The Week Ahead: 12th – 15th March 2018

This week in the European Parliament: Selmayr appointment; European Parliament resolution on the future EU-UK relationship; ECR topical debate on the fight against cybercrime and the threat to public services; Murder of Slovakian journalist Ján Kuciak; Multiannual Financial Framework MFF 2020-2027 and new EU own resources; US steel and aluminium tariffs.

Selmayr appointment
The first item on the agenda next week will see Günther Oettinger, European Commissioner for Human Resources, explain to MEPs the recruitment process that saw Martin Selmayr promoted to Secretary General of the Commission in an unprecedented move that was shrouded in secrecy. While the Commission insists that no rules have been broken, various worrying allegations have since surfaced, casting serious doubts over the whole process. The ECR were the first group to table an oral question to the Commission and request a debate on the subject. We believe the Commission should be given the chance to explain themselves to MEPs before we take a view on what further action needs to be taken.

Debate: Monday @ 17:00

European Parliament resolution on the future EU-UK relationship
ECR MEPs will participate in the debate on the Brexit Steering Group’s resolution setting out a suggested framework for EU–UK relations post-Brexit. Ashley Fox, leader of the British Conservative delegation of the ECR Group will be available for comment.

Debate: Tuesday 9am; Vote: Wednesday @ 12:00

ECR topical debate on the fight against cybercrime and the threat to public services
Parliament’s topical debate this week is an ECR initiative to discuss the ever present threat and impact of cyber attacks on public services, such as hospitals, government’s and power plants. With more than 4,000 ransomware attacks per day and with 80% of European companies having experienced at least one cybersecurity incident, EU and international cooperation is now essential in order to combat this threat.

When: Wednesday @ 15:00

Murder of Slovakian journalist Ján Kuciak
On Wednesday afternoon MEPs will hold a debate following the brutal killing of Slovakian investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancee, Martina Kušnírová. Kuciak mainly focussed on tax evasion stories and recently covered a suspected tax fraud connected to a luxury development in Bratislava. The ECR Group are united in our belief that a free press underpins all our rights and freedoms and that a journalist should never be killed for simply going about their job. There now needs to be a thorough independent investigation, with international support if necessary.

Debate: Wednesday @ 16:00

Multiannual Financial Framework MFF 2020-2027 and new EU own resources
The Parliament’s position on the future of the EU budget and the possible introduction of a system of EU ‘own resources’ – essentially direct taxes to the EU – will be debated and voted in Strasbourg. Bernd Koelmel, ECR Group budgets spokesman, has continually called for spending to be focused where there is genuine EU added value such as the research and Erasmus programmes, and given the forthcoming loss of UK contributions, which programmes could in reality be managed domestically from national budgets.

Debate: Tuesday @ 15:00; Vote: Wednesday @ 12:00

US steel and aluminium tariffs
President Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports will be debated by MEPs on Wednesday morning. The ECR Group believe that the EU’s response should be proportionate and in line with WTO rules, and fully consider the problem of overcapacity in the steel sector.

Debate: Wednesday @ 8:30

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