The Week Ahead 12 – 18 November 2018

Angela Merkel/Future of Europe. German Chancellor Angela Merkel will debate the future of Europe with MEPs and EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Tuesday at 15.00. This will be the twelfth in a series of future of Europe debates between EU heads of state or governments and MEPs. (Tuesday)

Long-term EU budget. MEPs will lay down their funding priorities for the EU’s post-2020 long-term budget, including a breakdown of the amounts foreseen for each EU programme. They are likely to push for more funding for youth, research, growth and jobs and tackling climate change. New challenges like migration, defence and security should receive adequate resources. (Wednesday)

Cheaper phone calls within the EU. Parliament will vote on a new telecom law capping intra-EU phone calls at 19 cents per minute for calls and 6 cents for text messages (SMS) from 15 May 2019. The law also lays down that the rollout of 5G networks should be speeded up and that an SMS alert system for emergencies should be created in all member states. (Wednesday)

Renewables and energy efficiency. To fight climate change, new ambitious binding 2030 targets for renewables (32%) and energy efficiency (32.5%) will be put to the vote on Tuesday. The new law also stipulates that some types of food-crop biofuels will be phased out, in a move towards second-generation biofuels. (Tuesday)

Rail passengers’ rights. Updated rules on European rail passenger rights will be put to a vote on Thursday. Those include more compensation for travellers in case of delays, better information given to passengers about their rights, better assistance to people with reduced mobility, better access to cyclists and clearer complaints-handling procedures. (Thursday)

Humanitarian visas. Parliament will vote on a proposal for a new EU humanitarian visa system, which would allow asylum-seekers to reach Europe without putting their lives at risk. They would be able to request a visa at EU embassies or consulates abroad, giving them access to European territory for the sole purpose of submitting an asylum application. (Wednesday)

Lux Film Prize 2018. EP President Antonio Tajani will unveil the winner of the 2018 Lux Prize on Wednesday noon in the Strasbourg hemicycle. This year’s finalists are the films The Other Side of Everything by Mila Turajlic (Serbia/France/Qatar), Woman at War by Benedikt Erlingsson (Iceland/France/Ukraine) and Styx by Wolfgang Fischer (Germany/Austria). (Wednesday)

President’s Diary. On Tuesday afternoon, EP President Antonio Tajani will have a bilateral meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. On Wednesday at 10.00 he will launch the EP’s online tool, “What Europe does for me”, at a press conference. At 10.30, he will hold a press conference with Mr Saif-ul-Malook, Asia Bibi’s lawyer and MEP Peter Van Dalen. President Tajani will then meet with South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa and they will make a joint statement to the press, before Mr Ramaphosa addresses the full house at 11.30. On Wednesday afternoon, President Tajani will have a bilateral meeting with the Speaker of the Parliament of Montenegro, Mr. Ivan Brajovic.