Weekly Update - 12/02/2016
Quote of the week
"We need to wake up to the scale of the crisis on our borders - we have to recognise that solving this crisis will require a large scale resettlement of Syrian refugees from Turkey. Talk of new fences in the southern Balkans is not helpful - instead we need to see that closer cooperation between Greece and Turkey is the only way to prevent further loss of life"
Tanja Fajon, S&D Vice-President
Last week's highlights
During the past week a delegation including three of our MEPs has been on mission in Turkey discussing human rights and ways of spending the special fund for refugees fleeing conflict areas. Our Group has been represented by MEPs Sylvie Guillaume, Tanja Fajon and Péter Niedermüller.
A press release on the topic can be found here.
The S&Ds have a busy week ahead. Committee work is always important, and our focus in the following days will be on issues such as gun regulations or budget. We will also interact in an interesting exchange of views with ECB high representatives. Follow our website for more information on the upcoming week!
In preparation for the European Council the Group will meet on the 16th of February to discuss the UK renegotiation and referendum. This discussion will then feed into the official Parliament position to be given at the Council. Whatever the outcome of this discussion our priority is to do whatever we can to ensure the UK remains part of the European Union.
As we all know the European steel sector is going through difficult times. It currently has to deal with an unsustainable downfall of steel prices, driven by Chinese overcapacity and dumping practices. In addition, there are many challenges ahead, from the discussion over the market economy status of China to the ETS revision. This is why we now need to act! Therefore, we are organising an exchange of views with Emmanuel Macron, French Minister of Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs.
The event will take place on Monday, 15th of February, between 17:15 and 18:15 in room PHS 07C050. French and English interpretation will be provided.
Keeping in mind the background of increasing tensions on the financial markets, our S&D MEPs will have an important exchange of views with ECB president Mario Draghi on Monday. This will also be followed by a discussion on the economic and social situation in the Eurozone with president of the Eurogroup, Jeroen Dijsselbloem.
Also on Monday, a mini hearing on the control of the acquisition and possession of weapons and its aspects in relation to security will be held by the LIBE Committee, in order to gather the input of experts for the work on the EU Firearms Directive.
This Monday our Group is also voting on the opening of negotiations for an EU-Tunisia Free Trade Agreement. This is specifically relevant because through trade we want to help them in their transition to democracy.
Another mini-hearing on the Fight against organised crime and corruption: stepping up the EU response will be held on the 16th of February in the framework of the preparatory process for the LIBE own-initiative report on Fight against corruption and follow-up of the CRIM committee resolution.
World health is also on the table this week. On the 17th of February, the ENVI Committee will hold an exchange of views with representatives of the World Health Organisation on the Zika virus outbreak. On 1 February 2016, the Organisation declared the Zika virus outbreak to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. AT EU level, the EU's Early Warning and Response System for medical emergencies has been activated, and the Health Security Committee (HSC), will meet regularly to coordinate Zika virus prevention and readiness.
Last but not least, we are also looking forward to an interesting vote in the Budget Committee. On 18 February, BUDG will vote on the amendments to the draft guidelines presented by Jens Geier, standing rapporteur for the 2017 budget.