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Weekly overview

Our weekly overviews - Brussels agenda and Strasbourg Flash - give you a concise idea of the priorities and the highlights for the Greens during the parliamentary weeks. The weekly overview covers both the EP committees and plenary debates and votes but also focuses on hot topics in the other EU institutions. Furthermore, it provides you with a list of Greens/EFA activities which range from press conferences to public conferences.

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Strasbourg Flash

Weekly preview of the Greens/EFA group –12-15 September 2016



EU priorities (full text below):
- Car emissions scandal (Committee Mon. & Thurs., Parliament Tues.)
- Work-life balance (Parliament, Mon.)
- New UK Commissioner faces LIBE hearing (Committee, Mon.)
- Rule of law in Poland (Parliament, Tues.)
- Situation in Turkey (Parliament, Tues.)
- State of the Union (Parliament, Weds.)
- Social dumping in the EU (Parliament, Weds.)
- Asylum - additional measures for Italy and Greece (Parliament, Weds.)
- Apple tax ruling (Parliament, Weds.)
- Informal EU Council on security (Bratislava, Fri.)

Greens/EFA events:
- Press briefing with Greens/EFA co-presidents Rebecca Harms and Philippe Lamberts (Tues.)


Dieselgate emissions scandal - hearings continue as plenary debates interim report
Mon. 12 and Thurs. 15 September - Committee, EP debate Tuesday

On Monday, the EMIS committee will hear from Commissioners Bieńkowska (Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs) and Vella (Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries) as part of their continued effort to establish the level of Commission responsibility in the Dieselgate scandal. Hearings continue on Thursday with representatives of Bosch, the company allegedly responsible for writing the ‘defeat device’ software. On Tuesday, the parliament will debate the committee's interim report. Green MEPs are demanding greater support from the Commission in providing access to documents relevant to the inquiry and will press Commissioner Bieńkowska on how the Commission will ensure Member States fulfil their responsibilities. All the latest developments and reaction can be found on our dedicated Dieselgate campaign site.

Work-life balance
Mon. 12 September - EP debate

MEPs will debate a report on Creating Labour Market Conditions Favourable for Work-Life Balance. Greens/EFA MEP Tatjana Ždanoka was co-rapporteur, and the aim of the report is to feed into the Commission's upcoming work-life balance legislative package. The EU and its Member States need to adapt work-life balance policies to today’s reality by promoting gender equality in employment and other spheres of life, but also by taking into account the needs of an increasingly diverse society. This requires a better sharing of paid work and caring responsibilities between men and women as well as society as a whole.

New UK Commissioner faces LIBE hearing
Mon. 12 September - Committee

Julian King, the British Commissioner-designate, will face questions from the LIBE committee. The hearing forms part of the parliamentary consultation process before he takes up his role as Security Commissioner.

Rule of law in Poland
Tues. 13 September - Council and Commission statements

The Greens/EFA group has co-signed a joint resolution on the recent developments in Poland with the main political groupings. Alongside media freedom and the rule of law, women's rights remain a critical concern. Poland has until 27 October to implement the recommendations previously laid out by the Commission. See latest press release.

Situation in Turkey
Tues. 13 September - EP debate

The attempted coup against the democratically elected government of Turkey was of great concern and we have criticised it publicly.  However, we are equally concerned about the growing number of police actions against various parts of the Turkish society, including independent journalists, judges and academics. See latest press release.

State of the Union
Weds. 14 September - EP debate

The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, will make his second annual address to the European Parliament. The address will be followed by a plenary debate. Group co-president Rebecca Harms will respond on behalf of the Greens/EFA.

Social dumping in the EU
Weds. 14 September - EP debate

Social dumping - the term used to refer to a range of abusive practices and circumvention of existing labour and social legislation - results in the exploitation of workers and the violation of their rights. The Commission and Member States need to step up their efforts to ensure the proper implementation of European and national legislation and improve the effectiveness of controls, including by a better exchange of information and by improving cooperation between national labour and social control bodies in cross border situations.

Asylum - additional measures for Italy and Greece
Weds. 14 September - EP vote

MEPs will vote on a report from Greens/EFA MEP Ska Keller. Last year, the Council agreed to relocate 160,000 refugees from Greece and Italy to other Member States. The Commission is now proposing that 54,000 of those relocation places be instead sacrificed in favour of resettlements under the EU-Turkey deal. It is crucial that the EU increases the safe and regular channels for refugees to come to Europe. At the same time, with Greece and Italy still under considerable strain, this must not come at the expense of existing relocation commitments. Member States must fulfil their commitments and make available at least one third of the total 160,000 relocation places by the end of the year. The relocation programme must also include Afghan nationals, who would not currently be eligible under the current proposals. See latest press release.

Apple State Aid decision
Weds 14 September - EP debate

Following the recent announcement on the Apple State Aid case, MEPs will debate - in the presence of Commissioner Vestager - the impact of the Apple decision and the steps that now need to be taken. Questions around the appeal by Ireland and Apple, new state aid guidelines and the need for further EU corporate tax reforms are expected. See latest press release.

Informal Council meeting to discuss security
Fri. 16 September

There is an informal meeting of the European Council on Friday in Bratislava. On the agenda will be a paper on security from Bernard Cazeneuve and Thomas de Maizière, the French and German Interior Ministers.


Co-presidents press briefing
Tues. 13 September – 10.30-10.50, EP press room LOW N -1/201

Press briefing with Greens/EFA co-presidents Rebecca Harms and Philippe Lamberts on the key issues of the plenary session for the Greens/EFA group. The briefing will be livestreamed at: www.greens-efa.eu/press/722-press-briefing