EU Parliament week ahead: GDPR, migration top of the agenda

MEPs will this week discuss the implemention of the GDPR, migration and EU-US relations.

European Parliament Brussels | Photo credit: Press Association

By Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a senior reporter at the Parliament Magazine

14 May 2018

Members of Parliament’s civil liberties committee will this week meet to discuss the EU data protection package.

Adopted in 2016, the main proposal of the package is to strengthen citizen rights. Member states had two years to implement the package’s measures and the committee’s members will assess on Tuesday how effective implementation has been so far.

Speaking at a briefing on Monday, a Parliament spokesperson said MEPs and national MPs will discuss the implementation of the package with law enforcement authorities, intergovernmental organisations, enterprises and IT specialists.

The meeting this week comes with the new general data protection regulation (GDPR) due to come into effect on 25 May.

The regulation will mean better protection of personal data, tough sanctions for infringements, and reduced bureaucracy. Abuse of data, as in the case of Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, will cost companies up to four per cent of global annual turnover. Uniform EU-wide standards will apply to all companies, regardless of whether they are based in the European Union or in Silicon Valley.

On Wednesday, meanwhile, MEPs in Parliament’s civil liberties, budgets and budgetary control committees will look at EU funding for migration policies and assess how it is being spent.

In their review of EU migration expenditure, MEPs are expected to propose ways to improve the efficiency of such funding.

In a resolution adopted last month, MEPs said the “time has come for EU leaders to take a decision on the burning issue of reforming the EU’s migration policy.”

They stressed the need to put the EU’s migration package back on the agenda for upcoming summits, in order for EU leaders to reach a breakthrough and define a common position. 

Among other measures, MEPs called for better protection of the EU’s external borders, introducing national quotas for receiving migrants and reiterated the idea of an EU Marshall Plan for Africa. 

During the coming week, dedicated to committee meetings, MEPs are also expected to call for a ban on “early and enforced marriages”.

They will vote on a resolution calling for a minimum age of 18 for all marriages both in the EU and third countries.

Elsewhere, MEPs in Parliament’s international trade and foreign affairs committees will hold a public hearing on current US-EU relations.

The recommendations of the hearing will feed into a parliamentary resolution, drafted by German EPP group MEP Elmar Brok, to be tabled later this year. 


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