you're reading...
Institutional and Legal Affairs, PUBLICATIONS

Session round-up – Strasbourg, September 2017

Written by Katarzyna Sochacka,

Jean-Claude Juncker delivers the 2017 State of the Union address in plenary

Jean-Claude Juncker delivers the 2017 State of the Union address in plenary. © European Union 2017 – Source : EP

In addition to the State of the Union address by European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, the main debates held during Parliament’s September plenary session included questions such as fire safety in buildings, the impact of hurricane Irma, breaches of human rights and a series of statements related to external relations presented by the High Representative, Federica Mogherini.

On the legislative front, Members voted, inter alia, on proposals concerning the WIFI4EU regulation (an initiative to promote internet connectivity in local communities), security of gas supply, the European Accessibility Act and the European Venture Capital Funds and European Social Entrepreneurship Funds investment schemes. Parliament pushed the Council to move forward with ratifying the Istanbul Convention on combating violence against women. It also raised concerns over the EU Common Position on arms export, as well as adopting three resolutions aimed at modernising EU-Chile trade relations.

State of the Union

The key debate of the September plenary session followed the State of the Union address by Jean-Claude Juncker. Noting that the overall outlook has changed for the better over the past year, notably thanks to an accelerating economic recovery, President Juncker based his address on the scenarios proposed in the Commission’s white paper on the future of Europe of March 2017, followed by the series of more detailed reflection papers on economic and monetary union, EU finances, EU defence, the social dimension and harnessing globalisation.

Much interest focused on Juncker’s advocacy of various euro area and EU institutional reforms. He proposed the designation of a euro-area finance minister, who would preside over the Eurogroup, as well as being a member of the Commission. He supported the development of a European Monetary Fund, but not the creation of a separate euro-area budget, preferring a dedicated budget line within the EU budget. He also said there should not be a separate euro-area parliament either. He favoured combining the presidencies of the Commission and the European Council, and supported a new, additional transnational constituency for the European elections. On the policy front, he advocated a pro-innovation industrial strategy, a reinforced social pillar, an authority to supervise fairness in the single market, better handling of migratory flows, and new trade agreements.

Special committee on terrorism

Parliament voted on the composition of the special committee on terrorism which has been mandated to investigate shortcomings in the EU fight against terrorism. The constituent meeting took place on Thursday 14 September, with Nathalie Griesbeck (ALDE, France) elected as chair.

Fire safety in buildings

Following the Grenfell Tower fire in London on 14 June 2017, Council and Commission representatives made statements on fire safety in buildings. With a view to harmonising fire-testing of building facades at EU level, the current revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive and the possible revision of the Construction Products Regulation could help to prevent such disasters happening in the future.


As part of the regular Thursday debates on breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law, particular attention was devoted to the rapidly escalating humanitarian disaster with regard to the situation of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar.

Read this At a glance on ‘Session round-up – Strasbourg, September 2017‘ on the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.



  1. Pingback: Session round-up – Strasbourg, September 2017 | - September 15, 2017

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Download the EPRS App

EPRS App on Google Play
EPRS App on App Store
What Europe Does For You
EU Legislation in Progress
Topical Digests
EPRS Podcasts

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3,383 other followers

RSS Link to Members’ Research Service

Disclaimer and Copyright statement

The content of all documents (and articles) contained in this blog is the sole responsibility of the author and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily represent the official position of the European Parliament. It is addressed to the Members and staff of the EP for their parliamentary work. Reproduction and translation for non-commercial purposes are authorised, provided the source is acknowledged and the European Parliament is given prior notice and sent a copy.

For a comprehensive description of our cookie and data protection policies, please visit Terms and Conditions page.

Copyright © European Union, 2014-2019. All rights reserved.

%d bloggers like this: