The Week Ahead 16 – 22 November 2020

©European Union, 2021, Source: EP – Multimedia Centre©European Union, 2021, Source: EP – Multimedia Centre

Committee and political groups meetings

Building a European Health Union.
The Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee will have a first discussion on the Commission’s proposals on serious cross-border threats to health, the revamp of the European Medicines Agency and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control as well as the proposal on “Building a European Health Union: preparedness and resilience”, with Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides (Monday).

Terrorism, organised crime and cybersecurity.
The Civil Liberties Committee will debate, with Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson and the German Presidency, EU tools to fight terrorism, organised crime and cyber threats, in the light of recent terrorist attacks. The need to enhance the exchange of police information, particularly DNA, fingerprint and vehicle registration data, is likely to be addressed (Monday).

ECB President Lagarde.
Christine Lagarde will be heard by MEPs of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee in her capacity as both President of the ECB and Chair of the European Systemic Risk Board. The economic recovery from the pandemic will top the issues to be discussed (Thursday).

EU long-term budget.
Parliament’s negotiating team on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and Own Resources will debrief the Budgets Committee on the political agreement on future EU financing reached with the German Presidency on 10 November. Parliament met its objectives to secure top-ups for key EU programmes, obtained a legally binding calendar for the introduction of new Own Resources and strengthened the role of the budgetary authority (Monday).

EU aid for COVID-related measures and natural disasters.
Over 132 million euros will be given to Croatia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Portugal and Spain as advance payment to cover expenses related to the public health emergency caused by COVID-19 in early 2020. This support will be mobilised through the EU Solidarity Fund, and will be put to the vote in the Budgets Committee. MEPs will also vote on freeing up almost 700 million euros to help Croatia after the March earthquake, and Poland following floods in June (Monday).

High-level Conference on Migration and Asylum.
MEPs and national MPs will gather virtually to discuss the way forward to manage migration and asylum in Europe. High-level speakers include Parliament and Commission Presidents David Sassoli and Ursula von der Leyen, the Presidents of the German parliament, Wolfgang Schäuble, of the Portuguese parliament, Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues, and of Slovenia’s parliament, Igor Zorčič as well as UNHCR High Commissioner Filippo Grandi and International Organization for Migration Director General António Vitorino. (Thursday).

Plenary preparations
. Political groups will prepare for the 23-26 November plenary session, where MEPs will debate and vote on media freedom and how to protect journalists in Europe, and tackle hate speech and disinformation; on a new industrial strategy for Europe; on guaranteeing product safety; and on tackling homelessness. During the next session, MEPs will also debate the consequences of COVID-19 on foreign policy and on the Schengen system and give their input for the 10-11 December EU summit.

President’s diary
. On Tuesday, EP President Sassoli will have a remote meeting with Pablo Iglesias, Vice-President of the Spanish Government. On Wednesday morning, he will have a video meeting with the Conference of European Rabbis and in the afternoon, he will open the “2020 European Strategy and Policy Analysis System (ESPAS) Annual Conference: Thinking about the Future”.