Opening of the new European Parliament plenary session

Floods, cooperation and economic governance are scheduled for the plenary session of the European Parliament.

Parliament to debate Commission strategic priorities for 2012
MEPs will discuss the Commission’s work programme for next year with its President José Manuel Barroso on Tuesday. The current legislative term (2009-14) is the first in which MEPs had a say on the programme before the Commission approves it, due to changes introduced by the Lisbon Treaty.

Parliament keeps up the pressure on economic governance
MEPs are likely to put pressure on Messrs Van Rompuy and Barroso to take a tougher line on accountability and transparency, and develop a policy approach that is not essentially based on the decisions of just a couple of Member States.

Cutting down sovereign debt speculation and certain short selling practices
Profiteering from a country’s fiscal troubles will be made much harder by legislation on short selling and credit default swaps (CDS), to be voted on Tuesday. This legislation, a response to the financial crisis, was heavily influenced by Parliament, in particular to ban buying CDS where the buyer does not already own the country’s underlying bonds.

Future of cohesion and farm policies
On Tuesday, MEPs will quiz Commissioners Hahn and Cioloş on how to make EU cohesion and farm policy simpler, more competitive and growth and jobs oriented after 2014.Parliament is determined to use its full prerogatives as co-legislator to shape the future design of both policies.

MEPs to call for strong EU position at UN climate summit
The EU should fight to continue the Kyoto Protocol and keep CO2 emissions in check beyond 2012, says a draft resolution to be voted on Wednesday, two weeks before the UN climate summit in Durban, South Africa. Moving beyond the current 20% emissions reduction target for 2020 would stimulate the EU economy, it adds.

LUX Cinema Prize to be awarded on Wednesday
President Jerzy Buzek will announce the winner of the LUX Cinema Prize for 2011, in a plenary chamber ceremony at midday on Wednesday.

Making it easier for doctors to work abroad in the EU
To make it easier for doctors, engineers, dentists and other professionals to work in abroad within the EU, host Member States need to recognise their qualifications faster, but without compromising the reliability or safety of their work for citizens, says a resolution to be voted on Tuesday.

Call to act to halt bee deaths
The EU should step up investment in research on new medicines to prevent bee deaths and coordinate its efforts to protect what is fast becoming an endangered species, says a resolution to be voted on Tuesday.

European heritage label from 2013
Symbolic sites for Europe’s history or integration will be eligible for a voluntary European heritage label from 2013 under plans to be voted by Parliament on Wednesday. The label would be granted, for example, to monuments, natural or industrial sites, or places of remembrance.

EP set to tighten up EU railway market rules
Parliament votes Wednesday on plans to tighten up EU railway market rules in order to establish a truly open and competitive single European railway area, offering more and better rail services for freight customers and passengers.

Online gambling: MEPs to call for EU-wide coordination to fight the black market and protect children
EU Member States should be free to make their own rules on online gambling, but should also co-ordinate them, so as to combat illegal cross-border gambling, protect children, and prevent vulnerable adults from getting addicted, says a resolution to be voted on Tuesday.

Other items on the agenda:
- Court of Auditors’ annual report on EU spending in 2010
- MEPs to allow temporary duty-free imports of industrial goods to the Canary Islands
- Aid worth €42.3 million to redundant workers in Ireland, Austria and Greece
- EU-US summit debate
- MEPs set to vote €40 million for integrated maritime policy
- Roma discrimination
- MEPs to call for international action to combat illegal fishing
- Helping small cinemas survive the digital switch
- Keeping the internet open and neutral
- Human rights and democracy resolutions

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