14 Mar 2016
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT WEEK 14 – 18 MARCHBrussels Daily
Coming up for discussion the the European Parliament this week: migration, taxation, Turkey
While heads of state and governments will try to work out the details of the EU-Turkey migration deal during the European summit in Brussels on 17-18 March, parliamentary committees will also be dealing with migration issues. MEPs vote on proposals for relocation schemes for refugees and EU humanitarian visa and also asses the human rights situation in Turkey. Meanwhile the tax rulings committee discusses tax measures with representatives from multinationals.
On Wednesday the civil liberties committee votes on Parliament’s own proposals to improve EU migration and refugee policies, including a proposal to establish a centralised EU system for collecting and allocating asylum requests, plus binding relocation and resettlement schemes for refugees. The reports for these proposals also state that the burden of the refugee crisis should be shared by all member states, while asylum requests should be treated in line with the EU’s international commitments.
The civil liberties committee also votes on a reform of the EU Visa Code aimed at reducing red tape. It includes a proposal for new humanitarian visas to be issued at EU embassies outside the EU that would allow asylum seekers to fly directly to the member state where they wish to apply for asylum.
EU is at the moment engaged in talks with Turkey on how to stem the flow of migrants. EU has already approved €3 billion in aid to Turkey, but more has been requested. On Wednesday, you can join a Facebook chat with Sylvie Guillaume and Jean Arthuis, leaders of two parliamentary delegations that visited refugee camps in Turkey last month.
The foreign affairs committee votes Tuesday on a progress report assessing how Turkey did in 2015 on human rights, media freedom and the fight against corruption.
Multinational firms such as Apple, Google, IKEA and McDonalds, as well as representatives from Guernsey and Jersey, Andorra, Liechtenstein and Monaco are set to talk to Parliament’s special committee on tax rulings on Monday and Tuesday. Tax rulings by member states are seen as easing the tax burden of large corporations at a time when national budgets need more revenue.
The international trade committee discusses Monday the ongoing negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the US. They also discuss how disputes between corporations and governments should be settled as part of the partnership and the extent to which Parliament’s demands regarding this and other issues have been taken into account.
The European Court of Justice invalidated the framework for data transfer between US and EU known as Safe Harbour because of mass surveillance issues. The civil liberties committee debates Thursday its replacement Privacy Shield, which is the new framework for EU-US transfers of personal data by private firms