By Ata Ufuk ┼×eker
Brussels letter, March 13

EU Algeria Association Council 

EU Algeria Association Council will meet in Brussels on Monday with the participation of High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, and the Algerian Minister of State and Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ramtane Lamamra, to discuss the regional situation in Libya, Mali and the Sahel. Three EU financing agreements will be signed at the Association Council covering a program of support for the development of renewable energy and the promotion of energy efficiency, a public finance reform program and a program to support the implementation of the Association Agreement worth a total of €40 million.

 European Parliaments Plenary session and committee meetings in Strasbourg this week

- Future of EU

MEPs will take stock of the outcome of the March 9-10 European Council, and discuss the “Rome declaration” marking the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, with Council President Donald Tusk, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Malta’s Deputy Prime Minister Louis Grech and Italy’s Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, on Wednesday morning.

- Conflict minerals

A draft EU regulation to stop the financing of armed groups and human rights abuses through trade in minerals from conflict areas will be put to a vote on Thursday. The new law will oblige all but the smallest EU importers of tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold to monitor their sources and do "due diligence" checks on their suppliers.

- Waste reduction

The share of waste to be recycled should rise to 70 percent by 2030, from the current 44 percent, according to the amended “waste package” proposal to be voted on Wednesday. MEPs also want to limit the share of landfill to 5 percent and to deliver a 50 percent reduction in food waste by 2030. Parliament will determine its first reading position before starting negotiations with the Council.

 - Firearms

Parliament will debate and vote on a revised EU gun law on Tuesday, aimed at closing security loopholes while addressing the concerns of legitimate users. The new rules tighten controls on blank firing and inadequately deactivated weapons and require EU countries to have a monitoring system in place for the issuance or renewal of licenses.

- From farm to fork

Plans to tighten up official food inspections, from farm to fork, will be discussed on Tuesday and put to a vote on Wednesday. The legislation, already informally agreed by MEPs and the Council, aims to improve food traceability, combat fraud and restore consumer trust in the integrity of the food chain.

 Last week

A lobbying event for the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) at the European Parliament has been cancelled as a result of Turkish diplomatic pushback.

European Council President Donald Tusk was reelected for another two-and-a-half-year term despite objections from his home country Poland. Tusk secured 27 votes out of 28 EU countries. Tusk’s home country Poland was the only one to vote against him.

The European Union announced that it would host an aid conference on April 5 to address the impact of the crisis in war-battered Syria. The conference will bring together ministerial representatives from 70 delegations, including from the EU and the region but also the wider international community, the United Nations, major donors and civil society, humanitarian and development organizations, according to a statement.

The European Commission has fined Behr, Calsonic, Denso, Panasonic, Sanden and Valeo a total of €155 million for taking part in one or more of four cartels concerning supplies of air conditioning and engine cooling components to car manufacturers in Europe.

13 Mar,2017