Weekly European Agenda – 20 February 2017

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

European Union

European Parliament

Green Week, Monday 20-Friday 24 February

During Green Week, MEPs undertake activities outside the European Parliament.  They work either in their constituency in their home country, where they have the opportunity to interact with their electorate, or in Parliamentary delegations, responsible for maintaining relations with non-EU countries.

Monday 20 February

Meeting of the Secretaries General of the European Union Parliaments
Meeting of Secretaries General of the Luxembourgian, Slovakian, Estonian and European Parliaments; presentation and adoption of agenda of the meeting of Secretaries General of the EU Parliaments; EU Inter-Parliamentary Exchange (IPEX) related issues; presentation of draft programme of the Conference of Speakers of the EU Parliaments (23-24 April 2017, Bratislava, Slovakia); letters received by the Presidency.

Fact-finding mission of the European Parliament PANA Committee to Malta
The Committee of Inquiry into Money Laundering, Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion (PANA) of the European Parliament will conduct a fact-finding mission in Malta.  This mission is designed to take place in full cooperation with the national legislators in order to discuss and scrutinise the effective implementation and enforcement of Union law as specified in the PANA Committee’s mandate.  PANA members will meet with their counterparts of the national Parliament, the competent Ministers, representatives of the tax and anti-money laundering authorities and relevant stakeholders from businesses and civil society.

Tuesday 21 February

Meeting of the Secretaries General of the European Union Parliaments
Welcome address by Deputy Speaker of the National Council of the Slovak Republic; introductory remarks by Mr. Daniel Guspan (Secretary General of the Chancellery of the National Council of the Slovak Republic); presentation of draft programme of the Conference of Speakers of the EU Parliaments; presentation of the Parliamentary Dimension of the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU;  EU Inter-Parliamentary Exchange (IPEX) related issues; draft proposal for the modalities of the Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group on Europol – implications on national Parliaments’ administrations; engagement of Parliaments’ administrations in development assistance.

More information of the European Parliament can be found here.

 

Council of the European Union

Monday 20 February

Visit of Vice-President of the United States of America, Mike Pence
Welcome by the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk.
 
Competitiveness Council
The Council is expected to agree on rules to strengthen consumer protection cooperation in the Single Market; the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU will present a progress report on the ongoing work to reform the system of type-approval and market surveillance for motor vehicles; and Ministers will discuss concrete actions to help start-ups and scale-ups to better seize market opportunities and do business in the Single Market.

Eurogroup
The Eurogroup will look into the environment for doing business in the euro area, which includes the administrative and regulatory burden, quality of public services and tax administration; Ministers will exchange best practices for national policy making; the European Commission will present data on the current economic situation in the euro area as well as the outlook for 2017-2018, based on its winter forecast which was published on 13 February; the Eurogroup will take stock of the ongoing implementation of Greece’s macroeconomic adjustment programme, focusing on plans to carry forward the second review of the programme.

Tuesday 21 February

Economic and Financial Affairs Council
The Council will be invited to reach a ‘general approach’ (political agreement pending the first reading position of the European Parliament) on an amendment to the anti-tax avoidance directive, which concerns hybrid mismatches with third countries; evaluate the progress achieved in establishing criteria and processes to be used for setting up an EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes; give a mandate to the Economic and Financial Committee to finalise the EU’s preparations for the G20 meeting of Finance Ministers and central bank governors; expected to approve, by ‘qualified majority’, a recommendation on the discharge for the implementation of the EU’s general budget for 2015; adopt guidelines for the 2018 EU budget.

An overview of planned Council meetings can be found here.

 

European Commission

Monday 20 February

Jean-Claude Juncker, European Commission President, and Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, receive Mike Pence, Vice-President of the United States of America.

Julian King, European Commissioner for the Security Union, is in Lisbon, Portugal: meets Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, President of Portugal.

Tuesday 21 February

President Juncker visits the Belgian Federal Parliament, accompanied by Marianne Thyssen, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, and delivers a speech to the Belgian Chamber of Representatives in Brussels.

President Juncker meets Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, for a working lunch, in Brussels.

Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President, responsible for Better Regulation, Inter-Institutional Relations, Rule of Law and Charter for Fundamental Rights, is in Dublin, Ireland: meets Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

Wednesday 22 February

President Juncker is in Berlin, Germany: meets Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, for a working dinner.

Weekly College of Commissioners Meeting – on the agenda: European Semester Winter Package.

Thursday 23 February

President Juncker receives Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue, is in Lisbon, Portugal: meets António Costa, Prime Minister of Portugal, and Augusto Santos Silva, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Portugal.

Commissioner Thyssen is in Tallin, Estonia: meets Jüri Ratas, Prime Minister of Estonia.

Friday 24 February

Vice-President Dombrovskis is in Lisbon, Portugal: meets  Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, President of Portugal; participates in a discussion in the Portuguese Parliament.

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

 

European Economic and Social Committee

Monday 20-Tuesday 21 February

5th meeting of the EU-Korea Civil Society Forum under the EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement
During the 5th EU-Korea Civil Society Forum (CSF), participants will discuss labour standards with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) representative, including progress achieved by both Parties to the Agreement as well as the next steps in the ratification and effective implementation of the ILO fundamental and other up-to-date conventions.  Both Domestic Advisory Groups also will exchange information about the role of civil society in the EU and the Republic of Korea in the development and implementation of the climate change policy at national, EU and international level.  They then will adopt final conclusions.

Wednesday 22 February

Plenary Session
Votes: Improving double taxation dispute resolution mechanisms; specific measures for Member States affected by natural disasters; role of agriculture in multilateral, bilateral and regional trade negotiations in the light of the Nairobi WTO ministerial meeting (own-initiative opinion); decarbonisation of transport;
Debates: The automotive industry on the brink of a new paradigm; establishing the Economic Fund for Sustainable Development Guarantee and the Economic Fund for Sustainable Development Guarantee Fund; establishing a new partnership framework with third countries under the European Agenda on Migration; recommendation for a Council Recommendation on the economic policy of the euro area; annual Growth Survey 2017; high quality education for all (exploratory opinion requested by the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU); strategy on skills and human capital (exploratory opinion requested by the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU).

Thursday 23 February

Plenary Session
Mid-term evaluation of the LIFE Programme (exploratory opinion requested by the European Commission); the effectiveness of European Social Fund (ESF) and Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD) funding as part of civil society efforts to tackle poverty and social exclusion under the Europe 2020 strategy (own-initiative opinion); ranking of unsecured debt instruments in insolvency hierarchy; mid-term evaluation of the Connecting Europe Facility (formerly Smart Cities); mid-term evaluation of the Connecting Europe Facility (formerly Smart Islands); debate with Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament.

More information about EESC events can be found here.

 

Committee of the Regions

Wednesday 22 February

Plenary Session of the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM)
Mediterranean partners’ coordination meeting, chaired by Co-President Hani Abdalmasih Al Hayek; European partners’ coordination meeting, chaired by Co-President Markku Markkula; 18th meeting of the ARLEM Bureau.

Conference on addressing the root causes of migration and the reception of migrants
External aspects and economic dimension of EU migration policies: addressing the root causes of migration; debate with participants; reception of migrants, asylum procedures and relocation – role of local and regional authorities (Discussion on the Dublin Regulation reforms and relocation mechanisms); debate with participants.

Thursday 23 February

Plenary Session of the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM)
Opening statements by the ARLEM Co-Presidents: Markku Markkula, President of the European Committee of the Regions, and Hani Abdalmasih Al-Hayek, Mayor of Beit Sahour, Palestine; adoption of ARLEM thematic reports 2016: Cross border cooperation in the Mediterranean region, Energy and climate change in the Mediterranean region, the revised European Neighbourhood Policy – New Challenges for the Sub-National Authorities; local authorities for stabilisation and territorial development in Libya – tools for decentralised cooperation.

More information about CoR events can be found here.

 

Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU

Thursday 23 February

High Level Ministerial Conference on LGBTIQ Road Map
The conference aims to provide a platform to take stock of the current situation, share experiences and best practices and learn from one another for better LGBTIQ equality mainstreaming in all policy spheres.  Specifically, this conference will witness the first reporting back on the European Commission’s implementation of the ‘List of Actions to advance LGBTIQ equality’.  Additionally, the conference is intended to provide a forum for discussion on progress that can be achieved at national level through policy making and legislative initiatives.

The agenda of the Maltese Presidency can be found here.

 

Council of Europe

Thursday 23 February

ECHR Grand Chamber Judgement
The European Court of Human Rights will hold a Grand Chamber judgment in the case of De Tommaso v. Italy at a public hearing.  The case concerns the imposition on a person considered dangerous of a measure entailing special police supervision, together with a two-year compulsory residence order.

Friday 24 February

Conference on “Social rights in today’s Europe: the role of domestic and European Courts”
Organised in the framework of the Cypriot Chairmanship of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers, this Conference will be held as part of the Turin Process launched in October 2014.  It will gather 100 participants to assess social rights in the case law of both European courts and in national jurisdictions.

Find an overview of Council of Europe events here and the Chairmanship agenda here.

 

Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe

Parliamentary Assembly

Thursday 23 February

General Committee on Economic Affairs, Science, Technology and Environment
Debates: presentation by Marietta Tidei (Italy), Rapporteur of the Committee, on her ideas and
intentions regarding her report for the 26th Annual Session in Minsk (5-9 July 2017); presentation by Ambassador Kairat Sarybay, Chair of the OSCE Economic and Environmental Committee – Permanent Representative of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the OSCE; presentation by Halil Yurdakul Yigitgüden, Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities.
Special Debate: “Managing natural resources, addressing water security and combating climate change”.

General Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions
Debates: presentation by Kyriakos Hadjiyianni (Cyprus), Rapporteur of the Committee, on his ideas and intentions regarding his report for the 26th Annual Session in Minsk (5-9 July 2017); presentation by Ambassador Sian MacLeod, Chairperson of the Human Dimension Committee of the OSCE Permanent Council and Head of the United Kingdom Delegation to the OSCE in Vienna; presentation by Michael Georg Link, Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR);
Special Debate: “Protecting human rights amid growing populism”.

Friday 24 February

General Committee on Political Affairs and Security
Debates: presentation by Margareta Cederfelt (Sweden), Rapporteur of the Committee, on
her ideas and intentions regarding her report for the 26th Annual Session in Minsk (5-9 July 2017); presentation by Ambassador Steffen Kongstad, Chairperson of the Security Committee of the OSCE Permanent Council and Permanent Representative of Norway to the OSCE; presentation by Ambassador Cristian Istrate, Chairperson of the Forum for Security Co-operation and Permanent Representative of Romania to the OSCE; presentation by Henrik Villadsen, Director and Officer in Charge of the OSCE; High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM);
Special Debate: “Transnational Security in the OSCE Area: Confronting Terrorism”.

More information on OSCE Parliamentary Assembly events can be found here.

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