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  • Author: METRO Office EU Affairs

News from Brussels / Week 12 - 18 November 2016

Last week the European Parliament and the Council could finally break a deal on the EU budget for 2017. In the European Parliament the EPP and ALDE groups re-elected Manfred Weber and Guy Verhofstadt as Chairs, whereas Martin Schulz (S&D) continues his campaign for re-election as President of the European Parliament. Further, Commissioner for Agriculture Paul Hogan presented the final report of the #AgrimarketsTaskforce on the position of farmers in the food supply chain.

#All set for 2017: Agreement on the EU budget
The Council and the European Parliament have reached an agreement on the 2017 budget. Total commitments are set at €157.88 billion and payments at €134.49 billion. EU main priorities´ for the new year will be migration and security, as well as growth and jobs. €21.3 billion will be dedicated to boost economic growth and promote job creation, i.e. a 12% increase compared to the 2016 budget. The Council is expected to formally adopt the budget on 29 November and the European Parliament on 1 December.

#AgrimarketsTaskforce presents its report on the position of farmers
On 14 November Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan and Cees Veerman, Chairman of the Agricultural Markets Task Force (AMTF), presented the report on the position of farmers in the food supply chain. The report entitled “Enhancing the position of farmers in the supply chain” examines the position of farmers in the supply chain and gives recommendations on how to better protect the sector against market instability and price volatility.

Concerning unfair trading practices (UTPs), the Task Force has recommended the Commission to introduce framework legislation and to support effective enforcement regimes at national level.  In response to the report, EuroCommerce recalled that the Commission concluded already last January that there is no need for common legislation at EU level, as national laws are already in place in most Member States, including mechanisms for sanctions. Instead, the Commission should focus on a better organisation of agricultural markets to make them more responsive to market signals and changing consumer demands.

Press release (European Commission)
Press release (EuroCommerce)

#No big surprises or new names
Manfred Weber and Guy Verhofstadt have both been re-elected as chairs of the European People’s Party (EPP) and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats at the European Parliament (ALDE), respectively. Manfred Weber, who has chaired the EPP group since 2014, was re-elected by an overwhelming majority - 97.8% of the votes. The EPP has also elected 10 Vice-Chairs. Guy Verhofstadt will also continue to chair of he ALDE group, a post that he assumed in 2009.

Press Release (EPP Group)
Press Article

#Stiglitz on the dark side of globalisation…
This is how the Nobel Prize-winner Joseph Stiglitz called tax havens during his visit to the Panama Papers Committee in the European Parliament. According to Mr. Steglitz: “It's vital Europe takes up the leadership in the fight against tax evasion“. A short video with the highlights of the hearing can be found here.

Press release (European Parliament)

This week…
… the European Parliament is having its plenary session in Strasburg. Our MEPs will be discussing, among other topics, the new revision of the Anti-Money Laundering Directive and a future EU-wide VAT system. On Wednesday, the European Commission is hosting the “Conference on smart, innovative and sustainable urban mobility”, while the Permanent study group on sustainable food systems will meet in the European Economic and Social Committee.

METRO Office EU Affairs

Information about the author

METRO Office EU Affairs is the team in the Representative Office of METRO AG in Brussels. Brussels@metro.de