18th – 22th May 2015 – Strasbourg

Migration, Better regulation, Conflict minerals, VATmess, Money laundering, Rights of persons with disabilities, Common Security and Defence Policy, Amber alert for missing children and Syed Kamall’s monthly press briefing.


The parliament will debate last week’s commission announcement of a new agenda for migration in the EU. ECR home affairs spokesman Timothy Kirkhope said: “True solidarity cannot be created through compulsion alone, and binding quotas oversimplify the solution for such a complex situation.” He will speak in the debate

Press officer to contact: Alasdair Rendall on +32 475 780819

Debate: Wednesday @ 09.00

Better regulation

The European Commission will publish its ideas for a Better Regulation Package, which plans to improve transparency around lawmaking, and take a new approach to reviewing existing EU laws. The commission will also publish a new draft agreement between the main EU institutions on how they will make laws in the future. The ECR has already published a series of proposals for inclusion in the EU’s new Interinstitutional Agreement on better lawmaking, prepared by ECR Chief Whip Morten Messerschmidt.
ECR MEP Anthea McIntyre chairs the group’s Better Regulation and Re-shoring working group.

Press officer to contact: James Holtum on +32 473 861762

Announcement: Tuesday afternoon

Conflict minerals

MEPs will vote on a proposal aiming to prevent the funding of conflict through certain minerals that are often found in household items such as mobile telephones. The commission’s proposal would encourage companies to carry out due diligence on some of the minerals they use in their products. Although the commission recommended a voluntary system, the parliament’s international trade committee required mandatory due diligence for smelters and refiners. The left of the parliament wants to see a full mandatory scope across the supply chain but evidence of the USA’s Dodd Frank Act shows that this approach risks undermining legitimate miners in often poor regions of conflict as businesses who cannot afford the mandatory requirements seek minerals from elsewhere.
ECR International Trade spokesman Emma McClarkin MEP supports the committee’s position, which includes a strong review clause, so that consumers are given the information they need to buy products made with conflict-free minerals, without damaging the livelihoods of miners.

Press officer to contact: James Holtum on +32 473 861762

ote: Tuesday @ 12.00


A campaign run by ECR MEPs to alleviate the damage caused by well-intentioned VAT rules for online businesses will be discussed with the European Commission. Rules that came into force on the 1st January – intended to affect major online companies – require any company selling online to log and charge VAT in the country of the buyer. Many one-person or micro businesses have stopped selling because of the significant extra burden on them. ECR Chairman Syed Kamall and Vicky Ford MEP have been seeking a way forward, proposing a threshold and a single process for registering to pay VAT.

Press officer to contact: James Holtum on +32 473 861762

Debate: Monday from 17.00

Money laundering

The parliament is expected to endorse a final agreement on proposals to update rules on money laundering, which aim to shine a light on areas where criminals launder dirty money, but cut the red tape that and inflexibility of the current laws in place. ECR MEP Timothy Kirkhope is the parliament’s rapporteur on part of the legislation strengthening rules regarding information that accompanies all bank and wire transfers, to fill the gaps and loopholes that can be used by criminals and terrorists to launder funds. His comments following the last parliamentary vote can be found here and followin! g an agreement with national governments, this legislation can now be enacted following this week’s vote.

Press officer to contact: John Furbisher on +32 498 984760

ote: Wednesday @ 12.00

Rights of persons with disabilities

The parliament will vote on an ECR initiative for a resolution regarding how the UN’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) is being implemented on the ground ahead of the only UN review in this parliamentary term. Issues examined in the review include equal rights to vote and stand for elections, criteria for reasonableness and proportionality for accommodation measures, full EU website accessibility, and a proposal for a European Accessibility Act. ECR Vice-President Helga Stevens is the representative of the European Parliament’s civil liberties committee to the UNCRPD committee. The ECR has co-ordinated and signed the parliament’s resolution.

Press officer to contact: Yannick Vanderveeren on +32 471 200095

Vote: Wednesday @ 12.00

Common Security and Defence Policy

MEPs will vote on a report that looks to boost aspects of the EU’s CSDP, such as EU military and civilian missions, defence capabilities, and the defence industry.
ECR defence spokesman Geoffrey Van Orden believes that defence policy must always remain a matter of national sovereignty. He continues to resist moves towards the creation of an EU army and expensive new EU military structures which will undermine NATO and weaken our links with international defence partners.

Press officer to contact: James Holtum on +32 473 861762

Vote: Wednesday @ 12.00

Amber alert for missing children

The UK Conservative delegation will be launching an ambitious and targeted campaign led by Kay Swinburne to help save the lives of abducted children.
Tragically, 76% of children taken by someone who means them harm are killed within three hours. Searches could not be more time-critical. But efforts to trace victims are too often hampered by lack of public awareness, poor cross-border co-operation and blurred lines of responsibility. The Amber Alert network aims to change that – and help save more children’s lives. However, it needs help from politicians, companies and organisations, but most of all from the public.
Dr Swinburne and her Conservative MEP colleagues will be throwing their weight behind a high profile campaign to boost Amber Alert and its UK arm, Child Rescue Alert.

Press officer to contact: John Furbisher on +32 498 984760

Press conference: Wednesday @ 11.00 in EP room N1.3

Syed Kamall’s monthly press briefing

ECR Chairman Syed Kamall will give his monthly press briefing where he will talk about the key issues on the agenda, as well as respond to how the UK elections will affect the agenda of EU reform.

Press officer to contact: James Holtum on +32 473 861762

Press conference: Tuesday @ 11.30 in room LOW N-1/201


For enquiries relating to the ECR Group, the Group Chairman or a national delegation not listed below:

James Holtum

ECR Group Spokesman

Rue Wiertz – ATR 07K 031

B – 1047 Brussels

Tel.: + 32 473 861762

E-mail: james.holtum@europarl.europa.eu

For enquiries relating to a national delegation of the group or its members:

UK delegation:

John Furbisher

Tel.: +32 498 984760

E-mail: john.furbisher@europarl.europa.eu

Polish delegation:

Katarzyna Ochman

Tel.: +32 470 955928

E-mail: katarzyna.ochman@europarl.europa.eu

German delegation:

Tobias Teuscher

Tel.: +32 475 864064

E-mail: tobias.teuscher@europarl.europa.eu

Belgian delegation:

Luc Rochtus

Tel.: +32 479 734567

E-mail: luc.rochtus@europarl.europa.eu

Czech delegation:

Jan Krelina

Tel.: +32 493 214346

E-mail: jan.krelina@europarl.europa.eu

Dutch delegation:

Maarten Van Der Fliert

Tel.: +31 652 24 44 64

E-mail: maarten.vandefliert@europarl.europa.eu

Bulgarian delegation:

Daniela Koleva

Tel.: +32 475 634973

E-mail: Daniela.koleva@europarl.europa.eu

Latvian delegation:

Karlis Bumeisters

Tel.: +371 29245260

E-mail: Karlis.bumeisters@europarl.europa.eu




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