Parliament Agenda: ALDE priorities for the week of 30 April 2012

Jennifer Baker is joined by Neil Corlett, ALDE Spokesperson, to discuss the EU Agenda for this week in the latest issue of ‘previEUws’.

First point on this week’s agenda is the ACTA-agreement, which still needs to be ratified in the EU. Given the widespread public protests against the digital chapter of the anti-privacy treaty, the ambiguous language used and the lack of transparency in the process of coming about, the Rapporteur already advised the European Parliament to vote against. Moreover, now that the liberals have voiced against the treaty there is a parliamentary majority dismissing ACTA as well.

Next point of discussion, is the debate surrounding the Schengen area. National politicians have been calling for the reintroduction of border controls,for a limited time in specific situations. Corlett identifies these calls as populist national stands, coming after an immigrant inflow resulting from the Arab Spring. He sees the Schengen area as one of the key achievements of the European Union, and argues that it would be a “shame to give into populist positions”.

Further attention goes out to the Mobile Phone Roaming proposal by Commissioner for Digital Agenda Kroes. It aims at bringing down the costs for using mobile phones abroad. Rates for calling and texting were already limited by EU law before, now it is time for data roaming. The ALDE spokesperson calls the proposal one of the flagship policies of the European Commission, aiming to create an open and competitive European market.

Finally, on Wednesday Brussels will see yet another Ecofin meeting, which brings together the Economics and Finance Ministers of all Member States. On the agenda are capital requirements, upcoming G20 & IMF meetings and of course the on-going Eurozone crisis. Neil Corlett points out that the liberals favor a structural solution, such as the proposed European Redemption Fund. Basically, this fund comprises the pooling of European debts, in order to get stable and lower interest rates.

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