Weekly Update - 22/01/2016
Quote of the Week
"We have already succeeded in enabling European citizens to embark on a fair transition towards the digital age – by abolishing roaming charges and enhancing copyright protection. Our next task is to ensure the digital economy lives up to its social responsibility." Udo Bullmann, Head of the German S&D delegation at Relaunching Europe event on Europe's Digital Future.
It was another busy and productive plenary week for the S&Ds, with hotly debated issues on the agenda such as defending democracy and pluralism in Poland, keeping the focus on jobs and inclusion in the digital single market and the bloody conflict in Syria. We also welcomed the new Dutch presidency and laid out our key S&D priorities over the next few months.
A big highlight was the latest Relaunching Europe event in Koblenz, Germany on Europe's digital future. S&D MEPs were joined by figures from industry, civil society and government to discuss the opportunities rapid digitisation is bringing. The event was followed by hundreds in the room while online it became the 5th most trended topic in Germany and second in Belgium on Twitter. A summary of the event can be viewed here.
The week ahead
Kick off of the special committee to scrutinise the vehicle emissions scandal - The S&D Group has 12 of the 45 positions on the newly formed committee to look into 'dieselgate' scandal - a full list of the S&D members can be found here.
S&D Group meet with Kurdish HDP leader - To show their support for the Kurdish People, S&D MEPs will exchange ideas with Selahattin Demirtaş the leader of the social democratic Kurdish HDP party, in a Group meeting next week. This will be followed by a visit by an S&D Group delegation to South-East Turkey in mid-February to see the situation on the ground.
S&D Delegation in Warsaw - Recent changes to the constitutional court and public broadcasting laws in Poland have caused concern for legal experts and civil society groups. Next Friday, January 29, a delegation from the S&D Group led by President Gianni Pittella will go to Warsaw to meet with government officials, civil society organisations and members of the Social Democrat party. Mr Pittella will be joined by vice-presidents Tanja Fajon and Josef Weidenholzer, Group treasurer Péter Niedermüller and Head of the Polish delegation to the S&D Group, Bogusław Liberadzki.
Busy week for foreign affairs - It is also a busy week for the S&D foreign affairs team who are hosting a visit from Husam Zomlot, representative of Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority and also holding a hearing on what the EU can do to support the Colombian Peace Process. Mr Zomlot's visit will include a public workshop on the future of EU-Palestine relations, on Tuesday 26 January at 16.30 and the hearing on the Colombian peace process takes place on Thursday 28 January at 11.00.
S&D Group public workshop 'The present and future of EU-Palestine relations' – full details and registration here.
S&D-led conference on EU cohesion policy, economic inflexibilities and the imbalances among regions in the EU with speakers including S&D president Gianni Pittella, Commissioner Corina Creţu.
A full-day seminar on 'How to use the opportunities of the Digital Union in order to fight social and regional inequalities' – full details and registration here.