The Week Ahead 11– 17 January 2016: Political group and committee meetings, Brussels
The agenda for the political group and committee meetings in Brussels includes topics such as Migration/External borders, Cybersecurity, Trade secrets, Public sector websites, Corporate taxation and the Dutch presidency among others.
Migration/External borders. Migration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos will meet with Civil Liberties committee MEPs to debate the border coast guard package presented recently as well as the implementation of measures to tackle the migration and refugee crisis, including relocation (only 272 asylum seekers have been relocated so far) and the work in the hotspots. MEPs might also want to raise the reintroduction of border controls in Sweden and Denmark and the future of Schengen. (Thursday)
Cybersecurity. Internal Market MEPs will vote on a provisional deal struck last month with EU Ministers on first ever EU-wide cybersecurity rules, which should put an end to the current fragmentation of 28 different cybersecurity systems. The rules list critical sectors - energy, transport, banking or health - where companies will need to ensure that they can resist cyber-attacks and will need to report major incidents. Online marketplaces like eBay or Amazon, search engines like Google and clouds will also be required to ensure that their infrastructure is secure. (Thursday)
Trade secrets. In the Legal Affairs committee, MEPs will vote on another deal, struck a month ago, on the introduction of an EU-wide definition of trade secrets and the obligation for member states to ensure that victims of the misuse of trade secrets will be able to defend their rights in court and seek compensation. MEPs stressed the need to ensure the freedom of expression and information and to prevent that the new rules restrict the work of journalists. (Monday)
Public sector websites. All websites managed by public sector bodies will need to be accessible to everyone, including the elderly and the disabled, under a draft law to be negotiated between Internal Market MEPs and the Council. Over 167 million EU citizens have difficulty in accessing public websites and use such online services as filing tax declarations, claiming unemployment benefits or enrolling children in a school. Parliament voted its first reading in February 2014 and MEPs will now vote on the opening of negotiations with Council, which managed to agree on its position only last month. (Thursday)
Fruit and milk in schools. The Agriculture committee is set to vote on a provisional deal between MEPs and Council on new legislation streamlining existing schemes for the distribution of fruits, vegetable and milk in schools. The agreement merges today's separate school milk and fruit schemes, increases their funding and focuses more on children's education into healthy eating habits. (Monday)
Corporate taxation. Members of the Special Committee on Tax Rulings II and the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee will quiz commissioner Pierre Moscovici about the Commission’s legislative plans for 2016 in the field of corporate taxation. (Monday)
Dutch presidency. With the start of the Dutch presidency, several committees will meet with government ministers from the Netherlands and debate what they have in store for the next six months. (Monday and Thursday).
Plenary preparations. Political groups will prepare the 18-21 January plenary session in Strasbourg, where they will discuss the outcome of the December EU summit and the programme of the incoming Dutch Presidency of the Council as well as reviewing the outgoing Luxembourg one. They will also debate the “mutual defence” clause laid down in the EU treaties. French President François Hollande invoked this clause after the Paris terrorist attacks in November. Finally, MEPs will fine-tune their final recommendations for completing the EU digital market and for measures to tackle youth unemployment.
President's diary. Parliament President Martin Schulz will meet with Turkish Cypriot CTP party leader Mehmet Ali Talat on Wednesday, followed by a meeting with Jürgen Stock, Secretary General of Interpol. On Thursday, he will participate in the German-Israeli Dialogue in Potsdam.
EP Press Service contact during the weekend:
Phone: (+32) 049898 3983