The EU This Week 11 – 17 May 2020

The EU This Week 11 – 17 May 2020

Plenary Session, Brussels

New EU long-term budget. MEPs will debate the post-2020 budget revision and economic recovery package plans with Commission and Council on Wednesday and vote on a resolution on Friday, to ensure that the new MFF (Multiannual Financial Framework) proposal to be tabled by the Commission turns the EU budget into an efficient tool for restarting the EU economy.

Safeguard EU budget 2021. Parliament will also vote on a legislative initiative report requesting that the European Commission submits a proposal for an MFF contingency plan by 15 June 2020 to avoid programme funding being disrupted on 1 January 2021 in the event that the approval of the long-term budget is delayed. (Wednesday 13 May)

Hungary. Parliament will address the threats to democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights posed by the Hungarian government’s recently introduced emergency powers in light of COVID-19, in a debate with Council and Commission on Wednesday evening.

COVID-19 tracing apps. MEPs will discuss the use of smartphone apps in managing the spread of the pandemic and how to ensure data protection and privacy rights are fully respected. (Thursday 14 May)

COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. Boosting research to ensure everyone has swift access to future vaccines and treatments for the novel Coronavirus will be at the core of a debate with Council and Commission on Thursday.

Water reuse. To remedy fresh water scarcity, MEPs will vote on new requirements to safely use recycled waste water for agricultural irrigation and other purposes. (Wednesday 13 May)

70th anniversary of the Schuman Declaration. Commemorating Robert Schuman’s declaration of 9 May 1950 that set out the European Union’s founding principles, MEPs will discuss how the Conference on the Future of Europe (expected to start later this year, with citizen participation at its core) can help the EU to overcome current and future challenges. (Thursday 14 May)

Committees

Artificial Intelligence package. Intellectual property rights for the development of AI, ethical aspects of AI technologies and robotics, as well as the civil liability regime for AI will be debated by the Legal Affairs Committee (Tuesday 12 May).

Just Transition Fund. The Regional Development Committee will hold the first debate on the proposed Just Transition Fund, the first legislative proposal implementing the priorities set out in the European Green Deal. Topics likely to be discussed include the scope of the support, the budget envelope, as well as the new Fund’s relation to existing instruments of the EU’s cohesion policy (Tuesday 12 May).

Circular economy and biodiversity: The Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee will debate the new Circular Economy Action Plan and the upcoming Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 with Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius. (Tuesday 12 May)

President’s Diary

The President will invite civil society actors engaged in daily solidarity actions to take the floor on Saturday 9 May, in a livestreamed event in the Brussels Chamber celebrating EUROPE DAY 2020: 70 YEARS OF SOLIDARITY. On Wednesday, he will open the plenary session in Brussels and chair the debates on the EU response to COVID-19 and the recovery plan within the long-term budget with Council President Charles Michel and Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

Pre-session press briefing. The EP Press and Spokesperson Services will hold a virtual press briefing together with spokespersons of Parliament’s political groups (tbc), on Wednesday. A media advisory, including exact timing and technical specifications, will be published on the press-room webpage ahead of the online press conference.

Neal Path

Neal Path is a reporter covering international affairs and defense news. He leads a team of specialist technical journalists and defense forecasting analysts, working across a range of online products. Neal Path is a defense technology specialist and has written widely on most areas of defense technology, but his particular areas of interest include missile defense, precision weapons, naval warfare, sensor capabilities and military operations.
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