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  • Author: METRO Office EU Affairs

News from Brussels / Week 19 - 25 November 2016

Last week saw a plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, where President Martin Schulz announced that he will not run for re-election, but instead move to Berlin as a candidate for the Bundestag election. The European Commission presented proposals to tighten the Code of Conduct for Commissioners, as well as a myriad of measures to boost the “start-up scene” in Europe.

#Boost to start-ups in Europe
On 22 November, the European Commission presented its Start-up and Scale-up Initiative, which aims at creating a flourishing environment for start-ups in Europe. The initiative brings together a range of existing and new actions to create a more coherent framework to allow start-ups to grow and do business across the continent. Among the issues tackled within the initiative are improved access to finance, second chance for entrepreneurs and simpler tax filings.
Press Release (Commission)

#Tightening the Code of Conduct for Commissioners
President Jean-Claude Juncker announced the plans of the Commission to tighten the Code of Conduct for Commissioners by extending the "cooling-off" period from currently 18 months to two years for former Commissioners and to three years for the President of the Commission. The new rules are part of the updated 2010 Framework Agreement on relations between the European Parliament and the European Commission. The Agreement shall be subject to change in order to allow Commissioners to be candidates to the European Parliament’s elections without having to take a leave of absence.
Press Release (Commission)

#Schulz moves to Berlin
Martin Schulz has announced that he will not seek another term as President of the European Parliament, thus paving the way for the EPP to take over the office. Schulz will instead become a candidate for the elections of the German Bundestag in autumn 2017. He didn’t clarify, however, what role he intends to play in the election campaign. The EPP now has to agree on a nominee for Schulz’ successor. Contenders are, among others, Alain Lamassoure, Antonio Tajani and Maired McGuiness. Manfred Weber is also frequently mentioned, but has so far denied any ambitions.

#Making the European Youth Pact work
Commissioner for Employment Marianne Thyssen has met with Etienne Davignon, President of CSR Europe, as well as with CEO’s from multinationals and NGO’s to discuss further proceedings to implement the European Pact for Youth. The business world has reaffirmed their commitment in order to support youth employability and inclusion. The first European Vocational Skills Week will take place from 5 December to 9 December.
Press Release (CSR Europe)
Speech by Commissioner Thyssen (Commission)

This week…
… in the European Parliament the Committees for Agriculture and International Trade will jointly meet to discuss with Commisioners Phil Hogan and Cecilian Malmström on the effects for agriculture of the envisaged trade agreements. In the Council, the representatives will discuss on how to proceed with geoblocking. And the Commission will launch on Thursday the Coalition for Digital Skills & Jobs.

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