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Agenda The Week Ahead 12 – 18 October 2015


Plenary session and committees meetings, Brussels

Plenary session (Wednesday)

European Council. The day before EU leaders meet to discuss recently agreed measures to address the refugee crisis, Members will present their views on a European asylum and immigration policy. Members are also set to debate the future of the Economic and Monetary Union and the UK Referendum on the EU, both of which are on the summit agenda. EP President Schulz will address the European Council, followed by a press conference.

Climate change/COP21. Parliament will vote its position on the December Paris climate change conference of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP21), where a new global agreement should be reached. The resolution will constitute the mandate for the 15 MEPs delegated to attend the COP21.

Migration. MEPs vote to give their green light to allocate an extra €401.3 million to the Asylum Migration and Integration Fund, the Internal Security Fund, the European Neighbourhood Instrument, the Frontex border agency the European Asylum Support Office and Europol. These funds will enable the latter three agencies to hire more staff.


GMO imports. A draft law proposed by the EU Commission, which would allow any EU country to decide whether to ban imports and sales of GM products on its territory, will be up for a vote in the Environment and Public Health Committee. In recent debates on the topic, most members pointed out that this proposal could hamper the functioning of the internal market and the competitiveness of the EU farm sector. (Tuesday)

Facebook/Safe Harbour. The recent European Court of Justice ruling, triggered by a complaint over Facebook's handling of data, that the Commission's "Safe Harbour" decision allowing firms to transfer EU citizens' private data to the US was invalid, will be debated by Civil Liberties Committee Members. (Monday)

Mass surveillance of EU citizens. Civil Liberties Committee MEPs will evaluate what the EU Commission and member states have done to take on board Parliament's recommendations set out in a March 2014 resolution on the electronic mass surveillance of EU citizens, following revelations by whistleblower Edward Snowden. (Tuesday)

Sakharov Prize. MEPs will choose a shortlist of three finalists for Parliament's 2015 award for freedom of thought, in a joint vote by the Foreign Affairs and Development committees and the Human Rights Subcommittee. The Sakharov prize is awarded by the European Parliament every year to honour defenders of human rights and freedom of expression. (Thursday)

Country-specific recommendations and tax rulings. The Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee will vote on a key report on the extent to which EU member states have acted upon the 2015 country-specific economic reform recommendations proposed by the EU Commission and approved by the Council. The committee will also vote on a Commission proposal for the automatic exchange of information on tax rulings, on which the Council struck a deal on 6 October. (Tuesday)

Organic food labelling. A draft law to improve the reliability of EU labels on organic food and enhance consumers' trust through, inter alia, more risk-based checks on producers and stricter rules for producing bio-food, will be voted in the Agriculture Committee. (Tuesday)

President's agenda. President Schulz will be in Tehran on Tuesday to meet some of Iran's top political figures. On Wednesday he will meet Latvia’s President Raimonds Vējonis, in Brussels. Mr Schulz will meet Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (followed by press point) and Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis, on Thursday.

Press briefing. The EP Press Service will hold a press briefing on the week's activities at 11.00 on Monday, in the “Anna Politkovskaya” EP press conference room, Brussels. Journalists can use #EPressbriefing to put questions on committees' work before and during the briefing.

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