Sakharov Prize for Oleg Sentsov
The Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov has become the first European Sakharov Prize Laureate in ten years, since Memorial in 2009, and the first Laureate from Ukraine. The EPP Group nominated Oleg Sentsov for his peaceful protest against the Russian occupation of Crimea and his quest to release all Ukrainian political prisoners held illegally in Russia. The award ceremony will take place at the Strasbourg plenary session at 12.00 o'clock.
EU-Japan economic and strategic partnership
On Tuesday, MEPs should give their consent to the conclusion of the agreements on the Economic and Strategic Partnership with Japan. The EPP Group believes that the conclusion of both agreements is clear proof of the EU’s commitment to the rules-based multilateral system and the free trade which will benefit EU citizens. The Strategic Partnership will create a legally-binding framework for cooperation between the EU and Japan in more than 40 areas such as foreign policy and security issues, emergency relief operation, global development and humanitarian aid, ICT policy, space technology, research and innovation. The Agreement on Economic Partnership will be the biggest bilateral trade agreement ever negotiated by the EU forging an economic zone of 600 million people worth more than 30 percent of global GDP and representing 40% of global trade.
Fighting terrorism head-on
The 2015 and 2016 terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels respectively were an eye-opener for European law-makers that security should be taken more seriously. One of the EPP Group's initiatives was to launch a special Parliamentary Committee focusing on terrorism and how to ensure a safer European continent. The hard work of this committee is now in its final stages, as the European Parliament will vote on the final report on Wednesday.
More transparent EU food safety authorisation
The European Parliament will decide on new rules regarding the Union’s food safety policy on Tuesday. The European Commission proposal comes after citizens complained in an initiative last year that studies used to assess the carcinogenicity of the herbicide glyphosate were not revealed transparently. The EPP Group believes that even though there is room for improvement in EFSA's transparency rules, everything must be done to protect the jobs and competitiveness of European producers, and to prevent their ideas being stolen.
More money for digital, defence, space and infrastructure sectors in long-term EU budget 2021-2027
Four highly important European Parliament positions on priorities for the EU long-term budget 2021-2017 in the areas of the digital economy, defence, space policy and intra-EU connections (CEF) in the area of transport, energy and digital, will be voted on on Wednesday in plenary. The EPP Group priorities are clear: we want to invest in high-performance connections under the CEF, give more firepower to European defence, secure Europe as a world space power, and prepare the digital Europe for Artificial Intelligence and supercomputers.
Addressing migration challenges through a revamped Visa Code
After the vote in the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee on a revamped Visa Code, all Members of the European Parliament will vote on the dossier during the Strasbourg Plenary Session on Tuesday. The new Visa Code is a very important tool which reflects new security threats, but also more importantly addresses new migration challenges faced by our continent. The new harmonised and coordinated rules will ensure that it will be easier for legitimate travellers to enter while stricter security checks will make sure that those who do enter do not pose a security risk.
Horizon Europe: substantial increase in EU budget for research and innovation
The EPP Group believes that only a substantial increase in the EU budget for research and innovation will assure that Europe remains competitive compared to the United States and China. The European Parliament will ask the Member States to increase the EU budget for research and innovation, Horizon Europe, in the upcoming long-term budget (Multiannual Financial Framework) for 2021-2027 from €77 to €120 billion making it by far the largest research programme in the world. The vote will take place on Wednesday.
Protecting the EU budget from rule of law breaches in the Member States
The rule of law is a prerequisite for the protection of fundamental values on which the Union is founded, such as freedom, democracy, equality and respect for human rights. Respect for these values must be ensured throughout all Union policies including the EU Budget. The Budgets and Budgetary Control committees will vote on Thursday on a mechanism that, as part of the next multiannual budget, would establish the rules necessary for the protection of the Union’s budget in the case of generalised deficiencies as regards the rule of law in the Member States.
EU-Ukraine Association Agreement
On Tuesday, MEPs will debate and assess the implementation of the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine against the backdrop of the recent incident on the Azov Sea. The EPP Group strongly condemns this deliberate act of aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine and demands the immediate and unconditional release of all Ukrainian sailors and vessels. The EPP Group also calls on the EU and its Member States to introduce targeted sanctions in case the Ukrainian servicemen are not released. The Report, authored by Michael Gahler MEP, will be voted on on Wednesday.
Common Foreign and Security Policy
MEPs will adopt the Annual Report on the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) on Wednesday. Authored by EPP Group Member David McAllister, the Report stresses that the time has come for the European Union to take its destiny into its own hands. It also supports a debate within the EU about new formats, including to move to Qualified Majority Voting (QMV) in specific areas of the CFSP where the Treaties currently require unanimity, notably human rights issues, sanctions and civilian missions.
Military mobility will help to easily transport European and NATO soldiers and military equipment across Europe without unnecessary legal, infrastructural and procedural burdens. The Rapporteur emphasises that keeping a strict deadline in identifying and eliminating bottlenecks in military mobility are crucial for the EU's credibility. The funds from the Connecting Europe Facility for adapting the infrastructure should be significant in order to show Europe’s will and readiness to move forward. All Member States will benefit from enhanced military mobility as the coordination between civilian and military transportation will be further improved and will also greatly benefit the civilian infrastructure. The vote will take place on Tuesday.
More commitment needed to complete Single Market
To wind up the debate on the Commission’s statement on the Single Market Package, held on 28 November, Members of the European Parliament will adopt the Resolution on Wednesday. While the Single Market has been the basis for Europe’s economic success and the cornerstone of European integration and the engine of jobs and growth, it is yet not fully exploiting all its potential. We believe that the deepening of the Single Market requires more political courage and commitment than 25 years ago and greater efforts to close the gap between rhetoric and delivery. We are convinced that in order to do so, a level playing field is key, with the same rules for all players in all Member States. The European Parliament's Resolution also urges the European Commission to make better use of existing instruments to take action against national rules challenging the Single Market.
Wednesday: Debate on the Future of Europe with the President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades (10:00 hrs)
Press Conferences (10-14 December)
Tuesday @ 09.30 Angelika Niebler MEP, Rapporteur, on the trilogue result - cybersecurity ENISA
Tuesday @ 11.10 EPP Group plenary briefing
Wednesday @ 15.00 Monika Hohlmeier MEP and others on the findings and recommendations to combat terrorism in the EU