The Week Ahead 12 – 18 October 2020

© European Union 2020 - Source : EP, Mathieu CUGNOT, General view on the plenary chamber in Strasbourg after the departure of the UK MEPs© European Union 2020 - Source : EP, Mathieu CUGNOT, General view on the plenary chamber in Strasbourg after the departure of the UK MEPs

EU response to COVID-19/EU4Health. The Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee will vote on the proposed “EU4Health Programme”, which aims to promote health and make national health systems more resilient. Tabled amendments include measures to strengthen disease prevention, reduce health inequalities and support digitalisation in healthcare (Tuesday).

COVID-19 and EU values.
 The emergency measures adopted by EU countries to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and their impact on democracy, fundamental rights and the rule of law will be addressed in a resolution by the Civil Liberties Committee (Thursday and Friday).

Economic policies of the euro area. 
Reacting to the Commission’s Spring Economic forecast and expectations of the deepest recession in EU history, the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee will vote on a series of measures to be taken in the near future. Issues covered include bringing the Recovery Plan in line with the Green Deal, social rights and fundamental values, and reviewing the fiscal framework, the European Semester as well as the Monetary Union (Thursday).

Rule of Law.
 The first informal legislative negotiations between Parliament, Council and Commission on the rule of law conditionality regulation, which may lead to member states having their EU funding suspended or cut if they do not respect fundamental rights, will take place on Monday.

Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2020.
 The Foreign Affairs and Development committees will vote on a shortlist of three finalists for the 2020 Sakharov Prize. Nominations are: the democratic opposition in Belarus led by Sviatlana Tsikhanouska, the Archbishop of Mosul Mgr Najeeb Moussa Michaeel, Guapinol activists and Berta Cáceres in Honduras as well as a group of Polish LGBTI activists (Monday).

Daphne Caruana Galizia Prize for Journalism
. The new annual Daphne Caruana Galizia Prize for Journalism, rewarding outstanding journalism centred on the EU’s principles and values, will be launched on 16 October, the date that Daphne Caruana Galizia, the Maltese anti-corruption investigative journalist and blogger, was killed in a car bomb attack.

Plenary preparations
. Political groups will prepare for the 19-23 October plenary session, where MEPs will vote on the reform of the EU’s common agricultural policy, on digital services, on artificial intelligence, on relations with Belarus, on ways to halt and reverse global deforestation and on policies for the Euro area 2020. They will also debate the Commission’s work programme for 2021, redundancies of workers due to COVID-19 and comment on the results of the 15-16 October EU summit.

President’s diary
. On Monday afternoon, President Sassoli will join a meeting, via video conference, with the Multiannual Financial Framework-Own Resources Contact Group on the ongoing inter-institutional talks, and have a video call with Italy’s Foreign Affairs Minister Luigi di Maio, on Tuesday. President Sassoli will have a video meeting with the Vice-President of the Spanish government Pablo Iglesias, on Wednesday. On Thursday, the EP President will have a conference call with Portugal’s Prime Minister António Costa, as well as address, remotely, the European Council.