October 2014 EP plenary Newsletter: New Commission, EU Budget 2015, EU Semester, and more

In this edition:

1. Super Grand Coalition EPP-S&D-ALDE approved the New European Commission
2. Pro-EU groups reversed the Council’s cuts in the draft EU budget for 2015
3. EP urged Member States to fully implement EU Semester 2014 economic priorities
4. MEPs backed a prolong Ukraine’s duty-free access to the EU market


1. Super Grand Coalition EPP-S&D-ALDE approved the New European Commission

The European Parliament elected the new European Commission led by Jean-Claude Juncker.
The decision passed by 423 votes in favour, 209 against and 67 abstentions. The winning majority was composed of the EPP, S&D (with the Spanish delegation abstaining) and ALDE groups. GUE/NGL, Greens/EFA and EFDD groups voted against while the ECR group, who gave the instruction to abstain, was split.

The new Commission will start its five-year term on 1 November 2014.

Com vote graph

Click here to see how each MEP voted.

 

2. Pro-EU groups reversed the Council’s cuts in the draft EU budget for 2015

The report on the draft EU budget for 2015, calling for the increase of funding for EU priorities, was adopted by 464 votes in favour, 186 against and 46 abstentions. The EPP, S&D, ALDE groups and a majority of the Greens/EFA supported the report, while the radical-left group GUE/NGL and the EFDD group opposed it. The ECR group was split, with the Polish delegation supporting the text.

This resolution by the EU Parliament reversed all Council cuts in the EU draft budget for 2015 and even increased the amount proposed by the Commission for priorities such as growth, jobs, research and education. By reversing the Council cut of €522 millions in committement and €2.1 billion in payments, the EP raised commitment appropriations to €146.3 billion and payment appropriations to €146.4 billion for 2015.

The Council and that Parliament will now aim at agreeing on a common deal by 17 November. Next year’s budget is set to be voted by Parliament on 26 November.

Click here to see how each MEP voted.

 

3. EP urged Member States to fully implement EU Semester 2014 economic priorities

The pro-EU coalition EPP, S&D and ALDE adopted a resolution on the implementation of “European Semester” economic reform priorities for 2014, stressing that the most important targets of the economic policy are the restore of Member States’ competitiveness and reduce unemployment. The text calls on the Commission to establish the EU investment program of 300 billion euro proposed by Jean-Claude Juncker in order to stimulate recovery.

The resolution also recalls that the Member States’ past performance on implementing the Commission’s country-specific recommendations (CSRs) is very low; only 10% of these for 2013 have been fully implemented and little or no progress was made on 45% of them.

The resolution claims that CSRs’ implementation is a precondition for achieving economic coordination which is central to ensure the financial and economic stability and competitiveness. The text also asks for more transparency in the decision process. A majority of the Members believe that the coordination of economic policies in the EU as well as troika programmes in the bail-out countries should be subject to more democratic control by the European Parliament.

The resolution was approved by 426 votes in favour, 240 against and 10 abstentions.

EU Semester

Click here to see how each MEP voted.

 

4. MEPs backed an extension of Ukraine’s duty-free access to the EU market

The legislative resolution extending the duty-free access of Ukraine to the EU market was approved by all the political groups with the exception of the GUE/NGL and the EFDD groups who opposed it. The latter group was split, with half of its Members opposing the text and the Italian delegation of the Five Stars Movement abstaining.

Regulation (EU) No 374/2014 on the reduction or elimination of customs duties on goods originating in Ukraine entered into force on 23 April 2014 and should cease to apply on 1 November 2014. However, do to the delay until 31 December 2015 of the applications of the DCFTA part of the Association Agreement, the EU agreed continuing autonomous trade measures (ATMs) to the benefit of Ukraine during this period and therefore to prolong the action of the Regulation (EU) No 374/2014 until the end of 2015.

The EP passed the proposal by 497 votes in favour, 78 against and 56 abstentions.

Click here to see how each MEP voted.

 

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