Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 35 n°185

Posts Tagged ‘european parliament’

European Parliament: 14-18 December 2020 – plenary session

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 14 dicembre 2020

Bruxelles. The Belarusian democratic opposition to receive the 2020 Sakharov Prize. The democratic opposition in Belarus will be awarded the 2020 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in a ceremony on Wednesday at 12.00 CET. EP ready to vote on future EU financing package and the 2021 budget. Following the European Council’s breakthrough on the long-term budget and recovery package, MEPs stand ready to vote on all related legislative files. Climate, Turkey, vaccines: MEPs to discuss results of December EU summit. Parliament will assess the outcome of the December European Council with Commission and Council Presidents Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel on Wednesday. EU-UK relations: MEPs to take stock of the negotiations on a future partnership. The latest developments on the EU-UK negotiations on a future partnership after Brexit will be debated on Friday morning, 18 December. COVID-19 vaccines: MEPs to discuss a strategy that ensures fair distribution. An EU strategy for COVID-19 vaccinations that addresses challenges inside and outside the EU will be debated on Wednesday with Commissioner Kyriakides. Final vote to ensure high quality of tap water and cut plastic litter. On Tuesday, MEPs will vote on the drinking water directive and call on member states to comply with existing EU water legislation on Thursday. REACT-EU: Additional resources to address impact of COVID-19 at local level. MEPs are expected to approve a €47.5 billion package (REACT-EU) to mitigate the immediate effects of the COVID-19 crisis across EU regions. Climate change: how can the EU prepare and adapt. MEPs want to give impetus to building climate-resilient societies through the upcoming EU adaptation strategy, in a resolution to be put to the vote on Thursday. Transitional rules for agricultural funding and recovery aid for food producers. MEPs will vote on rules to ensure a smooth transition from the current to the future EU farm policy and to release €8 billion in aid for farmers and rural areas. EU-UK relations: temporary rules to keep Eurotunnel connection working. MEPs will vote on temporary measures to keep the tunnel railway connection between continental Europe and the UK running after the end of the transition period. MEPs set to support European Citizens’ Initiative promoting diversity. Parliament will discuss on Monday the “Minority Safepack” proposals put forward by more than 1.1 million Europeans, with a resolution to be tabled on Thursday. Financial markets: Final vote on more robust management for clearing houses. Central counterparties (CCPs) will have detailed recovery and resolution plans with a harmonised set of tools for restoring finances without taxpayers’ help. Sustainability: the interests of businesses and society must align. Parliament will call for companies to implement sustainable governance and clearly set out the role that directors will play in making this happen. Protecting Europeans from terrorism and other security threats. On Wednesday afternoon, MEPs are to discuss the overall EU strategy on security issues as well as the new EU Counter-Terrorism Agenda. Asylum requests and return of migrants: MEPs detect gaps in the current rules. While the legislative work to overhaul the EU’s common asylum and migration policy begins, MEPs ask that current legislation is used to full effect. Fair transition: a new agenda for a sustainable and inclusive labour market. MEPs are likely to set out how the EU labour market needs to change in order to have a high quality of life and equal opportunities in the digital and green economy. EU must bridge the gap between vocational training and general education. Member states should encourage vocational training and allow for better integration with the general education system, MEPs will stress in a debate on Monday. Parliament wants EU companies to be protected against illegal sanctions On Wednesday, Parliament will consider how the EU can protect its own trade interests when laws of third countries negatively affect EU traders. MEPs to vote on a Polish nominee to the Court of Auditors. MEPs on Monday will vote on whether to endorse a candidate nominated by the Polish government to become a member of the European Court of Auditors (ECA). Post-COVID recovery: MEPs present rescue plan for SMEs. On Monday, MEPs will discuss and vote on a resolution calling for measures to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) deal with the economic crisis. Human rights and democracy resolutions. Parliament will hold urgent debates on the following human rights, democracy and rule of law topics on Thursday morning, followed by votes later the same day.

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European Parliament: Committee on Constitutional Affairs

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 19 novembre 2020

Bruxelles. Thursday 19 November 2020, 13.45 – 15.45 and 16.45 – 18.45 Altiero Spinelli building, room 1G-3 & videoconference. Strengthening transparency and integrity in the EU institutions by setting up an independent EU ethics body. Study presentation, jointly organised by the Committees on Constitutional Affairs (AFCO) and Legal Affairs (JURI). Rapporteur: Daniel Freund (Greens/EFA, DE). 14.00 – 15.20. Proposal for an Interinstitutional Agreement on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management. Consideration of draft report. Rapporteur: Esteban González Pons (EPP, ES). 17:05 – 18:00 The European Parliament’s right of initiative. Exchange of views with Dr Andreas Maurer, Professor for Political Science and European Integration Studies, University of Innsbruck. Rapporteur: Paulo Rangel (ΕPP, PT). 17:05 – 18:00

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Roberta Metsola elected as First Vice-President of the European Parliament

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 15 novembre 2020

Maltese MEP Roberta Metsola was elected as First Vice-President of the European Parliament, replacing Mairead McGuinness who became European Commissioner.Until the deadline on Monday, the only MEP to have been nominated for the post was Ms Metsola, who was put forward by her political group, the EPP. As a result, she was declared elected by the President on Thursday. Ms Metsola is the first Maltese MEP to become a Vice-President.After her election Ms Metsola said, “It is a tremendous honour to have been elected First Vice-President. I will continue to be a strong voice for European citizens and for Malta and continue to work to build bridges across the political divide.”“With the economic and health recovery from the COVID pandemic, terror threats, the Brexit negotiations, a new US President, the situation in Belarus, continued migration challenges, and a new rule of law framework all high on the agenda, I, together with President Sassoli and the other Vice-Presidents, will continue to play my part in ensuring that the European Parliament remains a strong link between citizens and the European decision-making process.” Roberta Metsola was first elected to the European Parliament in 2013. She was re-elected in 2014 and 2019. She was previously a lawyer by profession, specialising in European law and politics.Between 2004 and 2012, Ms Metsola worked in the Permanent Representation of Malta to the EU. She subsequently joined the team of the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, as a legal advisor.Within the European Parliament, Ms Metsola is the EPP’s Group Coordinator in the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and heads her national party’s delegation within the EPP group. She is also the Co-Chair of the EP Anti-Corruption Intergroup. Born in 1979, Ms Metsola is married and is the mother of four boys. She graduated from the University of Malta and the College of Europe in Bruges.

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European Parliament: Plenary session and committee meetings

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 9 novembre 2020

Bruxelles. The week ahead 09 – 15 November 2020. MFF/Own Resources. Political talks will pick up again on Monday with Council and Commission on future EU financing. Technical talks have been held throughout this week to prepare the ground for a good and ambitious agreement. EU recovery fund. The Economic and Monetary Affairs and Budgets Committees will jointly vote on the ‘Recovery and Resilience Facility’, which will support reforms and investments by member states with grants and loans worth €672.5 billion. This measure aims to mitigate the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and make EU economies more robust and sustainable. (Monday) Rule of Law. MEPs will discuss with national parliamentarians the Commission’s first annual rule of law report and the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on EU values, in light of Parliament’s proposal for a permanent monitoring mechanism. President Sassoli will deliver the opening speech, followed by contributions by Commissioner Reynders, the German Presidency of the Council, the President of the Venice Commission, the Director of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, and civil society representatives. (Tuesday) US elections. After the opening of the session, leading speakers of political groups will take the floor to comment on the outcome of the US elections of 3 November. (Debate Wednesday) EU4Health Programme 2021-2027. Parliament will discuss and adopt its position on a legislative proposal that aims to increase EU capacities to help member states deal with the ongoing sanitary crisis and be better equipped for future public health threats. (Debate Thursday, vote Thursday/Friday) Investing in the Green Deal. MEPs will discuss and vote on Parliament’s input to the Sustainable European Investment Plan that would allow a smooth transition to a carbon-neutral EU in 2050. (Debate Wednesday, vote Wednesday/Friday) COVID-19. Transparency regarding the purchase and the access to future COVID-19 vaccinations will be debated with the Commission on Thursday. In a separate debate, MEPs will discuss and vote on a resolution scrutinizing the impact of the pandemic on democracy, fundamental rights, and rule of law. (Debates Thursday, vote Thursday/Friday) Terrorism and freedom of expression. On Wednesday afternoon, the House will discuss how to stop impunity for crimes committed against journalists, followed by a debate on ways to fight terrorism and safeguard the right to freedom of expression and education. Election of first Vice-president. Members will elect Parliament’s first Vice-president on Thursday. He or she will replace Mairead McGuinness who became EU Commissioner for Financial Services in October. President’s diary. EP President Sassoli will speak in his capacity as Chair of the Advisory board at a meeting of the ‘European Initiative a Soul for Europe’, and on Tuesday he will take part in the EU Ambassadors Conference. On Thursday, he will speak remotely in the Italian Senate on the access to internet as a human right. Press briefing. On Monday at 11:00, the EP press service will hold a remote press briefing on this week’s committee business and the plenary session.

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European Parliament: The week ahead 26 October – 01 November 2020

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 24 ottobre 2020

Brussels Committee meetings. MFF/Own Resources. Negotiations on future EU financing continue with two meetings scheduled between Parliament and Council. MEPs defend real top-ups for 15 flagship EU programmes for the benefit of citizens, students, researchers, businesses, health workers and many others, as well as new sources of revenue for the EU budget in order to save EU countries money (Monday, Wednesday). Rule of Law. Parliament, Council and Commission will continue their talks on the rule of law conditionality regulation, which may lead to member states having their EU funding suspended or cut if they do not respect fundamental rights. Parliament’s key demand is an effective mechanism that can be applied in practice (Tuesday). 2021 EU Budget. The Budgets Committee will adopt Parliament’s priorities for next year’s EU budget. MEPs want to boost funding for programmes and projects that will support the young, researchers, health workers, entrepreneurs as well as transport infrastructure, agriculture, fundamental rights, security and external action (Wednesday). InvestEU. The Budgets and Economic and Monetary Affairs committees will vote to reinforce the existing EU investment support mechanism for 2021-2027, to help EU companies and ensure private investment for medium- and long-term priorities, such as the Green Deal and the digital transition (Wednesday). Protecting EU’s products in China. The International Trade Committee will have its final vote on the EU and China agreement to mutually protect over 200 products with geographical indications. These include Cava, Champagne, Feta, Irish whiskey, Münchener Bier, Ouzo, Polska Wódka, Porto, Prosciutto di Parma and Queso Manchego. For the agreement to enter into force, Parliament consent is required (Tuesday). COVID-19 and EU values. The Civil Liberties Committee will vote on a report assessing the emergency measures adopted by EU countries to fight against the pandemic and their impact on democracy, the rule of law, and fundamental rights (Tuesday). Migration/Greek islands. The Civil Liberties Committee will take stock of the situation at the Greek islands following the fire that destroyed the Moria refugee camp and left around 12,000 asylum-seekers homeless, most of whom were moved to the urgently-established, temporary Kara Tepe camp (Tuesday). EU “right to repair”. The Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee will vote to ask the Commission to establish a consumers’ “right to repair”. This would aim to promote a culture of reuse, making repairs cost-efficient, as well as sustainable production, business models and consumption. (Monday) Initiatives on Artificial intelligence. MEPs from the new special committee on Artificial Intelligence in a Digital Age (AIDA) will hold a debate with Commissioners Breton and Vestager on the EU data strategy and Commission’s white paper on AI. They will also discuss initiatives taken within the OECD with Andrew W. Wyckoff – its Director for Science, Technology and Innovation (Monday and Tuesday). European Gender Equality Week. To mark the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the European Parliament, at the initiative of its Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee, decided to hold for the first time a European Gender Equality Week from Monday 26 to Thursday 29 October. Several EP Committees will hold debates and hearings on topics related to gender equality. President’s diary. President Sassoli will have a video meeting with the Presidents of Switzerland’s two Federal Chambers Isabelle Moret and Hans Stöckli, on Tuesday. He will have a video meeting with European Ombudsman, Ms Emily O’Reilly, and chair the third debate of the cycle “Ideas for a new world” on “Internet access as a human right” with Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and former Commission President and Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi, on Wednesday.

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The EU needs to comprehensively review its relations with Belarus

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 22 ottobre 2020

On Wednesday, the European Parliament adopted a set of recommendations on how the EU should reassess its relations with Belarus, by 602 votes in favour, 44 against and 44 abstentions. The assessment takes stock of developments both before and after the rigged presidential elections held in the country on 9 August this year, which resulted in a popular uprising against the current regime.The text reiterates many aspects of the European Parliament’s latest resolution on Belarus, adopted on 17 September, and: • supports the decision taken by the EU and its member states not to recognise the fraudulent election results as announced by the Belarusian Central Election Commission; • underlines that Aliaksandr Lukashenka will not be the legitimate president of the country once his current term of office expires on 5 November; • unequivocally supports the people of Belarus in their legitimate demands for new, free and fair elections, under international supervision; • notes that Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who, according to independent sociological surveys, received more than half of the votes in the elections, is president-elect in the eyes of the Belarusian people; • recognises the Coordination Council initiated by Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya as the legitimate representative of the people, demanding democratic change and freedom in Belarus; • demands an immediate halt to the violence, cruel repression, torture and crackdown against peaceful protesters, and that all political prisoners and imprisoned civil society representatives and journalists are immediately and unconditionally released; • calls on the EU to implement the sanctions agreed by the EU’s foreign affairs ministers and the European Council as soon as possible, targeting a large group of people with asset freezes and travel bans, and widening the scope to include Aliaksandr Lukashenka; • supports the initiative to set up a high-level mission to Belarus composed of former heads of state or government, whose task should be to help stop the violence, assist in freeing political prisoners and promote political dialogue; and • says the negotiations on the EU-Belarus Partnership Priorities must be put on hold until free and fair elections can be organised. The full set of recommendations, which in addition to the political situation in Belarus also address matters related to economic and sectoral cooperation, people-to-people contacts, nuclear energy and many other things, will be available in full here. (21.10.2020) “Belarus is in our immediate neighbourhood; its people share our European values and aspire to the same freedoms and citizens’ rights as EU citizens. They want to be decision makers in their own country. The European Union cannot be a passive observer. Active measures to prevent hybrid or direct Russian intervention in Belarus must be taken. I urge the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union to lead diplomatic efforts to prevent any interference and to support the Belarusian people’s democratic aspirations”, said rapporteur Petras Auštrevičius (Renew Europe, LT) after the vote.

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European Parliament:The week ahead 19 – 25 October 2020

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 17 ottobre 2020

Remote plenary session. Due to the serious public health situation in Belgium and France, the President, in agreement with EP group leaders, has decided that the October II session will take place remotely. Future of EU Farm Policy. MEPs will debate and vote on plans to reform the EU’s farm policy, to make it more sustainable, resilient and flexible. The package includes plans to enhance mandatory climate- and environmentally-friendly practices, reduce payments to bigger farms and channel more money to smaller farms and young farmers, to help them deal with crises and simplify rules on carrying out checks and controls. (debate Tuesday, final votes and results Friday) Sakharov Prize 2020 Winner. EP President David Sassoli will announce the winner of the 2020 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought at noon on Thursday. The finalists are: the democratic opposition in Belarus, represented by the Coordination Council, an initiative of brave women and political and civil society figures; Guapinol activists and Berta Cáceres in Honduras; Mgr Najeeb Michaeel, Archbishop of Mosul, Iraq. (Thursday) Digital Services. MEPs will present their demands on how digital services, including online platforms and marketplaces, should be regulated and how they expect the Commission to address and tackle current shortcomings in the online environment in its Digital Services package, due to be presented by the end of the year. (debate Monday, final votes Tuesday, results Wednesday morning) Artificial Intelligence. MEPs will outline their vision of how the EU can best regulate Artificial Intelligence (AI) and what AI rules are needed on ethics, liability and intellectual property rights, so that the EU can become a global leader in its development. (debate Monday, final votes Tuesday, results Wednesday morning) Deforestation. To ensure that EU consumption does not lead to global deforestation, MEPs are expected to call for binding legislation based on traceability requirements and mandatory due diligence for companies placing products on the EU market. (debate Wednesday, final vote and result Thursday) Member states selling EU passports. MEPs will quiz the Commission about possible measures to stop third-country criminals from buying EU citizenship documents or visas to gain access to EU territory. (Thursday) Commission Work Programme for 2021. MEPs will debate the Commission’s 2021 work programme, presented by Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans, focussing on its plans to boost recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and build a resilient, carbon-neutral and digitally advanced EU economy. (Tuesday) EU summit. In a debate with European Council President Charles Michel, MEPs will comment on the outcome of the 15-16 October EU Summit, particularly on EU-UK relations, COVID-19 coordination measures, climate change and EU-Africa relations. (Wednesday) President’s Diary. EP President David Sassoli will meet the European Ombudswoman, Emily O’Reilly, on Wednesday afternoon. On Thursday, he will meet the Prime Minister of North Macedonia, Zoran Zaev. On Sunday, he is travelling to Portugal for an official visit.

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COVID-19 vaccines: Public hearing in European Parliament

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 18 settembre 2020

Brussels Tuesday 22 September, 09:00 to 12:00 Building József Antall room 4Q2.MEPs from the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety as well as the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy will jointly host the public online hearing.They will hear key players including researchers and representatives from pharmaceutical companies and civil society organisations and the European Medicines Agency addressing the multiple challenges the EU faces regarding the deployment of a future vaccine. The debate will focus on the questions of adequate clinical trials, speedy manufacturing and commercialisation as well as equitable distribution of a safe COVID-19 vaccine across the EU.

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European Parliament: The week ahead 14 – 20 September 2020

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 12 settembre 2020

Bruxelles. Plenary session. State of the European Union. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will give her first State of the European Union address at 9.15 on Wednesday morning. She is set to outline the impact of the Commission’s work in mitigating the COVID-19 health and economic crisis, and to present her vision for economic recovery, the fight against climate change, and the situation in Europe’s neighbourhood. Political group leaders will react to her speech, assess the Commission’s work and set out their views on the 2021 priorities.
Recovery Plan/Own Resources. MEPs are set to accelerate the procedure that will enable the EU to borrow €750 billion for the “Next Generation EU” recovery plan. The vote on the own resources decision will make it possible to start the ratification process in 27 EU countries – so that the COVID-19 recovery plan can be launched as soon as possible (debate Monday, vote Wednesday)
EU Civil Protection capacity. MEPs are expected to call for the EU’s Civil Protection Mechanism to be enhanced so that the EU can better respond to large-scale emergencies such as COVID-19 and to ensure that member states are not left to rely on own assets and voluntary support when dealing with such emergencies (debate Monday, vote Wednesday).
Just Transition Fund. MEPs will adopt Parliament’s position for negotiations with EU ministers on setting up the Just Transition Fund to mitigate the social impact of greening the economy by supporting regions most affected by the energy transition (vote Wednesday).
COVID-19 tests/risk classification. MEPs will debate the lack of coordination regarding COVID-19 health assessments and risk classification and its consequences for the Schengen area. They are set to call for a common EU approach (debate Tuesday, vote Thursday).
Moria refugee camp. MEPs are expected to call for an urgent EU response to address the humanitarian crisis on the island of Lesbos following the fire that razed the Moria refugee camp (debate Thursday).
Foreign Affairs. In a series of debates with EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell, MEPs will comment on the situation in Russia and the poisoning of Alexei Navalny, on Belarus, Lebanon and on the upcoming Special EU summit, focusing on the dangerous escalation of tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean. Resolutions will be put to the vote on Russia, Belarus and the Eastern Mediterranean (Tuesday, votes Thursday)
Poland/Rule of law/Fundamental rights. MEPs will debate the democratic backsliding and rule of law breaches in Poland and are set to call on the Council and the Commission to act to protect fundamental rights in the country (debate Monday, vote Thursday).
President’s diary. On Monday afternoon, President Sassoli will meet with Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas and on Wednesday afternoon, he will participate via video in a High-level panel on a conference about ‘Upward convergence – What does it take in view of the crisis?’ organised by the German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.

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European Parliament: Plenary session

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 10 luglio 2020

Bruxelles. Friday, 10 July. Srebrenica. MEPs will pay tribute to the victims of Srebrenica, marking the 25th anniversary of one of Europe’s worst massacres since World War II, in a debate with Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi at 09.15.
European culture. From around 09.45, MEPs are set to ask the Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas to come up with a plan to help the EU’s cultural and creative sector, hit hard by the pandemic.
Cohesion policy. MEPs will debate from around 10.30 the role of cohesion policy in tackling the socio-economic impact of COVID-19, with Commissioner Elisa Ferreira.
Health. Following Wednesday’s debate, MEPs will adopt at 18.00 a resolution on “The EU’s public health strategy post-COVID-19”.
Money Laundering. At 18.00, MEPs will adopt a resolution on “Preventing money laundering and terrorist financing”, following Wednesday’s debate.
Chemicals. Following yesterday’s debate, MEPs will adopt at 18.00 a resolution on a “Chemicals strategy for sustainability”.
Votes and results:.The results of the votes that took place on Thursday evening will be announced at 09.00, on, among other things:
• Protecting the EU’s financial interests and combating fraud, and
• Humanitarian situation in Venezuela and the migration and refugee crisis, and
• Activities of the European Investment Bank.
Also at 09.00, the names of MEPs who will be sitting on the subcommittee on tax matters, the committee of inquiry on animal transport and on the special committees on cancer, on artificial intelligence and on foreign interference and disinformation in the EU will be announced.The first voting session starts today at 9.45, with votes being announced at 13.30, on, among other things,
• Guidelines for the employment policies of the member states,
• European approach to energy storage, and
• Revision of the guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure.
The second and final voting session starts at 14.15, with results being announced at 18.00.

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European Parliament adopts major reform of road transport sector

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 10 luglio 2020

Bruxelles. MEPs endorsed all three legal acts without any amendments, as adopted by EU ministers in April 2020. The political agreement with the Council was reached in December 2019. The revised rules for posting of drivers, drivers’ driving times and rest periods and better enforcement of cabotage rules (i.e. transport of goods carried out by non-resident hauliers on a temporary basis in a host member state) aim to put an end to distortion of competition in the road transport sector and provide better rest conditions for drivers.
The new rules will help to ensure better rest conditions and allow drivers to spend more time at home. Companies will have to organise their timetables so that drivers in international freight transport are able to return home at regular intervals (every three or four weeks depending on the work schedule). The mandatory regular weekly rest cannot be taken in the truck cab. If this rest period is taken away from home, the company must pay for accommodation costs.
Vehicle tachographs will be used to register border-crossings in order to tackle fraud. To prevent systematic cabotage, there will be a cooling-off period of four days before more cabotage operations can be carried out within the same country with the same vehicle.To fight the use of letterbox companies, road haulage businesses would need to be able to demonstrate that they are substantially active in the member state in which they are registered. The new rules will also require trucks to return to the company’s operational centre every eight weeks. Using light commercial vehicles of over 2.5 tonnes will also be subject to EU rules for transport operators, including equipping the vans with a tachograph.
The new rules will give a clear legal framework to prevent differing national approaches and ensure fair remuneration for drivers. Posting rules will apply to cabotage and international transport operations, excluding transit, bilateral operations and bilateral operations with two extra loading or unloading.The adopted rules will enter into force after they are published in the Official Journal of the EU in the coming weeks.The rules on posting will apply 18 months after the entry into force of the legal act. The rules on rest times, including the return of drivers, will apply 20 days after publication of the act. Rules on return of trucks and other changes to market access rules will apply 18 months after the entry into force of the act on market access.

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Angela Merkel presents German Presidency priorities to the European Parliament

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 8 luglio 2020

MEPs discussed with Chancellor Angela Merkel and Commission President Ursula von der Leyen the strategy and goals of the German Presidency in the coming six months.Under the motto “Together for Europe’s recovery”, the German presidency is determined to tackle the huge challenge posed by the pandemic, Mrs Merkel said. She highlighted five areas that Europe needs to work on if it wants to emerge unified and strong from the current crisis: fundamental rights, solidarity and cohesion, climate change, digitisation and Europe’s role in the world. “Germany is prepared to show extraordinary solidarity”, she underlined, to build a Europe that is green, innovative, sustainable, more digital and competitive. “Europe is capable of achieving great things if we work together and stand together in solidarity”, she concluded.
“The challenge ahead for all of us could not be more extraordinary”, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said. “But we can emerge stronger thanks to Next Generation EU. Germany chose the word: together. That is the engine of our union”. She underlined that Europe needed both, a new EU long-term budget (MFF) and Next Generation EU. The Commission will do its utmost to make sure we will reach agreement, she said. Manfred Weber (EPP, DE) said that the EU stumbles from crisis to crisis because of fear. “Fear is the enemy of solidarity, future and freedom”. There are high expectations for the German Presidency, he continued. “The EU needs now courage to show solidarity: We need a solution this month for the Recovery Fund”, Weber insisted. “No community can survive without community spirit. For us, this is simply the European Way of Life.”Iratxe García Perez (S&D, ES) offered to work “side by side” with the German Presidency to overcome North-South and East-West differences and divisions in Europe, for the benefit of citizens. “We have to prove that it is possible to create a fairer and more sustainable society, which thinks about the environment and future generations (…), protects workers, values diversity and manages migration flows with solidarity”, she added.“The priority right now must be the adoption of the recovery plan and the new multiannual financial framework”, said Dacian Ciolos (Renew Europe, RO). “We build Europe around a project, a vision and strong values”, he added. “It is high time we make the respect of the rule of law a condition for accessing EU funds. The political opportunity is here. Use this unprecedented package as leverage”.Jörg Meuthen (ID, DE) criticised the chancellor for being ignorant and ideological. “You are betraying the European idea and endangering the future of coming generations”, he said, pointing to the European Green Deal and the recovery fund. “Your understanding of solidarity is absurd”, he concluded.Ska Keller (Greens/EFA, DE) said the same decisiveness that the EU shows against COVID-19 should apply to the climate crisis. “We need to overcome the Coronavirus crisis and to avoid the climate crisis”. The German presidency can make an important contribution here, she said, such as an ambitious climate law, calling for 65 % reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.Rafaele Fitto (ECR, IT) said that up to now the EU’s response to the pandemic was “slow, not very efficient and lacking in true solidarity”. Germany should put aside selfishness and recover the original spirit of the EU by avoiding the mistakes of the past. “We need to revitalise the economy, implement favourable trade policies and relaunch the single market.”Martin Schirdewan (GUE/NGL, DE) recalled the harmful austerity policies implemented during the financial crisis and appealed to Mrs Merkel not to make the mistake twice. He also called on Germany to make Council protocols public and transparent and to no longer block a proposal on digital tax on big companies.

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European parliament: The week ahead 01 – 07 June 2020

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 31 Maggio 2020

Brussels Committee meetings.COVID-19/Schengen internal checks. A resolution on the situation of the Schengen area following the COVID-19 outbreak will be voted on by the Civil Liberties Committee. During a debate held on 12 May, MEPs emphasised that the temporary checks on Schengen borders need to be lifted in a coordinated manner as soon as conditions allow (Thursday).
New EU long-term budget/Agriculture. The Agriculture Committee will debate the revised MFF proposal and its impact on EU farm policy funding with Budget Commissioner Johannes Hahn. MEPs have repeatedly insisted that only adequately-funded EU farm policy can deliver food security and at the same time take on board the EU Green Deal (Tuesday).
COVID-19/Digital surveillance. The use of digital surveillance in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and its implications for human rights will be debated by the Human Rights Subcommittee (Friday).
Roma Integration Strategies. The implementation of National Roma Integration Strategies will be debated by the Civil Liberties Committee with Equality Commissioner Helena Dalli and EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) Executive Director Michael O’Flaherty. These strategies aim at combating negative attitudes towards people of Romani background in Europe and facilitate their integration (Thursday).
President’s diary. EP President David Sassoli will meet, via videoconference, Parliament’s Contact Group on the MFF to discuss the upcoming talks on the new long-term budget, on Tuesday. The President will have a bilateral meeting, also via videoconference, with the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte as well as a phone call with the Speaker of Ukraine’s Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) Dmytro Razumkov, on Wednesday. On Thursday, President Sassoli will deliver a speech on NEF Online, the online debate platform of the Nueva Economía Forum.

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European Parliament: Plenary session

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 10 Maggio 2020

Brussels The week ahead 11 – 17 May 2020. New EU long-term budget. MEPs will debate the post-2020 budget revision and economic recovery package plans with Commission and Council on Wednesday and vote on a resolution on Friday, to ensure that the new MFF (Multiannual Financial Framework) proposal to be tabled by the Commission turns the EU budget into an efficient tool for restarting the EU economy.
Safeguard EU budget 2021. Parliament will also vote on a legislative initiative report requesting that the European Commission submits a proposal for an MFF contingency plan by 15 June 2020 to avoid programme funding being disrupted on 1 January 2021 in the event that the approval of the long-term budget is delayed. (Wednesday)
Hungary. Parliament will address the threats to democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights posed by the Hungarian government’s recently introduced emergency powers in light of COVID-19, in a debate with Council and Commission on Wednesday evening.
COVID-19 tracing apps. MEPs will discuss the use of smartphone apps in managing the spread of the pandemic and how to ensure data protection and privacy rights are fully respected. (Thursday)
COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. Boosting research to ensure everyone has swift access to future vaccines and treatments for the novel Coronavirus will be at the core of a debate with Council and Commission on Thursday.
Water reuse. To remedy fresh water scarcity, MEPs will vote on new requirements to safely use recycled waste water for agricultural irrigation and other purposes. (Wednesday)
70th anniversary of the Schuman Declaration. Commemorating Robert Schuman’s declaration of 9 May 1950 that set out the European Union’s founding principles, MEPs will discuss how the Conference on the Future of Europe (expected to start later this year, with citizen participation at its core) can help the EU to overcome current and future challenges. (Thursday)
Artificial Intelligence package. Intellectual property rights for the development of AI, ethical aspects of AI technologies and robotics, as well as the civil liability regime for AI will be debated by the Legal Affairs Committee (Tuesday).
Just Transition Fund. The Regional Development Committee will hold the first debate on the proposed Just Transition Fund, the first legislative proposal implementing the priorities set out in the European Green Deal. Topics likely to be discussed include the scope of the support, the budget envelope, as well as the new Fund’s relation to existing instruments of the EU’s cohesion policy (Tuesday).
Circular economy and biodiversity: The Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee will debate the new Circular Economy Action Plan and the upcoming Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 with Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius. (Tuesday)
President’s Diary. The President will invite civil society actors engaged in daily solidarity actions to take the floor on Saturday 9 May, in a livestreamed event in the Brussels Chamber celebrating EUROPE DAY 2020: 70 YEARS OF SOLIDARITY. On Wednesday, he will open the plenary session in Brussels and chair the debates on the EU response to COVID-19 and the recovery plan within the long-term budget with Council President Charles Michel and Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
Pre-session press briefing. The EP Press and Spokesperson Services will hold a virtual press briefing together with spokespersons of Parliament’s political groups (tbc), on Wednesday. A media advisory, including exact timing and technical specifications, will be published on the press-room webpage ahead of the online press conference.

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European Parliament: Committee and political groups meetings

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 27 aprile 2020

Brussels The week ahead 27 April – 03 May 2020.In an effort to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Parliament is reducing the need for physical meetings on its premises, without compromising its role of democratic scrutiny nor its ability to approve the necessary legislative measures to combat the virus and support the public, consumers, businesses and emergency services.The required social distancing will be respected on EP premises at all times. Any parliamentary activities, like committee and plenary meetings, which are still taking place will be web-streamed and can be followed by the media without requiring their physical presence on EP premises. MEPs, Commissioners and Council representatives will be able to participate remotely.
Economic impact and response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee will debate with Commission Executive Vice-President for An Economy that Works for People Valdis Dombrovskis and Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni on the economic impact and the response to the COVID-19 pandemic (Monday).Impact of COVID-19 crisis on transport. The Transport and Tourism Committee will debate with Transport Commissioner Adina-Ioana Vălean on the Commission’s response to the COVID-19 crisis in the transport sector (Tuesday).
Libya/migration. The situation in Libya and on the Central Mediterranean Route will debated by the Civil Liberties Committee. The list of invited speakers include : Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatović as well as representatives from the Commission, Frontex, UNHCR, Médecins Sans Frontières and Sea Eye (Monday).

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European Parliament to hold extraordinary plenary on 16 and 17 April

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 3 aprile 2020

The EP’s President and political group leaders decided to hold an extraordinary plenary to continue with parliamentary work on the special measures to fight the pandemic.Parliament’s President and political group leaders (Conference of Presidents) held a remote meeting on Thursday morning and agreed to convene an extraordinary plenary session on Thursday 16 and Friday 17 April in Brussels.On the agenda will be a debate with Council and Commission and a vote on a resolution on EU coordinated action to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences. The EP is also ready to vote on any legislative or budgetary proposals prepared in time by the European Commission to further address the current situation.The Conference of Presidents updated the EP’s calendar of activities to introduce additional dates for remote meetings for EP governing bodies, committees and political groups. You can find it here.Group leaders also raised concerns about the emergency measures recently adopted in Hungary. A majority of the groups asked President Sassoli to relay their concerns in a letter to the Commission, asking them to evaluate the situation and consider activating the Article 7 procedure of the Treaty on European Union (TEU). This procedure would allow the EU to ensure that European core values are not at risk.The current precautionary measures adopted by the European Parliament to contain the spread of COVID-19 do not affect work on legislative priorities. Core activities are reduced, but maintained to ensure the institution’s legislative, budgetary, scrutiny functions are maintained. Parliament has agreed to introduce an alternative remote voting system. Based on public health grounds, it will enable votes to take place, with adequate safeguards to ensure that Members’ votes are individual, personal and free.

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European Parliament: The week ahead 30 March – 05 April 2020

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 30 marzo 2020

In an effort to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Parliament is reducing the need for physical meetings on its premises, without compromising its role of democratic scrutiny nor its ability to approve the necessary legislative measures to combat the virus and support the public, consumers, businesses and emergency services.The required social distancing of 1.5 m will be respected on EP premises at all times. Any parliamentary activities, like committee and plenary meetings, which are still taking place will be web-streamed and can be followed by the media without requiring their physical presence on EP premises. MEPs, Commissioners and Council representatives will be able to participate remotely.
Conference of Presidents. EP President Sassoli and the leaders of the political groups (Conference of Presidents) will discuss Parliament’s activities for the next days, including legislative and budgetary files linked to the EU response to the pandemic (Thursday).
EU response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Internal Market Committee will discuss with Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton EU measures to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and how member states are cooperating with each other. Green lanes to ensure that essential goods, such as medical supplies and food reach those who need them the most, as well as the joint purchase of medical supplies, are likely to be addressed in the debate (Thursday).
Refugee situation in Greece. The Civil Liberties Committee MEPs will assess the situation at the Greek external borders with Greek Minister for Migration and Asylum Notis Mitarachi and Minister for Citizen Protection Michalis Chrisochoidis, Croatia’s State Secretary for European and International Affairs Terezija Gras, Commission Vice-President for Promoting the European way of life Margaritis Schinas, Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson as well as representatives of Frontex and the Fundamental Rights Agency (Thursday).

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European Parliament to hold extraordinary plenary on 26 March

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 22 marzo 2020

EP President and political group leaders decided to hold an extraordinary plenary session next Thursday, 26 March to allow for implementation of special measures.Parliament´s President and Group leaders (Conference of Presidents) held an informal exchange of views on Thursday morning. They approved in written procedure the proposal of EP President Sassoli to convene an extraordinary plenary session next Thursday, 26 March in Brussels to debate and vote on the first three legislative proposals of the European Commission to tackle the effects of the COVID19 pandemic in EU Member States.EP President David Sassoli said: “The European Parliament is doing its duty and will continue to do so. Parliament must remain open, because a virus cannot bring down democracy. We are the only European institution voted in by its citizens and we want to continue representing and defending them”.On the agenda:
• The Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative, which will make available €37 billion of the Cohesion funds to member states to address the consequences of the crisis,
• a legislative proposal to extend the scope of the EU Solidarity Fund to cover public health emergencies
• a Commission proposal to stop the so-called ghost flights caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.
It is key that the European Parliament adopts these three proposals swiftly, to provide concrete support to EU citizens and to the Member States in this unprecedented situation.
The Bureau of the European Parliament will adopt specific measures for this session to ensure the votes can be organised remotely. This plenary will formally replace the session foreseen for 1-2 April.

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European parliament: Changes made to Parliament’s calendar

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 15 marzo 2020

Bruxelles.Due to the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), the Conference of Presidents (EP President and political leaders) modified the European Parliament’s calendar of activities.
Committee meetings and other official activities initially foreseen for this week have either been postponed or cancelled. The President can authorise meetings to go ahead during this week if necessary, for example for trilogue negotiations on legislation between the Parliament, the Council and the Commission.The aim is to enable Parliament to exercise its core functions (legislative and budgetary powers, as well as plenary sessions and meetings of the institution’s governing bodies), while complying with duty of care for its Members and staff and with a view to protecting public health.
Journalists may, nevertheless, continue to enter Parliament to work if needed, but will be required to sign a declaration at the entrance stating that they have not been to an affected area in the last 14 days. Due to the EP’s limited activity and restricted access conditions, only the two entrances to the SPINELLI (ASP) building are open. The media accreditation desk has temporarily moved from the press entrance to the main accreditation centre on the Agora Simone Veil.The week starting 23 March remains, for the time being, unchanged.

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On International Women’s Day

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 8 marzo 2020

The European Parliament celebrates the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPfA).
For this year’s International Women’s Day on 8 March, the European Parliament is marking the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration on gender equality. Twenty-five years after it was adopted, women’s rights and gender equality have not yet been realised. No country in the world has fully achieved equality and empowerment for women and girls. Women in Europe and around the world still face numerous challenges, some of which are newly emerging.As the European Parliament recently stressed in its latest resolution, MEPs reaffirm their unwavering commitment to the BPfA and to the full range of actions for gender equality outlined therein. We strongly believe that working to achieve women’s rights and gender equality demands a coordinated and multisector approach that involves all relevant stakeholders, including civil society and women’s organisations as well as the business world. The Parliament shall continue to fight for a strong leadership role in achieving girls’ and women’s rights and gender equality in the European Union as well as at a global level.
David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament, said: “Altogether, we have to lead by example and join forces to achieve genuine gender equality. We must double our efforts to implement Agenda 2030 and all Sustainable Development Goals, to ensure that no woman or girl is subject to discrimination, violence or exclusion, and that all women and girls have access to health, food, education and job opportunities.Europe is at the crossroads of transitions: green, industrial and digital. We must lead the transition to a green economy for a healthy planet and a new digital world, while leaving no one behind. All women in the world need to be actors of change. Now it is time to move from words to deeds!”Evelyn Regner, Chair of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality said: “Let us continue to raise our voices. Let us denounce injustice and fight for a better, more inclusive and fair world. On International Women’s Day, as well as on every other day of the year. Because, and it still needs to be stressed, women’s rights are fundamental human rights.” All for equality – 2020 is a pivotal year for Gender Equality.

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