MEPs to discuss latest EU summit outcome

MEPs will debate the outcome of the 23 February meeting of EU27 leaders on Wednesday afternoon. The informal summit focused on the EU’s long-term budget, the 2019 EU elections, Syria, the Brexit talks and EU relations with Turkey.

The policy priorities of the EU’s long-term budget, the multiannual financial framework (MFF) after 2020 topped the agenda. EU leaders agreed to spend more on tackling irregular migration, defence and security, and the Erasmus+ student exchange programme.

They also discussed the ”Spitzenkandidaten” (lead candidate) process for selecting EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s successor, transnational lists of election candidates and the European Parliament’s composition after the 2019 European elections.

Debate:  Wednesday, 28 February

Procedure:  Debate with European Council

#EUCO #Spitzenkandidaten #EP2019 #MFF #EUBudget #Brexit @EU2018BG

MEPs will discuss the EU Commission proposal to establish the risk of a serious breach of EU values in Poland. Wednesday’s debate with Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans will be followed by a resolution to be voted on Thursday.

Parliament is set to back the European Commission’s call for EU governments to determine whether there is clear risk of a serious breach of EU values by the Polish authorities. A Council decision could trigger the actions set out in Article 7 of the EU Treaty. MEPs’ concerns about the rule of law in Poland focus on the separation of powers, the independence of the judiciary and fundamental rights.

Procedure Code: 2018/2541(RSP)

Debate: Wednesday, 28 February

Vote: Thursday, 1 March

Procedure: Commission statements, with resolution

#Article7 #RuleofLaw  @TimmermansEU

The recent events in Syria, including the humanitarian crisis caused by violent Syrian government forces’ attempts to take back control of rebel-held Eastern Ghouta, will be debated by political group leaders with EU Commissioner Christos Stylianides on Wednesday.

Eastern Ghouta, an enclave near Damascus, has been under siege by government forces since 2013. In recent weeks, Syrian government forces have intensified the bombardment of the enclave, killing hundreds of civilians and trapping about 400 000 people.

MEPs are planning to adopt a resolution on Syria during the March plenary session in Strasbourg.

Debate:  Wednesday, 28 February

Procedure:  Commission statement with one round of political group leaders

hashtags #Syria #Ghouta

Ideas on how to better protect bee health, eliminate honey counterfeiting and support EU beekeepers will be debated on Wednesday and put to the vote on Thursday. 

The draft resolution calls for an effective, large-scale and long-term EU strategy to improve bee health, combat bee mortality and ensure bee repopulation. Financial support for beekeepers should be increased, in particular to deal with production losses and loss of bee colonies.

To ensure that imported honey meets high EU standards, border inspections and single market checks should be harmonised, all imported honey tested  and traceability requirements tightened. The EU Commission should also develop more effective laboratory testing procedures and provide for harsher penalties for offenders. Honey and bee products should be considered “sensitive” in trade talks with non-EU countries, MEPs are to suggest, or should even be completely excluded from negotiations. 


Data on MS honey production & beekeepers here .

Some 600 000 EU beekeepers produce about 200,000 tonnes of honey per year, making it the world’s second biggest producer after China.

The biggest EU producers are Romania, Spain and Hungary, followed by Germany, Italy and Greece.

The EU imports about 200,000 tonnes, mainly from China, Ukraine, Argentina and Mexico.

Procedure Code: 2017/2115(INI)

Debate: Wednesday, 28 February

Vote: Thursday, 1 March

Procedure:  Non-legislative resolution

#bees #honey #beekeepers

A new special committee on financial crime, tax evasion and avoidance, building on the work of three previous ones, is to be established on Thursday.

MEPs are likely to back the creation of the special committee, which was proposed partly in response to last year’s “Paradise Papers” revelations, but has yet to get an official name. It will pursue the work of the TAXE 1 and 2 committees, as well as the recently-ended PANA inquiry.

It will have 45 members and a 12-month mandate to start once MEPs give their assent.

Vote:  Thursday, 1 March

#taxevasion #taxavoidance

MEPs set to quiz Mr Moscovici on removal of countries from tax haven blacklist

MEPs will review plans to remove eight countries from an EU tax haven blacklist and make accountants report on aggressive cross-border tax planning. 

On Wednesday, MEPs will hear from the EU Commission and Council on their decision to remove several countries -- including Panama and Tunisia -- from an EU blacklist of tax havens, little more than a month after they were first listed. 

In January, the Commission announced that it would move eight of the original 17 countries from its black list to a “grey list”, drawing further criticism from those who are already sceptical about the lack of sanctions or other financial penalties against countries on the list. 

Mandatory reporting of aggressive tax schemes

On Thursday, MEPs will vote on a proposal to require intermediaries such as accountants, lawyers and tax advisors to report schemes that bear the hallmarks of aggressive cross-border tax planning to a central directory.  This information would then be made automatically available to authorities in all member states.


In December 2017, the European Commission blacklisted 17 countries for refusing to co-operate with its crackdown on tax havens. They are American Samoa, Bahrain, Barbados, Grenada, Guam, South Korea, Macau, the Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, Panama, St Lucia, Samoa, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.

The eight countries moved from the blacklist to the grey list are: Barbados, Grenada, Macao, Mongolia, Tunisia, South Korea, the UAE and Panama.

Procedure Code: 2017/0138 (CNS)

Debate:  Thursday, 1 March

Vote:  Thursday, 1 March

Procedure:  Consultation


Intensify measures to safeguard Europe’s financial system

Non-performing loans and cybersecurity risks should be tackled in an effort to reform and complete the Banking Union. MEPs are set to call for the review of state aid rules and to minimise public support for failing banks, in a debate and vote on Thursday. 

The draft resolution aims to bolster efforts to create a safe financial sector, comprising all pillars of the Banking Union: supervisionresolution, as well as the deposit insurance scheme yet to be established.

Regarding the supervision of banks, MEPs are to appeal to the Commission to encourage the establishment of “bad banks”, to which non-performing loans (NPL) could be transferred, in order to mitigate associated risks. Furthermore, the sector must strive for the highest levels of cyber-security.

Resolution and deposit insurance

When it comes to the resolution mechanisms, put in place for failing banks, MEPs are to underline the worrying mismatch between state aid rules and Union legislation, urging the Commission to review the 2013 Banking Communication, as well as the EU’s framework for bank insolvency. The need to have a European Deposit Insurance Scheme (EDIS) is also to be stressed.

Spain: €720,000 to help 303 former clothing industry employees find new jobs

EU job-search aid worth €720,000, for 303 workers made redundant by five clothing manufacturers in the Galicia region, is up for a vote on Thursday. The companies suffered from increased imports of textiles into the EU.

The rise of textiles and clothing imports into the European Union forced down prices, which caused the manufacturers to produce more offshore in non-EU countries with lower costs. This led to lay-offs within the Caramelo, Confecciones Deus, Deus Creaciones, Viriato and Shivshi companies, in the municipality of Ordes in Galicia.

The aid would come from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF).

Procedure Code: 2018/2014(BUD)

Vote:  Thursday, 1 March

Procedure: Budgetary procedure

#EGF #EUBudget #EUFunds 

Sweden: €2.13 million in job-search aid for 900 former Ericsson staff

EU job-search aid worth €2.13 million for 900 workers made redundant by telecoms company Ericsson, is up for approval on Thursday. The company was hit by Asian competitors and declining telecoms hardware production.

Since 2014, Ericsson has entirely shut down three factories and closed telecoms hardware production lines at various sites, due to restructuring and offshoring. The telecoms business has faced growing competition, especially from Asian companies, and experienced negative growth in its hardware-centric business line and technology upgrades, resulting in fewer people being required.

In total 2,388 workers were made redundant, 900 of whom are eligible for the EU aid from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF).

Procedure Code: 2018/2012(BUD)

Vote:  Thursday, 1 March

Procedure: Budgetary procedure

EGF #EUBudget #EUFunds

  • Source : europarl.europa.eu
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