News from Parliaments

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Weekly agenda of EP Committees meeting 11-15 May, 2020

The week will see several EU Commissioners attending committees meetings.

Vice-President Frans Timmermans will attend TRAN Committee meeting on 11 MAY, Commissioners Adina Vălean and Virginijus Sinkevičius will participate to the works and debates of ENVI Committee on 11-12 May; Commissioner Stella Kyriakides will attend the AGRI meeting on 12 May.

The consequences of the outbreak of COVID and the EU responses will of course be on the agenda of all committees in the framework of their respective competences. Meanwhile, EP committees carry on their normal workload while coping with the difficult situation that the current crisis provoked.

ON 11 May, the DROI Sub-committee will hold an Exchange of views on the Human rights impacts and policy responses in places of detention in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

On 12 May, the LIBE committee will have an Exchange of views on

Internal border controls within the Schengen area

- Tanja Fajon on the work of the LIBE Working Group on Schengen Scrutiny

- Terezija Gras, State Secretary for European and International Affairs, Ministry of the Interior, Croatian Presidency

- Monique Pariat, Director-General, DG HOME, European Commission

 The full list of Committees meetings and their relative agendas can be found here:

Source: The European Parliament

Weekly agenda of EP Committees meetings, 4-8 May 2020

13 Committees meetings will take place during the first week of May in the European Parliament. Either directly in the EP premises or from remote, MEPs keep scrutinising the actions and decisions of the EU and carry their legislative obligations.

In spite of the restrictions and limitations imposed to its regular activities, the European Parliament is still holding plenary sessions and committee meetings. Following the adaptations to its procedures, committees are now able to hold their meeting to debate and vote.

On Monday 4 May
14:00 - 16:00: the IMCO Committee will have an Exchange of views with Margrethe VESTAGER, Executive Vice President of the European Commission for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age - on the EU response to the COVID-19 outbreak;
15:00 - 17:00    : The CULT committee on Culture and Education will hold a Structured dialogue with Commissioners Mariya Gabriel and Thierry Breton

On Thursday 7 May
09:00 - 11:45: the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs  will have an exchange of views with ECB Vice-President , Luis DE GUINDOS on the ECB Annual Report 2020
11:15 - 13:15 : The Committee on Legal Affairs will hold an Exchange of views with Didier REYNDERS, Commissioner for Justice - questions relating to the current COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences (11.30- 1 2.30)
14:15 - 19:00: the LIBE Committee will old a debate on Home affairs issues in Covid-19 times, including Schengen, asylum and migration and security issues with an exchange of views with Ylva JOHANSSON, Commissioner for Home Affairs (14.20 –16.15)

The full agenda and link to follow all the meetings of this week can be found
Source: The European Parliament

Portuguese EAC hearing

The European Affairs Committee of the Portuguese parliament Assembleia da República will hold a hearing with the European Parliament’s co-rapporteurs for MFF/Own resources, Margarida Marques and José Manuel Fernandes, on the MFF 2021-27. 

This hearing will take place on 30th April, at 10:00 am (Lisbon time) and can be followed live at the link»

Source: The Portuguese Assembleia da República

Weekly agenda of EP Committees meetings, 27-30 April 2020

In spite of the restrictions and limitations imposed to its regular activities, the European Parliament is still holding plenary sessions and committee meetings. Following the adaptations to its procedures, committees are now able to hold their meeting to debate and vote.

On Monday 27 April:
• the ECON Committee will exchange with Valdis DOMBROVSKIS, Executive Vice-President for An Economy that Works for People, and Paolo GENTILONI, Commissioner for Economy on the economic impact and the response to the COVID-19 outbreak;
• the Subcommittee on Security and Defence will discuss, inter alia, the EU-African security cooperation in the Sahel region, West Africa and the Horn of Africa, 2020/2002(INI), with rapporteur Javier NART (Renew, ES)
• the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs will debate on The situation in Libya and on the Central Mediterranean Route.

Other committees will hold meeting this week including:
• TRAN Committee where on 29 April Commissioner Adina-Ioana VALEAN, Commissioner for Transport, will discuss in particular on Commission’s response to the COVID-19 crisis in the transport sector and
• on 30 April the Committee on Fisheries that will discuss the draft Recommendations on the negotiations for a new partnership with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland - with Rapporteur for the opinion:François-Xavier BELLAMY

The agenda and link to follow all the meetings of this week can be found here:

Source: The European Parliament

Plenary Debate in the Swedish Riksdag on the Commission Work Programme 2020 and the Conference on the Future of Europe

On 19 March 2020, the Swedish Riksdag held a plenary debate on a statement from the Committee on Foreign Affairs regarding the Communication on the Commission Work Programme 2020 and the Communication on the Conference on the Future of Europe. In its statement, the Committee on Foreign Affairs welcomes that the Commission is presenting a Work Programme with specific initiatives, as it will allow the Member States to efficiently plan ahead for EU related work as well as provide enhanced transparency of the Commission priorities. The Committee emphasises how important it is that the Commission is clear in its priorities so that the committees’ resources can be used effectively and the national parliaments can perform their tasks in an appropriate way. At an overall level, the Committee stresses the fact that the EU must fulfil its obligations in the areas in which the Union has pledged itself to act and where there is a clear European added value. The relevant summary of the Committee’s statement can be found here.

Regarding the Conference on the Future of Europe, the Committee Affairs considers that the European Council’s conclusions from December 2019 should serve as a basis for future developments of the conference, stating that priority should be given to implementing the Strategic Agenda for 2019-2024 and achieving concrete results for the benefit of the citizens. The Committee emphasises that national parliaments need to be closely involved with the work on the conference and that it is the national parliaments and elected party representatives who ultimately represent the citizens in political decision-making. The ambition of the conference should therefore not be to change this, but rather to serve as a complement to representative democracy. Furthermore, the Committee disagrees with the Commission’s ambition to raise a discussion on the “Spitzenkandidaten” system of “lead candidates” for the election of the President of the European Commission and transnational lists in the elections to the European Parliament. The relevant summary of the committee’s statement can be found here.

Source: The Swedish Riksdag

EP Extraordinary Plenary Session on the European Coordinated response to the COVID-19 outbreak, 26 March, 2020

Opening the extraordinary Plenary Session of the European Parliament today in Brussels, President David Maria SASSOLI expressed his solidarity, support and gratitude for all citizens of the EU who are facing the unprecedented situation with trust and patience. He insisted on the duty of the EP to maintain its functions for they respond to the need of all to grant democratic continuity. In her ensuing speech, EC President Ursula Von der Leyen also stressed that the EU institution had to show solidarity to people who were on the frontline in hospitals, doctors, nurses, paramedic and everywhere in the EU by keeping working and ensuring that democratic functioning of institution will prevail. The following debate concentrated on the crisis, the reaction by the EU and the Member States, the steps to be taken in the hours ahead. The main object of the debate were three urgent measures undertaken by the European Commission to face the severe economic, social, medical disruptions all MS are now facing. For the first time the EP adopted its position via a remote voting system. The participation to the voting on the urgent procedures was massive, with a total amount of 687 casted votes on each of the three demands for urgent action proposals. The Plenary will vote on amendments to the proposals and adopt them later today (26 March, 2020). Because we believe that the EP is equally the Parliament of all citizens of all MS, we think it is important to share this. As one of the speakers mentioned, the principle of solidarity must work hand in hand with the principle of subsidiarity. A link to the EP Plenary Session website and all relevant information is available here.

  Source: The European Parliament

Senate of Romania: The Role of Romania in redefining the European foreign policy

On February 25, 2020, the Committee on European Affairs organized the round table “The role of Romania in redefining the European foreign policy. The event brought together Government representatives, former Ministers of Foreign Affairs, researchers and members of the diplomatic corps.

During this meeting, the participants presented and debated on the results of the survey on Romanian Foreign Policy: Challenges and Opportunities in 2020, conducted by the Center for Foreign Policy and Security Studies (CFPSS), in partnership with the EURISC Foundation and the Middle East Political and Economic Institute (MEPEI).
At the end of the conference, the chair of the Committee on European Affairs launched the proposal to set up a working group with the aim of providing views, including alternative solutions. “Parliament is the best place to reflect together”, said the chair, Mrs Gabriela Cretu.

Source: Senate of Romania

Senate of Romania: The educational program, the Youth Senate

On February 11, 2020, the Senate of Romania organized the first edition of the educational program, the “Youth Senate”. High school students from the capital analyzed and debated their own legislative proposals on the topic, "Bullying in schools and media" together with senators from the parliamentary committees. They experienced how it feels to be a politician and how it is like to debate political issues. The teenagers demonstrated the ability to engage in political discussions.

The main objectives of the project are to familiarize students with the legislative process and the direct interaction between the representatives of the legislative forum and young people.

Source: Senate of Romania

Commissioner Schmit presents the EU Commission’s work programme to the Luxembourg Parliament

Nicolas Schmit, EU Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, advocated for a “successful ecological transition without neglecting the social dimension”. This is the key message of the work programme of the European Commission that was addressed to all the MPs assembled in the plenary hall on the morning of the 2nd March 2020.

During his presentation, Nicolas Schmit stressed out that the “green deal” foresees investments of at least 1000 billion euros over the next 10 years. Other topics that were discussed were the challenges related to the digitalization, the blocking of some Member States around the discussions for the multiannual budget and the economic impact of the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Nicolas Schmit shared the Speaker’s desire to bring European politics closer to its citizens. Next week the parliamentarians will have the opportunity to meet with Dubravka Šuica, Vice-President and EU Commissioner for democracy and demography, as well as with Stella Kyriakides, EU Commissioner for health and food safety. In the beginning of February, the MPs had a first exchange of views with Michel Barnier, Head of the task force for the relations with the UK.

Source: The Luxembourg Parliament

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
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