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.

Filter options

E.g., 04/22/2018
E.g., 04/22/2018
Result: 238
S and D Group s news on the European parliament Plenary session in Strasbourg - 20 to 23 May 2013

Adequate, safe and sustainable pensions

May 2013 (Strasbourg)
22/05/2013

This own-initiative report is a response to the European Parliament to the Commission White Paper on Pensions.

Public pension systems (alone or in combination with occupational pension systems) have to ensure a decent living standard for all pensioners. Instead of linking the statutory pension age to changes in life expectancy, the contribution bases should be enlarged within the given systems. Better working and employment conditions as well as active labour market policies are crucial in this context, to reduce the economic dependency ratio (number of economically active people vs. number of inactive people). Existing occupational insurance schemes should not be jeopardized by EU legislation.

S and D Group s news on the European parliament Plenary session in Strasbourg - 20 to 23 May 2013

Specific tasks for the European Central Bank concerning policies relating to the prudent supervision of credit institutions

May 2013 (Strasbourg)
21/05/2013

This report on the European Central Bank (ECB) is one of two Reports comprising the Single Supervisory Mechanism package - the other being the Giegold Report on the European Banking Authority (EBA). The deal represents a significant achievement for our Group, as we retained all the important elements in the ECON text after the negotiations in Trilogue.

The Single Supervisory Mechanism is a first and vital step towards a fully fledged banking union and one which has the potential to break the vicious circle between private and sovereign debt. But it should now be complemented by a resolution framework including a European Single Resolution Fund and a deposit guarantee schemes mechanism.

The agreement will ensure better accountability and transparency than did the original proposal from the Commission. The European Parliament will now be able to approve the appointment of the heads of supervision and will have greater access to documents. This is a major achievement for our Group.

S and D Group s news on the European parliament Plenary session in Strasbourg - 20 to 23 May 2013

Fight against tax evasion and tax havens

May 2013 (Strasbourg)
21/05/2013

This own-initiative report is a response to the Commission's Action Plan on tax fraud and tax evasion and its two recommendations to member states on aggressive tax planning and promotion of good governance in tax matters.

S&D Rapporteur highlights that an estimated trillion euro of public money is lost due to tax fraud and tax avoidance every year in the EU, and proposes concrete actions to counter this damaging development and to halve this tax gap by 2020.

The S&D Group calls for the Commission to come forward with a legislative proposal on a clear definition and common set of criteria to identify tax havens, together with a public European black list of tax havens by 31 December 2014.

We also call on the Commission to propose that the competent authorities suspend or revoke the banking licences of financial institutions and financial advisers if they assist in tax fraud.

The Commission should furthermore refrain from granting EU funding and member states should refrain from giving access to state aid or to public procurement to these companies.

S and D Group s news on the European parliament Plenary session in Strasbourg - 20 to 23 May 2013

Reinstatement of Myanmar/Burma's access to generalized tariff preferences

May 2013 (Strasbourg)
20/05/2013

Under the EU Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) the EU grants non-reciprocal trade preferences to developing countries. This means that exporters from these countries pay lower duties on some or all of what they sell to the EU, giving them vital access to EU markets and contributing to the growth of their economies.

The GSP regulation states that these preferential arrangements may be withdrawn temporarily given the serious and systematic violation of principles laid down in international conventions. These conventions cover core labour rights, such as ILO Convention 29 on forced labour. Myanmar/Burma's access to the GSP tariff preferences was temporarily withdrawn in 1997 primarily due to routine and widespread practice of forced labour.

Since 2011, Myanmar/Burma has undertaken serious efforts towards openness and reform, which has resulted in the Council lifting sanctions and, in this proposal, reinstating the country's access to GSP, based on ILO conclusions. Our group can therefore support this proposal.

S and D Group s news on the European parliament Plenary session in Strasbourg - 20 to 23 May 2013

Nuclear decommissioning assistance programmes in Bulgaria, Lithuania and Slovakia

May 2013 (Strasbourg)
20/05/2013

In the context of the negotiations for accession to the European Union, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Slovakia made the decision to close and subsequently decommission their reactors by a commonly agreed date. This early closure represents an exceptional financial burden for member states which was not commensurate with the economic strength of the countries concerned. In recognition of this fact and as an act of solidarity, the European Union committed itself to continue to provide additional financial assistance for the decommissioning of these reactors.

The current proposal for a Council Regulation foresees an extension of financial support from the Union with the general objective of reaching an irreversible state within the decommissioning process, while retaining the highest level of safety.

S and D Group s news on the European parliament Plenary session in Strasbourg - 20 to 23 May 2013

Establishing a framework for managing financial responsibility linked to investor-state dispute settlement tribunals established by international agreements to which the EU is party

May 2013 (Strasbourg)
20/05/2013

The EU is negotiating investment protection agreements with third countries, including with Canada, the US, Japan, India and China. These investment agreements will most likely have an investor-state dispute settlement mechanism which allows companies to launch claims against the EU in the event of a violation of some key provisions of the agreement. This regulation is aimed at establishing a framework for the situation in which an investor sues the EU.

Who has to defend itself - the EU or the member state? Who has to pay?

Essentially, this dossier represents a conflict battle between member states and the Commission over competence in terms of investment policy. Several member states, particularly Germany, Finland and the Netherlands would like to keep as much power as possible in the hands of the member states. Our Group has clearly taken the "community line", in expressing support for a strong role for the Commission in the defending the Union in investment-arbitration cases.

S and D Group s news on the European parliament Plenary session in Strasbourg - 20 to 23 May 2013

Bilateral Investment Treaties and EU law

May 2013 (Strasbourg)
20/05/2013

This oral question (OQ) was tabled at the initiative of our Group and it has received the support of the EPP, ALDE, Greens and GUE.

Three years after the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, a legislative framework for the EU's new exclusive competence on foreign direct investment (which is now an integral part of the EU's trade policy) is slowly being established.

However, there are a number of potential incompatibilities between EU law and international investment treaties which still need to be addressed.

This OQ deals with three issues:

1. the existence of 190 bilateral investment treaties between EU member states

2. the inclusion of clauses in bilateral investment treaties which do not restrict the movement of capital

3. the fact that investment treaties might grant greater rights to foreign investors than to European investors.

Socialist and Democrat priorities on the agenda in the European Parliament in Strasbourg from 15 to 18 April 2013

European statistics on demography

April 2013 (Strasbourg)
18/04/2013
This report on the proposed regulation on European demographic statistics is a technical but highly controversial issue due to its link to qualified majority voting in the Council. This is a technical proposal, which harmonises the collection of population data. If there is an issue with regard to the method of qualified majority voting, the Treaty should be amended. The S&D Group believes we should not jeopardise the collection of statistical data by changing definitions and international practices in the context of this regulation so we support the approach of Commission and Council. Our goal is to create a sound basis for the harmonised collection of reliable and comparable population data.
Socialist and Democrat priorities on the agenda in the European Parliament in Strasbourg from 15 to 18 April 2013

Amendment of the EC-Ukraine Agreement on the facilitation of the issuance of visas

April 2013 (Strasbourg)
17/04/2013
The Parliament gives its consent to the amended Visa Facilitation Agreement with Ukraine, signed by the Commission, allowing people to move more easily and strengthening ties between the citizens of Ukraine and the European Union.
 
These changes will enable easier freedom of movement for, amongst others, representatives of civil society, non-governmental organisations and journalists.
 
It is a positive signal to the people of Ukraine that the EU is firmly committed to strengthening relations between the citizens of EU and Ukraine. 
Socialist and Democrat priorities on the agenda in the European Parliament in Strasbourg from 15 to 18 April 2013

2012 progress report on Turkey

April 2013 (Strasbourg)
17/04/2013
This report reflects the S&Ds’ support for the Commission's positive approach to relations with Turkey – as a complementary context for the accession negotiations. It also welcomes peace talks between the government and the leader of the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) Abdullah Öcalan. The report also makes clear that an inclusive process for drafting the new constitution is vital – it should consolidate Turkish democracy and reflect the pluralism and diversity of Turkish society.