Brexit on the agenda for EU leaders
On Wednesday, MEPs will debate the results of the European Council of 19-20 October which focused on migration, defence, foreign affairs and digitalisation. Manfred Weber MEP will take the floor on behalf of the EPP Group.
Shadows over media freedom in Malta
Following the assassination of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia and upon the request of the EPP Group, MEPs will debate the protection of journalists and the defence of media freedom in Malta in plenary. The EPP Group calls on the European Commission to act and make sure that an independent international investigation is conducted into Mrs Caruana Galizia's murder and that the perpetrators are swiftly brought to justice. The debate will take place on Tuesday.
Decision on the 2017 Sakharov Prize finalist
On Thursday, the Conference of Presidents will elect the winner of this year's Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. The EPP Group (together with the ALDE Group) gives it support to the Democratic Opposition in Venezuela: the National Assembly, represented by its President Julio Borges, and all political prisoners as listed by Foro Penal, represented by Leopoldo López, Antonio Ledezma, Daniel Ceballos, Yon Goicoechea, Lorent Saleh, Alfredo Ramos and Andrea González. We appreciate their struggle for democracy, civic freedoms and the rule of law in Venezuela where since the beginning of 2017, more than 130 opponents have been murdered and more than 500 have been arbitrarily imprisoned. We believe that awarding the Sakharov Prize to the Democratic Opposition and all the political prisoners in Venezuela will represent the best spirit of the prize and will definitely serve the cause of freedom of conscience, human rights, democracy and rule of law.
A new electronic EU Entry-Exit System
A new electronic Entry-Exit System to register all non-EU citizens coming to the Schengen area for a short stay will be discussed and voted on by the plenary on Wednesday. Both visa-required and visa-exempt travellers will have to register their name, type of travel document, biometrics and the date and place of entry and exit. Rapporteur Agustín Díaz de Mera welcomes the legislative proposal, one of the EPP Group's priorities: “The new Entry-Exit System is a very important step forward towards strengthening security in Europe. It will allow law enforcement authorities to search in travel history records while investigating crimes related to terrorism and other serious breaches of law. The system will be fully electronic which will facilitate border controls for both visitors and border guards.”
EU budget for 2018: Parliament to amend the Council’s position
The European Parliament will vote to amend the Council's position on the 2018 EU budget on Wednesday. “We have a very strong majority in the European Parliament to reject and restore the €1.7 billion cuts proposed by the Council. We understand that we need to deliver what the citizens of Europe expect from us: a stronger economy and increased safety”, stated Siegfried Mureşan MEP, General Rapporteur for the 2018 EU budget.
Economic policies of the Euro area
The European Parliament's Report on the economic policies of the Euro area will be put to the vote in plenary on Thursday. The Report highlights the need for structural reforms to ensure the competitiveness and resilience of the European economy. It also calls for full compliance and enforcement of the Stability and Growth Pact. Gunnar Hökmark MEP is the EP Rapporteur.
Securitisations: from poison to remedy
The European Parliament will adopt new rules for securitisations in Europe on Thursday. "Securitisations are still ill-famed because they spread the US subprime crisis globally in 2008. Now we are making them simpler, more transparent and more standardised. With clear and strict rules, a poison can become a remedy. Our aim is to make securitisations a tool to finance the real economy and restore trust between banks", said Othmar Karas MEP, Parliament's Rapporteur of the new rules.
EP vote on glyphosate
The Parliament will vote on Tuesday on the Commission's proposal to extend the use of the active substance glyphosate. For the EPP Group, citizens' health is the main priority, but phasing out the use of glyphosate by as soon as 2020 could have detrimental consequences for the agricultural sector. This perspective of the potential ban on glyphosate should also be carefully considered, the EPP Group stresses, adding that appropriate solutions should be found to replace the use of glyphosate before totally forbidding it. The final decision on the topic will be made by the EU Member States. The vote on the subject in Council will take place on Wednesday.
Airlines charging extra for flight reservations
On Wednesday MEPs will debate an Oral Question by Claudia Monteiro and other Members of the EPP Group on the neutrality of online reservation systems and restriction of access to flight information. One major European airline is already charging extra for reservations of tickets outside their own online platform and others airlines have indicated they will start doing the same. In addition, they are restricting access to flight information for online price comparison platforms like Skyscanner or Kayak and other online distribution systems. The result of these developments is that comparing prices is becoming more difficult and travellers will be paying more for less flight options. We need to safeguard the transparency of flight information and protect a level playing field in the market.
Step up EU help following the wildfires in Portugal and Spain
At the request of the EPP Group, the European Parliament will hold a debate on Wednesday on how to step up the EU emergency response after the tragic consequences of the wildfires in Portugal and Spain. In the last four months, violent wildfires have taken more than 100 lives in the Iberian Peninsula, leaving the region with a burnt area superior to double the size of Luxembourg.
Voting on the future of EU finances
On Tuesday, the European Parliament will vote on its position on Commissioner Oettinger's reflection paper on the future of EU finances."This Resolution prepares the ground for future negotiations on the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). The EPP Group seeks to start a constructive dialogue with the Commission and the Council with the aim of reaching a final agreement on the next MFF before the end of this parliamentary term", said Jan Olbrycht MEP, co-Rapporteur of the MFF.
Organic and safer fertilisers in the EU
The EPP Group supports a new law that will open up the Single Market for the free circulation of fertilising products as part of the Circular Economy Package. We stand for promoting the use of innovative fertilisers from recycled and organic materials. The proposal sets limits on heavy metals and contaminants in these products in order to better protect the health and environment.The EPP Group is also asking for more investment into research and the implementation of decadmination technologies.
Sunday/Monday: internal meeting of the CDU/CSU MEPs, Dollenberg, Germany
Monday: EPP Group meeting in Strasbourg
Tuesday: speech in the key debate on the conclusions of the European Council; regular press briefing of the plenary week, Strasbourg, pre-coalition talks, Berlin
Wednesday: pre-coalition talks, Berlin
Friday: speech at the Rethinking Europe Congress - Christian contributions to the future of the European project, Rome
Press Conferences (23-27 October)
Tuesday @ 11.10 EPP Group Chairman Manfred Weber's plenary briefing
Wednesday @ 15.00 Pavel Svoboda MEP and others on 'Stop the biannual clock change'