The Week Ahead 08 – 14 October 2018

Reduction of single-use plastics. New EU rules to reduce marine litter will be voted on by the Environment and Public Health Committee. They target the main sources of macro-plastics found in Europe’s seas and beaches, which account for 70% of marine litter, and would ban products such as single-use cutlery, plates, plastic cotton buds and straws by 2021. (Wednesday)

Facebook/Cambridge Analytica. As a follow-up to the meeting with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and three Cambridge Analytica hearings, the Civil Liberties Committee will propose ways to better protect EU citizens’ privacy. MEPs may call on national and European data protection authorities to investigate Facebook and for online platforms to be held accountable for political advertising and campaigns. (Wednesday)

Humanitarian visas. A legislative initiative calling for a European Humanitarian Visa will be up for a vote in the Civil Liberties Committee. It would be available at EU consulates and embassies abroad and allow asylum-seekers to enter the member state issuing the visa for the sole purpose of filing the application for international protection. An estimated 90% of those granted international protection in member states have come to the EU through irregular means. (Wednesday)

2018 Sakharov Prize. Foreign Affairs and Development committee MEPs will vote, in a closed meeting, to shortlist the three finalists for the 2018 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. Eight nominees were presented by MEPs on 27 September. The final winner will be announced on 25 October. (Tuesday)

Rail passenger rights. Transport Committee MEPs will vote to update EU rail passenger rights to make information given to passengers clearer and improve assistance for persons with reduced mobility. It would also introduce clearer procedures for complaints, and shorten the period of exemptions during which member states can still use national passenger rights rules for domestic services. (Tuesday)

EU Budget 2019. Budgets Committee MEPs will adopt a resolution to wind up their 26 September vote on the figures for next year’s budget. This will constitute their position for the upcoming negotiations with the Council, once confirmed in plenary. MEPs want to boost funds for Erasmus+, climate protection, research, tackling migration and youth unemployment. (Tuesday)

President’s diary. EP President Antonio Tajani will hold a press point before participating in the debate on the “State of the Union: the view of the regions and cities”, in the framework of the European Week of Regions and Cities 2018, on Tuesday. Later that day, he will also deliver a speech for the Inauguration of the Academic Year at the College of Europe in Bruges. On Wednesday, President Tajani will meet Bono, U2 band member and co-founder of the One campaign.

Press briefing. The EP Press Service will hold a press briefing on the week’s activities at 11.00 a.m. on Monday, in the “Anna Politkovskaya” EP press conference room.