Also on the agenda: artificial intelligence, new rules for the European elections and harmful chemicals.
War in Ukraine
Parliament will organize a series of debates on the war in Ukraine and its impact. According to the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), 90% of the people who fled Ukraine after the Russian invasion are women and children. Parliament will adopt a resolution on Thursday on how to protect them from violence and sexual exploitation.
MEPs will examine the social and economic impact of the war on the EU on Wednesday. They should call for new sanctions against Russia. On Tuesday they will look at EU preparedness against cyber attacks and the impact of the war on transport. In addition, they will ask the various countries to return aircraft hired by foreign companies that have been re-registered in the Russian aviation register, in clear violation of the rules of international civil aviation.
New rules for the European elections
On Tuesday, MEPs will vote on a proposal for common rules around the European elections, including transnational candidate lists and a fixed day for elections in all countries on 9 May.
Parliament is preparing to adopt the final report of its special commission on artificial intelligence in the digital age (AIDA) on Tuesday. The text identifies measures that could unlock the potential of AI in sectors such as health, agriculture, public governance and climate change, while contributing to job creation and sustainable growth. The EU has lagged behind in artificial intelligence development, research and investment and should take the lead in setting global standards before undemocratic actors do, as highlighted in the report.
The EU takes a step towards the universal charger. Parliament should announce that it is ready to negotiate new rules with the Council. This would allow consumers to eliminate the need for new chargers and cables every time they buy a new mobile phone, tablet, game console or any other electronic device.
Toxic chemicals in waste
Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) are chemicals with toxic properties. They are increasingly concentrated in recycled products and remain in the environment for a long time, putting human health and biodiversity at risk. To create a non-toxic circular economy in the EU, MEPs are expected to support a Commission proposal in a vote on Tuesday. This aims to reduce the amount of POPs allowed in products and to remove materials with high POP levels from the recycling chain.
Future of Europe: revision of the EU Treaties
To implement the recommendations of the Conference on the Future of Europe and to make the EU more democratic, Parliament should ask the EU to initiate the EU Treaty amendment procedure this Wednesday.
On Wednesday, MEPs are expected to confirm the deal to extend the powers of the European Police Office, which supports Member States’ police investigations. The agency will be able to carry out research and innovation projects. It can help national authorities review foreign direct investment in security-related matters. It will also help them receive data from private companies in cases related to terrorist content or child sexual abuse.
In Thursday’s vote, Parliament will adopt its position on new tools to tackle market-distorting foreign subsidies granted to companies operating in the EU.
Also on the agenda:
- Prime Minister Mario Draghi will participate in a debate on Tuesday
- Extension of the European Digital Covid certificate
- Debate on threats against journalists on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day
- Rule of law in Poland and Hungary
- Discharge of the 2020 budget