Highlights

Highlights of the week

We support the EU-Canada Trade Agreement

Canada and European Union leaders shaking hands on a deal

We support the EU-Canada Trade Agreement

The EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) is the outcome of 7 years of negotiations and is ready for the final vote in the European Parliament in Plenary on Wednesday. The EPP Group will support the deal that will save European exporters more than €500 million every year as nearly all import duties between the two countries will be eliminated. It guarantees market access and creates a level playing field for businesses, advances EU agricultural interests by protecting 145 European Geographical Indications and safeguards property rights in an international context, while respecting high environmental, consumer and labour standards. The EPP Group Chairman Manfred Weber and the European Parliament's Rapporteur Artis Pabriks will take the floor during the CETA debate on Wednesday morning.

BRU: +32 (0)2 2845890 - STR: +33 (0)3 88 175890
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  • Marion Jeanne, tel:  +32 479 840 293
  • Meike Bogdan, tel:  +32 473 850 507

Future of the EU

European Flag

Future of the EU

The 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, in March this year, is an appropriate moment to reflect on the future of the European Union. The EU and the Member States are facing unprecedented challenges - the refugee crisis, a surge in nationalist and populist parties, foreign policy challenges in the immediate neighbourhood, a lack of competitiveness and a non-functioning internal market. These issues are better tackled collectively than by Member States individually. In line with this, three Reports on how to envision the Future of Europe will be debated in plenary on Tuesday 14 February (voted on Thursday 16 February). Elmar Brok MEP is the Co-Rapporteur of the Report on how to improve the Union within the provisions in the Lisbon Treaty, and Reimer Böge MEP is the Co-Rapporteur of the Report on how to develop the European Monetary Union. The third Report focuses on the institutional set-up of the EU. The EPP Group Chairman Manfred Weber will take the floor on behalf of the Group during the debate.

BRU: +32 (0)2 2845890 - STR: +33 (0)3 88 175890
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  • Marion Jeanne, tel:  +32 479 840 293
  • Lina Stenlund, tel:  +32 485 911 164

Anti-terror legislation and systematic checks at external borders

German Federal Police Test New Biometric Border Control

Anti-terror legislation and systematic checks at external borders

On Thursday, the European Parliament will vote on two laws which will make Europeans safer. These laws will protect us from EU nationals who travel abroad for terrorism purposes, the so-called foreign fighters. After the Paris attacks, the EPP Group set out to reach ten objectives before the next European elections. With these two laws, we will reach six of the ten objectives. We have made sure that the anti-terror law classifies the planning of terrorist attacks, the travelling abroad for terrorist purposes, providing or receiving training, public incitement or praise of terrorism, and providing or collecting funds to be channelled into terrorist activities, as crimes. With the second law, systematic checks at the external borders, it will be much easier to detect European foreign fighters returning from war zones to cause havoc in European cities. We are delivering on our promises.

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  • David Stellini, tel:  +32 473 541 926
  • Agata Byczewska, tel:  +32 473 841 093

New model for Emissions Trading Scheme

pipe throwing smog

New model for Emissions Trading Scheme

MEPs will debate the reform of the European carbon market, the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), on Monday. For the EPP Group it is important that a balanced outcome of the reform of the ETS is achieved ensuring that climate policy in the EU goes hand-in-hand with the protection and creation of jobs. The EPP Group Spokesman on this issue, Ivo Belet MEP, stresses the need to avoid 'carbon and investment leakage', the phenomenon whereby energy-demanding industries and companies move their production facilities or future investments to non-EU countries with less ambitious climate legislation.

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  • Greet Gysen, tel:  +32 497 028 054

Situation in Ukraine

Ukraine

Situation in Ukraine

On Tuesday, MEPs will discuss the deteriorating situation in Ukraine, including the ongoing fighting in the city of Avdiivka and the very difficult humanitarian situation of some 16,000 citizens living there. The EPP Group believes that the fighting in Avdiivka is part of Russia’s aggressive actions towards Ukraine which should be strongly condemned. We also note the dramatic situation of prisoners of war, we demand their immediate release and note with concern the deteriorating human rights situation in Crimea.

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  • Agata Byczewska, tel:  +32 473 841 093

EU takes lead on robotics and AI

Robot

EU takes lead on robotics and AI

On Wednesday, the European Parliament will debate a Resolution on civil law rules on robotics. It is the first time that MEPs have striven to set up a legal framework defining the use of AI and robotics. The goal is to find a common EU approach to this fast-developing field and to define the civil law framework that would not create hindrances to innovation, and which will set worldwide standards touching upon the issues of liability, security and research, not omitting ethical principles.

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  • Marek Hannibal, tel:  +32 475 753 048

Boosting EU investment in jobs and growth

The bridge

Boosting EU investment in jobs and growth

The European Parliament will call to improve the impact of European investment on jobs and growth by accelerating the uptake of regional funds and simplifying the rules on Wednesday. After the crisis, EU funds have become increasingly important for public spending in some Member States. Better targeting and easier access should therfore maximise the impact on job creation and economic growth. Better communication of European investment should also increase visibility of succesful projects that postively affect the regions and lives of Europeans.

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  • Dirk Gotink, tel:  +32 488 46 53 43

Investment and reform priorities for the 2017 economic policy

Statistics, Finance, Stock Exchange and Accounting

Investment and reform priorities for the 2017 economic policy

During the joint debate on the coordination of the 'European Semester' economic policy on Tuesday, the EPP Group will stress that the rules of the Stability and Growth Pact must be respected. Parliament's Rapporteur Gunnar Hökmark welcomes the Communication from the European Commission and outlines the EPP Group's priorities: “Europe needs more investment and structural reform. But to achieve this, we need to ensure the credibility and stability of the European economy.”

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  • Lina Stenlund, tel:  +32 485 911 164
  • Javier Jimenez Arbelo, tel:  +32 475 48 04 46

Aviation Strategy for Europe

Isolated Airplane

Aviation Strategy for Europe

On Thursday, the European Parliament will vote on an Aviation Strategy for Europe, with the aim of addressing challenges in the sector while reinforcing Europe's position as a global leader in aviation. In order to better manage flight traffic, the Motorway of the Sky concept proposes dedicated flight paths to organise air traffic in the event of disruptions to airspace. Other key areas such as the importance of efficiency in service provision, smart investments and delivering on environmental objectives are highlighted in the Report.

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  • Cliona Connolly, tel:  +32 475 957 874

Chairman's Agenda

Election of the next President of the European Parliament

Chairman's Agenda

  • Tuesday: Meeting with Bakir Izetbegovic, President of the Party for Democratic Action of Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Tuesday: Meetings with the EU Commissioners Günther Oettinger and Frans Timmermans
  • Wednesday: Press conference together with Guy Verhofstadt, Chairman of the ALDE Group
  • Wednesday: Afternoon meeting with Lars Lokke-Rasmussen, Prime Minister of Denmark
  • Thursday: Keynote speech together with Jean-Claude Juncker at the European Dinner of the Security Conference in Munich
  • Saturday: Security Conference in Munich
  • Marion Jeanne, tel:  +32 479 840 293

Press Conferences (13-17 February)

business conference

Press Conferences (13-17 February)

Wednesday @ 11.00      EPP Group Chairman Manfred Weber MEP together with ALDE Group Chairman on Trade, the Defence Union and the Single Market

Wednesday @14.00       Artis Pabriks MEP, Rapporteur, and others on CETA - the EU-Canada trade deal

Wednesday @16.30       Monika Hohlmeier MEP, Rapporteur, on the New EU Counter-terrorism Directive

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25.04.2017 - 12:16

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Step up fight against Russian anti-EU fake news
25.04.2017 - 11:15

Step up fight against Russian anti-EU fake news

The EU must combat Russian undercover efforts to hijack politics in the West by coordinating its counterintelligence efforts and by providing more...
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Europe to invest in free public Wi-Fi

"We need to meet the growing demand of connectivity from Europe’s citizens." "I am pleased that the plans to invest in...
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25.04.2017 - 09:56

Geo-blocking should not obstruct cross-border trade

Internal Market Committee supports ban on unjustified geo-blocking, strengthening the European Commission’s proposal from last year. The EPP...