Weekly European Agenda 14-20 December


Monday 14 December

  • EP: Plenary Session
  • Foreign Affairs Council
  • Agriculture and Fisheries Council
  • EU-Morocco Association Council
  • Intergovernmental Conferences on Turkey and Serbia
  • EC: Georgieva in Greece to sign an agreement with the UNHCR
  • EESC: Public Hearing on the EU Urban Agenda
  • EESC: Section for Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship
  • EESC: Western Balkans Follow-up Committee
  • Presidency: European Network of Public Employment Services meeting
  • FRA: Conference on empowering workers with disabilities in the EU
  • Congress: Anniversary of the European Charter of local self-government

Tuesday 15 December

  • EP: Plenary Session
  • Agriculture and Fisheries Council
  • General Affairs Council
  • Foreign Affairs Council at WTO Conference
  • EC: College meeting in Strasbourg
  • EC: Workshop Modelling energy scenarios for South Eastern Europe
  • EESC: Section for External Relations
  • EESC: Study Group on Social economy enterprises; ECI Ad Hoc Group
  • Presidency: Conference Transforming Europe towards the digital age
  • FRA: Management and Executive Boards meetings
  • PACE: Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons
  • Congress: meeting Congress Presidency/Committee of Regions Presidency
  • ECHR: 18 Judgments and Grand Chamber judgment

Wednesday 16 December

  • EP: Plenary Session
  • Environment Council
  • Tenth WTO Ministerial Conference
  • EC: Tusk and Juncker meet with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko
  • EC: European tourism day 2015
  • EESC: Section for Economic and Monetary Union and Economic and Social Cohesion
  • EESC: Eastern Neighbours Follow-up Committee
  • CoR: Seminar on Smart Specialisation
  • PACE: Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons
  • ECHR: Grand Chamber hearing

Thursday 17 December

  • EP: Plenary Session
  • European Council
  • Tenth WTO Ministerial Conference
  • EC: Bieńkowska in French Guiana and the Galileo control center
  • EESC: Section for the Single Market, Production and Consumption
  • EESC: Study Groups on the Single market; European Energy Community
  • Presidency: 17th European Corporate Governance Conference
  • ECHR: 40 Judgments and Decisions
  • Venice Commission: Council for Democratic Elections

Friday 18 December

  • European Council
  • Tenth WTO Ministerial Conference
  • EC: Hahn in Sweden; Andriukaitis in Lithuania; Navracsics in Budapest; Vestager in Denmark
  • Venice Commission: Plenary Session

Sunday 20 December

  • Spanish General Election


European Union

European Parliament

Monday 14 December

Plenary Session
Joint debate on the Energy Union: Report Towards a European Energy Union (ITRE) and Report Making Europe’s electricity grid fit for 2020 (ITRE); Oral Question on Completing Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union (ECON); Short presentations of the following reports: Strategic cooperation in the fight against serious crime and terrorism between the United Arab Emirates and Europol (LIBE); A new CFP: structure for technical measures and multiannual plans (PECH).

Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI)
Report back on ongoing interinstitutional negotiations: Medical Devices and In-vitro Diagnostic Medical Devices; Controls and activities performed to ensure the application of food and feed law, rules on animal health and welfare, plant health, plant reproductive material, plant protection products; Emission limits and type-approval for internal combustion engines for non-road mobile machinery. Consideration of and vote on Motion for resolution: Objection to Rule 106: Real Driving Emission test procedure.

Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) and Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO)
Joint Committee meeting to vote on the draft report Towards a Digital Single Market Act.

Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI)
Exchange of views with Vĕra Jourová, European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality on the two contract law proposals; consideration of draft opinion on the Agreement on Cooperation between Eurojust and Ukraine; Disputes involving Parliament (Rule 141): Opinion 2/15 – Conclusion of the Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Singapore.

Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM)
Statement by Commissioner Vera Jourová on the policy priorities in the area of gender equality; adoption of draft report on External factors that represent hurdles to European female entrepreneurship; consideration of draft opinions Discharge 2014: European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) and discharge 2014: EU general budget – European Commission.

Tuesday 15 December

Plenary Session
Joint debate on Trade marks: Report EU trade mark (JURI), Laws of Member States relating to trade marks (JURI); Preparing for the World Humanitarian Summit: Challenges and opportunities for humanitarian assistance (DEVE).
Votes followed by explanations of votes: Scheme of control and enforcement applicable in the North-East Atlantic fisheries (PECH);  Memorandum of Understanding between the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market and Eurojust (JURI);  Mobilisations of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (BUDG); Methods and procedure for making available the traditional, VAT and GNI-based own resources and on the measures to meet cash requirements (BUDG); Arrangement with the Swiss Confederation on the modalities of its participation in the European Asylum Support Office (LIBE); Agreements on short-stay visa waivers.
Debates: Decision adopted on European Border and Coast Guard package (Commission statement); Outcome of the COP 21 (Council and Commission statements); Report Bringing transparency, coordination and convergence to Corporate Tax policies (ECON); Labour mobility (Commission statement); Decision adopted on the European Accessibility Act (Commission statement); Implementation of the European Progress Microfinance Facility (EMPL).

Wednesday 16 December

Plenary Session
Key debate: Preparation of the European Council meeting of 17 and 18 December 2015 (Council and Commission statements)
Award of the Sakharov Prize
Votes followed by explanations of votes: Developing a sustainable European industry of base metals (ITRE); Extension of the term of office of the Chairperson of the European Banking Authority (ECON);  Extension of the term of office of the Chairperson of the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (ECON); Extension of the term of office of the Chairperson of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ECON).
Debates: Annual report on human rights and democracy in the world 2014 and the EU policy on the matter (AFET);  20th anniversary of the Dayton Peace agreement (Statement by the High Representative); EU-China Relations (AFET); Joint debate on Viet Nam: EU-Vietnam Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation (AFET); Arms export: implementation of Common Position 2008/944/CFSP (AFET).

Thursday 17 December

Plenary Session
Debates: Oral Question on Patents and plant breeders rights (Commission, AGRI, JURI).
Votes followed by explanations of votes: Situation in Burundi; Protection of Virunga national park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Situation in Hungary: follow-up to the European Parliament Resolution of 10 June 2015.

Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE)
Extraordinary meeting on the report Situation in the Mediterranean and the need for a holistic approach to migration

Special Committee on Tax Rulings and Other Measures Similar in Nature or Effect (TAXE)
Meeting under the new mandate

Find the full plenary agenda here. Find an overview of committees here.


European Council

Thursday 17 – Friday 18 December

On the agenda:
•    Fight against terrorism: information exchange; border control
•    Migration: €3 billion fund for Turkey; border patrol in Greece
•    Economic and Monetary Union: Five Presidents’ Report
•    Singe Market: Energy Union, Digital Single Market, Capital Markets Union
•    UK Referendum: state of play, UK demands
•    Nord Stream 2
•    Russia Sanctions

The meeting page can be found here.


Council of Ministers

Monday 14 December

Foreign Affairs Council
• Regional issues concerning the Eastern Partners; DCFTA’s with Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova
• Implementation of existing strategies and commitments on counter terrorism; terrorist financing and trafficking of firearms
• Current development in Iraq and Libya

Monday 14 – Tuesday 15 December

Agriculture and Fisheries Council
• Reach agreement on the 2016 fishing opportunities for member states applicable in EU waters and for EU vessels in certain non-EU water: maximum quantities of fish to be caught and fishing effort limits.
• Decide on 2016 fishing opportunities on the Black Sea
• Exchange of views on sustainable agriculture, forestry and fisheries in the bio-economy
• Update on state of play of the proposals on fruit, vegetables and milk in schools

Tuesday 15 December

General Affairs Council 
• Preparation of European Council conclusions and EMU Five Presidents’ Report
• Discussion and possible adoption of the Interinstitutional agreement on Better Regulation
• Commission presentation of the Annual Growth Survey for 2016 as a launch of the European Semester
• Adopt conclusions on enlargement and the stabilization and association process
• Endorse the 18-month programme of the Council by presidency trio The Netherlands, Slovakia and Malta

Foreign Affairs Council in the margins of the WTO Conference
• Agree on the EU position on export competition, transparency and aspects related to development
• Discuss results of the WTO conference and adopt conclusions on the revised Information Technology Agreement and possibly the Environmental Goods Agreement

Tuesday 15 – Friday 18 December

Tenth WTO Ministerial Conference
• Opening on 15 December in Nairobi, Kenya with addresses by Conference Chair Amina Mohamed, Director-General Roberto Azevêdo and the Chair of the General Council, Fernando de Mateo
• Plenary sessions take place on 16 and 17 December, with statements by ministers and special ceremony will be held for the WTO accession of Liberia and Afghanistan
• The closing session takes place on 18 December
Commissioners Cecilia Malmström and Phil Hogan will travel to Nairobi, Kenya, for the WTO 10th Ministerial Conference and several meetings. On 16 December, Cecilia Malmström delivers a speech at the Plenary Session.

Wednesday 16 December

Environment Council
• Reach general approach on the reduction of national emissions of certain pollutants to review and update national emission ceilings
• Adopt conclusions on the 2015 mid-term review of the EU biodiversity strategy to 2020
• Possibly discuss COP21 climate agreement results and the Circular Economy Package

An overview of planned Council meetings can be found here. Information on informal meetings can be found here.


European Commission and High Representative

Monday 14 December

Federica Mogherini and Johannes Hahn participate in the EU-Morocco Association Council, in Brussels.

Johannes Hahn participates in the Intergovernmental Conferences on Turkey and Serbia, in Brussels. Most likely, the Conferences will result in the opening of accession negotiation chapters with Turkey and Serbia.

Kristalina Georgieva travels to Athens, Greece, to sign an agreement with the UNHCR, represented by Assistant High Commissioner for Operations, George Okoth-Obbo, and together with Mr. Ioannis Mouzalas, Greece’s Alternate Minister of Interior and Administrative Reconstruction responsible for Migration Policy.

Tuesday 15 December

College meeting in Strasbourg

Workshop Modelling energy scenarios for South Eastern Europe
The objective of this workshop in Vienna is to explore possible energy scenarios up to 2030-2050 for the South Eastern Europe. The workshop should serve as an exchange of know how between policymakers, energy regulators, academics, energy companies, system modellers, consultants and other relevant stakeholders of this region.

Wednesday 16 December

Jean-Claude Juncker meets with Petro Poroshenko, Ukrainian President, together with European Council President Donald Tusk.

European tourism day 2015
An estimated 400 tourism stakeholders (representatives of public authorities at EU, national and regional level, European associations, representatives of the industry and other private stakeholders) are expected to participate in European Tourism Day 2015, organised in Brussels by the European Commission. The event will provide an opportunity for the exchange of views on topics that the European Commission considers key for the future competitiveness and sustainable growth of the European tourism sector, such as digitalization, interconnectivity, sustainability and responsibility, accessibility, and governance.

Thursday 17 December

Elżbieta Bieńkowska visits French Guiana and the Galileo control center and ground station to attend the launch of two Galileo satellites.

Friday 18 December

Johannes Hahn visits Stockholm, Sweden.

Vytenis Andriukaitis in Vilnius, Lithuania.
He presents the Annual Growth Survey 2016 in the Committee on European Affairs of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania; meets with Mr Saulius Skvernelis, Lithuanian Minister of the Interior to discuss refugees’ issues; meets with members of Vilnius city Municipality.

Tibor Navracsics is in Budapest.
He meets with Judit Czunyiné Bertalan, Minister of State for Public Education of Hungary.

Margrethe Vestager in Copenhagen.
She meets with Mr Troels Lund Poulsen, Minister for Business and Growth; meets with Mr Morten Østergaard, Leader of the Danish Social Liberal Party; meets with Mr Rasmus Grue, General Secretary of the Danish Social Liberal Party; meets with Mr Uffe Elbæk, Leader of the Alternative Party; meets with Mr Jarl Frijs-Madsen, Associated Partner at the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies; meets with Ms Eva Berneke, Chief Executive Officer of KMD.

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


European Economic and Social Committee

Monday 14 December

Public Hearing Future of the EU Urban Agenda seen from the perspective of civil society
Following the lead of the upcoming Dutch EU Presidency, the European urban policy community is actively working on the preparation of an Urban Agenda. The aim is to promote cooperation between European, national and city level representatives and stakeholders so as to stimulate growth, liveability and innovation. To develop an EESC opinion on how to engage civil society organisations, the EESC is organising a public hearing to gather suggestions.

Section for Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship (SOC Section)
Presentation and debate on European Commission policies on youth, education and training; presentation and debate on the Education and Training 2020 Joint Report; presentation and debate on the EU Youth Report 2015; Presentation of the documentary «El Desorden de los Sentidos».

Western Balkans Follow-up Committee
Presentation of the EU Enlargement Strategy and the related 2015 reports on countries’ progress towards EU accession by the European Commission, followed by discussion; Assessment of the Fifth Western Balkans Civil Society Forum (Belgrade, 2-3 June 2015) and presentation of the report on the Western Balkans Follow-up Committee’s 2013-2015 activities; Presentation of the 2015-2018 draft work programme of the Western Balkans Follow-up Committee

Tuesday 15 December

Section for External Relations (REX Section)
Presentation by the President of the work programme of the REX Section for the mandate 2015-2018; Presentation of work programmes of REX standing bodies for the mandate 2015-2018: Euromed Follow-up Committee, European Economic Area Consultative Committee, EU-Russia Follow-up Committee, Transatlantic Relations Follow-up Committee, EU-Moldova relations.

Study Group on Social economy enterprises
Discussion of the draft work programme of the permanent study group on social economy enterprises; Closing conference of the Luxembourg presidency on 3 and 4 December 2015; Activities carried out between October and December 2015.

Ad hoc Group for the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI)
Presentation of the work of the EESC in the domain of the European Citizens’ Initiative: the work done by the ad hoc Group under its previous term, services offered by the EESC and a general inter-institutional situation; Major themes for the ECI ad hoc Group presented by the Chair; The 2016 ECI Day: concept and content; EESC’s own-initiative opinion on the review process of the ECI Regulation 211/2011.

Wednesday 16 December

Section for Economic and Monetary Union and Economic and Social Cohesion (ECO Section)
Thematic debate on A European framework for high-quality securitisation: How to generate more funding for the economy; Opinion on Legal framework on securitization; Orientation debate on the Challenges and priorities for the euro area in 2016 with the European Commission.

Eastern Neighbours Follow-up Committee
Debriefing on the annual meeting of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, 20-21 November 2015, Kyiv; Preparations for the 2nd meeting of the EU-Ukraine Civil Society Platform; Discussion on the establishment of the EU-Georgia Civil Society Platform; State of play in the establishment of the EU-Moldova Civil Society Platform; State of play of EU-Armenia relations; Discussion on and adoption of the Eastern Neighbours 2016 work programme.

Thursday 17 December

Section for the Single Market, Production and Consumption (INT Section)
Presentations by the European Commission followed by debate on: Upgrading the single market, Retail financial services and insurance, Modernisation of copyright rules, Digital contract rights; Presentation on the results of the project group Space and Society.

Study Group on Upgrading the Single market
Discussion of the working document on the Communication on Upgrading the Single Market: more opportunities for people and business.

Permanent Study Group – Towards a European Energy Community
Presentation of the TEN Section’s Work Programme for 2016: Discussion of key areas of interest and work; Update and discussion on the state of the European Energy Union (EEU) reports.

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


Committee of the Regions

Wednesday 16 December

Seminar on Smart Specialisation: harnessing a common agenda for growth and renewal
Raising economic growth in Europe to increase the number of new jobs is one of the key priorities of the Juncker Commission.  A fundamental means for achieving these goals is through stimulating innovation amongst European companies. As a condition for the approval of ERDF programmes Member States have submitted Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation (RIS3). It is intended that these strategies will have a greater and more sustainable impact on jobs and growth in regions and Member States. This Seminar draws on the findings of recent research to consider the progress of these strategies, institutional barriers to the greater integration of activities and the role of wider policy instruments in delivering common growth objectives.

More information about Committee of the Regions events can be found here


Luxembourg Presidency

Monday 14 – Tuesday 15 December

4th meeting of the directors of the European Network of Public Employment Services
The network’s overall objective is the modernisation of the European Public Employment Services through a regular exchange of experience, in particular based on the instrument of the so called “benchlearning”. In view of the current events, the PES Board has put the situation of the refugees and their sustainable integration in the national labor markets on the top of its agenda. Another thematic priority will be the question on how to tackle long-term unemployment and to better help long-term unemployed return to work.

Tuesday 15 December

Conference Transforming Europe towards the digital age
The greatest gains to be made from the creation of a digital single market lie not in the tech sector itself but in the adoption of advanced digital technologies by the rest of the economy. This conference is hosted under the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the EU and will gather EU policy makers, industry leaders, entrepreneurs, ICT practitioners and young people in a fresh and interactive format including practical demonstrations, panel discussions and informal networking opportunities.

Thursday 17 December

17th European Corporate Governance Conference
The 17th European Corporate Governance Conference will be focusing on the following themes: The influence of new forms of financing in Corporate Governance; Governance of subsidiaries in multinational groups; and Recent developments in corporate governance of credit institutions and investment firms.

The agenda of the Luxembourg Presidency can be found here.


European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights

Monday 14 – Tuesday 15 December

Conference on empowering workers with disabilities in the EU
The FRA will take part in the Academy of European Law’s annual conference on the rights of people with disabilities in Trier. This year’s focus is on employment, with the conference identifying key international and European policy and legal tools to turn the right to employment of people with disabilities into reality. FRA’s presentation will focus on access to justice for workers with disabilities, drawing on the upcoming Handbook on Access to Justice and the online Clarity tool, as well as FRA’s ongoing work on the rights of people with disabilities.

Tuesday 15 – Wednesday 16 December

The FRA Management and Executive Boards meetings
Among other issues, the Board will finalise the mid-term review of FRA’s Strategic Plan for the years 2013-2017 and discuss the Multiannual Framework (MAF) 2018-2022, as well as the Annual Work Programme 2016 and the Programming Document for 2017-2019. It will exchange views with the Council of Europe on its cooperation with FRA. Given the topical importance of asylum issues, the agenda of this Management Board meeting will also include a strategic discussion on the scope and direction of the Agency’s work on migration in the context of the refugee crisis.

Information on upcoming FRA events can be found here. 


Council of Europe

Parliamentary Assembly

Tuesday 15 December

Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons
Meeting in Paris. The Committee is due to adopt reports on “The Mediterranean Sea: a front door to irregular migration”, “Organised crime and migrants” and “Forced migration: a new challenge”. The members of the committee will hold an exchange of views on these issues with a Senior Operations Coordinator for Greece from the UNHCR. The agenda also include an exchange of views on statelessness of children, with the participation of a former stateless person.

Wednesday 16 December

Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons
The committee will hold a conference on the theme “A comprehensive humanitarian and political response to the migration and refugee crisis in Europe”, in co-operation with the Parliamentary Projects Support Division. The debates will be attended by chairs and members of the relevant committees of national parliaments, both members and non-members of the Parliamentary Assembly, including those of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, Greece, Italy, Jordan, Poland, Serbia, Sweden and Turkey.

Find the PACE diary here and the diary of PACE President Anne Brasseur here.


Congress of Local and Regional Authorities

Monday 14 December

Celebration of the 30 years anniversary of the European Charter of local self-government in Kiev
The Congress will co-organise, with the Ministry of regional development, construction and communal services of Ukraine, a celebration of the 30th anniversary of the opening for signature of theEuropean Charter of Local Self-Government and the 20th anniversary of the membership of Ukraine in the Council of Europe.

Tuesday 15 December

Visit of the President of the Committee of Regions to Strasbourg – Bilateral meeting Congress Presidency/Committee of Regions Presidency

Find the Congress calendar of events here.



Tuesday 15 December

18 Judgments concerning Belgium, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia and Turkey.
Deliverance of a Grand Chamber judgment in the case of Schatschaschwili v. Germany. The case concerns the complaint by a man convicted of aggravated robbery and extortion. He maintains that his trial was unfair as neither he nor his counsel had had an opportunity at any stage of the proceedings to question the only direct witnesses of the crime allegedly committed.

Wednesday 16 December

Grand Chamber hearing in the case Béláné Nagy v. Hungary. The case concerns loss of entitlement to a disability pension due to newly introduced eligibility criteria.

Thursday 17 December

40 Judgments and Decisions concerning Azerbaijan, Belgium, Croatia, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, the Republic of Moldova, Norway, Poland, Romania, Serbia, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’’, Turkey and Ukraine.

Information on forthcoming judgments can be found here, the calendar of hearings can be found here.


European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice)

Thursday 17 December

53rd Meeting of the Council for Democratic Elections
The Council for Democratic elections is in charge of the analysis of draft opinions and studies of the Venice Commission in the electoral field before their submission to the plenary session., aiming to ensure cooperation in the electoral field between the Venice Commission as a legal body and the Parliamentary Assembly and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe as political bodies.

Friday 18 – Saturday 19 December

105th Plenary Session of the Venice Commission
Venice Commission plenary session is expected to adopt opinions – among others – on draft constitutional amendments for the judiciary in Albania, on legislation regarding the disciplining and dismissal of judges in “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” and a joint opinion with the OSCE on a law that condemns communist and Nazi totalitarian regimes in Ukraine.

More information on upcoming events can be found here.



Sunday 20 December

Spanish General Election

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