Tough debates in Strasbourg2009/09/14
This week, the 736 MEP’s gather in Strasbourg for a number of interesting debates and votes. The ’hottest’ item on the agenda is the vote on the Commission president on Wednesday. As readers would know, the Swedish government hopes that Parliament will approve the nomination of Mr. Barroso for a second term.
The Presidency will also be involved in a number of debates. Minister for Migration Tobias Billström will be here this morning to present the Council’s view on current migration issues, whereas Beatrice Ask, the Minister for Justice, will debate ’SWIFT’ (transfer of certain bank data between the EU and the US) in plenary on Thursday.
As the minister primarily in charge of relations to Parliament, I’m looking forward to a debate with Members on the EU Baltic Sea Strategy, one of the top priorities of the Swedish Presidency. I am also scheduled for debates on a range of very specific topics, such as visa liberalisation for parts of the Western Balkans and the controversial law in Lithuania prohibiting public information on homosexuality.
On Wednesday evening, it’s time for Council’s question time, where I will do my best to respond to Member’s concerns about on issues ranging from EU foreign policy to Council’s work on transparency, unemployment measures and animal welfare.