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New beginnings – April plenary session

Written by Clare Ferguson
“© European Union 2013 – European Parliament

MEPs will have a brief, but full, plenary agenda on 15 April, beginning with a debate on the Commission proposal on the revision of the 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), approved in the Budget Committee on 1 April. The MFF sets the financial ceilings for EU spending, and its revision would allow for some €21 billion to be transferred from 2014 spending to subsequent years. Programmes in all 28 Member States concerning structural and cohesion funds, rural development, maritime and fisheries, asylum, migration and integration, and internal security, will thus be able to use the funds so far delayed by the late decisions on the MFF and its component programmes.

The plenary will then hear statements from the Commission on the anniversary of the Bangladesh factory fires (for a reminder see our briefing of last year on the issues at stake on workers’ conditions in the textile and clothing industry), and (with the Council) on the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide. A day of remembrance is held annually on 24 April, and a Parliament resolution is expected to be voted in this plenary session. Although 100 years have passed, the events remain the source of some controversy, but there are small signs that a new era in Turkey-Armenia relations may be beginning.

Other items on the agenda include a request for mobilisation of the European Globalisation Fund, and the setting up of a separate Social Protection Committee within the European Parliament to follow development of social protection policies, facilitate exchange of good practice and prepare an annual report.

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