Discussing the European way of life in Riga
European politicians, academics, policy-makers and opinion-shapers will gather in Riga, Latvia, from 23-25 May at the annual conference of the European Ideas Network (EIN) entitled 'The European Way of Life'. “We will discuss the European way of life and make clear to everyone what that really means and how it differs from others", said Paulo Rangel MEP, Chair of the European Ideas Network and Vice-Chair of the EPP Group. During the event, one of the political highlights will be the former President of Poland, Lech Wałęsa, who will receive the EIN Francisco Lucas Pires Merit Award for his contribution to the European project and his fight for the rule of law, liberal democracy and Christian values.
Mark Zuckerberg to meet EP leaders
An extraordinary meeting with the Chief Executive Officer of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, will take place on Tuesday in the European Parliament. The EPP Group Chairman Manfred Weber will expect Zuckerberg to clarify issues related to the use of personal data and to assure that the data of European Facebook users is protected from misuse.
Road charges: fair charging for better roads
The Transport and Tourism Committee will vote on Thursday morning on the phasing-out of the Eurovignette for heavy duty vehicles and vans. The vote is the first in a series of big mobility package files that are on the table in the European Parliament. The time-based vignettes ought to be phased out to move towards a 'polluter and user pays' principle, based on distance and vehicle emissions. The EPP Group Shadow Rapporteur Georges Bach particularly welcomes the agreement to invest road charging revenues in infrastructure improvements for road users. Also, countries that do not charge for road use will not be forced to do so in the future. Existing road charging systems will be harmonised to make them more user friendly, save money and facilitate cross-border information exchange.
Benefits from public investment within cohesion policy
Cohesion policy is the most important investment vehicle of growth of the European Union. The EPP Group will hold a public hearing 'Externalities: a win-win situation in cohesion policy' on Wednesday 23 May at 15.30-18.30 hrs in the European Parliament, Brussels. Externalities are indirect benefits which Member States get from cohesion policy. This refers especially to the EU-15 and even more so to the net contributor countries, where the benefits in question are indirect and often not very easy to see. The hearing, with high-level guests and experts from the European Commission and various levels of government, aims to improve this perception.
Tuesday: Conference of Presidents in the EP with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Brussels
Wednesday: meeting with the winners of the Facebook video contest 'Trip to the heart of Europe', Brussels
Thursday: EIN Summer University, Riga, Latvia; honouring Lech Wałęsa with the EPP Group EIN Award
Friday: meeting with Gabrielius Landsbergis, Chairman of the Homeland Union, and Members of the Seimas in Vilnius, Lithuania
Saturday: speech at the HDZ Congress, Zagreb, Croatia
Press Conferences (22-25 May)
Friday @ 11.00 Pre-session briefing