Plenary topics

Strasbourg Plenary Session

The Parliament meets regularly to vote and debate at its plenary session, in Brussels or Strasbourg. Ahead of each plenary session, the S&D Group announces its priorities and its objectives for the main debates, reports and resolutions.

The S&D Group holds a press conference at 10:10-10:30 CET on Tuesdays during Strasbourg plenary weeks, in room LOW N-1/201. You can also watch it live via our homepage.

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Result: 240

Conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of seasonal employment

05/02/2014

The proposed directive forms part of a package of measures on legal migration (alongside rules on intra-corporate transferees and students, researchers and au-pairs, yet to be agreed).

The S&D Group welcomes the fact that our negotiator, Claude Moraes, has been able to reach agreement on the first legal migration instrument directed at low-skilled/low-paid employment and that this will be the first part of the legal migration package to be adopted.

The first-reading agreement is, as always, a compromise text but it includes many significant gains for the European Parliament in general and for the S&D Group in particular.

Compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delays to flights

05/02/2014

The Bach report deals with compensation for passengers, including for delayed and cancelled flights. After extensive negotiations, a balance was reached between strengthened rights for passengers and applicable rules for air companies.

The S&D Group’s main concern was to ensure a coherent approach by providing citizens with a clear understanding of their rights and effective remedies, so that the new regulation can be properly enforced.

Protections against dumped and subsidised imports from third countries to the EU

04/02/2014

The EU's trade defence system is based on the rules of the World Trade Organisation which allows its members to address unfair practices from exporting countries – such as dumping or subsidies – with the aim of creating a level playing field.

As Doha development talks are stalled, the Commission has decided to modernise the functioning of the EU trade defence instruments (TDIs) and it has put forward proposals to modify the two basic anti-dumping and anti-subsidy regulations. Given the diversity and divergence of interests involved – from EU producers who suffer the effects of dumped/subsidised goods to EU importers who benefit from cheaper goods – the Commission has proposed modifications in an attempt to please all parties.

Nomination to the Court of Auditors

04/02/2014

The nomination of Klaus-Heiner Lehne was approved in the budget control committee with a reasonable majority. Concerns were raised before the vote about his financial interests (mainly declared income from the law firm he works for, including some work for a large tobacco company).  He answered questions satisfactorily about ceasing such activities if he were to be appointed to the European Court of Auditors.

Integrated parcel delivery market for the growth of e-commerce

04/02/2014

The fragmentation of delivery systems and lack of guarantees for cross-border deliveries undermines consumer confidence in national and cross-border e-commerce. The Commission green paper highlighted specific concerns about the current delivery chain for e-commerce in the internal market, which is not fully or adequately developed.

The S&D Group supports the development of both the digital single market and e-commerce more generally. Nevertheless, strong consumer protection, high-quality services and responsible employment policies are necessary to develop a sustainable and innovative EU-wide e-parcel delivery system for the benefit of consumers, workers and business.

EU roadmap against homophobia and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity

04/02/2014

The report builds on ten previous requests by the Parliament in the last three years to roll out an EU equality roadmap for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people. Similar EU equality strategies already exist in the field of Roma integration, discrimination on the basis of disability, and gender equality.

The report respects the principle of subsidiarity but calls on the European Commission to make proposals to end discrimination in employment, education, health and access to goods and services; in the field of citizenship, families and free movement; freedom of assembly and expression; hate speech and hate crime; asylum and migration; and foreign affairs.

Criminal sanctions for insider dealing and market manipulation

04/02/2014

An agreement has now been reached on this regulation (subject to final approval by the plenary and the Council), including the following elements:

• harmonisation of minimum/maximum levels for sanctions as requested by the European Parliament – four years for insider dealing and market manipulation, and two years for improper disclosure
• the concept of serious offences, with appropriate criteria
• sanctions for legal persons – including a list of criminal and non-criminal sanctions.

Copyright and related rights and multi-territorial licensing of rights in musical works for online uses

04/02/2014

Harmonisation of collective-rights management in the EU has been on the Commission’s agenda since as far back as 1995. We welcome the fairly balanced agreement reached on the collective management of rights that promotes new requirements of transparency and governance for the management of copyright, enhancing guarantees for the fair remuneration of artists.

A 2030 framework for climate and energy policies

04/02/2014

This report sets out the European Parliament’s vision for a new 2030 climate and energy framework. The S&D Group's two negotiators worked together with the EPP (European People’s Party) lead negotiator, Anne Delvaux, and the ALDE (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe) and Green negotiators to propose joint compromise amendments calling for three binding targets (greenhouse-gas emissions, renewables and energy efficiency).

The S&D Group calls on member states to adopt an ambitious package with three binding targets at the forthcoming March summit.

Promoting free movement by simplifying the acceptance of certain public documents

03/02/2014

The proposed regulation aims to make the complex process of formalities easier for citizens who move across borders. A large number of EU citizens live in a member state other than their own and this number is steadily increasing. However, administrative formalities across borders are generally considerably more complicated than within each member state, often involving complex and expensive translations and certifications of documents by the authorities. 

The S&D Group takes the view that the needs of European citizens should take precedence, rather than those of national administrations.