The Week Ahead 21 – 27 March 2022

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

Committee meetings, plenary session

Plenary session (23-24 March)

War in Ukraine/Energy independence. MEPs will debate with the Council and the Commission “The Power of the EU”, the joint European action for more affordable, secure and sustainable energy. On 8 March, the Commission presented its strategy designed to make Europe independent from Russian fossil fuels well before 2030, starting with gas. It also includes measures to tackle the surge in energy prices and to replenish gas stocks for next winter. (Thursday)

War in Ukraine/Ensuring Food Security. The need for an urgent EU Action Plan to ensure food security inside and outside the EU in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine will be up for a debate with the Council and the Commission on Wednesday afternoon. A resolution will be put to the vote on Thursday.

EU summits. MEPs will assess the 10-11 March informal summit’s outcome in Versailles, where leaders decided on further measures in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. They will also outline their priorities for this week’s 24-25 March spring summit, which will again be dominated by the war in Ukraine. US President Joe Biden is set to participate. COVID-19 and economic recovery as well as the European Semester will also be on the agenda. (Wednesday)

Roaming Charges. Parliament will debate and vote on the deal reached with member states to renew the “Roam like at Home” scheme for another ten years, so that consumers can continue using their mobile phones when travelling in the EU with no additional fees on top of what they pay at home. The scheme abolishing mobile roaming surcharges was due to expire on 30 June 2022. (debate Wednesday, vote Thursday)

Committee meetings

Artificial Intelligence. Parliament’s Special Committee on Artificial Intelligence in a Digital Age will wind up 18 months of work and vote on its final recommendations, establishing a 2030 AI Roadmap. Several hearings and workshops were organised during the committee’s mandate to gather expertise on and insights into the various aspects of AI (Tuesday).

Ukraine Solidarity Days. From Monday to Thursday, Parliament is holding the “Ukraine Solidarity Days” to show its support for Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada. Different events will take place, including debates with Verkhovna Rada Speaker Ruslan Stefanchuk, Ambassador of Ukraine to the EU Vsevolod Chentsov, and 2017 Sakharov Prize Laureate Lorent Saleh.

Conference on the Future of Europe/Plenary. The fifth Plenary of Conference on the Future of Europe, taking place in Strasbourg, will meet to start work on its final proposals, which will be based on the recommendations from both national and European Citizens’ Panels, the input gathered from the Multilingual Digital Platform and debates in the Conference Plenary and Working Groups (Friday and Saturday).

President’s Diary. On Monday, EP President Roberta Metsola will have a call with the Speaker of the Libyan House of Representatives Aguila Saleh Issa, and meetings with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi and Italy’s Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Luigi Di Maio. President Metsola will be in Berlin on Tuesday to meet Germany’s President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Bundestag Speaker Bärbel Bas, Foreign Affairs Minister Annalena Baerbock and Chancellor Olaf Scholz, after which there will be a press point. On Thursday, she will meet the Chairman of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Presidency Šefik Džaferović. In the afternoon, President Metsola will address Heads of State or Government at the European Council, followed by a press conference.