The Week Ahead 12 – 18 February 2024

Committee meetings, Brussels

ECB/Lagarde. Members of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee will discuss with Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank, the topic “Euro at 25: what’s next for the European Monetary Union (EMU)?” (Thursday).

Textiles and food waste. The Environment Committee will vote on an update to EU rules on waste focusing on two resource-intensive sectors, textile and food. For textiles, the draft bill supports separate collection, sorting, reuse and recycling measures and introduces Extended Producer Responsibility systems to require fashion brands and textile producers to pay fees to fund local waste collection. For food, it would set compulsory national targets for food waste reduction (Wednesday).

Toy safety. The Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee will vote on an update to EU rules on the safety of toys to better protect children and tackle the new challenges brought about by e-commerce and new technologies such as AI. The proposed regulation introduces new bans on the most harmful chemicals such as endocrine disruptors and a digital product passport to facilitate safety checks (Tuesday).

Greenwashing. The Internal Market and Environment committees will adopt their position on the so-called green claims directive, which complements the already-approved EU ban on the use of environmental claims on products without proof (greenwashing). It will define the information companies have to provide to justify such claims, how to approve them as well as penalties for companies in breach of the rules (Wednesday).

Road transport/weights and dimensions. The Transport Committee will adopt its position on new limits on weights and dimensions for trucks and buses driving across EU. The proposed bill includes measures to encourage the use of zero-emission trucks, fewer restrictions on using extra-long trucks and wider use of digital tools for enforcement (Wednesday).

Migration and asylum. The Civil Liberties Committee will vote on a provisional deal with the Council on the revamp of the EU’s asylum and migration legislation. It covers seven regulations and two directives, establishing rules on the management of asylum and migration flows among member states, sudden migratory crisis, arrivals at EU borders, processing of asylum claims, identification and reception conditions, standards for international protection as well as resettlement (Wednesday).

Artificial Intelligence. The Internal Market and Civil Liberties committees will vote on a provisional deal with the Council on a regulation aiming to ensure AI in Europe is safe, respects fundamental rights and democracy, while boosting innovation in the EU. These are the first rules of their kind establish obligations for AI based on its potential risk and impact level (Tuesday).

Priorities of the Belgium Presidency. Belgium’s ministers will continue presenting their priorities in meetings with parliamentary committees, this time in the fields of foreign affairs, employment and social affairs, agriculture and rural development, constitutional affairs and rule of law. Belgium holds the rotating Presidency of the Council until the end of June 2024 (Monday to Thursday).

President’s diary.
 EP President Roberta Metsola will be in Tallinn on Monday, where she will meet Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, followed by a press point. She will also meet Estonian Parliament’s President Lauri Hussar and the country’s President Alar Karis, as well as deliver a keynote speech at the Estonian Parliament and participate in a town hall discussion with young people. On Wednesday, President Metsola will be in Prague, where she will meet the President of Czech Chamber of Deputies Markéta Pekarova Adamová, after which she will hold a press point. President Metsola will also meet President of the Czech Senate Miloš Vystrčil, the country’s President Petr Pavel as well as Prime Minister Petr Fiala, after which there will also be a press point. She will also participate in a town hall discussion with young people.