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European Parliament plenary session, 28 January 2015

Written by Conall Devaney

plenary_brussels1On Wednesday 28 January MEPs will meet in plenary session in Brussels. The recent terrorist attacks in Paris, in which 17 people were killed, continue to cast a shadow over much of the political debate in Europe and the European Commission will use the session to make a statement on anti-terrorism measures, in advance of its planned proposal for a broader European security agenda, expected in May. The Commission is already well aware that it will have to tread a careful line between balancing the need for tighter security, and not infringing on key principles such as individual freedom and the right to privacy.

The €315 billion investment plan represents the cornerstone of Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s stated aim to boost Europe’s economic recovery during his term. MEPS are due to hear from the Commission on its proposal for the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), under which it plans to reallocate some funding earmarked for the Horizon 2020 research programme and the Connecting European Facility to use as a guarantee to leverage significantly greater investment in the European economy through borrowing by the European Investment Bank.

Following the progress made at the climate talks held in Lima in December 2014, in which countries adopted the Lima call for climate action, there is determination that a new international agreement on tackling climate change can be reached at the 21st Conference of Parties in Paris in December this year. Hopes for a deal were given a further boost after the US and China reached an historic agreement in November 2014, which saw both countries commit themselves to drastic cuts in emissions. The aim of the ongoing talks is to agree climate targets that will come into force by 2020 and which will be applicable to both developed and developing countries.

The EU is aiming for a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The EP adopted a resolution in November 2014, in which it called for greater detail on how individual Member States intend to contribute to cutting emissions. On Wednesday, the Commission is due to make a statement setting out its plans for the coming preparatory meetings as it seeks to build international support for the EU’s approach. An overview of the key issues can be found in our ‘At a glance’ note.

A list of all material prepared for this Plenary Session:
Towards a new international climate agreement : DEENESFRITPL

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