Brussels letter, week beginning Nov. 28
Turkey's Minister for EU Affairs Omer Celik will make an official visit to Brussels this week. The minister is expected to meet with Frans Timmermans, the first vice-president of the Commission, Dimitris Avramopoulos, commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship and Julian King, commissioner for Security of the Union.
EU's Competitiveness Council will gather in Brussels on Monday and Tuesday when they will strive to reach an agreement on new rules to boost e-commerce by ending discrimination based on the customer's residence or nationality when gaining access to online products and services. Additinally, the new space strategy will be featured on the Council's agenda for discussion. The Council is due to commit to measures aimed at helping young researchers and in promoting scientific careers.
The Foreign Affairs Council will meet in Brussels on Monday. Ministers are expected to discuss the revision of the EU development policy, based on a Commission communication to be presented before the meeting. They are also expect to discuss future relations between the EU and African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, in view of the expiry of the Cotonou agreement in 2020. The Council will also address migration and development and ministers will exchange views on the state of play in ongoing initiatives.
A proposal to cap wholesale roaming charges, i.e. what operators charge each other for using their networks, is up for a vote in the Industry Committee on Tuesday. Wholesale prices will have an impact on the end of roaming charges for users scheduled for June 15, 2017.
Transport, Telecommunications and the Energy Council will meet in Brussels on Thursday and Friday. Transport will be the subject on the agenda on Thursday. The Council aims to adopt a proposal on the revised safety rules for civil aviation and a revised mandate for the European Aviation Safety Agency. The ministers are also expected to agree on a general approach on two proposals to improve the safety of passenger ships and simplify the rules relating to them.
Telecommunications will be discussed on Friday. The ministers are expected to agree on a general approach on a proposal on regulating wholesale roaming markets in the EU. The rules must be in place by June 15, 2017 to abolish roaming fees by that date as agreed in regulations last year.
The European Parliament will take its final vote on the EU budget for 2017, following the Nov. 17 agreement with national governments on Thursday.
MEPs will vote on new rules to protect people’s privacy when personal data is transferred between the EU and the U.S. for law enforcement purposes. The so-called Umbrella Agreement will cover transfers of all personal data for the prosecution of criminal offenses, including terrorism on Thursday.
Tunisia’s President Beji Caid Essebsi will address the plenary in a formal sitting on Thursday.
Customers buying online content such as movies, music, books and TV shows, will be able to use these services even when temporarily in another EU member state, under a draft law to be voted by the Legal Affairs Committee on Tuesday.
An extraordinary Conference of Presidents (EP President and political groups’ leaders) will meet the European Commission’s negotiator in talks with the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier on Wednesday.