State of the Union
EPP Group Chairman Manfred Weber MEP will take the floor during the debate following European Commission President Juncker's speech on the State of the Union on Wednesday. Manfred Weber will call on the EU Member States to step up the efforts to defend the European model of society and way of life: the next goal should be a common migration policy, a common European defence and stronger cooperation in the fight against terrorism.
Towards more secure gas supplies in the EU
The European Parliament will vote on Tuesday on the security of gas supply Regulation by Jerzy Buzek MEP, which will make it easier and mandatory to share gas supplies to prevent and diminish gas energy supply shocks, as well as to ensure solidarity in the event of an emergency in the European Union, for instance gas shortages in winter times. The EPP Group welcomes the idea that in the future, EU countries will also be obliged to help a neighbouring EU country if it is experiencing gas supply trouble. Gas supply security rules will shift from a national approach to a regional approach where countries will work together to identify common gas supply risks. The Report is part of the Energy Union package published by the European Commission in 2016.
Free Wi-Fi for all in Europe
The agreement on the so-called WiFi4EU initiative will be approved on Tuesday. Its main goal is to finance free Wi-Fi terminals in public spaces such as parks, libraries, museums or public buildings in order to develop access to the Internet for all citizens. The EPP Group believes that all European citizens should have access to the Internet, no matter what they earn and where they live. We support this pilot project, which is the first step towards a gradual reduction of the digital divide in Europe thus, for instance, allowing access to new online services such as e-government or e-health for all. WiFi4EU has a total provisional budget of up to €120m until 2020 and around 6000-8000 cities, municipalities etc. will benefit.
Taking action against growing emissions in aviation
If global aviation was a country, it would rank in the top 10 of emitters. Imagine this: someone flying from London to New York and back generates roughly the same level of emissions as the average person in the EU does by heating their home for a whole year! The EPP Group believes that action against growing emissions in aviation is needed by including it in the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) so that aviation can also contribute to reducing CO2 levels. The EPP Group, at the same time, supports the European Commission in its endeavours to keep inter-continental flights outside the current EU ETS scheme. The vote on the proposal to regulate this domain will be held on Wednesday in Strasbourg.
€1.2 billion to support the victims of earthquakes in Italy
On Wednesday, the Plenary will vote on the Mobilisation of the European Union Solidarity Fund to provide assistance to Italy. "Next week's vote in Strasbourg will be the final step which approves the €1.2 billion allocation for the people hit by terrible earthquakes in Italy. A strong message from Europe, a Europe that looks forward and doesn't leave anyone behind", said the Rapporteur Giovanni La Via MEP. Between the end of August 2016 and mid-January 2017, a series of strong earthquakes led to 333 casualties, 30,000 people in need of assistance, and significant damage to infrastructure, businesses and living conditions of the affected population in central Italy.
Concerns about developments in Turkey
On Tuesday, MEPs will debate the EU's relationship with Turkey with the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini. The EPP Group is very concerned with the latest developments in Turkey, where the Government is trampling on the rule of law, putting journalists and human rights activists in jail. We therefore request that negotiations on Turkey's EU membership be stopped immediately.
Combating violence against women
MEPs will vote on Monday on the EU joining the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, spearheaded by Anna Maria Corazza Bildt MEP. The Convention is the strongest statement and framework we have to address violence against women, through preventive violence measures which protect victims and prosecute perpetrators. Joining the Convention not only confirms the EU’s commitment to combating violence against women; it gives us responsibility to do more, to strengthen existing frameworks and to push for practical actions. All Member States of the EU have signed the Istanbul Convention, but it still awaits its ratification in 14 EU Member States.
Reforming the EU approach to land-based emissions
Scientists estimate that forests play a critical role in contributing to climate change. Their loss or simply changes to the use of land account for around 23% of current man-made CO2 emissions, which is 17% of the 100-year warming impact of all current greenhouse gas emissions. The EPP Group believes that every sector has to contribute to fighting climate change, sectors relating to land use and forestry included. This is the way to contribute to the goals set in the Paris Climate Agreement. Next week, Parliament's Chief Negotiator Norbert Lins will seek support from other political groups in the European Parliament. The vote on the legislative proposal, which includes land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) in the 2030 climate and energy framework, will take place on Wednesday.
Venture Capital: innovative, clean and future-oriented funding
On Thursday, the European Parliament will vote on a new law on European venture capital funds. "Bank lending will not be sufficient to boost European innovative economies to grow. We are desperately in need of a substantial increase in venture capital funding across Europe. The new Regulation will allow more innovative, clean and future-oriented ideas, projects and companies to be financed across Europe", said the EPP Group's Sirpa Pietikäinen MEP, Parliament's Chief Negotiator of the new law.
Distance education as part of lifelong learning strategy
The European Parliament will vote on Thursday on the Report on academic further and distance education as part of the European lifelong learning strategy. Education systems are facing significant challenges as a result of the digital transformation, which are impacting teaching and learning processes. This is why the European lifelong learning strategy should be reinforced so that every person, at every stage of their life should have lifelong learning opportunities to acquire the knowledge and skills they need for both their personal development and professional progress. "Learning doesn't belong solely to childhood. Technological change demands stronger and more continuous connections between education and employment throughout our whole lives. Nobody is too old to learn", says Milan Zver MEP, Parliament's Spokesman for this dossier.
Tuesday: regular press conference during the plenary week, meeting with Nathalie Loiseau, French Minister of EU Affairs, Strasbourg
Wednesday: reaction to the State of the Union speech by the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker
Wednesday: meeting with publishing CEOs from different European countries
Thursday: CSU event with discussion on Turkey in Haimhausen, Germany
Friday: speech at conference of the European region Danube-Vltava, Bayerisch-Eisenstein, Germany; CSU event with discussion, Schönberg, Germany
Sunday: CSU discussion event, Eggenfelden, Germany
Press Conferences (11-15 September)
Tuesday @ 11:10 EPP Group Chairman Manfred Weber MEP, Plenary briefing
Tuesday @ 15:00 Anna Maria Corazza Bildt MEP and others on the Report on EU accession to the Istanbul Convention
Tuesday @ 18:00 Salvatore Cicu MEP, Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Trade, on “More robust anti-dumping rules to defend EU industry and jobs” (+SV on request)
Wednesday @ 14:00 Giovanni La Via MEP, Rapporteur, on the mobilisation of the European Union Solidarity Fund to provide assistance to Italy