Summary

Next week is a constituency week for Members of the European Parliament (“MEPs”). MEPs will go back to their home countries to handle national issues, or convene in their parliamentary delegations to work on matters related to non-EU Member States.

This past week was however important, as many significant initiatives were adopted by the Parliament.

On Tuesday, MEPs adopted amendments on the proposal for a Regulation on CE marked fertilizing products. The proposal for a Regulation seeks to repeal the existing Fertilizers Regulation. It introduces revised EU market access rules to incentivize the large-scale production of fertilizers in the EU from domestic organic or secondary raw materials, with a view to reducing the EU’s dependence on imported substances, such as phosphate. The proposal also provides measures to address the issue of soil and food contamination. It also introduces harmonized cadmium limits for phosphate fertilizers to protect human health and reduce environmental risks. The amendments were proposed by the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (“IMCO”). The Council has yet to adopt its position on these proposals. See the proposal for a Regulation here, and the text adopted by the European Parliament here.

Also on Tuesday, the plenary adopted a non-binding resolution in favor of phasing out the herbicide glyphosate in Europe by the end of 2022, with immediate restrictions where biological alternatives are available in farming and for household uses of the substance. The European Parliament therefore opposes the European Commission’s proposal to renew the license for 10 years. While the resolution is not binding, it puts pressure on the Commission not to renew the license. MEPs stated that a five-year phase-out of the herbicide is sufficient. See the text adopted here.

On the same day, MEPs approved an update to the EU-Morocco Euro-Mediterranean Aviation Agreement, an open skies agreement between the bloc and Morocco that has been in place provisionally since 2006. As Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania became EU Member States after 2006, the Agreement had to be amended to include these countries in its geographical scope. Tuesday’s vote in the plenary concluded this process. See the text adopted here.

On Thursday, the European Parliament approved its negotiation position on the e-Privacy Regulation, with 318 votes in favor, 280 against and 20 abstentions. The approved text, among others, protects encrypted communications and prohibits websites from refusing to provide free services to users who do not accept cookies. The text supports robust restrictions on how governments and businesses can access and monitor digital communications. See the draft ePrivacy Regulation here.

Meetings and Agenda

  • No official meetings in the European Parliament are planned before November 6, 2017.