New system to strengthen Europe's border security
The new European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) is a system of checks and assessments allowing us to know who is entering the EU, from where and if they pose a risk to EU security. Parliament's Spokeswoman for this legislation, Kinga Gál MEP, claims that the ETIAS is an essential tool to bridge the existing information gap on visa-free travellers, as the information gathered will enable a better assessment of any potential risks."This new system will significantly contribute to the enhancement of the security of our EU citizens. The ETIAS is therefore an important step forward towards stronger and smarter information systems for borders and security”, emphasises the Rapporteur. The debate will take place on Wednesday, vote on Thursday.
Summit conclusions, Bulgarian and Austrian Presidency debates
MEPs will debate the outcome of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council and the tasks ahead for the Austrian Presidency on Tuesday. They will also debate the outcome of the European Summit of 28-29 June which was mainly focused on the migration issue and on the Eurozone reform. "The EU summit took a big step towards a better migration policy. Europe stands for humanity towards people in need, determination in the protection of external borders and in the fight against illegal migration, as well as for solidarity with one another", stresses EPP Group Chairman Manfred Weber. Finally, in the framework of the series of debates with Heads of State and Government, they will debate the Future of Europe with the Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Wednesday.
Mobility Package: plenary gambles with truckers' working conditions
On Wednesday, Parliament will vote on three crucial Reports in the Mobility Package on driving and rest times, posting of workers and cabotage which should improve working conditions for truck drivers and drastically improve enforcement of the rules. After the rejection of the mandates voted in the Transport Committee, the plenary will seek a first reading position to start negotiations with Council. In addition to the compromise reached by a majority in the committee which managed to bridge the differences between peripheral and central countries in the internal market, the EPP Group has tabled amendments to unite the plenary as well. The EPP Group will insist on a clear signal that the new rules should be proportionate, enforceable and reduce administrative burdens, rather than increase them, without undermining an open and competitive internal market.
€500 million towards stronger EU defence
An increase in cooperation in the defence industry and strengthening the competitiveness of the EU defence industry are core priorities for the EPP Group. The deal with the Council is to allocate €500 million in 2019 and 2020 to the European Defence Industrial Development Programme. This completely new programme is aimed at cross-EU country development of EU defence capabilities, for instance drones for military use or a European cyber defence mechanism. In the future, increased pan-EU cooperation in the big weapons systems - aircraft, battle tanks, and navy ships - could and should be foreseen. The debate will take place on Monday, members will approve the deal on Tuesday.
Copyright in the Digital Single Market
The Legal Affairs Committee’s decision to open negotiations with Council on the Copyright Directive will be announced on Monday at the start of the Plenary. The new Directive introduces new rules regarding publishers’ rights, addresses the problem of a value gap, as well as setting a text and data mining exception. The aim of the Directive is to adapt copyright rules to the new realities of the 21st century. The EPP Group is of the opinion that platforms which develop their commercial activities on uploaded creative content need to fairly remunerate the creators. In this respect, quality journalism in Europe is also to be maintained by protecting the legal certainty of the publishers against some news aggregators that use the content of press publications without contributing to sustaining the investments in their creation.
Deteriorating situation in Venezuela
On Tuesday, in the presence of the EU High Representative, Members will discuss the situation in Venezuela, which faces an unprecedented political, social, economic and humanitarian crisis resulting in increasing numbers of deaths and refugees. Due to the deteriorating situation in the country, the number of Venezuelan nationals seeking asylum abroad has increased by 2000% since 2014 and the number of Venezuelan refugees has surpassed 2 million. The EPP Group believes that the illegal and undemocratic re-election on May 20 of Nicolas Maduro further worsened the situation. We demand that the Venezuelan authorities allow unimpeded humanitarian aid into the country as a matter of urgency, we call for the holding of fresh presidential elections and call for a very strong response from the EU and the whole international community. In this regard, the EPP Group welcomes the adoption of further sanctions imposed against 11 individuals responsible for breaches of human rights.
2019 EU Budget mandate for trilogue
Next year's EU budget mandate for trilogue will be debated and voted on on Wednesday and Thursday by the Plenary. The Report reflects on the Commission's draft budget for 2019 and the EP's recommendations, communicated with the guidelines in March. “We are giving a strong signal to innovation and competitiveness. The EPP Group also wants to give a strong signal to the European youth and continue the DiscoverEU Programme for 15,000 young people in 2019 and 2020. They are the future of our society and we want to promote mobility and give young people the opportunity to learn about the culture, history and citizens of the EU and make EU-wide friendships”, stated Monika Hohlmeier MEP, the EPP Group negotiator for the 2019 EU Budget. Once adopted, it will constitute the European Parliament's first reaction to the Commission's draft budget presented on the 23rd of May.
EU electoral law reform ahead of the 2019 elections
The European Parliament will give its consent on Wednesday to a draft Council decision amending the Electoral Act of 1976 laying down common rules for elections to the European Parliament. Among other things, the new rules will put in place a minimum threshold of between 2% and 5% for constituencies comprising more than 35 seats. Transnational lists are not included in the decision. Danuta Hübner MEP is the Rapporteur.
On Thursday, Monika Hohlmeier MEP, Rapporteur on the final recommendations of the Special Committee on Terrorism, will present her draft Report for the first time. The text proposes concrete measures in terrorism prevention, such as closing radical mosques, measures against blacklist hate preachers, counter-terrorism cooperation - by granting a stronger role to Europol - and helping victims and their families in the aftermath of an attack.
Facebook - third hearing in the European Parliament
On Monday, during a third hearing on Cambridge Analytica, our EPP Group Members will require answers from Facebook's Vice-President of Policy Solutions Richard Allan about what remedies Facebook plans to take to prevent more data leaks and abuse. Four Commissioners will then discuss with MEPs which policy solutions the EU must find to protect the privacy of its citizens.
Sunday: Meeting of the CSU Party Bureau, Munich
Monday: Meeting with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, Strasbourg; meeting with EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and EPP Party President Joseph Daul
Tuesday: plenary speeches during the debate on the review of the Bulgarian Council Presidency and during the debate on the presentation of the programme of the Austrian Presidency, Strasbourg; CoP lunch with Sebastian Kurz, Chancellor of Austria, Strasbourg; plenary speech during the debate on the outcome of the European Council meeting, Strasbourg; CoP dinner with Mateusz Morawiecki, Prime Minister of Poland, Strasbourg
Wednesday: plenary speech during the debate on the Future of Europe in the presence of the Prime Minister of Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki, Strasbourg
Thursday: CSU Party event in Neu-Ulm, Bavaria
Sunday: CSU Party event, Schöllnach, Bavaria
Press Conferences (2-6 July)
Tuesday @ 16.00 Lambert van Nistelrooij MEP and others on the Regio Stars Award
Wednesday @ 14.00 Danuta Maria Hübner MEP, co-Rapporteur and others on the reform of the European Union's electoral law