The Week Ahead 09 – 15 February 2015

Plenary session and committee meetings, Strasbourg

Tax rulings. MEPs will vote on the setting up of a special committee to examine tax rulings issued by Member States. (Thursday)

Counter-terrorism. MEPs will debate priorities ahead of the informal EU summit on Wednesday at 09.00. A resolution recommending possible counter-terrorism measures will be put to the vote at noon. This issue will top the agenda at the informal meeting of EU heads of state and government in Brussels on 12 February. (Wednesday)

Syria and Iraq. The humanitarian crisis caused by the violence of the so-called Islamic State will be debated with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on Wednesday. Over 7.6 million Syrians have been displaced inside the country, and 3.8 million more have fled to neighbouring ones. MEPs will also debate developments in Yemen, which faces a power vacuum crisis due to the resignation of the President and his government after a coup by a Shia-led rebel group. Parliament will vote a resolution on the crisis in Syria and Iraq (Thursday).

Situation in Ukraine. MEPs will discuss the current situation in Eastern Ukraine with foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on Tuesday at 17.00.

Democracy and fundamental rights in the EU. Ideas for an “EU framework for democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights” to assess whether EU member states live up to their obligations in these areas, will be debated with Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans and the Latvian Presidency. (Wednesday)

Country of origin labelling of meat. Meat used as an ingredient in processed foods, such as lasagne, should be made subject to country of origin labelling rules similar to those for fresh beef, MEPs will urge in a debate on Monday. A resolution is likely to urge the Commission to table legislation to this end. (Wednesday)

Affordable medicines. Concerns that patients may be deprived of innovative medicines due to their cost will fuel a debate with the Council and the Commission. The high prices of new treatments for diseases such as Hepatitis C have prompted MEPs to discuss EU-wide measures to help patients to access innovative therapies. (Wednesday)

EU-Russia.The chair of the Russian State Duma Committee on International Affairs, Alexey Pushkov, will visit the Foreign Affairs Committee to debate the latest developments in EU-Russia relations. (Monday)

President’s diary. EP President Martin Schulz will meet Jordanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Judeh, and the Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean Fathallah Sijilmassi, on Wednesday in Strasbourg. Mr Schulz will address the European Council, followed by press conference, and meet President of the Palestinian National Authority Mahmoud Abbas, both on Thursday in Brussels.