This week will feature a mixture of Committee meetings, and political group meetings, as parties prepare their positions for Plenary in Strasbourg next week. In terms of the legislative agenda, it is relatively quiet, as much energy will be focused by Parliamentarians on their work in political groups.

In informal talks known as conciliation, the Council and Parliament will seek to negotiate a compromise on the 2017 EU Budget, with the Commission acting as a facilitator. MEPs continue to press for increased funds to tackle the migration crisis, and provide economic stimulus in the Union, whilst the Council will push for savings. One of the major points of contention is over whether money allocated to development can be used to mitigate the current refugee crisis the EU faces. In late October, the Parliament voted a resolution to reverse all of the Council’s proposed cuts in the draft budget and “strongly questioned” whether the funds available for projects in third countries were sufficient given the current refugee crisis. MEPs suggested that an increase of almost half a billion euros to the EU’s external spending, which finances its development and migration programs, would be necessary. Also on the table is the revision of the EU’s long-term budget, the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). It is possible a final deal will be arrived at during this week’s planned conciliation meetings, either on Wednesday, or Thursday.

On Monday, November 14, and Wednesday, November 16, The Committee of Inquiry into Money Laundering, Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion (PANA) is holding two hearings. The first, on Monday, saw representatives of European tax enforcement bodies speak, including EUROPOL, EUROJUST, the EU’s Financial Intelligence Units and national prosecutors. The second, on Wednesday, will be with Joseph Stiglitz, in his capacity as former advisor to the Panama government.

Parliament will also hold votes on external relations issues this week.

On Monday, November 14, Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs voted on the EU’s 2015 report on the state of human rights and democracy in the world and subsequent policy priorities. Meanwhile, on Thursday, November 17, the Civil Liberties Committee will approve the 2015 report on the respect of human rights in EU member states.

Over the course of the week, a twelve-strong delegation of MEPs will take part in the COP22 UN climate talks in Marrakesh, Morocco. Following the ratification and the entry into force of the 2015 Paris agreement, these talks will now focus on how to finance and share the efforts needed to keep climate warming below the Paris agreement’s goal of 2 degrees compared to pre-industrial levels.

Political groups will meet to prepare for the 21-24 November plenary session in Strasbourg. The agenda for next week’s Plenary will include Commissioner Pierre Moscovici presenting the EU’s annual growth survey and its budgetary recommendations for member states to MEPs. The agenda will also likely include votes on new national emission caps for certain pollutants, updated rules for occupational pension schemes and financial assistance to Jordan. MEPs will debate the European Central Bank’s annual report, with ECB President Mario Draghi. They will also draft recommendations on fighting VAT fraud, and establishing a Defence Union.

Meetings and Agenda

Monday, November 14, 2016 

Committee of Inquiry into Emission Measurements in the Automotive Sector

15:00 – 18:30 

  • Hearing of Mr Karl FALKENBERG, former Director-General of DG ENV, European Commission
  • Hearing of Mr Daniel CALLEJA y CRESPO, former Director-General of DG GROW, European Commission

Committee on Foreign Affairs

15:00 – 18:30 

  • Public hearing on the “EU foreign policy in the Sahel region” with Mr Angel LOSADA, EU Special Representative for the Sahel and Mr Paul MELLY, Associate Fellow, Africa Programme, Chatham House.
  • Voting: Annual Report on human rights and democracy in the world and the European Union’s policy on the matter 2015
    • Rapporteur: Josef WEIDENHOLZER (S&D, AT)
    • Adoption of amendments

Committee of Inquiry to investigate alleged contraventions and maladministration in the application of Union law in relation to money laundering, tax avoidance and tax evasion

15:00 – 18:30

  • Public hearing: “Anti-money laundering and tax evasion: Who assures compliance with the rules and enforces them?”

Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs

15:00 – 17:30

  • Hearing on “EU Resettlement Framework”

Committee of Inquiry to investigate alleged contraventions and maladministration in the application of Union law in relation to money laundering, tax avoidance and tax evasion

11:00 – 12:30

  • Discussion with Professor Joseph E. STIGLITZ, Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs

09:00 – 12:30

  • Agreement on operational and strategic cooperation between Georgia and the European Police Office (Europol) (CNS)
    • Rapporteur: Claude MORAES (S&D, UK)
    • Vote on draft report
  • Agreement on operational and strategic cooperation between Ukraine and Europol (CNS),
    • Rapporteur: Mariya GABRIEL (EPP, BG)
    • Vote on draft report
  • The situation of fundamental rights in the European Union in 2015 (INI)
    • Rapporteur: József NAGY (EPP, SK)
    • Vote on draft report
  • New psychoactive substances: information exchange, early warning system and risk assessment procedure (COD)
    • Rapporteur Michal BONI (EPP, PL)
    • Vote on draft report
  • Frontex – European Border and Coast Guard Agency – presentation of the Frontex Multiannual Programming 2017-2019 by Fabrice LEGGERI, Executive Dikrector and presentation of the implementation of the new European Border and Coast Guard Regulation.