3 July 2018
This week in the European Parliament: Start of the Austrian Presidency; Future of Europe debate with Polish Prime Minister; Transport Mobility Package; Irresponsible calls to suspend EU-US Privacy Shield; Revising EU Copyright Law; 'Gerrymandering' European Electoral law,
START OF THE AUSTRIAN PRESIDENCY
ECR Ulrike Trebesius will speak during the debate on the forthcoming Austrian Presidency, outlining the Group’s view on the EU’s priorities over the next six months, such as the long term budget (MFF), migration and external borders and increasing prosperity within the EU.
FUTURE OF EUROPE DEBATE WITH POLISH PRIME MINISTER
MEPs will continue their series of debates with Member State leaders on Wednesday with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. ECR Group co-chair Ryzsard Legutko will lead calls for a less centralised EU, that treats all Member States equally and does less but does it better.
TRANSPORT MOBILITY PACKAGE
A raft of measures falling under the EU’s ‘Mobility Package’ are due to be voted by MEPs on Wednesday. Included within the measures are the charging of heavy vehicles’ road use, the posting of transport workers in other EU countries and also maximum driving times for hauliers. The ECR Group were generally supportive of many of the Commission’s
proposals but have serious concerns with the direction taken by the parliament’s transport committee, such as extending the scope of driving times rules to light commercial vehicles such as vans, which would come without an impact assessment and would clearly add huge additional burdens for businesses, as well as further cabotage restrictions will result in more fragmented EU single transport market and more empty trucks running through Europe.
IRRESPONSIBLE CALLS TO SUSPEND EU – US PRIVACY SHIELD
A resolution from the parliament’s civil liberties committee that calls for the suspension of the EU-US Privacy Shield will be put to the vote on Thursday. ECR MEP Dan Dalton has labelled the calls as
irresponsible and unrealistic as they would leave EU citizens in legal limbo and in effect seriously diminish their rights – the way forward it to start working constructively and cooperatively with the US on implementing the privacy shield.
REVISING EU COPYRIGHT LAW
The decision by the legal affairs committee to grant themselves a mandate to negotiate sweeping changes to European copyright law is likely to be challenged by a number of MEPs next week. While we recognise copyright law needs to be modernised in order to keep pace with the digital age, ECR shadow rapporteur on the reforms, Angel Dzhambazki, has a number of concerns with the proposals, including on the publishers right’ or ‘link tax’ that could require internet platforms to pay a fee when users share certain news articles.
‘GERRYMANDERING’ EUROPEAN ELECTORAL LAW
On Monday the constitutional affairs committee will attempt to push through controversial reforms to European Electoral law. The changes mandate countries who operate a nationwide list system to introduce a minimum threshold for electing MEPs, which in reality would only affect Germany and Spain, which will serve only to give more seats to the established parties in those countries. The ECR Group strongly oppose the proposals, as well as unprecedented attempts to hold the committee vote before most MEPs have even arrived in Strasbourg, and believe that European law should not be used as an instrument of national ‘gerrymandering’.
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