The Week Ahead 02 – 08 February 2015

Political group and committee meetings, 02 – 08 February 2015 Brussels

European Parliamentary Week. The EP hosts a two-day meeting with national parliamentarians from all over the EU and MEPs to discuss economic, budgetary and social matters, aiming to strengthen cooperation between the European and national parliaments. EP and EC presidents Martin Schulz and Jean-Claude Juncker will participate in this “European Parliamentary Week (EPW)”. (Tuesday and Wednesday)

Children/legal protection. A draft law to ensure that children suspected or accused of a crime in any EU country have mandatory access to a lawyer at all stages of criminal proceedings, are assisted by their parents, have the right not to be questioned in public and are entitled to receive medical examinations, will be put to a vote in the Civil Liberties Committee. More than 1 million children are involved in criminal proceedings in the EU each year (12% of the overall number). (Thursday)

Syria. The United Nations and Arab League Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura will be heard by the Foreign Affairs Committee on the latest developments in the country, including the recently agreed UN plan for a 2.9 billion US dollars aid to help the millions of Syrians in need. The EU has recently increased its assistance to Syria by €136 million in humanitarian funding, having already mobilised over €3.12 billion. (Monday)

EU budget. Ideas for improving the way the EU is funded, tabled by the High Level Group on Own Resources, will be debated by the Committee on Budgets, following a presentation by Group Chair Mario Monti. (Thursday)

Plenary preparations. Political groups will prepare for the 9 – 12 February plenary session in Strasbourg, where MEPs are set to vote on resolutions on country-of-origin labelling for meat in processed foods, US Senate report on the use of torture by the CIA and the recent atrocities in Northern Nigeria. MEPs will also debate the pricing of medicines in the EU and fine-tune resolutions on anti-terrorism measures ahead of the 12-13 February European Council meeting.

Joe Biden. US Vice President Joe Biden will first have a bilateral meeting with EP President Schulz and then take part in a meeting of the Conference of Presidents of the EP political groups, followed by a press point. (Friday)

President’s diary. EP President Martin Schulz will meet Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Swiss Confederation President Simonetta Sommaruga on Monday, and President of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies Valeriu Zgonea, on Tuesday. He will meet Latvian Saeima Speaker Ināra Mūrniece on Wednesday. Finally, Mr Schulz will participate in the panel discussion at the Munich Security Conference: “The World in 2015”, in Munich (Germany), on Saturday.

Pre-session press briefing. The EP Press Service will hold a press briefing with the EP political groups’ spokespersons at 11.00 on Friday. (“Anna Politkovskaya” EP Press conference room, Brussels)