Weekly European Agenda 8-14 February

Day-by-day

Monday 8 February

  • EP: Green Week
  • EP: Delegations to Italy; Saudi Arabia and Qatar; and Turkey
  • EC: Georgieva in the Netherlands; Stylianides in Dubai
  • EC: Ansip, Oettinger and Jourová discuss EU-US ‘Privacy Shield’ with business
  • EC: Hahn receives Moldovan Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration
  • EESC: Study Groups
  • Presidency: Conference Promoting decent work on the European labour market
  • COSAC: Meeting of the Chairpersons
  • CoE: Bureau of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities
  • CoE: Commissioner for Human Rights on a visit to Poland
  • CoE: Venice Commission visits to Macedonia and Poland

Tuesday 9 February

  • EP: Delegations to Italy; Saudi Arabia and Qatar; and Turkey
  • EC: Juncker, Hahn and Avramopoulos receive the Prime Minister of Georgia
  • EC: European Green Capital handover ceremony
  • EC: 19th meeting of the contracting parties to the Barcelona Convention
  • EESC: Permanent Study Group on Disability rights
  • CoR: Bureau meeting and ‘3+3’ meeting with the CoE Congress
  • CoR: Conference Boosting Entrepreneurial Spirit
  • Presidency: Antimicrobial Resistance Conference
  • FRA: FRA-ENNHRI workshop on the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights
  • ECHR: 15 judgments
  • CoE: Conference Democratic stability based on European unity and cooperation
  • CoE: Monitoring visit to the UK

Wednesday 10 February

  • EP: Delegations to Italy; Saudi Arabia and Qatar; Turkey; and Munich
  • EC: College of Commissioners
  • EC: Juncker meets with EIB
  • EC: Šefčovič and Arias Cañete meet with Prime Minister of Georgia
  • EC: Moscovici meets with Secretary General East African Community
  • EC: EIP Water Conference 2016
  • EESC: Study Groups
  • CoR: Plenary Session
  • Presidency: Follow the Money: tools for Financial Investigation
  • Presidency: Frontex Management Board
  • CoE: Seminar on Combatting Sexist Hate Speech

Thursday 11 February

  • EP: Delegations to Turkey and Munich
  • Eurogroup
  • EC: Juncker, Tusk, Dijsselbloem and Draghi meet
  • EC: Conference Mayors & Water
  • EESC: 2nd meeting of EU-Ukraine Civil Society Platform
  • EESC: Study Groups
  • CoR: Plenary Session
  • CoR: Interregional Group Meetings
  • FRA: EU Justice and Home Affairs Agencies meet in Vienna
  • ECHR: 40 judgments and/or decisions
  • CoE: Experts meeting on Education for Democratic citizenship and Human rights

Friday 12 February

  • EP: Delegation to Munich
  • Economic and Financial Affairs Council
  • EC: Mogherini and Hahn at the Munich Security Conference
  • EC: Šefčovič in Norway; Andriukaitis in Cyprus
  • CoE: Congress Monitoring Committee meeting

 

European Union

European Parliament

Monday 8 – Friday 12 February
Green Week

Monday 8 – Wednesday 10 February
Delegation of the Security and Defence Committee in Italy
The delegation will visit an EU naval operation fighting human smugglers («Operation Sofia») and meet the Italian Minister of Interior and Members of Parliament to discuss EU-supported operations tackling irregular migration and learn from Italy’s experience in conducting such operations.

Delegation of the Foreign Affairs Committee in Saudi Arabia and Qatar
The delegation will travel to Saudi Arabia and Doha, Qatar, to discuss EU-Saudi Arabian and EU-Qatari relations and the situation in neighbouring Arab states

Monday 8 – Thursday 11 February
Delegation of the Budget and Civil Liberties Committees in Turkey
Budgets MEPs will discuss the use of European pre-accession funds with Turkish authorities and investigate the use of EU support measures for refugees from Syria and Iraq, inter alia by visiting a refugee camp. Civil liberties MEPs will also visit a refugee camp and other refugee support projects as well as meeting Turkish interlocutors, international NGOs and other partners to assess the situation on the ground.

Wednesday 10 – Friday 12 February
Delegation of the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee in Munich
The delegation will meet Bavarian local authorities and visit a unit that places female refugees and another refugee camp to study reception arrangements for female asylum seekers.

An overview of delegation visits can be found here.

Council of Ministers

Thursday 11 February
Eurogroup
On the agenda: the economic situation in the euro area: outline of the Commission Winter Forecast; thematic discussion on growth and jobs: the quality of public finances, recent trends; Banking Union:  euro area aspects; International role of the euro; Greece state of play (possibly); Portugal post-programme surveillance 3rd review (possibly).

Friday 12 February
Economic and Financial Affairs Council ECOFIN
On the agenda: Presentation by the Commission on the Anti-BEPS Directive; State of play on the implementation of the Banking Union; Preparation of the G20 meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in Shanghai (25-27 February); Council recommendation on the Discharge to the Commission on the 2014 budget; Council conclusions on Budget guidelines for 2017; information on the state of play of the High Level Group on Own Resources.

An overview of planned Council meetings can be found here.

 

European Commission and High Representative

Monday 8 February
Kristalina Georgieva in The Netherlands: takes part in the meeting with Chairpersons of the Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs (COSAC) in The Hague; participates in a Citizens’ Dialogue on EU Budget and how to make better use of it, in Amsterdam.

Andrus Ansip, Günther Oettinger and Vĕra Jourová receive Industry and Business Associations to discuss EU-US Privacy Shield.

Johannes Hahn receives Andrei Galbur, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Moldova.

Christos Stylianides is in Dubai (08-09/02): participates in the International Humanitarian Advisory Council and the World Government Summit.

Tuesday 9 February
Jean-Claude Juncker, Johannes Hahn and Dimitris Avramopoulos receive Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia.

European Green Capital handover ceremony: From Bristol 2015 to Ljubljana 2016
Since 2010, the European Green Capital Award has rewarded cities that show robust commitment to sustainable urban planning. The award shows how cities benefit by pursuing green urban policies; policies that make cities more liveable, attract investment, create new jobs and growth, and raise their standing and appeal as tourist destinations. As the new European Green Capital, Ljubljana will act as ambassador for sustainable urban development, sharing its local best practices and encouraging other cities across Europe to become greener, healthier and more sustainable. Karmenu Vella, EU Commissioner for environement, maritime affairs and fisheries will speak at this event.

Tuesday 9 – Friday 12 February

19th meeting of the contracting parties to the Barcelona Convention
Representatives of 21 Mediterranean countries and the European Union are expected to debate and adopt a number of decisions on biodiversity and ecosystems, land and sea-based pollution, sustainable consumption and production, and climate change adaptation. These decisions, which address specific issues of the implementation of the Barcelona Convention and its Protocols, will define strategies and actions on sustainable development in the Mediterranean. The meeting coincides with the 40th anniversary of the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP) – Barcelona Convention.

Wednesday 10 February
Meeting of the College of Commissioners

Jean-Claude Juncker meets with Wilhelm Molterer, Vice-President and Member of the Management Committee of the European Investment Bank.

Maroš Šefčovič receives Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia and Mikheil Janelidze, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia; Miguel Arias Cañete also meets with Giorgi Kvirikashvili.

Pierre Moscovici receives Richard Sezibera, Secretary General of the East African Community.

EIP Water conference 2016
This 3rd European Innovation Partnership (EIP) Water conference builds upon the success of the first two conferences in 2013 and 2014 in Brussels and Barcelona, respectively. The conference will foster innovation in the European water sector by showcasing the experience of innovators and the lessons they have learned. The conference will give inspiring ideas, discuss a variety of outspoken and conflicting viewpoints about appropriate approaches to innovation, and help nurture and establish partnerships. Participants will learn how the European Commission and EIP Water are working to overcome key barriers and bottlenecks to innovation in water in Europe, and they will gain insights on regulation, financing and public-private partnerships.

Thursday 11 February
Jean-Claude Juncker participates in the Interinstitutional Actors’ Meeting with European Council President Donald Tusk, Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem and President of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi.

Conference Mayors & Water
Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for environment, maritime affairs and fisheries invites European mayors and water experts for an agenda setting event for water in the urban environment. Next to mayors, representatives of regions, communities, waste water treatment plants, drinking water facilities, water boards, water research institutes and other water experts are most welcome to participate in the conference. Mayors & Water will bring together key stakeholders like the OECD, EIB, EEA, together with European city networks, European water platforms and EIP Water action groups. The Mayors & Water declaration should put water on the centre stage in the urban agenda to guarantee productive, sustainable and liveable cities.

Friday 12 February
Federica Mogherini and Johannes Hahn in Munich, Germany, to attend the Munich Security Conference (12-14/02).

Maroš Šefčovič in Norway (11-12/02). On 12/02: gives a keynote speech at the Oslo Energy Forum; meets with Mr Tord Lien, Minister of Petroleum and Energy of Norway; meets with the Committee on Energy and the Environment of the Norwegian Parliament, meets with Mr Børge Brende, Foreign Minister of Norway; gives a lecture on «Energy Union – transition to a new energy system» at Litteraturhuset, University of Oslo; meets with Mr Vidar Helgesen, Minister of Climate and the Environment of Norway.

Vytenis Andriukaitis in Cyprus: meets with Ms Olympia Stylianou, Secretary-General of the Cypriot Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment; meets with Mr Yiannakis Omirou, President of the Cypriot House of Representatives; meets with the Cypriot Parliamentary Committees on Health Affairs and on Agriculture and Natural Recourses; meets with students from the University of Cyprus and the Cyprus University of Technology (TEPAK); participates in a Roundtable discussion with Health NGOs Representatives.

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

 

European Economic and Social Committee

Monday 8 February
Study Group on Steps towards Completing EMU 
Coordination of the rapporteurs’ work on the ongoing opinions related to EMU: Statement by the ECO president followed by debate; Discussion of the preliminary draft opinion on Steps towards Completing EMU.

Study Group on a European Deposit Insurance Scheme
Discussion of the preliminary draft opinion on a European Deposit Insurance Scheme drawn up by the rapporteur.

Study Group on Integration of refugees in the EU
Discussion of the working document drawn up by the rapporteur, Ms Schweng, and the co rapporteur, Mr Gkofas.

Study Group on Aviation package
Discussion of the working document on Aviation package, made up of the following three documents: Communication ‘An Aviation Strategy for Europe’; Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council – The European Aviation Safety Programme; Proposal for a regulation on Common rules in the field of civil aviation and establishing a European Union Aviation Safety Agency, and repealing Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council.

Tuesday 9 February
Permanent Study Group on Disability rights 
Permanent Study Group work programme: update and planning of the activities for 2016; Presentations of the two upcoming opinions: SOC/527 «European Accessibility Act» and the own-initiative SOC/538 «Concluding observations of the UN CRPD Committee to the European Union/A new disabilities strategy»; Proposals for improving the members’ statute taking into considerations needs of members with disabilities; Cooperation with the Permanent Study group on Roma rights, presented by Ákos Topolánszky; Presentation by the European Commission.

Wednesday 10 February
Study Group on Euro area external representation
Discussion of the preliminary draft opinion on Euro area external representation, drawn up by the rapporteur.

Study Group on Public procurement/asylum crisis
Discussion of the preliminary draft opinion on the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on Public Procurement rules in connection with the current asylum crisis.

Preparatory meeting for the 2nd meeting of the EU-Ukraine Civil Society Platform
Presentation of the draft agenda for the 2nd meeting of the EU-Ukraine Civil Society Platform; Background and presentation of the Draft Report «Anti-corruption measures in Europe: fields of action, experience, tools» followed by discussion; Background and presentation of the Draft Report «The European Union and Ukraine: Cooperation for the strengthening of energy security»; Presentation of the draft joint declaration of the 2nd meeting of the EU-Ukraine Civil Society Platform followed by discussion; Planning of the future work of the Platform.

Thursday 11 February
2nd meeting of EU-Ukraine Civil Society Platform
The 2nd meeting of the EU-Ukraine Civil Society Platform will feature a debate assessing the state of play in the implementation of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, and two reports, prepared by both sides, will be discussed and adopted – on energy policy and on the rule of law, with a focus on fight against corruption. A Joint Declaration will be adopted at the end of the meeting to be forwarded to the EU-Ukraine Association Council, the Association Committee, the Parliamentary Association Committee and other relevant bodies both in Ukraine as well as in the EU.

Permanent Study Group – Implementation of the White Paper on Transport
PSG’s draft work programme for 2016

Study Group on National Competitiveness Boards
Discussion of the preliminary draft opinion on National Competitiveness Boards, drawn up by the rapporteur, Mr Delapina and the co-rapporteur, Mr Croughan

Study Group on Upgrading the Single market
Discussion of the revised preliminary draft opinion on the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of Regions – Upgrading the Single Market: more opportunities for people and business.

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

 

Committee of the Regions

Tuesday 9 February
Meeting of the Committee of the Regions Bureau
Work Programme of CoR commissions, platforms and networks for 2016; Arrangements for next plenary session: Draft resolution on the Threats to the EU’s Schengen Border-free Area, Draft agenda of the 116th plenary session on 10 and 11 February 2016; Commission for Financial and Administrative Affairs; Setting-up of Interregional Carpathian Group; Consultative Works.

Conference ‘Boosting entrepreneurial spirit – pioneering regions and cities in Europe’
This event will focus on experiences from European Entrepreneurial Regions (EER) and potentially from others, showcasing the benefits of entrepreneurial spirit by answering the following questions: What did the regions and cities do to become «entrepreneurial»?; What is the role of decision-makers and administrators at all governance levels in boosting an entrepreneurial mindset and spirit?; How can the positive results be shared and scaled up?; Which EU tools and support are most effective?; and How can a bottom-up process be shaped, initiated and supported?

‘3+3’ meeting with the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities
The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities will organise, with the Committee of the Regions, their first “3+3” meeting of the High Level Group composed by the President of the Congress and the Presidents of its 2 Chambers and the Committee of the Region’s President, 1st Vice-President and President of the CIVEX Commission.

Wednesday 10 February
Plenary Session
Statement by Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, followed by debate; Draft resolution on the European Commission’s Annual Growth Survey 2016 (for decision); Statement by Ronald Plasterk, Dutch Minister of Interior and Kingdom Relations followed by debate; The integration of the long-term unemployed into the labour market – Proposal for a Council Recommendation; Age-friendly tourism – Own-initiative opinion; Union framework for data collection in fisheries – Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council; Innovation and modernisation of the rural economy.

Thursday 11 February
Plenary Session
Statement by Corina Creţu, Commissioner on Regional Policy, followed by debate; Discussion and adoption of opinions: Indicators for territorial development – GDP and beyond, Draft resolution on the Threats to the EU’s Schengen Border-free Area; Statement by Mr Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner on Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, followed by debate; discussion and adoption of opinion: The implementation of the renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018); Election of bureau members; Appointment of new members and alternates.

Interregional Group Meetings
Meeting of the Automotive Interregional Group; Meeting of Interregional Group Baltic Sea Regions; Adriatic Ionian Interregional Group; Meeting of the Interregional Group on Cross-border Cooperation.

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

 

Dutch Presidency

Monday 8 – Tuesday 9 February
Conference Promoting decent work on the European labour market. Better compliance and enforcement
The conference will provide a platform for discussion and offer practical instruments for inspectorates, enforcement officials, supervisors and public authorities. It aims to reinforce their ability to collaborate and act effectively. Practical issues relating to the protection of posted workers as well as cross-border aspects of undeclared work will be addressed, such as: the use of letter box companies, the exploitation of workers, bogus self-employment, the exchange of data and the promotion of compliance with EU law and secondary legislation for cross-border service providers and posted workers. Best practices will be exchanged both at national and international level.

Tuesday 9 – Wednesday 10 February
Antimicrobial Resistance Conference
The Netherlands will hold a Ministerial Conference on Antimicrobial Resistance which will emphasise the need for a ‘One Health’ approach. An EU Action Plan against the rising threats from AMR has been in place for a number of years. In addition, the World Health Assembly this year unanimously adopted the Global Action Plan on AMR in which all WHO member states are urged to adopt national action plans within the next two years. The Ministerial Conference will discuss the progress so far and the need for measurable actions in the near future.

Wednesday 10 – Thursday 11 February
Follow the Money: tools for Financial Investigation
Financial investigation is a vital instrument in the fight against organised crime. The Netherlands is keen to enhance Europe’s expertise in this field and develop practical tools to help police officers use this investigation tool more effectively and more frequently. The Netherlands has drawn up a plan of action containing proposals for the development of practical tools for investigation services. The plan will be discussed with policymakers and experts from investigation services in order to obtain input and support for the initiative.

Frontex Management Board
Frontex is the agency that manages the EU’s external borders. Its Management Board is the highest decision-making body in the agency and meets five times a year. The meetings generally take place at Frontex headquarters in Warsaw. Once a year the meeting is held in the country holding the Presidency. The Management Board decides matters like the agency’s budget, its annual and multiannual programme and the appointment of the director, for example.

The agenda of the Dutch Presidency can be found here.

 

European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights

Tuesday 9 February
FRA-ENNHRI workshop on national implementation of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights
FRA and the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI) are hosting a workshop to facilitate and strengthen NHRIs’ contribution to the implementation of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. The workshop will bring together experts from FRA and ENNHRI. The aims are: to build NHRIs’ capacity in understanding when the EU Charter applies nationally; to clarify how the Charter relates to other human rights instruments, and how it can reinforce NHRIs’ work; and to consider the opportunities and challenges when using the Charter in NHRI work.

Thursday 11 – Friday 12 February
EU Justice and Home Affairs Agencies meet in Vienna
FRA will host the first meeting this year of the network of EU Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Agencies in Vienna from 11-12 February. Network representatives from nine JHA agencies and the Commission will come together to discuss this year’s priorities for joint action in the areas of freedom, security and justice, with the aim of delivering cross-agency advice and support to EU institutions and Member States. FRA currently chairs the network, which has been supporting the EU institutions and its Member States with coherent and effective practical advice and guidance for 10 years now.

Information on upcoming FRA events can be found here. 

 

COSAC

Monday 8 February
Meeting of the Chairpersons of COSAC
With on the agenda: Meeting of the Presidential Troika; Tour of the House of Representatives; Organisation and co-operation of parliamentary scrutiny on the basis of a case study focussing on Europol: How do parliaments scrutinize documents and decisions in practice? How do European Affairs committees and standing committees exchange and cooperate? How are contacts with the European Parliament organised?; Procedural issues and miscellaneous matters.

More information can be found here

 

Council of Europe

Monday 8 February
Bureau of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities
The matters on the agenda of the meeting of the Bureau of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities include, in particular, the 2017-2020 priorities, preparation of the 30th Session (22-24 March 2016), as well as the Council of Europe Development Bank and its Migrant and Refugee Fund (MRF).

Monday 8 – Friday 12 February
Commissioner for Human Rights on a visit to Poland
The Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muižnieks will discuss recent human rights developments in the country, focusing on administration of justice, the institutional and legal framework for the protection and promotion of human rights, and women’s rights and gender equality.

Monday 8 – Tuesday 9 February
Venice Commission visit to Macedonia
Following a request submitted in December 2015 by the Macedonian authorities, a group of rapporteurs of the Venice Commission will visit Skopje on 8 and 9 February 2015 to meet the local stakeholders and to discuss with them the two laws adopted in 2015 – the Law on the protection of privacy and the law on the protection of whistleblowers. The opinion will be then drafted and submitted for adoption at the March 2016 plenary session of the Venice Commission.

Venice Commission visit to Poland
A delegation of the Venice Commission will visit Poland to discuss with the authorities the amendments to the Act on the Constitutional Tribunal adopted on 22 December 2015. The visit takes place in the framework of the preparation of an opinion requested by the Minister of Foreign Affairs on 23 December 2015. The delegation will meet the Administration of the President of Poland, the Ministry of Justice, the Constitutional Tribunal, the Supreme Court and Parliament, the National Council of the Judiciary and the Ombudsman.

Tuesday 9 February
The European Court of Human Rights will be notifying in writing 15 judgments concerning Belgium, Hungary, the Republic of Moldova, Poland, Russia, Switzerland and Turkey.

Tuesday 9 – Wednesday 10 February
High-level Conference Democratic stability based on the European unity and co-operation in Sofia
In the framework of the Bulgarian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers, the National Assembly and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria will organise a high-level conference on “Democratic Security Based on European Unity and Co-operation”. PACE President Pedro Agramunt will address the opening session. Deputy Secretary General Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni will also attend the conference.

Monitoring visit to the UK
The Council of Europe is organising a monitoring visit to the United Kingdom with a view to evaluating the country’s compliance with the Anti-Doping Convention. The mission is organised in co-operation with the UK Department for Culture and Sport and UK Anti-Doping (UKAD). The intention of the visit is to review the national anti-doping policy and practice, and in particular to support the United Kingdom in its preparations for the hosting of the IAAF 2017 World Athletics Championships.

Wednesday 10 – Friday 12 February
Seminar on Combatting Sexist Hate Speech
Sexist Hate Speech will be the theme of a seminar co-organised at the European Youth Centre by the Department of Equality and Dignity and the Youth Department of the Council of Europe. The event is held under the No Hate Speech Movement. Researchers, youth activists, journalists and officials from Sweden, Albania, Austria, Denmark, Canada, Bosnia and Herzegovina, France and the United Kingdom will review the causes and extent of sexist hate speech, especially among young people, and discuss what can be done to prevent, report and combat its manifestations. The seminar will pave the way for this year’s European Action Day on the 8th of March that will focus on combatting online sexist hate speech. The seminar is open to media.

Thursday 11 February
The European Court of Human Rights will be notifying in writing 40 judgments and / or decisions concerning Azerbaijan, France, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Spain, The United Kingdom and Ukraine.

Thursday 11 – Friday 12 February
Experts meeting of the Council of Europe’s Coordinators on Education for Democratic citizenship and Human rights in Strasbourg. Representatives of the Council of Europe member states will meet to discuss the effectiveness of education policies for the promotion of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The meeting is organised in the framework of the Bulgarian Chairmanship of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers.

Friday 12 February
Congress of Local and Regional Authorities: Monitoring Committee meeting in Paris, France.

 

 

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