The Week Ahead 18 – 24 March 2024

Committee meetings, Brussels

EU pharmaceutical rules. The Environment and Public Health Committee will adopt its position on the proposed reform of EU legislation on the authorisation, supervision and pharmacovigilance of medicinal products for human use, including streamlining the European Medicine Agency’s structure and procedures. The update covers measures to tackle drugs shortages, ensure the security of supply and affordability of medicines, foster innovation, and strengthen environmental sustainability (Tuesday).

EU enlargement. The Foreign Affairs Committee will debate the way forward for EU enlargement with the Foreign Affairs ministers of some member states, ahead of the 21-22 March European Council. Ministers from Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Slovenia, Denmark, Greece, Bulgaria, Croatia and Austria are confirmed for the debate (Tuesday).

EU farmers. The Agriculture Committee will quiz Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski on the proposed measures to support farmers included in the so-called simplification package presented on 22 February. In a later debate, the Agriculture Committee will discuss the agricultural sector’s contribution to EU climate objectives with Climate Action Commissioner Wopke Hoekstra (Tuesday).

EU sanctions against Russia. The EP’s Foreign Affairs Committee and Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada Foreign Affairs Committee will discuss how to maximise the effectiveness of EU sanctions against Russia and ensure Russian assets are transferred to Ukraine (Wednesday).

EU Defence Industrial Strategy. MEPs on the Subcommittee on Security and Defence will discuss with Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton the new European Defence Industrial Strategy (EDIS) and the European Defence Industry Programme (EDIP), presented on 5 March (Tuesday).

President’s diary. On Monday, EP President Roberta Metsola will deliver an opening speech via video message at the European Summit of Regions and Cities and will travel to Malta, where she will meet the Speaker of the House of Representatives Anġlu Farrugia. On Tuesday, she will be on an official visit to Austria, where she will hold a town hall discussion with young people. On Wednesday, she will meet the Austrian Federal Minister for the EU and Constitution, Karoline Edtstadler, the President of the National Council of the Austrian Parliament, Wolfgang Sobotka, and the Federal Chancellor, Karl Nehammer, followed by a press point. On Thursday, President Metsola will meet the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, before participating in the European Council (followed by a press conference).