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ECR

Week Ahead: 18 - 22 October 2021

15 October 2021

Week Ahead: 18 - 22 October 2021

The Primacy of EU law; EU-Taiwan political relations and cooperation; Preparation of the European Council meeting of 21-22 October 2021; Farm to Fork Strategy; Pandora Papers; Europe’s Media in the Digital Decade; 2019 Discharge: European Border and Coast Guard Agency

The Primacy of EU law

On Tuesday, the Prime Minister of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki, whose party (PiS) is represented in the ECR Group, will attend the plenary. Following his request to the European Parliament, he has been invited to present his government’s position on the recent ruling of the Polish Constitutional Tribunal, which concerned the constitutionality of certain provisions of the Treaties of the European Union. As Co-Chairman of the ECR Group, Ryszard Legutko has emphasised that the Polish Constitutional Tribunal did not hold that the EU Treaty provisions themselves are unconstitutional. The judgment merely indicates that certain provisions of the EU Treaties are not consistent with the provisions of the Polish Constitution when they are broadly interpreted and go beyond the competences that are explicitly indicated in the Treaties. The debate will be followed by a resolution to be voted on Thursday. The ECR Group plans to table its own text, in which the legal situation in Poland will be explained. For example, it will note that the judgment delivered by the Constitutional Tribunal does not affect any areas in which the European Union has competence explicitly and literally conferred by the EU Treaties. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is also expected to take part in the debate.

Debate: Tuesday @ 9:00
Votes: Thursday @ 9:45 & @ 13:45

EU-Taiwan political relations and cooperation

On Tuesday, Members will debate a crucial own initiative report that aims to open a new chapter in EU relations with Taiwan. Votes will follow the debate on Tuesday and Wednesday. According to ECR Rapporteur Charlie Weimers, the text sends a strong signal that the EU is increasingly ready to upgrade its relationship with Taiwan. “Given that Taiwan is an important and like-minded partner in the Indo-Pacific region, it is instrumental for the EU to increase and strengthen cooperation and engagement with Taiwan, including at the highest levels”, Mr Weimers said.
The report recommends that the High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy and the Commission work closely with the member states to intensify EU-Taiwan political, economic and scientific relations and to pursue a comprehensive and enhanced partnership under the guidance of the EU’s One China Policy. The report calls for an urgent impact assessment, public consultation and scoping exercise on a Bilateral Investment Agreement (BIA). The text also expresses grave concerns about China’s continued military belligerence towards Taiwan. The ECR Group considers Taiwan a key partner and an important democratic ally in the Indo-Pacific. Given the country’s valuable contributions to the international community concerning many challenges of our time, Mr Weimers strongly advocates for Taiwan’s meaningful participation as an observer in meetings, mechanisms and activities of international bodies, including the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

Debate: Tuesday @ 18:00
Votes: Tuesday @ 20:00 & Wednesday @ 20:00

Preparation of the European Council meeting of 21-22 October 2021

On Wednesday, the European Parliament will debate the next Council meeting. The ECR Group will demand firm decisions and actions by the Council to protect the EU’s external border, expressing concerns on the lack of genuine progress on migration, especially regarding the EU’s eastern border and the Mediterranean. Additionally, the ECR Group will highlight the current energy crises and high energy prices. The ECR Group is cautious about the unrealistic programme to reduce emissions and increase our dependency on other energy sources without any substantive knowledge on their effectiveness. More specifically, the ECR Group considers nuclear power as a key long-term solution to reducing emissions while ensuring a stable and affordable energy supply.

Debate: Wednesday @ 9:00

Farm to Fork Strategy

On Monday, Members will discuss the Farm to Fork Strategy, followed by votes on Tuesday. This report aims to transform the EU agri-food sector according to the postulates of the European Green Deal. The ECR Group highlights the need for science-based and realistic targets, accompanied by a detailed impact study. The EU must ensure that the new measures contained in the strategy do not imply new bureaucracy. For the ECR, it is important to avoid a further increase in production costs and a fall in the competitiveness of European agriculture. Overall, the ECR Group believes that the report lacks the ambition to provide farmers with solutions and a clear vision for the future.

Debate: Monday @ 17:00
Votes: Tuesday @ 13:00 & @ 20:00

Pandora Papers: implications on the efforts to combat money laundering, tax evasion and avoidance

On Thursday, Members of the European Parliament will vote on the resolution about the Pandora Papers, following a debate during the previous plenary session. ECR coordinator Johan Van Overtveldt believes that it is not the procedures on tax matters that harm ordinary citizens but the legislation that provides far too much room for interpretation. The EU and its member states must make sure legislation is well written. Secondly, implementation and enforcement of existing legislation on tax fraud should be a priority. Moreover, the ECR Group believes that new legislation should be workable in practice and future-proof. Finally, the EU should properly enforce its blacklist of tax havens. Transparency and administrative cooperation are key in the fight against harmful tax practices. The debate was already held on 6 October 2021.

Votes: Thursday @ 9:45 & @ 13:45

Europe’s Media in the Digital Decade

On Monday, the own initiative report of ECR rapporteur Dace Melbārde on Europe’s media sector will be presented, followed by votes on Tuesday. According to Ms Melbārde, a pluralistic, independent, and well-funded news media sector is critical to the smooth functioning of our democracies and societies. Furthermore, a competitive and resilient European audiovisual sector helps promote European cultural and linguistic diversity. The ECR Group believes a holistic approach is needed, covering legislative and policy actions combined with financial support mechanisms, with special attention to local and regional media and news media operating in smaller markets.

Presentation of the report: Monday @ 21:00
Votes: Tuesday @ 13:00 & @ 20:00

2019 Discharge: European Border and Coast Guard Agency

On Thursday, the European Parliament will debate and vote on ECR MEP Ryszard Czarnecki’s report on the discharge in respect to the implementation of the budget of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency for the 2019 financial year. Mr Czarnecki welcomes the fact that since the last critical Court of Auditors’ report, FRONTEX has completed and currently implements activities to ensure transparency, preventing and managing conflicts of interest and protecting whistle-blowers.

Debate: Thursday @ 8:30
Votes: Thursday @ 9:45 & @ 13:45

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