Looking ahead to the next European Council agenda, Tim Allan – S&D Press Officer – explains his group’s stance and expectations. First, of course, the UK referendum and Tusk’s proposals. These are broadly welcomed by the S&D group. We are more skeptical about welfare reforms and the freedom of movement, said Allan. The S&D Press Officer also put emphasis on the mutual benefits that both sides bring to each other.
Next, the migration crisis and the Schengen area. That we still have not seen a Europe-wide response to Schengen, one of the cornerstones of the EU, is very concerning for our group, said Allan. Maybe this EU Council will be the occasion for some EU Member States to grasp the gravity and dramatic consequences of their responses.
TiSA is also very high on the agenda. Less (in)famous than its big brother, TTIP, the Trade in Services Agreement draft was well received by MEPs during last week’s plenary but, as Allan said, there is a fear of deregulation by the back door. Finally, the Socialists and Democrats launched their Africa Week, a series of political and cultural events aimed at celebrating African-EU relations. Africa Week will take place on 5-7 April 2016.