The first big change concerns the group of the European People's Party and European Democrats (EPP-ED
), the centre-right majority group in the EP, with 288 members out of 785.
group has proposed access to cross-border health care without prior authorisation in three specific instances: medical urgency, the existence of a waiting list in the home member state and patients diagnosed with rare diseases.
Inigo Mendez de Vigo (Spain) could, at one time, have been a potential opponent, the Spanish EPP-ED
delegation being one of the most important (24 seats).
Parliament's rapporteur on the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Development (FP7), Jerzy Buzek (EPP-ED
, Poland), meanwhile criticised the lack of funding over 2007-2013 for competitiveness, which has seen its allocation cut by 50%.
With the recent merger between the National Alliance and Forza Italia, the Italian EPP-ED
delegation will grow and could gain ten seats.
Week of 22 June: vote on EPP-ED
's candidate for the European Parliament presidency
This concerns the report by Jean-Paul Gauzes (EPP-ED
, France) which aims to strengthen the transparency, independence and good governance of European credit rating agencies with a view to improving the quality and reliability of credit ratings as well as consumer trust; the report by Peter Skinner (PES, UK) on the Solvency II Directive, which consists of reorganising, in a global manner, the supervisory framework intended to ensure the financial stability of the insurance sector; and the report by Henri Weber (PES, France) on reducing administrative burdens in the case of mergers and demergers.
In two documents published on 4 December, the EPP-ED
defines its guidelines for "political strategy" and communication: a "decalogue" or list of ten priorities for the European elections in 2009 and a "centre-right contribution" for the next two decades titled The world in 2025: How the European Union will need to respond'.
"We voted against the only instrument which would allow for regulation of the health system, the protection of patients rights and the quality of health care." Furious about the hours spent in negotiating (several compromise amendments were presented by the EPP-ED
and the PES) she blamed those MEPs who changed their votes at the last minute.
Berlusconi's supporters sit in the EPP-ED
. With 24 seats, the Italian delegation is the third biggest behind the Germans (49) and British (27), followed closely by the Spaniards, with 23 members.
The traditional agreement between the two biggest groups in the European Parliament, the EPP-ED
and the PES, each of which holds the presidency of the European Parliament for half the length of the legislative period, has come under challenge from some members.
The letter was signed by the intergroup bureau (which currently consists of 68 MEPs from the entire political spectrum) including the chairman Jean Marie Beaupuy (ALDE, FR), Jan Olbrycht (EPP-ED
, PL), Lambert van Nistelrooij (EPP-ED
, NL), Mieczyslaw Janowski (UEN, PL), Arlene McCarthy (PES, UK), Alfonso Andria (ALDE, IT), Oldrich Vlasak (EPP-ED
, CZ), Alain Hutchinson (PES, BE), Gisela Kallenbach (Greens/EFA, DE) and Francisca Pleguezuelos (PES, ES).