Schengen Information System
The European Parliament will vote on Thursday on its final approval of the improved Schengen Information System (SIS) which locates wanted persons and stolen objects around the EU. The EPP Group managed to deliver on quick negotiations of this largest EU information sharing system so that it will better protect EU citizens as soon as possible. The changes in the SIS, such as sharing the DNA of escaped criminals, tracking migrants obliged to return to their countries, and protecting children at risk of parental abduction, will gradually start being operational immediately after the new EU law is adopted.
Reducing plastic waste
The EPP Group is in favour of new rules to reduce plastic pollution in Europe. The rules will be voted on in the European Parliament on Wednesday. Single-use plastic pollution constitutes 70% of all maritime litter items. The European Commission’s legislative proposal, tackling 11 products, aims to reduce single use-plastics by more than half for items such as cotton buds, cutlery, plates, straws, drink stirrers and balloon sticks.The EPP Group believes Europe needs to take the lead in finding innovative models to replace the destructive ones which are polluting our planet.
Safer drinking water for all
We want everyone to have access to quality water that is affordable and safe. On Tuesday, MEPs will approve changes to the new law on water safety that is the result of a first-ever successful European Citizens' Initiative, called Right2Water, which gathered 1.8 million signatures in support.
Situation in Venezuela
On Tuesday, at the request of the EPP Group, MEPs will debate the situation in Venezuela, especially in the context of the recent brutal death, while in custody and during interrogation, of the municipal counsellor of the opposition party Fernando Alban, and the case of Lorent Saleh, one of the laureates of last year's Sakharov Prize forced into exile, as well as the growing radicalisation of President’s Maduro regime, the increase in political repression and the deteriorating humanitarian situation. In the Resolution to be voted on on Thursday, we want to request an international enquiry into the death of Mr Alban with a post-mortem examination carried out by an independent international team.
Sakharov Prize 2018: EPP Group backs Sentsov
On Thursday, the leaders of the political groups in the European Parliament will select the laureate for the 2018 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought from three shortlisted candidates. The EPP Group has nominated Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov who was sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment by a Russian court on charges of plotting terrorist acts against Russian "de facto" rule in Crimea, in a process which was qualified by the human rights watchdogs as unfair. On 14 May, he went on hunger strike which lasted over 100 days to call for the release of around 70 other Ukrainian citizens illegally arrested and convicted to long prison sentences by the Russian occupation forces in the Crimean peninsula after its annexation.
Future of Europe debate
On Tuesday, the members of the European Parliament will have a debate on the Future of Europe with the EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and the Romanian President Klaus Iohannis. The EPP Group Chairman Manfred Weber will lead the debate.
Facebook: personal data should remain private
Cambridge Analytica and the recent security breach of millions more accounts have undermined the privacy of European citizens and compromised their trust in the safety of the data Facebook stores about them. It is time that Facebook takes the necessary measures to prevent more breaches of European citizens’ data and makes the public understand how this data is used. The debate in Plenary will take place on Tuesday and the vote on the Resolution on Thursday.
Protecting people from antibiotics in food
The misuse of antibiotics on animals is a danger to people’s lives in the EU as it causes antibiotic resistance. We want strict laws on the use of antibiotics in veterinary medicine. At the same time, it is also important to invest in innovation and the development of new antibiotics and make sure that red tape is not hindering the production of antibiotics and limiting their supply to the market when needed. The debate is on Wednesday and vote takes place on Thursday.
EU Budget for 2019
The European Parliament will adopt its position for the 2019 EU Budget on Wednesday. For the EPP Group, the priorities include more funds to tackle migration, Erasmus and innovation. We want to restore all essential cuts proposed by the Council and reinforce the educational programme Erasmus+, the SMEs' programme COSME, the research programme Horizon 2020, the Connecting Europe Facility, the Youth Employment Initiative and climate-related spending. The increase from €12 million in 2018 to €16 million in 2019 for the DiscoverEU initiative for a free Interrail ticket for Europeans turning 18, is one of the priorities the EPP Group has been campaigning for.
More people to benefit from Erasmus
Erasmus+ is one of the most popular EU programmes as it reinforces the sense of European identity, increases employability and supports personal and professional development of young and older Europeans. On Monday, the Culture and Education Committee will present the draft Report of the Erasmus+ programme by Milan Zver MEP, Spokesman for this issue in the European Parliament. The EPP Group supports the improved and upgraded components in the new Erasmus programme: the opportunities for language learning, facilitated mobility for schoolchildren, mobility for sports coaches, more focus on small-scale partnerships as well as on virtual and blended learning. Milan Zver proposes concrete steps, point by point, to make the programme more accessible to Europeans, more focused on European added value, more user-friendly and much less bureaucratic. The EPP Group supports a threefold increase in the overall Erasmus+ budget.
Clean cars for the public sector
When the public sector buys new vehicles for road transport, it can and should set an example by purchasing clean, energy-efficient vehicles as part of the updated Directive on the promotion of clean and energy-efficient transport vehicles. It is a good idea to set minimum targets in 2025 and 2030 for how big the share of clean, energy-efficient vehicles should be in public procurement while taking into account the differences in the Member States. The vote will take place on Thursday.
Tolling: No to congestion charges
On Thursday, the Plenary will vote on road charges for heavy goods vehicles and vans. The goal of this legislation is to make road-tolling systems interoperable in Europe and to phase out Eurovignettes. Tolling will then be based on distance and not on time. The EPP Group will make sure that no Member State will be obliged to introduce road charges. Furthermore, drivers and companies should not be additionally punished by a congestion toll. Those countries that charge for their roads should reinvest the revenues to improve road infrastructure.
Internal border controls
New binding rules for the temporary introduction of controls on internal borders in the Schengen area will be put to vote in the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee on Monday evening. Apart from changing time frameworks for the lengths of these controls, a solid EU oversight of Member States’ requests to impose these controls will be at stake during the vote. Only with a clear, EU governing framework strictly applied to all Member States in cases where they are confronted with pressure at their borders, will we be able to safeguard what really matters: a fully-functioning Schengen area without borders for all our citizens and businesses.
Stopping illegal trafficking of cultural goods
The black market of antiquities and cultural goods constitutes one of the most persistent illegal trades in the world. For the moment, there is no EU legislation covering the import of cultural goods from third countries entering the EU (except for Syria and Iraq). The European Commission has proposed measures to contain the illegal trafficking of cultural goods. The EPP Group supports the proposal, all the more as 2018 is the European year of cultural heritage.
Tuesday: Debate in plenary with the President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, on the Future of Europe
Meeting with President Iohannis
Press Conferences (22-26 October)
Tuesday @ 09.00 Róża Thun MEP and Andrus Ansip, Vice-President of the European Commission, on 'Life after geoblocking: a quick guide for traders and consumers'
Tuesday @ 09.30 EPP Group Chairman Manfred Weber’s plenary briefing
Tuesday @ 17.00 Elisabetta Gardini MEP and others on the Directive on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products, marine litter, and the protection of 'Made in Italy'