European Parliament

The European Parliament will next sit in plenary on 24 October 2005 in Strasbourg.

MEPs will meet in their political groups in Brussels this week to prepare amendments and coordinate voting positions in preparation for the plenary session. Highlights include:

  • Prime Minister Tony Blair on preparations of the EU informal summit at Hampton Court
  • a report by Arlene McCarthy MEP on the European order for payment procedure
  • a report by Bill Newton Dunn MEP on the fight against organised crime
  • EU budget 2006 (first reading)
  • Address by President Ricardo Lagos of Chile. 

The European Parliament will hold a meeting in Brussels on 17-18 October with representatives from national parliaments to discuss judicial and police cooperation among Member States. The event is a joint initiative with the UK Parliament. Participants will debate:

  • police and judicial cooperation and exchange of data;
  • European Arrest Warrant;
  • the role of Eurojust;
  • the role of Europol

European Commission

Foreign ministers are planning to gather in Luxembourg on Tuesday 18 October to talk about EU farm subsidies and the World Trade Organisation (WTO).  France insisted on the emergency ministers' meeting in order to protest trade commissioner Peter Mandelson's recent announcement that the EU might cut agricultural aid by up to 70 percent to help broker a WTO trade deal this December.  The debate is likely to cover sensitive areas such as the European Commission's competence in trade negotiations and the UK-French conflict over reform of the common agricultural policy, with 12 other member states reportedly backing Paris.

Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso will meet US leader George Bush in Washington on the same day to discuss the WTO deal ahead of December's summit in Hong Kong.

Foreign ministers are also likely to consider the EU's response to the avian flu threat coming out of Turkey and Romania, as suppliers sell out of vaccines and public concern mounts.

Talks are also set to heat up on the EU 2007-2013 budget, with the Commission publishing its latest set of compromise ideas on Thursday before the UK presidency unveils its negotiating box early next month.

Bosnia-Herzegovina prime minister Adnan Terzic will hold meetings with justice commissioner Franco Frattiini, enlargement commissioner Olli Rehn and European Parliament president Josep Borrell on Tuesday and Wednesday, with Mr Rehn also flying to Geneva for an international conference on the future of the western Balkan states on Thursday.  Sarajevo is hoping to start talks with Brussels on a Stability and Association Agreement (SAA), following in the footsteps of Croatia, Macedonia, Albania and Serbia & Montenegro on the path toward EU integration.

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