News from Parliaments

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Commissioner Kyriakides addresses the plenary of the House of Representatives of Cyprus

The Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Ms. Stella Kyriakides, visited the House of Representatives of Cyprus on Friday 21st February 2020 and, addressing the plenary, delivered a speech on the consultation launched by the European Commission on 4th February 2020, which will help shape Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan.

Source: House of Representatives of Cyprus

Romanian Parliament announces the creation of the Working Group on Combating Cancer – a necessary initiative for improving national health

On 4th February 2020, with the occasion of the World Cancer Day, the Romanian Parliament announces the creation of the Working Group on Combating Cancer – a joint working group of the Chamber of Deputies and Senate, having as purpose accelerating innovation in the field of prevention, combating and treating cancer in Romania. The Group is composed of senators and deputies from all political parties, who joined in the common goal to contribute, on parliamentary level, on reducing cancer incidence and improving the potential of the Romanian health system.
The issue of cancer is a national priority. The parliamentary initiative is based on the data regarding the state of health of the population, according to which cancer is the main cause of mortality after cardiovascular diseases. The Group aims to produce an accurate picture of the cancer incidence in Romania and to centralise the most relevant data and information on the current oncologic infrastructure. As a result of this evaluation, in collaboration with relevant public and private institutions and the best specialists in the field, a framework strategy on cancer will be developed for the next 10 years – an innovative public policy alternative that will propose effective measures to modernise the quality of cancer medical care and introduce preventive education mechanisms at population level.
Among the most important measures to be taken are the improvements of the current legislative framework, the introduction of smart screening, diagnostic and treatment tools, the extension of cancer infrastructure through the creation of new integrated regional treatment centres, ensuring interoperability of already existing IT systems, shortening medical investigation periods, updating treatment protocols according to European directives and tailoring therapies according to the needs of each patient and, last but not least, supporting all education and awareness campaigns against cancer.
The Working Group on Combating Cancer answers the call of the European Union for combating cancer at European level, being one of the first parliamentary groups constituted in this purpose. Working with the institutions of the European Union will be a focal point, constantly on the group’s agenda.
To ensure the most effective communication of this initiative, but also to be in contact with as many stakeholders as possible, the Group is also present on social networks, namely Facebook (Luptă pentru viață page) and LinkedIn (Grupul pentru combaterea cancerului | Parlamentul României).
The Working Group for Combating Cancer is composed of:
- Carmen-Ileana Mihălcescu – PSD deputy – Group coordinator
- Nicolae Bănicioiu – PRO Europa deputy
- Dorel Florian Bodog – PSD senator
- Gabriel-Emanuel Botnariu – unaffiliated senator
- Florin-Corneliu Buicu – PSD deputy
- Petronela-Mihaela Csokany – Minorities deputy
- Bianca-Miruna Gavrilița – PSD deputy
- Laszlo Attila – UDMR senator
- Petru Movilă – PMP deputy
- Daniel Olteanu – ALDE deputy
- Nicoleta Pauliuc – PNL senator
- Gabriel-Marilen Pirtea – PNL deputy
- Rareș Tudor Pop – USR deputy
- Ana Adriana Săftoiu – PNL deputy
- Florin-Vasile Stamatian – PNL deputy
- Cristina-Mariana Stocheci –PSD senator
- Emanuel-Dumitru Ungureanu – USR deputy
- Levente Vass – UDMR deputy
- Adrian Wiener – USR senator

Source: Romanian Chamber of Deputies

Commissioner Johansson on official visit in the Swedish Riksdag

The Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson visited on Thursday 6th February the Swedish Riksdag to meet with members of the Riksdag. Commissioner Johansson gave a presentation of the Commission’s work programme 2020 and her responsibilities in the areas of migration and internal security, on which the members of the Riksdag got the chance to ask questions about her plans in the Commission.

Source: Swedish Riksdag

Commissioner Gentiloni and the Greek Minister of Finance briefed members of Committees of the Hellenic Parliament

The EU Commissioner, responsible for Economic Affairs, Mr. Paolo GENTILONI, briefed the members of the Special Standing Committee on European Affairs and the Standing Committee on Economic Affairs of the Hellenic Parliament on the European Commission's strategy for a green and fair economy with a view to achieving sustainable development. The meeting was also attended by the Minister of Finance of the Hellenic Republic, Mr. Christos Staikouras.

In his opening remarks, the Chairman of the Standing Committee on Economic Affairs, Mr. Stavros Kalogiannis, noted that Greece is in the lead of European effort to reduce the dependence on lignite, undertaking important initiatives in the context of the national plan for energy and climate. Mr Kalogiannis called for tangible support from the European Union, in order for Greece to secure significant resources from the Just Transition Fund, so that it can support local employment and a new development model for the areas that are likely to be affected by this transition.

The European Commissioner, whose visit to the Hellenic Parliament was the first of his visits to national parliaments, stated his intention to work closely with national MPs during his term. Mr. Gentiloni noted the great progress that has been achieved in the Greek economy. He said the government's ambitious program is a positive step, paving the way for using the profits of central banks bonds (SMPs and ANFAs) for investment.

He then summarized the new Commission's key priorities for his portfolio as follows: a successful climate transition, through the implementation of the European Green Deal, which could be a great economic opportunity for Europe as a whole and especially for Greece; Adjusting economic governance in the new era through the revision of the framework of financial supervision; The integration of EMU in order to ensure stability of the single currency and to boost investment.

Mr. Staikouras noted, inter alia, that the government has set the priority of achieving green and fair development by seeking adequate funding from the Just Transition Mechanism as part of its plan to end the country’s dependency on lignite. Mr. Staikouras added that the government combines economic efficiency with social justice, noting that its work is positively evaluated not only by European institutions, but mainly by Greek citizens. He pointed out that the economy has entered a growth trajectory, since growth projected for 2020 is more than double the European average. Finally, referring to the government's goals for the coming months, he noted that Greece is seeking the necessary financial space to implement growth-friendly policies by lowering taxes on households and businesses.

Source: Hellenic Parliament

The European Affairs Committee of the French Senate adopted on 29 January 2020 a Political Opinion concerning the use of the French language in European institutions, which was sent to the European Commission in the context of the political dialogue

The European Affairs Committee of the French Senate adopted on 29 January 2020 a Political Opinion concerning the use of the French language in European institutions, which was sent to the European Commission in the context of the political dialogue.


Source: French Senate

Priorities of the Croatian Presidency of the Council of the EU were discussed in a Joint Meeting of Committees of the Hellenic Parliament

The priorities of the Croatian Presidency of the Council of the EU were discussed in a Joint Meeting of Committees of the Hellenic Parliament.

Members of the Special Standing Committee on European Affairs and the Standing Committee on National Defense and Foreign Affairs were briefed today in the frame of a joint meeting, by the Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia to Greece, Mr. Aleksandar Sunko, on the priorities of the Croatian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

In his introductory remarks, the Hellenic Parliament’s first Vice-President and Chairman of the Standing Committee on European Affairs, Mr. Nikitas Kaklamanis, referred to the importance of cultural diplomacy, on the occasion of official opening of the photo exhibition "The Beauties of Croatia", hosted for ten days at the first peristyle of the Hellenic Parliament. Mr. Kaklamanis noted that culture, at the total of its manifestations, reminds us of our common origin and our common purpose. Commenting on the priorities of the Croatian Presidency, he noted that Croatia is presenting an up-to-date program, aspiring to offer effective solutions, also responding to the multifaceted challenges of the time.

Starting with the motto 'A strong Europe in a world of challenges', Mr Sunko emphasized that the Croatian Presidency focuses on sustainable development, digital technology, transport connectivity, energy and culture; it moreover pursues a comprehensive approach to the issues of migration and the rule of law, also looking forward to strengthening the European Union's role in the world, with an emphasis on the Western Balkans. It also brings to the forefront the demographic issue in all its dimensions. Moreover, the Croatian Ambassador restated the Croatian Presidency’s agenda items, namely, reaching an agreement on the Multi-annual Financial Framework for the period 2021-2027, the Brexit issue and the Conference on the Future of Europe preparation.

The meeting was opened with a video message from the President of the Committee on European Affairs of the Croatian Parliament, Mr Domagoj Ivan Milosevic, who stressed - inter alia - the importance of the contribution of national parliaments to the Conference on the Future of Europe.

Source: Hellenic Parliament

Commissioner Hahn visting the Swedish Riksdag

The Commissioner for Budget and Administration, Johannes Hahn, visited on Friday 24th the Swedish Riksdag to meet with members of the Committee on Finance and the Committee on European Union Affairs. The purpose of the visit was to discuss the multiannual financial framework that will be the topic of the extra EU-summit on Febuary 20th. Both parties was able to express their thoughts of the budget.

Source: Swedish Riksdag

German Bundestag opens political dialog on the observance of human rights in actual and potential candidate countries and calls for continued monitoring

Based on the drafts of the EU Annual Reports on Human Rights and Democracy in the World for 2016, 2017 and 2018 (Council documents 12714/17, 8987/18 and 8592/19 respectively) the German Bundestag at its 134th sitting, held on 12 December 2019, adopted the decision to renew its call to the European Union to continue monitoring the human rights situation in all actual and potential candidate countries with the utmost attention, to take account of the situation systematically and to press vigorously for observance of human rights.

Here you will find the German, English and French version of that decision.

Source: German Bundestag

European Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas briefs the National Defense-Foreign Affairs and European Affairs Committees of the Hellenic Parliament

Today, January 16, 2020, the Vice-President of the European Commission, in charge of promoting our European way of life, Mr Margaritis Schinas briefed the National Defense and Foreign Affairs and European Affairs Committees of the Hellenic Parliament on issues related to his portfolio.

In his introductory remarks, Mr Schinas stressed that Europe is entering a new, more ambitious and dynamic phase, preparing for transition to green economy, the total digital transformation of the State, society and economy, but also transition to cohesive societies of a Europe that protects and opens up opportunities and roadways to mobility, employment and security.

Referring to his agenda priorities for the next five years, Mr Schinas dwelled on the new European Pact on Migration and Asylum, internal security policies and measures towards all Europeans’ equal inclusion and integration into new mobility opportunities.
More specifically, regarding the migration - refugee issue management, the Greek Commissioner commented that although considerable progress has been made in the past, inability to review asylum legislation has been EU’s most emblematic failure.
Closing, he assured the Greek parliamentarians that the new Migration Pact will aim at a holistic approach to the issue, to ensure a common and strong management of external borders, an adequate burden-sharing mechanism in all Member States, but also a major returns program.

Source: Hellenic Parliament

Belgian Federal Parliament meeting with ECA member Annemie Turtelboom

On Tuesday, 14 January 2020, the Federal Advisory Committee on EU Affairs of the Belgian Federal Parliament and the Finance Committee of the House of representatives organized a meeting with Mrs Annemie Turtelboom, member of the European Court of Auditors.
Mrs Turtelboom outlined the main tasks of the European Court of Auditors and amplified on its Annual Report 2018. She also discussed ECA Special reports on Asylum, relocation and return of migrants, on an EU-wide stress tests for banks, on the FEAD-Fund for European Aid to the most deprived and on Fighting fraud in EU spending.
During the subsequent exchange of views with the senators and representatives, a variety of topics were debated, such as the working methods of ECA, how to prevent fraud and reduce errors in the EU-budget, possible liquidity problems with which the EU budget may be confronted, the MFF, relations with other EU and international institutions and the impact of Brexit on the EU and national budgets.

Source: The Belgian Senate
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