The finalization of negotiations on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) will be discussed during the international trade committee this Wednesday (August 31). Issues the Parliament will discuss include satisfaction with the final text agreed between the Commission and Canada, as well as the Commission’s decision that the deal constitutes a “mixed agreement” requiring national parliaments’ consent. The debate comes amid growing opposition to ratification in some member states and the Commission’s stated desire to achieve provisional implementation before an EU-Canada Summit in October. Before being ratified, CETA will need to be approved by the Parliament—making a positive discussion in committee particularly important to the deal’s success.
The EU’s response to the refugee crisis continues to occupy Parliament’s time after the summer break. The Civil Liberties committee will debate on Wednesday a legislative proposal to complete the reform of the Common European Asylum System, including harmonizing procedures for protection standards and rights and reception conditions. Meanwhile, the EU’s relationship with Turkey is essential to its capacity to deal with the refugee crisis due to Turkey’s position as a buffer state between the EU and many of the refugees’ countries of origin; however, the EU’s response to July’s failed coup has soured relations. The foreign affairs committee discussed on Tuesday (August 30) the situation in Turkey as well as the country’s incursion into Syria, while Parliament President, Martin Schulz, will meet president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Ankara on September 1.
The Council Decision ratifying the COP21 agreement on global greenhouse gas emissions will be discussed in Parliament this week. Last July, the EU agreed on behalf of its member states to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. The Paris pact calls for capping global warming at well below two degrees Celsius, and 1.5 C if possible. The Environment committee is expected to give its consent to the agreement without problem, after which the text will pass to Plenary. The Environment committee will also consider amendments this week to its position for the follow-up summit, COP22, due to take place in Marrakesh, Morocco on 7 to 18 November 2016.
The ramifications of the Volkswagen “diesel-gate” emissions scandal continue to unfold as the Parliament’s special committee continues its work this week with a series of hearings. A former Commissioner and an industry executive appeared before the inquiry committee on Tuesday: Peter Lakin, Vice President for Sales, Programs and Marketing at Faurecia Emissions Control Technologies was followed by Günter Verheugen, the commissioner responsible for enterprise and industry from 2004 to 2010.
The annual budgetary procedure ramps up this week as Parliamentary committees vote on their proposals for amendments to the EU’s budget for next year. Each year, the Commission proposes a budget which must be agreed by the Council (who normally looks to cut it) and the Parliament (which tends to seek to grow it). The Parliament’s Budgets committee will discuss the Council’s position on Wednesday (August 31). The rapporteurs for the 2017 Budget will then draft a recommendation to MEPs, which will be put to a plenary vote at the end of October. Conciliation with the Council will then take place through November.
Meetings and Agenda
Committee on Foreign Affairs (Monday August 29 – Tuesday August 30)
- Measures to safeguard the security of gas supply – consideration of amendments
- Exchange of views on the situation in Turkey and debriefing of the AFET fact-finding mission to Ankara
Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (Tuesday August 30)
- CAP tools to reduce price volatility in agricultural markets – consideration of amendments
Committee on Budgets (Tuesday August 30)
- General budget of the European Union for the financial year 2017 – all sections – presentation of Working document on Council position
Committee of Inquiry into Emission Measurements in the Automotive Sector (Tuesday August 30)
- Mr Peter Lakin, Vice President, Sales, Programs and Marketing, Faurecia Emissions Control Technologies, Faurecia Group – Hearing
- Mr Günter Verheugen, Commissioner for Enterprise and Industry from 2004 to 2010 – Hearing
Committee on Fisheries (Wednesday August 31)
- Presentation by Policy Department of the study on the impact of Fisheries Partnership Agreements on employment in the EU and in third countries
Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (Wednesday August 31)
- Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a common procedure for international protection in the Union and repealing Directive 2013/32/EU
Subcommittee on Human Rights (Wednesday August 31)
Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (Wednesday August 31 – Thursday September 1)
- Civil Law Rules on Robotics – consideration of draft opinion
- Recognition of professional qualifications in inland navigation – consideration of draft opinion
- EU options for improving access to medicines – consideration of draft opinion
Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (Wednesday August 31 – Thursday September 1)
- Council Decision on the conclusion on behalf of the European Union of the Paris Agreement adopted under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – consideration of draft report
- 2016 UN Climate Change Conference – COP 22 in Marrakesh, Morocco (7 – 18 November 2016) – consideration of amendments
Committee on International Trade (Wednesday August 31 – Thursday September 1)
- Common rules for imports of textile products from certain third countries not covered by bilateral agreements, protocols or other arrangements, or by other specific Union import rules – consideration of draft report
- Bilateral safeguard clause and the stabilization mechanism for bananas of the Trade Agreement between the EU and its Member States and Colombia and Peru, of the other part – consideration of draft report
- Conclusion of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada of the one part, and the European Union and its Member States, of the other part –exchange of views
- Implementation of the Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Korea – exchange of views
Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (Wednesday August 31 – Thursday September 1)
- Green Paper on Retail Financial Services – consideration of amendments
- Establishing a Union Programme to support specific activities in the field of financial reporting and auditing for the period of 2014-20 – consideration of draft report
Committee on Development (Wednesday August 31 – Thursday September 1)
- The future of ACP-EU relations beyond 2020 – adoption of draft report
- EU options for improving access to medicines – Exchange of views
Committee on Transport and Tourism (Thursday, September 1)
- Technical requirements for inland waterway vessels (repealing Directive 2006/87/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council) – Adoption of draft recommendation for second reading