The Week Ahead 10 – 16 December 2018

2018 Sakharov Prize. The Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov, currently imprisoned in Russia, will be awarded the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in a ceremony at noon by President Tajani. (Wednesday).

Long-term budget. Parliament will vote on its positions on the scope and priorities for the 2021-2027 funds dedicated to Horizon Europe (research), the EU Defence Fund, the EU Space Programme, Digital Europe and the Connecting Europe Facility as well as the LIFE programmes for climate and environmental action.

2019 EU budget. Parliament is set to approve a deal on the 2019 EU budget, boosting funds for growth and jobs, namely Erasmus+, climate protection, research, tackling migration and youth unemployment (Wednesday).

EU-Japan partnership. Parliament will vote on the free trade agreement between the EU and Japan, the largest bilateral trade deal ever done by the EU, as well as on the Strategic Partnership Agreement, which aims to extend the scope of EU-Japan cooperation from trade to other sectors. A press conference is scheduled at 14.30 (Wednesday).

Brexit. One day after the vote on the negotiated withdrawal agreement in the British parliament, MEPs will debate the outcome of this vote with EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier (tbc) and the state of play of Brexit on Wednesday morning.

EU summit/Eurogroup. MEPs will debate their priorities for the 13-14 December EU summit, which will focus on the EU’s long-term budget, migration, the single market and external relations, as well as the results of the Eurogroup and the upcoming Euro summit (Tuesday).

Future of Europe/Anastasiades. President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, will debate the future of Europe with MEPs and EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday morning. A joint Press statement by President Tajani and President Anastasiades is scheduled at 13.00 (Wednesday)

Food safety. MEPs will vote on the EP´s position on a new proposal aiming to make the authorisation process for substances and food stuff more transparent. The proposal is a follow-up to the European Citizens’ Initiative on glyphosate, especially to concerns that the scientific studies used to evaluate pesticides were not independent enough and not accessible to the public (Tuesday)

Special committee on Terrorism. Parliament will vote on the final report of its Special Committee on Terrorism, calling for a self-standing portfolio for the Commissioner for “Security Union” and urging member states to strengthen cooperation and swiftly share information when the threat level increases. The co-rapporteurs will hold a press conference at 15.00 (Wednesday)

President’s Diary. EP President Antonio Tajani will take part in the inauguration of Avenue Simone Veil in Strasbourg and will unveil her portrait at the ceremony “Égalité de Chances” on Tuesday afternoon. On Wednesday morning, he will have a bilateral meeting with the President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, before the latter addresses the full house. On Thursday afternoon, President Tajani will address EU leaders at the summit in Brussels, followed by a press conference.

Pre-session press briefing. The EP Press Service will hold a press briefing at 16:30 on Monday in the Daphne Caruana Galizia Press conference room, Strasbourg.