Strasbourg Plenary session: 9-12 July - what's on?
Institutions - 06-07-2007 - 17:12
Some post bags ©BELGA/BELPRESS/Dupont Christian
Sackfuls of controversy likely as postal services are debated on Tuesday
The July Plenary sees Portugal's PM José Sócrates set out his goals for his country's Presidency of the EU on Wednesday. EC President José Manuel Barroso will also attend. The week also sees MEPs vote on the last stage of liberalisation of postal services. Jean-Claude Trichet will brief Parliament on the activities of the Europe's Central Bank. MEPs will also call for airline tickets to have clearer information on taxes and charges. Members also consider measuring devices containing mercury.
Monday 9 July
Food additives: The session opens with a joint debate on food additives. Parliament will be asked to approve a set of four regulations aimed at updating procedures for authorising food additives, flavourings and enzymes.
Gas and electricity market: The House will debate an own-initiative report in the internal gas and electricity market. The internal energy market should allow "consumer choice of supplier in an open competitive environment".
Measuring devices containing mercury: Later on Monday evening the House will debate the issue of measuring devices containing mercury. Parliament will be asked to approve a ban on non-electrical mercury thermometers and other mercury instruments for general sale to the public (second reading stage).
Passenger name records (PNR): On Monday evening the House will debate the latest developments on passenger name records (PNR) and the EU-US agreement. MEPs will vote on a resolution on Tuesday.
Rome II: The House will be asked to approve a conciliation agreement on the regulation on the law applicable to non-contractual obligations, known as Rome II.
Tuesday 10 July
Postal services MEPs will debate and vote on a first reading report on postal services. Remaining postal service monopolies in the EU should expire by 31 December 2010, two years later than the deadline proposed by the Commission - according to a report being put forward by the Transport Committee. Full market opening should mean that national operators will no longer have a monopoly on mail below the maximum weight of 50 grams. The vote will take place on Wednesday.
Airfares: In order to avoid the current practice of some air carriers, i.e. publishing air fares without any taxes and charges, the Transport Committee says that passengers should be provided with a full breakdown of any taxes, fees and charges added to the ticket price.
Posting of workers: MEPs will also debate the posting of workers on Tuesday.
Wednesday 11 July
Portuguese Presidency: The centre-piece of the July Strasbourg plenary is the presentation of the Portuguese EU Presidency programme. At 9am on Wednesday the Portuguese Prime Minister, José Sócrates, will discuss with MEPs his country's priorities for the next six months. These will include finalising the reform treaty, relaunching the Lisbon economic agenda and a fresh focus on Africa, the Mediterranean and Brazil. Mr Sócrates' compatriot, Commission President José Manuel Barroso, will take part in the debate.
IGC: Before formally launching an Intergovernmental Conference (IGC), the European Parliament must be consulted. The European Parliament will give its opinion through a vote on a report on the issue.
EP Calendar: The House will also vote on the European Parliament's calendar for 2008. The dates for Brussels and Strasbourg plenary sessions will be decided.
Darfur: MEPs will also vote on Wednesday on a resolution on the situation in Darfur. A delegation of five MEPs from the EP Development Committee were in Darfur from 30 June to 6 July, where they visited camps of displaced people in Darfur as well as camps of Sudanese refugees in eastern Chad.
European Central Bank / Eurogroup: MEPs will debate the policies of the European Central Bank and the Eurogroup. They will be joined by Chair of the Eurogroup Jean-Claude Juncker, ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet and Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia
Foreign affairs: Wednesday afternoon sees debates on Palestine, Pakistan, Kosovo and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. They will vote on a resolution on Palestine and Pakistan.
Kosovo: On 29 March Parliament gave its full support to the Ahtisaari proposal for a status settlement, stating that "sovereignty supervised by the international community is the best option" for securing the objectives of a peaceful, self-sustaining Kosovo.
On the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia's progress towards EU membership; a Foreign Affairs Committee report welcomes reforms and recent agreements between the government and opposition on the use of Albanian in public institutions and the protection of ethnic minorities in decision-making.
Thursday 12 July
Ukraine: In an own-initiative report the Foreign Affairs Committee calls on Ukraine's politicians to resolve the current crisis peacefully, unravel political from economic powers, weed out corruption and ensure an independent judiciary, as well as further integrating Ukraine's energy markets with those of the European Union.
Human rights: The session ends with three debates and votes on human rights around the world. On this occasion, the topics are: the humanitarian situation of Iraqi refugees, human rights violations in Transnistria (Moldova) and human rights in Vietnam.