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

  • Debate on 9-10 March European Council and Rome declaration with Tusk, Juncker, and Gentiloni

    In Wednesday’s key debate, MEPs will take stock of the outcome of the 9-10 March European Council and discuss the “Rome declaration” on the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome with Council President Donald Tusk, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Malta’s Deputy Prime Minister Louis Grech and Italy’s Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, who will address the plenary for the first time since he took office in December 2016.

  • New tools to sharpen big EU firms’ focus on their long-run performance, by fostering their shareholders’ commitment to it, will be debated on Monday and voted on Tuesday. They will include giving shareholders a say on directors’ pay and making it easier for firms to identify their shareholders.

  • A draft EU regulation to stop the financing of armed groups and human rights abuses through trade in minerals from conflict areas will be put to a vote on Thursday. This “conflict minerals” law will oblige all but the smallest EU importers of tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold, to do “due diligence” checks on their suppliers, and big manufacturers will also have to disclose how they plan to monitor their sources to comply with the rules.

  • Draft plans to tighten up official food inspections, from farm to fork, will be debated on Tuesday and put to a vote on Wednesday. The legislation, already informally agreed by MEPs and the Council, aims to improve food traceability, combat fraud and restore consumer trust in the integrity of the food chain.

  • The share of waste to be recycled would rise to 70% by 2030, from 44% today, under draft plans to be voted on Tuesday. MEPs also want the “waste package” plans to limit the share of landfilling, which has a big environmental impact, to 5% and to deliver a 50% reduction in food waste by 2030.

  • MEPs will debate US President Donald Trump’s reinstatement of the “global gag” rule, which obliges US-funded foreign NGOs to certify that they will not perform or actively promote abortion, with EU humanitarian aid Commissioner Christos Stylianides on Tuesday at 15.00.

  • Climate change is raising geopolitical tensions in the Arctic, as the melting ice cap opens up new navigation and fishing routes, and inspires increased competition for its natural resources, says a draft resolution to be debated on Wednesday and voted on Thursday. MEPs are set to say that the Arctic should remain a low-tension area, advocate protecting its vulnerable ecosystem, and call for a ban on Arctic oil and gas extraction.

  • A revised EU gun law, aimed at closing security loopholes while addressing the concerns of legitimate users, will be debated and voted by Parliament on Tuesday. The new rules tighten controls on blank firing and inadequately deactivated weapons like those used in the Paris terror attacks. They also require EU countries to have a monitoring system in place for the issuance or renewal of licences and to exchange information.

  • Progress on the European security agenda since the 22 March 2016 terrorist attacks in Brussels will be debated on Wednesday. Enhancing information sharing, combatting terrorism financing, preventing radicalisation and guarding the EU’s external land and sea borders better are key priorities.

  • Progress on Parliament’s call for a crackdown on corporate tax avoidance will be debated with the Council and Commission on Tuesday. MEPs will quiz them on proposals such as country-by-country reporting of profit, tax and subsidies, improving the transparency of the Council Code of Conduct Working Group on Business Taxation, and stronger protection for whistle blowers.

  • Parliament will review Montenegro’s 2016 reform efforts with Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn on Wednesday. MEPs are likely to welcome Montenegro’s progress in EU accession talks, despite Russia’s attempts to influence it and to destabilise the Western Balkans. A resolution will be voted on Thursday.

  • Defence cooperation in the EU is now more dependent on political will than on legal considerations, say Foreign Affairs and Constitutional Affairs committees in a joint resolution to be debated on Wednesday and voted on Thursday.

  • EU member states should encourage rabbit farmers gradually to replace battery cages with affordable welfare alternatives, says a draft non-legislative resolution to be debated on Monday and voted on Tuesday. Improving rabbits’ welfare and living conditions could help prevent diseases and thus reduce the use of antibiotics that might end up in the food chain, MEPs say.

  • People who mistreat or abandon horses should face tougher penalties, says a draft resolution to be debated on Monday and voted on Tuesday. MEPs are also set to call for measures to educate owners better on animal husbandry, improve food safety and help the sector increase its revenues.

  • Revised plans for a German toll system still have “elements that represent a breach of EU law”, say MEPs in a draft resolution to be voted on Wednesday.

  • Growth and jobs, particularly for young people, must remain key EU budget priorities, along with tackling migration and climate change, MEPs say in draft guidelines for EU Commission officials preparing the EU’s draft 2018 budget. The budget “must be equipped with the tools to enable it to respond to multiple crises simultaneously” and must also address EU citizens’ safety and security concerns, say the draft guidelines, to be debated on Tuesday and voted on Wednesday.

  • All EU countries should remove any remaining discriminatory and unnecessary barriers to EU citizens wishing to work and reside in another member state, say MEPs in a draft resolution to be voted on Wednesday.

  • A request that the EU Commission join Parliament in reviewing funding rules for European political parties will be debated with Commission representatives on Wednesday. MEPs are seeking, inter alia, to strengthen controls designed to ensure that European political parties respect EU fundamental values.

  • The EU and its member states should step up their efforts to achieve equality between women and men, say MEPs in a draft resolution to be debated on Monday and voted on Tuesday.