Strasbourg will be vibrant next week, as it hosts the European Parliament’s plenary session, during which major positions are expected to be adopted.

On Tuesday, the achievements of the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the EU will be subject to a debate among the political group leaders, the Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, and Slovakian Prime Minister, Robert Fico. The objective is to assess Slovakia’s work during its presidency before Malta takes over in January 2017.

On Wednesday, MEPs are expected to hold a debate to discuss their input into the next European Council summit that will be held on Thursday, December 15. As a reminder, the European Council includes the heads of State and government of all the 28 EU Member States; the Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker; the President of the Council of the EU, Donald Tusk; and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy, Federica Mogherini. The Parliament President, Martin Schulz, is also expected to address the European Council. The Council meeting will focus on important and pressing EU issues, such as migration crisis, Brexit, youth employment and relations with Russia.

The Parliament will also address aviation policy. On Wednesday, the Parliament is expected to hold a debate on an Aviation Strategy for Europe. The strategy aims to foster the growth of the EU aviation sector by opening new markets and creating additional opportunities for companies through the conclusion of new international agreements with key countries, and also to plan the means to manage the growth in traffic. The Commission also wants the EU to maintain its leadership on passenger rights and safety, and environmental protection, while fostering innovation and proposing a clear framework for drones. See the Communication here, and the draft report here.

On the same day, the Parliament is expected to vote on a Resolution addressing the International Aviation agreements. In June 2016, the European Commission received the authorization to negotiate EU air-services agreements with third countries, such as Turkey, and countries that are part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (“ASEAN”). The Resolution calls on the Commission, inter alia, to insert in these agreements, a fair competition clause, to ensure a level playing field between European airports and airlines; and clauses that apply mutual recognition on security and safety standards. See the Resolution here.

On Thursday, the Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (“ENVI”) is expected to vote on a legislative proposal aimed at amending the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (“ETS”). The legislative proposal (see here) includes new modifications, such as more flexible rules to align free allowances with production figures, as well as new funding mechanisms to foster innovative technologies and facilitate investments in modernizing energy systems. It also provides proposals to prevent so-called “carbon leakage”, whereby companies transfer their production to countries with lower or less ambitious climate measures.

Finally, on the same day, the Parliament will also hold a debate on the Regulation on Pediatric Medicines (see the Regulation here). The debate takes place following the vote of the ENVI Committee on December 8, where the Committee approved a Resolution that calls on the Commission to enhance the number of drugs available to children, and to foster their development.

Meetings and Agenda

Monday December 12, 2016 


17:00 – 23:00 (Debates)

  • Situation of fundamental rights in the European Union in 2015
  • Rapporteur: József Nagy (EPP, Slovakia)
  • Committee: LIBE
  • North-East Atlantic: deep-sea stocks and fishing in international waters
    • Rapporteur: Isabelle Thomas (S&D, France)
    • Committee: PECH
  • Recognizing the content of civil status documents
  • CAP tools to reduce price volatility in agricultural markets
    • Rapporteur: Angélique Delahaye (EPP, France)
    • Committee: AGRI
  • Short presentation: A coherent EU policy for cultural and creative industries
    • Co-rapporteurs: Christian Ehler (EPP, Germany) and Luigi Morgano (S&D, Italy)
    • Committee: ITRE and CULT
  • Short presentation: EU strategy for liquefied natural gas and gas storage
    • Rapporteur: András Gyürk (EPP, Hungary)
    • Committee: ITRE
  • Short presentation: How to make fisheries controls in Europe uniform
    • Rapporteur: Isabelle Thomas (S&D, France)
    • Committee: PECH
  • Short presentation: Rights of women in the Eastern Partnership States
    • Rapporteur: Mariya Gabriel (EPP, Bulgaria)
    • Committee: FEMM

Committee on Foreign Affairs:

19:00 – 21:00 (Joint meeting with Committee on Development and Subcommittee on Human Rights)

  • Discussion with the 2016 Sakharov Prize laureates

Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs & Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (Joint meeting)

19:30 – 21:15 

  • Economic Dialogue and discussion on the Annual Growth Survey and the Alert Mechanism Report with: Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue, also in charge of Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union; Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs; and Marianne Thyssen, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labor Mobility

Tuesday, December 13, 2016


9:00 – 11:50 (Debates)

  • Energy Union package

12:30 – 14:30 (Votes)

  • General revision of Parliament’s Rules of Procedure
  • Rapporteur: Richard Corbett (S&D, UK)
  • Committee: AFCO
  • EU-Algeria Framework Agreement on the general principles for the participation of Algeria in Union programs
    • Rapporteur: Pier Antonio Panzeri (S&D, Italy)
    • Committee: AFET

15:00 – 23:00 (Debates)

  • Review of the Slovak Council Presidency
  • Debates on foreign affairs issues in the presence of the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (to be defined)
  • 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, Austria)
    • Committee: AFET
  • Implementation of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (Article 36 TEU)
    • Rapporteur: Elmar Brok (EPP, Germany)
    • Committee: AFET
  • Joint debate: EC-Uzbekistan Partnership and Cooperation Agreement and bilateral trade in textiles
    • Rapporteur: Maria Arena (S&D, Belgium)
    • Committee: INTA

Wednesday, December 14, 2016


9:00 – 11:50 (Debates)

  • Preparation of the European Council meeting of 15 and 16 December 2016

12:30 – 14:00 (Votes)

  • Insolvency proceedings and insolvency practitioners
  • Rapporteur: Tadeusz Zwiefka (EPP, Poland)
  • Committee: JURI
  • Agreement on Operational and Strategic Cooperation between Georgia and Europol
    • Rapporteur: Claude Moraes (S&D, UK)
    • Committee: LIBE
  • Nomination of a Member of the Court of Auditors – Juhan Parts
  • Rapporteur: Bart Staes (Greens/EFA, Belgium)
  • Committee: CONT
  • EU-Norway Agreement on reciprocal access to fishing in the Skagerrak
    • Rapporteur: Jørn Dohrmann (ECR, Denmark)
    • Committee: PECH
  • EU-Norway Agreement on reciprocal access to fishing in the Skagerrak (resolution)
    • Rapporteur: Jørn Dohrman (ECR, Denmark)
    • Committee: PECH
  • Research program of the Research Fund for Coal and Steel
    • Rapporteur: Jerzy Buzek (EPP, Poland)
    • Committee: ITRE

15:00 – 21:00 (Debates)

  • Joint debate: Normalization of the accounts of railway undertakings
  • Rapporteur: Merja Kyllönen (GUE/NGL, Finland)
  • Committee: TRAN
  • Joint debate: Domestic passenger transport services by rail
  • Rapporteur: Wim van de Camp (EPP, Netherlands)
  • Committee: TRAN
  • Joint debate: Single European railway area
  • Rapporteur: David-Maria Sassoli (S&D, Italy)
  • Committee: TRAN
  • Market access to port services and financial transparency of ports
  • Rapporteur: Knut Fleckenstein (S&D, Germany)
  • Committee: TRAN
  • Aviation Strategy for Europe
  • Rapporteur: Pavel Telička (ALDE, Czech Republic)
  • Committee: TRAN
  • Joint debate – Accession of Ecuador to the EU-Colombia and Peru Trade Agreement:
  • Bilateral safeguard clause and the stabilization mechanism for bananas of the EU-Colombia and Peru Trade Agreement
  • Rapporteur: Marielle de Sarnez (ALDE, France)
  • Committee: INTA
  • EU-Colombia and Peru Trade Agreement (accession of Ecuador)
  • Rapporteur: Helmut Scholz (GUE/NGL, Germany)
  • Committee: INTA

Thursday, December 15, 2016


9:00 – 11:50 (Debates)

  • Activities of the Committee on Petitions 2015
  • Rapporteur: Ángela Vallina (GUE/NGL, Spain)
  • Committee: PETI
  • Debates on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law – One hour maximum (Rule 135)

12:00 – 14:00 (Votes)

  • Motions for resolutions concerning debates on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law (Rule 135)
  • International aviation agreements

15:00 – 16:00 (Debates)

  • Resolution on Pediatric Medicines

Committee on Foreign Affairs

10:30 – 12:00 (Joint meeting with Committee on Constitutional Affairs and Subcommittee on Security and Defence)

  • Constitutional, legal and institutional implications of a common security and Defence policy: possibilities offered by the Lisbon Treaty
    • Co-rapporteurs: co-rapporteurs Michael Gahler (EPP, Germany) and Esteban González Pons (EPP, Spain)

Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

8:00 – 10:00

  • Vote on Proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2003/87/EC to enhance cost-effective emission reductions and low-carbon investments
    • Rapporteur: Ian Duncan (ECR, UK)