Packed agenda for Parliament's April mini plenary
Next week’s parliamentary plenary will discuss the recent controversial referendum in Turkey, which is expected to result in sweeping new powers for Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan, and the situation in Venezuela.
European Parliament Brussels | Photo credit: European Parliament audiovisual
Parliament at its mini plenary in Brussels is also expected to approve a resolution on what an EPP group spokesperson calls the “alarming” situation in Venezuela where eight people have died in the past three weeks of violent protest against President Nicolás Maduro.
The EPP group says it will table a motion which aims to condemn the continued “unconstitutional violation of the democratic order” and the recent decision of the Supreme Court to suspend the powers of the Venezuelan National Assembly.
A resolution from the group, the largest in Parliament, is expected to call on the Venezuelan government to allow transparent elections as a way to end the current political impasse.
- MEPs call for suspension of Turkey EU membership talks
- Commission guide: Thyssen vows to tackle 'plague' of youth unemployment head on
- Dita Charanzová:EU must act against 'ever increasing authoritarian practices' in Venezuela
- Dijsselbloem faces further calls to resign as Eurogroup chief
On Friday, an EPP group spokesman said, “We will also condemn the decision to ban the opposition leader Henrique Capriles from holding political office for 15 years, and will call for the immediate release of all political prisoners. The group will also call on the Venezuelan authorities to allow humanitarian aid into the country as a matter of urgency.”
MEPs will also discuss the situation in Turkey, particularly focusing on the constitutional referendum of 16 April.
Ahead of the plenary debate, Turkey's main opposition CHP party said on Friday it was making a court appeal against the decision by the High Electoral Board (YSK) to accept unstamped ballots in the tightly contested referendum granting President Tayyip Erdoğan wide new powers.
“We are filing an appeal to the council of state today demanding the cancellation of the YSK decision to accept unstamped ballots,” CHP deputy Chair Bülent Tezcan said in a statement.
Turkey's council of state is the high judicial body handling all complaints and appeals against state and public institutions. The CHP and a pro-Kurdish opposition party had pledged to take legal action against what they said were irregularities in Sunday's referendum.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, European employment and social affairs Commissioner Marianne Thyssen will present and discuss with MEPs the Commission’s ‘social pillar’ initiative to ensure social protection, dignity and a decent work-life balance for EU citizens.
The situation in Hungary, including legislative measures that could force the closure of the Central European University in Budapest, is up for a parliamentary debate on Wednesday.
On Thursday, MEPs will quiz Jeroen Dijsselbloem, Eurogroup President and leading figure in the EU Commission/European Central Bank/IMF ‘Troika’, on the second review of the Greek reform programme.
European Commissioner Günther Oettinger has said the UK will have to transfer funds to Brussels "at least until 2020", even after it leaves the EU in 2019.
European Parliament President Antonio Tajani has condemned the arrests of opposition leaders in Venezuela as unjustified.
Parliament's EPP group leader Manfred Weber has again called Turkey's EU talks to be suspended.
Armenia's abrupt political U-turn, clearly imposed by Moscow, has interrupted a number of promising legislative processes in the field of human rights.
If Europe is serious about fighting terrorism and extremism, the institutions of the EU need to be more actively engaged in the current situation involving Qatar, argues Richard Burchill.
TTIP will allow Brussels greater influence in Washington, argues Craig Willy.