Quote of the week
“With EU leaders today signing the withdrawal agreement and with MEPs preparing to vote in plenary next week, we are reminded that there are only seven days left before the UK leaves the EU. The S&D Group will be sad to bid farewell to colleagues, and above all friends, who have worked tirelessly in the European Parliament to make people's lives better all across Europe. The EU is a much better place thanks to the significant contribution of UK S&D MEPs and their dedicated staff over the years.”
S&D president Iratxe García Pérez
MEPs will be focusing on debates and votes in the mini-plenary session in Brussels on Wednesday 28 and Thursday 29 January.
What’s on the plenary agenda?
The new Commission is scheduled to adopt its 2020 Work Programme next week, which will be presented and debated in plenary on Thursday 29 January. There will also be a special Conference of Presidents with Commission President von der Leyen on Wednesday. The 2020 Commission Work Programme is the first real opportunity for the Commission to show it means business and to demonstrate to our citizens that Europe can be a real force for good, tackling the issues closest to their hearts.
On Wednesday 28 January, MEPs will vote on the Withdrawal Agreement of the UK from the EU. During the plenary session, there will also be votes on the gender pay gap and debates on the rights of indigenous people and the EU strategy for transport.
On Wednesday, in a week that marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, MEPs will recognise International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The S&D Group is supporting the #WeRemember campaign, over the weekend and beyond, to preserve the memory of Holocaust survivors and to ensure that the horrors of the past are never repeated.
Throughout the week, S&D MEPs will be closely following the latest developments in Poland, after the Polish Parliament passed a so-called “muzzling law, aimed at silencing critics of legal reform. The S&D Group calls on President Duda not to sign the law and respect both Poland’s Supreme Court verdict and the Venice Commission recommendations.
In honour of the hard work of our UK Labour MEPs over 45 years in the European Parliament and their significant contribution in making peoples’ lives better all across Europe, the S&D Group will be hosting an open event on Wednesday 29 January at 12 noon. You can register for the event here.
Richard Corbett and Theresa Griffin will be speaking on behalf of UK Labour MEPs alongside Iratxe García Pérez, S&D Group president, and David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament. There will also be contributions from Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, and PES president, Sergei Stanishev.
Looking ahead to February, the S&D Group is organising a number of workshops. On 5 February there will be an S&D event on a Civil Liability Regime for Artificial Intelligence. You can register here. The S&D Group will also have a workshop on Decent minimum wages across Europe on 5 February. You can register here.