Summary

Next week is a committee and political group week in the European Parliament. Only several committee meetings are scheduled, as MEPs will spend the majority  of their time with their political group, preparing for the plenary week in Strasbourg on March 13 – 16.

The various political groups are likely to discuss their voting strategies on topics such as firearms, conflict minerals, the circular economy, waste, overcoming obstacles to EU citizens’ right to free movement, EU external actions to address the refugee and migrant crisis, or the fundamental rights implications of big data. They will also prepare their votes on new rules for money market funds, long-term shareholders’ engagement and corporate governance.

On Monday, the Special Committee on Money Laundering, Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion (“PANA”) will complete its series of hearings regarding the role of lawyers, bankers and accountants in secret offshore financial vehicles (revealed by the Panama Papers). The first panel will look at the revelations in France, whereas the second panel will look at those in Switzerland. Journalists from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists will also be in attendance at the hearing. The draft program can be found here.

On Wednesday and Thursday, MEPs and members of national Parliaments will be joined by special guests to celebrate International Women’s Day. This two-day event will include speeches, workshops and debates. It will focus on the economic empowerment of women, especially in the context of science, technology, engineering and mathematics; women’s involvement in political and economic decision-making; and freedom from violence as a pre-condition for empowerment. The draft program can be found here.

Also on Thursday, the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (“LIBE”), together with Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the European Commission, will discuss the state of play regarding the rule of law in Poland. In early 2016, the European Commission commenced a dialogue under the Rule of Law Framework on the political situation in Poland, focusing on a crisis surrounding the government’s relationship with the Constitutional Tribunal. In July and December 2016, the Commission issued an opinion and two recommendations on the issue, finding an ongoing systemic threat to the rule of law in Poland.

Finally, on the same day, the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (“LIBE”) will discuss a draft report on a proposal to amend the Dublin system, which establishes the criteria and mechanism for determining the Member State that is obliged to process and handle a given asylum application. The debate will be geared towards solidarity and the sharing of responsibility among Member States in fighting the migration crisis. The draft report can be found here.

Meetings and Agenda

Monday, March 6, 2017 

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 

  • The Committee will finalize its series of hearings on the roles of bankers, lawyers and accountants in the setting-up of secret offshore financial vehicles (Panama Papers). Journalists from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists will also join.

Committee on Budgets

16:00 – 18:30

  • Vote on a draft report on guidelines for the 2018 Budget – Section III

o    Rapporteur: Siegfried Mureşan (EPP, RO)

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

  • No meetings scheduled.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Joint meeting: Committee on Budgets, Committee on Foreign Affairs and Committee on Development

15:00 – 17:30

  • Discussion on the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD) and establishing the EFSD Guarantee and the EFSD Guarantee Fund

Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality

15:00 – 21:00

  • Inter-parliamentary meeting celebrating International Women’s Day and dealing with the economic empowerment of women. The debates and workshops are set to focus on women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, women in political and economic decision-making, and work-life balance. From a global perspective, the issues of freedom from violence as a pre-condition for empowerment and the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals will also be discussed.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Subcommittee on Human Rights

09:00 – 12:30

  • Jointly with the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (09:00 – 10:00)

o    Discussion on the occasion of International Women’s Day

Subcommittee on Security and Defence

09:00 – 12:30

  • With the Council, Commission and EEAS
  • Consideration of draft report on Private Security Companies

o    Rapporteur: Hilde Vautmans (ALDE, BE)

Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs

09:00 – 12:30

  • Discussion with Commission and member of the European Single Supervisory Mechanism (yet unidentified) on equivalence.  This follows the distribution of the Commission’s internal paper on the subject against the background of Brexit.

Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

09:00 – 12:30

  • Adoption of a draft opinion on the conservation of fishery resources and the protection of marine ecosystems through technical measures

o    Rapporteur: Claudiu Ciprian Tănăsescu (S&D, RO)

  • Adoption of a draft opinion on the participation of the Union in the Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area (PRIMA) jointly undertaken by several Member States

o    Rapporteur: Francesc Gambús (EPP, ES)

  • Adoption of a draft report on palm oil and deforestation of rainforests

o    Rapporteur: Kateřina Konečná (GUE/NGL, CZ)

Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs

09:00 – 15:30

  • Discussion on draft report on the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for international protection lodged in one of the Member States by a third-country national or a stateless person.

o    Rapporteur: Cecilia WIKSTRÖM (ALDE, SE)

  • Discussion on draft report on the qualification of third-country nationals or stateless persons as beneficiaries of international protection, uniform status for refugees or for persons eligible for subsidiary protection and content of the protection granted

o    Rapporteur: Tanja FAJON (S&D, SI)

  • Discussion with Ioannis MOUZALES, Alternate Minister of Migration Policy of Greece on refugees/migrants issue in Greece: state of play and future scenarios
  • Vote on the text agreed during interinstitutional negotiations on third countries whose nationals are subject to or exempt from a visa requirement: Ukraine

o    Rapporteur: Mariya GABRIEL (EPP, BG)

  • Vote on a draft report and vote on the opening of interinstitutional negotiations and on the composition of the negotiating team regarding a uniform format for residence permits for third country nationals

o    Rapporteur: Jussi HALLA-AHO (ECR, FI)

  • Discussion with Frans TIMMERMANS, First Vice-President of the European Commission on the rule of law in Poland – state of play

Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality

09:00 – 12:30

  • Inter-parliamentary meeting celebrating International Women’s Day and dealing with the economic empowerment of women. The debates and workshops are set to focus on women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, women in political and economic decision-making, and work-life balance. From a global perspective, the issues of freedom from violence as a pre-condition for empowerment and the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals will also be discussed.

 

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Photo of Sebastian Vos Sebastian Vos

Sebastian Vos is co-chair of the firm’s public policy practice, and heads up its European division. He has extensive experience in the European Union and advises clients as they navigate and manage today’s global regulatory and policy challenges.

Sebastian provides clients with strategic…

Sebastian Vos is co-chair of the firm’s public policy practice, and heads up its European division. He has extensive experience in the European Union and advises clients as they navigate and manage today’s global regulatory and policy challenges.

Sebastian provides clients with strategic public policy, regulatory, and communications advice on a range of competition, trade, transactional and sectoral issues. Sebastian has particular expertise in advising companies in the technology, financial services, energy and transport sectors.

Sebastian was formerly a partner at a leading global public affairs consultancy. Prior to this, he was head of the competition practice at a strategic communications agency. He worked as an attorney at a magic circle firm, specialising in Antitrust, Competition and Trade law, as well as being a member of the Public Policy practice. He has also worked at the European Commission, and was part of its Delegation to the United States in 2000.

Sebastian has written articles on legal and political developments in various publications, including Europe’s World, Bloomberg Business Law Review and European Competition Law Review. He has also been a commentator on broadcast media including CNBC and Bloomberg TV.