The Week Ahead 14 – 20 September 2020

Plenary Session, Brussels

State of the European Union
. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will give her first State of the European Union address at 9.15 on Wednesday morning. She is set to outline the impact of the Commission’s work in mitigating the COVID-19 health and economic crisis, and to present her vision for economic recovery, the fight against climate change, and the situation in Europe’s neighbourhood. Political group leaders will react to her speech, assess the Commission’s work and set out their views on the 2021 priorities.

Recovery Plan/Own Resources
. MEPs are set to accelerate the procedure that will enable the EU to borrow €750 billion for the “Next Generation EU” recovery plan. The vote on the own resources decision will make it possible to start the ratification process in 27 EU countries – so that the COVID-19 recovery plan can be launched as soon as possible (debate Monday, vote Wednesday)

EU Civil Protection capacity
. MEPs are expected to call for the EU’s Civil Protection Mechanism to be enhanced so that the EU can better respond to large-scale emergencies such as COVID-19 and to ensure that member states are not left to rely on own assets and voluntary support when dealing with such emergencies (debate Monday, vote Wednesday).

Just Transition Fund
. MEPs will adopt Parliament’s position for negotiations with EU ministers on setting up the Just Transition Fund to mitigate the social impact of greening the economy by supporting regions most affected by the energy transition (vote Wednesday).

COVID-19 tests/risk classification
. MEPs will debate the lack of coordination regarding COVID-19 health assessments and risk classification and its consequences for the Schengen area. They are set to call for a common EU approach (debate Tuesday, vote Thursday).

Moria refugee camp
. MEPs are expected to call for an urgent EU response to address the humanitarian crisis on the island of Lesbos following the fire that razed the Moria refugee camp (debate Thursday).

Foreign Affairs
. In a series of debates with EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell, MEPs will comment on the situation in Russia and the poisoning of Alexei Navalny, on Belarus, Lebanon and on the upcoming Special EU summit, focusing on the dangerous escalation of tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean. Resolutions will be put to the vote on Russia, Belarus and the Eastern Mediterranean (Tuesday, votes Thursday)

Poland/Rule of law/Fundamental rights
. MEPs will debate the democratic backsliding and rule of law breaches in Poland and are set to call on the Council and the Commission to act to protect fundamental rights in the country (debate Monday, vote Thursday).

President’s diary. 
On Monday afternoon, President Sassoli will meet with Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas and on Wednesday afternoon, he will participate via video in a High-level panel on a conference about ‘Upward convergence – What does it take in view of the crisis?’ organised by the German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.

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