Conference on Stability, Economic Coordination and Governance in the European Union.

The European Semester Conference provides an opportunity to exchange information on best practices in implementing the Semester cycles, and to strengthen cooperation in order to scrutinise the actions of the executives at national and European levels within the framework of the European Semester.

The Interparliamentary Conference on Stability, Economic Coordination and Governance in the European Union [Article 13 Conference of the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union (Fiscal Compact)] provides a framework for debate and exchange of information and best practices in implementing the provisions of the Treaty and aims to strengthen cooperation between national Parliaments and the European Parliament. The Conference also contributes to ensuring democratic accountability in the area of economic governance and budgetary policy in the EU, particularly in the European Monetary Union, taking into account the social dimension and without prejudice to the competences of national Parliaments and the European Parliament.

European Parliamentary Week 2018

European Parliamentary Week 2017

Background briefings in view of the European Parliamentary Week 2017

European Parliamentary Week 2016

European Parliamentary Week 2015

Background