With Parliament's committees meeting in Brussels this week the issues to be discussed include the proposed EU-US trade agreement and recent developments in the Mediterranean and the Middle East. The Latvian presidency of the Council presents its priorities to committees and MEPs are set to discuss the outcomes of last year's European Youth Event (EYE 2014) with select participants.
On Wednesday (21 January) and Thursday the international trade committee debates its new draft position on the TTIP agreement (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) for the first time. The controversial investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions will also be discussed.
On Tuesday the foreign affairs committee meets Nabil El Araby, Secretary General of the Arab League, to discuss recent developments in the Mediterranean and in the Middle East, including the situation in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Egypt.
On Thursday the civil liberties committee is set to discuss human rights in Hungary with government and civil society representatives.
Measures to better protect the EU budget and programmes from fraud are to be voted on by the budgetary control committee on Wednesday, on the basis of the Commission’s 2013 annual report on protecting the EU's financial interests.
Throughout the week, Parliament's committees meet Latvian government ministers to discuss the EU Council presidency’s work programme in their respective areas of responsibility. The Latvian Presidency runs from January to the end of June.
"Speed-hearings" will be held on Tuesday and Thursday in several committees with participants of last year's European Youth Event (EYE2014) discussing their ideas for a better Europe with MEPs.
Finally on Wednesday the environment committee votes on a resolution calling for better traceability of meat used in processed food.
Cities call for new EU pact for just and sustainable recovery
Social inequalities are deepening. Homelessness and unemployment rates are shooting upwards, and new groups of people have emerged as at risk of poverty and social exclusion. City leaders from around 70 cities, meeting today, one day ahead of the EU Social Summit, have called for a new pact between all levels of government to reverse these dangerous trends and foster a just, sustainable and inclusive recovery.
“As city leaders, we have stepped up our responsibilities to implement social policy and guarantee public social investment over the past 12 months,” said Dario Nardella, president of Eurocities and Mayor of Florence. “But the recovery we now face will take bold actions and imagination to build back better and fairer. Despite repeated calls, many cities are still not consulted in the national recovery plans. That’s a lost opportunity that the EU cannot afford at this time, which will dampen Europe’s ability to bounce back. Without cities, the prospects for a sustainable and inclusive recovery look grim.”
In their conclusions, the city leaders say that the EU social targets for 2030 should be matched by ambitious reforms and investments. Specifically:
- An annual social summit on the European Pillar of Social Rights action plan, with a meaningful participation from cities.
- A strong social dimension in the European Green Deal.
- Strengthen social investment and investment in social infrastructure, including social and affordable housing, as the way to deliver a just recovery, leaving no one behind.
“A new pact must commit the different levels of government to design a recovery response that works for people and planet. When so many people have been so badly affected this year, especially in our cities, now is the time to lend a helping hand, not to turn our backs,” added Nardella.
Cities have already demonstrated their commitment to implementing the European pillar of Social Rights through the 66 city pledges to the Eurocities ‘Inclusive Cities 4 All’ initiative, which have so far mobilised a total of €15bn in municipal investments for social causes.
“We are ready to do even more and work shoulder-to-shoulder with the EU and member states,” concluded Nardella. “In turn, we expect European leaders to engage us as key partners in the EU agenda for recovery.”
“We must use the recovery to prioritise the needs of people through our investments in green and digital reforms! At the local level we see that social and environmental policies are interrelated,” said Maarten van Ooijen, Chair of Eurocities Social Affairs Forum and Deputy Mayor of Utrecht. “Cities can ensure that people are skilled to match green job opportunities, and we can develop local pacts by bringing together local businesses and training providers. We also need to avoid further deepening of the housing crisis in our cities. With urgent support from the national and EU institutions we can ensure a just recovery through targeted long term social investments in affordable housing” he concluded.
Dario Nardella, President of Eurocities and Mayor of Florence, will deliver the conclusions from the Cities Social Summit directly to European leaders at the EU Social Summit on Friday 7 May 2021.
- The following city leaders took part directly in the Eurocities Cities Social Summit, held on 6 May: Dario Nardella, President of Eurocities and Mayor of Florence; Ada Colau, Mayor of Barcelona; Ricardo Rio, Mayor of Braga; Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council; Katrin Habenschaden, Mayor of Munich; Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris; Rui Moreira, Mayor of Porto; Ahmed Aboutaleb, Mayor of Rotterdam; Maarten van Ooijen, Chair of Social Affairs Forum and Deputy Mayor of Utrecht; Sonia Fuertes, Commissioner for Social Action, Barcelona; Matteo Lepore, Deputy Mayor of Bologna; Elke Decruynaere, Vice-mayor of Ghent, responsible for education and youth; David McDonald, Deputy Leader of Glasgow; Thomas Fabian, Deputy Mayor of Leipzig; Renaud Payre, Vice President on habitat, social housing and urban policy of Lyon Metropole; André Sobczak, Deputy Mayor of Nantes; Alexandra Sußmann, Vice Mayor, Stuttgart; Betina Beśkina, Deputy Mayor of Tallinn; Marina Hanke, Vice-chair of Committee on European affairs, Vienna; Nina Abrahamzik, Councillor and Chair of the Committee on climate, environmental policy, public services and democracy of Vienna.
- The full conclusions from the Eurocities Cities Social Summit can be accessed here
- Eurocities is running a campaign ‘Inclusive Cities 4 All’ engaging mayors and deputy mayors to commit to improve access to social rights, including childcare services and support for children. So far, 66 city commitments have been signed, representing 51 million citizens and totalling a municipal investment of €15bn. All city pledges are available here.
- Eurocities wants to make cities places where everyone can enjoy a good quality of life, is able to move around safely, access quality and inclusive public services and benefit from a healthy environment. We do this by networking almost 200 larger European cities, which together represent some 130 million people across 39 countries, and by gathering evidence of how policy making impacts on people to inspire other cities and EU decision makers.
European Globalization Adjustment Fund: helping redundant workers
Parliament has updated the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, making it more accessible and better equipped to tackle global crises.
The European Globalization Adjustment Fund is one of the ways the EU is helping to tackle unemployment. Globalization can cause significant structural changes to world trade, which can lead to workers being laid off.
To support people losing their jobs due to globalisation or the economic fallout from major crises, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, the EU created the European Globalization Adjustment Fund in 2006. It is an emergency solidarity fund, which is used whenever there is a need for it. The fund co-finances projects to help workers find new jobs or set up their own business.
Find out what the EU does to manage globalization MEPs secured these changes to the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund:
- Threshold for applications for support lowered to 200 dismissed workers (down from 500)
- Possibility to apply for a one-time investment of €22,000 to start a business or to finance employee take-overs
- Childcare allowance for child carers when taking part in training or looking for a job
On 16 January 2019, MEPs voted in favour of plans to reform the fund for the post-2020 period. The aim was to broaden the fund's scope to offer assistance in case of major restructuring events linked to digitalisation, automation and the transition to a low-carbon economy. After successfully negotiating the changes to the fund with the Council in December 2020, MEPs adopted the regulation in April 2021.
The fund will be crucial in helping dismissed workers during these difficult times. It is now better equipped to help us face the challenges ahead and it will cover any type of redundancies following restructuring
Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D, Lithuania)
MEP in charge of steering the proposals through Parliament Share this quote:
Find out more
- Procedural steps
- Press release: Parliament adopts a more reactive and accessible European Globalisation Fund
- European Commission: European Globalisation Adjustment Fund
- At a glance: European Globalisation Adjustment Fund
- Social Europe: what Parliament is doing on social policy
- Covid-19: how the EU fights youth unemployment
- European Solidarity Corps: opportunities for young people
- Youth employment: the EU measures to make it work
- Reducing unemployment: EU policies explained
- European Social Fund: fighting poverty and unemployment
- How the EU improves workers’ rights and working conditions
- Improving public health: EU measures explained
- Final vote on European Solidarity Corps
- Social security coordination: new rules for more flexibility and clarity
- Posted workers: the facts on the reform (infographic)
- Posting of workers: final vote on equal pay and working conditions
- Gig economy: EU law to improve workers’ rights (infographic)
- Better working conditions for all: balancing flexibility and security
- European Globalisation Adjustment Fund: helping redundant workers
- The Parliament’s fight for gender equality in the EU
- Globalisation's impact on employment and the EU
- Covid-19's economic impact: €100 billion to keep people in jobs
- Better working conditions for truck drivers across the EU
- Parents’ work-life balance: new leave rules for family care
- Parliament calls for measures to combat sexual harassment in Europe
- Female genital mutilation: where, why and consequences
- Understanding the gender pay gap: definition and causes
- Getting back to work after a long sickness or injury (video)
- Drinking water in the EU: better quality and access
- Accessibility: making products and services in the EU easier to use
- Disaster management: boosting the EU's emergency response
- Health threats: boosting EU readiness and crisis management
- Parliament calls for a new ambitious EU Disability Strategy
Commission extends flexibilities of Common Agricultural Policy checks for 2021
With restrictions still in place across the EU, the Commission has adopted rules to extend to 2021 flexibilities for carrying out checks required for Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) support. The rules allow the replacement of on-farm visits with the use of alternative sources of evidence, including new technologies such as satellite imagery or geo-tagged photos. This will ensure reliable checks while respecting the restriction of movement and minimizing physical contact between farmers and inspectors.
Furthermore, the rules include flexibility around timing requirements for checks. This allows member states to postpone checks, notably to a period when movement restrictions are lifted. In addition, the rules comprise a reduction of the number of physical on-the-spot checks to be carried out for area and animal-related measures, rural development investments and market measures. These rules aim to ease the administrative burden of national paying agencies by adapting to current circumstances while still ensuring necessary controls for CAP support. More information on the CAP's management and control systems is available here. More information is also available here.
European elections4 days ago
Parti Popular wins Madrid snap election but fails to get majority
Business4 days ago
Antitrust: Commission sends Statement of Objections to Apple on App Store rules for music streaming providers
Crime5 days ago
Four arrested in takedown of dark web child abuse platform with some half a million users
coronavirus5 days ago
EMA starts rolling review of COVID-19 Vaccine (Vero Cell) Inactivated
Corporate tax rules4 days ago
Commission launches new learning portal for tax and customs professionals across the EU
EU4 days ago
Europe Day: Discover the European Union on occasion of 9 May
China4 days ago
EU-China investment deal stalls
coronavirus5 days ago
Ukraine's capital Kyiv eases coronavirus restrictions