All the Members of European Parliament (EP) move this week to Strasbourg for their monthly plenary session in order to debate and vote on current European issues. The most important issue of this session is without any doubts the re-election of Jose Manuel Barroso as President of the European Commision. The key-vote on the 2nd 5-years term for Mr Barroso took place on Wednesday 16th at 12.00. In spite of the reluctance expressed on behalf of all political groups except EPP prior the vote, José Manuel Barroso has been re-elected by a solid majority -382 votes in is favour out of 718, 219 against and 117 abstentions-.
Here is an overview of the political agenda of European Parliament for September 2009. The session was inaugurated with speech of recently elected EP President Jerzy Buzek, in which he pointed out political priorities for his term of office. The economic crisis remains the biggest challenge Europe currently faces and the risk of falling into the spiral of harmful protectionist measures is elevated. He called for a common energy approach and more investment in renewable and fossil fuels.
Jose Manuel Barroso’s turn was on Tuesday 15th. He tried to outline his point of view with the clear aim of gaining the endorsement for his 2nd – term candidacy of centre – left and leftist parties, therefore focusing on economic recovery combined with the enforcement of social market. He promised to revise the working time directive, if reappointed.
Besides the substantial matter of discussing Commission’s future, MEPs will examine on Wednesday a pan – European approach to the next G20 Summit in Pittsburgh, debating principally bankers’ salaries and bonuses, the supervision of financial markets and restrictions on the size of banks. They will also vote on Commission’s plan to prolong public aid to buy up butter and milk powder until February 2010 and they will question the proposed agreement between the EU and the US on the transfer of bank data via the SWIFT network.