This Week in the European Parliament– April 19, 2019

Summary

This week was the last plenary session of this Parliament.  The Parliament finalized most of its pending initiatives before the elections in May.

We highlight some of these files below.

On Tuesday, April 16, the Members of the European Parliament (“MEPs”) debated a report on a proposal for a Regulation amending Regulation No. 469/2009 concerning the supplementary protection certificates (“SPC”) for medicinal products.  The proposed Regulation is intended to benefit EU producers of generic medicine and biosimilar products, and increase access to high quality and affordable medicines in the EU.  The proposed Regulation would introduce an exception by which EU-based manufacturers of generics and biosimilars may manufacture a generic or biosimilar version of an SPC-protected medicine during the term of validity of the SPC, provided that this is done solely for the purpose of export to a non-EU market where intellectual property protection has expired or never existed.  See the draft report here and the proposed Regulation here.

On Wednesday, April 17, the Parliament adopted its position at first reading on the proposed Regulation on Transparency and Sustainability of the EU Risk Assessment in the Food Chain.  The Regulation amends the General Food Law Regulation as well as eight legislative acts focused on specific sectors of the food chain.  Among other things, the Regulation calls for ensuring more transparency by providing citizens with access to studies and information that industries submit in the risk assessment process.  It would also bolster the role of the European Food Safety Authority (“EFSA”).  Member States will be required to nominate a number of experts to the EFSA Scientific Panels.  The Authority will also be notified of all studies commissioned so that it can ensure that companies submit all relevant information.  The Council of the EU still needs to agree the position for the Regulation to become law.  See the Parliament’s position at first reading here.

On the same day, the Parliament also adopted its position at first reading on a proposal for a Directive on Better Enforcement and Modernisation of EU Consumer Protection Rules.  The proposed Directive amends four Directives dealing with the protection of the economic interests of consumers.  Among other things, it bans ‘dual quality’ products, i.e., the marketing of a product as being identical in different Member States, where those products have different characteristics or composition.  The Council of the EU will also have to agree its stance on the proposal.  See the Parliament’s position here.

As the Parliament will now enter into recess, your Week in the European Parliament will return in July 2019.

Meetings and Agenda

  • No meetings scheduled before July 2019.

Congressional Investigations and the Rules of the 116th Congress

With Congress heavily engaged in launching and pursuing new congressional investigations, particularly since the Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives, many of our clients have questions regarding the rules that govern congressional investigations. While many aspects of congressional investigations are not subject to any rules at all, the House, Senate, and their respective committees do have some rules governing subpoenas, depositions, and confidentiality.

Yesterday, Covington issued a client advisory that provides a detailed catalog of the rules applicable to congressional investigations, reflecting changes that have been adopted since the new Congress organized itself in January.

Senators Question the Administration’s Space Force Proposal

The Senate Armed Services Committee heard testimony last week from Acting Secretary of Defense Pat Shanahan, Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson, Marine General Joe Dunford (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff), and Air Force General John Hyten (Commander of U.S. Strategic Command and the presumptive next Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs).

The witnesses presented unified support for the creation of the Space Force. Secretary Wilson, notably, voiced support for the proposal, which would put the new Space Force under the Air Force.  That structure mimics the design of the Marine Corps and the Department of the Navy; Wilson acknowledged that she had previously been critical of proposals that would establish a new independent department for space.  From the perspective of continuity, the key testimony came from General Hyten; both Wilson and Dunford are lame ducks, and Shanahan’s nomination for Secretary remains uncertain.  Many of the Senators voiced concerns about the fundamental need for a Space Force and the significant bureaucratic expansion contemplated by the proposal.

It was clear from the hearing that the Administration and the Department still have much to do to market this Space Force proposal to the Congress.  Given the reactions so far, it is extremely unlikely to be included as written in the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act. While Congress continues to debate the proposal, now is the window to engage with the congressional defense committees with comments on the proposal and suggestions for how to modify it. Continue Reading

Now In Congress: Budget, Nominations, Mueller Report

April began with Washington learning of the first-quarter fundraising hauls of Democratic presidential hopefuls, many of whom are current or former senators and House members. Meanwhile, several additional potential presidential candidates continue to weigh their options for jumping into the race, with much of the attention on former Vice President Joe Biden, who is trying to decide whether to run amidst multiple allegations that he initiated unwelcome physical contact with women whom he encountered in public settings over a period of years.

But even as the nascent 2020 presidential primary race captures much attention, both chambers of Congress grapple with difficult decisions on the budget and appropriations bills. And there is high partisan rancor over the prospect of Congress requiring the U.S. Department of Justice to publicize much of the report of special counsel Robert Mueller, even as Senate Republicans have again changed the Senate’s procedure regarding debate over nominations, and now seek to capitalize on those changes with rapid Senate floor confirmations.

During the first week of April, the House passed a resolution restricting the authority of the United States to use military force in Yemen, absent specific congressional approval. The resolution had previously passed the Senate, where it was sponsored by progressive presidential candidate Sen. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt. This could pave the way for President Donald Trump to issue the second veto of his presidency. The House in late March was not able to override his first veto, of a congressional resolution disapproving of his use of the statutorily created emergency designation to help fund a United States southern border wall.

Last week the House also passed legislation reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, with some new gun possession restrictions included that are opposed by the National Rifle Association. Most House Republicans voted against the bill. That bill, and those provisions in particular, face an uncertain fate in negotiations with the Republican-controlled Senate. The House is now preparing to take up legislation gradually increasing the federal minimum wage to $15.00 per hour by 2024. That bill, having passed the House Committee on Education and Labor, appears poised for House floor action sometime this spring.

The Senate has commenced the month of April with two Senate floor disputes. The first dispute, over how much assistance Puerto Rico should receive as part of disaster supplemental funding legislation, has led to a stalemate, with neither side able to muster the 60 votes needed to move a disaster funding package forward. The Senate did take initial steps to move forward with debating the House-passed disaster supplemental package, but the Trump administration was critical of the Puerto Rico aid portion of the package, and is working with Senate Republicans to trim it. It is unclear whether the Senate can find compromise, or try to defer the dispute for a possible conference committee with the House.

A second dispute on the Senate floor involves a failed effort by Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to push legislation sponsored by Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., which would have changed the Senate’s procedures regarding post-cloture debate over many types of presidential nominations. Democrats opposed the changes, and the Lankford legislation failed, but Republicans moved to implement the changes anyway with respect to particular nominations on the Senate floor, the first being that of Jeffrey Kessler to be an assistant secretary of commerce.

These tactics, which limit the options available to the minority party or to those senators who oppose a particular presidential nomination, will surely increase the amount of partisan hostility in the upper chamber. But having forced through the changes, McConnell is now seeking to capitalize on them by filling the Senate’s floor agenda with nominations.

Both the Senate and the House of Representatives have been conducting oversight committee hearings relating to Trump’s fiscal year 2020 budget request. But each chamber is pursuing its own course on budget objectives. Senate Budget Committee chairman Michael Enzi, R-Wyo., brought Senate budget legislation before his committee, which marked up the bill over a two-day period and prepared it for potential action on the Senate floor. House Budget Committee chairman John Yarmuth, D-Ky., appears to be preparing to opt instead for a budget strategy of raising caps on discretionary spending put in place during the Obama years, in a manner that might lead to a more generous new cap on discretionary nondefense spending than on the defense budget.

While Yarmuth points to “parity” in the raising of the caps between defense and nondefense discretionary spending, many House Democrats would prefer a higher nondefense cap. The legislation could reach the House floor this week. This House tactic of raising the caps to parity with defense, or to a more generous level for nondefense spending, would place House Democrats at odds with the White House, which appears to favor generously raising the caps on defense discretionary spending only.

As Congress and the Trump administration are headed towards an impasse over the budget, Congress also has begun work on 12 appropriations bills. Looming over that process is how to address Trump’s request for a large appropriation in the Homeland Security bill for his southern border wall. Adding fuel to the impasse was U.S. Department of Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s abrupt resignation, and Trump’s withdrawal of his pending nomination of Ron Vitiello to be the next director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Vitiello continues to serve in an acting role, and is scheduled to testify before Congress this week. While budget legislation is not required to be passed to keep the government functioning, inability to pass a spending package because of the continued stalemate over a southern border wall could lead to a lapse in appropriation, and another federal government shutdown.

House Democrats are pressing to see, and make public, the Mueller report on Russia’s attempts to influence the 2016 U.S. election, and any involvement of Trump and his advisers in that effort. The House Judiciary Committee voted on Wednesday, April 3, to empower its chairman, Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., to issue subpoenas for the Mueller report after the U.S. Department of Justice declined to release the report, and U.S. attorney general William Barr issued a summary of the report that limits the wrongdoing attributable to the broader Trump network — a summary which many Democrats believe might overly favor the president in its interpretation. Barr is testifying on the U.S. Department of Justice budget request this week, and is facing questions about his actions related to the Mueller report.

At the end of this week, Congress is scheduled to break for a two-week April recess, returning to round out the month in session.

This article also was published in Law360.

Congress Amends LDA Forms to Require Reporting of Lobbyist Convictions

The recent passage of the Justice Against Corruption on K Street Act of 2018 (“JACK Act” or the “Act”) imposes new requirements on those registering and filing reports under the Lobbying Disclosure Act (“LDA”). The Act amends the LDA to require that LDA registrants disclose listed lobbyists’ convictions for criminal offenses involving bribery, extortion, embezzlement, illegal kickbacks, tax evasion, fraud, conflicts of interest, making a false statement, perjury, or money laundering.Background

The JACK Act was inspired by Jack Abramoff, whose alleged corrupt lobbying activities placed him at the center of a political scandal that led to the conviction of more than twenty lobbyists, congressional aides, and politicians. Between 2006 and 2008, Abramoff himself was convicted of crimes including fraud, tax evasion, conspiracy to bribe public officials, and bribery of public officials. After serving four years in federal prison, Abramoff emerged as a purported political reformer, only to begin lobbying again.

The Law

Congress passed the JACK Act in response to Mr. Abramoff’s post-prison lobbying activities, in order to shed light on registered lobbyists with prior convictions. The Act specifically amends the LDA’s registration (form LD-1) and quarterly reporting (form LD-2) requirements to require registrants to report the date of conviction and a description of the offense “for any listed lobbyist who was convicted in a Federal or State court of an offense involving bribery, extortion, embezzlement, an illegal kickback, tax evasion, fraud, a conflict of interest, making a false statement, perjury, or money laundering.” Those who violate the JACK Act’s requirements are subject to the civil and criminal penalty provisions of the LDA. Those provisions establish civil penalties of up to $200,000 in fines for lack of compliance with LDA requirements or failure to appropriately remedy defective filings following notification. On the criminal side, those who “knowingly and corruptly” fail to comply with LDA requirements may be fined, imprisoned for up to five years, or both.

Going Forward

Amendments to Q4 2018 reports. The JACK Act took effect on January 3, 2019. As a result, any fourth quarter lobbying activity reports filed after January 3 are thus subject to its requirements.  Although guidance released by the Clerk of the House of Representatives is ambiguous as to whether all registrants are required to amend Q4 2018 reports if they were filed on or after January 3, the Office of the Secretary of the Senate has confirmed to Covington that registrants with no reportable convictions need not amend registrations or quarterly reports filed on or after January 3. However, registrants who have relevant convictions to report must file an amendment to their Q4 2018 reports, if those reports were filed on or after January 3. Guidance from the House Office of the Clerk provides additional information about how to disclose required information.

Future reporting. Moving forward, the JACK Act requires LDA registrants to take additional steps before filing lobbying disclosures. LD-1 and LD-2 forms now ask registrants to indicate whether or not lobbyists have reportable convictions, on lines 15 and 29, respectively. The LDA online filing system has been updated accordingly. To ensure filings are accurate, registrants should therefore conduct internal due diligence to identify any registered lobbyists’ reportable offenses. This diligence process could take a variety of forms, but it should at a minimum capture information concerning newly registered lobbyists and should provide a mechanism requiring all lobbyists promptly to inform those responsible for filing the registrant’s forms LD-1 and LD-2 of any relevant convictions. Because a lobbyist’s reportable convictions must be disclosed publicly on all future registrations or quarterly reports listing that lobbyist, registrants should be prepared for the reputational concerns and public scrutiny that may arise from employing or retaining a lobbyist with a reportable criminal history.

If you have any questions concerning compliance with the JACK Act, please contact a member of Covington’s Election and Political Law practice group.

The Week Ahead in the European Parliament –  April 5, 2019

Summary

Next week will be a short committee week in the European Parliament. Members of the European Parliament (“MEPs”) will meet in Brussels to debate and vote on outstanding legislative files.

On Monday, April 8, the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (“LIBE”) will vote on a draft report on a Regulation Preventing the dissemination of Terrorist Content Online.  We have reported on this issue earlier, because the committee vote has been postponed twice.  The postponement in March was requested by shadow rapporteur Maite Pagazaurtundúa (ALDE, ES) and was supported by the social democrats, socialists, and greens.  Rapporteur Daniel Dalton (ECR, UK) expressed regret of the decision but did not want to jeopardise this crucial file being voted down.  As we reported earlier, the draft report reduces the scope of the proposed regulation to apply only to publically available content.  The one-hour deadline, however, remains in play.  The report also weakens the monitoring obligations for social media platforms but does not exclude any proactive measures that platforms are required to take.  See the draft report here.

Also on Monday, the Committee on Transport and Tourism (“TRAN”) will vote on a resolution on the Commission Delegated Regulation supplementing Directive 2010/40/EU with regard to the Deployment and Operational Use of Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems.  The interoperability for cooperative intelligent transport systems (C-ITS) is intended to enable vehicles to communicate directly with other vehicles, their immediate surroundings and road infrastructure.  The Commission Delegated Regulation sets out minimum legal requirements for C-ITS that will enable their large-scale deployment in the near future.  These C-ITS will in the short term mainly contribute to road safety and traffic efficiency. See the Commission Delegated Regulation here.

Meetings and Agenda

Monday, April 8, 2019

Committee on Budgets & Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection

15:00 – 17:00

Debates

  • Public Hearing – Combatting Customs Fraus

Committee on Budgetary

15:00 – 19:00

  • Partial renewal of Members of the Court of Auditors – RO nominee (NLE), Hearing of Mr Viorel ȘTEFAN – candidate nominated by Romania
    • Rapporteur: Indrek TARAND (Greens/EFA, EE)
  • Partial renewal of members of the Court of Auditors – HR nominee (NLE) – Hearing of Ms Ivana MALETIĆ – candidate nominated by Croatia
    • Rapporteur:Indrek TARAND (Greens/EFA, EE)

Committee on Transport and Tourism

16:00 – 16:30

Votes

  • Agreement between the EU and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines on certain aspects of air services (NLE) – vote on draft recommendation concerning conclusion of the agreement (consent)
    • Rapporteur: Jozo Radoš (ALDE, HR)
  • Commission Delegated Regulation supplementing Directive 2010/40/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council with regard to the deployment and operational use of cooperative intelligent transport systems (DEA) – vote on the resolution
    • Rapporteur Dominique RIQUET (ALDE, FR)

Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development

15:00 – 18:30

  • Exchange of views with Heli Pihlajamaa (Director Patent Law) of the European Patent Office on the issue of patentability of plants

Votes

  • Financing, management and monitoring of the common agricultural policy (COD) – adoption of draft report by Ulrike MÜLLER (ALDE, DE)

Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs

15:45 – 18:00

Votes 16.30-17.30

  • Eurojust: agreement on judicial cooperation in criminal matters with Denmark(CNS) – adoption of draft recommendation (consent)
    • Rapporteur: Claude MORAES (S&D, UK)
  • Preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online (COD) – adoption of draft report
    • Rapporteur: Daniel DALTON (ECR, UK)
  • Common standards and procedures in Member States for illegally staying third-country nationals (COD) Recast – adoption of draft report and vote on the decision to enter into interinstitutional negotiations and on the composition of the negotiating team
    • Rapporteur: Judith SARGENTINI (Greens/EFA, NL)

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

  • No meetings of note

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

  • No meetings of note

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Committee on Budgets

09:00 – 11:00

Voting time

  • Proposal for a Council Regulation on measures concerning the implementation and financing of the general budget of the Union in 2019 in relation to the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the Union (APP) – Adoption of draft report (to be confirmed)
  • Rapporteur: Jean ARTHUIS (ALDE, FR)

Committee on Budgetary Control

15:00 – 18:30

Joint meeting with BUDG committee 

Committee on Regional Development

09:00 – 11:00

Voting time

  • Exchange of views with Corina CREȚU, Commissioner on Regional Policy

Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs

09:00 – 12:30 

Committee on Petitions

09:00 – 18:30

The Topsy-Turvy World of State and Local Bid Protests

Many contractors are familiar with the well-established processes of federal bid protests.  Less known is the dizzying variety of procedures applicable to state and local bid protests.  Each jurisdiction has its own rules — in terms of timing, protestable issues, standard of review, document production, and more.  A fundamental tenet in one jurisdiction may be completely inapplicable in another.What does that mean for a contractor looking to grow its state and local business?  Be prepared:  Become familiar with the rules and practices for bid protests in the relevant jurisdiction prior to the award decision.  When the award decision is made, you’ll be in a better position to assess whether to protest and, if so, when and how to do it.

Here are a few issues that are often helpful to consider while preparing for a potential state or local protest:

  • Timing.  Federal bid protests have notoriously aggressive schedules.  That may or may not hold true at the state and local level.  Some jurisdictions have even faster timing than GAO — both in terms of the deadline to file the initial protest and the deadline for a decision resolving the protest.  Other jurisdictions have more leisurely timing — and may not have any deadline for resolving the protest.  It is also important to confirm how days are to be counted (e.g., calendar or business days?) and what is the triggering event (e.g., notice of intent to award or actual award?).
  • Protestable Issues.  There is a relatively small universe of high-rotation arguments in federal bid protests.  Viable — and winning — arguments at the state and local level may be different.  Some jurisdictions narrowly circumscribe the types of issues that may be protested, and may impose a higher standard of review.  For instance, a state or local jurisdiction may require a showing of bad faith — or something else beyond unreasonableness.  By contrast, other jurisdictions may permit wide-ranging protest arguments and not impose (or meaningfully apply) an elevated standard of review.  For instance, a state or local jurisdiction may take a more relaxed approach to prejudice and not require a protester to demonstrate how an alleged error caused it harm.
  • Document Production.  Document production can be one of the trickiest aspects of state and local bid protests because there is often no built-in procedure for getting access to the procurement record.  Frequently, the protester has no choice but to request the relevant documents through a freedom of information/public records–type request.  That presents three major obstacles, however.  First, FOIA-type requests often take so long to process that the protest may be over by the time a response is provided.  Second, the jurisdiction may have a statute or regulation that prohibits the release of the procurement record until after a protest is over and the award decision is final.  Third, the documents that are eventually produced may be redacted past the point of usefulness.

Every state, county, and municipality is different.  By being prepared and becoming familiar with the protest procedures early, however, state and local protests can be an important tool in pursuing state and local business and ensuring the propriety of state and local procurements.

The Week Ahead in the European Parliament –  Friday, March 29, 2019

Summary

Next week will be a mixed week in the European Parliament with a mini plenary and committee meetings. Members of the European Parliament (“MEPs”) will meet to debate and vote on several interesting matters.

On Monday, April 1, the Committee on Legal Affairs (“JURI”) will have an exchange of views with representatives of the European Commission’s High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence (“HLEG”), that is set to issue its final Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence on April 10, 2019.  The HLEG is composed of 52 experts and academics who have drafted guidelines that will be used to shape the future regulatory framework on AI.  The previously published Draft Guidelines provide that AI should be developed, deployed and used with an “ethical purpose”, grounded in, and reflective of, fundamental rights, societal values and the ethical principles of Beneficence (“do good”), Non-Maleficence (“do no harm”), the Autonomy of humans, Justice, and Explicability.  All these are seen as crucial to working towards Trustworthy AI.  See the draft guidelines, published on December 18, 2018, here.

On Tuesday, April 2, the Committee on International Trade (“INTA”) will receive a presentation by the European Commission and will hold a debate on the state of play of the EU safeguard measures on steel in light of its first review by July, 2019.  The EU imposed the safeguard measures back in July 2018 to address the perceived diversion of steel from other countries as a result of the import duties applied by the United States under Section 232 in March 2018.  Although the European Parliament is formally not involved in the review of the safeguard measures, the debate will be an interesting opportunity for MEPs to take the European Commission’s temperature.  See the original Press Release of the Commission here.

On Thursday, April 4, MEPs will vote on their position on a proposed Directive that will amend the Gas Directive 2009/73/EC that outlines common rules for the internal market in natural gas.  The new legislation will extent the existing rules that apply to the EU’s internal pipelines to those originating in or going to third countries – such as Nord Stream 2.  The amendments will give the Member State where the pipelines come ashore the power to oversee compliance and enforcement of EU energy rules, under supervision of the relevant European institutions.  In a long and controversial legislative process, Eastern European countries, supported by the United States, had expressed deep concerns about the construction of a new gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, fearing more Russian geopolitical leverage over the EU.  Germany had objected to the EU taking regulatory control, but the Member States reached a compromise so that EU energy rules would apply, but the responsibility of regulating the new pipeline would remain with the Member States.  See the report tabled for plenary sitting here.

Meetings and Agenda

Monday, April 1, 2019

Committee on International Trade

15:00-16:30

Debate

  • Presentation of a study on “Parliamentary scrutiny of trade policies across the Western world” 

Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs

15:00-18:00

  • European Central Bank – annual Rapporteur: 2018 – Exchange of views following the presentation of the Annual Rapporteur: the ECB Vice-President, Luis De GUINDOS 

Continue Reading

Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Cybersecurity Holds Hearing to Discuss the Responsibilities of the Defense Industrial Base

On March 26, 2019, the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Cybersecurity held a hearing to receive testimony assessing how the Department of Defense’s (“DOD”) cybersecurity policies and regulations have affected the Defense Industrial Base (“DIB”).

To gain a better understanding of the DIB’s cybersecurity concerns, the Subcommittee invited William LaPlante, Senior Vice President and General Manager of MITRE’s National Security Sector; John Luddy, Vice President for National Security Policy at the Aerospace Industries Association; Christopher Peters, Chief Executive Officer of the Lucrum Group; and Michael MacKay, the Chief Technology Officer of Progeny Systems Corporation. Continue Reading

The Week Ahead in the European Parliament –  Friday, March 22, 2019

Summary

Next week will be a week with plenary sessions in the European Parliament. Members of the European Parliament (“MEPs”) will meet to debate and vote on several interesting matters.

On Monday, March 25, MEPs will debate Junker’s proposal to discontinue seasonal changes of time (summer time).  They will vote on Tuesday.  As we reported on March 1, Commission President Juncker called for the EU to abandon seasonal time changes, after 4.6 million Europeans responded to an EU consultation with a significant majority (84%) expressing their discontent with the current system.  It has been suggested that changing time twice a year may have negative consequences on citizens’ well-being and road safety.  The legislative proposal would require Member States to decide whether they would like to have permanent winter or summer time.  The Committee on Transport and Tourism (“TRAN”) already adopted this proposal on March 4, but delayed the deadline for Member States to make their decision by April 2020 instead of 2019.  See the report here, and the Commission’s original proposal here.

On Tuesday, March 26, MEPs will debate and vote on the provisional deal on new Copyright Directive in the Digital Single Market that has been approved by the Committee on Legal Affairs (“JURI”) on February 26.  As we have previously reported, the proposal includes provisions that would dramatically reform the rules on the online publishing and use of third-party content. Most importantly, the compromised text includes the controversial Article 13, under which online platforms have the obligation to monitor uploaded content to resolve the “value gap” and help rights-holders monetize and control the distribution of their material. Ahead of the plenary session, over a hundred MEPs have co-introduced an amendment to delete Article 13 from the Directive. The MEPs of the German Social Democrats have also announced they will vote against the Directive as long as it includes “upload filters”. See the introduced amendment here and tabled text here.

The same day, MEPs will discuss the European Summit of March 21-22 with European Council President Donald Tusk, which includes the latest developments surrounding Brexit and other priorities. The European Parliament has so far had a limited role in the Brexit process.  Its consent was necessary to conclude the Withdrawal Agreement, but Parliament will not have a say in any possible extension of the ‘negotiation period’ that Theresa May is currently seeking.  Parliament does take interest in the possible extension, since the United Kingdom would have to organize national elections for the European Parliament if an extension longer than two months is agreed upon.

Meetings and Agenda

Monday, March 25, 2019

Plenary Session

17:00 – 00:00

Debates

  • Report on financial crimes, tax evasion and tax avoidance
    • Rapporteur: Luděk Niedermayer (EPP, CZ), Jeppe Kofod ( EPP, DK )
  • Discontinuing seasonal changes of time
    • Rapporteur: Marita Ulvskog (S&D, SE )
  • Common rules for the internal market in electricity
    • Jerzy Buzek ( EPP, PL )
  • Internal market for electricity
    • Jerzy Buzek (EPP, PL )
  • European Union Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators
    • Morten Helveg Petersen ( ALD, DK )
  • Risk-preparedness in the electricity sector
    • Flavio Zanonato ( MDP, IT )
  • Representative actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers
    • Geoffroy Didier ( EPP, FR )
  • Post-Arab Spring: way forward for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region
    • Brando Benifei ( S&D, IT )
  • Labelling of tyres with respect to fuel efficiency and other essential parameters
    • Michał Boni ( EPP, PL )
  • Specific provisions for the European territorial cooperation goal (Interreg)
    • Pascal Arimont ( EPP, BE ) 

Committee on Budgets

20:00 – 21:00

  • Proposal for a Council Regulation on measures concerning the implementation and financing of the general budget of the Union in 2019 in relation to the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the Union (APP)
    • Rapporteur:Jean ARTHUIS (ALDE, FR)

Joint meeting: Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and Committee on Transport and Tourism

20:30 – 21:00

Votes

  • Establishing the Connecting Europe Facility (COD) – vote on the partial agreement resulting from interinstitutional negotiations.
  • Rapporteurs: Henna Virkkunen (EPP, FI), Marian-Jean Marinescu (EPP, RO), Pavel Telička (ALDE, CZ)

Committee on Industry, Research and Energy

21:00 -22:00

Vote

  • Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and the Council on European business statistics, amending Regulation (EC) no 184/2005 and repealing 10 legal acts in the field of business statistics (COD) – Vote on the provisional agreement resulting from interinstitutional negotiations.
    • Rapporteur: Janusz Lewandowski (EPP, PL)
  • Establishing the European Defence Fund (COD) – Vote on the partial agreement resulting from interinstitutional negotiations.
    • Rapporteur: Zdzisław Krasnodębski (ECR, PL)
  • Establishing the space programme of the Union and the European Union Agency for the Space Programme (COD) – Vote on the partial agreement resulting from interinstitutional negotiations.
    • Rapporteur: Massimiliano Salini (EPP, IT)
  • Establishing the Digital Europe programme for the period 2021-2027 (COD) – Vote on the partial agreement resulting from interinstitutional negotiations.
  • Rapporteur: Angelika Mlinar (ALDE, AT)

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Plenary Session

09:00 – 11:50

Debates

  • Copyright in the Digital Single Market
    • Rapporteur: Axel Voss ( EPP, DE )
  • Contracts for the supply of digital content
    • Rapporteurs: Axel Voss, Evelyne Gebhardt ( EPP, DE )
  • Contracts for the online and other distance sales of goods
    • Rapporteur: Pascal Arimont ( EPP, BE ) 

12:00 – 14:00

Votes

  • EU-Switzerland Institutional Framework Agreement
    • Rapporteur: Doru-Claudian Frunzulică ( S&D, RO )
  • Decision establishing a European Peace Facility
    • Rapporteur: Hilde Vautmans ( ALD, BE )
  • EU-Uzbekistan comprehensive agreement
    • Rapporteur: David McAllister ( CDUD, UK)
  • Protocol to the EU-Israel Euro-Mediterranean Agreement (accession of Croatia)
    • Cristian Dan Preda ( EPP, RO )
  • Fishing in the GFCM (General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean) Agreement area
    • Rapporteur: Linnéa Engström ( EFA, SE)
  • Alignment of reporting obligations in the field of environment policy
    • Rapporteur: Adina-Ioana Vălean ( EPP, RO )
  • Time limit for the implementation of the special rules regarding maximum length in case of cabs delivering improved aerodynamic performance, energy efficiency and safety performance
    • Rapporteur: Karima Delli ( EFA, FR )
  • Low carbon benchmarks and positive carbon impact benchmarks
    • Rapporteur: Neena Gill ( S&D, UK)
  • Fundamental rights of people of African descent
    • Rapporteur: ( O-000022/2019 )

15:00 – 17:00

Debates

  • Discharge 2017: EU general budget – Commission and executive agencies
    • Rapporteur: Inés Ayala Sender ( S&D, ES )
  • Discharge 2017: Court of Auditors’ special Rapporteurs in the ext of the 2017 Commission discharge
    • Rapporteur: Inés Ayala Sender ( S&D, ES )
  • EU-Uzbekistan comprehensive agreement
    • Rapporteur: David McAllister ( CDUD, UK )
  • Discharge 2017: EU general budget – 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th EDFs
    • Marco Valli ( EFDDG, IT )
  • Discharge 2017: EU general budget – European Parliament
    • Rapporteur: Claudia Schmidt ( EPP, AT )
  • Discharge 2017: EU general budget – European Council and Council
    • Rapporteur: Arndt Kohn ( S&D, DE )
  • Discharge 2017: EU general budget – Court of Justice
    • Rapporteur: Arndt Kohn ( S&D, DE )
  • Discharge 2017: EU general budget – Court of Auditors
    • Rapporteur: Arndt Kohn ( S&D, DE )
  • Discharge 2017: EU general budget – European Economic and Social Committee
    • Rapporteur: Arndt Kohn ( S&D, DE )
  • Discharge 2017: EU general budget – Committee of the Regions
    • Rapporteur: Arndt Kohn ( S&D, DE )
  • Discharge 2017: EU general budget – European External Action Service
    • Rapporteur: Arndt Kohn ( S&D, DE )
  • Discharge 2017: EU general budget – European Ombudsman
  • Rapporteur: Arndt Kohn( S&D, DE )
  • Discharge 2017: EU general budget – European Data Protection Supervisor
    • Rapporteur: Arndt Kohn ( S&D, DE )
  • Discharge 2017: Performance, financial management and rol of EU agencies
    • Rapporteur: Petri Sarvamaa ( EPP, FI )
  • Discharge 2017: Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER)
    • Rapporteur: Petri Sarvamaa ( EPP, FI )
  • Discharge 2017: Office of the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC)
  • Rapporteur: Petri Sarvamaa ( EPP, FI )
  • Discharge 2017: Translation Centre for the Bodies of the European Union (CdT)
    • Rapporteur: Petri Sarvamaa ( EPP, FI )
  • Discharge 2017: European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop)
    • Rapporteur: Petri Sarvamaa ( EPP, FI )
  • Discharge 2017: European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training (CEPOL)
    • Rapporteur: Petri Sarvamaa ( EPP, FI )
  • Discharge 2017: European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)
    • Rapporteur: Petri Sarvamaa ( EPP, FI )
  • Discharge 2017: European Asylum Support Office (EASO)
    • Rapporteur: Petri Sarvamaa ( EPP, FI )
  • Discharge 2017: European Banking Authority (EBA)
    • Rapporteur: Petri Sarvamaa ( EPP, FI )
  • Discharge 2017: European Centre for Disease Prevention and rol (ECDC)
    • Rapporteur: Petri Sarvamaa ( EPP, FI )
  • Discharge 2017: European Chemicals Agency (ECHA)
    • Rapporteur: Petri Sarvamaa ( EPP, FI )
  • Discharge 2017: European Environment Agency (EEA)
    • Rapporteur: Petri Sarvamaa ( EPP, FI )
  • Discharge 2017: European Fisheries rol Agency (EFCA)
    • Rapporteur: Petri Sarvamaa ( EPP, FI )
  • Discharge 2017: European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)
    • Rapporteur: Petri Sarvamaa ( EPP, FI )
  • Discharge 2017: European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE)
    • Rapporteur: Petri Sarvamaa ( EPP, FI )
  • Discharge 2017: European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA)
    • Rapporteur: Petri Sarvamaa ( EPP, FI )
  • Discharge 2017: European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)
    • Rapporteur: Petri Sarvamaa ( EPP, FI )
  • Discharge 2017: European Medicines Agency (EMA)
    • Rapporteur: Petri Sarvamaa ( EPP, FI )
  • Discharge 2017: European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA)
    • Rapporteur: Petri Sarvamaa ( EPP, FI )
  • Discharge 2017: European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA)
    • Rapporteur: Petri Sarvamaa ( EPP, FI )
  • Discharge 2017: European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA)
    • Rapporteur: Petri Sarvamaa ( EPP, FI )
  • Discharge 2017: European Union Agency for Railways (ERA)
    • Rapporteur: Petri Sarvamaa ( EPP, FI )
  • Discharge 2017: European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)
    • Rapporteur: Petri Sarvamaa ( EPP, FI )
  • Discharge 2017: European Training Foundation (ETF)
    • Rapporteur: Petri Sarvamaa ( EPP, FI )
  • Discharge 2017: European Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice (eu-LISA)
    • Rapporteur: Petri Sarvamaa ( EPP, FI )
  • Discharge 2017: European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA)
    • Rapporteur: Petri Sarvamaa ( EPP, FI )
  • Discharge 2017: Euratom Supply Agency (ESA)
    • Rapporteur: Petri Sarvamaa ( EPP, FI )
  • Discharge 2017: European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound)
    • Rapporteur: Petri Sarvamaa ( EPP, FI )
  • Discharge 2017: European Union Judicial Cooperation Unit (Eurojust)
    • Rapporteur: Petri Sarvamaa ( EPP, FI )
  • Discharge 2017: European Police Office (Europol)
    • Rapporteur: Petri Sarvamaa ( EPP, FI )
  • Discharge 2017: European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA)
    • Rapporteur: Petri Sarvamaa ( EPP, FI )
  • Discharge 2017: European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex)
    • Rapporteur: Petri Sarvamaa ( EPP, FI )
  • Discharge 2017: European GNSS Agency (GSA)
    • Rapporteur: Petri Sarvamaa ( EPP, FI )
  • Discharge 2017: Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI)
    • Rapporteur: Martina Dlabajová ( ALD, CZ )
  • Discharge 2017: Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking
    • Rapporteur: Martina Dlabajová ( ALD, CZ )
  • Discharge 2017: Electronic Components and Systems for European Leadership Joint undertaking (ECSEL)
    • Rapporteur: Martina Dlabajová ( ALD, CZ )
  • Discharge 2017: Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking (FCH2)
    • Rapporteur: Martina Dlabajová ( ALD, CZ )
  • Discharge 2017: Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking (IMI)
    • Rapporteur: Martina Dlabajová ( ALD, CZ )
  • Discharge 2017: ITER and the Development of Fusion Energy Joint Undertaking
    • Rapporteur: Martina Dlabajová ( ALD, CZ )
  • Discharge 2017: SESAR Joint Undertaking
    • Rapporteur: Martina Dlabajová ( ALD, CZ )
  • Discharge 2017: Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking
    • Rapporteur: Martina Dlabajová ( ALD, CZ ) 

17:00 – 18:15

Votes

  • 2017 Discharge (53 reports)

18:15 – 00:00

Debates

  • Emission performance standards for new passenger cars and for new light commercial vehicles
    • Rapporteur: Miriam Dalli ( S&D, MT )
  • European Regional Development Fund and Cohesion Fund
    • Rapporteur: Andrea Cozzolino ( S&D, IT )
  • Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument
    • Rapporteur: Frank Engel (EPP, LU), Charles Goerens (ALD, LU), Cristian Dan Preda (EPP, RO), Pier Antonio Panzeri ( S&D, IT )
  • Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA III)
    • Rapporteur: José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra (EPP, ES), Knut Fleckenstein (S&D, DE)
  • European Maritime Single Window environment
    • Rapporteur: Deirdre Clune ( EPP, IE )

Wednesday, March 27, 2019 

Plenary Session

09:00 – 11:50

Debates

  • Conclusions of the European Council meeting of 21 and 22 March 2019

12:00 – 14:00

Votes

  • Enforcement requirements and specific rules for posting drivers in the road transport sector
    • Rapporteur: Merja Kyllönen (GUE/NGL, FI)
  • Daily and weekly driving times, minimum breaks and rest periods and positioning by means of tachographs
    • Rapporteur: Wim van de Camp ( EPP, NL )
  • Adapting to development in the road transport sector
    • Rapporteur: Ismail Ertug ( S&D, DE )
  • Objection pursuant to Rule 105(3): Commission Delegated Regulation amending Annex II to Regulation (EU) No 516/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund
  • Objection pursuant to Rule 105(3): Commission Delegated Regulation amending Annex II to Regulation (EU) No 515/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing as part of the Internal Security Fund, the instrument for financial support for external borders and visa
  • General arrangements for excise duty
    • Rapporteur: Miguel Viegas ( GEU/NGL, PT )
  • Resources for the specific allocation for the Youth Employment Initiative
    • Rapporteur: Iskra Mihaylova ( ALD, BG )
  • Products eligible for exemption from or a reduction in dock dues
    • Rapporteur: Iskra Mihaylova ( ALD, BG )
  • Protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to carcinogens or mutagens at work
    • Rapporteur: Laura Agea ( EFDD, IT )
  • Conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of highly skilled employment
    • Rapporteur: Claude Moraes ( S&D, UK )
  • Listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement, as regards the UK’s withdrawal from the EU
    • Rapporteur: Claude Moraes ( S&D, UK )
  • Emergency situation in Venezuela

15.00-17:00

Debates

  • Reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment
    • Rapporteur: Frédérique Ries ( ALD, BE )
  • CE marked fertilising products
    • Rapporteur: Mihai Ţurcanu ( EPP, RO ) 

17.00-18:00

Votes

  • Common rules for certain types of combined transport of goods between Member States
    • Rapporteur: Daniela Aiuto ( EFDD, IT )
  • Framework for the recovery and resolution of central counterparties
    • Rapporteur: Kay Swinburne ( ECRG, UK ), Babette Winter ( S&D, DE )
  • Disclosure of income tax information by certain undertakings and branches
    • Rapporteur: Evelyn Regner ( S&D, AT ), Hugues Bayet ( S&D, BE)
  • European Crowdfunding Service Providers (ECSP) for business
    • Rapporteur: Ashley Fox ( ECRG, UK )
  • Common provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund Plus, the Cohesion Fund, and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and financial rules for those
    • Rapporteur: Constanze Krehl ( S&D, DE ), Andrey Novakov ( EPP, BG )

18:00-00:00

Debates

  • Listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement (Kosovo)
    • Rapporteur: Tanja Fajon ( S&D, SI )
  • Estimates of revenue and expenditure for 2020 – Section I – European Parliament
    • Rapporteur: Vladimír Maňka ( S&D, SI )
  • Quality of water intended for human consumption
    • Rapporteur: Michel Dantin ( EPP, FR )
  • Interoperability between EU information systems (police and judicial cooperation, asylum and migration)
    • Rapporteur: Nuno Melo ( EPP, PT )
  • Interoperability between EU information systems (borders and visa)
    • Rapporteur: Jeroen Lenaers ( EPP, NL )
  • Increasing the efficiency of restructuring, insolvency and discharge procedures
    • Rapporteur: Angelika Niebler ( EPP, DE )
  • Rules on the exercise of copyright and related rights applicable to certain online television and radio broadcasting
    • Rapporteur: Pavel Svoboda ( EPP, CZ )

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Plenary Session

09:00 – 11:50

Debates

  • Establishing the Creative Europe programme (2021 to 2027)
    • Rapporteur: Silvia Costa ( S&D, IT )
  • Establishment of a framework to facilitate sustainable investment
    • Rapporteur: Bas Eickhout (Greens/EFA, NL) , Sirpa Pietikäinen ( EPP, FI ) 

12:00 – 14:00

Votes

15:00 – 16:00

Debates

 

 

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