This week in the European Parliament - 22nd to 25th October

European Council Conclusions

ECR Co-chairman Syed Kamall will assess the outcome of the European Council Summit and stress his belief that a Withdrawal Agreement covering the UK’s departure from the EU remains achievable. With co-operation and creativity on both sides, Mr Kamall is confident that the outstanding issue of how to ensure no hard border on the island of Ireland can be overcome.

When: Wednesday @ 9am.

Press officer to contact: Robert Taylor, robert.taylor@ep.europa.eu, +32 498 984 760

Russian aggression in the Sea of Azov

Tensions have been increasing in recent years in the sea of Azov, in particular following the construction of the Kerch bridge from the Russian mainland to the Crimean Peninsula. ECR Polish MEP Anna Fotyga, chair of the sub-committee on Security and Defence, recently chaired a parliament mission to Mariupol in the east of Ukraine. She views Russian actions in the area as a direct threat to Ukrainian sovereignty and has condemned Russian harassment of hundreds of international commercial vessels attempting to reach Ukrainian territorial waters via the Kerch Strait, which has hundreds of ships delayed entry for up to three days and had a hugely negative effect on the local economy.

Debate: Tuesday @ 15:00, vote Thursday @ 12:00

Contact: Kasia Ochman, katarzyna.ochman@europarl.europa.eu, +32 470 955 928

MEPs to vote on new rules to restrict single use plastics

Long awaited rules that aim to drastically cut the amount of harmful plastic in the EU’s rivers and seas will be voted on by MEPs on Tuesday. ECR shadow rapporteur Mark Demesmaeker has argued that we need to manage plastics in a responsible way throughout the entire value chain. Therefore he strongly supports the new rules that will target the 10 single-use plastic products most often found on our beaches and seas (such as cotton buds and plastic cutlery) as well as lost and abandoned fishing gear, which together constitute 70% of all marine litter items.

Debate, Monday @ 17:00; vote, Wednesday @ 12:00.

Contact: Cameron J Smith, cameron.j.smith@ep.europa.eu, +44 7769 833 605

Facebook and irresponsible calls to end EU – US Privacy Shield

The use by Cambridge Analytica of Facebook users’ data quite rightly raises serious concern over privacy in the EU. Group leaders from Parliament met with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg earlier in the year, which was followed by a series of hearings in the Civil Liberties committee with experts from the company as well as civil society. We fully support the need to investigate this matter and where appropriate prosecute. However, ECR shadow rapporteur Dan Dalton MEP believes that the resolution has gone much further than its intended mandate. The call in the committee’s draft text to end the EU-US Privacy Shield is irresponsible grandstanding that could leave EU citizens in legal limbo with their rights of redress severely restricted – the best approach would be continue dialogue with our US partners to ensure the Privacy Shield is fully implemented and provides citizens with all its intended protections.

Debate: Tuesday @ 9:00, vote Thursday @ 12:00

Contact: Gareth Goldsmith, gareth.goldsmith@ep.europa.eu, +32 476 668 050

Rebuilding trust in our migration and asylum policies

These proposals set out to strengthen and improve the effectiveness of border checks, police and judicial cooperation and the return of illegally staying third country nationals. ECR Group shadow Jussi Halla-aho supports the package which is an important step in the long road ahead to improving public trust in migration and asylum policies.

Debate, Tuesday @ 15:00; vote, Wednesday @ 12:00

Contact: Gareth Goldsmith, gareth.goldsmith@ep.europa.eu, +32 476 668 050

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