The Week Ahead 04 – 10 March 2024

Committee and political groups’ meetings

International Women’s Day/Women in Sport. To mark the 2024 International Women’s Day (8 March), the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee is holding an inter- parliamentary committee meeting, gathering EU and national parliamentarians, to discuss the situation of women in sport today. Topics include eradicating gender stereotypes, abuse scandals and getting equal financial rewards and status. The experts to speak include Olympians Charline Van Snick (Belgium), Pia Sundhage (Sweden) and Katarzyna Zillmann (Poland) (Thursday 7 March).

Trade/Ukraine and Moldova. The International Trade Committee will vote on a proposal to continue to suspend import duties and quotas on Ukrainian and Moldovan exports to the EU for another year. Responding to the concerns of EU farmers, the Commission this time proposed a safeguard mechanism in case of significant disruptions to the EU market, or to the markets of one or more member states. An emergency brake for poultry, eggs and sugar from Ukraine would also kick in with pre-war tariffs, if imports exceed the average volumes of 2022 and 2023 (Thursday).

Plenary preparations. Political groups will prepare for the 11-14 March plenary session, where MEPs will debate and take final votes on the energy performance of buildings to help reduce energy consumption and greenhouse-gas emissions from the buildings sector, on the Media Freedom Act, which aims to protect EU journalists from growing threats to media freedom and the industry’s viability, and on new Euro 7 rules to reduce road transport emissions from passenger cars, vans, buses, trucks and trailers. Parliament will also take final votes on the Artificial Intelligence Act to ensure AI in Europe is safe, respects fundamental rights and democracy, and on industrial emissions to reduce air, water and soil pollution. MEPs will also vote on stricter rules to ensure children’s toys are safe, outline their demands for the 21 – 22 March EU summit, mark International Women’s Day and hold a “This is Europe” debate with Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo.

Pre-session press briefing. The EP’s Press Service will hold a press briefing with the Parliament’s political group spokespersons at 11.00 on Friday (Anna Politkovskaya room, press centre, Brussels).

President’s diary. European Parliament President Roberta Metsola will be in Helsinki on Monday, where she will meet Parliament’s Speaker Jussi Halla-aho and the leaders of parliamentary groups, as well as Prime Minister Petteri Orpo, followed by a joint press point, the country’s President Alexander Stubb, and Finnish MEPs. She will then participate in a Town Hall discussion with young people. On Wednesday, President Metsola will be in Bucharest, where she will participate in a Town Hall discussion with young people and meet Senate President Nicolae Ciucǎ, Acting President of the Chamber of Deputies Alfred Simonis, the country’s President, Klaus Iohannis, as well as Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu. On Thursday, still in Bucharest, the President will address the European People’s Party Congress.