28.09.2018

MEPs want cleaner cars on EU roads by 2030 

A new law to be put to the vote on Wednesday advocates cutting carbon dioxide emissions from new cars and boosting the market share of zero - and low- emission vehicles.

The European Parliament’s Environment Committee proposes setting a higher, 45% target for reducing EU fleet-wide emissions for new cars by 2030, (compared to the EU Commission’s proposed target of 30%; year of reference 2020) with an intermediate target of 20% by 2025. The law also sets similar targets for new vans.

Carmakers would also have to ensure that zero- and low- emission vehicles - emitting less than 50g of CO2 per kilometre - have a 40% market share of sales of new cars and vans by 2030, and 20% by 2025.

Background

Transport is the only major sector in the EU where greenhouse gas emissions are still rising, says the text. In order to meet the commitments made at COP21 in 2015, the decarbonisation of the entire transport sector needs to speed up, on the path towards zero emissions by mid-century.

At the same time, the global automotive sector is changing rapidly, in particular in electrified powertrains. If European carmakers engage late in the necessary energy transition, they risk losing their leading role, says the report.

Procedure: ordinary legislative procedure

2017/0293(COD)

Debate: Tuesday 2 October

Vote: Wednesday 3 October

Press conference: Wednesday 3 October, 15.00

MEPs will vote on updated rules on audiovisual media services, ensuring better protection for children and a 30% quota of European works in online platforms’ catalogues.

The revised legislation will apply to broadcasters, but also to video-on-demand and video-sharing platforms, such as Netflix, YouTube or Facebook, as well as to live streaming on video-sharing platforms.

The new rules, designed to protect children, now oblige online platforms to take action against flagged content which incites violence, hatred and terrorism, and are stricter on advertising and product placement in children’s programmes.

New rules on advertising

New general rules on advertising are also defined. Advertising can only account for a maximum of 20% of the daily broadcasting period between 6.00 and 18.00, with a prime-time window between 18:00 and 0:00.

Procedure: COD 2016/0151(COD)

Vote: Tuesday 2 October

Press conference: Wednesday, 3 October from 10.00 to 10.30 with both rapporteurs, Petra Kammerevert (S&D, DE) and Sabine Verheyen (EPP, DE)

MEPs will discuss, on Tuesday, their priorities for the 18 October meeting of EU heads of state or government in Brussels, which is set to focus on Brexit, migration and internal security.

With little more than six months to go before Brexit, formally scheduled to take place on 30 March 2019, EU heads of state or government will discuss (in an EU27 format) the state of play of the negotiations over the terms of the UK’s withdrawal agreement.

Procedure::Debate without resolution

 2018/2771(RSP)

Debate: Tuesday, 2 October

MEPs will discuss on Wednesday the latest judicial reforms in Romania and their impact on the separation of powers, in the presence of Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă.

A resolution will be put to a vote in plenary in November.I.

The European Parliament already discussed the rule of law in Romania last February, following massive street protests after the Romanian Parliament approved an overhaul of how the judicial system is organised and changes to rules about conflicts of interest. The criminal code and the criminal procedure code have also been modified, but these changes are currently being reviewed by the Constitutional Court.

Demonstrators took to the streets again last month to protest over corruption and changes to the judiciary. Several people were injured in clashes with riot police.

The European Commission warned in January about the effect that these amendments might have on the independence of Romania's judicial system and its capacity to fight corruption effectively. Prior to the plenary debate, Frans Timmermans, first Vice-President of the Commission, will be in the Civil Liberties Committee on Monday 1 October to discuss the situation in the country with MEPs.

Procedure: Council and Commission statements, with resolution

Debate: Wednesday, 3 October

Vote: November I 

Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas will debate the future of Europe with MEPs and EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday morning at 10:00.

Jüri Ratas has been Prime Minister of the Republic of Estonia since November 2016. He is also the chairman of the Estonian Centre Party.

Mr Ratas will be the tenth EU head of state or government to address the House and debate with MEPs about the future of Europe, following on from:

The President of Romania, Klaus Werner Iohannis, will debate the future of Europe with MEPs at the October II plenary session in Strasbourg.

EP President Antonio Tajani and Prime Minister Ratas will give a joint press point on Wednesday at 12.30 in front of the protocol room.

Procedure: Debate without resolution

2018/2731(RSP)

Debate: Wednesday 3 October, at 10:00

Press point: Wednesday, 3 October, at 12.30 in front of the protocol room 

Barriers to the free movement of non-personal data handled by firms and public authorities will be banned within the EU, under new rules to be voted on Thursday.

The new legislation, already provisionally agreed with the Council, will prohibit national rules requiring that data be stored or processed in a specific member state.

“Non-personal” data includes, for example, aggregate and anonymised datasets used for big data analytics, data on precision farming that can help to monitor and optimise the use of pesticides and water, or data on maintenance needs for industrial machines.

The new regulation aims to pave the way for artificial intelligence, cloud computing and big data analysis.

The only grounds allowed for restricting where non-personal data may be located will be public security. Any remaining data localisation requirements will have to be published online, to ensure compliance and transparency.

Background

The free flow of non-personal data regulation complements the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which provides for the free movement and portability of personal data within the EU. Together they will create a framework for a common European data space. Data is thus becoming the fifth freedom in the single market, after persons, goods, services and capital.

Procedure: Co-decision (ordinary legislative procedure), 1st reading agreement

2017/0228(COD)

Debate: Wednesday, 3 October

Vote: Thursday, 4 October

MEPs will debate on Wednesday and vote on Thursday on new rules to speed up the freezing and confiscation of criminal assets across the EU.

The new rules, already informally agreed between Parliament and Council negotiators in June, will make it quicker and simpler for EU member states to ask each other to freeze criminal assets or confiscate criminal property.

Depriving criminals of their assets is an important tool for fighting organised crime and terrorism. However, currently only an estimated 1.1% of criminal profits are confiscated in the EU. The new measures, including tighter deadlines for authorities and standard documents for all EU countries, aim to cut off the sources of financing for criminals and terrorists across the EU by speeding up freezing and confiscation of their criminally-acquired assets.

Procedure: ordinary legislative procedure, first reading agreement

2016/0412(COD)

Debate: Wednesday, 3 October

Vote: Thursday, 4 October

Following the dismissal of 1,324 workers in 20 banks in three Dutch regions, the most disadvantaged among them should receive EU aid worth €1,192,500 to help find new jobs.

The redundancies in the financial services sector occurred because of the economic and financial crisis, causing many regional branch offices to close. The beneficiaries of the aid from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) are not the banks, but the 450 most disadvantaged workers from the regions of Friesland, Drenthe and Overijssel.

The majority of the workers who lost their jobs are women (59%) with a low or average education level, such as administrative personnel and receptionists. 27% of the redundant workers are over 55 years old, says the draft report by MEP Ivana Maletić (EPP, HR).

EGF funds can be used to cover measures such as job-search and outplacement assistance, training and entrepreneurship support.

Procedure: Budgetary

2018/2220(BUD)

Vote: Tuesday, 2 October

MEPs will vote on Tuesday to cancel €70 million in pre-accession funds earmarked for Turkey, as conditions to improve the rule of law were not met.

Last November, Parliament and Council decided to place in reserve €70 million in pre-accession funds for Turkey (€70m in commitment appropriations and €35m in payment appropriations), under the condition that “Turkey makes measurable, sufficient improvements in the fields of rule of law, democracy, human rights and press freedom, according to the annual report of the Commission.”

The Commission, however, in its annual report on Turkey, published on 17 April 2018, did not find evidence of any such improvements. The conditions were thus not met and MEPs are set to support the draft amending budget 5/2018, in which the Commission proposes transferring the funds earmarked for Turkey to strengthen programmes dealing with migration.

Procedure: Budgetary

2018/2165(BUD)

Vote: Tuesday, 2 October

The President of Montenegro, Milo Đukanović, will address MEPs in a formal sitting in Strasbourg on Tuesday at 11:30.

Progress made during Montenegro’s EU accession talks, security cooperation and election meddling and intervention by foreign powers are likely to be among the topics addressed by Mr Đukanović during his first official visit to the European Parliament.

Montenegrin authorities have accused Russia of attempting to orchestrate a coup on 16 October 2016 (the day of the parliamentary election) against Mr Đukanović, when he was still Prime Minister, with the help of pro-Russian sympathisers. This was allegedly done in order to prevent the country from joining NATO.

Nevertheless, Montenegro became the 29th member of the military alliance on 5 June 2017. EU accession negotiations with the country began in June 2012.

A press point by EP President Tajani and President Đukanović is scheduled for 12.00 in front of the protocol room.

Formal sitting

Debate: Tuesday, 2 October

The Trump administration’s move to cease all US funding of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) will be debated by MEPs, Council and EU Commission on Tuesday afternoon.

The announcement was made by the US State Department in August and sparked widespread Palestinian outrage, since around 5 million Palestinian refugees rely on the UN programme to sponsor health care schemes, schools, infrastructure and social services.

The current US administration has described the work of the UNRWA as an “irredeemably flawed operation” and also criticised other countries for not sharing the burden of supporting the Palestinian community enough.

MEPs are also set to discuss how the European Union should react to the US announcement. The EU and its member states are together UNRWA’s largest donor, contributing with 441 million euros in 2017.

Statement by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union or foreign Affairs and Security Policy

Debate: Tuesday, 2 October

MEPs will debate the latest developments in Yemen, which is facing the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, on Tuesday and vote on a resolution on Thursday.

More than three years of conflict between the forces loyal to the internationally-recognised government and Houthi rebels have devastated the country, leaving 22 million Yemeni people (80% of the total population) in dire need of humanitarian assistance or protection. The country is also suffering from the largest cholera outbreak ever recorded in modern history, with over one million suspected cases reported in 2017 and over 2 200 related deaths.

The war in Yemen is also seen as part of a regional power struggle between Shia-ruled Iran, backing Houthi rebels, and Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia, leading the Western-backed alliance of Arab states trying to restore the internationally-recognised government.

Throughout the civil war in Yemen, the European Parliament has called on all actors to de-escalate the conflict and to engage in UN-led peace talks and strive for political solutions. MEPs also called on EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini to launch an initiative to impose an EU arms embargo against Saudi Arabia, given the serious allegations that the Saudi Arabia-led coalition is breaching international humanitarian law in Yemen.

Statement by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (with resolution)

2018/2853(RSP)

Debate: Tuesday, 2 October

Vote: Thursday, 4 October

MEPs are set to quiz the Commission and Council on Tuesday on protecting the rights of EU nationals living in another member state in national and European elections.

In view of the upcoming European elections in May 2019, MEPs will ask the Commission and Council if they intend to propose measures to safeguard the right of all EU citizens to choose to vote either in their member state of origin or in their host member state. The Parliament will ask the Commission if it considers limiting or depriving citizens of their right to vote a violation of the right to free movement under EU law.

Currently, six member states (Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Malta and the United Kingdom), under different conditions, deprive their nationals living abroad of voting rights in national parliamentary elections. Nationals of some member states may not be able to vote for Members of the European Parliament elected in their member state of origin. In some EU countries (e.g. Spain and Portugal), there are insufficient or no facilities to vote from abroad, which is an obstacle to the exercise of the right to vote.

Nationals of some member states may not be able to vote for Members of the European Parliament elected in their member state of origin.

Procedure: Oral question to the Commission and Council

Debate: Tuesday 2 October

Local and regional authorities tend to be tasked with receiving and integrating migrants and refugees, but they often lack the necessary support and funding.

In view of the upcoming European elections in May 2019, MEPs will ask the Commission and Council if they intend to propose measures to safeguard the right of all EU citizens to choose to vote either in their member state of origin or in their host member state. The Parliament will ask the Commission if it considers limiting or depriving citizens of their right to vote a violation of the right to free movement under EU law.

Currently, six member states (Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Malta and the United Kingdom), under different conditions, deprive their nationals living abroad of voting rights in national parliamentary elections. Nationals of some member states may not be able to vote for Members of the European Parliament elected in their member state of origin. In some EU countries (e.g. Spain and Portugal), there are insufficient or no facilities to vote from abroad, which is an obstacle to the exercise of the right to vote.

Nationals of some member states may not be able to vote for Members of the European Parliament elected in their member state of origin.

Procedure: Oral question to the Commission and Council

Debate: Tuesday 2 October

A draft law to be voted on Wednesday aims to avoid duplicating national assessments to determine a medicine’s added value and help EU countries decide on pricing.

Health professionals, patients and institutions need to know whether or not a new medicine or medical device is an improvement compared to other products on the market. Health technology assessments (HTA) therefore aim to identify their added value and to help EU countries decide on pricing and reimbursement. HTAs are, however, under the exclusive competence of member states, leading to an unnecessary duplication of assessments.

The new law aims to boost cooperation between member states in the field of HTA, by laying out the procedure to carry out voluntary joint assessments. Provisions cover aspects such as rules for sharing data, setting up coordination groups, avoiding conflicts of interest among experts, and publishing the results of the joint work.

Background

MEPs highlight that there are many barriers to accessing medicine and innovative technologies in the EU, the main ones being the lack of new treatments for certain diseases and the high price of medicines, which in many cases do not have an added therapeutic value.

Procedure: codecision

2018/0018(COD)

Debate: Monday, 1 October

Vote: Wednesday, 3 October 

With numerous prominent cases of money laundering by EU banks making the headlines in recent months, MEPs will debate the issue on Wednesday.

MEPs will seek to obtain a better understanding, in discussion with the Council and the EU Commission, of what measures should be put in place to tackle the proliferation of such cases.

Council and Commission statements

Debate: Wednesday, 3 October

MEPs will vote on Wednesday to broadly back the Commission’s proposed reform of the VAT system, while proposing adjustments to set a maximum VAT rate.

The two pieces of legislation on the table are part of the wide-ranging package of measures proposed by the European Commission to reform the VAT system and improve cross-border clarity. One aims to facilitate trade for SMEs within the single market and reduce VAT fraud, while the other deals with setting up a clearer system of VAT rates.

Every year, EU countries lose up to €50 billion to cross-border Value Added Tax fraud.

MEPs are expected to back the broad drive put forward by the Commission, while proposing to establish a maximum VAT rate of 25%, dispute resolution mechanisms, and an information portal through which to quickly obtain accurate information on VAT rates in other member states.

Procedure: Consultation

2017/0251(CNS) -  Definitive VAT regime
2018/0005(CNS) - Rates of value added tax 

Debate: Tuesday, 2 October

Vote: Wednesday, 3 October

Updated rules to clarify the role of Eurojust and improve its effectiveness will be discussed in plenary session on Wednesday and voted on Thursday.

Eurojust, the EU’s judicial cooperation unit, facilitates cross-border investigations and prosecutions of serious crimes in the EU. The changes in the Agency’s structure, field of action and operation, including a new governance model, will enhance Eurojust's efficiency in tackling cross-border crime.

The updated rules, already agreed by Parliament and Council negotiators in June, also take into account the establishment of the European public prosecutor's office (EPPO) as well as the new rules on data protection. Furthermore, with the revision of the rules, the European Parliament and national parliaments will in future be more involved in evaluating Eurojust’s activities.

Procedure: ordinary legislative procedure, first reading agreement

2013/0256(COD)

Debate: Wednesday, 3 October

Vote: Thursday, 4 October

  • Source : europarl.europa.eu
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