Political group and committee meetings, Brussels
Here is what's coming up this week at committees: Danish law on asylum and refugees, Trade secrets, Port services, Fight against fraud, Serbia and Kosovo, ECB annual report, Plenary preparations, President's agenda, Pre-session press briefing, Press seminar on terrorism.
Danish law on asylum and refugees. A controversial draft law, proposed by the Danish government, which would empower the authorities to seize valuable assets from refugees in order to pay for their stay when applying for asylum in Denmark, will be debated at the Civil Liberties Committee. (Monday)
Trade secrets. An informal Parliament/Council deal on new rules to help businesses obtain legal redress against the theft or misuse of their trade secrets is up for a vote in the Legal Affairs Committee. MEPs sought in the talks to ensure that freedom of expression and information are protected and that the new rules will not restrict the work of journalists. (Thursday)
Port services. New rules to improve the quality and efficiency of services provided to sea port users, such as shipping companies, will be voted by the Transport Committee. The committee will set out its position on measures proposed by the Commission for market access to port services and to improve the transparency of port infrastructure and port service charges and public funding of ports. (Monday)
Fight against fraud. Proposals on how to improve checks on EU spending and claw back EU funds lost through fraud or irregular spending will be voted by the Budgetary Control Committee, in a resolution based on the Commission’s 2014 annual report on the performance of the member states and the Commission itself in stepping up the fight against fraudulent use of EU funds. (Thursday)
Serbia and Kosovo. Progress made in 2015 by Serbia on its path to EU membership and by Kosovo on state-building reforms will be assessed in two resolutions to be voted by the Foreign Affairs Committee. (Thursday)
ECB annual report. European Central Bank activities in 2014 will be assessed in a resolution to be voted by the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, including its monetary policy and its role in the Troika programme. (Monday)
Plenary preparations. Political groups will prepare for the 1- 4 February plenary session in Strasbourg. Amongst other topics, MEPs will prepare for debates with Commission President Juncker on the upcoming EU summit and with ECB President Draghi on the European Central Bank's annual report. Groups will get ready for votes on EP recommendations to EU negotiators on the world trade in services (TISA) deal and on establishing an EU platform to prevent and track undeclared work.
President's agenda. EP President Martin Schulz will meet the President of the House of Representatives of Cyprus Yiannakis Omirou, followed by press point, on Tuesday. Mr Schulz will meet UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandin, deliver a keynote speech at the Holocaust Remembrance Day Ceremony, taking place in the EP premises, and meet Turkish intellectuals Osman Kavala and Ahmet İnsel, on Wednesday. On Thursday, he will open the exposition “Après la Shoah: Rescapés, réfugiés, survivants (1944-1947)” at Mémorial de la Shoah, in Paris.
Pre-session press briefing. The EP Press Service will hold a press briefing with the EP's political group spokespersons at 11.00 on Friday. (Anna Politkovskaya room, press centre, Brussels)
Press seminar on terrorism. Parliament's press service is holding a seminar on the EU's response to terrorism. Discussion will focus on the European Agenda on Security, including the proposal for directives to combat terrorism, set up the EU system on passenger name records (PNR), on Europol, firearms control, a high common level of network information security (NIS) and data protection. (Tuesday and Wednesday)