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ECR

Week Ahead 5 - 9 July 2021

2 July 2021

Week Ahead 5 - 9 July 2021

Presentation of the programme of the activities of the Slovenian Presidency; Old continent growing older - possibilities and challenges related to ageing policy post-2020; Establishing the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund; Guidelines for the application of the general regime of conditionality for the protection of the Union budget; Citizens’ dialogues and Citizens’ participation in the EU decision-making; European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund; Visa Information System; The impact on the fishing sector of offshore windfarms and other renewable energy systems

Presentation of the programme of the activities of the Slovenian Presidency

On Tuesday, the Slovenian Presidency will present its work programme for the second half of 2021. The ECR Group will express its will for the best possible cooperation. For the Conservatives in the European Parliament, the COVID-19 pandemic is a reminder that better coordination is a principle that should be guiding everyone. The ECR Group will also express its hope that the Slovenian presidency will take note of the Conservative view on the Future of Europe: The ECR Group believes that the European Union has become too big, too centralised, and too out of touch with ordinary citizens. The European Union should do less and do it better. There is a possible middle way between the extremes of more Europe and no Europe.

Debate: Tuesday @ 9:00

Old continent growing older - possibilities and challenges related to ageing policy post-2020

On Monday, the European Parliament will debate on ECR’s Beata Szydło’s own initiative report “Old continent growing older - possibilities and challenges related to ageing policy post-2020.” The report, to be voted on Wednesday, focuses on the issue of the progressive ageing of European society and the numerous consequences of this phenomenon. The decreasing proportion of working-age citizens makes it more important than ever to create opportunities for older people in the labour market, for example, by continuing to combat discrimination in the labour
market and fighting digital exclusion and offering learning and training opportunities. The report also highlights the need for adequate health care and long-term care for older people, which have been further highlighted in the context of the pandemic. Also emphasised is how important solidarity and intergenerational exchange are in the context of private and professional life and, crucially, how we must adapt public spaces to the needs of older people. However, Ms Szydło emphasised that the report should stay focused on the needs of older persons. Therefore, some left-wing amendments that made it in the final draft are beyond the scope.

Debate: Monday @ 18:00

Vote: Wednesday @ 13:00

Establishing the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund

On Tuesday, the European Parliament will debate on the renewed Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF), followed by a vote on Wednesday. The amount of €9.882 billion in current prices will cover the common asylum policy, develop legal migration in line with Member States’ economic and social needs, and combat illegal migration. The ECR group welcomes the fact that its actions are also intended to ensure a safe and dignified return, readmission and reintegration in the non-Member State of origin.

Debate: Tuesday @ 20:30

Vote: Wednesday @ 19:30

Guidelines for the application of the general regime of conditionality for the protection of the Union budget

On Tuesday, MEPs will debate on the creation of guidelines for the application of the general regime of conditionality for the protection of the Union budget, followed by a vote on Wednesday. According to decisions made in December 2020, the Commission should issue guidance on the correct interpretation of the conditionality mechanism. However, this is a complex matter. The Commission has therefore requested more time. The ECR cannot support the draft that urges the Commission to skip the procedure because it considers this demand a violation of the treaties.

Debate: Tuesday @ 11:00

Vote: Wednesday @ 19:30

Citizens’ dialogues and Citizens’ participation in the EU decision-making

On Monday, the European Parliament will debate on the own initiative report on “Citizens’ dialogues and Citizens’ participation in the EU decision-making”, followed by a vote on Wednesday. The draft looks at ways to give citizens a greater voice in EU decision-making. It suggests developing permanent participatory mechanisms to allow for citizens’ regular and impactful participation in the decision-making process. The ECR Group points out that the EU is based on representative democracy. Consulting citizens and their participation can be useful, but it is impossible to reach truly representative citizens. Rather than questioning random citizens and civil society, it is up to elected politicians to take responsibility. The most problematic provisions are the multiple suggestions to establish new permanent mechanisms for citizens’ participation with possible legislative influence, with proposals such as transnational European Citizens Agoras and the creation of an unclear standard for open government.

Debate: Monday @ 19:00

Vote: Wednesday @ 13:00

European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund

On Monday, the European Parliament will debate on the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund, followed by a vote on Tuesday. The report aims to simplify the delivery of the fund compared to the very complex legal framework in use for the current European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). The ECR Group is in favour of this report which highlights that member states will need to consider the specific needs of small-scale coastal fishing, including simplifying administrative requirements.

Debate: Monday @ 17:00

Vote: Tuesday @ 13:00

Visa Information System

On Tuesday, the European Parliament will debate on an upgrade of the Visa Information System (VIS), followed by a vote on Wednesday. The ECR Group favours extending the use of the VIS database from short-stay visas to long-stay visas and residence permits. The new system will also make VIS interoperable with other EU databases such as the Schengen Information System.

Debate: Tuesday @ 20:30

Vote: Wednesday @ 13:00

The impact on the fishing sector of offshore windfarms and other renewable energy systems

Offshore wind farms are expanding significantly in the EU seas, impacting fisheries, nature and biodiversity. An own initiative report, to be debated on Monday and voted on Wednesday, mentions clearly the negative consequences of the windmills and recommends giving fishers a voice in plans for new offshore windmill farms. ECR Shadow rapporteur Bert-Jan Ruissen supports this view. “Member States should take into account the impact of offshore renewable energy on the marine ecosystem and fisheries when determining their energy mix.”

Debate: Monday @ 20:00

Vote: Tuesday @ 19:30

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