The state of Europe's economy will feature prominently this week. On Tuesday MEPs will debate economic guidelines for the EU and the Commission will unveil their revisions to the Services Directive. Wednesday sees Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel debate the EU's Spring Economic Summit, while EP President Borrell and leaders of the political groups will make statements on the results of negotiations on the EU's financial perspective. Elections in Ukraine and Belarus also feature.

MEPs gather for their April Strasbourg plenary session to deal with issues from the opening of labour markets to the new Member States to the future of the Middle East after the Israeli elections.   Energy as usual is high on the agenda with Monday's main debate focused on it and later in the week green house gases will be discussed as well as measures to increase the openness and transparency of the EU institutions in general and the Council of Ministers in particular. 

There will also be discussion on foreign policy matters, with successive debates on the Middle East after the Israeli elections, Belarus and Ukraine, plus a discussion on World Health Day.  The issue of corruption in developing countries and the refugee problem in Malta is also on the agends.

As usual the plenary session will end with three short debates on human rights issues around the world, the issues will be Darfur, the conditions in jails in Iraq and the case of Ayman Nour.  Mr Nour has been imprisoned since 2005, a strong presidential candidate it is believed that his imprisonment is politically motivated.


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