The Week Ahead 20 – 26 March 2023

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

Committee meetings, Brussels

ECB President Lagarde. MEPs in the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee will quiz European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde on the bank’s measures to deal with an economic environment marked by high uncertainty and strong inflationary pressures (Monday).

Silicon Valley Bank. The Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee will also discuss the failure of the Silicon Valley Bank and its implications for financial stability in Europe with European Banking Authority Chair José Manuel Campa and ECB Supervisory Board Chair Andrea Enria (Tuesday).

Fit for 55/Maritime fuelsParliament and Council negotiators will continue to work towards an agreement on how to steer the EU maritime sector towards decarbonisation. They will look into ways to cut green-house gas emissions from ships, increase the use of more renewable fuels and support the maritime sector in contributing to the EU’s goal of climate neutrality by 2050 (Wednesday).

Environmental crimes. The Legal Affairs Committee will adopt its position on a draft bill on the protection of the environment through criminal lawThe proposal introduces new environmental crimes and sanctions for companies and individuals. A briefing for media with the lead MEP will take place at 09:30 (Tuesday).

EU Public Prosecutor. European Chief Prosecutor Laura Kövesi will discuss with MEPs from the Budgetary Control and Civil Liberties committees the activities of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) in 2022 (Thursday).

2021 EU budget discharge. The Budgetary Control Committee will vote on the so-called discharge procedure for 2021, whereby MEPs scrutinise how the EU budget is spent by the Commission and the other EU institutions and bodies, and decide on whether to sign off on their accounts (Wednesday).

Use of Pegasus spyware in Spain. The Inquiry Committee on the use of Pegasus and equivalent surveillance spyware will go to Madrid to learn more about allegations of spyware abuse targeting politicians, journalists and civil society. MEPs will meet with government representatives, civil society actors and journalists and various public officials targeted with Pegasus (Monday and Tuesday).

Rule of Law in Poland. The Civil Liberties Committee will assess with Justice Commissioner Reynders and experts the latest developments in Poland regarding the country’s judiciary, following the Commission decision to refer Poland to the EU Court of Justice (Thursday).

Plenary preparations. EP political groups will prepare for the 29-30 March plenary session in Brussels, where MEPs will hold final votes on new legislation on pay transparency to promote equal pay between women and men, and on safety of products sold online in the EU. MEPs will also discuss the results of the 23-24 March European Council.

President’s diary. EP President Roberta Metsola will meet UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, US Ambassador to the EU Mark Gitenstein and the Chairwoman of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Council of Ministers Borjana Krišto, on Monday. On Tuesday, the President will meet Ukraine’s Foreign Affairs Minister Dmytro Kuleba (remotely), Cyprus’ Foreign Affairs Minister Constantinos Kombos and Austria’s Federal Minister for the EU and Constitution Karoline Edtstadler. On Wednesday, President Metsola will meet Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin and Cyprus’ President Nikos Christodoulides. On Thursday, the President will deliver the opening keynote address at the Summit of Barents Euro-Arctic Indigenous Sámi People. She will also address the European Council and follow this with a press conference. President Metsola will be in the United States on Friday, when she will deliver a keynote speech at the John F. Kennedy Junior Forum and the European Conference at Harvard University.