The Week Ahead 11 – 17 March 2024

European UnionEuropean Union

Plenary session, Strasbourg

Artificial Intelligence. Following a debate on Tuesday, MEPs are set to adopt on Wednesday the Artificial Intelligence Act, which aims to ensure that AI is trustworthy, safe and respects EU fundamental rights, while supporting innovation and making Europe a leader in the field. A press conference by the two rapporteurs is scheduled for Wednesday ahead of the vote.

Energy efficiency of buildings. MEPs will debate on Monday and take a final vote on Tuesday on a new directive to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse-gas emissions from the buildings sector, and make it climate neutral by 2050. The rapporteur will hold a press conference after the vote.

Media Freedom Act. On Tuesday, plenary will debate a new regulation to protect EU journalists from growing threats to media freedom and to ensure that citizens have access to a plurality of editorially independent media content. Ahead of the final vote on Wednesday the rapporteur will hold a press conference.

March European Council. In a debate with Commission President von der Leyen and the Belgian Presidency on Tuesday morning, MEPs will outline their expectations for the 21 -22 March EU summit, set to focus on Russia’s war against Ukraine, the war in the Gaza Strip and European security and defence.

Industrial emissions. On Tuesday, plenary will take a final vote on a new regulation to reduce air, water and soil pollution from industrial installations and large livestock farms.

Euro 7/road transport emissions. MEPs will debate and take a final vote on Wednesday on new rules to reduce road transport emissions for passenger cars, vans, buses, trucks and trailers.

Fighting foreign interference. During Question Time on Tuesday, MEPs will quiz Commission Vice-President Jourová about EU governments’ preparedness to combat foreign interference, including from Russia.

Reducing waste. On Wednesday, plenary will vote on its position on new waste reduction targets to better prevent and reduce waste from food and textiles across the EU. MEPs also want producers to cover costs for collecting, sorting and recycling waste textiles.

Safety of toys. On Wednesday, Parliament will set its position on new rules to decrease the number of unsafe toys sold in the EU and protect children more robustly from toy-related risks. A press conference with the rapporteur will take place after the vote.

International Women’s Day. On Tuesday, two players from the Spanish women’s national football team winner of the 2023 World Cup, Ivana Andrés and Alba Redondo, will address MEPs to mark international women’s day.

“This is Europe” debate/ Petteri Orpo. Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo will outline to plenary on Wednesday at 10.30 his vision on Europe’s challenges and future, followed by a debate with MEPs. A press point by EP President Metsola and the Prime Minister will take place at around 10.20.

2024 European elections/Press seminar. The EP Press Service is holding a seminar for journalists on “Safeguarding Democracy: the role of the media in the 2024 European elections”. Journalists will be able to discuss topics such as protecting the democratic space, disinformation and cybersecurity as well as the European elections process, with key MEPs and the EP spokesperson (Tuesday).

President’s diary. On Wednesday, EP President Metsola will meet with Finnish Prime Minister Orpo before he addresses plenary. On Friday, she will be on an official visit to Sweden, where she will meet Parliament Speaker Andres Norlén, representatives of the political groups in the Swedish Parliament and Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson (followed by a press point). In the morning, she will also participate in a Town Hall discussion with young people.

Last-minute briefing. On Monday at 16.30, Parliament’s Spokesperson will hold a press briefing on the plenary session, which starts at 17.00. Political group briefings will take place on Tuesday morning.