The Week Ahead 08 – 14 February 2021

© European Union 2021 - Source : EP© European Union 2021 - Source : EP

EU’s vaccination strategy. In a debate with Commission President von der Leyen on Wednesday, MEPs are expected to reiterate their support for a united EU approach to COVID-19 vaccines. They are also likely to raise concerns regarding delays in vaccine deliveries, contracts and data transparency, as well as the recently launched system to authorise exports of COVID-19 vaccines.

Crackdown on the political opposition in Russia
. On Tuesday, MEPs will discuss with EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell the political turmoil in Russia, including Alexei Navalny’s case and country-wide protests.

Scrutiny of social media/Fundamental rights
. MEPs will discuss the link between new media, politics and freedom of speech, following recent developments on both sides of the Atlantic. They are due to consider how to avoid the pitfalls created by the digitalisation of politics, namely the need to defend democracy from disinformation and efforts to subvert it or incite violence, without compromising freedom of speech or technological innovation in political discourse. (Wednesday)

Curbing the effects of the pandemic
. Parliament will debate and vote on the Recovery and Resilience Facility, designed to help EU countries mitigate the economic and social consequences of COVID-19. With €672.5 billion in grants and loans available, it is the biggest building block of the Next Generation EU recovery package. (debate Tuesday, vote results Wednesday)

Call for new EU consumption and recycling rules
. MEPs will discuss and vote on the principles and policy needed to transform the current “take-make-dispose” economy into a carbon-neutral, environmentally sustainable, toxic-free and fully circular economy by 2050. (debate Monday, vote results Wednesday)

Fighting in-work poverty/Minimum wage
. Parliament will present its strategy to combat inequality and tackle the growing problem of in-work poverty. An EU directive on minimum wages, guaranteeing statutory minimum wages above the poverty threshold, could help reduce the growing inequality both within and between member states, the draft text says. (debate Monday, vote results Wednesday)

Debate with Christine Lagarde
. MEPs will discuss the European Central Bank’s policy with Christine Lagarde and what the ECB can do within its mandate, including exploring novel tools, to mitigate the economic effects of the pandemic. (debate Monday, vote results Wednesday)

President’s Diary
. EP President David Sassoli will meet the President of Burkina Faso, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, on Tuesday morning. In the afternoon, he will meet with representatives from the Union for the Mediterranean. On Wednesday, he will have a video call with the Prime Minister of Estonia, Kaja Kallas, and meet with the Prime Minister of Ukraine, Denys Shmyhal. On Thursday, President Sassoli will meet the Prime Minister of Romania, Florin Cîțu, and will deliver a speech at the Aspen digital roundtable “Managing migration flows while living with a pandemic”.

Press Briefing
. On Monday at 15.30, spokespersons from Parliament and political groups will hold a press briefing on next week’s plenary session.