2019 EU Elections: top candidate for European Commission President
"The EPP Group wants European voters to have their say in the choice of the European Commission President. We don’t want this decision to be taken behind closed doors any longer. The top candidate process is a matter of transparency and democracy", says the EPP Group Chairman Manfred Weber. The debate and vote will take place on Wednesday.
European Parliament composition after Brexit
MEPs will decide on the new distribution of EP seats for the 2019 European Elections on Wednesday in Strasbourg. Using a minimal number of the seats vacated by the UK, this Report corrects the imbalances in the current allocation of seats to Member States. The EPP Group opposes Europe-wide transnational lists for the European Elections. By abolishing the direct link between elected MEPs and their constituents, such lists would only add to the perception of the EU as elitist, centralist, undemocratic and distant. After the plenary vote, the European Council will decide by unanimity.
Future of Europe debate with Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković
Members of the European Parliament will debate the future of Europe with Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković in plenary on Tuesday morning. The EPP Group Chairman Manfred Weber will lead the debate.
Ending unjustified geo-blocking
The new rules banning unjustified geo-blocking will be put to the final vote on Tuesday. The new rules forbid discrimination on the grounds of nationality or residence by defining the specific situations where there is no justified reason to deny access to a customer. Blocking access to websites and redirecting customers to another country-specific website without his or her consent will be prohibited. With EPP Group MEP Róża Gräfin von Thun Und Hohenstein at the helm, the EPP Group successfully managed to include in the review clause that in 2 years time, the European Commission will review the rules, considering ending geo-blocking in additional sectors such as the audio-visual or transport services.
Crucial reform to fight against climate change
On Tuesday, MEPs will vote on the agreement with the Council and the Commission on the Emissions Trading System (ETS) reform, a reform with which the EU has taken an important step towards achieving the Paris climate goals. The adoption of the inter-institutional agreement will result in the protection of the energy-intensive industry and will support European competitiveness. With the establishment of two funding mechanisms - the Innovation and Modernisation Funds - new jobs will be created. The EPP Group believes this reform is crucial for the fight against climate change, promotion of innovation and safeguarding existing jobs.
Venezuela: the EPP Group asks for fair and democratic elections
Members of the European Parliament will discuss the deteriorating situation in Venezuela on Tuesday and will vote on a resolution on Thursday. The EPP Group strongly rejects the decision of the National Constituent Assembly to call for early presidential elections and deeply deplores the Venezuelan Supreme Court’s decision to prevent the representatives of the democratic opposition (MUD, Mesa de la Unidad Democratica) from competing in the upcoming elections. We believe that, under the current circumstances, the European Parliament should not recognise either the elections or the authorities resulting from this illegitimate process. We also believe that the current EU sanctions should be extended to those who are directly responsible for the worsening political, social and economic situation in the country - namely president Nicolas Maduro, his inner circle, Vice-President Tareck El Aissami, the Minister of Defence and high military command.
Special Committee on pesticides
MEPs will vote on the mandate and numerical composition of the Special Committee on the Union’s authorisation procedure for pesticides. The EPP Group will vote in favour of the establishment of the Special Committee. Amongst other things, the Group intends to make sure that the value and authority of scientific institutions will be preserved. The Group will also do everything in its power to protect European farmers and give them certainty. The Special Committee, with a proposed 9-month mandate, will have 30 members and will deliver a final report on its factual findings and recommendations, which will have to be approved by MEPs in plenary.
European perspective for Western Balkans
MEPs will debate the European Union's new Western Balkans Strategy with the EU Foreign Policy Chief on Tuesday. The six countries - Albania, FYROM, Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo have aspirations to join the EU and each one is at a different stage of the process. The region is one of the EPP Group's priorities and we want all of them to join the EU, based on their merit and once they fulfil the Copenhagen Criteria.
Weekend: German coalition talks, Berlin
Monday: meeting with Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and EPP President Joseph Daul, Strasbourg
Tuesday: speech in the key debate with the Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic on the future of Europe; regular plenary press briefing; meeting with Assunção Cristas, President of the CDS-PP Party from Portugal; meeting with the Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic
Wednesday: speech in the debate on the composition of the European Parliament and the Revision of the Framework Agreement on relations between the European Parliament and the European Commission
Press Conferences (5-9 February)
Tuesday @ 11.10 EPP Group Chairman Manfred Weber plenary briefing
Tuesday @ 12.00 Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament, and Andrej Plenković, Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia, Press Point - in front of the Protocol Room
Tuesday @ 15.00 Róża Thun MEP Rapporteur, and Andrus Ansip, Vice-President of the European Commission, on 'Geo-blocking – final vote in plenary'
Wednesday @ 11.30 Pavel Svoboda MEP, Rapporteur, on 'Vote to Stop the Biannual Clock Change'
Wednesday @ 14.30 Danuta Maria Hübner MEP and others on the composition of the European Parliament