The Week Ahead 17 – 23 January 2022

© European Union 2019 - Source : EP, Christian CREUTZ© European Union 2019 - Source : EP, Christian CREUTZ

Memorial ceremony for David Sassoli. On Monday from 18.00, a ceremony will be held to honour the memory of Parliament’s President David Sassoli, who passed away on 11 January. Former MEP and Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta, European Council President Charles Michel, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, French President Emmanuel Macron, and political group leaders will speak during the ceremony.

Election of EP President and Bureau
. MEPs will choose Parliament’s next President on Tuesday through remote voting. An absolute majority of votes, cast by secret vote, i.e. 50% plus one, is needed to be elected. MEPs will then elect the 14 Vice-Presidents and five Quaestors who, together with the President, comprise Parliament’s Bureau. Appointments to parliamentary committees for the rest of this legislative term will also be confirmed during the session. (Tuesday – Wednesday)

Emmanuel Macron/French EU Presidency
. On Wednesday at 11.30, MEPs will discuss with French President Emmanuel Macron the political strategy and aims of France’s six-month Presidency of the Council of the EU. The French Presidency’s motto is “Recovery, Strength and a Sense of Belonging”.

Debate on EU December summit
. On Wednesday afternoon, MEPs will discuss with European Council President Charles Michel and the Commission the outcome of the 16 December summit, which focussed on COVID-19, rising energy prices, security and defence issues and external relations.

Digital Services Act
. Parliament will vote on its position on the Digital Services Act, which aims to create a safer digital space in which users’ rights are protected, including through rules to tackle illegal products, services or content online. It would also enhance the accountability and transparency of algorithms, and deal with content moderation. (debate Wednesday, vote Thursday)

European Medicines Agency
. MEPs are expected to endorse the provisional agreement on increasing the powers of the European Medicines Agency. The objective is to ensure that the EU will be better equipped to manage future health crises by tackling shortages of medicines and medical devices more effectively. (Wednesday)

Protecting animals better during transport
. On Thursday, MEPs will debate and vote on how to improve animal welfare during transport, control live animal exports more effectively and limit the transport of young animals.

The Foreign Affairs Committee and the Subcommittee on Security and Defence will discuss with EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell the ongoing crisis in Eastern Ukraine and along the Russia-Ukraine border. (Monday)

Conference on the Future of Europe. 
Following the conclusion of the work of two of the four European Citizens’ Panels, the Conference Plenary will now discuss the 90 recommendations in Strasbourg. Debates will cover “European democracy / Values and rights, rule of law, security” and “Climate change, environment / Health”. (Friday to Saturday)

Last-minute briefing
. On Monday at 16.30, Parliament’s Spokesperson will hold a press briefing on the plenary session, which starts at 18:00.