Highlights

Highlights of the week

Improving the identification of migrants arriving irregularly

Syrian Refugees

Improving the identification of migrants arriving irregularly

New legislation extending the scope of the EURODAC fingerprint database will be voted on by the Civil Liberties Committee on Tuesday. The rules allow Member States to easily identify migrants residing illegally and to re-document them for return purposes. The EPP Group fully supports the legislation. A situation when migrants, including children, remain unidentified on EU territory is unacceptable as it contributes to secondary movements and illegal stays. The new EURODAC database, identifying migrants arriving irregularly, will, together with the Entry/Exit System which detects third-country nationals entering the EU legally but then staying on illegally, improve necessary information sharing, migration management and security in the Member States.

BRU: +32 (0)2 2845560 - STR: +33 (0)3 88 175560
  • Lina Stenlund, tel:  +32 485 911 164
  • Hana BAMBASOVÁ, tel:  +32 2 2841587

Road transport in the EU: clear rules needed

Car on a road in the countryside

Road transport in the EU: clear rules needed

The European Commission is expected to present MEPs with the long-awaited road package next week at the mini-plenary which should tackle the fragmentation in Europe's transport market, provide guidance for technological innovation on the road and address the growing concerns about the working conditions of drivers. EPP Group Transport and Tourism Spokesman Wim van de Camp said: "We welcome these proposals and look forward to getting to work on them quickly. We need to be more ambitious when it comes to securing a level playing field between countries by stepping up the enforcement of European road transport laws, ending the complexity of Europe's toll systems and providing a clear framework of rules to support technological developments like connected and automated driving." The package is crucial for the future competitiveness, efficiency and fairness of Europe's transport sector and will provide a much-needed long-term strategy.

BRU: +32 (0)2 2845298 - STR: +33 (0)3 88 175298
  • Dirk Gotink, tel:  +32 488 46 53 43

Digital Agenda: the revolution of 5G mobile networks

Mobility concept

Digital Agenda: the revolution of 5G mobile networks

One of the most promising elements of the Digital Agenda in Europe is the development of the so-called 5G networks and Gigabit Society. In the plenary debate on the Digital Agenda on Wednesday, the EPP Group will stress that 5G is more than a mobile revolution. It will promote innovation, make profound changes across industries and it will allow the development of new business models, create quality networks (Very High Capacity Networks) and high-quality services. The infrastructure will become a business. Europe needs to ensure a leading role in setting technology standards allowing for the deployment of 5G networks and services.

BRU: +32 (0)2 2845451 - STR: +33 (0)3 88 175451
  • Lars Ole Løcke, tel:  +32 470 474 838

Reduced VAT for e-books

Smiling business partners with electronic tablet

Reduced VAT for e-books

Members of the European Parliament will vote on a Report on Thursday by Tom Vandenkendelaere MEP giving Member States the option to apply a reduced VAT rate to e-books which is applied to printed publications. Currently, e-books have to be taxed at the standard VAT rate (minimum 15%) and are not eligible for a reduced tax rate (minimum 5%) as they are considered as electronically-supplied services. Tom Vandenkendelaere said: "The e-book market is flourishing and has rapidly gained in importance over the past decade. Today, it makes no sense to apply a double standard whereby e-books are taxed higher than printed books. This new Directive gives Member States the option to apply a reduced VAT rate to e-books, making it easier for authors, publishers and booksellers to make full use of this new way of reaching the public."

BRU: +32 (0)2 2845918 - STR: +33 (0)3 88 175918
  • Greet Gysen, tel:  +32 497 028 054

EU Budget 2018: Commission to present its draft

word budget

EU Budget 2018: Commission to present its draft

The European Commission will present its draft budget for 2018 to the Members of the Budgets Committee on Tuesday. "The EPP Group expects the Commission to fully take into consideration the priorities of the European Parliament as decided earlier this year. Jobs and growth on the one side and security on the other are the two main things that citizens expect us to deliver. Therefore, we will need an adequate budget to support these priorities", stated the Parliament's Chief Negotiator, Siegfried Mureşan MEP. The draft budget for 2018 will then be subject to negotiations between the two arms of the budgetary authority, the Parliament and the Council.

BRU: +32 (0)2 2845154 - STR: +33 (0)3 88 175154
  • Francisco Correia Da Silva, tel:  +32 470 830 567

New rules on security of gas supply

gas pipe line

New rules on security of gas supply

On Tuesday, Members of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy should adopt new rules enhancing the security of gas supply. This is the second piece of legislation that forms part of the Energy Union package. The main objective of the Parliament during the negotiations was to ensure that no citizen in Europe is ever left without access to gas. The legislation puts in place a solidarity mechanism that can be activated if a Member State indicates that a cross-border intervention is necessary to tackle a severe energy crisis.

BRU: +32 (0)2 2845631 - STR: +33 (0)3 88 175631
  • Agata Byczewska, tel:  +32 473 841 093

Development policy: better organisation and coordination needed

hands, Global Peace and Security

Development policy: better organisation and coordination needed

Following the Development Committee's vote on the New European Consensus on Development on Monday, the policy will be further debated at the mini-plenary on Wednesday and voted on the next day. Authored by Bogdan Wenta MEP, the EPP Group’s Spokesman on development policy, the document lays the ground for the new common vision of development policy for the EU and the Member States and aligns it with the 2030 Agenda which sets the development goals globally. It confirms that the fight against hunger and poverty is its main goal. The Group also insists on the better organisation and coordination of actions taken by the EU and its Members as well as other donors and organisations, the need to leverage new development finance, the crucial role of development cooperation in addressing the root causes of migration, as well as the links between security and development policies. If adopted, the signature of the new Consensus is expected to take place during the European Development Days in June 2017.

BRU: +32 (0)2 2845190 - STR: +33 (0)3 88 175190
  • Agata Byczewska, tel:  +32 473 841 093

Providing assistance to Ukraine through trade benefits

EU and Ukraine

Providing assistance to Ukraine through trade benefits

MEPs should give the green light to the temporary introduction of autonomous trade measures for Ukraine on Wednesday. These additional measures, in the form of zero-tariff quotas for some agricultural products and a partial or full removal of the import duties on some industrial products, have been proposed for a period of three years. They will add to the trade concessions available under the Association Agreement in view of the difficult economic situation in the country. The Ukrainian economy shrank by 10% in 2015 due to the ongoing military conflict, the annexation of Crimea, and trade restrictive measures imposed by Russian authorities. While help for Ukraine is essential, the compromise reached by the Rapporteur Jarosław Walesa MEP foresees at the same time the exclusion of some products from the list which are considered very fragile for European agriculture and industry, such as wheat, processed tomatoes and urea (which serves to produce some fertilisers).

BRU: +32 (0)2 2845304 - STR: +33 (0)3 88 175304
  • Agata Byczewska, tel:  +32 473 841 093

Press Conferences (29 May- 2 June)

business conference

Press Conferences (29 May- 2 June)

Tuesday @12.30: Siegfried Muresan MEP, Rapporteur, and Günther Oettinger, European Commissioner for Budget & Human Resources, on the presentation of the draft EU budget 2018 to the EP (room PHS 3C50)

Latest

Brexit, portability of online content, globalisation
18.05.2017 - 12:00

Brexit, portability of online content, globalisation

At the European Parliament’s latest plenary, MEPs debated the EU’s approach to the Brexit negotiations The EPP Group stressed that...
Traffic on multiple lane highway
18.05.2017 - 11:10

Drivers and jobs at the heart of road transport reform

The road sector is suffering from a lack of inter-operability of tolling systems, a lack of cross-border infrastructure investments and unfair...
Smiling young man with mobile phone and bag
18.05.2017 - 11:01

Digital Single Market: don't miss your favourite show abroad

The European Parliament will take another step towards achieving the Digital Single Market. The plenary will vote on a deal with the Council...
Visa-free travel for Ukrainians at long last
17.05.2017 - 18:00

Visa-free travel for Ukrainians at long last

Following a lengthy procedure during which Ukraine has put in place major reforms, the EU grants visa-free travel to Ukrainians.