Future of Europe debate with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar
On Wednesday, Manfred Weber MEP, the EPP Group Chairman, will take the floor on behalf of the EPP Group at the debate on the Future of Europe with the Taoiseach of Ireland, Leo Varadkar. He will underline that 2018 will be a decisive year for the European Union. The priorities must be to secure our external borders, strengthen the social market economy and make the European Monetary Union permanently crisis-proof.
Russia - influence of propaganda on EU countries
The security situation in and around Europe is becoming increasingly volatile and the rules-based international order established by liberal democracies faces unprecedented challenges. The threats are not purely military but involve soft security issues like cyber terrorism and information warfare, including the growing role of disinformation which even impacts the electoral process in Europe and beyond as well as hampers the perception of the EU. There are more and more indications that at least part of the disinformation originates from Russia. In this context, MEPs will discuss, in the presence of the High Representative/Vice-President of the European Commission on Wednesday, Russia and the influence of propaganda on EU countries.
Bulgaria took over the rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU from Estonia on 1 January 2018. The priorities for the Bulgarian Presidency are the future of Europe and young people, the Western Balkans, security and stability, and the digital economy. Electronic communications, transborder communications, copyright, cybersecurity and e-privacy are also on the agenda. Regarding the Western Balkans, Bulgaria wants to achieve a concrete roadmap for a European perspective and connectivity for each of the countries without creating unrealistic expectations.The Presidency will also work for sustainable and fair asylum politics, fighting migration towards Europe at its roots. Manfred Weber MEP, the EPP Group Chairman, will take the floor on behalf of the EPP Group during the debate with Bulgarian PM Boyko Borissov.
Joint debate on clean energy
The creation of an Energy Union in Europe to provide secure, affordable and climate-friendly energy is an important EPP Group priority. The votes on three pieces of energy legislation in Plenary - promotion of renewables, energy efficiency, and governance of the Energy Union - come in a ‘package deal’. A balanced approach with realistic and flexible targets is the way forward to achieve our goals in the Energy Union and fulfil the EU's commitment to the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.
Protecting children in cross-border family disputes
On Wednesday afternoon, MEPs will hold a debate on the jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement of decisions in matrimonial matters and matters of parental responsibility, and international child abduction. Children are often victims in divorce cases or the separation of their parents. In the case of international couples, their situation is even worse. This Regulation will cover matters related to marriage and parenthood. It focuses on the overall efficiency of certain aspects of the child-related proceedings including matters concerning parental child abduction, cross-border placement of children, recognition and enforcement of decisions and cooperation between national authorities.
Update of EU export control on dual-use items
On Wednesday, the European Parliament will vote on a trade Report on setting up an advanced EU-level control of exports, transfer, brokering, technical assistance and transit of dual-use items. Dual-use items are certain goods and technologies that can be used either for the development of weapons of mass-destruction, terrorist acts and human rights violations or for civil purposes. The Report strengthens export control for encryption and intra-company transfers to guarantee that high-tech industries do not lose out to non-European competitors. "The emergence of new categories of dual-use items and the misuse of cyber surveillance technologies requires an appropriate and proportional control mechanism for exports. The revision is a balanced approach and in addition less bureaucratic and cost-intensive for companies", says the EPP Group Rapporteur Christofer Fjellner MEP.
Marrakesh Treaty: helping blind people access books
The European Parliament will vote on Thursday to conclude the Marrakesh Treaty. As blind or visually impaired people still face many barriers in accessing books and other printed material, this new Regulation will increase the number of works and other protected subject matter available in accessible formats such as braille or audio books. By implementing the Marrakesh Treaty, the EU law will include a new mandatory exception to copyright rules. This will allow beneficiary persons and organisations to make copies of works in accessible formats and to disseminate them across the EU and in third countries which are party to the Treaty.
Better rules to facilitate the job of fishermen and to protect the environment
On Tuesday, MEPs will vote on new rules to make the current technical measures the fishing sector has to comply with more simple, aiming at minimising unwanted catches. The goal of this legislation is also to protect marine ecosystems and to ensure the conservation of fishery resources.The new rules will include technical measures applying to all EU waters and also regional measures which would be different for seven EU sea basins, including mesh sizes, selectivity of fishing gears, closed or restricted areas and real time closures. The Parliament will soon open negotiations with the Council of the EU to reach a final agreement.
Monday: Meeting of the CSU party bureau, Munich; meeting with European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, and EPP Party President, Joseph Daul, Strasbourg
Tuesday: Meeting with EU Commissioner for Education, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics, meeting with French Minister of European Affairs, Nathalie Loiseau, EPP Group meeting with Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Boyko Borrisov
Wednesday: Meeting with Irish Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar
Friday and Saturday: CSU Party events in Schrobenhausen and Schöllnach, Bavaria
Sunday: CSU Party New Year's reception in Wildenberg, Bavaria
Press Conferences (15-19 January 2018)
Wednesday @ 12.30 Press Point - Protocol entrance area (-1) Antonio Tajani - President of the European Parliament and Leo Varadkar, Prime Minister of the Republic of Ireland
Wednesday @ 12.45 Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, and Boyko Borissov, Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria, on “The priorities of the programme of activities of the Bulgarian Presidency”