By Marlotte Dominicus
After awaking from their food comas, the Members of Parliament appeared right on time at the start of Day 2. During this morning, the discussion around the European Arrest Warrant was not hard to revive with the discussion of yesterday still clearly resonating in the minds of the Parliament members.
Whether it was the burrito’s or some after session chats, the focus this morning seemed to lay more on finding common grounds than yesterday. In the first part of the morning, the discussion aimed at how to structure enhancement of the EAW. This was an essential point of the debate, especially for the parties who believe in this tool and want it to stay in order. A discussion that started with granola bars as metaphors for enforcing European Arrest Warrants swiftly unfolded in a more meaningful debate as to who could actually enforce these EAW, and under whose supervision in order to encounter abuse of the EAW and secure transparency. As suggested by Sweden S&D and supported by Greece GUE- NGL yesterday, an EU wide coordination center seemed to be the best option, but there was no consensus as to whether this needed to be an already existing body, or creating a new body. Nonetheless, the other part of the Parliament still voiced opinion disapproving of handing over these powers or constituting yet another body, with the UK EFDD being the strongest voice against.
The biggest challenge of the morning sessions, however, was not related to the European Arrest Warrants specifically. After a counting of votes for a formal discussion that ended in a 25/25 tie and hence failed, the Members of Parliament requested a recount. After this was rejected by the Presidency, the S&D parties raised a motion of appeal, which, after voting, again failed by the magic number 25. The great number of people with placards waving in the air are, granted, hard to count one by one, by one person only. The chairs of the Presidency then resorted to counting them, all three for a triple check.
Moving to the afternoon sessions, the Parliament seems to be heading towards more substantial discussions on actual amendments to the Council’s proposals. This could not come at any later time, considering that time is ticking and another big topic is waiting just around the corner.