The Week Ahead 11 – 15 February 2019


Animal transport, foreign direct investment and water reuse will be dealt with by MEPs during the next plenary session. Read on for our overview.

Disaster response

MEPs will vote on an upgrade of the EU’s civil defence mechanism on Tuesday to help countries respond to disasters faster by sharing resources. There is also a provision for keeping resources in reserve, such as forest fire-fighting planes, field hospitals and emergency medical teams. These could be used if when EU country has insufficient resources to respond to a disaster.

Foreign direct investment

On Thursday MEPs will vote on proposals for the first EU-level tool to screen foreign direct investment. While the EU welcomes investment, checks are needed to ensure there is no danger to strategic EU interests. The aim is to protect crucial industries, such as water, transport, communications, and emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence and robotics.

Future of Europe

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte will discuss the future of Europe with MEPs on Tuesday afternoon. It will be the 17th debate in the series.

Animal transport 

Following media reports about ill-treatment of transported animals, MEPs will on Thursday look into ways to improve their welfare. One of the proposed recommendations is for EU countries to better enforce existing rules, improve transport conditions and cut transport time as much as possible.

Lower conversion fees and costs

MEPs are set to put an end to high conversion fees and costs for cross-border payments in the EU in a vote on Thursday. New rules would align the fees charged for sending or receiving euro payments by banks and other payment service providers in non-euro zone countries with the fees charged for payments in their national currency and would make currency conversion costs more transparent.

Motor insurance

Although EU roads are the safest in the world, 135,000 people were still seriously injured in accidents in 2017. On Wednesday, MEPs will vote on a proposal to improve the current motor insurance directive to better protect road accident victims.

EU-Singapore trade agreement

MEPs will vote Wednesday on a free trade agreement with Singapore. The deal aims to remove virtually all tariffs on trade within five years, protect unique European products and open up Singapore’s market to EU-based companies.

Reuse of water

Europe’s water resources are increasingly coming under pressure, leading to shortages and a deterioration of the water quality. On Tuesday, MEPs will discuss plans to counter water scarcity by promoting the reuse of water for agricultural irrigation.