The Week Ahead 17 – 23 October 2016

Committee and political group meetings, Brussels

Car emissions inquiry. The inquiry committee into emission measurements in the car industry will continue its work by hearing Fiat/Chrysler Chief Technical Officer Harald Wester, German Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure Alexander Dobrindt and Lower Saxony’s Economy, Labour and Transport Minister Olaf Lies. (Monday and Thursday)

European Defence Union. Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs will table their recommendations for creating a European Defence Union. These are likely to include encouraging member states to set up multinational forces, devoting 2% of GDP to defence and reviewing the Common Security and Defence policy. The aim is to better equip the EU to deal with all phases in a crisis (prevention, management and resolution). (Thursday)

Plenary preparations. Political groups will prepare for the 24 – 27 October plenary session in Strasbourg, where MEPs will debate and vote on next year’s EU budget as well as its long term financing proposal (MFF review) and on a draft legislative resolution calling for an EU mechanism on fundamental rights in the member states. MEPs will also debate a new EU strategy towards Iran, the situation in Belarus and the crack-down on journalists in Turkey. Also on the agenda are new measures to prevent the spread of plant pests and a call on the Commission to propose measures to reduce trans-fats in food.

President’s diary. EP President Martin Schulz will deliver the opening speech at the Progressive Alliance Parliamentarian Conference in Brussels and deliver the keynote speech at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2016 opening ceremony, on Tuesday. On Wednesday, he will meet Greece’s Alternate Minister of Immigration Policy Yannis Mouzalas and Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe. President Schulz will address the European Council, followed by a press conference, on Thursday.

Future of Europe/Press seminar. The EP press service will hold a seminar on “The future of Europe” for journalists to debate issues of crucial importance to the European Union with leading MEPs. The seminar, which can be followed via webstreaming, will be opened by Vice-President Mairead McGuinness and closed by President Schulz.

Elmar Brok (EPP, DE), Mercedes Bresso (S&D, IT) and Guy Verhofstadt (ALDE, BE) will be on the first panel, on the future institutional set-up. A second panel, on the EU budget, will be with Reimer Böge (EPP, DE), Pervenche Berès (S&D, FR), Isabelle Thomas (S&D, FR) and Jean Arthuis (ALDE, FR). (Tuesday and Wednesday)

Last-minute press briefing. The EP Press Service will hold a press briefing with the EP’s political group spokespersons at 16:00 on Monday 24 October in Strasbourg (press conference room).