Weekly European Agenda 29 February – 6 March


Monday 29 February 

Tuesday 01 March

Wednesday 02 March

Thursday 03 March

Friday 04 March


European Movement International

Wednesday March 02 

Citizens for Europe Project Fair
This gathering is meant to strengthen the network by allowing members to present their 2016 projects and activities and by encouraging them to work together, share good practices and start new collaborations. Projects presented will allow for cooperation in the spirit of using “cooperation to overcome competition” and initiate sustainable collaborative projects.

Find more  information here.


European Union

European Parliament

Monday 29 February

Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET)
Exchange of views with Janos Herman, Head of EU Delegation to Georgia; Exchange of views with Aude Maio-Coliche, Head of EU Delegation to Venezuela;  Exchange of views with Roland Schäfer, Director for the Americas at the EEAS, on the modernisation of the EU-Mexico Global Agreement; Exchange of views with Marc Pierin on The situation in the South East of Turkey; Debriefing on the visit of the Delegation for relations with the countries of South Asia to Bangladesh, 7-12 February 2016; Adoption of 2015 Report on the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Committee on Budgetary Control (CONT)
Consideration of draft report on Discharge 2014: EU general budget – European Parliament; Presentation of ECA Special Report N° 2/2016 (2014 Discharge) on «2014 report on the follow-up
of the European Court of Auditors’ Special Reports»; Consideration of draft opinion on International Accounting Standards (IAS) Evaluation and on Activities of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation, European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) and the Public Interest Oversight Board (PIOB);  Exchange of views on the Assessment of the EU Youth Strategy 2013-2015.

Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE)
Presentation by the Netherlands Presidency and Europol on the Agreement on Strategic Cooperation between the Federative Republic of Brazil and Europol; Consideration of amendments on the situation in the Mediterranean and the need for a holistic EU approach to migration; Presentation by the Commission on European Border and Coast Guard; Presentation by the Commission on the reinforcement of checks against relevant databases at external borders;  Presentation by the Commission on European travel document for the return of illegally staying third-country nationals; Presentation by the Commission on European Maritime Safety Agency; Exchange of views on Study “Crime and Corruption Cost of Non-Europe”;  Adoption of questions for oral answer to the European Commission and the Council on Follow-up to the Resolution on the US Senate report on use of torture by the CIA.

Special Committee on Tax Rulings and Other Measures Similar in Nature or Effect (TAXE 2)
Exchange of views with Council Presidency.

Monday 29 February – Wednesday 02 March

“Ukraine week” Conference
Ukrainian MPs will join MEPs in Brussels for a 3-day “Ukraine week” high-level conference on good parliamentary practice, law-making and representation on 29 February – 2 March. The 40-strong delegation from Ukraine’s Parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, will include its leadership. Last July European Parliament President Martin Schulz and Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada (VRU), Volodymyr Groysman signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at strengthening the VRU’s constitutional role of law-making, oversight and representation. Further to this Memorandum, former EP President Pat Cox prepared a report and a roadmap on capacity-building. It will be presented during “Ukraine Week” and will form the basis of a first round of high-level discussions in selected areas

Wednesday 02 March

Committee of Inquiry into Emission Measurements in the Automotive Sector (EMIS)
Constituent Meeting: Election of the chair; Election of the Vice-Chairs.

Thursday 03 March

Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI)
Consideration of draft opinion on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities with special regard to the Concluding Observations of the UN CRPD Committee; Consideration of amendments on  the implementation of the 2010 recommendations of Parliament on social and environmental standards, human rights and corporate responsibility; Exchange of views with Emily O’Reilly, the European Ombudsman on the recommendation related to the lack of a human rights impact assessment in the preparations of the EU-Vietnam free trade agreement; Exchange of views with members of the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts regarding the disappearance of the 43 teaching students in Ayotzinapa and feedback from the DROI mission to Mexico/Guatemala; Consideration of draft report on Human rights and migration in third countries.

Subcommittee on Security and Defence (SECE)
Exchange of views with Jorge Domecq, Chief Executive, European Defence Agency, and Heinrich Brauss, NATO Assistant Secretary for Defence Policy and Planning, on EDA and NATO: coherent responses to hybrid threats and challenges; Exchange of views with Major General Martin Smith on the review of Operation Atalanta; Exchange of views with Brigadier General Dominique Laugel on Preparing the armed forces of the Central African Republic for the security challenges of tomorrow.

Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality(FEMM)
International Women’s Day.

Find the full plenary agenda here. Find an overview of committees here. An overview of delegation meetings can be found here.


Council of Ministers

Monday 29 February

Competitiveness Council
Ministers will consider viable solutions to redress the fragile situation of the European steel industry and other ailing energy-intensive industries. They will discuss progress made since the November 2015 extraordinary Council meeting, at which ministers stressed  the need to take swift and concrete actions that will help ensure the long-term viability of a modern European steel sector.  The Council will discuss and adopt the first set of conclusions on the recent single market strategy for services and goods. The conclusions will focus on three thematic blocks of the strategy which are essential for creating growth and jobs: support to SMEs, start-ups and innovative businesses;  improvement of services markets;  efficient implementation, compliance and enforcement of existing rules.  Ministers will hold the next edition of the «competitiveness check-up» during which they will focus on SMEs and ways of supporting them in creating jobs. Ministers will also start discussions on the recent action plan on the circular economy.

Friday 04 March

Environmental Council
The Council will discuss the EU action plan for the circular economy. It is part of a package which also includes four legislative proposals on waste. The aim of the package is to stimulate Europe’s transition towards a circular economy, more sustainable and competitive than the current model. It introduces measures to cut resource use, reduce waste and boost recycling. Ministers will also hold a policy debate on the follow-up to the Paris agreement on climate change based on a communication drafted by the Commission and on a document prepared by the presidency. The Council is expected to address an issue of endocrine disruptors (chemicals than can interfere with the hormone system), following a recent court case.

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


European Commission and High Representative

Monday 29 February

Ms Federica Mogherini travels to Azerbaijan.

Mr Maroš Šefčovič in Baku, Azerbaijan: takes part at the 2nd Ministerial Meeting of the Advisory Council on the Southern Gas Corridor.

Mr Jyrki Katainen in the United States (until 03/03): meets with Ms Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund; meets with Ms Penny Pritzker, US Commerce Secretary; meets Mr Gregory Meeks and Mr Bill Huizenga, Congressmen; meets with investors at the International Institute of Finance; gives a key note speech at the Euro American Chamber of Commerce; at the Atlantic Council; at the US Chamber of Commerce; and at Princeton University.

Tuesday 01 March

EU Refining Forum
The aim of the EU Refining Forum is to provide an opportunity for the industry, EU countries, members of the European Parliament, the Commission and other stakeholders to come together and discuss planned and future regulatory proposals with potentially significant impacts on the EU oil refining industry and on the EU’s security of supply of petroleum products.

Mr Frans Timmermans receives Mr Martti Ahtisaari, Chairman of the Independent Commission on Turkey.

Ms Federica Mogherini travels to Armenia.

Mr Stephan Weil, Minister President of Lower Saxony, received by Mr Christos Stylianides and President Jean-Claude Juncker.

Wednesday 02 March

Meeting of the College of Commissioners 

European humanitarian roundtables 2016 (Poland)
The World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) in May will help reshape the way humanitarian aid will be delivered in the future. In the run-up to this important milestone, the Network on Humanitarian Action (NOHA) and the European Commission are organising a series of ‘European humanitarian roundtables’. These panel debates will foster information and idea sharing between those affected by humanitarian crises, academics, practitioners and youth involved in humanitarian action, and aim to feed into the EU’s humanitarian policy and practice. The roundtables will cover themes such as access and subsidiarity, protection in urban settings, and current challenges of forced and protracted displacement. University of Warsaw, Poland – covering Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Slovenia.

Meeting of the Network of public finance economists in public administration
In 2007 the Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN) set up this network, with the aim to facilitate an exchange of views amongst practitioners on policy relevant issues and thereby deepen the analysis in the area of public finances. The network holds annual meetings organised by DG ECFIN, where participants present their work and their views, not constrained by official positions. The targeted participants are staff working on budget planning and analysis in the national administrations and central banks. This year’s meeting will cover two key challenges for European budgetary surveillance. First, the assessment of the fiscal stance and its caveats will be discussed, covering individual Member States as well as the euro area. Second, the meeting will include contributions on the quality of public finance, in particular of public investment. The aim is to discuss relevant analytical issues and find best practices, which could feed into policy advice in the future.

Mr Johannes Hahn receives Mr Martti Ahtisaari, the Chairman of the Independent Commission on Turkey.

President Jean-Claude Juncker receives Ms Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway.

Thursday 03 March

Ms Federica Mogherini attends a meeting with the Conference of Presidents at the European Parliament on the forthcoming EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy, in Brussels; travels to Albania.

Mr Dimitris Avramopoulos in Athens, Greece:  takes part in a roundtable discussion on «Europe facing the Migration Challenge» organised by Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung and Konstantinos Karamanlis Institute for Democracy.

Mr Valdis Dombrovskis in Cyprus for a European Semester country visit (03-04/03): meets with Mr Nicos Anastasiades, President of the Republic of Cyprus; meets with Mr Harris Georgiades Minister of Finance; meets Ms Zeta Emiliandou, Minister of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance and Mr Yiannakis Omirou, President of the House of Representatives.

Thursday 03 – Friday 04 March

Meeting of the European Electricity Regulatory Forum
The Electricity Regulatory Forum was set up to discuss the creation of the internal electricity market. It is currently addressing cross-border trade of electricity, in particular the tarification of cross-border electricity exchanges and the management of scarce interconnection capacity. Participants include national regulatory authorities, Member State governments, the European Commission, transmission system operators (TSOs), electricity traders, consumers, network users, and power exchanges. Since 1998 the Forum has meet once or twice a year.

From ISA to ISA2- new challenges and opportunities
The ISA² conference offers a forum for public administrations (senior policy makers as well as practitioners), the ICT community, business federations, NGOs and citizens to exchange views about upcoming trends in public sector modernisation. It will also highlight the support that the ISA² programme can offer in this respect, through operational services and solutions in the area of cross-border public services. The conference will be opened by Andrus Ansip, Vice-President of the European Commission. It also features a speech by Commissioner Günther Oettinger and a contribution from Carlos Zorrinho, Member of the European Parliament. EU Member States and European Commission institutions will give flashlight presentations of interoperable cross-border solutions and services. In addition, high-level panels will address the expectations of European public administrations, businesses and citizens in terms of digital public services and the important role of interoperability in this context.

Friday 04 March

Mr Tibor Navracsics in Budapest: participates in the Youth organisation of the European People’s Party (YEPP) meeting to discuss youth mobility.

Mr Miguel Arias Cañete receives Mr Vidar Helgesen, Minister of Climate and Environment of Norway; Mr Kaspars Gerhards, Minister for Environmental Protection and Regional Development of Latvia; Mr Nicos Kouyialis, Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment of Cyprus; Mr Leo Brincat, Minister for Sustainable Development, Environment and Climate Change of Malta; Dr Aileen McLeod, Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform of Scotland; Mr Slaven Dobrović, Minister forEnvironmental and Nature Protection of the Republic of Croatia; Mr Vidar Helgesen, Minister of Climate and Environment of Norway.

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


European Economic and Social Committee

Monday 29 February

Study Group on Digital contract rights 
Discussion of the preliminary draft opinion on the Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on certain aspects concerning contracts for the supply of digital content and the Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on certain aspects concerning contracts for the online and other distance sales of goods.

Study Group on Innovation as a driver of new business models
Discussion of the working document on Innovation as a driver of new business models.

Study Group on State of the Energy Union 2015
Discussion of the preliminary draft opinion on the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions and the European Investment Bank: State of the Energy Union 2015.

Tuesday 01 March

Section for the Single Market, Production and Consumption
Presentation of the Committee of the Regions’ opinion on The role of the social economy in restoring economic growth and combating unemployment by the rapporteur, Mr Gomes (PT/EPP); opinion on Upgrading the single market; Discussion on the Circular economy package;  Preliminary discussion on the own-initiative opinion on The lack of European competitiveness to create start-ups; Preliminary discussion on the own-initiative opinion on The limits for companies’ transparency requirements.

Study Group on Trade for All – Towards a more responsible trade and investment policy
Discussion of the draft opinion by the study group.

Wednesday 02 March

Section for Agriculture, Rural Development and the Environment
Debate with NAT section members; thematic debate on rural economy with •    Ms Maria Gafo Gomez-Zamalloa and  Mr Randel Länts; Organisation of the section’s future work.

Study Group on European Border and Coast Guard
Discussion of the working document.

Study Group on TEN/582 «The impact of the conclusions of COP21 on European transport policy»
Discussion of the working document on the impact of the conclusions of COP21 on European transport policy (own–initiative opinion).

The state of the Energy Union – governance and implications for civil society
The European Energy Union (EEU) is one of the key priorities of the European Commission. Launched in early 2015, the EEU programme has already resulted in various initiatives but the pace of delivery is expected to increase in 2016 and subsequent years. The programme is accompanied by the Commission’s annual progress report in the form of the «State of the Energy Union» reports. Published only nine months after the EEU launch, the «State of the Energy Union 2015» report is more of a stock-taking exercise than an actual progress report. Yet, the report offers interesting insights as to how progress against EEU objectives is measured and whether and how such reporting can become an instrument that contributes to the implementation and integration of energy policies. Specifically, the public hearing will – from a stakeholder and expert perspective – be examining whether the governance process underlying the Energy Union programme is inclusive enough and how a wider set of participants may improve governance quality, whether the methods used in the annual reporting entail the right questions and appropriate evidence, and whether there are ways of improving the methods.

Thursday 03 March

EESC – CoR Administrative Cooperation Agreement
Information on budget planning and execution in Joint Services 2016 – state of play; Discussion of Budget procedure 2017 – preparation of the Preliminary Draft Budget concerning the Joint Services ; Discussion of Multi-annual operational planning for the Joint Services 2016-2018; Governance of CoR-EESC Cooperation; Functioning of the Joint Services.

Study Group on the EESC Farmers Category
Implementation of the present CAP, budget and design of CAP post 2020.

Section for Economic and Monetary Union and Economic and Social Cohesion
Opinion on Prospectus Directive Referral; opinion on Steps towards Completing EMU
Referral; opinion on Euro area external representation Referral; opinion on European Deposit Insurance Scheme (EDIS) Referral; opinion on National Competitiveness Boards Referral; opinion on Euro area economic policy (2016) Referral; opinion on Structural Reform Support Programme Referral;  General discussion on an ECO contribution to the EESC contribution to the 2017 Commission Work programme.

Study Group on TEN/585 «Marine energy: renewable energy sources to be developed»
Discussion of the working document on Marine energy: renewable energy sources to be developed.

Meeting of the International Trade Follow-up Committee
Report of the meeting of the EU DAG under EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement, report of the meeting of the EU DAG under the EU-Central America Association Agreement, report from the mission to Georgia (REX secretariat); Presentation and exchanges of views with Mr Piotr Rydzkowski, European Commission, DG Trade, on the outcomes and follow-up of the Nairobi Ministerial Conference; Presentation and exchange of views with Ms Nicole Nabi Siefken, European Commission, DG Trade, on the state of play of TiSA negotiations; Presentation and exchange of views with Ms Alexandra Koutoglidou, European Commission, DG Trade, on the state of play of negotiations of the investment agreement with China.

Friday 04 March

Study Group on Fairer labour mobility within the EU
Discussion of the preliminary draft opinion.

Section for Transport, Energy, Infrastructure and the Information Society
Opinion on the Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 1406/2002 establishing a European Maritime Safety Agency; Evidence-informed policy-making: What’s on the TEN Section’s agenda? Panel discussions co-organised with the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (Institute for Energy and Transport and Institute for Prospective Technological Studies of the Joint Research Centre) on Energy storage and energy security, Decarbonisation of transport and Digital Transformation of the Economy.

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


Committee of the Regions

Monday 29 February

Commission for Economic Policy (ECON) meeting
ECON contribution to the CoR impact report 2015; First discussion and adoption of opinions on Regional and national promotional banks for jobs and growth; Follow-up to the Five Presidents’ report: Completing Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union; First discussion and adoption of Single Market Strategy; First discussion and adoption of Trade and Investment Strategy; Exploratory debate on Structural Reform Support Programme 2017-2020.

Tuesday 01 March

Commission for Natural Resources (NAT) meeting
Opinions on the basis of consultations (Rule 41(a)) – Appointment of rapporteurs; Debate with Czesław Adam Siekierski, Chair of the EP Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI) on the future of EU Rural policy; Exchange of views on food waste.

Wednesday 02 March

Commission for Territorial Cohesion Policy and EU Budget (COTER) meeting
First discussion and adoption on Concrete steps for implementing the EU Urban Agenda; Statement by MEP Dominique RIQUET (FR/ALDE), Vice-chair of  TRAN Committee of the European Parliament on the work of the EP TRAN Committee and debate on future cooperation between COTER and TRAN; Exchange of views on Aviation Strategy; Exchange of views on Simplification of ESIF from the perspective of Local and Regional Authorities; Exchange of views on Mid-term revision of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF); The Future of  the Cohesion Policy after 2020 – update on the project and future planning.

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

Tuesday 01 – Wednesday 02 March

Innovation for the benefit of patient
During its Presidency of the EU, the Netherlands is keen to draw attention to the subject of ‘getting innovative medicines to patients more quickly, at a socially acceptable price’. Some 100 experts on market access policy, reimbursement policy and pricing policy for medicines will meet to consider the potential and prerequisites for flexible market access with early agreements on the price of innovative medicines. The aim of the meeting will be to discuss which products should be the focus of flexible market access, what requirements they will be expected to meet and how market access and national reimbursement structures can be linked at an early stage. The results of the meeting should lead to agreements at European level designed to ensure that patients obtain access to innovative treatments that might not qualify for registration or reimbursement in the current system.

Thursday 03 – Friday 04 March

Conference about strengthening the position of the European audiovisual content
This conference takes place against the backdrop of two major policy debates: the European digital single market strategy, and the revision of the European Audiovisual Media Services Directive. The European media sector is changing rapidly: new players have joined the field, and old players change their game. In this conference, aimed at policy makers, regulators, and representatives from the media industry (both public and private), we ask international players from the media industry to share their view on the future of media. Besides the plenary sessions, the conference breaks down into six smaller sessions to discuss specific subtopics, such as distribution and production of international formats; digital story telling; the new media world, audience engagement and global investments in local content.

The agenda of the Dutch Presidency can be found here.


European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights

Monday 29 February – Tuesday 01 March

Healthcare experts discuss promotion of LGBT rights
The FRA will hold a capacity building workshop of experts on the health of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people. These include representatives of associations of health practitioners, international organisations (European Commission, WHO, UNDP), national health policy makers as well as academia and civil society organisations. The workshop aims to raise awareness of the data gaps and identify concrete capacity-building needs for different target groups, and connect duty bearers and rights holders to jointly address the health inequalities that LGBTI people face as evidenced by FRA’s LGBT survey. The workshop will also be a stepping stone in the further preparation of the report on the views and experiences of public officials and professionals in 19 EU Member States on the rights of LGBT people that FRA will launch on 16 March in the European Parliament.

Information on upcoming FRA events can be found here. 


Council of Europe

Tuesday 01 March

Conference on recognition of qualifications held by refugees
The Council of Europe and UNESCO will organise a conference to discuss on the “Recognition of qualifications held by refugees, displaced persons and persons in a refugee-like situation” and will focus on some guidelines for improved recognition of qualifications held by refugees based on art. 7 of the Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region (Lisbon Recognition Convention).

Thursday 03 March

Children’s Forum
The Council of Europe and the Themis association will bring together 1200 children from 45 school classes of CM1-CM2 of the Region Alsace and the Eurometropolis of Strasbourg who worked on a project or an idea on a concrete action to favour more tolerance and living together in peace. Ten projects have been selected and will be presented on this occasion. As for the World Forum for Democracy, the pupils will vote for the most relevant initiative which will be rewarded by a diploma created by the artist Laurent Salles.

Thursday 03 – Friday 04 March

ROMED2 – Democratic Governance and Community Participation through Mediation
After Valencia in December 2015, Tenerife will be the second Spanish municipality to join the ROMED2 Joint Programme of the Council of Europe and European Union. With mediators trained in ROMED1, the ROMED2 programme supports Roma citizens to organise into “Community Action Groups” (CAG) in the municipalities of implementation, and provides assistance for sustainable dialogue between these action groups and local authorities. The Secretary General’s Special Representative for Roma issues and the President of the Cabildo of Tenerife will sign the commitment letter at the launching event, which includes meetings with local authorities and representatives of the Ministry of Employment, Trade, Industry and Economic Development, departments of the City Council of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, and visits to Roma communities on the island including Añaza, San Isidro, El Fraile and La Cuesta.

Friday 04 March

Standing Committee of PACE meeting
Exchange of views with Mr Gianni Buquicchio, President of the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission); Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons:  The need to eradicate statelessness of children and Forced Migration: a new challenge; Culture, Science, Education and Media: The libraries and museums of Europe in times of change and Draft Council of Europe Convention on Cinematographic Co-production; Debate and vote on a draft resolution on the Systematic collection of data on violence against women; Debate and vote on a draft resolution on Rules of Procedure, Immunities and Institutional Affairs.

Find an overview of Council of Europe events here.

Find an overview of Council of Europe events here; the PACE diary here; the Congress calendar of events here; Information on forthcoming judgments here; the calendar of hearings here; information on Venice Commission events here; and the Chairmanship agenda here.



Tuesday 01 March

12 Judgments concerning Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, and Sweden.

Wednesday 02 March

45 judgments and/or decisions concerning Germany, Ukraine, Estonia, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Austria, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, and Turkey.

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

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