Agenda briefing plenary session from the 13th to the 16th of February 2017 in Strasbourg

  • CETA: Parliament’s final vote on EU-Canada trade agreement

    The European Parliament will debate and vote on the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) on Wednesday. The landmark deal, which aims to boost goods and services trade and investment flows, cannot enter into force without the European Parliament’s approval.

  • Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will deliver a formal speech to MEPs on the EU-Canada relationship on Thursday 16 February at 11.00 in the Strasbourg chamber. Mr Trudeau will be the first Canadian Prime Minister to address the European Parliament.

  • To counter the growing threats from “foreign fighters” travelling to and from conflict zones for terrorist purposes and “lone wolves” planning solo attacks, new EU counter-terrorism rules to be voted on Thursday will make it a crime to prepare acts of terrorism.

  • All EU citizens and third country nationals entering or leaving the EU are to be checked against databases, e.g. of lost and stolen documents, under a draft regulation to be voted on Thursday. This regulation, already informally agreed with the Council, would also require EU member states to check that travellers do not represent a threat to public policy and internal security.

  • Plans to strengthen greenhouse gas emission curbs via the EU carbon market (EU Emissions Trading System) will be put to a vote on Wednesday. To raise the price of carbon, MEPs propose reducing the number of “carbon credits” (emission allowances) to be auctioned by 2.4% each year, and doubling the capacity of the 2019 market stability reserve (MSR) to absorb the excess of allowances on the market.

  • Austria’s newly-elected President Alexander Van der Bellen will address MEPs in a formal sitting on Tuesday at noon. This will be his first official trip abroad.

  • MEPs will discuss the state of Greece’s €86 billion bailout, amid pressure for Europe’s largest debtor and its creditors to overcome their differences over Athens’ fiscal and reform plans.

  • To tackle major political challenges ahead, improve the EU’s capacity to act, restore citizens’ trust and make the euro zone economy more resilient to outside shocks, the EU needs first to make full use of the Lisbon Treaty and then possibly reform to enable itself to do even more. This is the key message of three resolutions exploring the future development of the European Union to be voted on Thursday.

  • The EU’s economic, social and single market priorities for 2017 will be the focus of a debate with the EU Commission on “European Semester” economic policy coordination on Tuesday. MEPs are expected to comment on the implementation and social repercussions of the Stability and Growth Pact, and to urge member states to do more to exploit the single market’s economic potential. They are to vote three separate resolutions on these issues on Wednesday.

  • Low-risk biological pesticides, which could replace those that may harm the environment and human health, cannot yet be as widely used as they should in the EU as arrangements for certifying them are too slow and complex, MEPs will point out in a debate on Monday. In a resolution to be voted on Tuesday, they will ask the EU Commission to propose a revision of the rules.

  • EU-wide rules are needed for the fast-evolving field of robotics, e.g. to enforce ethical standards or establish liability for accidents involving driverless cars, say MEPs. A draft resolution will be debated on Wednesday and put to a vote on Thursday.

  • An “effective and comprehensive European whistle-blower protection programme” to protect the EU’s financial interests should be proposed “immediately” by the EU Commission, MEPs urge in a draft resolution to be debated on Monday and voted on Tuesday.

  • Parliament will debate the 2016 reform efforts of Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina with enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn on Tuesday, and vote two separate resolutions on them on Wednesday. It is likely to stress that credible judicial reform in Albania could prove to be a key to advancing its EU accession process. As for Bosnia and Herzegovina, MEPs are to urge it to overcome ethnic and political divisions in order to succeed in the EU membership application evaluation process.

  • Prospects for resuming peace talks in the Middle East will be debated with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on Tuesday afternoon. MEPs are likely to raise the Israeli government’s recent decision to build 3,000 new houses in the West Bank and its so-called “Regulation Bill” – which would retroactively “legalize” several thousand settlements illegally built on Palestinian private land.

  • The deteriorating security situation in eastern Ukraine, where heavy fighting with pro-Russian rebels recently broke out in the government-controlled town of Avdiivka, will be debated by MEPs with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on Tuesday afternoon.

  • MEPs call on the EU Commission to table a plan to cut delays in EU-funded regional development projects, and stress that EU investment that spurs growth and creates jobs is needed now more than ever, in two draft resolutions to be debated on Wednesday and voted on Thursday.

  • MEPs will ask the EU Commission to explain how its agreement on Germany’s proposed road toll legislation removes discrimination based on nationality, which was its initial concern, in a debate on Thursday afternoon.

  • A proposal to grant EU job search aid worth €1,818,750 to 800 former retail workers in the Netherlands will be put to a vote on Tuesday. The workers were made redundant by six retail trade companies which recently went bankrupt in the Drenthe and Overijssel regions. The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) aid, if adopted in plenary, still needs to be approved by the Council of Ministers on 17 February.

  • Parliament is set to recommend that Denmark be added to the list of countries with which Europol can conclude operational cooperation agreements. This is the first step towards setting up a cooperation agreement between Denmark and Europol in order to minimise the negative impact of Denmark’s departure from Europol on 1 May 2017 and avoid creating gaps in the joint fight against serious crime and terrorism. A resolution will be voted on Tuesday.