Weekly European Agenda 16-22 May


Monday 16 May

  • Whit Monday
  • EP: Green Week
  • EC: Mogherini in Vienna for meeting on Libya
  • EC: Vella and Moedas at G7 Ministers’ Meetings

Tuesday 17 May

  • EP: Delegation visits of BUDG, LIBE, ENVI, ITRE
  • Agriculture and Fisheries Council
  • EC: Mogherini at International Syria Support Group
  • EC: Georgieva meets with EESC
  • EC: Creţu meets with Regional Offices
  • EESC: Public Hearings and Study Groups
  • Presidency: Quantum Europe 2016 conference
  • ECHR: 10 judgments and Grand Chamber judgment
  • PACE: Committee meetings

Wednesday 18 May

  • EP: Delegation visits of BUDG, LIBE, ENVI, ITRE
  • EC: Meeting of the College of Commissioners
  • EC: Timmermans and Jourová meet Bulgarian ministers
  • EC: Mogherini receives Kenyan Foreign Affairs Minister
  • EC: Šefčovič visits Uzbekistan
  • EC: European Maritime Day 2016
  • EESC: Public Hearings and Study Groups
  • EESC: EUROMED Follow-Up Committee
  • Presidency: Symposium on patents and plant breeders’ rights
  • CoE: Committee of Minister Annual Session and Chairmanship handover
  • CoE: Interministerial meeting focuses on LGBTI violence in schools
  • CoE Congress: Monitoring visit, Mayor workshops, Social Integration Summit

Thursday 19 May

  • EP: Delegation visits of BUDG, LIBE, ENVI, ITRE
  • EC: Mogherini receives Chinese Communist Party Commission Secretary
  • EC: Moscovici at G7 Ministers’ Meetings
  • EC: Hogan and Hill in Scotland
  • EESC: EU-China Round Table
  • Presidency: e-Justice / e-Codex Conference
  • FRA: Management and Executive Boards meetings
  • EIB: Panel on the Investment Plan for Europe
  • ECHR: 68 judgments
  • PACE: Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons

Friday 20 May

  • EP: Delegation visits of ENVI, ITRE, LIBE
  • EP: European Youth Event
  • Justice and Home Affairs Council
  • EC: Mogherini at NATO Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
  • EC: Dombrovskis and Oettinger at European Economic Congress
  • EC: Mimica receives ACP Secretary General
  • EESC: Round Table on the European Innovation Partnership

Sunday 22 May

  • Second Round Austria Presidential Elections
  • Cyprus Parliamentary Elections


European Union

European Parliament

Monday 16 – Friday 20 May

Green Week

Monday 16 – Thursday 19 May

BUDG to Lebanon and Jordan
Budgets Committee MEPs will visit Lebanon and Jordan to report on EU funding for both countries to help them cope with the refugee crisis and to foster development cooperation and European Parliament support for UNRWA.

BUDG to Ukraine
Budgetary Control Committee MEPs will visit Ukraine for a fact-finding mission into EU financial aid provided since the Maidan revolution to support Ukraine’s stabilisation and reform process. They will look into how the aid is being used on the ground and how Ukraine is coping with corruption and whether this affects EU funds.

Tuesday 17 – Wednesday 18 May

LIBE Delegation to the Fundamental Rights Agency in Vienna
The delegation, led by Mr Jószef Nagy, European Parliament Rapporteur on the situation of Fundamental Rights in the European Union, will meet with the FRA Director, Heads of Departments and FRA staff. FRA will have the opportunity to introduce its work on equality, freedom and justice, cooperation with stakeholders and awareness raising, which could be relevant for the work of the Committee. The aim of the visit is to provide the LIBE Committee with an overview of FRA’s work and further explore institutional cooperation possibilities between the Committee and FRA.

Tuesday 17 – Thursday 21 May

ENVI delegation to Finland
An ENVI delegation will travel to Finland to learn more about sustainable forestry practices and its links to climate change, energy and resource efficiency, and the conservation of forests and biodiversity. The forestry sector’s role in the bioeconomy will also be addressed, through joint discussions on the Finnish bioeconomy strategy with the concurrent ITRE delegation to Finland and Estonia. The mission will include meetings in Helsinki and a visit to a forestry site

ITRE delegation to Finland and Estonia
A delegation of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy will visit Helsinki and Tallinn. Meetings will be held with various parties, and will focus on bio-economy and its contribution to sustainable growth and jobs in Europe; developments in energy markets, including smart meters; learning from the success stories of digital start-ups; exploring best practices for the funding of innovation; and the integration of public and private digital services.

Wednesday 18 – Friday 20 May

LIBE delegation to Greece
Civil Liberties Committee MEPs will go on a fact-finding mission to Greece to check on the situation at the EU’s external borders and evaluate the implementation of the EU-Turkey deal on refugees. They will travel to the FYROM border to assess the situation there after the closure of the so-called Balkans route, and to Lesvos, to see how asylum applications are processed and visit both open and closed reception facilities. MEPs will also go to Athens to meet representatives of the Greek government, EU and international bodies, as well as NGOs.

Friday 20 – Saturday 21 May

European Youth Event
The European Youth Event (EYE) will take place in the European Parliament seat in Strasbourg from 20-21 May 2016. It is a unique opportunity for thousands of young Europeans to make their voices heard. During the event, they will exchange ideas and perspectives on youth-related issues, develop innovative solutions to crucial questions for the future and meet with European decision-makers and speakers with a wide range of professional experience. At the same time the EYE will provide an opportunity to experience the rich cultural diversity within the European Union through the staging of various artistic performances and spectacles. As follow-up, a report with the ideas discussed during the event will be made available to all Members of the European Parliament. As well, former EYE participants will have the opportunity to present the most concrete ideas produced by young people to a number of parliamentary committees and receive feedbacks from Members.

Website / EMI at the European Youth Event


Council of Ministers

Tuesday 17 May

Agriculture and Fisheries Council
The Council will discuss the issue of animal welfare, focusing on the results of the recent Eurobarometer survey on animal welfare and on the establishment of the EU platform on animal welfare; have an exchange of views on the relation between agriculture and the climate, particular on the role of agriculture in mitigating climate change, the relation between climate mitigation and adaptation, and the possible contribution of agriculture to the transition to a bio-economy; be updated on the market situation and the implementation of the measures set out in the presidency conclusions on ‘Market situation and support measures’; and be informed the simplification of direct payments and of the common market organisation (CMO) regulation.

Friday 20 May

Justice and Home Affairs Council
Ministers will continue their discussions on migration.

An overview of planned Council meetings can be found here


European Commission and High Representative

Monday 16 May

Federica Mogherini in Vienna, Austria: participates in a meeting on Libya.

Karmenu Vella in Toyama, Japan: participates in the G7 Environment Ministers’ Meeting.

Carlos Moedas in Tsukuba Ibaraki, Japan: participates in the G7 Science and Technology Ministers’ Meeting.

Tuesday 17 May

Federica Mogherini in Vienna, Austria: participates in the meeting of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG).

Kristalina Georgieva receives Mr Luis Planas Puchades, Secretary-General, and Mr Michael Smyth, Vice President for Budget, of the European Economic and Social Committee.

Corina Creţu participates in a meeting with representatives of the Regional Offices, in Brussels.

Wednesday 18 May

Meeting of the College of Commissioners

Frans Timmermans and Ms Vĕra Jourová receive Ms Rumiana Bachvarova, Deputy Prime Minister for Coalition Policy and Public Administration and Minister of Interior of Bulgaria; Ms Ekaterina Zaharieva, Minister of Justice of Bulgaria; and Mr Sotir Tsatsarov, Prosecutor General of Bulgaria.

Federica Mogherini receives Ms Amina Mohamed, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kenya.

Maroš Šefčovič in Tashkent, Uzbekistan: participates in meetings with government representatives and stakeholders.

Wednesday 18 – Thursday 19 May

European maritime day 2016: Investing in competitive blue growth – Smart and sustainable solutions
The conference in Turku, Finland will provide a strong input to shape future policies and the practical steps needed to drive transformational change in the blue economy and the wider integrated maritime policy agenda. It will focus on smart and sustainable solutions for blue growth, ocean governance, clean energy and skills development and it will look at tools such as strategic cluster partnerships and common roadmaps to facilitate joint action. Throughout, there will be a particular focus on specific regional challenges and opportunities. These focused, thematic sessions will explore what is needed to drive transformational change in different areas of the integrated maritime agenda.

Thursday 19 May

Federica Mogherini receives Mr Meng Jianzhu, Secretary of Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China

Pierre Moscovici in Sendai, Japan (until 21/05): takes part in the G7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting.

Phil Hogan in Edinburgh, Scotland (until 20/05): participates in a public debate on farming, agriculture and rural development.

Jonathan Hill in Edinburgh, Scotland (until 20/05): delivers a speech to Standard Life plc.

Friday 20 May

Federica Mogherini participates in the NATO Foreign Ministers’ meeting, in Brussels.

Valdis Dombrovskis and Mr Günther Oettinger in Katowice, Poland: participate in the 8th European Economic Congress.

Neven Mimica receives Mr Patrick Gomes, Secretary General of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP).

A full list with meetings of Commissioners can be found here.


European Economic and Social Committee

Tuesday 17 May

Public Hearing and Study Group: Building a coalition to deliver commitments of the Paris Agreement
The EESC is currently working on an opinion on» Building a coalition of civil society and subnational authorities to deliver the commitments of the Paris Agreement». This opinion will provide an opportunity to address the issue of climate governance in the context of the implementation of the Paris Agreement and to identify the mechanisms and measures for civil society to be genuinely involved. The event will debate the Success factors of civil society and sub-national authorities’ coalitions in delivering climate action, and Multi-level governance: scaling up climate action by non-state actors coalitions.

Public Hearing and Study Group: Concluding observations of the UN CRPD Committee to the EU – A new strategy for persons with disabilities in the EU
The UN CRPD and its Optional Protocol were adopted by the EU in 2010. The EESC is currently drafting an own-initiative opinion focussing on the implications of the CO’s for future EU disability policy. The objective of the hearing is to offer a forum for debate and gather contributions from relevant stakeholders. The conclusions of the hearing will feed directly into the work of the drafting group which will hold its second meeting in the afternoon of the same day.

Public Hearing and Study Group: Strengthening the European personal care, body hygiene and beauty products industrial sector
The CCMI Committee is currently working on a so called own-initiative opinion on «Strengthening the European personal care, body hygiene and beauty products industrial sector», of which Ms. Madi Sharma is our rapporteur and Mr Dirk Jarré is the corapporteur. The hearing will take place in Nothingham, and focus of on innovation in the Cosmetic sector, a sector worth over Eur 72 billion employing around 1.7 million people. The views expressed in this hearing will directly flow into the opinion.

Study Group on Action Plan on VAT
Presentation by a representative of the Commission (DG TAXUD) of the Communication from the Commission on an action plan on VAT – Towards a single EU VAT area – Time to decide; Discussion of the working document on Action Plan on VAT, drawn up by the rapporteur, Mr Mareels, and the co rapporteur, Mr Guerini.

Subcommittee on the Evaluation of EC stakeholder consultations
Presentation by Marc Soignet, Campaign Manager for the ECI Wake up Europe; Discussion and adoption of the draft opinion on the European Citizens’ Initiative (Review).

Wednesday 18 May

Public Hearing: Agriculture in trade negotiations
This public hearing will discuss the current state of multilateral trade negotiations on agriculture. After the Nairobi agreement of export competition, some progress could be made on the areas of market access (tariffs and quotas) and, to some extent, on domestic support.

EUROMED Follow-Up Committee
Update and Discussion on the status of missions: Israel/Palestine, Morocco, Report on the mission toTunisa (13-14 April) and proposed follow-up; Discussion on the Civil Society South Forum (26-27 May); Other Euromed related activities (Information Report on Cooperation with third countries in promoting regular migration to the EU, etc.); Euromed Summit 2016.

Study Group on Public tax transparency
Presentation by a representative of the Commission of the Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2013/34/EU as regards disclosure of income tax information by certain undertakings and branches; Discussion of the working document on Public tax transparency (country-by-country reporting) drawn up by the rapporteur, Mr Alistar, and the co-rapporteur, Mr Dandea.

Study Group on Industry 4.0 and digital transformation: the way forward
Discussion of the Preliminary Draft Opinion on Industry 4.0 and digital transformation: the way forward drawn up by the rapporteur, Mr van Iersel, and the co-rapporteur, Mr Konstantinou; General discussion; Follow-up to the opinion. Action to be taken.

Wednesday 18 – Thursday 19 May

14th meeting of the EU-China Round Table
Topics set up for discussion during this meeting of the Round Table are Innovation and economic development in rural areas, and Infrastucture and investment, in the framework of the One Belt One Road initiative and the establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). The aim of the discussions will be to find common ground and exchange ideas and best practices. The delegations from the EESC and its Chinese counterpart, the China Economic and Social Council, meet twice a year to discuss topics relating to economic and social issues relevant to both parties.

Friday 20 May

7th Round-table on Strategic Implementation Plan of the European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials
The round-table in Dublin is following on a series of successful round-table discussions organised in 2015. Raw Materials Initiative and the European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials are key policies that may contribute decisively to maintaining the competitiveness and sustainability of European industry, and consequently, the maintenance or creation of new jobs, especially in regions that were affected by restructuring due to globalization. The aim of our round-tables is to have a constructive dialogue with the national governments to stimulate investments and to develop measures together how to overcome obstacles. At the same time we would like to assist the European Commission with the implementation of the European Innovation Partnership.

More information about EESC events can be found here.
The agendas of the different EESC meetings can be found here.


Dutch Presidency

Tuesday 17 – Wednesday 18 May

Quantum Europe 2016 conference
Combining science, engineering and entrepreneurship is needed in order to unlock the full potential of quantum technologies. In this context, the Netherlands is holding the conference ‘Quantum Europe 2016’ in cooperation with the European Commission and QuTech, the quantum technology institute of TU Delft and TNO. The goal of this conference is to enhance overall activity and investment in Quantum Technologies across Europe and to offer a platform for the European scientific and industrial community to present a comprehensive strategy for Europe to stay at the forefront of this emerging technology.

Wednesday 18 May

Finding the balance: Exploring solutions in the debate concerning patents and plant breeders’ rights
Due to the emergence of modern biotechnology, an imbalance between patents and plant breeders’ rights has arisen. Patenting of plant-related traits limits breeders’ access to biological material for further plant breeding. Different EU Member States, stakeholders and the European Parliament have expressed their concern regarding this situation, especially after a ruling of the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office last year on the patentability of products resulting from essential biological processes. In order to find a way to restore the balance, the Netherlands Presidency of the Council of the European Union will host a symposium in conjunction with the European Commission to discuss the issue with both Member States and stakeholders, and explore possible ways forward.

Thursday 19 – Friday 20 May

e-Justice / e-Codex conference
The aim of the e-Codex project has been to facilitate secure exchange of data between legal professionals in different EU countries. This edition of the regular e-Justice conference will mark the end of this major EU project for secure online legal transactions between member states. Communication between legal professionals in different EU countries is sometimes difficult due to differences in language, legislation and electronic systems. The e-Codex project has produced building blocks that will allow data to be exchanged securely online between EU countries in these situations. Besides marking the end of the e-Codex project, the conference will also consider the latest European and Dutch developments in e-Justice.

The agenda of the Dutch Presidency can be found here.


European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights

Thursday 19 – Friday 20 May

FRA Management and Executive Boards meet
At this meeting, the Management Board will adopt the ‘Fundamental rights report 2016’ (FRA’s Annual Report), as well as the Agency’s Annual Activity Report 2015. Among other issues, the Management Board will receive an update on FRA work in the context of the refugee situation and look into the impact of FRA work at national level. Moreover, it will discuss the Multiannual Framework (MAF) 2018-2022 and give its opinion on the Agency’s final accounts 2015. The Management Board will also receive an update on the Fundamental Rights Forum which is going to take place on 20-23 June 2016.

Information on upcoming FRA events can be found here. 


European Investment Bank

Thursday 19 – Friday 20 May

New financing solutions for companies – the Investment Plan for Europe
During this year’s European Economic Congress held in Katowice, Poland, delegates of the European Investment Bank will participate in various panel sessions. The EIB will also organise a panel discussion dedicated to the Investment Plan for Europe. The format of the EIB panel session will be an open discussion on the new financial instruments that are available to corporates to support their growth and investments. Panelists will focus on topics such as quasi-equity, subordinated debt, mezzanine, bond structures and senior loans. We are open to suggestions from panelists regarding their speaking points. The discussion will be preceded by a short EIB presentation and introduction to the Investment Plan for Europe.

More information about EIB events can be found here


Council of Europe

Tuesday 17 May

ECHR judgments
The European Court of Human Rights will be notifying in writing ten judgments concerning Austria, Croatia, Republic of Moldova, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia and Serbia. A Grand Chamber judgment will be delivered in the cases of Karácsony and Others v. Hungaryand Szél and Others v. Hungary. The case concerns complaints by members of the Hungarian Parliament of two opposition parties about having been fined, for conduct which was considered to be gravely offensive to the parliamentary order, following their protests against two legislative proposals.

PACE Committee on Rules of Procedure
At its meeting in Rome, the PACE Committee on Rules of Procedure will be holding a hearing on the theme “Bicameral legislature: an institutional anachronism?”, followed by the adoption of reports on “Parliamentary immunity” and “The nature of the mandate of members of the PACE”.

Tuesday 17 – Wednesday 18 May

International Social Integration Summit
Jean-Claude Frécon, President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, accompanied by Andreas Kiefer, Secretary General of the Congress, will participate in the opening session of the International Social Integration Summit. The summit, organised by the Union of Municipalities of Turkey, will also host a number of Congress members who will take part in the different discussion panels. The aim of the conference is to be a platform for reflection on action for social integration at local level to improve the lives of disadvantaged people.

PACE Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination
At its meeting, the PACE Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination will organise an exchange of views with the Swedish Minister for Children, the Elderly and Gender Equality on “Equality and non-discrimination: focus on Sweden”, and a hearing on “A holistic approach: the Swedish way to gender equality”. The committee is also due to adopt a report on “Guaranteeing equal rights and protecting women against violence in the armed forces”.  The No Hate Parliamentary Alliance will meet on 18 May; the agenda includes a speech by the Swedish Minister for Culture and Democracy followed by two round tables on “Anti-Gypsyism in politics, in public discourse and violent acts” and “Anti-Gypsyism, access to housing and forced evictions”.

PACE Committee on Legal Affairs
The PACE Committee on Legal Affairs will hold an exchange of views on “Challenges in the implementation of the ECHR in Italy”, with the participation of the Italian Minister of Justice. The agenda for the meeting also includes hearings on the “Reinforcement of the role and influence of the International Criminal Court (ICC)”, and on “Abuse of the Interpol system: the need for more stringent legal safeguards”, as well as the adoption of reports on “Administrative detention” and “Transparency and openness in European institutions”.

Tuesday 17 – Thursday 19 May

Congress Monitoring Visit to Finland
A delegation from the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities will carry out a monitoring visit to Finland to examine the situation of local democracy in the light of the provisions of the European Charter of Local Self-Government, ratified by the country in 1991. The delegation will focus on the developments in the field of local and regional democracy occurred since the last Congress monitoring visit in 2011 which led to the adoption of Recommendation 311 (2011).

Wednesday 18 May

Committee of Minister Annual Session – Chairmanship handover
The Committee of Ministers will hold their annual ministerial session in Sofia, Bulgaria. Ministers will discuss Secretary General’s report on “the state of democracy, human rights and the rule of law: a security imperative for Europe” under agenda item “Democratic security for all in Europe in challenging times” which also includes tackling violent extremism and radicalisation leading to terrorism, responding to the refugee crisis and the key role of democracy, human rights and the rule of law in conflict resolution. Securing the long-term effectiveness of the ECHR system, the Council of Europe policy towards neighbouring regions and co-operation with the EU will also be discussed. At the closing of the session, Bulgaria will hand over the chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers to Estonia.

Interministerial meeting focuses on LGBTI violence in schools
The Council of Europe and UNESCO are organising a joint meeting for European ministers and government officials on combatting homophobic and transphobic bullying at schools. The event will take place within the framework of the UNESCO International Ministerial Meeting in Paris focusing on education sector responses to violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.

Seminar PACE Committee on Legal Affairs
The PACE Committees on Legal Affairs and Rules of Procedure will hold a seminar on parliamentary responsibility focusing on two themes: “Parliamentary accountability: a matter of ethics or politics?” and “Ensuring respect for ECHR norms: parliamentary structures to supervise compliance”.

Wednesday 18 – Thursday 19 May

Congress Workshop for Mayors
The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities will organise a workshop for local mayors, in the framework of the project “Promoting Local Democracy in Ukraine”. The aim is to provide the participants with the opportunity to exchange experience with Ukrainian and other European peers on local governments’ challenges.

Thursday 19 May

ECHR judgment
The European Court of Human Rights will be notifying in writing 68 judgments and / or decisions concerning Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Georgia, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine and United Kingdom.

PACE Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons
The PACE Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons will organise a seminar on “Alternatives to the immigration detention of children from a legal, practical and implementation perspective”, in the framework of the Parliamentary Campaign to End Immigration Detention of Children. This seminar is organised with the support of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.

Find an overview of Council of Europe events here; the PACE diary here; the Congress calendar of events here; and information on forthcoming judgments here.



Second Round of Presidential Elections in Austria

Parliamentary Elections on Cyprus

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