The Week Ahead 21 – 27 November 2016

Plenary session and committee meetings in Strasbourg

EU-Turkey relations. The question of whether EU accession talks with Turkey should be frozen or made subject to further conditions  will be debated with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on Tuesday afternoon. A resolution will be voted on Thursday. Four months after the 15 July coup attempt in Turkey, the deterioration of democracy there is straining EU-Turkey relations.

Defence Union. MEPs will urge EU countries to step up defence cooperation to tackle deteriorating security in and around Europe. They should dedicate at least 2% of GDP to defence, set up a common defence policy and enable their armed forces to work together better, says a resolution up for a vote on Tuesday. A press conference with rapporteur Urmas Paet is scheduled for Tuesday at 15.00. On Wednesday MEPs will vote on a resolution calling for joint training operations in Iraq to support member states fighting Daesh.

Air quality. More ambitious national caps on emissions to curb air pollution further by 2030 will be put to a vote on Wednesday. Caps on pollutants such as NOx, particulates and sulphur dioxide have already been informally agreed under the Dutch Presidency of the Council. Air pollution causes about 400,000 premature deaths in the EU per year.

Russian and Islamist propaganda. The EU should respond to information warfare by Russia and Islamist terrorists with stronger positive messaging, more awareness raising, and education in information literacy, says a resolution drafted by Anna Elzbieta Fotyga. She will hold a press conference, on Wednesday at 15.00. (Debate Tuesday, vote Wednesday)

Draghi on interest rates. MEPs will discuss low and geographically uneven growth in the euro area, low inflation rates and the lack of investment in the real economy with European Central Bank President Mario Draghi on Monday evening. A resolution will be voted on Tuesday.

Economic priorities 2017. Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis will outline key EU economic priorities for 2017 and report on the member states’ yearly “European Semester” economic policy coordination work. MEPs want the EU Commission to prioritise investment in innovation, growth and job creation, advocate socially-balanced structural reform and encourage responsible public finances. (Debate Tuesday

LUX Film Prize. The winner of the 10th edition of the LUX Film Prize will be announced by Parliament’s President Martin Schulz at a ceremony in the Strasbourg chamber on Wednesday 23 November. This year’s finalists are “As I open my eyes” by Leyla Bouzid, “My life as a courgette” by Claude Barras and “Toni Erdmann” by Maren Ade. A seminar for journalists with MEPs, film makers and actors will take place on Tuesday and a press conference with the directors of the three films is scheduled for 14.30.

President’s diary. Parliament’s President Martin Schulz will meet ECB President Mario Draghi on Monday at 16.00. On Wednesday at noon he will meet Spain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Alfonso Dastis. On Thursday, President Schulz will participate in the EU-Ukraine summit in Brussels.