The Week Ahead 22 – 28 January 2024

Holocaust Remembrance Day and committee meetings, Brussels

Holocaust Remembrance Day/Plenary session. Holocaust survivor Irene Shashar will address Parliament during a plenary session in Brussels to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day (27 January). EP President Roberta Metsola will open the solemn ceremony with an introductory speech (Thursday at 11:30).

New Genomic Techniques (NGT). The Environment Committee will adopt its position on a proposal to get better-performing crops through the so-called NGTs to support the green transition and reduce the use of pesticides and fertilisers. If adopted, some NGTs would no longer fall under the GMO framework and therefore no longer need to undergo an approval procedure with risk assessment and labelling requirements (Wednesday).

EU-Russia political relations. The Foreign Affairs Committee will assess the latest developments in the EU’s political relations with Russia. A draft text on which MEPs will vote invites the EU to increase its support for Ukraine to help the country win the war, and to have a long-term strategy to support democracy in Russia (Tuesday).

EU enlargement. The Constitutional Affairs and Foreign Affairs committees will look at the future possible expansion of the EU and adopt a series of proposals on how the EU should adapt itself to admit new members (Tuesday).

EU-Tunisia/asylum and migration. Members of the Civil Liberties Committee will quiz Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson on the state of play of the EU-Tunisia Memorandum of understanding in the field of asylum and migration. Before this debate, Amnesty International foreign policy advocacy officer Hussein Baoumi will share findings on the situation in Tunisia and cooperation with the EU in this area (Tuesday).

Priorities of the Belgium Presidency. Belgium’s ministers will present their priorities in meetings with parliamentary committees. Belgium holds the rotating Presidency of the Council until the end of June 2024 (Monday to Thursday).

President’s diary. On Tuesday, EP President Metsola will have an audience with his Majesty King Philippe of the Belgians, followed by a New Year’s Reception. On the same day, the President will participate in a talk on the “Protection of journalists in the European Union”, focusing on Paul Caruana Galizia’s book “A Death in Malta, An assassination and a family’s quest for justice”. She will also meet the Speaker of Slovakia’s National Council Peter Pellegrini. On Wednesday, President Metsola will be in Luxembourg to meet Prime Minister Luc Frieden, as well as the President of Luxembourg’s Chamber of Deputies Claude Wiseler. with whom she will host a a joint press point. The President will also hold a debate with young people during her visit.