08.11.2018

MEPs will adopt their negotiating position on the next EU long-term budget, including a breakdown of the amounts foreseen for each EU programme, on Wednesday.

For the upcoming multiannual financial framework 2021-2027 (MFF), Parliament is likely to push for more funding for youth, research, growth & jobs and tackling climate change. New challenges like migration, defence and security should receive adequate resources, while funding for long-standing farming and cohesion policies should not be reduced. Also, new sources of direct revenue should partly replace taxpayer-funded contributions.

For more information, please check out the recent press release on the vote in the Committee on Budgets (05.11.2018).

The exact figures for plenary to confirm are included in the draft interim report.

Next steps

Once plenary has voted on 14 November, Parliament is ready to negotiate, and talks can begin as soon as Council has agreed on a common position. The adoption of a new MFF Regulation requires Parliament’s consent.

MEPs expect “that a good agreement is reached before the 2019 European Parliament elections, in order to avoid the serious setbacks for the launch of the new programmes due to the late adoption of the financial framework, as experienced in the past.”

Background

Around 94% of the EU budget goes to citizens, regions, cities, farmers and businesses. The EU's administrative expenses account for approximately 6% of the total.

Debate: Tuesday, 13 November

Vote: Wednesday, 14 November

Procedure: Consent

Press conference: Wednesday, 14 November at 16:00

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will debate the future of Europe with MEPs and EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Tuesday at 15.00.

This will be the twelfth in a series of future of Europe debates between EU heads of state or governments and MEPs, following on from

  • Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar on 17 January 2018,
  • Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic on 6 February 2018,
  • Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa on 14 March 2018,
  • French President Emmanuel Macron on 17 April 2018,
  • Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel on 3 May 2018,
  • Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel on 30 May 2018,
  • Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on 13 June 2018,
  • Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on 4 July 2018,
  • Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on 11 September 2018,
  • Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas on 3 October 2018, and
  • Romanian President Klaus Iohannis on 23 October 2018.

Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen will address plenary on 28 November.

Debate: Tuesday, 13 November, at 15:00

Procedure: Debate (without resolution)

Proposals to update rules on European rail passenger will be put to a vote on Thursday.

Changes to the 2009 rules aim to improve information given to passengers about their rights, ensure better assistance to people with reduced mobility, better access to cyclists, clearer complaints-handling procedures and more compensation for travellers in case of delays.

Debate: Wednesday, 14 November

Vote: Thursday, 15 November

Procedure: ordinary legislative procedure, first reading

Press conference: 14:30 on Wednesday, 14 November with rapporteur Boguslaw Liberadzki (S&D, PL)

New telecom rules to cap prices for intra-EU calls, push for super-fast 5G networks and create an alert system for emergencies, will be put to the vote on Wednesday.

The new legislation will cap intra-EU phone calls at 19 cents per minute for calls and 6 cents for text messages (SMS) from 15 May 2019. It will also better protect smartphone users, including users of web-based services (Skype, WhatsApp, etc.). Additionally, member states will have to facilitate the rollout of 5G networks.

A “reverse 112” system will become obligatory in all member states to ensure that citizens are alerted by SMS or mobile app in the event of a major emergency or disaster in their area.

Debate: Wednesday, 14 November

Vote: Wednesday, 14 November

Procedure: Co-decision

Press conference: Wednesday, 14 November 11.30

EP President Antonio Tajani will unveil the winner of the 2018 Lux Prize on Wednesday noon in the Strasbourg hemicycle.

This year's finalists are the films “The Other Side of Everything” by Mila Turajlic (Serbia/France/Qatar), Woman at War by Benedikt Erlingsson (Iceland/France/Ukraine) and Styx by Wolfgang Fischer (Germany/Austria).

The European Parliament is paying the cost of subtitling the three finalist films in all 24 official EU languages and is producing a digital cinema package for each EU country.

The film winning the 2018 Lux Film Prize will be adapted for the visually and hearing impaired and receive promotional support during its international release. The prize winner is selected by MEPs.

A press conference with EP Vice-President Evelyne Gebhardt (S&D, DE) and the directors of the three films is scheduled for 15.00 on Wednesday, 14 November, in Strasbourg.

The Lux Film Prize is dedicated to promoting European cinema by supporting the dissemination of European productions and sparking a Europe-wide debate on major political and societal issues. It was first awarded in 2007.

Award ceremony: Wednesday, 14 November at 12.00

Procedure: Award ceremony

Press conference Wednesday, 14 November at 15.00 with Vice-President Evelyne Gebhardt (S&D, DE) and the directors of the three films

To fight climate change, binding 2030 targets for renewables (32%) and energy efficiency (32.5%) will be put to the vote on Tuesday.

In addition to setting binding targets on energy efficiency and renewables, the new legislation will give EU citizens the right to generate renewable energy for their own consumption, and to store and sell excess production.

It will also create a new governance structure to achieve the Energy Union and some types of food-crop biofuels will be phased out, in a move towards second-generation biofuels.

Debate: Monday, 12 November

Vote: Tuesday, 13 November

Procedure: ordinary legislative procedure

Press conference: 13 November 14.00

MEPs will vote on Wednesday to strengthen checks on arms export and penalise EU members that fail to apply common EU rules.

MEPs call for EU members that do not apply the commonly agreed EU rules on arms export control to be punished.

EU members have diverging policies on exporting to certain countries, despite the common regime which, however, does not allow for sanctions.

In some cases, the arms exported to countries, for example to Saudi Arabia, were used to fuel conflicts that violate EU common positions and thus undermine the entire European arms control effort.

Background

The EU is the second largest arms supplier in the world after the US. In 2016, 40.5% arms exports went to countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

Some countries, such as Germany and the Netherlands, stopped selling arms to Saudi Arabia and other members of the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen because of their military actions.

Debate: Tuesday, 13 November

Vote: Wednesday, 14 November

Procedure: non-legislative resolution

MEPs will discuss on Tuesday efforts towards a common global strategy to manage migration flows and the role of EU member states in the UN-backed process.

The Austrian government recently decided to step out of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, following a similar announcement by Hungary. The Czech Republic and Poland are also considering their involvement. The Global Compact on migration, which is not binding, will be signed in Morocco next month.

Background

The New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2016, marked the beginning of multilateral negotiations to adopt two global compacts on refugees and for safe, orderly and regular migration.

A fairer sharing of the burden and responsibility for hosting and supporting refugees is the objective of the Global Compact on refugees, which has already been agreed upon. The Global Compact on migration wants to ensure that migrants in vulnerable situations are treated in an adequate way, via durable solutions, addressing at the same time the risks and challenges linked to migration in the countries of origin, transit and destination.

Debate: Tuesday, 13 November

Procedure: Council and Commission statements, no resolution 

MEPs will decide on reductions in CO2 emissions for lorries and buses to cut greenhouse-gas emissions.

The draft report from the Environment Committee proposes a higher target (35%) than the European Commission’s proposal (30%) for new lorries to reduce the EU’s CO2 emissions by 2030, with an intermediate target of 20% by 2025.

Manufacturers will also have to ensure that zero- and low-emission vehicles (which emit at least 50% less) represent a 20% market share of the sales by 2030, and should already have 5% of the market share by 2025.

Environment Committee MEPs added urban buses to the scope of the proposal, and proposed that 50% of new buses should be electric from 2025 and 75% should be electric by 2030.

Debate: Wednesday, 14 November

Vote: Wednesday, 14 November

Procedure: ordinary legislative procedure 

The President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, will address MEPs in a formal sitting in Strasbourg on Wednesday at 11:30.

EU-South Africa strategic relations and cooperation, peace and security in Africa, development and trade and the priorities for the upcoming seventh EU-South Africa summit in Brussels on 15 November are likely to be among the issues addressed during Mr Ramaphosa’s first official visit to the European Parliament. He will also be the first South African President to deliver a speech in the House since his predecessor Thabo Mbeki did so in November 2004.

2018 further marks the centenary of the birth of former South African President Nelson Mandela, who in 1994 became the country’s first black head of state following the dismantling of the oppressive apartheid regime.

Background

Mr Ramaphosa assumed his office in February 2018, replacing Jacob Zuma. He previously served as Deputy President of South Africa. The European Union is currently South Africa’s biggest trade and investment partner. Since 1999, trade relations between the EU and South Africa are set out under the bilateral Trade Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA).

Debate: Wednesday, 14 November

Procedure: Formal sitting

MEPs will set out their views on the latest judicial reforms in Romania and their impact on the separation of powers, in a resolution to be put to the vote on Tuesday.

The non-legislative resolution will summarise the Parliament’s views following the debate with Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă on 3 October on the revamp of the judicial system, which sparked mass protests in Romania earlier this year.

Request for a permanent rule of law mechanism

In a separate non-legislative resolution to be put to the vote on Wednesday, MEPs will outline the need for a permanent and objective EU mechanism to assess if democracy and rule of law are being respected by all member states.

In a plenary debate with Council and Commission representatives on 23 October, MEPs argued that Article 7 of the EU Treaty is “not sufficient for an efficient response” to breaches of the EU´s founding values.

Debate: Wednesday, 3 October (Romania) - Tuesday, 23 October (Rule of law mechanism)

Vote: Tuesday, 13 November (Romania) - Wednesday, 14 November (Rule of law mechanism)

Procedure: Non-legislative resolutions

A resolution demanding EU-wide rules to ensure minorities’ rights and measures against EU countries with discriminatory practices will be put to a vote on Tuesday.

The text calls on the European Commission to start working on a directive on minimum standards for minorities in the EU, including benchmarks and measures to stop member states discriminating against minorities. It also recommends that the EU should use the definition of minorities set out in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

In their draft resolution, MEPs voice concern over the number of stateless Roma people in Europe often pushed to marginalisation. They call on EU countries to set up measures to end statelessness and guarantee that this minority group fully enjoys fundamental human rights.

Debate: Monday, 12 November

Vote: Tuesday, 13 November

Procedure: non-legislative resolution

MEPs will vote on measures to equip national competition authorities to better detect and tackle breaches of EU competition law, on Wednesday.

As national competition authorities in the EU member states (NCAs) apply EU competition rules to agreements or practices which affect cross-border trade, new rules are to be put in place to consistently enforce EU competition law throughout the EU. NCAs would have to have adequate budgetary independence, i.e. human and financial resources to carry out their work and to obtain information that could serve as evidence in investigating breaches of competition law.

Additionally, leniency programmes have been put in place, ensuring legal certainty and increasing the chances that companies will come clean about their illegal actions.

Debate: Tuesday, 13 November

Vote: Wednesday 14 November

Procedure: Ordinary legislative procedure, first reading agreement

MEPs will vote on a new multiannual plan to manage fishing opportunities and overfishing in the Adriatic Sea, on Tuesday.

This new law would manage the fisheries of small pelagic stocks, particularly sardine, anchovy, mackerel and horse mackerel, which currently are governed by several legal frameworks, at national, EU and international level.

In the draft position up for a vote, MEPs support regional cooperation, allowing groups of member states to submit joint recommendations on landing obligations and conservation measures. Nearly all the fisheries affected by this plan are from Italy and Croatia, with some boats from Slovenia, Albania and Montenegro.

Debate: Monday, 12 November

Vote: Tuesday, 13 November

Procedure: Co-decision

Parliament will vote on €17,730,519 in EU aid to repair damage caused by intense floods in Latvia in the summer and autumn of 2017, on Tuesday.

During August, September and October 2017, Latvia was affected by a long-lasting period of intense rainfall leading to soil being saturated and subsequent flooding throughout the country, particularly in the Latgale region and surrounding territories. The flood destroyed crops and caused widespread damage to water courses, the drainage system, connected water treatment installations as well as road and railway infrastructure.

The aid is intended to help restore essential infrastructure, reimburse the cost of emergency measures and cover the costs of some of the clean-up operations.

Background

The aid comes from the European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF), which was set up to respond to major natural disasters and express European solidarity to disaster-stricken regions within Europe. The Fund was created as a reaction to the severe floods in Central Europe in the summer of 2002. Since then, it has been used for 80 disasters covering a range of different catastrophic events including floods, forest fires, earthquakes, storms and drought. 24 different European countries have been supported so far for an amount of over €5 billion.

A list of all interventions can be downloaded here.

MEPs will discuss the state of play of the EU’s association agreements with Moldova and Georgia on Tuesday, followed by votes on resolutions on Wednesday.

Moldova

Implementing political reforms must be a top priority, the draft text on Moldova suggests. Although MEPs note some of the country’s achievements in the fields of trade, energy and public financial management, they are also concerned about its levels of corruption, lack of independent judiciary and backsliding on democratic standards.

Georgia

MEPs welcome Georgia’s efforts in sustaining the reform track, which makes the country a key EU partner in the region. They emphasise nevertheless that high-level corruption, labour and human rights and environmental protection remain areas of concern.

Debate: Tuesday, 13 November

Vote: Wednesday, 14 November

Procedure: Non-legislative resolution

The caravan of thousands of Central American migrants walking north towards the US-Mexico border will be debated by MEPs on Wednesday.

US President Donald Trump has referred to the migrant caravan as an “invasion” and criticised several Central American countries for letting their citizens leave their homes and come to the US “illegally”.

The United States Department of Defence, the Pentagon, has been ordered to deploy over 5000 troops at the US-Mexico border to stop people from entering the country without a permit.

Most migrants are said to be fleeing poverty and violence in their countries of origin, mainly Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini will also join MEPs for the debate in the hemicycle.

Debate: Wednesday, 14 November

Procedure: Statement by the EU Foreign Policy Chief 

The impact of US sanctions on Iran for European companies will be discussed in the plenary on Wednesday with the EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.

The recently reintroduced US sanctions against Iran threaten European companies doing business in Iran. The EU, in turn, seeks to shield the companies from the sanctions by allowing damages to be recovered and mitigating the effect in the EU of any foreign court rulings against the companies.

Background

The United States on 5 November re-imposed sanctions on Iran lifted under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action(JCPOA) nuclear agreement of 2015, after it withdrew from the nuclear agreement in May. Companies that do not obey the US sanctions would be barred from the US financial system, Washington warned.

The EU pledged to keep up trade between EU and Iran and to protect its companies against the fallout from extra-territorial sanctions.

Debate: Wednesday, 14 November

Procedure: Statement by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy 

Parliament will vote on a proposal for a new EU humanitarian visa system, which would allow asylum-seekers to reach Europe without putting their lives at risk.

The new system would allow people seeking international protection to request a visa at EU embassies or consulates abroad, giving them access to European territory - specifically to the member state issuing the visa - for the sole purpose of submitting an asylum application.

With this initiative, Civil Liberties Committee MEPs want to ensure that asylum-seekers can use legal means into Europe, to reduce trafficking and the subsequent death toll on the migration routes to the EU, particularly in the Mediterranean Sea.

The draft report calls on the European Commission to table a legislative proposal setting up a European humanitarian visa system, by 31 March 2019. In order to be adopted it will need the backing of an absolute majority from the Chamber (376 MEPs).

Debate: Tuesday, 13 November

Vote: Wednesday, 14 November

Press conference: Wednesday, 14 November, at 15.30 with rapporteur Juan Fernado López Aguilar (S&D, ES)

Procedure: Legislative initiative

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Parliament will hold urgent debates on the following human rights, democracy and rule of law topics on Thursday 15 November, at around 10.00, with the votes following at 12.00.

  • Vietnam, notably the situation of political prisoners,
  • The human rights situation in Cuba,
  • The human rights situation in Bangladesh.

Debate: Thursday 15 November

Vote: Thursday 15 November

Procedure: non-legislative resolutions

  • Source : europarl.europa.eu
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