21 MEPs in London for meetings with UK counterparts, EU citizens and students
On Monday 4 and Tuesday 5 December, a delegation of 21 MEPs was in London for the fourth gathering of the EU-UK Parliamentary Partnership Assembly. They stayed until Wednesday 6 December to attend a series of side events with representatives of EU citizens' organisations in the UK, European Societies of various universities and European Parliament Ambassador Schools. On 6 December, they participated in a Citizens' Gathering with over 150 representatives of EU citizens' organisations, EU member states and international organisations.
The fourth meeting of the EU-UK Parliamentary Partnership Assembly (PPA) took place in London on 4-5 December 2023, with two sessions over two half days.
The first session, in the afternoon of Monday 4 December, was opened by Dame Rosie Winterton MP, Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, and was divided in two parts. The first part took place in plenary and was devoted to the following issues:
• The state of play within the Partnership Council
• Mobility of people.
The second part of the session was organised around three thematic breakout groups on data protection, fisheries and on citizens' rights.
The second session, on Tuesday 5 December in the morning, was opened by the Rt Hon Lord McFall of Alcluith, Lord Speaker, and took place in plenary. Members exchanged views on artificial intelligence as well as on climate change, including the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism.
The PPA meeting was live web-streamed on the UK Parliament YouTube channel.
The meeting was co-chaired by Ms. Nathalie Loiseau, Chair of the European Parliament's Delegation, and Sir Oliver Heald, Chair of the Delegation of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The Assembly agreed on a “Recommendation on youth mobility schemes, student exchanges, school trips, and touring artists”.
After the PPA meeting ended on Tuesday, Members could participate in a number of side events throughout London with representatives of EU citizens' organisations in the UK, European Societies of several universities and attended an award ceremony at the Instituto Español Vicente Cañada Blanch, which gathered three of our European Parliament Ambassador Schools (the Emerson Park Academy, from Hornchurch and the Cherwell School, from Oxford, both came to London for this special occasion).
On 6 December, MEPs participated in the EU Citizens’ Gathering 2023, a highly praised event organized by the EU Delegation in the UK, in close cooperation with the European Parliament Office in the UK. This second edition of the Citizens’ Gathering brought together over 150 representatives of EU citizens’ organisations, EU member states’ embassies and EU institutions. This year’s focus was to:
• Explore the most pressing issues for EU citizens and reinforce their capacity for advocacy
• Develop “Europe” themed activities to allow citizens to engage more with the EU
• Prepare for awareness raising and mobilisation for the 2024 European Parliament elections
• Highlighting the together.eu platform as an important tool to bring these communities together
• Discuss an award scheme for outstanding achievements
• Empower the network.
These events were an opportunity for Members to reiterate that Citizens’ rights, both of EU citizens living in the UK and UK citizens living in the EU, “were and had always been the priority of the EP Delegation to the PPA”.
The EU-UK Parliamentary Partnership Assembly meets twice a year, once in London, and once in either Brussels or Strasbourg. It was set up following the entry into force of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) in January 2021. The PPA acts as a forum for the European Parliament and the UK Parliament to exchange views on EU-UK relations. It can also request information from the Partnership Council – the main joint EU-UK body overseeing the implementation of the TCA – and make recommendations to it. The first meeting was held in Brussels on 12 and 13 May 2022.
The Partnership Council is currently chaired by the European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič and UK Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs the Rt Hon Lord David Cameron.
Photos of the events can be found here.