Mar 31, 2017


United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union

MEPs will debate and vote on the UK’s notification of its intention to invoke Article 50 and begin talks to exit the EU. Flemish MEP Helga Stevens and UK Conservative delegation leader Ashley Fox will speak during the debate. Both will call on all parties involved to treat the negotiations calmly, constructively and in a spirit of co-operation and to remember that at the heart of these negotiations are people’s lives and livelihoods. The ECR Group wants to see an arrangement that safeguards trade and allows continued co-operation in key areas of mutual interest for our security and economies.

Debate: Wednesday @ 9:00, vote @ 12:00

Press officer to contact: Robert Taylor on +32 498 98 47 60,

ECR Group spokesman: Jan Kelina on +32 493 21 43 46,

Improving vehicle testing throughout the EU

On Tuesday MEPs will vote on ECR MEP Dan Dalton’s report reforming the system of type approval for motor vehicles that follows concerns expressed over the practices of Volkswagen and other manufacturers. The main objective of the report has been to strengthen the system of market surveillance across the EU that will be a benefit to both manufacturers and consumers. The ECR Group will continue to oppose the introduction of an EU agency for market surveillance, that at significant cost, would duplicate many of the objectives already entrusted to the Commission and Member States under the report and would not offer any improvements in how the tasks would be carried out.

There will also be a vote on the final report from parliament’s committee of inquiry on vehicle emissions, established in the aftermath of the VW disclosures. ECR shadow Hans-Olaf Henkel welcomes the additional emissions-specific recommendations on disclosures and real-driving emissions testing, but we do remain concerned at the quality and rigour of the committee’s work.

Debate: Tuesday @ 8:30, vote @ 12:30

Press officer to contact:
Cameron J. Smith on +44 7769 83 36 05,
Michael Strauss on +32 470 88 23 48;

A more focused European Parliament budget

Parliament’s budget estimates for 2018 will be put to the vote on Wednesday. ECR MEP Richard Ashworth is rapporteur on the estimates and has taken a critical approach to the Secretary-General’s spending plans, arguing that while the budget should enable the Parliament to perform its core functions effectively, it should respect the principles of budgetary discipline and sound financial management. 

Vote: Wednesday @ 12:00

Press officer to contact: Robert Taylor on +32 498 98 47 60, 

Ukraine visa liberalisation – a good day for Ukrainians

MEPs will vote on visa liberalisation for Ukrainians visiting the Schengen area, providing them with visa-free travel for a period of stay of 90 days in any 180-day period. ECR shadow rapporteur, Jussi Halla-Aho, thinks that this is a fair reward for a country that has met all the strict criteria put in front of them – this is a good day for Ukrainians.

Debate: Wednesday afternoon, vote Thursday @ 12:00

Press officer to contact: Otto Juote on +32 475 90 44 31,

Mobile roaming charges

The end of mobile roaming charges throughout the EU moves a step closer when MEPs vote on new price caps bringing down the amount operators can charge each other when consumers use their phones abroad. ECR spokesman on the proposals, Evžen Tošenovský, is pleased with the agreement reached that paves the way for roaming charges for consumers to be scrapped in June this year.

Debate: Wednesday afternoon, vote Thursday @ 12:00  

Press officer to contact:
Katarzyna Ochman on +32 470 955928; katarzyna.ochman@europarl.europa.euor Jan Kelina on +32 493 21 43 46,

Recent protests in Russia and Belarus

MEPs will debate and vote on a resolution after hundreds of people were detained by police following the biggest anti-government protests in Russia for years. The ECR Group is concerned at the deteriorating human rights situation in Russia, the inconsistent and arbitrary application of the rule of law, and the introduction of legislation which suppresses various rights and freedoms.

There have also been arrests in Belarus in recent days after rare protests against new government measures to tackle unemployment – around 400 people were detained, and some beaten, in the protests against a tax on those classed as under-employed. Long term the ECR Group want to see economic, social and political reform in Belarus but in the short term we remain very concerned at the suppression of political and personal freedoms.

Debate: Thursday morning, vote @ 12:00

Press officer to contact: Katarzyna Ochman on +32 470 955928; katarzyna.ochman@europarl.europa.euor Christina Rasmussen +32 475 78 08 19,