Recognising the Russian Federation as a state sponsor of terrorism; The need for a European solution on asylum and migration, including search and rescue; 70th anniversary of the European Parliament; EU financial assistance to Ukraine; Non-recognition of Russian travel documents issued in occupied foreign regions; The Situation of human rights in the context of the upcoming FIFA world cup in Qatar; EU-China Relations; EU response to the increasing crack-down on protests in Iran; The continuing repression of the democratic opposition and civil society in Belarus; Prevention, management and better care of diabetes in the EU; System of own resources of the European Union; Borrowing strategy to finance NextGenerationEU; Free Access to fishing waters; Online event: Hong Kong and beyond. The Chinese Communist party and the disintegration of the international order; French-Italian Debate: Solidarity, responsibility and protection of borders. Beyond the bilateral controversies, a European approach towards migration; ECR Migration policy group: Securing the EU’s external borders.
Recognising the Russian Federation as a state sponsor of terrorism
On the initiative of the ECR Group, the European Parliament will vote on a resolution to classify Russia as a terrorist state and a state sponsor of terrorism on Wednesday. As terror is an integral part of Russia’s war strategy, the Group believes that it is overdue to declare Russia a sponsor of terrorism. It is time to abandon the illusion that it is still possible to negotiate with Putin or convince him to end the conflict. The debate took place on 18 October at the request of ECR MEP Charlie Weimers.
Vote: Wednesday @ 12:00
The need for a European solution on asylum and migration, including search and rescue
The key debate, taking place on Wednesday morning, sees MEPs discuss the need for a European solution to the asylum and migration problem and was triggered by a recent event that saw migrants picked up in international waters by rescue vessels of humanitarian organisations and brought to the Italian coast. For the ECR Group, it is obvious that the Dublin Regulation is not working and that we need better management of migration flows and borders, in addition to a common commitment to protecting the EU’s external borders. In the specific case of migration across the Mediterranean, we need clear regulation of private vessels bringing immigrants to European shores.
Debate: Wednesday @ 9:00
70th anniversary of the European Parliament
To mark the 70th birthday of the European Parliament, the plenary chamber will hold a ceremony on Tuesday. According to the ECR Group, the European Parliament is a place where representatives of different national cultures and traditions come together under the motto “united in diversity”. Therefore, the Parliament should play an important role in promoting the pluralism and diversity of the EU. It must also reflect the political pluralism of EU citizens. For the future, the ECR Group calls for a renewed involvement of national parliaments in EU policy-making. Furthermore, the ability to scrutinise legal acts for their compliance with the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality should be strengthened.
Ceremony: Tuesday @ 11:30
EU financial assistance to Ukraine
On Wednesday, the plenary will vote on a package of three files to give reliable financial aid to Ukraine. The package includes amending the multiannual financial framework 2021-2027, establishing a diversified funding strategy and the Macro-Financial Assistance+ Instrument (MFA+). The ECR Group welcomes the package as it will structurally support Ukraine, offering a predictable flow of funding as well as flexibility to adjust it to evolving needs. It will also prepare the ground for future reconstruction efforts. The financial assistance is a signal that we are all united in our commitment to go the distance in helping Ukraine. The ECR Group will stand ready to further support and explore additional ways in which to help Ukraine if need be. As the item has yet to be formally added to the agenda, the timing of the vote has not yet been determined. It is likely, but not certain, that it will take place on Thursday.
Debate: Wednesday @ 14:00
Vote: presumably Thursday @ 12:00
Non-recognition of Russian travel documents issued in occupied foreign regions
On Thursday, the European Parliament will vote on the Commission proposal on the non-recognition of Russian travel documents in response to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. The ECR Group believes that passports issued in occupied regions should not be considered appropriate travel documents and that holders of such documents should not be able to obtain a visa. According to the ECR Group, the EU should send a strong political signal in response to Russia’s recent pseudo-referendums and annexations in Ukraine. It is important that the lists of documents affected be created with the participation of Member States, and that this is included in the agreement between the institutions.
Vote: Thursday @ 12:00
The Situation of human rights in the context of the upcoming FIFA world cup in Qatar
On Monday, the European Parliament will debate legitimate concerns over the human rights situation in FIFA World Cup host country Qatar. The ECR Group recognises Qatar’s important role as an energy supplier to the EU, especially in the wake of Russia’s war against Ukraine. However, the Conservatives and Reformists strongly condemn the Kafala System in Qatar and call on the authorities to ensure that migrant workers’ rights are respected. We urge for independent and credible investigations into the deaths and injuries that took place during the building of the World Cup infrastructure and for those responsible to be held to account. We call on the country to respect the human rights of all living or visiting the State, including the freedom of religion. We furthermore express reservations about Qatar’s lavish funding of the Muslim Brotherhood, particularly in Europe.
Debate: Monday @ 19:00
On Tuesday afternoon, the plenary will debate the statement on EU-China Relations by Josep Borell, Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. In the opinion of the ECR Group, the recent 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) further concentrated and consolidated the power of Xi Jinping and the CCP over the People’s Republic of China. The Chinese Communist government will probably remain a threat to human rights as well as peace and stability of the international rules based order and has no intention of moderating its belligerent policies at home or abroad. The CCP has committed large scale human rights abuses in Xinjiang and other Chinese regions, violated international agreements on Hong Kong’s autonomy and provided tacit support to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. The ECR group stands by the Uyghurs, Tibetans, Hong Kongers and all other Chinese people who have suffered from the CCP’s oppressive policies. The ECR Group is concerned at the increased military threats against Taiwan and calls on the EU and its Member States to enhance cooperation with Taiwan.
Debate: Tuesday @ 17:00
EU response to the increasing crack-down on protests in Iran
On Tuesday, MEPs will debate the EU’s response to the increasing crackdown on protests in Iran. The ECR Group has expressed its solidarity with the Iranian people protesting for a free and democratic country and against the mandatory veiling for women, and has called for the immediate and unconditional release of all those arrested. We urge the EU to swiftly adopt tough sanctions on the Islamic Republic’s regime, its elite, and persons responsible and involved in the suppression and violent crackdown on pro-democracy activities in the country. Following the sanctioning of three ECR MEPs (Charlie Weimers, Jan Zahradil, and Hermann Tertsch), among other European officials, by the Iranian regime on 26 October 2022, the ECR Group called for further measures at the European Parliament level. These could include blocking the entry of Iranian officials to the European Parliament; cancelling the AFET mission to Iran and preventing its reassessment for the second half of 2023; and, given Iran’s history of support for terrorism, considering a security protocol for the sanctioned MEPs. The European Parliament should also take this opportunity to remember the names of those Iranians who have been unlawfully executed by the brutal regime, like Navid Afkari and Ruhollah Zam, in addition to those who are currently still languishing in prison and facing imminent execution, such as Swedish national Ahmedreza Djalali. It is imperative that he immediately and unconditionally be freed and reunited with his family.
Debate: Tuesday @ 18:00
The continuing repression of the democratic opposition and civil society in Belarus
On Wednesday, MEPs will debate what to do about the continuing repression of the democratic opposition and civil society in Belarus, including the increasing persecution of the Union of Poles. For the ECR Group, it is clear that Belarus must be liberated from Russia’s post-Soviet sphere of influence to establish a functioning democracy in the country. Dictator Lukashenka, the illegitimate president and an accomplice of Vladimir Putin, must be stopped from supporting Russia in its war of aggression against Ukraine and oppressing his own people. The debate will be followed by a vote on Thursday.
Debate: Wednesday @ 20:00
Vote: Thursday @ 12:00
Prevention, management and better care of diabetes in the EU
On Monday, MEPs will debate a motion that has been prepared to mark this year’s World Diabetes Day, which takes place on 14 November. Diabetes affects almost 10 per cent of the total EU population; while an additional 32 million EU citizens have a very high probability of progressing from impaired glucose intolerance to clinically manifest diabetes. In late 2021, the Commission launched its “Healthier together—EU non-communicable diseases initiative”, which identifies diabetes as one of five priority strands, as part of a wider strategy to help EU countries identify and implement effective policies and actions to reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases, and improve citizens’ health and well-being. The ECR Group welcomes the approach that could improve cooperation and spread best practice between countries in terms of primary prevention, research, early diagnosis, as well as the management, coordination and monitoring of diabetes. The debate will be followed by a vote on Wednesday.
Debate: Monday @ 17:00
Vote: Wednesday @ 12:00
System of own resources of the European Union
On Tuesday afternoon, the European Parliament will hold a debate on the system of own resources of the European Parliament, with a vote following on Wednesday. On 16 December 2020, the European Parliament, Council and Commission committed to cooperating and working towards the implementation of a roadmap for the introduction of new own resources. The negotiations resulted in the Commission’s proposal of a first batch of new own resources, consisting of own resources based on the Emissions Trading System (ETS), a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism own resource, and an OECD/G20 ‘Pillar One’-based own resource to replace the digital levy in the interinstitutional agreement roadmap. ECR shadow rapporteur Roberts Zīle emphasises that the role of Parliament in the budgetary context remains and should remain limited, while the ECR Group is strictly and in particular against the introduction of the ETS in the new own resources basket. The vote will be held on Wednesday.
Debate: Tuesday @ 13:30
Vote: Wednesday @ 12:00
Borrowing strategy to finance NextGenerationEU
On Monday, MEPs will debate the borrowing strategy to finance NextGenerationEU. To raise funds for the programme, the Commission will have to borrow around €800 billion on capital markets by late 2026, with the majority being attributed to the Recovery and Resilience Facility. ECR shadow rapporteur Roberts Zīle stresses that the general desire to solve the EU’s problems through common borrowing, as can be observed in the proposed report, is irrational, as it is already linked to an unforeseen crisis in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although borrowing may seem to be the easiest way, firstly, the report’s future financing targets are questionable and arbitrarily chosen. Secondly, before talking about a borrowing strategy, it is much more important to ensure that the amount already borrowed is readily accessible to Member States to address the strategic risks, including in the field of energy, that the EU still faces. The vote will follow on Tuesday.
Debate: Monday @ 17:00
Vote: Tuesday @ 12:30
Free Access to fishing waters
On Tuesday, the European Parliament will vote on an EU-agreement that ensures the continuation of free access for fishing vessels in EU waters. The agreement overturns a vote in the European Parliament Fisheries Committee. At the request of Green and French MEPs, the committee this summer had voted to ban vessels from the Netherlands and Belgium using so called fly-shoot fishing in the Channel. This technique is quite common and the proposed French ban would be contrary to the spirit of European cooperation, says ECR shadow rapporteur MEP Bert-Jan Ruissen.
Vote: Tuesday @ 12:30
Online event: Hong Kong and beyond. The Chinese Communist party and the disintegration of the international order
On Friday, ECR Coordinator for Foreign Affairs Anna Fotyga will host a conference in Gdańsk entitled “Hong Kong and Beyond. The Chinese Communist Party and the Disintegration of the International Order”. Speakers from the U.K., the U.S., Poland, and Hong Kong will raise the issue of the Chinese Communist Party’s aggressive policies towards Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Tibet, also addressing challenges and threats posed to the international order, as well as grave human rights abuses.
Panellists include Benedict Rogers, human rights activist and journalist, Co-founder and chief executive of Hong Kong Watch, senior analyst for East Asia at Christian Solidarity Worldwide and author of the book The China Nexus: Thirty Years In and Around the Chinese Communist Party’s Tyranny; Ray Wong, Pro-democracy activist and Hongkonger in exile, adviser to Hong Kong Watch and Co-founder of the First Diasporic Hong Kongers Magazine; Anouk Wear, research and policy advisor at Hong Kong Watch; Piotr Bernardyn, journalist and author of the book Hongkong, Powiedz, ze kochasz Chiny; Hanna Shen, journalist and Polish media correspondent in Asia living in Taiwan; and Jack Herndon, program manager at the International Republican Institute. The conference will be streamed live from the ECR Group’s YouTube channel.
When: Friday @ 13:00 – 14:30
Registration for the conference is available here.
You can watch the event live here.
French-Italian Debate: Solidarity, responsibility and protection of borders. Beyond the bilateral controversies, a European approach towards migration
On Wednesday, ECR MEP Carlo Fidanza (Italy) will host a meeting on migration and the protection of borders. The recent cases of humanitarian organisation ships transporting migrants to the Italian coast have reignited the need for a European asylum and migration solution. According to international law, the flag states of these ships should be held accountable for the actions of NGOs, but we are seeing an outright refusal by these states to accept these responsibilities. Panellists include ECR MEP Vincenzo Sofo (Italy) and EPP MEP Francois-Xavier Bellamy (France). The meeting will be moderated by Leonardo Panetta, journalist at Mediaset (Italy).
When: Wednesday @ 14:00
Where: WEISS N1.3
ECR Migration policy group: Securing the EU’s external borders
On Wednesday, ECR MEPs Kosma Złotowski, Charlie Weimers, and Jorge Buxadé will host his excellency Ioannis Vrailas, Ambassador of Greece to the European Union, during the ECR Migration Policy Group meeting. The exchange of views will address Turkey’s continued undermining of the security of the EU’s external borders through threats of hybrid warfare. Activist NGOs are also actively trying to undermine the different agencies in charge of border security to render them ineffective. Greece, a frontline country in the EU’s external border crisis, has a great deal of insight and knowledge to share on how to deal with border security matters.
When: Wednesday @ 16:00 – 17:00
Where: WEISS N1.3
You can follow the event online here
20 January 2023
16 January 2023
13 January 2023