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‘State of the EU’ to the fore [September plenary session]

Written by Mitja Brus

Jean-Claude Juncker’s ‘State of the Union’ (#SOTEU) address to the European Parliament will feature in the first EP plenary session after the summer recess. On Wednesday 9 September at 9am he will make his first such address as President of the European Commission. For this major event we will soon publish a dedicated page on our blog where you can find background material on SOETU and on the activities of the Juncker Commission’s first year.

It is still to be seen exactly what topics the Commission President will raise with Members, other than that of the migration crisis on which he is expected to announce that the Commission will bring forward new measures in the coming weeks. However, he will surely discuss investments for jobs and growth. Members will already touch on this topic on Tuesday. Read our Plenary At a glance note on cohesion policy which supports this EU’s strategic objective. Did you know that in 2007-13 cohesion funding contributed to creating nearly 770 000 jobs, and supported almost 100 000 start-ups? To round up Tuesday’s joint discussion on the EU cohesion policy, you can also read our overview of The urban dimension of EU policies and our keysource on the EU Urban Agenda.

Returning to the question of irregular immigration, our Plenary At a glance note focuses on Provisional measures for relocating asylum-seekers arriving in Italy and Greece. While Members seem to support the Commission’s emergency measures being binding, the LIBE committee adopted a number of amendments, which are, among other things, aimed at increasing the number of asylum-seekers to be relocated and urging the Commission to propose a permanent relocation scheme by the end of 2015. Note that we have already covered the topic extensively with a range of publications.

Also on Tuesday, Members will discuss ways to fight customs fraud that is costing us hundreds of millions of euros each year. Furthermore, cloning of animals is back on the table. In 2013 the Commission proposed a temporary ban on cloning in mammals used for farming purposes. The EP might vote to extend such a ban to all animal species used for farming, including imports of derived products. After all, 58% of EU citizens think that animal cloning should never be justified. You can also listen to our podcast on this subject.

Cloning of animals kept and reproduced for farming purposes [Podcast]:

Members will round up the Tuesday session with a discussion on the Mid-term review of the White Paper on Transport. The own-initiative report put forward by the EP Transport Committee asks the Commission to propose concrete measure and initiatives for better implementation of the strategy.

On Wednesday, after Juncker’s SOTEU address, Members will vote on whether to give consent to the Ratification of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. This is the first multilateral agreement concluded within the Doha round. This WTO Protocol would modernise customs and other procedures in international trade. Our second podcast is on this topic.

Ratifying the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement [Podcast]:

On Wednesday afternoon, Members are expected to hear from Federica Mogherini, the High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, on the Middle East Peace Process and on the agreement on Iran’s nuclear facilities, finalised over the summer. Check our At a glance note or get more in-depth with our keysource.

You can subscribe to the podcast via the Europarl podcast page, Stitcher or TuneIn and automatically receive all new episodes.


A list of all material prepared for this Plenary Session:
Strengthening EU measures to fight customs fraud : DEENESFRITPL
The urban dimension of EU policies : DEENESFRITPL
Investment for jobs and growth in EU regions : DEENESFRITPL
Mid-term review of the White Paper on Transport : DEENESFRITPL
Ratifying the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement : DEENESFRITPL
Cloning of animals kept and reproduced for farming purposes : EN
Provisional measures for relocating asylum-seekers arriving in Italy and Greece : EN
Nuclear deal with Iran : EN


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