European Parliament

This week in the European Parliament 04-10 December 2017: Brexit and Kebabs

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The European Parliament is dealing with some hot topics this week. Brexit, phosphate in kebabs, the Eurozone, Hungary, and cash control are but some of the issues to be discussed in the coming days.


Cash control. Aiming to detect more laundered money and financing of illegal activities like terrorism, the Civil Liberties and Economic Affairs committees are voting on an update of EU-wide rules on money coming or leaving the EU. If approved, the definition of cash will be extended to include other means of payment like prepaid cards and valuable commodities like gold coins and bars. (Monday)

Eurozone – Dijsselbloem. The Economic and Monetary Committee will be joined by Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem to discuss the Eurozone countries’ 2018 budgetary plans and the overall budgetary situation in the Eurozone as well as plans to further develop the Economic and Monetary Union. This is one of his final activities as Eurogroup President, as EU governments should appoint his successor on Monday 4 December. (Thursday)

Hungary -Rule of law. Representatives of the Hungarian government, civil society, and others will attend a hearing at the Civil Liberties Committee. Its MEPs will question them on the situation of the rule of law in Hungary. Thissession is part of their work, in fulfilment of the request by the house in October to assess whether Hungary is or not at risk of a serious breach of EU values. (Thursday)

Phosphate in kebabs. As part of the plenary preparations, MEPs will consider whether to veto the Commission’s proposal to allow phosphate in kebab. Being kebab a top-selling fast food across Europe, the consequences of the decision they make may be far-reaching.

Interreligious dialogue. Representatives of different religious communities as well as non-confessional organisations will debate with MEPs on the role of the EU in the world. EP President Antonio Tajani, Vice-President Mairead McGuinness, and Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans will open the debate. This is part of a regular dialogue between the EU institutions cult organisations. (Wednesday)

Parliament of Persons with Disabilities. Organisations of people with disabilities from all over Europe will join MEPs, Commissioners and other EU institutions’ representatives for the 4th European Parliament of Persons with Disabilities. They will discuss issues such as participation in political and public life. Parliament President Antonio Tajani and European Disability Forum President Yannis Vardakastanis will open the event. (Wednesday)

Plenary preparations. Political groups will prepare for December Strasbourg plenary debates and votes on Parliament’s recommendations for the next steps in Brexit negotiations ahead of the EU December summit. The Panama papers will also be part of the preparations, as the final report of the inquiry committee on money laundering, tax avoidance and tax evasion (PANA) is under work. Not less importantly, the extension of the “Juncker” fund (EFSI) for investment in growth and jobs will also be part of the preparations.

President’s agenda. Antonio Tajani will meet with Albania’s Prime Minister Edi Rama, followed by a press point, on Tuesday, and with Prime Minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Zoran Zaev on Wednesday. Mr Tajani will pay an official visit to Cyprus on Friday.

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