Brussels faces a busy Monday, with General Nicolo Pollari, chief of Italy's military intelligence service, speaking before the European Parliament's temporary committee investigating allegations of illegal rendition flights and abductions by the CIA in Europe.  MEPs in the Euro-Mediterranean parliamentary assembly's political affairs committee, will discuss freedom of speech and respect for religious feelings, and a "Euro-Mediterranean code of conduct on countering terrorism".

MEPs in the parliament's budget committee meet on Monday to assess the state of play in the  negotiations with member states and the European Commission on the EU's 2007-2013 budget.

Also on Monday, the EU external relations commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner will meet with the Pakistani religion minister in Brussels, with the violent aftermath of the controversial Mohammed cartoons in European media set to dominate the talks.

On Tuesday, enlargement commissioner Olli Rehn will receive the president of Bosnia and Herzegovina Sulejman Tihic, amid warnings from Brussels that Sarajevo should do more to bring high-ranking war crimes suspects to the UN court in The Hague.

The commission will on Wednesday publish a long-awaited discussion paper on the bloc’s common energy policy.  The paper is said to focus on minimum levels for member states' gas reserves, coordination of EU energy transit networks and more transparency on member states' reserves.

To mark international women's day on 8 March, the parliament will arrange various seminars on the growing phenomenon of forced prostitution at major international sports events, female genital mutilation and reproductive health initiatives. 

On the same day, enlargement commissioner Olli Rehn together with the Finnish foreign minister Erkki Tuomioja and Austrian foreign minister Ursula Plassnik will meet with Turkish foreign minister Abdullah Gul for an EU Turkey meeting in Vienna.
 
EU environment ministers will gather in Brussels on Thursday to discuss, among other things, the controversial topic of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on European food markets, global warming and the Kyoto protocol as well as debating a review of the EU's sustainable development strategy.

A conference hosted by the Austrian presidency will be held on EU police co-operation on Thursday, with experts from across the union.

On Friday, MEPs will commemorate the victims of terrorist attacks in Europe, notably those in Madrid and London, in a ceremony in the parliament.

 

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