The Week Ahead 13 – 19 December 2021

Plenary session – Strasbourg

Plenary session

Sakharov Prize 2021
. The award ceremony for this year’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, conferred upon Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny, will be held on Wednesday at noon. Mr Navalny is currently imprisoned in Russia; his daughter Daria Navalnaya will therefore receive the prize in his name from EP President David Sassoli. A press conference is scheduled at 12.45h after the ceremony.

Unfair practices by big online platforms
. Parliament will debate and vote on its position on the Digital Markets Act, which sets rules on what big online platforms will be allowed to do and not do in the EU. (debate Tuesday, vote Wednesday)

Equality between women and men
. MEPs are set to demand concrete measures to improve gender equality, such as equal pay and equal treatment and ensuring a better balance between professional and private life. (debate Monday, vote Wednesday).

Russian threat to Ukraine
. On Tuesday afternoon, MEPs will discuss the large-scale Russian military build-up along the Ukrainian border and fears that Russia might invade Ukraine with EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell. A resolution will be put to the vote on Thursday.

Ending discrimination against EU firms
. MEPs will vote on a new international procurement instrument that introduces measures to limit non-EU companies’ access to the open EU public procurement market if European firms are not offered similar access in third countries. (vote Tuesday)

December EU summit and fight against COVID-19
. On Wednesday morning, MEPs will debate with the Commission and the Slovenian Presidency the 16 December European Council, and the EU’s response to the resurgence of COVID-19.

Rule of law and fundamental rights in Slovenia and Poland
. Following last sessions’ debate, MEPs will vote on a resolution on the situation of rule of law in Slovenia on Thursday. They will also assess recent events in Poland that might increase the country’s risk of moving further away from European values in a debate on Wednesday afternoon.

National Recovery Plans
. On Wednesday afternoon, MEPs will discuss whether post-COVID-19 national recovery plans meet the agreed targets and milestones as well as the situation in countries that have not yet had their plans approved.


Digital Services Act
. The Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee will vote on the proposal for a Digital Services Act (DSA), which aims to create a safer digital space where users rights are protected. A press conference with the rapporteur is scheduled for 13.10h on Tuesday (Monday and Tuesday).

President’s Diary
. EP President Sassoli will be in Strasbourg for the plenary session, where he will participate in the Peace Light Ceremony on Monday. On Tuesday, he will meet Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, before the latter’s address to MEPs. On Wednesday, the President will meet Alexei Navalny’s daughter, Daria Navalnaya, and his political adviser Leonid Volkov, before awarding the Sakharov Prize in the Hemicycle (followed by a press conference). On Thursday, he will address the European Council in Brussels at 10:00, followed by a press conference at 11:00.

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.