The Week Ahead from the ECR Group in the European Parliament 24th-28th October 2016

Oct 21, 2016


European Council
MEPs will debate the outcome of last week’s EU summit with the council and commission presidents. ECR Leader Syed Kamall will lament the gridlock of the meeting on several critical areas.
Debate: Wednesday 09.00
Press officer to contact: James Holtum on +32 473 861762 or

Helga Stevens
At the plenary session earlier this month, the ECR nominated Flemish MEP Helga Stevens as its candidate for EP President in January’s election. She will join ECR Leader Syed Kamall at his Strasbourg press briefing to discuss the plenary agenda. The event will be shown on the ECR Group’s Periscope page and shown on Europe by Satellite.
Press conference: Tuesday @ 11.30
Press officer to contact: James Holtum on +32 473 861762 or

The parliament will vote on its position on the 2017 EU budget, which is expected to result in an increase of €4.07 billion in commitment appropriations (+2.6%) and €2.45 billion in payment appropriations (+1.8%) above the Commission’s 2017 draft budget proposal, breaking spending ceilings in a number of headings and requiring fresh national EU contributions.
ECR budgets spokesman Bernd Koelmel has tabled amendments such as regarding a single seat for the parliament and the Turkey refugee facility, saving in total over €500 million, whilst also proposing increases in border agency Frontex and police agency Europol. The ECR continues to argue that new priorities require reprioritisation of the budget.
The parliament will also discuss the mid-term review of the EU’s seven year budget, the Multiannual Financial Framework. The ECR does not support efforts by some MEPs to link agreement on the 2017 budget with the review of the MFF, believing that we would run the risk of a bad MFF review just to satisfy an artificial deadline.
Vote on 2017 budget: Wednesday @ 12.00
MFF debate: Tuesday afternoon
Press officer to contact: Michael Strauss on +32 470 882348

Plant health
The parliament will vote on new rules being steered through the parliament by ECR MEP Anthea McIntyre that aim to curb the influx of pests caused by increased trade and climate change, and to stop them from spreading. The rules are aimed at pests such as Xylella fastidiosa, which devastated Italian olive groves in 2013
Vote: Wednesday @ 12.00
Press conference: Wednesday @ 14.30
Press officer to contact: Robert Taylor on +32 498 984760

Transport infrastructure in CE Europe
The parliament will vote on its first comprehensive document devoted to the development of transport infrastructure in Central and Eastern Europe, with areas that require specific attention, and support needed for specific projects. The report has been drafted by ECR MEP Tomasz Poreba. Some specific areas include construction of Rail Baltica and the Via Carpathia road.
Vote: Tuesday @ 12.00
Press officers to contact: Karlis Bumeisters on +32 473 527704 and Katarzyna Ochman on +32 470 955928

Court of Auditors and discharge
The parliament will vote on ECR MEP Ryszard Czarnecki’s report regarding the European Council and Council spending for 2014. The parliament is being asked to support Mr Czarnecki’s recommendation that these institutions be refused ‘discharge’ (signing off) of their accounts due to a lack of cooperation over a number of concerns relating to underspends, buildings policy, and several other areas.
The head of the EU Court of Auditors will also present their annual spending report for 2015 to the full parliament.
Vote: Thursday @ 12.00
Court of Auditors debate: Wednesday @ 15.00
Press officer to contact: Katarzyna Ochman on +32 470 955928

Sakharov Prize
Parliament’s group leaders will meet to decide on the winner of this year’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. The ECR Group nominee Mustafa Dzhemilev is on the shortlist to receive the prize. Mr Dzhemilev is a leader of the Crimean Tatar minority, who fought for the rights of his people during Soviet times, and now he fights for the return of his homeland Crimea to the Ukraine. Mr Dzhemilev spent 15 year in Soviet prisons for his human rights activities. He is currently a prominent member of the Ukrainian parliament. ECR human rights spokesman Mark Demesmaeker explained here why Mr Dzhemilev deserves the prize:
Decision: Thursday morning
Press officer to contact: Christina Fogh-Rasmussen on +32 475 780819

Commission Work Programme
The parliament will debate the European Commission’s to-do list for 2017. The ECR’s input to the work programme – compiled by Vicky Ford MEP – can be found here:
Debate: Tuesday @ 15.00
Press officer to contact: James Holtum on +32 473 861762