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31-08-2015

The week ahead: 31 August-6 September 2015

A Greek government request for EP involvement in the regular review of the country’s third loan programme is to be discussed on Thursday at a meeting of the President and political group chairs. In the committees, members are to discuss migration and vote on the use of genetically modified food and on the next year’s EU budget. Parliament’s political groups also prepare for the plenary, including Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker's first State of the European Union speech and debate.

Committe and group meetings, Brussels

Greece: The Conference of Presidents will confer on a request Greek PM Alexis Tsipras made to EP President Martin Schulz for the European Parliament to join the so-called quartet of creditor institutions overseeing the implementation of Greece's €86 billion euro bailout programme. (Thursday)

Meanwhile, MEPs of the Committee on Regional Development will discuss the possibility of making available EU funding for investments in Greece more effective by increasing the share of EU co-financing up to the total cost of some projects. They will speak with Commissioner Corina Creţu on the legislative proposal. (Thursday)

Migration. Two committees will discuss the on-going tragedies in the Mediterranean and the growing humanitarian crisis at the EU's borders. MEPs of the Civil Liberties Committee will speak with Fabrice Leggeri, executive director of Frontex, while the Committee on Foreign Affairs will discuss the external dimension of the migration crisis. (Thursday and Monday)

State of the Union. Political groups will meet to formulate their positions on the first State of the Union speech to be delivered by Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on 9 September during the next plenary session.

EU Budget 2016. A number of EP committees will vote their positions on the draft proposal for next years' EU budget. (Monday and Thursday)

GMOs. The Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development will vote its opinion on a proposal to let individual member states decide whether or not to allow the use of GMO food and feed products on their territory. The Environment Committee, which is leading, will adopt its position later in the year. (Thursday)

Plenary preparations. Apart from the State of the Union debate, the session of 7-10 September will also feature votes on the relocation of initially 40,000 asylum seekers from Italy and Greece to other EU member states, the trade in seal fur, the cloning of animals, fundamental rights in the EU and the Citizen's Initiative on the provision of water. The Council will present its proposals for the 2016 budget.

President's agenda. EP President Martin Schulz will meet EU Ambassadors at their annual get-together on Wednesday as well as European associations of authors and creators of music, cinema, literature and journalism in Brussels. On Saturday he will open the G7 conference of Parliament speakers and participate in two debates in Leipzig, Germany.

Press briefing. The EP Press Service will hold a press briefing with the EP political groups’ spokespersons at 11.00 on Friday. (“Anna Politkovskaya” EP Press conference room, Brussels)