Committee and political group meetings, Brussels
International Women’s Day (IWD). To mark IWD 2021, MEPs and MPs will gather for a high-level event organised by the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee titled “We are strong: Women leading the fight against COVID-19”. Participants will include EP President David Sassoli, President of Greece Katerina Sakellaropoulou, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Commissioner Helena Dalli, as well as frontline workers and other guests (Thursday).
IWD Media Seminar. A seminar with leading MEPs on “Women’s leadership in the fight against COVID-19” has been organised by EP media services for journalists. It will focus on scientists and carers, with invited speakers including Professor Dr Katalin Karikó – Hungarian biochemist involved in developing the mRNA – and Dr Maria Rosaria Capobianchi, who led the Italian team that first isolated the COVID-19 virus (Wednesday).
Situation in the Canary Islands. The Civil Liberties Committee will discuss the migratory situation in the Western Mediterranean and the Canary Islands. Sea arrivals to the archipelago surged in the second half of 2020, where limited reception capacity and the challenges of the pandemic caused the humanitarian situation to deteriorate. Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson, President of the Canary Islands Government Ángel Víctor Torres and a representative of the NGO Spanish Commission for Refugees (CEAR) will present their views to MEPs (Monday).
Protection of children’s rights. The Civil Liberties Committee will vote on Parliament’s draft input to the upcoming 2021-2024 Commission strategy for the protection of children’s rights. The text will put forward proposals to better prevent violence and improve education, mental health, digital inclusion and LGTBI issues, as well as taking the challenges posed by COVID-19 into account (Tuesday).
Plenary preparations. Political groups will discuss the plenary session of 8-11 March in which MEPs will debate and vote on the EU4Health programme that will help health systems be better prepared for future health threats and pandemics; the InvestEU programme, which aims to generate around 400 billion EUR in investments for a sustainable economic recovery; and on corporate due diligence and corporate accountability, where MEPs are set to pave the way for a new EU law that requires companies to comply with human rights and environmental standards within their value chains. Parliament will observe International Women’s Day on 8 March and will also debate and vote on a carbon levy on EU imports to raise global climate ambition; the European Semester; government attempts to silence free media in Poland and Hungary; and stopping tax avoidance in the EU after the OpenLux revelations.
President’s diary. EP President David Sassoli will meet Albania’s Prime Minister Edi Rama, on Monday. President Sassoli will meet the Speaker of Belgium’s House of Representatives Eliane Tillieux, and join a roundtable of the Albright Stonebridge Group, on Tuesday.