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EP Plenary Session Newsletter 20-23 October 2014

What will the MEPs be working on during this week's Plenary Session in Strasbourg ? Highlights include: - Vote on the new European Commission - 2015: Parliament set to boost funding for EU priorities - Review of Barroso II Commission - European semester: action needed on EU countries’ economic reform pledges

Draft agenda
Follow the plenary live
Press conferences and other events
EP Audiovisual website
EP Newshub

Hearings of Commissioners-designate for transport and Energy Union

Violeta Bulc, the new Commissioner-designate for transport, and Maroš Šefčovič, newly proposed as Commission Vice-President for the Energy Union; will be quizzed on their skills and qualifications for these posts by the Environment, Energy and Transport committees on Monday evening from 19.00.

Two fresh hearings have to be held following the withdrawal of Alenka Bratušek, the former candidate Vice-President-designate for Energy Union from Slovenia, and portfolio changes made by Commission President-elect Jean- Claude Juncker after Ms Bulc was nominated the new Commissioner-designate from Slovenia.

The evaluations of the candidates by the committees (Environment and Energy for Mr Šefčovič and Transport for Ms Bulc) and Parliament's Conference of Presidents (President of the Parliament and leaders of all political groups) should be finalised on Tuesday. Parliament’s vote on the new Commission as a whole is scheduled for Wednesday at noon.

Debate: Monday, 20 October
Procedure: Hearings of Commissioners-designate

#EPhearings2014 #Bulc #Sefcovic

EP hearings 2014
Commissioners-designate (Commission's website)
Audiovisuel materiel

Irish MEPs on this issue: Mairead McGuinness, Fine Gael, (Midlands-North West)


Vote on the new European Commission

Jean-Claude Juncker, President-elect of the new Commission, is to present his team of 27 Commissioners-designate and discuss the priorities of the future Commission’s work programme with political groups on Wednesday morning. After final statements by the heads of political groups at noon and a vote on a resolution winding up the evaluation of candidate Commissioners , Parliament is then scheduled to elect (or reject) the new Commission as a college.

After providing written replies to MEPs’ questions, Commissioners-designate were given three-hour hearings by the parliamentary committee(s) dealing with their portfolios.

Following the final hearings, Parliament’s Conference of Presidents (EP President and political group leaders) will close the evaluation procedure and Parliament will vote on the Commission as a whole. Parliament elects or rejects the Commission by a majority of electronic roll call votes cast.

If elected, the new college will enter office on 1 November 2014, for a five-year term.

Debate:  Wednesday, 22 October
Vote: Wednesday, 22 October
Procedure: Election of Commission
Press Conference: Wednesday, 22 October, after the vote


Press Release on the election of Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (15.07.2014)
From European Elections to Election of the European Commission
Rules of procedure (118): Election of the Commission
EP Hearings of Commissioner-designates
Commission candidates and portfolios
Audiovisuel materiel

Irish MEPs on this issue: Sean Kelly, Fine Gael (South), Mairead McGuinness, Fine Gael, (Midlands-North West), Luke 'Ming' Flanagan, Independent (Midlands-North West), Nessa Childers, Independent (Dublin)  


2015: Parliament set to boost funding for EU priorities

Parliament as a whole is set to reverse all Council cuts in the EU draft budget for 2015 and even add to the amounts originally proposed by the Commission for priorities such as growth, job creation, research and education, including the Erasmus+ student exchange programme. In Wednesday’s vote MEPs are also likely to add more funding for external policies, including humanitarian aid to refugees and support for Ukraine and Palestine.

Budgets Committee MEPs recommended that Parliament should raise commitment appropriations to €146,348.9 million and payment appropriations to €146,416.5 million for 2015.

Debate: Tuesday, 21 October
Vote: Wednesday, 22 October
Procedure: budget
Press conference: Wednesday, 22 October, 14.00


Draft resolution on budget for 2015
Press release on committee vote (07.10.2014)
Rapporteur’s profile: Eider Gardiazábal Rubial (S&D, ES)
Rapporteur’s profile: Monika Hohlmeier (EPP, DE)
Procedure file

Irish MEPs on this issue: Liadh Ni Riada, Sinn Fein (South)


Review of Barroso II Commission

Current President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso is to give his final speech as President in plenary on Tuesday at 15.00. The European Parliament elected Mr Barroso for a second term on 16 September 2009, by 382 votes to 219 with 117 abstentions. It then approved his Commission on 9 February 2010, by 488 votes to 137, with 72 abstentions.

Debate: Tuesday, 21 October
Procedure: Statement by the President of the Commission followed by debate

@BarrosoEU @EU_Commission

Website of Commission President José Manuel Barroso
Press release - MEPs elect Barroso to a second term as Commission President (16.09.2009)
Press release - Parliament approves new European Commission (9.02.2010)
Barroso II Commission: Media gallery

Irish MEPs on this issue: Sean Kelly, Fine Gael (South), Marian Harkin, Independent (Midlands-North West), Nessa Childers, Independent (Dublin), Deirdre Clune, Fine Gael (South)


Members to discuss 23-24 October European Council priorities

A new climate and energy policy, with a focus on energy security, the economic situation in the EU and international developments are likely to be among the priorities discussed at the next European Council meeting in Brussels on 23 and 24 October. On Tuesday Members will discuss and present their priorities ahead of a summit that could also appoint the new Commission, if Parliament approves the college on Wednesday.

Debate:  Tuesday 21 October
Procedure:  Commission and Council statements

#Euco @EUCouncil #eucouncil

Draft agenda of the European Council, 23 and 24 October, Brussels

Irish MEPs on this issue: Brian Hayes, Fine Gael (Dublin),


Prolonging Ukraine’s duty-free access to the EU market

Plans to prolong duty-free access to the EU market for Ukraine’s exports, until the end of 2015, so as to support Ukraine’s struggling economy, will be put to a vote on Wednesday.

The provisional duty-free access arrangement was scheduled to expire after six months, on 1 November and be replaced by a mutual opening of markets in line with a comprehensive EU-Ukraine association agreement ratified by the EU and Ukraine parliaments in September.

But recently it was announced that the EU and Ukraine, after talks involving Russia, will delay their mutual liberalization of markets until 2016. Until then, Ukraine will retain a preferential trade regime with Russia which would not be compatible with the rules establishing an EU-Ukraine free trade area.

Debate:  Tuesday, 21 October
Vote:  Wednesday 22 October
Procedure:  Ordinary legislative procedure

#customs #Ukraine #Russia #DCFTA #Russianban

Draft report on extending elimination of customs duties on goods originating in Ukraine
Press release on EP initial vote to open the EU market for Ukrainian imports (03/04/2014)
Press release: European Parliament ratifies EU-Ukraine Association Agreement (16/09/2014)
Announcement by the EU commission to delay implementation of the DCFTA with Ukraine
Profile of rapporteur Gabrielius Landsbergis (EPP, LT)
Procedure file

EU job-search aid for former metal and car workers in Belgium, France and Spain

About 2,800 former workers at firms producing various metals in Spain, steel in Belgium, and cars in France and Belgium should get EU aid to help them find new jobs if it is approved in Tuesday's  plenary votes. The requests for European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) aid, together amounting to €15.2 million, also need to be approved by the EU Council of Ministers.

Vote: Tuesday, 21 October
Procedure: budgetary
#EGF #Belgium, #Spain #France #Genk #Valenciana

Press release on committee vote on metal workers in Spain, carmakers in Belgium (07.10.2014)
Press release on committee vote on PSA in France and steelmakers in Belgium (13.10.2014)
Draft report on EGF application for Comunidad Valenciana
Profile of the Rapporteur - Valenciana ES: Patricija Šulin (EPP, SL)
Procedure file - Valenciana, ES
Draft report on EGF application of Ford Genk
Profile of Rapporteur - Ford Genk: Paul Rübig (EPP, AT)
Procedure file - Ford Genk
Profile of Rapporteur - PSA: Isabelle Thomas (S&D, FR)
Procedure file - PSA
Profile of Rapporteur - Carsid, BE: Petri Sarvamaa (EPP, FI)
Procedure file - Carsid, BE

European semester: action needed on EU countries’ economic reform pledges

Too many EU countries are too slow to put their economic reform pledges into practice, MEPs will say in a debate on Tuesday and resolution to be voted on Wednesday. Only 10% of the “European Semester” country-specific reform recommendations for 2013 were implemented in full and little or no progress was made on 45% of them.

MEPs are likely to urge EU member states to act on their pledges for 2014, press for closer monitoring of their implementation by the European Commission and single-currency Eurogroup and suggest more avenues for triggering growth and jobs.

Debate: Tuesday, 21 October
Vote:  Wednesday, 22 October
Procedure: Own Initiative, Non-legislative resolution
Press conference: Wednesday 22 October, 11.00 to 11.30 am


Press release on committee vote (13.10.2014)
Profile of rapporteur Philippe De Backer (ALDE, BE)
Procedure file
EP Research: Country Specific Recommendations for 2013 and 2014: A comparison and an overview of implementation
EP Research: Overview on implementation of Country Specific Recommendations

Irish MEPs on this issue: Brian Hayes, Fine Gael (Dublin), Marian Harkin, Independent (Midlands-North West), Nessa Childers, Independent (Dublin)  


2012 accounts to close with votes on spending by Council and telecoms regulators

The Council of Ministers and the European Council are unlikely to win Parliament’s approval for their management of EU funds 2012 in Tuesday’s  debate and vote closing the budget “discharge” procedure for 2012. But the Latvia-based Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) is likely to get a discharge for 2012.

Debate: Wednesday, 22 October
Vote: Thursday, 23 October
Procedure: discharge

#discharge 2012 #EUCO #BEREC

Draft report on Council, European Council discharge
Draft report on BEREC discharge
Press release on committee vote (09.23.2014)
Profile of Rapporteur - Council, European Council: Tamás Deutsch (EPP, HU)
Procedure file Council, European Council
Profile of Rapporteur - BEREC: Petri Sarvamaa (EPP, FI)
Procedure file BEREC

Irish MEPs on this issue: Brian Hayes, Fine Gael (Dublin),


Debate on ISIS, Kobane and EU security risk posed by European “foreign fighters”

The plight of civilians trapped in the besieged Syrian city of Kobane, the wider threat posed by the advance of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS), and growing concern that Europeans returning home after fighting for ISIS pose a threat to the EU’s internal security will be debated with the Commission on Wednesday afternoon.

Debate:  Wednesday, 22 October
Procedure: Statement by the Commission

#Kobane #ISIS #Syria #foreignfighters


MEPs to debate EU-wide police crackdown on clandestine migrants

An EU-wide police crackdown on irregular migrants, under way from 13 to 26 October, will be debated with the Italian Presidency of the Council on Wednesday evening Named Mos Maiorum (“way of the elders”), it aims to apprehend irregular migrants, disrupt organised crime groups and gather information for intelligence and investigative purposes.

Police from all EU countries and those associated with the internal border check-free Schengen area have been invited to take part in the joint operation launched by the Italian Presidency of the Council and coordinated by the Italian Ministry of the Interior. While the operation is running, police will be placed at borders, airports and railway stations to check the ID papers of people they suspect of being in the EU illegally.

Debate:  Wednesday, 22 October
Procedure:  Council statement followed by debate (without resolution)

#MosMaiorum, #migration

Italian Presidency: What is

Debate on fundamental rights in Hungary

Worries about perceived threats to democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights in Hungary will be raised in a debate with the Council and Commission on Tuesday evening. In July 2013, the European Parliament urged that member states’ compliance with EU fundamental values should be regularly assessed, but also stressed the need to avoid double standards in the treatment of EU countries.

Debate: Tuesday, 21 October 2014
Procedure: Council and Commission statements followed by debate

#fundamentalrights #ruleoflaw #Hungary

European Parliament resolution of 3 July 2013 on the situation of fundamental rights: standards and practices in Hungary

Human rights and democracy resolutions

Parliament will hold urgent debates on the following topics relating to human rights and democracy, in the morning on Thursday 23 October at 9.00 with the votes following around 12.00.

1. Closing down of Memorial (Sakharov Prize 2009) in Russia
2. Human rights in Uzbekistan
3. Disappearance of 43 teaching students in Mexico

Debate: Thursday, 23 October
Vote: Thursday, 23 October
Procedure: non legislatives resolutions

Irish MEPs on this issue: Sean Kelly, Fine Gael (South),


Other Topics on the Agenda:

- Council and Commission Statements - Outcome of the high level conference on employment in Europe

Irish MEPs on this issue: Marian Harkin, Independent (Midlands-North West), Lynn Boylan, Sinn Fein (Dublin)


- Commission statement - Better prevention and management of floods at European level

Irish MEPs on this issue: Marian Harkin, Independent (Midlands-North West)


- Commission statement - Response to Ebola crisis

Irish MEPs on this issue: Deirdre Clune, Fine Gael (South)


- Motion for a resolution - European Agreement concluded by the European Barge union (EBU), the European Skippers Organisation (ESO) and the European Transport Workers' Federation (ETF) concerning certain aspects of the organisation of working time in inland water transport

Irish MEPs on this issue: Deirdre Clune, Fine Gael (South)