Next week will be a plenary week in the European Parliament.  Interesting votes and debates are expected to take place.

On Tuesday, February 12, the next debate in the series on the Future of Europe will be held featuring Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.  His visit comes admits a diplomatic spat between France and Italy earlier this week and ongoing tensions between Brussels and Rome on Italy’s budget deficit.  It will be interesting to see what vision Conte will present to the Members of the European Parliament (“MEPs”) for the future of the European Union ahead of the upcoming elections, by then only a 100 days away.

On Wednesday, February 13, MEPs will vote on the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement and EU-Singapore Investment Protection Agreement.  MEPs will have had a debate on the approval of these agreements the previous day.  Negotiations of the EU-Singapore FTA were concluded back in 2013, but the process was delayed to obtain a legal Opinion of the Court of Justice of the European Union.  The Court ruled that certain provisions relating to investment protection were outside the exclusive competence of the EU.  It was therefore decided to carve out these provision into a separate EU-Singapore Investment Protection Agreement that needs to be ratified by the individual Member States according to their constitutional requirements (in contrast to the EU-Singapore FTA that only needs approval of the Council and European Parliament).  The EU-Singapore FTA seeks to greatly enhance the EU’s access to the Singaporean market while it protects labor and environmental standards.  This is the first agreement of the EU with an ASEAN nation and the EU has previously expressed its ambitions to conclude a region-to-region trade agreement.  See the EU-Singapore Trade and Investment agreements here.

On Wednesday, February 13, MEPs will have their vote on a Framework for Screening of Foreign Direct Investments (“FDI”) into the European Union.  Since national security is an exclusive national competence, this legislative proposal will only attempt to set up a EU-level framework to coordinate the national screening of FDI in strategic sectors in the EU.  The proposal was based on an initiative of the current rapporteur Frank Proust (FR, EPP) in response to a surge in Chinese FDI in Europe in 2016.  The proposal will give the Commission the competence to render non-binding opinions on individual screening cases and requests Member States to share relevant information with each other.  The European Parliament and the Council agreed on a provisional text, on December 5, 2018, and the International Trade Committee of the European Parliament (“INTA”) endorsed the text on December 10, 2018.  See the draft proposal here, and Covington’s detailed client alert here.

Meetings and Agenda

Monday, February 11, 2018

Plenary session 

17:00 – 23:00


  • Program for single market, competitiveness of enterprises and European statistics
    • Rapporteur: Nicola Danti (IT, S&D)
  • EU Anti-Fraud Programme
    • Rapporteur: José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra (ES, EPP)
  • Multiannual plan for stocks fished in the Western Waters and adjacent waters, and for fisheries exploiting those stocks
    • Rapporteur: Alain Cadec (FR, EPP)
  • Fisheries Partnership Agreement between Côte d’Ivoire and the EU (2018-2024)
    • Rapporteur: João Ferreira (PT, GUE-NGL)
  • Fisheries Partnership Agreement between Côte d’Ivoire and the EU (2018-2024) (resolution)
    • Rapporteur: João Ferreira (PT, GUE-NGL)
  • Implementation of the Treaty provisions related to EU Citizenship
    • Rapporteur: Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz (ES, ALDE)
  • Implementation of the Treaty provisions concerning enhanced cooperation
    • Rapporteur: Alain Lamassoure (FR, EPP)
  • Implementation of the Treaty provisions on Parliament’s power of political control over the Commission
    • Rapporteur: Mercedes Bresso (IT, S&D)
  • The state of the debate on the Future of Europe
    • Rapporteur: Ramón Jáuregui Atondo (ES, S&D)
  • A comprehensive European industrial policy on artificial intelligence and robotics
    • Rapporteur: Ashley Fox (UK, ECR)

Special committee on financial crimes, tax evasion and tax avoidance (“TAX3”)

19:00 – 21:00

  • Exchange of views with Owen Bonnici, Minister for Justice of Malta
  • Public hearing on “Alleged financial crimes, tax evasion and tax avoidance in Malta” More information here

Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (“LIBE”)

19.00 – 20.00


  • European Border and Coast Guard (COD) – adoption of draft report and vote on the decision to enter into inter-institutional negotiations and composition of the negotiating team
    • Rapporteur: Roberta METSOLA (EPP, MT)

20.00 – 21.00


  • Rule of Law Monitoring Group (ROLMG) – resolution on the activities of the Working Group with a general mandate to monitor the situation as regards rule of law and fight against corruption within the EU and address specific situations, in particular Malta and Slovakia – consideration of a motion for a resolution
    • Rapporteur: Sophia in ‘t VELD (ALDE, NL)

Tuesday, February 12, 2018

100 days until the elections

Plenary session



  • EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement
    • Rapporteur: David Martin (UK, S&D)
  • EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (resolution)
    • Rapporteur: David Martin (UK, S&D)
  • EU-Singapore Investment Protection Agreement
    • Rapporteur: David Martin (UK, S&D)
  • EU-Singapore Investment Protection Agreement (resolution)
    • Rapporteur: David Martin (UK, S&D)
  • EU-Singapore Partnership and Cooperation Agreement
    • Rapporteur: Antonio López-Istúriz White (ES, EPP)
  • EU-Singapore Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (resolution)
    • Rapporteur: Antonio López-Istúriz White (ES, EPP)
  • Sustainable use of pesticides
    • Rapporteur: Jytte Guteland (SE, S&D)
  • Implementation of the cross-border Healthcare Directive
    • Rapporteur: Ivo Belet (BE, EPP)
  • Minimum requirements for water reuse
    • Rapporteur: Simona Bonafè (IT, S&D)

12:30 – 14:30

Votes, followed by explanations of votes

  • Agreement to prevent unregulated high seas fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean
    • Rapporteur: Norica Nicolai (RO, ALDE)
  • VAT: Definitive system for the taxation of trade between Member States
    • Rapporteur: Fulvio Martusciello (IT, EPP)
  • Protocol to the EU-Mexico Economic Partnership, Political Coordination and Cooperation Agreement (accession of Croatia)
    • Rapporteur: Inmaculada Rodríguez-Piñero Fernández (ES, S&D)
  • Approval and market surveillance of agricultural and forestry vehicles
    • Rapporteur: Nicola Danti (IT, S&D)
  • Roma integration strategies

15:00 – 17:00 


  • Situation in Syria
  • Follow up taken by the EEAS two years after the EP Rapporteur on EU strategic communication to counteract propaganda against it by third parties
    • Rapporteur: Anna Elżbieta Fotyga (PO, ECR)

17:00 – 19:30 


  • Debate with the Prime Minister of Italy, Giuseppe Conte, on the Future of Europe

19:30 – 23:00 


  • Exchange, assistance and training program for the protection of the euro against counterfeiting for the period 2021-2027 (Pericles IV program)
    • Rapporteur: Dennis de Jong (NL, GUE-NGL)
  • Deliberations of the Committee on Petitions 2018
    • Rapporteur: Cecilia Wikström (SE, ALDE)
  • Experiencing backlash in women’s rights and gender equality in the EU
  • Policy challenges and strategies against women’s cancers and related comorbidities
  • Use of cannabis for medicinal purposes

Wednesday, February 13, 2018

Plenary session 

09:00 – 11:50 


  • 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
    • Rapporteurs: Constanze Krehl (DE, S&D) Andrey Novakov (BU, EPP)

12:00 – 14:00 

Votes, followed by explanations of votes

  • Treaty establishing the Transport Community
    • Rapporteur: Karima Delli (FR, Greens-EFA)
  • European Fisheries Control Agency
    • Rapporteur: Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg (po, s&d)
  • Computerizing the movement and surveillance of excise goods
    • Rapporteur: Kay Swinburne (UK, ECR)
  • Law applicable to the third-party effects of assignments of claims
    • Rapporteur: Pavel Svoboda (CZ, EPP)
  • The state of the debate on the Future of Europe
    • Rapporteur: Ramón Jáuregui Atondo (ES, S&D) 

15:00 – 17:00 


  • Establishment of the European Monetary Fund
    • Rapporteurs: Pedro Silva Pereira (PT, S&D), Vladimír Maňka (SK, S&D)

17:00 – 18:00

Votes (oral explanations of votes will be taken on Thursday)

  • Cooperation between the courts of the Member States in the taking of evidence in civil or commercial matters
    • Rapporteur: Emil Radev (BU, EPP)
  • Service in the Member States of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil or commercial matters
    • Rapporteur: Sergio Gaetano Cofferati (IT, S&D)
  • EU-Morocco Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement
    • Rapporteur: Alain Cadec (FR, EPP)
  • EU-Morocco Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement (resolution)
    • Rapporteur: Alain Cadec (FR, EPP)
  • Streamlining measures for advancing the realization of the trans-European transport network
    • Rapporteur: Dominique Riquet (FR, S&D)
  • Insurance of motor vehicles
    • Rapporteur: Dita Charanzová (CZ, ALDE)

18:00 – 23:00

Debates (or at the end of the votes)

  • Framework for screening of foreign direct investments into the European Union
    • Rapporteur: Franck Proust (FR, EPP)
  • Interoperability of electronic road toll systems and facilitating cross-border exchange of information on the failure to pay road fees in the Union
    • Rapporteur: Massimiliano Salini (IT, EPP)
  • Mutual recognition of goods lawfully marketed in another Member State
    • Rapporteur: Ivan Štefanec (SK, EPP)
  • Charges on cross-border payments in the Union and currency conversion charges
    • Rapporteur: Eva Maydell (BU, EPP)
  • Regulations and general conditions governing the performance of the Ombudsman’s duties (Statute of the European Ombudsman)
    • Rapporteur: Paulo Rangel (PT, EPP)
  • Implementation of the legal provisions and the Joint Statement ensuring parliamentary scrutiny over decentralized agencies
    • Rapporteur: György Schöpflin (HU, EPP)
  • Implementation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union in the EU institutional framework
    • Rapporteur: Barbara Spinelli (IT, GUE-NGL) 

Thursday, February 14, 2018

Plenary session

09:00 – 11:50 


  • Protection of animals during transport within and outside the EU
    • Rapporteur: Jørn Dohrmann (DK, ECR)
  • Strengthening the competitiveness of the Internal Market by developing the EU customs union and its governance
    • Rapporteur: Virginie Rozière (FR, S&D) 

12:00 – 14:00 

VOTES followed by explanations of votes

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

Committee on Budgets

8:30 – 10:00

  • Estimates of revenue and expenditure for the financial year 2020 – Section I – European Parliament (BUD)
    • Rapporteur: Vladimír MANKA (S&D, SK)
  • Exchange of views in the presence of Vice-Presidents of the European Parliament responsible for the budget and the Secretary General

Committee on Regional Development

9:00 – 12:00

  • European Regional Development Fund and on the Cohesion Fund (COD) – adoption of draft report by Andrea Cozzolino (S&D, IT)