Brussels Letter for week beginning May 30
EU member countries’ agriculture ministers will gather in Amsterdam on Monday and Tuesday to discuss the future of the EU’s common agricultural policy (CAP).
-European Coast Guard
The European Parliament will discuss plans to create a European Border and Coast Guard Agency, bringing together the EU’s Frontex border agency and national border authorities. The proposal will be put to a vote in the Civil Liberties Committee. The new agency’s mandate will empower it to intervene at EU external frontiers where urgent action is required, even if EU countries concerned have not asked for help.
-Standard EU travel document
Plans to introduce a standard EU travel document for non-EU nationals who are staying in the EU without proper papers and who are to be expelled from a member state to their country of origin, will also be voted in the Civil Liberties Committee. The aim is to speed up the return process. Separately, the Committee will debate amendments to a proposal on safe countries of origin.
-Criminal record exchange
Civil liberties MEPs will vote on whether to expand the existing system for sharing criminal records among the 28 national judicial authorities to include non-EU nationals. This would update the European Criminal Records Information system (ECRIS) to enable national judges to check non-EU nationals’ criminal records anywhere in the EU with one single request.
Political groups will prepare for the June 6 – 9 plenary session in Strasbourg. Agenda items include votes on draft rules against certain tax avoidance practices, fine-tuning plans for a “Panama Papers” inquiry committee, discussing unfair trading practices in the food supply chain, preparing follow-up questions to the Council on investigations into the use of torture by the CIA and quiz the Commission on the early impacts of the EU investment plan which will be up for a midterm review.
- European Business Summit
The European Business Summit will take place in Brussels, on Wednesday and Thursday. EU commissioners, political leaders and business people will debate the future of Europe.
-The European People’s Party (EPP) will celebrate its 40th anniversary in Luxembourg. The event will feature keynote speeches by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and President of the European Council Donald Tusk
- Last week
Europe’s finance ministers approved Greece’s reform efforts and decided to unlock €10.3 billion in bailout funds after the Euro group’s meeting.
Facility for Refugees in Turkey: €47 million to strengthen migration management and to support education of Syrian refugees .The European Commission announced €20 million to increase the capacity of the Turkish Coast Guard and €27 million to facilitate refugees' access to education. The total amount contracted under the Facility is now close to €240 million.