Plenary Session - European Parliament in Strasbourg from 5 to 8 February 2018 - S&D priorities on the agenda

S&D Group's news on the European Parliament's Plenary session in Strasbourg - 28 to 31 May 2018

S&D priorities on the February plenary agenda.

   Wed 7
Combatting social inequality
Udo Bullmann
+33(0)3 88 1 75342

Social inequality is on the rise in Europe and around the globe. While wages of ordinary people have stagnated, an ever greater share of wealth is flowing to the richest few. Part of this is a result of misled globalisation but is also fuelled by policies that allow the rich to avoid taxes while driving down wages and cutting public services. The S&D Group called for a topical debate to look at new ideas on how to reverse this trend.

   Wed 7
Composition of the European Parliament
Pedro Silvia Pereira
+33(0)3 88 1 75707

The Report on the composition of the European Parliament is an important step forward for European democracy. The new allocation of seats means that we will reduce the overall number of MEPS from 751 to 705 while ensuring be no loss of seats for any member state. Currently underrepresented countries will get 27 of the 73 UK seats available after the UK leaves the EU. This will make the European parliament a fairer reflection of the citizens it represents. The S&D Group backs the idea of transnational lists – whereby a portion of MEPs would be chosen from a pan-European list - this is now a question for the Plenary and the Council.

   Mon 5
Addressing geo-blocking
Virginie Rozière
+33(0)3 88 1 75408

This agreement will mean that companies can no longer block consumers accessing or purchasing from their websites just because they are in a different EU member state. This will increase consumer choice and is another step to creating a truly digital EU. Firms will no longer be able to rip off customers by charging wildly different prices in different member states – as consumers can now search for the best deals from any EU country. The S&D Group is fighting to ensure that we have the same rules and protections in the online and offline world; we cannot allow the internet to be a lawless zone.

   Tue 6
EU enlargement - Western Balkans
Knut Fleckenstein
+33(0)3 88 1 75548

The S&D Group has always been a staunch supporter of EU enlargement. Integrating the Western Balkans in the EU will help the stability of Europe as a whole, benefiting all our citizens. We welcome the commitment from the Bulgarian Presidency to make this a priority and look forward to the adoption by the College of Commissioners of the Enlargement Strategy next week.  There is still a lot of work to be done by the candidate counties but if they remain committed to the European path and meet all of their obligations, then we are ready to welcome them as full members of the EU.

   Tue 6
Current human rights situation in Turkey
Kati Piri
+33(0)3 88 1 75138

The continuing deterioration of the human rights situation in Turkey is of great concern. The S&D Group pushed to have a debate and resolution on this issue next week in Strasbourg. The EU cannot remain silent over Ankara’s consistent and serious breaches of fundamental rights. Just this week we have seen the refusal to release the Head of Amnesty International in the country, who is being held on spurious charges of terrorism. The European Parliament must show it stands by those fighting to protect human rights in Turkey.