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The Week Ahead 12--18 January 2015


Plenary session and committee meetings,  will take place in Strasbourg. Among the items on the agenda are Charlie Hebdo, a minute of silence in remembrance of the victims;debate with Newly-elected European Council President Donald Tusk, 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, GMO cultivation, Media freedom in Turkey and Human smuggling in Mediterranean.

Charlie Hebdo. At the opening of the session, President Schulz will make a statement on the attack on Charlie Hebdo’s Paris offices, followed by a minute of silence in remembrance of the victims and a round of political group chairs.

Debate with Tusk. Newly-elected European Council President Donald Tusk will attend his first EP plenary session, to discuss the outcome of the December EU summit, at 15.00. (Tuesday)

Council Presidency. Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi will review the outgoing Italian Presidency in a debate with MEPs and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Tuesday at 09.00. Latvia’s Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma will present the incoming Latvian Presidency's priorities the next morning. A press conference with EP President Martin Schulz and Ms Straujuma is scheduled for Wednesday at 12.00. (Tuesday, Wednesday)

70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. President Schulz will make a plenary session statement to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz Birkenau concentration and extermination camp, where more than 1.1 million people lost their lives in 1940-45. (Tuesday)

GMO cultivation. New legislation informally agreed with the Council to allow EU member states to restrict or ban the cultivation of GMO crops on their territory will be put to a vote. Rapporteur Frederique Ries will hold a press conference at 16.00. (Tuesday)

Media freedom in Turkey. Parliament will vote a resolution winding up the December plenary debate on the recent crackdowns on media freedom in Turkey. (Thursday)

Human smuggling in Mediterranean. MEPs will debate the recent smuggling of migrants in cargo ships from Turkey to Italy and other incidents in the Mediterranean with Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos. (Tuesday) Foreign affairs debate. Political groups will discuss foreign policy guidelines with EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini on Wednesday afternoon, followed by debates and votes on Egypt, Ukraine and the case of Italian marines detained in India. (Wednesday, Thursday)

The President's diary. EP President Martin Schulz will meet Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Tuesday. On Wednesday he will meet Latvia’s Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma, and Luxembourg’s Foreign Affairs Minister Jean Asselborn.

Pre-session press briefing. The EP Press Service will hold a press briefing at 16.30 on Monday. (EP Press conference room, Strasbourg)