News from Parliaments

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Young Parliamentarians Forum, 5th edition, Vienna, 23 November

EU40 is happy to announce that the next Young Parliamentarians Forum (YPF) will be taking place in Vienna on 23 November 2018. Upon invitation by (Austrian Young Chamber of Commerce) and in the context of the current Austrian Council Presidency, the Young Parliamentarians Forum (YPF) is looking forward to exchanging ideas with young representatives of the vibrant Austrian economic landscape in Vienna on November 23rd , 2018.

In a Europe Union where unemployment is growing and economic experts forecast a drastic slowdown of growth rates, Austria would like to showcase itself and its economy to our young parliamentarians. Its geopolitical situation in the heart of Europe (between old and new Member States, between Southern and Northern Europe) and its economic agility make it an ideal business location. We are therefore looking forward to exchanging ideas with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (confirmed) and many other interesting young representatives of Austria’s flourishing economy. There will also be an opportunity to visit the Austrian Federal Chancellory, the Henkel factory in Vienna and other interesting sites in and around the city centre.
EU40, the network of young Members of the European Parliament, is a cross-party / cross-national platform, which believes in an approach towards European politics that is not merely based on party politics or national issues.

More information on EU40 can be found here. Please find the draft agenda here.

Source: European Parliament

EP Rapporteur Enrique Calvet Chambon informs the Austrian parliamentarians in Vienna about the Directive on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions

Enrique Calvet Chambon, rapporteur and member of the European Parliament, visited Vienna on 14 September to meet with members of the Austrian National and Federal Council. The purpose of this meeting was to inform the representatives about the state of negotiations on the European Commission’s proposal for a Directive on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions. The draft directive should be seen as a follow-up to the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights proclaimed by the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission on 17 November 2017 in Gothenburg, he said. Its overall objective, according to the Mr. Calvet Chambon, is to promote secure and reliable employment while maintaining the adaptability of the labour market and improving living and working conditions.

Mr. Calvet Chambon also explained that such a directive is necessary given the rise in atypical and precarious employment forms which affect predominantly young workers between 20 and 30 years old.

The aim of this directive is to introduce minimum standards and minimum rights, not to standardise labour law, clarified Enrique Calvet Chambon. The focus was on values such as the right to unemployment benefits, to a pension, to regular working hours and to collective agreements, but also the compatibility of work and private life, he noted. Regarding the duration of the probationary period, the maximum shall be six months.
Mr. Calvet Chambon recognised that Austria already has a high level of labour protection laws. The directive should create a minimum set of rights especially in countries where none currently exist.

The reactions of the parliamentarians were mixed. On the one hand, the ruling Austrian People’s Party expressed some concerns regarding the risks of too much bureaucracy due to the new information obligations as well as the risk of potential interferences in the national labour laws and the violation of the principle of subsidiarity.

On the other hand, the opposition Social Democratic Party of Austria supports the draft as an important element of the EU’s Social Pillar.

Referring to the different social systems, traditions and cultures in the member states, Mr. Calvet Chambon admits that the negotiations are difficult but that he was optimistic about finding a consensus in the European Parliament. In any case, the competent committee of the European Parliament will vote on 18 October 2018.

Source: The Austrian National and Federal Council

Michel Barnier visits the Romanian Chamber of Deputies

On 2nd October 2018, Mr Liviu Dragnea, the Speaker of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies, met with Mr Michel Barnier, Chief Negotiator of the European Union for the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. In the context in which United Kingdom’s withdrawal will take place during the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the discussion between the Chief Negotiator and the Speaker of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies took into account Romania’s contribution to the support of this process.

Key issues of the negotiation process, such as the rights of the citizens or the financial settlement, in respect of which the negotiation team of the Commission made considerable progress, represented the main issues of the meeting of the two officials. From this perspective, Mr Liviu Dragnea sent assurances regarding Romania’s support for an orderly and predictable process, in order to establish the basis for a close future relation between the EU and the United Kingdom.

Also, the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies underlined the importance of a common approach for all 27 states, so that both parties find an advantageous solution, in accordance with the principles of the EU, but also in compliance with the lines set up by the United Kingdom.

On the other hand, Mr Michel Barnier expressed his trust towards the final result of negotiations, highlighting the fact that, until this moment, the parties agreed upon the provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement regarding the rights of the citizens, financial settlement and the transition period, progress being recorder also in other aspects regarding the separation. In relation to the positioning of the parties on the governance of the Agreement and geographical indications, the Chief Negotiator said that these two issues would be agreed upon, most probably, at the end of the negotiation process.

The Chief Negotiator, Mr Michel Barnier also met with the Chairman of the European Affairs Committee,  Deputy Angel Tîlvâr, together with the members of the joint Committees on European Affairs and Foreign Affairs of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate.

Talks hovered over the ongoing process of negotiation on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, as Romania will assume the Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first semester of 2019, as well as from the perspective of respecting the rights of European citizens from the United Kingdom.

Mr Tîlvâr underlined the fact that because in the United Kingdom there is an important Romanian community, the Romanian Parliament is concerned with their situation and follows closely the ways in which the provisions of the Agreements will be implemented. Continuing the dialogue, Mr Angel Tîlvâr summarised the positions which the United Kingdom had over time, expressing his concern on this issue, which arouses lively debates with only six months before the end of negotiations. At the same time, the deputy also underlined the need for the negotiation to set generally applicably rules. Noting that the United Kingdom and the EU are on different positions regarding the rights of the European citizens after Brexit, the Chairman of the Committee on European Affairs of the Chamber of Deputies wished to know Mr Barnier’s opinion regarding the future of negotiations with the United Kingdom from the perspective of Romanian citizens, post-Brexit.

Michel Barnier stated that it was convened to keep the rights of European citizens until the end of year 2020. European citizens legally residing in the United Kingdom and their families will continue to benefit from the rights conferred by the European law, on the basis of obtaining a new status (settled status). Regarding the emigration system in the United Kingdom after January 1st 2021, Mr Barnier stated that the principles of reciprocity and non-discrimination must be the fundamental pillars of EU-United Kingdom relation, post-Brexit. “The British want to negotiate based on categories of citizens, country, meaning they want to handpick. We will not accept this discrimination and I urge you to stand beside us, to have a single voice, it is important to be united” concluded the Chief Negotiator of the EU for Brexit, addressing Romanian officials present at the discussions.

Source: The Romanian Chamber of Deputies

Third meeting of the Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group on Europol

The third meeting of the Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group (JPSG) brings together members of EU national parliaments and MEPs to scrutinise and monitor the activities of Europol.

The meeting will take place on 24-25 September in the European Parliament. Participants will discuss Europol's contribution to the fight against financial crime, asset recovery and money laundering and the 2019-2021 Multiannual Programming Document. Protection of fundamental rights, in particular data privacy, in Europol’s activities is also a subject of interest.

Commissioner Julian King will deliver a key note speech.

Prior to the meeting, Claude Moraes, Chair of the Civil Liberties Committee, and Angela Lueger, Chair of the Committee on International Affairs of the Austrian National Council, will hold a press conference at 14.45 in the press conference room in Brussels (PHS 0A50 Anna Politkovskaya room).

You can follow the press conference live here

Background information

The JPSG meets at least twice a year. In the first half of the year, the JPSG meets in the Parliament of the country holding the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU and in the second semester, the meeting is held in the European Parliament.

Further information

Draft programme and background documents

Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs

EP Directorate for Relations with National Parliaments event page

Disclaimer: this is an informal message intended to help journalists covering the work of the European Parliament. It is neither an official press release nor a comprehensive record of proceedings.


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Italian Senate, reform of the rules of procedure regarding the scrutiny of EU documents

The reform of the Italian Senate rules of procedure adopted in December 2017 entered into force with the first session of the current Legislature, in 2018.

According to the new rules, the EU Policies Committee has exclusive jurisdiction on subsidiarity and proportionality assessment. It may also place a parliamentary scrutiny reserve on the proposal under consideration.

EU legislative proposals, as well as non-legislative measures and documents of the European Union, are also referred to the Committee having jurisdiction over the subject matter. The competent Committee may adopt policy recommendations to the Government in the form of a resolution, which is also notified to the EU institutions within the framework of the political dialogue.

More details can be found on the Italian Senate page in the IPEX website, which has been updated accordingly.

Source: The Italian Senato della Repubblica

Croatian Sabor organising Interparliamentary Conference on "The Role of Parliaments in Shaping the Future of Food and Farming"

The Croatian Parliament's Agriculture Committee is organizing a Interparliamentary Conference on “The Role of Parliaments in Shaping the Future of Food and Farming” which will take place in the Croatian Parliament, in Zagreb, on 22 and 23 November 2018.

The proposal for a new legislative framework of the Common Agricultural Policy for the next programming period, under which the European Commission is leading the transition to a more sustainable agriculture for one of the oldest EU policies – agricultural policy, is aimed at strengthening the agricultural sector’s resilience, supporting farmers’ income and sustainability, fulfilling the role of agriculture in environmental and climate challenges, reducing administrative burden, generational renewal and stronger use of innovation in agriculture, as well as ensuring the vitality of rural areas and the development of rural areas and communities.

What are the benefits of greater flexibility in the selection of measures to meet the goals of agricultural policy? How to efficiently manage the issues related to agriculture in member states with strategic plans? How to strengthen the resilience of agricultural producers and of the agricultural sector? What is the link between the proposal for a legislative framework and food safety and quality? How will the proposal affect the vitality of rural areas and communities? How are measures to stop the depopulation of rural areas designed? Issues that, together with other topics related to the proposal of the new legislative framework, need to be discussed.

To that end, the Agriculture Committee of the Croatian Parliament and the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Croatia launched the organization of a conference that will present representatives of the competent bodies of national parliaments of EU Member States, the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Parliament, the European Commission, the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Croatia and the competent sectorial associations with an opportunity to exchange their views and opinions and make an additional contribution to the debate and creating of a framework of the Union’s Common Agricultural Policy for the forthcoming programming period.

The added value of the conference lies in intensifying the interparliamentary cooperation between EU Member States and encouraging discussions and exchange of views both among the competent working bodies of national parliaments and with the legislators and professional associations.

More information can be found here

Source: The Croatian Sabor

Young Parliamentarians Forum, 4th edition, Paris, 18 - 19 September

The 4th edition of the Young Parliamentarians Forum (YPF) will be hosted by the Assemblée Nationale Française/French Parliament, in Paris, on the 18th and 19th of September 2018.

As a co-host of the YPF, alongside the Assemblée Nationale, EU40 has received the full support of the French Government on behalf of Mr.Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic, in order to guarantee a successful event.

EU40, the network of young Members of the European Parliament, is a cross-party / cross-national platform, which believes in an approach towards European politics that is not merely based on party politics or national issues.

More information on EU40 can be found here. Registration to the YPF event can be found here

Source: European Parliament

Task Force on Subsidiarity and Proportionality: report recommends new way of working

On 10 July the Task Force on Subsidiarity, Proportionality and 'Doing Less, More Efficiently', chaired by First Vice-President Timmermans, presented its final report and handed it over to Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker who established the Task Force in November 2017.

It had the mandate to work on three questions: How to better apply subsidiarity and proportionality principles within the EU institutions; how to better involve regional and local authorities and national parliaments in EU policymaking and implementation and whether there are policy areas where powers could be returned over time to Member States. The Task Force report comprises 9 recommendations addressed to national parliaments, national, regional and local authorities, the European Parliament, the Council, the European Committee of the Regions and the European Commission.
The Task Force was composed of three members from the Committee of the Regions (President Karl-Heinz Lambertz/Belgium, Michael Schneider/Germany and François Decoster/France) and three members from National Parliaments nominated by COSAC representing the Troika at the time of the appointment of its members: Toomas Vitsut (Estonia), Kristian Vigenin (Bulgaria) and Reinhold Lopatka (Austria).

Reinhold Lopatka, Chairperson of the Standing Sub-Committee on EU Affairs of the Austrian National Council, pointed out that the Task Force was successful to engage different partners in this work such as legislative assemblies, regional parliaments and the municipalities. We also involved NGOs, so it was a broad discussion”.

The report’s conclusions and recommendations can be summarized as follows:
A new way of working on subsidiarity and proportionality is needed to allow local and regional authorities and national Parliaments to make a more effective contribution to EU policymaking and in the design of new legislation. The subsidiarity and proportionality scrutiny should be assessed more consistently by all levels of government, on the basis of a "model grid" – comparable to a subsidiarity and proportionality checklist.

Applying Flexibility concerning the 8 weeks deadline for national Parliaments to submit their opinions on draft EU legislation (possibility of a future increase of the time available for submitting an opinion to 12 weeks).

The three EU institutions should agree on a focused multi-annual programme that would promote a rebalancing of the EU's work in some policy areas towards more effective implementation of existing legislation and away from initiating new legislation.
The Task Force believes the new approach should be applied to the existing body of European Union legislation and to all new political initiatives.

The debate on the Task Force report will be continued also during the Austrian Presidency of the EU inter alia at a conference on subsidiarity in Bregenz in November.

For further information see the website of the Task Force and the video.

Source: The Austrian Parliament

French Senate contribution to "subsidiarity and proportionality" working group

The French Senate published its contribution to the European Commission's "subsidiarity and proportionality" working group.

The documents can be found here

Source: The French Senate

MEP, Bundestag study on 'Europeanisation' of National Parliaments

A study titled 'Europeanisation' of National Parliaments in European Union Member States: Experiences and Best Practices has been commissioned and published by Reinhard Bütikofer, German Member of the European Parliament.

Authors are Katrin Auel and Christine Neuhold. The study has been presented in the European House in Berlin in the framework of a discussion with the Chair of the Committee of European Affairs of the German Bundestag amongst others.

The study is available here: Study Europeanisation of National Parliaments

Source: German Bundestag
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