Plenary topics

Strasbourg Plenary Session

The Parliament meets regularly to vote and debate at its plenary session, in Brussels or Strasbourg. Ahead of each plenary session, the S&D Group announces its priorities and its objectives for the main debates, reports and resolutions.

The S&D Group holds a press conference at 10:10-10:30 CET on Tuesdays during Strasbourg plenary weeks, in room LOW N-1/201. You can also watch it live via our homepage.

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Result: 223
Socialist and Democrat priorities on the agenda in the European Parliament in Strasbourg from 15 to 18 April 2013

2011 discharge: EU general budget, European Parliament

April 2013 (Strasbourg)
16/04/2013
The EPP rapporteur, Ms Ortiz, focused the discharge report for 2011 on the budget implementation for that specific year, as far as possible – as our S&D rapporteur did last year. Previous rapporteurs had tried to expand the scope of the discharge report far beyond budget implementation for the year in question.
 
At a time when national and European budgets are under huge pressure, scrutiny of the Parliament's budget implementation is just as necessary as scrutinising other European bodies. The report examines all areas of the Parliament's expenditure. Debate about the discharge of the Parliament is now included in the plenary agenda as a separate item, immediately before the debate on the other discharges. This was requested in last year's plenary resolution and, as in the report on the 2011 discharge, as voted in committee.
Socialist and Democrat priorities on the agenda in the European Parliament in Strasbourg from 15 to 18 April 2013

Timing of auctions of greenhouse gas allowances

April 2013 (Strasbourg)
15/04/2013
The European emission trading system (EU ETS) has created the world's first major carbon market, with an EU-wide carbon price being a key tool for reducing the EU’s industrial emissions in a cost-effective way. The original policy intention was to create a market-based measure that would stimulate the carbon price and positively influence investment in low-carbon technologies, which in turn would result in emission reductions. Despite a reduction in emissions since the start of the trading system, it currently faces serious challenges.
 
The economic crisis, combined with an over allocation of credits in the first two rounds of the trading system and a significant influx of external emission reduction credits from the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), have led to a significant surplus of allowances resulting in a carbon price of around 4 €/tnCO2 (compared to the envisaged 30 €/tnCO2 when the Climate and Energy package was adopted).
 
In order to address the current imbalances in the EU emission trading system, the Commission’s proposal aims to clarify the legislative provisions on the timing of auctions of allowances, as laid down in Directive 87/2003/EC, in order to adapt the auction timetable..
 
The proposal is to 'back-load' the system, meaning reducing the number of allowances auctioned over the next couple of years (2013-2015) and increasing the amount later auctioned in phase 3, which ends in 2020. In this way, fewer allowances will be on the market while demand remains very low and more allowances will be offered late in phase 3, when demand should have recovered. 'Back-loading' is not about permanently withholding or 'setting aside' allowances. Any permanent reduction would require a more substantial amendment of the EU ETS Directive to be agreed in a further co-decision procedure.
Socialist and Democrat priorities on the agenda in the European Parliament in Strasbourg from 15 to 18 April 2013

Equal treatment between men and women in the access to and supply of goods and services

April 2013 (Strasbourg)
15/04/2013
This EU directive entered into force on the 21 December 2004 and addresses gender equality and discrimination based on gender outside the field of employment for the first time at EU level.
 
The directive proved to be controversial in relation to gender as a factor for calculating premiums and benefits for insurance and financial services.
 
The ruling on the Test-Achats case had major consequences for premiums on car insurance. The rapporteur noted that a report on implementation and binding guidelines from the Commission would have been useful when applying the rules. The Commission must provide clear guidelines as to how to apply the directive and ensure that there are no loopholes in the legislation.