This week is expected to bring certainty on the composition of the next European Parliament, especially on wether transnational lists are becoming a reality or not. Also starring on this tribune are the Civil Liberties Committee, Agriculture, the Environment, and some events. Lest we forget Brexit and the Holocaust. Here is all you need to know about the European Parliament this week.
Apportionment in the EP. The current Parliament will terminate its mandate next year, so the Constitutional Affairs Committee must decide the size of the delegation each member state will send to Brussels and Strasbourg for the 2019-24 term, hence taking a vote on a draft report co-sponsored by Danuta Hübner (EPP, Poland) and Pedro Pereira (S&D, Portugal). A vote on transnational lists is to take place too, and due consideration is being put to Brexit, as the UK’s withdrawal from the Union means that the British MPs are to vacate their seats. (vote Tuesday morning, press conference at 15.30)
Brexit. Guy Verhofstady (ALDE, Belgium), EP Brexit coordinator, and Danuta Hübner (EPP, Poland), member of the EP Brexit steering group, are discussing the state of play with MEPs of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs in the same session.
Police cooperation. The Committee of Civil Liberties, Justice, and Home Affairs votes on setting a centralised system for member states to exchange non-EU citizens’ criminal records more quickly and easily, supplementing and supporting the current system. The subject of the vote is a draft report sponsored by Daniel Dalton (ECR, UK). (Thursday)
Data protection. Following the vote on police cooperation, the same Committee holds a discussion with Jan Philipp Albrecht (Freens/EFA, Germany) on the case USA v Microsoft Corporation, in its amicus curiae capacity.
Rule of Law – Malta. MEPs from the Commitee of Civil Liberties and PANA (the committee of inquiry formed to investigate the Panama papers) are discussing the outcome and presenting a draft report of their visit to Malta and their findings on the situation of the rule of law, including corruption and money laundry allegations, in the country. They are expected to meet Mr Silvio Camilleri, Malta Chief of Justice. (Thursday)
Bees. The Agriculture Committee is elaborating proposals to better protect bee health and to fight honey counterfeiting. Bees and honey are fundamental in our daily lives, as they are the best means farmers have to work with a number of vegetal species. Besides, the Committee aims to increase support for beekeepers across the Union and to promote honey consumption in the EU. These measures are contained in a draft report by Norbert Erdõs (EPP, Hungary). (Tuesday)
Ecology. The Environment Committee is voting two informal deals with EU Ministers. One, on setting binding emission reduction targets for member states, sponsored by Gerber-Jan Gerbrandy (ALDE, the Netherlands), and other, on ensuring that carbon dioxide emissions are balanced by forestial absorption, sponsored by Norbert Lins (EPP, Germany). These laws are part of the 2030 EU strategy following the Paris climate change accord. (Wednesday)
Brexit – Environment. The Environment Committee is exchanging views on Brexit with Guy Verhofstadt (ALDE, Belgium), EP Brexit coordinator, and Elmar Brok (EPP, Germany), member of the Brexit steering group. (Wednesday)
Vaccines. The Committe for the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety is addressing the drop in vaccination rates and vaccine hesitancy in Europe. They are adopting questions for oral answer to the Commission and the Council. (Wednesday)
Holocaust. The EP is marking the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust by hosting a commemorative on its premises. Mairead McGuinness, First VP of the EP opens the event with an speech followed by a statement by Moche Kantor, President of the European Jewish Congress. The event focuses on education and children this year. (Wednesday)
The European Agenda on Migration: What about Legal Avenues and Integration?. The European Parliament holds an interpaliamentary committee meeting with national parliaments. National MPs, MEPs, and EU officials are having the chance to exchange views on legal avenues for integration, international protection, labour protection, family reunification, opportunities and challenges. (Wednesday)
President’s diary. EP President Antonio Tajani is attending the New Year’s reception for the diplomatic corps (Monday), and the Holocaust Remembrance Day (Wednesday).
Pre-session briefing. The EP Press Service is holding a briefing on the parliamentary agenda. Scheduled at 11.00 on Monday.
Source: European Parliament.