S&Ds - Weekly Update. This week's highlights and what's coming up

Weekly Update - 14 to 18 March 2016

Quote of the week by S&D president Udo Bullmann on the report of the Independent Commission for Sustainable Equality:

"Our system is in danger of breaking and people fear that they are losing control. Our societies need to adapt to globalisation, climate change, the digital revolution all at the same time – and the list goes on. To make these transformations work, and to ensure that they lead to something good, we need a radically new approach: One that understands that the digital revolution can lead to less, not more, social and territorial inequalities. One that shows that you can advance the greening of the economy and improve the quality of jobs at the same time. One that takes into account that only a just society will be a liberal and democratic society, in which nationalists and extremists have no chance. With our proposals put forward in the report of the Independent Commission for Sustainable Equality, our Group leads the way towards a better Europe that overcomes inequalities and social frictions." 

Upcoming activities

It is another busy week in the European Parliament, with important committee votes and group activities ahead of the December plenary session.

On Monday, a crucial vote will take place in the economic and monetary affairs committee. EP rapporteur and S&D MEP Paul Tang will lead a vote on the digital services tax. The S&Ds are calling on European Finance Ministers to swiftly adopt a digital services tax: a tax on turnover for very large digital firms such as Google, Apple and Facebook. There are also important votes in the industry, energy and research committee. In particular a report by Patrizia Toia MEP on the EU programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (COSME). We want to double the amount of funds to be allocated to SMEs for the next Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027.

In the employment and social affairs committee, MEPs will vote on the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+). S&D MEP Brando Benifei who is leading the negotiations is making sure that we have a strong ESF+ fund for the coming 7 years. Meanwhile, in the civil liberties, justice and home affairs committee, MEPs will vote on S&D MEP Juan Fernando López Aguilar’s report on establishing a Community Code on Visas.

On Tuesday, negotiations will continue with the Council to finalise the EU budget for 2019. S&D MEP Daniele Viotti is leading negotiations on behalf of the Parliament.

On Wednesday, there will be a press conference at 10.30 in the Parliament press room with Pascal Lamy and Paul Magnette to present a new position paper on trade and investment drafted by a group of S&D MEPs and progressive international experts.

On Thursday, there are important votes in the legal affairs committee. MEPs will vote on the creation of a collective redress policy – which would allow groups of citizens or consumers to bring lawsuits collectively in situations like Dieselgate. They will also vote on updated laws on cross-border conversions, mergers and divisions.

PES Congress

It is also an important week for the Social Democratic family, with the PES Congress taking place on 7-8 December in Lisbon. This will culminate in Frans Timmermans being appointed as the PES Common Candidate for the 2019 European Elections. The S&D Group will hold a Go Local event on Thursday evening at 21.00.

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