Last week in Strasbourg, MEPs rejected the proposed financial perspective for 2007-2013. In an effort to reach agreement, the Parliament, Council and Commission will meet on 23 January 2006 with the outcome being discussed at the EP Budgets Committee meeting on 24 January 2006.

European Parliament

The next sitting of the European Parliament will take place on the 1 and 2 February 2006 in Brussels. It will consider such matters as Common Foreign and Security Policy and Mediterranean Fishery Resources. In the meantime there will be committee meetings held to consider subjects including:

  • Regulation – Community air traffic controller licence;
  • Regulation – Common agricultural policy: risk and crisis management;
  • Decision – Gender equality: establishment of a European Institute for Gender Equality;
  • Decision – Forest policy: implementation of the EU's forestry strategy; and
  • Resolution – State aid reform 2005-2009.

23 January 2006 - Commissioner Kyprianou will address the Environment Committee on the bird flu crisis
26 January 2006 – Foreign Affairs Committee will meet to discuss possible enlargement of the EU.

Council of Ministers

The Eurogroup and Finance Ministers' meeting will be held on 23 and 24 January 2006. The agenda includes:

  • Discussion – Presidency's work programme.
  • Decision – UK excessive deficit
  • Regulation – Reduced rates of VAT
  • Discussion – energy issues

The Agriculture and Fisheries Ministers' Meeting is also to be held on 23 and 24 January 2006. The agenda includes:

  • Decision – Biomass Action Plan
  • Decision – EU action plan for the protection and welfare of animals 2006-2010

On 26-28 January the Austrian Presidency conference on the future of the EU will be held in Salzburg.

European Commission

At the Commission's weekly meeting, items to be discussed include the following:

  • Communication – Strengthening the European mechanism for civil protection;
  • Communication – EU strategy for the Western Balkans;
  • Communication – EU budget for regional policy; and
  • Communication – Tackling the EU's drug problem.

On 24 January 2006 the Competition Commissioner will be taking part in a debate on the future of Europe and the role of the institutions.

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