This week in the European Parliament 09 – 15 October 2017

Last week the European Parliament changed its schedule in the light of the events in Catalonia on Sunday. They held a debate where respect for member states’ constitutions was backed by the large majority of MEPs. As events continue unfolding this week, the EP’s schedule remains subject to last-minute changes. For the time being, these are the scheduled key points for the week ahead in the European Parliament.

EU asylum system (refugees). The Civil Liberties Committee will vote on plans to provide a safe passage to the EU for asylum-seekers. Common rules on admission and transfer of refugees who have asked for protection in one of the member states have been proposed. Its priority is preventing the drowning of thousands in the Mediterranean. (Thursday)

Online broadcasting. Have you ever tried to watch the BBC in Europe? Surely, you must have found the apologising message explaining that you cannot due to copyrights issues. Well, the European Parliament will vote on a draft regulation to facilitate online TV and radio programmes across the Union in the Legal Affairs Committee. It addresses copyright issues and offers more TV and radio online from other member states. (Tuesday)

Energy performance (buildings). The Industry Committee will vote a law to make EU buildings highly enery-efficient and carbon-free by 2050. Today, buildings absorb 40% of European energy, thus being the largest energy consumer in the continent. (Wednesday)

Glyphosate (Monsanto papers). There will be a public hearing in the Environment and Agriculture committee on conducting risk assessments on glyphosate in the light of press reports claiming that Monsanto staff tried to influence this process. Glyphosate is the most common herbicide in Europe, yet there are raising concerns that it may be carcinogenic. (Wednesday)

Dual-quality food. The Internal Market COmmittee will discuss with the Commission ways to bring about a better enforcement of EU food and consumer rules, aiming to avoid people being sold food products of a lower quality in some parts of Europe. It concerns food comercialised under the same brand and packaging across several member states but with a different composition and a significative difference in quality. (Wednesday)

2017 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought shortlist. At this moment, the nominees for this prize are Asia Bibi (Pakistan), Aura Lolita Chavez Ixcaquic (Guatemala), Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yűksekdağ (Turkey), Democratic Opposition in Venezuela, Dawit Isaak (Swedish-Eritrean), and Pierre Claver Mbonimpa (Burundi). The Foreign Affairs and Development committees will vote on a shortlist of three people. (Tuesday)

Citizen’s Prize. Fourty-nine awardees from twenty-six member states will receive the 2017 European Citizen’s Prize at a ceremony in Brussels. Since 2008 the Parliament has awarded both people and organisations for projects and initiatives facilitating cross-border cooperation or fostering mutual understanding in the Union. (Wednesday)

 

President’s diary. EP President Antonio Tajani will meet Viktoras Pranckietis (Lithuania’s Seimas Speaker) and Ana Brnabić (Serbuan Prime Minister) on Wednesday. On Thursday, Tajani wil discuss with Abdoulaye Idrissa Maïga (Mali’s PM) and participate in the ceremony in commemoration of forty years since the setup of the European Court of Auditors in Luxemburg. Preparations for the EU-Africa summit in Abidjan and Parliament’s High Level Conference on Africa (22 November) will include Takani travelling to Morocco on Friday and Saturday to meet HM the King Mohammed VI, the PM Saadeddine Othmani, and the Speakers of both Houses of the Moroccan Parliament.

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.

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