This week in the European Parliament, ECR MEPs put forward plan to support interoperable defence technology, vote on terrorism report, debate Brexit, and much more.
|Boosting industrial cooperation in European defence sector
Plans to create a new €13 billion European Defence Fund to provide financing to help Member States better pool military procurement resources and finance cross-border investment in interoperable defence technology will be voted by MEPs next week. ECR Polish MEP Zdzisław Krasnodębski is parliament’s rapporteur on the proposals that will finance competitive and collaborative research projects as well as complementing Member States’ investment through the co-financing of prototype development and the subsequent certification and testing requirements.
MEP’s to vote on Terrorism report
ECR MEP Helga Stevens’ final report from the Special Committee on Terrorism is set to be voted by the parliament on Wednesday. Her recommendations call for better support for terror victims, a European blacklist for hate preachers and the creation of a European ‘decryption hub’ within Europol charged with deciphering encrypted messages and thus potentially providing crucial information to the authorities.
On Tuesday morning MEPs will a hold a debate in advance of the European Council meeting later in the week where leaders are expected to discuss the EU’s next long-term budget, the single market, migration and external relations. The first item on Wednesday will be a debate following the vote in Westminster on the UK-EU withdrawal agreement.
Parliament will vote on its response to the European Commission’s communication on the Single Market. Flemish ECR MEP Anneleen Van Bossuyt argues that completion of the Single Market is too often simply a soundbite, not a political priority, and wants the Commission to take action against obstructive national rules. She is particularly concerned about Member States which seek to turn their domestic regulations into EU-wide standards, saying this is protectionism by another name.
Parliament will continue its series of debates with EU leaders on the Future of Europe with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades. During the debate our MEPs will lead calls for an EU that does less but does it better and that moves away from a federalised model towards focussing on key common challenges such as internal security, migration and the single market.
Horizon Europe, the EU’s research and innovation programme under the next MFF, will be up for debate and vote on Tuesday and Wednesday. ECR Czech MEP Evžen Tošenovský has followed the draft programme for the group and hopes it will maintain its competitive and international outlook while doing more to encourage participation from organisations based in Central and Eastern Europe who are traditionally underrepresented as beneficiaries.
Following the compromise finally reached between the Parliament and Council on the 2019 budget last Tuesday (4th December), MEPs will now debate and vote the agreement in Strasbourg. ECR Budget Spokesman Bernd Kolmel has continued to make the case that the EU budget should be targeted towards areas of clear ‘European added value’ and focus on future challenges, as well as calling for a thorough review of all administrative expenditure in order to identify possible efficiencies.
On Tuesday morning the European Court of Justice (ECJ) will give its judgement on the legality of government bonds purchases worth billions of Euros by the European Central Bank (ECB). The plaintiffs are ECR Group German MEPs Bernd Lucke, Hans-Olaf Henkel, Joachim Starbatty, Bernd Koelmel and Ulrike Trebesius as well as their attorney of record, Prof. Dr. Hans-Detlef Horn. They hope that the ECJ will overrule the Advocate General who in October found no breach of EU financing rules.
ECR Members led by Syed Kamall will endorse the EU’s trade agreement with Japan. The deal, known as the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, is set to liberalise trade in goods and services as well as market access on public procurement, including the currently highly protected railway sector. The deal is expected to increase the EU’s GDP by 0.14 % and total exports to Japan by EUR 13 billion annually by 2035.