The Week Ahead 06 – 12 September 2021

©European Union, 2021, Source: EP – Multimedia Centre©European Union, 2021, Source: EP – Multimedia Centre

Committee and political group meetings, Brussels

Women’s rights in Afghanistan. Members of the Women’s Rights Committee and Human Rights Subcommittee will discuss the situation of women and girls in Afghanistan following the takeover of the Taliban. Joining the meeting are Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission Chairperson Shaharzad Akbar, International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) Vice President Guissou Jahangiri, as well as Sahraa Karimi, Afghan film director and president of the Afghan Film Organisation (Monday).

Farm to Fork. The Environment, Public Health & Food Safety and Agriculture Committees will vote on their position on the Commission-proposed Farm to Fork Strategy, which aims to make EU food systems fair, healthy and environmentally friendly. MEPs are expected to put forward several proposals on the strategy and to call for a strengthening of the position of primary producers in the food supply chain(Friday).

EU digital rules.
The EP Special Committee on Foreign Interference and Disinformation (INGE) will debate the Digital Markets Act, the Digital Services Act and EU data and AI strategy with Margrethe Vestager, Commission Vice-President for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age and Competition. MEPs are likely to quiz the Commissioner on the quasi-monopoly of a few companies in the digital market, how AI can be used to counter disinformation, and how to protect personal data from abuse by internet companies (Monday).

Pegasus Project revelations
. The Special Committee on Foreign Interference will also debate the most recent cases of spying on European politicians and institutions, in particular Operation Dunhammer, Pegasus and APT 31. Participating in the debate are Forbidden Stories Executive Director Laurent Richard and Editor-in-Chief Sandrine Rigaud, University of Hull professor Robert Dover and University of Granada professor Margerita Robles Carrillo (Thursday).

Conference of Presidents/SOTEU.
EP President and political group leaders will hold a debate with Commission President von der Leyen ahead of her State of the EU speech taking place in Strasbourg the following week (Thursday).

Plenary preparations
. Political groups will prepare for the 13-16 September plenary session, during which President Ursula von der Leyen will deliver her annual State of the European Union address, followed by a debate with MEPs. Parliament will also debate and vote on plans to create a European Health Union to tackle cross-border health crises, on relations with Russia, on the Blue card directive and on funds to help member states to deal with the economic, social and territorial impact of Brexit. Following on from debates during Parliament’s previous session, MEPs will vote resolutions on LGBTIQ rights in the EU and on plans and actions to end the use of animals in research and testing. A debate on the situation in Afghanistan is also likely to be added to the agenda.

President’s diary.
EP President David Sassoli will meet Fabrizio Curcio, the head of the Italy’s Civil Protection, on Monday. President Sassoli will meet Guinee-Bissau’s President Umaro Sissoco Embaló and the President of Vietnam’s National Assembly, Vuong Dinh Hue, on Wednesday.

Press briefing.
On Friday at 11:00, spokespersons from Parliament and political groups will hold a press briefing on the following week’s plenary session.