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News from Parliaments

Please find here the latest news.

Brexit hearing at the Assembleia da Republica

23/05/2018
The Portuguese parliament Assembleia da República will hold a hearing about the Brexit with the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier tomorrow, 24th May, at 8:00 pm (Lisbon time). This hearing can be followed live at this link.

Source: The Portuguese Assembleia da República

The Committee on Foreign and European Affairs of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Cyprus has started the discussion of the New Multiannual Financial Framework of the EU for the period 2021–2027

17/05/2018
At its meeting on the 15th May 2018, the Committee on Foreign and European Affairs of the House of Representatives has started the discussion of the new Financial Framework of the EU in the presence of the Minister of Finance of the Republic of Cyprus.

The European Commission (hereinafter ‘the Commission’) believes the budget proposal to be modern, simple and flexible thanks to simplified, clearer rules and structure and a smaller administrative burden as well as clearly worded objectives, focus on results, and a clear link with EU priorities. The Commission proposes to reduce the number of funded programmes by more than one third, down from the present 58 to 37, and combine diverse sources of financing to fund the newly integrated programmes, with essential simplification of the use of financial instruments. The Commission proposal includes increased flexibility within and between programmes, strengthening crisis management instruments and creating a new Union Reserve to tackle unforeseen events and to respond to emergencies in areas such as security and migration.

The Commission proposes cutting the Common Agricultural Policy and the Cohesion Policy funding by around 5 % and modernising these policies so they remain efficient and help to implement new priorities even with less funding. For example, a greater role for the Cohesion Policy is foreseen in areas of structural reform and long-term integration of migrants.

Increased funding will benefit areas such as research and innovation, youth, digital economy, border management, and security and defence. In particular, the Erasmus + programme and the budget of the European Solidarity Corps will be doubled.

After the briefing on the Commission proposals, Members of the Committee on European Affairs decided to continue discussing the post-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework in the Committee and to invite relevant institutions to present to the Committee the Commission proposals on the Cohesion Fund and on the Common Agricultural Policy as soon as these proposals are put forward. The Committee also decided to forward the Commission proposals on the 2021–2027 MFF for consideration to the relevant specialised committees, which should submit their conclusions to the Committee on European Affairs until 25 June 2018.

Source: The House of Representatives of the Republic of Cyprus

Commissioner Stylianides in the Belgian Federal Parliament

15/05/2018
On May 15th 2018, the Belgian Federal Advisory Committee on European Affairs, the Home Affairs Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Belgian House of Representatives heard Commissioner Christos Stylianides on the European Union’s humanitarian aid and crisis management policy.

After his introduction, Mr Stylianides replied to the questions from members of the Belgian House of Representatives and the Belgian Senate.

Source: the Belgian House of Representatives and the Belgian Senate

The Committee on European Affairs of the Seimas of Lithuania focused on the EU budget for 2021–2027

14/05/2018
At its meeting on 9 May 2018, the Committee on European Affairs was briefed on the Commission’s proposals for the future Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF).

The European Commission (hereinafter ‘the Commission’) believes the budget proposal to be modern, simple and flexible thanks to simplified, clearer rules and structure and a smaller administrative burden as well as clearly worded objectives, focus on results, and a clear link with EU priorities. The Commission proposes to reduce the number of funded programmes by more than one third, down from the present 58 to 37, and combine diverse sources of financing to fund the newly integrated programmes, with essential simplification of the use of financial instruments. The Commission proposal includes increased flexibility within and between programmes, strengthening crisis management instruments and creating a new Union Reserve to tackle unforeseen events and to respond to emergencies in areas such as security and migration.

The Commission proposes cutting the Common Agricultural Policy and the Cohesion Policy funding by around 5 % and modernising these policies so they remain efficient and help to implement new priorities even with less funding. For example, a greater role for the Cohesion Policy is foreseen in areas of structural reform and long-term integration of migrants.

Increased funding will benefit areas such as research and innovation, youth, digital economy, border management, and security and defence. In particular, the Erasmus + programme and the budget of the European Solidarity Corps will be doubled.

After the briefing on the Commission proposals, Members of the Committee on European Affairs decided to continue discussing the post-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework in the Committee and to invite relevant institutions to present to the Committee the Commission proposals on the Cohesion Fund and on the Common Agricultural Policy as soon as these proposals are put forward. The Committee also decided to forward the Commission proposals on the 2021–2027 MFF for consideration to the relevant specialised committees, which should submit their conclusions to the Committee on European Affairs until 25 June 2018.

On 2 May 2018, the European Commission published its proposals for the next Multiannual Financial Framework. The proposed EU budget for 2021–2027 stands at EUR 1,135 billion (with relevance to the 2018 prices).

The proposed budget allocations are follows:
• EUR 490 million is allocated to the decommissioning of the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant;
• EUR 166.3 billion to internal market, innovation and the digital agenda;
• EUR 392 billion to Cohesion policy and values (of which EUR 330.6 billion to Cohesion Policy);
• EUR 336.6 billion to natural resources and environment;
• EUR 30.8 billion to migration and border control;
• EUR 24.3 billion to security and defence;
• EUR 108.9 billion to the neighbourhood and the world;
• EUR 75.6 billion to administration.
The proposed EU budget is equivalent to 1.11% of the EU27’s gross national income (GNI)).

Source: The Seimas of Lithuania

Assembleia da República MFF hearing

14/05/2018
The Portuguese parliament Assembleia da República will hold a hearing with Commissioner on Research, Science and Innovation, Mr. Carlos Moedas about the next Multi-Annual Financial Framework tomorrow, 11th May, at 8:30 am (Lisbon time). This hearing can be followed live at this link.

Source: The Portuguese Assembleia da República

European Affairs Committee of the French Senate adopted a political opinion about the Common Agricultural Policy

07/05/2018
The French Senate,
Having regard to article 88-4 of the Constitution,
Having regard to the Treaty on the functioning of the European
Union, in particular articles 38 to 44 ;
Having regard to the European council conclusions of 22 and
23 march 2018, on the next multiannual financial framework
(MFF) of the European Union, on the one hand, and on the future
of the common agricultural policy (CAP), on the other hand ;
Having regard to the Commission’s and European
Parliament’s preparatory documents on the CAP and MFF 2021-
2027 ;
Having regard to the European resolution of the French Senate
of 8 september 2017, on the CAP overhaul ;
Having regard to the “Omnibus” Regulation (EU) 2017/2393
of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 December
2017 ;
Having regard to the ongoing trade negotiations ;
Having regard to the presidency Agricultural and Fisheries
Council conclusions of 19 march 2018, on the communication of
the European Commission entitled “The Future of Food and Farming”;
Considering that the French agriculture has been bled dry by
the several crises in the recent years and that France could not get
out of this downward spiral without an offensive strategy, that
could also draw inspiration from the example of other member
States of the European Union ;
Considering that the CAP current operating methods do not
ensure a sufficient level of protection to farmers, in particular
regarding the volatility of agricultural prices ;
Considering that, in spite of the welcome improvements
provided by the “Omnibus” Regulation of 13 december 2017, the
CAP’s crisis management tools are neither efficient enough, nor
sufficiently responsive ;
Considering that the preparatory elements yet available on the
next CAP reform would only provide a partial response to the
recommendations of the Senate’s resolution of 8 september 2017,
or even contradict some essential items as regarding budgetary, this
circumstance leads the Senate to reaffirm its priorities for the next
reform ;
Recalls the importance of agriculture and the food sector for
the economic and societal fabric;
Asks that the CAP enjoy at a minimum, for the period 2021-
2027, a stable budget ;
Laments the presentation of the CAP as an “old policy” with a
“low European value added”, even though other large agricultural
world powers as China, the United States, India and Russia have in
contrast increased their financial aid in the sector ;
Assesses the condition of the European and French
agriculture as too weak to be subject to substantial budget cuts,
asks the European institutions to share this observation and will
support every initiative from the French authorities that would
oppose to this view, in the upcoming negotiations ;
Accordingly refuses that the CAP becomes the adjustment
variable of the European Union’s budget on the grounds of the lack
of resources created by UK’s withdrawal and the emergence of
new European political priorities;
Considers it essential that the European Commission quickly
provides effective guarantees on its new view of the
implementation modality for the CAP, regarding the serious risk of
creating distortion of competition ;
Considers, in the absence of this information, that the
simplification pattern proposed by the European Commission
would only be a statement of principle, while the experience of the
regional development plans under the CAP second pillar however
raise the concern of an additional complexity ;
Asserts that the adoption of the “Omnibus regulation” is only
one step in moving towards a better securing of farmers’ incomes,
thanks to a broader range of instruments, including insurance ;
Reiterates the need to adapt, generally speaking, competition
law to agricultural specificities and to effectively strengthen the
power of producers in the food chain, which is not yet sufficiently
ensured by the European regulation ;
Asks that the fight against transnational corporations’ unfair
trade practices and against the tax optimization practices by
“offshore installations” in the distribution sector be subject to a
European regulation ;
Rejects the prospect of a status quo for the next CAP regarding
crisis management or intervention rules, on the grounds that the
progress of the “Omnibus regulation” would be sufficient, even if it
means the changeover of a part of the amount of decoupled aids
towards risk management mechanisms, or the creation of new tools
within the “first pillar”, as well as the activation of existing
mechanisms of the “second pillar” ;
Laments, in a general context where farmers lack regulation
tools for economic risks related to performance and climate, that
the crisis reserve of the European budget has not been activated
since 2013, which would justify its future use in a three-year
framework ;
Asks that the agricultural crisis management measures taken
by the European Union be based on mechanisms of voluntary aids
for production cuts, even more effective if all member States
respect this collective discipline, with no opportunistic behavior of
“free rider” ;
Calls upon to generally address competition and crisis
management questions in a practical and an effective manner,
beyond single policy considerations in favor of market rules ;
Confirms its attachment to the support of less-favored areas, as
well as maintaining jobs and territories’ diversity issues in the
conception and the functioning of the Common agricultural policy ;
Recalls the importance of giving value to the positive
externalities of agriculture, in particular for its potential as regards
storing carbon, services provided, for society and environment,
which should grant to farmers a better and simpler remuneration
for the common goods they produce ;
Reaffirms the importance of research and innovation for the
future of the European agriculture, while claiming for a more
incentive agricultural policy in those fields ;
Reiterates its attachment to the reciprocity principle and the
need for a fair competition in international trade ; 
Confirms its support to the European Commission’s steps
aiming to simultaneously ensure the international promotion of our
products, the search for export opportunities and the respect of
geographical indications on foreign markets ;
Continues to require the European Commission to ensure the
compliance with the equality of sanitary competition,
environmental and production conditions applicable to imports of
agricultural products of third countries, with respect to the products
of the European Union ;
Reaffirms that the European Commission has to provide the
same amount of administrative resources to already signed trade
agreements than to the opening of new trade negotiations ;
Asks the European Commission to be particularly watchful to
the preservation of future trade relations between the United
Kingdom and the European Union, in the fields of agriculture and
fishery ;
Wonders about the possibility to conclude ongoing CAP
negotiations by spring 2019 ;

Source: The French Senate

Declaration of cooperation between the Houses of Parliament of Romania, Finland and Croatia in support and fulfillment of the parliamentary dimension of the Presidencies of the Council of the European Union

24/04/2018
The President of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies, Mr Liviu Dragnea, and the President of the Romanian Senate, Mr Călin Popescu Tăriceanu signed on Monday 23rd April, 2018, at Tallinn, the Declaration of cooperation between the national parliaments of the Trio to take over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union starting next year. The other two signatory states were represented by Ms Paula Risiko, the President of the Finnish Parliament, and Mr Gordan Jandrakovic, the President of the Croatian Parliament.

“It is an important step we have taken today, in Tallinn. Actually, it is the first document assumed with regard to the collaboration and setting up of the objectives of the Presidency of the Council of the EU. Romania opens the Presidency’s Trio, in January 2019, and the fact that we agreed upon this working tool, the declaration, shows that we are open to promote a common agenda at European level”, said Mr Liviu Dragnea, the President of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies.

More information can be found HERE

Source: The Romanian Chamber of Deputies

Polish Senate, Visit of Günther Oettinger, Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources

05/04/2018
On March 26, members of the Foreign and European Union Affairs Committee and the Budget and Public Finance Committee of the Senate of Republic of Poland met with Günther Oettinger, Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources. The main subject of the talks concerned the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027.

At the beginning, Commissioner Oettinger said that in the next Multiannual Financial Framework, European added value would be a key principle. At the same time, he stressed that the financing of new tasks related to migration, fight against terrorism, defense and research would not take place at the expense of the EU's treaty obligations, such as cohesion policy or Common Agricultural Policy. He added that budget negotiations would take place in the context of Brexit, which would generate a cost of EUR 12-13 billion per year for the EU budget. In this regard, he drew attention to the importance of the flexible approach in budget negotiations that EU Member States must demonstrate to achieve unanimity.

During the debate following topics were discussed: the proposal of combining all instruments financing EU external actions and its impact on the financing of the European Neighborhood Policy; the financing of the Common Agricultural Policy and the cohesion policy; increasing EU Member States’ contributions to the EU budget; the importance of the cohesion policy for Poland; financing possibilities of major infrastructure projects and research and development programs for the new EU Member States in the new seven-year budget.

Source: The Polish Senate

German Bundestag adopts a reasoned opinion

05/04/2018
The German Bundestag adopted a reasoned opinion concerning the proposal for a regulation on Health Technology Assessment (HTA), COM(2018) 51 final.

More information can be found here


Source: German Bundestag

French Senate's EAC adopts proposal for a reasoned opinion

19/03/2018
The European Affairs Committee of the French Senate adopted a proposal for a reasoned opinion about the proposal for a regulation on health technology assessment - COM (2018) 51.

More information can be found here

Source: The French Senat
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