Economy, energy, refugees and Zacharof Prize among highlights of EP session

Economy, energy, refugees and Zacharof Prize among highlights of EP session

Economy, refugees, asylum seekers, energy as well as the Zacharof Prize, are among the highlights of this week`s European Parliament`s plenary session in Strasbourg.

With a view to the 17-18 December European Council, MEPs will debate the fight against terrorism, and EU responses to current and future migration challenges, on Wednesday with EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council. Economic and Monetary Union, strengthening the single market and UK Prime Minister David Cameron`s reform demands to all his European partners ahead of the UK`s EU membership referendum will also be on the agenda.

Plans to strengthen the EU border agency Frontex and take steps towards setting up a European border and coast guard will be presented by Commission First Vice- President Frans Timmermans and debated by MEPs.

Parliament is set to debate its recommendations for legislation to improve corporate tax transparency, coordination and EU-wide tax policy convergence on Tuesday afternoon, followed by a vote on Wednesday. Once they are adopted, the Commission will have to respond to any recommendation Parliament makes for legislation, even if it does not submit a formal legislative proposal.

Parliament’s vision for a resilient EU energy union and forward-looking climate change policy will be set out in a non-legislative resolution to be debated on Monday evening and voted on Tuesday. This text replies to a Commission communication tabled in February. In a separate resolution also to be voted on Tuesday, MEPs will also address interconnecting electricity supplies across the EU.

In addition, Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem will take part in a plenary debate for the first time, on Tuesday morning, when he joins MEPs and Commission and Council representatives to discuss the EU`s economic and social priorities for 2016, set out
by the Commission in the Annual Growth Survey, and specific recommendations for the euro area as a whole, all presented by the Commission on 26 November.

The outcome of the Paris climate talks will be debated by MEPs, the Council and the European Commission on Tuesday. A delegation of 15 MEPs from the Environment and Industry committees attended the conference during its final week.

The EP will also award the Sakharov Prize to Raif Badawi, a Saudi Arabian blogger arrested in 2012 and later sentenced to 10 years in prison, 1,000 lashes and a hefty fine, accused of insulting Islamic values on his website. Badawi`s wife, Ensaf Haidar, will receive his prize on his behalf at a ceremony in Strasbourg.