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Parliamentary Highlights

This is for people who want more information on actual reports/legislation going through the Parliament.

For further details visit the Press Service section of the European Parliament website

Preview of Strasbourg Session (3 - 6 April 2006)

Outcome of the Spring EU Summit

Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel, President-in-Office of the Council, will present the results of the Spring European Council meeting to MEPs. They will also hear the Commission’s perspective on the annual meeting of EU Presidents and Prime Ministers devoted to economic issues and the Lisbon Strategy for Growth and Jobs.

This will be followed by the key debate of the week in Strasbourg, with the group leaders leading the discussion on the Summit.

Taking place the day after a fourth 'trialogue' between Parliament, Commission and Council on the Financial Perspective, this debate will be preceded by a statement from President BORRELL and the political group leaders on the outcome of the talks on the EU's financial framework for 2007-2013.

Better lawmaking and subsidiarity

Bert DOORN (EPP-ED, NL), for the Legal Affairs Committee, will be putting forward an own-initiative report on Better lawmaking 2004: application of the principle of subsidiarity.

Implementation, consequences and impact of internal market legislation in force

Arlene McCARTHY (PES, UK), for the Internal Market Committee, will be putting forward an own-initiative report on the implementation, consequences and impact of the internal market legislation in force.

Parliament pressures Council of Ministers to meet in public

MEPs are to debate a report from the Petitions Committee which calls for the Council to meet in public when it is acting as a legislator. The report, by David Hammerstein Mintz (Greens/EFA, ES), backs a call from the European Ombudsman for the Council to review its refusal to do so.

Improving transparency of the EU institutions

The Civil Liberties Committee is proposing legislative changes to ensure that debates in Council and all preparatory documents on legislative procedures are available to the public and easily accessible. This will be debated by the full Parliament in Strasbourg plenary on Monday, 3 April.

Address by the President of Malta

Edward Fenech-Adami, the President of the Republic of Malta, will make an official visit to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, during which he will address MEPs in a formal sitting.

MEPs set to call for the scrapping of transitional measures restricting access to the EU 15 labour markets

Members of the Employment Committee call for the scrapping of the transitional measures in force, restricting the access of workers from eight new Member States to the labour markets of several old Member States. Member States have to decide before 1 May 2006 whether to lift these transitional arrangements based on the Accession Treaty or to keep them until May 2009.

Agreement reached on fluorinated greenhouse gases

Avril DOYLE (EPP-ED, IE) will be recommending that Parliament approve two conciliation agreements on air pollution: emissions and fluorinated greenhouse gases from motor vehicle air-conditioning systems and on climate change: fluorinated greenhouse gases, hydrofluorocarbons HFCs, perfluorocarbons PFCs, sulphur hexafluoride.

The Middle East after the Israeli elections

Following the outcome Israeli elections of 28 March, and in the light of the Hamas victory in the Palestinian elections in January, Javier SOLANA, the EU’s High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, will make a statement to MEPs about the situation in the Middle East. The Commission will also give its viewpoint ahead of a debate on the subject.

Belarus and Ukraine

The contrasting results of elections in Belarus and Ukraine will be debated by MEPs after Council and Commission statements on the issues. These consecutive debates will also give the delegations of MEPs, who monitored the two countries voting processes, to report back to Parliament.

Trans-European energy networks: guidelines for the 2004 enlargement

Anne LAPERROUZE (ALDE, FR) for the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, will be putting forward a second reading report on Trans European Energy Networks. The proposed amendments are agreeable to Council and the procedure is likely to be completed at this second reading stage.

Programme to bring Europe closer to its citizens

The Culture Committee is giving broad backing to a new Community programme designed to strengthen ties and foster a sense of cohesion between the EU's citizens following the low turnout at the last European elections and the No votes in two referenda on the Constitution for Europe.

Policing Europe - Europol liaison officers

Europol's liaison officers should "play an enhanced role" in "the EU's area of freedom and security". This is the view expressed in a report drawn up by Martine Roure (PES, FR), on behalf of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. The report deals with the Council proposal to amend Decision 2003/170/JHA concerning the use of liaison officers posted abroad by the law enforcement agencies of the Member States.

Work of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly in 2005

Thierry CORNILLET (ALDE, FR), for the Development Committee, will be putting forward an own-initiative report on the work of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) in 2005.

Blacklist needed to stamp out corruption in developing countries

MEPs in the Development Committee call for a blacklist of regimes and representatives of corrupt governments in order to improve the effectiveness of the EU's development policy. The EU is the world's largest aid donor. The African Union estimates that corruption accounts for 25% of Africa's annual GDP - around $148 bn - and is stifling the continent's chances of taking off economically.

MEPs set to back Commission's competition policy

Parliament looks set to support the Commission's competition policy when it votes on an own initiative report from the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee in response to the Commission's 2004 annual competition report. Alongside its generally positive assessment, the report make a number of specific recommendations.

Broad economic policy guidelines In its annual report on the EU's Broad Economic Policy Guidelines for the Member States, the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee is making a wide ranging set of recommendations to the Commission and the Member States. Parliament as a whole will now debate the report, alongside the Employment Committee's suggestions on the Employment Guidelines, the two sets of guidelines having been brought together in one package last year.

Better statistics on foreign affiliates

Parliament will vote at first reading on Commission proposals to set standards for statistics on the structure and activity of foreign affiliates. The aim is to be able to obtain accurate and useful information on an EU-aggregated basis. The debate on this report was held during the February session, and the vote was postponed while talks were held with the Council and Commission in an effort to reach a first reading agreement.

Support for Employment Guidelines

Members of the Employment Committee agree with the Commission that the Integrated Guidelines for Growth and Jobs which were set for 2005 to 2008 should be maintained. In a report by Magda Kósáné Kovács (PES, HU) on the employment guidelines, which are now part of a package with the economic policy guidelines, the committee proposes amendments only to stress the importance of specific guidelines.

European Capitals of Culture 2007-2019

Parliament will be debating the system for choosing 'European Capitals of Culture' and monitoring their progress. A first reading codecision report from the Culture Committee by Christa Prets (PES, AT) is on the agenda, making a number of changes to the Commission's proposed reforms of the system.

Call for progress in WTO talks

Parliament will be debating the Doha round of world trade talks ahead of the World Trade Organisation meeting of 30 April in Geneva, when it considers an own initiative report from Giorgios Papastamkos (EPP-ED, EL) for the International Trade Committee on the outcome of the WTO’s Hong Kong ministerial conference in December.

Schengen Agreement - external border checks

Parliament is to debate two reports from Michael Cashman (PES, UK) for the Civil Liberties Committee dealing with identity checks at external borders required under the Schengen Agreement.

Transport security

MEPs will debate the financing of security measures for the transport sector after hearing a statement on the subject from the European Commission.

World Health Day

7 April 2006 is World Health Day, which this year will be devoted to the issue of the chronic global shortage of qualified health workers. MEPs will debate the question after statements from the Commission and Council.

Urgency procedure for bird flu and fisheries measures

MEPs are likely to be asked by the Commission to deal with two items under the urgency procedure. One concerns support measures for poultry farmers affected by the slump in demand for chicken products after the outbreak of avian flu, the other concerns a fisheries agreement with Morocco.

Commission's revised proposal for the services directive

Commission President José Manuel Barroso and Internal Market Commissioner Charlie McCreevy will inform MEPs of the Commission's revised proposal on the services directive in the light of Parliament's major amendments at first reading.

•  Plenary Highlights 13 - 16 March 2006
•  "Mini" Plenary Highlights 1 - 2 February 2006
•  Plenary Highlights 16 - 19 January 2006
•  "Mini" Plenary Highlights 12 - 13 October 2005
•  Plenary Highlights 5 - 8 September 2005
•  Plenary Highlights 4 - 8 July 2005
•  Plenary Highlights 9 - 12 May 2005
•  "Mini" Plenary Highlights 25th & 26th April 2005
•  Plenary Highlights 7 - 10 March 2005
•  Plenary Highlights 10 - 13 January 2005
•  Plenary Highlights 15 - 18 November 2004
•  "Mini" Plenary Highlights 13 - 14 October 2004
•  Plenary Highlights 13-16 September 2004
•  Plenary Highlights 29 March - 1 April 2004
•  "Mini" Plenary Highlights 25-26 February 2004
•  Plenary Highlights 9-12 February 2004
•  "Mini" Plenary Highlights 28-29 January 2004
•  Plenary Highlights 12-15 January 2004
•  Plenary Highlights 17-20 November 2003
  •  "Mini" Plenary Highlights 5-6 November 2003
•  Plenary Highlights 20-23 October 2003
•  Plenary Highlights 22-25 September 2003
•  Plenary Highlights 1-4 September 2003
•  Plenary Highlights 30 June - 3 July 2003
•  Plenary Highlights 2-5 June 2003
•  Plenary Highlights 12-15 May 2003
•  Plenary Highlights 7-10 April 2003
•  "Mini" Plenary Highlights 26-27 March 2003
•  Plenary Highlights 10-13 March 2003
•  Plenary Highlights 10-13 February 2003
•  Plenary Highlights 13-16 January 2003
•  Plenary Highlights 17-20 December 2002
•  Plenary Highlights 18-21 November 2002
•  "Mini" Plenary Highlights 6-7 November 2002
•  Plenary Highlights 21-24 October 2002
•  Plenary Highlights 23-26 September 2002
•  Plenary Highlights 2-7 September 2002