The Week Ahead 14 – 20 March 2016

Committee meetings, Brussels

Migration. Parliament’s own proposals to improve EU migration and refugee policies, including a proposal to establish a centralised EU system for collecting and allocating asylum requests, plus binding relocation and resettlement schemes for refugees, will be up for a vote in the Civil Liberties Committee. Press conference by the two co-rapporteurs at 11:00. (Wednesday)

Migration/EU Summit. The EP President and the leaders of political groups (Conference of Presidents) will meet European Council President Donald Tusk to discuss the results of the 7 March EU-Turkey Summit and prepare the upcoming EU Summit (17-18 March). (Tuesday)

EU humanitarian visa. A reform of the EU Visa Code to cut red tape will be voted by the Civil Liberties Committee. The draft text includes a proposal to create a humanitarian visa to be issued at EU embassies and consular offices in third countries so as to allow asylum seekers to fly directly to the member state where they wish to apply for asylum. (Wednesday)

Turkey. Progress made by Turkey in 2015 on human rights, the fight against corruption and media freedom will be assessed in a Foreign Affairs Committee vote. Migration, visa liberalisation, and the Kurdish issue will also be addressed in the draft resolution. (Tuesday)

Tax transparency/multinationals. Multinational firms such as Apple, Google, IKEA and McDonalds, as well as representatives from jurisdictions including Guernsey and Jersey, Andorra, Liechtenstein and Monaco will join the Special Committee on Tax Rulings to discuss taxation and developments within the EU and internationally in this field, including the OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Action Plan. (Monday and Tuesday)

TTIP and CETA. Progress in talks on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the US, and the extent to which Parliament’s demands have been taken into account, will be debated by the International Trade Committee with the Commission. Members will also discuss the recently revised Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada, which includes new arrangements for settling disputes between investors and states. (Monday)

EU-US privacy shield. The new framework on EU-US transfers of personal data by private firms (“Privacy Shield”), which is to replace the former “Safe Harbour”, will be debated by Civil Liberties Committee members with Commissioners Andrus Ansip and Věra Jourova (tbc), the US lead negotiator, the European Data Protection Supervisor and civil society representatives including Austrian Citizen Max Schrems who took Facebook to court (tbc). (Thursday)

President’s agenda. EP President Martin Schulz will meet UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein and Moldova’s Prime Minister Pavel Filip, on Tuesday. On Wednesday Mr Schulz will meet Confederal Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation Luca Visentini and President of the European Court of Justice Koen Lenaerts. On Thursday, he will meet His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan and address the European Council.

Press briefing. The EP Press Service will hold a press briefing on the week’s activities at 11.00 on Monday, in the “Anna Politkovskaya” EP press conference room, Brussels. Journalists can use #EPressbriefing to put questions on committees’ work before and during the briefing.

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