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The Week Ahead in the European Parliament – February 2, 2018

Summary

Next week, there will be a plenary sitting of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. Several significant debates, votes and committee meetings will take place.

On Monday, Members of the European Parliament (“MEPs”) will debate the European Central Bank’s post-crisis bank asset purchase program and its effects with Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank. Brexit and cybersecurity threats will also be discussed.

On Tuesday, MEPs will debate the Future of Europe together with special guest Andrej Plenković, the Prime Minister of Croatia. This is the second discussion in a series between MEPs and EU leaders on the future of the EU.

On the same day, MEPs will vote on a draft report by the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (“IMCO”) on geo-blocking. If passed, the new rules will ban unjustified geo-blocking and allow online consumers wider cross-border access to products, hotel bookings, concert tickets or car rentals. Vendors will be compelled to treat online EU customers in the same manner as local customers. See the draft report here.

Also on Tuesday, MEPs will vote on the mandate of a new Special Committee on Pesticides, which was established following a risk assessment of the herbicide glyphosate, whose license was renewed for five years in November 2017.

On Wednesday, MEPs will vote on a draft report by the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (“AFCO”) on the composition of the European Parliament. The report provides that the number of MEPs should decrease from 751 to 705 when the UK leaves the EU. A certain number of MEPs should also be elected through “transnational” electoral lists throughout the EU. See the report here.

Meetings and Agenda

Monday, February 5, 2018 

Plenary session

17:00 – 23:00

Debates

  • European Central Bank Annual Report for 2016
    • Committee: ECON
    • Rapporteur: Jonás FERNÁNDEZ
  • Geo-blocking and other forms of discrimination based on customers’ nationality, place of residence or place of establishment
    • Committee: IMCO
    • Rapporteur: Róża Gräfin von THUN UND HOHENSTEIN
  • Decision adopted on the Fair Taxation package II and III
  • Cost-effective emission reductions and low-carbon investments
    • Committee: ENVI
    • Report: Julie GIRLING
  • Accelerating clean energy innovation
    • Committee: ITRE
    • Report: Jerzy BUZEK

Tuesday, February 6, 2018 

Plenary session

09:00 – 11:50

  • Key debate: Debate with the Prime Minister of Croatia, Andrej Plenković, on the Future of Europe

12:00 – 14:00

Votes followed by explanations of votes

  • Setting up a special committee on the Union’s authorisation procedure for pesticides, its responsibilities, numerical strength and term of office
  • EU-Brazil Agreement for scientific and technological cooperation
    • Rapporteur: Angelo CIOCCA
  • Texts on which debate is closed

15:00 – 23:00

Debates

  • Situation in Zimbabwe
  • New agenda for the EU-Central Asia relations in the framework of the 13th Annual Ministerial Meeting
  • Current human rights situation in Turkey
  • EU’s perspectives for the first EU-Cuba Joint Council meeting
  • Decision adopted on the EU Enlargement Strategy – Western Balkans
  • Shrinking space for civil society
  • Work and legacy of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Plenary session
09:00 – 11:50
Debates

  • Composition of the European Parliament
    • Committee: AFCO
    • Report: Pedro SILVA PEREIRA, Danuta MARIA HÜBNER
  • Revision of the Framework Agreement on relations between the European Parliament and the European Commission
    • Committee: AFCO
    • Report: Esteban GONZÁLEZ PONS

12:00 – 14:00

Votes followed by explanation of votes

  • Fighting discrimination of EU citizens belonging to minorities in the EU Member States
  • Texts on which debate is closed

15:00 – 23:00

Debates

  • Reform of the electoral law of the European Union
  • Threats to the rule of law by the Romanian justice system reform
  • Guarantee Fund for external actions
    • Committee: BUDG
    • Rapporteur: Eider GARDIAZABAL RUBIAL
  • EU guarantee to the European Investment Bank against losses under financing operations supporting investment projects outside the Union
    • Committee: BUDG
    • Rapporteur: Eider GARDIAZABAL RUBIAL
  • Annual report on the financial activities of the European Investment Bank
    • Committee: BUDG
    • Rapporteur: Eider GARDIAZABAL RUBIAL
  • Situation of women human rights defenders and their support by the EU
  • Zero Tolerance for female genital mutilation

Thursday, February 8, 2018 

Plenary session

09:00 – 11:50

Debates

  • Summer-time arrangements

12:00 – 14:00
Votes followed by explanation of votes

  • Nominal composition of the special committee on the Union’s authorisation procedure for pesticides
  • Texts on which debate is closed

15:00 – 16:00
Debates

© 2018 Covington & Burling LLP

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About this Author

Sebastian Vos, Covington, international trade lawyer
Partner

Sebastian Vos is co-chair of the firm’s public policy practice, and heads up its European division. He has extensive experience in the European Union and advises clients as they navigate and manage today’s global regulatory and policy challenges. 

Mr. Vos provides clients with strategic public policy, regulatory, and communications advice on a range of competition, trade, transactional and sectoral issues. Mr. Vos has particular expertise in advising companies in the technology, financial services, energy and transport sectors.

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