Weekly European Agenda – 13 March 2017

Welcome to the Weekly European Agenda!  Thanks to our colleagues at European Movement International, each Monday we bring you a breakdown of the agendas of European Institutions for the upcoming week.

European Union

European Parliament

Monday 13 March

Plenary Session
Debates: Mercury; Long-term shareholder engagement and corporate governance statement.
Joint debate: Gender equality. 
Presentations of the following reports: Fundamental rights implications of big data; An integrated EU policy for the Arctic; Minimum standards for the protection of farm rabbits; Responsible ownership and care of equidae.

Joint Committee meeting (Budgets Committee, Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee)
Structured Dialogue with European Commission Vice-President, Jyrki Katainen, on the Commission Work Programme (including European Fund for Strategic Investments).

Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI)
Exchange of views with European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañeteas.

Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO)
Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and the Council on copyright in the Digital Single Market; Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and the Council establishing the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications; Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and the Council on cooperation between national authorities responsible for the enforcement of consumer protection laws.

Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI)
Draft Opinion on the Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and the Council on the introduction of temporary autonomous trade measures for Ukraine supplementing the trade concessions available under the Association Agreement; Draft Opinion on the “Omnibus” – Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and the Council on the financial rules applicable to the EU general budget.

Tuesday 14 March

Plenary Session
Debate: Control of the acquisition and possession of weapons.
Joint debate: Circular economy.
Key debate: White Paper on the future of the EU.
Debates on foreign affairs issues in the presence of the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini.
Presentations of the following reports: Constitutional, legal and institutional implications of a Common Security and Defence Policy: possibilities offered by the Lisbon Treaty; Addressing refugee and migrant movements: the role of EU external action; 2016 Report on Montenegro; 2016 Report on the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; Food and feed law, rules on animal health and welfare, plant health and plant protection products.

Wednesday 15 March 

Plenary Session
Debate: Conclusions of the European Council meeting, 9-10 March 2017.
Votes: European Commission’s approval of Germany’s revised plan to introduce a road toll; EU-Brazil Agreement: modification of concessions in the schedule of Croatia in the course of its accession; Obstacles to EU citizen’s freedom to move and work in the Internal Market.
Debates: Use of the 470-790 MHz frequency band; Supply chain due diligence by importers of minerals and metals originating in conflict-affected and high-risk areas; Money market funds; Guidelines for the 2018 budget.

Thursday 16 March 

Plenary Session
Framework for the collection, management and use of data in the fisheries sector; Debates on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
Votes: Motions for resolutions concerning debates on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
Debates: Review of the regulation on the statute and funding of European political parties and foundations.

Find the full Plenary agenda here.  Find an overview of Committee agendas here


Council of Ministers

Monday 13 March

EU-Algeria Association Council
The Association Council will look at the EU-Algeria partnership priorities: Implementation of the Algerian Constitution, governance and civil society; Support for diversification of the Algerian economy and trade relations; Dialogue on migration and mobility; Energy cooperation.
High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, and the Algerian Minister of State and Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ramtane Lamamra, will also discuss the regional situation in Libya, Mali and the Sahel; the integration of the Maghreb countries and regional cooperation; as well as the prevention of and the fight against terrorism and radicalisation.
Three EU financing agreements will be signed covering: a programme of support for the development of renewable energies and the promotion of energy efficiency in Algeria (EUR 10 million); a public finance reform programme (EUR 10 million); a programme to support the implementation of the Association Agreement (EUR 20 million).

Thursday 16 March

Informal Foreign Affairs Council on Development

An overview of planned Council meetings can be found here.


European Commission

Monday 13 March

Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, is in Strasbourg, France: receives Joseph Daul, President of the European People’s Party (EPP) and Manfred Weber, Chairman of the EPP Group in the European Parliament; and meets the Bureau of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) in the European Parliament.

Andrus Ansip, Vice-President of the Digital Single Market, and Julian King, European Commissioner for the Security Union, receive high-level representatives of the European Cybersecurity Industry Leaders (ECIL) Group.

Pierre Moscovici, European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, is in Paris, France: meets Bernard Cazeneuve, Prime Minister of France.

Tuesday 14 March

College meeting of European Commissioners
Implementation of the EU Global Strategy: EU Strategy for Syria.

President Juncker in Strasbourg, France: meets the Bureau of the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance (Greens-EFA) in the European Parliament.

Wednesday 15 March 

President Juncker in Strasbourg, France: addresses the plenary of the European Parliament on the conclusions of the European Council, 9-10 March 2017.

Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, receives Óscar Naranjo, Vice-President of Colombia.

Thursday 16 March 

President Juncker; High Representative Mogherini; Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Trade; and Neven Mimica, European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, receive Mr Adama Barrow, President of The Gambia.

Johannes Hahn, European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, is in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina: attends the Western Balkans Six Leaders’ Summit.

Corina Creţu, European Commissioner for Regional Policy is in Romania: meets Klaus Iohannis, President of Romania; Sorin Mihai Grindeanu, Prime Minister; Sevil Shhaideh, Vice-Prime Minister and Minister for Regional Development, Public Administration and European Funds; Rovana Plumb, Minister-delegate for European Funds; Florian-Dorel Bodog, Minister for Health; and participates in the launching of a series of Regional Conferences ‘Caravan of Structural Funds’.

Friday 17 March

President Juncker receives Josef Pühringer, Landeshauptmann of Upper Austria region.

High Representative Mogherini and Commissioner Mimica are in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: meet Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission; Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development; and visit a migration project.

A full list with meetings of Commissioners can be found here.  Commission events can be found here.


European Economic and Social Committee

Monday 13 March

Conference on 60 years of European Community – Let’s shape the future!
On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is holding a high-level conference, in cooperation with the Italian Prime Minister’s office and under the auspices of the Italian Parliament.
Opening statements by Georges Dassis, President of the EESC; Sandro Gozi, Italian Deputy State Secretary for European Policy and Affairs; Ian Borg, Parliamentary Secretary of the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU.
Discussion on the following topics: Social Europe as a tool for tackling inequalities; Completing the Economic and Monetary Union for a stronger Europe; Integration policies and immigration.

Tuesday 14 March

Public hearing on the opinion on ‘The external dimension of Social Economy’
Opening remarks and introduction by Miguel Angel Cabra de Luna, Rapporteur of the own-initiative opinion.
Discussions: The National perspective; The European perspective; The international perspective.
Closing remarks by Miguel Angel Cabra de Luna and Daiva Kvedaraitė.

Meeting of the Section for Agriculture, Rural Development and the Environment
Statement by the Section President.
Spirit Drinks; Presentation of the opinion of the Economic, Social and Environmental Council on ‘Agroecology’ by Cécile Claveirole, Rapporteur; Presentation of the report of the Agricultural Markets Task Force (AMTF) by Helfried Giesen, member of the AMTF; Presentation of opinion on ‘International ocean governance: an agenda for the future of our oceans’.

Wednesday 15 March

Meeting of the Section for Transport, Energy, Infrastructure and the Information Society
Statement by the Section President.
‘Digital Single Market: The Ethics of Big Data’, presentation of the study and panel; Opinion on the repealing regulations in the transport sector; Opinion on the Proposal for amending regulation on operation of air services; Presentation of opinion – A Space Strategy for Europe by the rapporteur Mr Maciulevičius.

More information about EESC events can be found here.  The agendas of the different EESC meetings can be found here.


Committee of the Regions

Monday 13 March

Launch of the OECD Territorial Review on the NSPA regions in northernmost Europe
The official launch of the study on the Northern Sparsely Populated Areas (NSPA), conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). 
Agenda: Key Notes by Markku Markkula, Chair of the Committee of the Regions (CoR), Brussels; Mari Kiviniemi, Deputy Secretary-General, OECD, Paris; Normunds Popens, Deputy Director-General, DG REGIO, European Commission, Brussels.
Presentation of the OECD territorial review on the NSPA; Introduction of panel by the moderator: Abel Schumann, Economist, Public Governance and Territorial Development, OECD, Paris; Panel discussion with Q&A.

Wednesday 15 March 

Joint European Commission/CoR Workshop on the state of implementation of Sustainable Urban Development (SUD) & Integrated Territorial Investment (ITI)
This workshop, organised jointly by the Commission for Territorial Cohesion Policy and EU Budget (COTER) of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) and the European Commission, aims to provide a forum for a fruitful discussion between COTER Members, EU Institutions and local and regional representatives involved in the set-up and implementation of Integrated Territorial Instruments (ITI). The event will be structured in two parts – a morning information session on different approaches and experiences regarding Integrated Territorial Investments, as well as EU funding opportunities for territorial integrated approaches; and an afternoon working session which will be organised within the framework of the TAIEX/REGIO PEER 2 PEER tool only for pre-selected regional experts involved in the management of non-urban ITIs, with the goal of exchanging knowledge, best practice, and practical solutions to concrete problems.
The results of the discussions will be directly linked to the evaluation of the implementation of current Cohesion Policy at local and regional level, with a view to an early debate on the future prospects of integrated investment instruments.

More information about CoR events can be found here.


European Ombudsman

Monday 13 March

Meeting with the Erasmus Public Administration School
The Ombudsman is meeting 44 civil servants from different Member States who are part of the framework of the Erasmus Public Administration programme.

The Ombudsman calendar of activities can be found here. 


European Investment Bank

Tuesday 14 March

Financial instruments for enhancing SME competitiveness in the programming period 2014-2020
During the workshop, national representatives from managing authorities, an intermediate body and a financial intermediary, as well as European Investment Bank Group (EIB Group) experts, will take participants through the different phases of the life cycle when designing and implementing financial instruments for enhancing SME competitiveness, based on two case studies: FOSTER TPE-PME in the Occitanie region, France, and Access to Finance Solutions for SMEs in Northern Ireland. 
The purpose of the workshop is to: Provide participants with an opportunity to learn from the experiences of other Member States and regions in implementing financial instruments to support Thematic Objective 3, ‘Enhancing the competitiveness of SMEs’,  in the programming period 2014-2020; Create a forum for participants to share their own experiences and progress in implementing financial instruments supporting SME competitiveness; Enable participants to exchange on a peer-to-peer basis with the speakers and other participants on ways to deal with technical challenges that they face regarding the design, set-up and implementation of financial instruments for SMEs.

More information about EIB events can be found here


Council of Europe

Monday 13 March

Committee on Rules of Procedure, Immunities and Institutional Affairs in Paris, France
Budgets and priorities of the Council of Europe for the biennium 2018-2019; Expenditure of the Parliamentary Assembly for the biennium 2018-2019; Exchange of views on the budgetary prospects of the Organisation with Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe; Follow-up to Resolution 1903 (2012): promoting and strengthening transparency, accountability and integrity of Parliamentary Assembly members; Defending the acquis of the Council of Europe: preserving 65 years of successful intergovernmental co-operation; Effective representation and participation in the Parliamentary Assembly of opposition parliamentarians in the member States; Consideration of an information memorandum; Parliamentary immunity: challenges to the scope of the privileges and immunities enjoyed by; Work programme: International conference ‘The interaction between the political majority and the opposition in a democracy’ – setting up of an ad hoc sub-committee, Consideration of a draft motion for a resolution on the ‘Establishment of an EU mechanism on democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights’.

Publication of the 2015 Annual Penal Statistics
The Council of Europe will publish its 2015 Annual Penal Statistics, which include a survey on prison populations in Europe (SPACE I) and a survey on alternatives to pre-trial detention and community sanctions and measures (SPACE II).  Conducted for the Council of Europe by the School of Criminal Sciences of the University of Lausanne, the reports contain information from 45 prison administrations and 47 probation agencies.  Professor Marcelo Aebi, director of the survey, will present this year’s statistics at media briefings in Strasbourg on Monday 13 March and in Brussels on Tuesday 14 March.

Wednesday 15 March 

Meeting of the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons in Baku, Azerbaijan
Exchange of views with the authorities of Azerbaijan: Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister for Foreign Affairs; Mikayil Jabbarov, Minister of Education; Hijran Huseynova, Chairperson of the State Committee for Family, Woman and Children Affairs; Firudin Nabiyev, Chief of the State Migration Service.
Hearing on ‘Internal displacement in the South Caucasus’; Exchange of views with the participation of Malena Mard, Ambassador, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Azerbaijan; Dragana Filipović, Head of the Council of Europe Office in Azerbaijan; Furio De Angelis, representative of the UNHCR in Azerbaijan.
Field visit to a settlement built for internally displaced persons in the Mushvigabad District of Baku.

Thursday 16 March

Meeting of the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons in Baku, Azerbaijan
Reports: Possible ways to improve the emergency refugee situations funding; Migration as an opportunity for European development; Human rights implications of the European response to transit migration across the Mediterranean; Migrants as an easy target for trafficking and exploitation; Migration Debate (28 June 2017); Follow-up to Resolution on ‘Human rights of refugees and migrants – the situation in the Western Balkans’; Parliamentary Campaign to End Immigration Detention of Children.
Václav Havel Prize; Call for nominations for the 2017 Václav Havel Human Rights Prize.
Work programme: Appointment of rapporteurs for reports, Appointment of a rapporteur for opinion, Possible modifications of the composition of the Sub-Committees.

Find an overview of Council of Europe events here.


Member State Elections

Wednesday 15 March

Parliamentary elections in the Netherlands.


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