The Week Ahead 12 – 18 September 2016

Plenary session and committee meetings in Strasbourg

State of the Union. Following EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s annual “State of the European Union” speech, MEPs will discuss the way forward for the European Union on Wednesday morning. The three-hour debate will start at 9.00.

Apple case. The EU Commission’s conclusion that Ireland granted Apple Inc. illegal tax benefits, which enabled it to pay substantially less tax than other businesses over many years, will be debated with competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager on Wednesday at 15.00.

The Commission decided that Ireland must recover unpaid taxes totalling up to €13 billion, plus interest.

Car emissions inquiry. The Committee of Inquiry into Emission Measurements in the Automotive Sector (EMIS), which is investigating possible breaches of EU rules, will present its findings in an interim report to be debated on Tuesday. The committee was set up in response to revelations about cheating devices to reduce pollutant emissions during official car tests and will wrap up its work by spring 2017. (Debate and vote Tuesday)

Poland. MEPs are set to assess recent developments in Poland and their impact on fundamental rights in a debate with Council and Commission on Tuesday afternoon and a non-binding resolution to be voted on Wednesday.

Turkey. Developments in Turkey further to the failed coup attempt in July 2016, including the state of the rule of law and human rights and Turkey’s military presence in Syria, will be debated with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on Tuesday.

Migration. Travel documents for irregularly staying third-country nationals are to be simplified to facilitate their return to their countries of origin. Furthermore, relocation schemes of refugees stranded in Greece and Italy are up for a debate and vote. (Debates Wednesday, votes Thursday).

EU budget 2017. The Council Presidency will discuss its position on the EU draft budget for 2017 with MEPs. Despite the need stressed by Parliament to tackle the refugee crisis and invest in economic growth, the Council proposed cuts of €1.28 billion in commitments (-0.81%) and €1.1 billion in payments (-0.82%). (Debate Tuesday)


Hearing of Commissioner-designate. The Civil Liberties Committee will meet on Monday 19.00 – 22.00 to quiz the Commissioner-designate for the Security Union, Sir Julian King. He has been nominated by the UK government to replace UK Commissioner Jonathan Hill who resigned at the end of June. Civil Liberties Committee Chair Claude Moraes will give a brief door step on Tuesday late morning outside the LOW S 4.2 meeting room. Following the evaluation by the committee, the Conference of Presidents will decide on Wednesday whether to table appointment recommendations for a plenary vote by secret ballot on Thursday.

President’s diary. Parliament’s President Martin Schulz will meet Andriy Parubiy, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, on Wednesday at 17.00. On Thursday, he will welcome His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, at 8.00. In the afternoon, the President will travel to Bratislava to meet Council Donald President Tusk, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico ahead of the informal EU27 Summit.

Pre-session press briefing. The EP Press Service will hold a press briefing at 16.30 on Monday. (EP Press conference room, Strasbourg)