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EP Plenary Newsletter 2-5 May 2022

This week in Strasbourg your MEPs will discuss: The economic consequences of the war in Ukraine, the rule of law in Hungary and Poland and the outcomes of the Conference on the Future of Europe. 


Ukraine: Dealing with the economic and social fallout of the war for the EU

On Wednesday morning, MEPs will discuss how to deal with the social and economic consequences for the EU of Russia’s war in Ukraine and how to reinforce the EU’s capacity to act.

In this debate with Council and Commission representatives, MEPs are expected to underline that the war and the sanctions imposed by the EU against Russia following its invasion of Ukraine will unavoidably entail negative effects for the EU economy. They are set to call on  the Commission for proposals to mitigate the economic and social consequences of the sanctions.

A resolution will be put to the vote during the 18-19 May session.


Debate:  Wednesday, 4 May

Procedure:  Council and commission statements followed by debate


EP Research on the economic and social effects of the war in Ukraine
Free photos, video and audio material - Russian aggression against Ukraine

Future of Europe: MEPs to debate outcome of the Conference

As the Conference on the Future of Europe approaches its conclusion, MEPs will assess its Plenary’s recommendations and the overall process in a debate on Tuesday afternoon.

Following the foreseen adoption of proposals by the final Conference Plenary (29-30 April), MEPs are expected to stress that the procedure to revise the treaties, provided for in article 48 of the Treaty on the European Union, be activated, in order to endow the EU with the competences to act on the proposed new policy areas.

The Conference’s Executive Board will deliver its final report to the Presidents of the EU institutions on 9 May in Strasbourg. The Plenary’s proposals are based on recommendations put forward by the European Citizens’ Panels, the national panels, and citizens who shared their ideas on the Multilingual Digital Platform, as well as exchanges in the Conference Plenary and its Working Groups.


Debate: Tuesday 3 May


EP Research Service - At A Glance: The Conference on the Future of Europe (20.01.2022)
Process of the Conference on the Future of Europe
Timeline of the Conference on the Future of Europe
Free photos, video and audio material from Parliament’s Multimedia Centre

“This is Europe”: Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi to address Plenary

MEPs will debate the state of the EU with Italian Prime Minister Draghi, and his vision for its future, on Tuesday from 11:30.

This is the second of a series of debates on the EU labelled “This is Europe”. The first one was held with Kaja Kallas, Prime Minister of Estonia, at the March plenary session.

Mr Draghi’s intervention will be followed by contributions from EP political group leaders.

Mario Draghi became Italy’s Prime Minister in February 2021. He was the President of the European Central Bank from 2011 to 2019.


Debate: Tuesday, 3 May at 11:30

Procedure: key debate


Italian government, Presidency of the Council of Ministers

EU elections: MEPs to propose an EU-wide constituency and vote on Europe Day

MEPs are set to adopt their legislative proposal for a new European Electoral Act, aiming for common standards, a Union-wide constituency, and gender balance.

The draft text foresees a system in which each voter should have two votes: one to elect MEPs in national constituencies, and one in an EU-wide constituency with 28 additional seats. The candidate lists for these seats would have to respect geographical representation and a new European Electoral Authority would be set up.

MEPs also seek to turn the 27 separate elections that take place currently in EU countries (with their diverging systems and voting rights), in which citizens elect the Members of the European Parliament, into a real, single European election with common minimum standards, including:

  • 9 May as the common European voting day;
  • the right to stand for election for all Europeans of 18 years or older;
  • a mandatory electoral threshold of at least 3.5% for large constituencies of 60 seats or more;
  • equal access to the elections for all citizens, including those with disabilities, and the option of postal voting;
  • mandatory gender equality through “zipped lists” or quotas; and
  • the right for citizens to vote for the President of the Commission in a “lead candidate” (Spitzenkandidaten) system through the EU-wide lists.

A press conference wth rapporteur Domènec Ruiz Devesa (S&D, ES), is scheduled for Tuesday at 17.00


Debate: Monday 2 May

Vote: Tuesday 3 May

Procedure: legislative initiative report


Draft report on the election of the Members of the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage
Press release after the Constitutional Affairs Committee vote
Profile of the rapporteur: Domènec RUIZ DEVESA (S&D, ES)
Legislative train
Procedure file
EP Research Service - Transnational electoral lists: Ways to Europeanise elections to the European Parliament (08.02.2021)
EPRS: Proposing new rules for European elections (Think Tank)
Free photos, video and audio material from Parliament’s Multimedia Centre (European Elections 2024)

Common charger: MEPs committed to reducing electronic waste

Parliament is expected to give its green light to negotiations on a common charger to help reduce e-waste and make charging of portable electronic devices easier.

The new ruLes would make sure consumers no longer need a new charger and cable every time they purchase a new device, and can use one charger for all of their small and medium-sized electronic gadgets. Mobile phones, tablets, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, handheld videogame consoles and portable speakers, rechargeable via a wired cable, would have to be equipped with a USB Type-C port, regardless of the manufacturer. Exemptions would apply only for devices that are too small to have a USB Type-C port, such as smart watches, health trackers, and some sports equipment.

The Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee adopted its position on the amended Radio Equipment Directive on 20 April. The negotiations with EU governments on the final shape of the legislation can start once Parliament’s position is confirmed by a plenary announcement.


Debate: n/a 

Vote:  n/a

Procedure:  Ordinary legislative procedure 


Press release on committee vote (20.04.2022)
Rapporteur Alex Agius Saliba (S&D, MT)
Procedure file
EPRS briefing: A common charger for electronic devices
Overview: EU closer to introducing a common charger
Free photos, video and audio material

Artificial intelligence: The EU must set global standards

The final report by the Special Committee on Artificial Intelligence warns that the EU has fallen behind in the global race for tech leadership.

The public debate on the use of artificial intelligence (AI) should focus on its enormous potential to complement humans, MEPs are set to say. The report, to be debated and put to the vote on Tuesday, warns that the EU is taking the risk that standards will be developed elsewhere in the future, often by non-democratic actors, while the EU needs to act as a global standard-setter in AI.

The Special Committee on Artificial Intelligence in a Digital Age identified policy options that could unlock AI’s potential with regard to health, the environment and climate change. It could also help combat pandemics and global hunger, enhance people’s quality of life through personalised medicine and create sustainable growth and jobs.

A press conference with lead MEP Axel Voss (EPP, DE) and AIDA Committee Chair Dragoș Tudorache (Renew, RO) will take place at 16.30 in Parliament’s Daphne Caruana Galizia press room.


The AIDA Committee started its work in September 2020. In its mandate, the committee was tasked with exploring the impact of AI on the EU’s economy and its different sectors, analysing how non-EU countries are dealing with AI, and charting the road ahead. The committee held a number of hearings and debates to feed into its final report, which aims to establish an AI Roadmap up to 2030.


Debate:  Tuesday 3 May 2022

Vote:  Tuesday 3 May 2022

Procedure:  Non legislative resolution


Draft report on artificial intelligence in a digital age
Press release on committee vote (22.03.2022)
Profile of rapporteur Axel Voss (EPP, DE)
Procedure file
At a glance: recent studies on Artificial Intelligence
Free photos, video and audio material

Rule of law in Hungary and Poland: plenary debate and resolution

On Tuesday, MEPs will review the latest events regarding democracy and fundamental rights in Hungary and Poland, and the EU’s action to protect its shared values.  

Following a debate with the Commission on Tuesday afternoon, plenary will vote on a resolution assessing the ongoing process of hearings in the Council with both countries, under Article 7 of the EU Treaty.

in December 2017 the European Commission initiated  a procedure under Article 7 in response to the risks to rule of law and EU values in Poland. The European Parliament backed this move in a resolution in March 2018. Parliament triggered the Article 7 procedure for Hungary in September 2018.

However, despite the deteriorating situation in both countries in recent years, member states have avoided voting to determine whether there is “a clear risk of a serious breach” of the EU’s common values, the next step in this Article 7 procedure. The Council has held hearings with authorities from both countries in several occasions. The French Council Presidency organised one with the Polish Government in February, and another with Hungarian authorities will take place in June.

MEPs are also expected to comment on the decision by the Commission on 27 April to trigger the budget conditionality mechanism against Hungary.


Tuesday, 3 May
Tuesday, 3 May
Commission statement with resolution


EU values in Poland: MEPs wrap-up fact-finding visit to Warsaw (23.02.2022)
Rule of law in Hungary: MEPs conclude three-day trip to assess the situation (1.10.2021)
Rule of law concerns in member states: how the EU can act (infographic)
European Commission 2021 Rule of Law Report - Country Chapter Poland
European Commission 2021 Rule of Law Report - Country Chapter Hungary

Protecting journalists and guaranteeing media freedom

To mark Press Freedom Day on Tuesday 3 May, MEPs will discuss with the European Commission how to address the threats faced by journalists and enhance media freedom.

Over the last few years, Parliament has warned about attempts both in the EU and beyond to undermine media pluralism. MEPs have denounced the attacks on journalists, particularly from politicians, and called on the Commission to table legislation against abusive lawsuits. On 27 April, a proposal was announced to tackle malicious litigation against journalists and activists. The European Commission has also committed to present a European Media Freedom Act next autumn.

In 2020, Parliament created the Daphne Caruana Galizia Prize, in memory of the Maltese journalist killed in a bomb attack in 2017, to reward outstanding journalism reflecting EU values. Its second edition will be launched on 3 May.


Debate: Tuesday, 3 May

Procedure: Commission statement, no resolution


EP resolution on strengthening Media Freedom: the Protection of Journalists in Europe, Hate Speech, Disinformation and the Role of Platforms (25.11.2020)
Free photos, video and audio material

EU Digital COVID Certificate: plenary to decide on one-year extension

MEPs will adopt their position on prolonging the validity of the EU Digital COVID Certificate beyond June 2022, ahead of talks with the member states.

The EU Digital COVID Certificate (EUDCC) was adopted in June 2021 to facilitate free movement in Europe during the pandemic for a period of 12 months. The scheme is set to expire on 30 June 2022.

In February, the Commission introduced proposals to extend the validity of the EUDCC for another year. This would also allow member states to grant test certificates based on new types of antigen assay tests. The Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee adopted its position on 28 April, LINK HERE asking for a review of the scheme in six months. MEPs also emphasise that EUDCC holders should not have their free movement restricted in the EU unless absolutely necessary.

The decision to enter into negotiations with the Council and the Commission will be announced at the opening of the plenary session. If MEPs object, the decision will be put to the vote on Thursday 5 May.


Procedure: Ordinary legislative procedure (COD)


Profile of the rapporteur Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D, ES)
Procedure file (EU citizens)
Procedure file (third-country nationals)
European Parliament Research Service: At a glance - Extension of the EU Digital Covid Certificate

Question Time with the Commission

On Tuesday at 15.00, MEPs will quiz the Commission on the EU’s energy autonomy and the strategic importance of renewables, energy interconnections and efficiency.

The first two Question Times took place on 5 April with Commission President von der Leyen and EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell.

Question Time

The debate will take the form of a question and answer session, in order to make the discussion more engaging. This and other new features will be tested and then be evaluated by Parliament’s Conference of Presidents (Parliament’s President and political groups’ leaders).

MEPs can use “Question Time” to question the European Council President and the Commission on specific topical issues decided upon by the Conference of Presidents and communicated to them. Each MEP has one minute to ask their question, followed by an answer of up to two minutes. A follow-up question of no longer than 30 seconds is possible, to which the Commissioner has up to two minutes to reply.


Procedure: Question time European Commission



Parliament to demand Russia return stolen airplanes

MEPs will assess the impact of Russia’s war in Ukraine on the EU’s transport sector, and are set to demand Russia return stolen airplanes and to call for more  sanctions.

MEPs are concerned about the severe impact the war has on the aviation sector, deploring the fact that Russia, in clear breach of international civil aviation rules, has forced a re-registration of airplanes leased from foreign companies in Russia’s aircraft register. “Such a theft cannot be tolerated,” MEPs say, demanding the immediate return of these aircrafts to their lawful owners.

The draft resolution, adopted by Transport MEPs on 28 April to be debated on Tuesday, and voted on in plenary on  Wednesday, also calls on the EU to further tighten sanctions against the Russian maritime sector and to refuse entry at EU ports of ships that have docked in Russia on their way. In addition, all ships that want to stop at an EU port  should be forbidden to  re-fuel in Russian ports, the text adds.


Debate: Tuesday, 3 May

Vote: Wednesday, 4 May

Procedure: Council and COM statements with resolution


Press release after the committee vote (28.04.2022)
How the EU is supporting Ukraine
EP resolution on the impact of Russian illegal war of aggression against Ukraine on the EU transport and tourism sectors
Free photos, video and audio material from Parliament’s Multimedia Centre

MEPs may refuse to clear the accounts of the EU’s border control agency  

In discharge votes on Wednesday, the Parliament may not approve  the way some EU bodies and agencies implemented their EU budget in 2020. EU bodies that may have to wait to have their 2020 expenditure approved include the EU border and coast guard agency Frontex, the European Economic and Social Committee, the Council and European Council, and, possibly, the European Court of Auditors.

MEPs are likely to approve the expenditure of the Commission, which manages the majority of the EU’s general spending, totalling €173.3 billion in 2020, the first year of COVID-19-related expenditure. However, Parliament may call for a mandatory single reporting and monitoring system on beneficiaries of EU funds, to prevent misuse of funds, fraud, conflicts of interest, double-funding and other systemic problems.

Any decisions to postpone taken this May will be reviewed in autumn this year, when the Parliament will make its final decisions.


Debate:  Wednesday, 4 May

Vote:  Wednesday, 4 May

Procedure:  Discharge procedure


Draft reports tabled for plenary on discharge for the financial year 2020
Draft report on Commission discharge
Draft report on discharge for the Court of Auditors
Draft report on discharge of the budget of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency
European Parliament Research Service: Discharge procedure for the EU Budget: Political scrutiny of budgetary implementation
Press release on committee vote: MEPs withhold discharge of EU border control agency Frontex’ accounts (31-03-2022)
Press release on committee vote: Committee recommends postponing the 2020 discharge for European Court of Auditors, Council, EESC (28-02-2022)

Parliament to set its position on new trade defence tool

Parliament is expected to decide its negotiating position on new measures to counter market-distorting foreign subsidies granted to companies operating in the EU.

The new trade defence tool gives the EU Commission the power to investigate and counteract subsidies granted to companies that are set to acquire EU businesses or take part in an EU public procurement process. Currently no regime regulates support granted by non-EU countries, while EU countries are bound by strict state aid rules. The new tool aims to restore fair competition on the internal market.

Parliament will debate and vote on the Trade Committee report that made the Commission’s proposal more effective and improved legal certainty around the tool. The text approved in plenary will serve as the parliamentary team’s mandate in the upcoming negotiations with the member states about the final shape of the regulation.


Debate: Wednesday 4 May 2022

Vote: Thursday 5 May 2022

Procedure: Ordinary legislative procedure


Steps of the procedure
Rapporteur: Christophe Hansen (EPP, LU)
EP think tank briefing: Distortive foreign subsidies regulation: A level playing-field for the single market (16.03.2022)
EP think tank in-depth analysis: Foreign subsidies and public procurement (31.09.2021)
Free photos, video and audio material

War in Ukraine: protecting women refugees from violence and sexual exploitation

Parliament will debate and vote on how to protect women fleeing Ukraine from violence and trafficking, and on granting them access to essential health services.

On Thursday, MEPs are set to strongly condemn the use of sexual and gender-based violence as a weapon of war and to express their deep concern about the growing number of reports of human trafficking, sexual violence, exploitation, rape and abuse faced by women and children fleeing Ukraine. They are expected to call for trafficking networks that profit from sexual exploitation of women refugees to be identified and prosecuted.

MEPs are also set to urge the EU and all host and transit countries to ensure access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), particularly emergency contraception and abortion care, including for victims of rape, as well as obstetric care.


According to the UNHCR, more than five million refugees - 90% of whom are women and children - have fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion started on 24 February. A further 7.1 million people are internally displaced within Ukraine, including women and children in need of medical care.


Debate: Thursday 5 May

Vote: Thursday 5 May

Procedure: Oral question with resolution


Oral question
Draft resolution
Procedure file
Press release - War in Ukraine: protecting women refugees from violence and sexual exploitation (25.04.2022)
EP Think Tank - Russia’s war on Ukraine: A gender-sensitive humanitarian response (21.03.2022)
‘‘EU stands with Ukraine’’ website
Free photos, video and audio material - Women’s rights and gender equality

Parliament to assess the EU’s cyber defence capabilities

MEPs and Commission representatives will debate the EU’s preparedness for cyber-attacks following the Russian invasion on Ukraine.

The plenary debate is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.


Debate: Tuesday 3 May


EP Multimedia Centre: free photos, video and audio material

Circular Economy: Parliament wants to reduce harmful chemicals in waste

MEPs are set to debate and vote on new rules to reduce the amount of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the recycling chain, for a toxic-free circular economy.

With the regulation, MEPs wish to lower the limits for the amount of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) allowed in materials, in order to improve human health and create a toxic-free environment. In addition, they wish to remove materials with high levels of POPs from the recycling chain.

The new regulation, presented by the Commission on 28 October 2021, will also align EU law with the obligations in the Stockholm convention as well as the EU’s goal to achieve a green circular economy.


Debate: Monday 2 May 2022

Vote: Tuesday 3 May 2022

Procedure: COD - Ordinary legislative procedure


Procedure file
Press release on committee vote (31.03.2022)
Profile of rapporteur: Martin Hojsík (Renew, SK)
Free photos, video and audio material

Europol reform: MEPs set to back extended powers, with adequate oversight

On Wednesday, plenary is expected to confirm the agreement with member states to extend the powers of the EU’s police agency.

EP and Council negotiators reached a deal in February on strengthening the mandate of Europol, the EU’s police agency, which supports police investigations carried out by the member states. MEPs will discuss the outcome of the talks on Tuesday and put it to the vote on Wednesday.

Under the new rules, Europol will be able to pursue research and innovation projects, process large datasets, and help national authorities screen foreign direct investment in security-related cases. When dealing with terrorist content or child sexual abuse material, Europol will be able to receive data from private companies, for example communication services. The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) will monitor Europol’s compliance with the EU’s data protection rules, and the agency will create a new post for a Fundamental Rights Officer.


Procedure: Ordinary legislative procedure (COD)

Debate: Tuesday 3 May

Vote: Wednesday 4 May


Draft legislative resolution
Procedure file
Press release: Europol reform - agreement between EP and Council to boost data analysis and safeguards (02.02.2022)
Press release: Europol reform: committee vote confirms negotiation result (16.03.2022)
Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs

MEPs to recommend new Cypriot and Maltese candidates for the Court of Auditors

The Parliament will vote on backing the nominations of Lefteris Christoforou and George Marius Hyzler to the European Court of Auditors.

Lefteris Christoforou, nominated by the Cypriot government, is currently a Member of European Parliament.

George Marius Hyzler, nominated by the Maltese governement, is currently the Commissioner for Standards in Public Life in Malta, investigating breaches of ethical standards by ministers, MPs and high-level officials.

Both candidates were endorsed by the Budgetary Control Committee following hearings with them on 21 April.

The final decision will be taken by EU member states.


The EU Treaty, allows each Member State to propose its candidate for the European Court of Auditors. Member states, after consulting Parliament, adopt the  chosen nominees for a six year term


Vote:  Tuesday 3 May

Procedure:  Consultation


Profile of rapporteur Angelika WINZIG (EPP, AT)
Profile of rapporteur: Luke Ming Flanagan (The Left, IE)
Procedure file (MT nominee)
Procedure file (CY nominee)
Rule of procedure on Appointment of the Members of the Court of Auditors
Free photos, video and audio material

Belarus-Poland border: MEPs to quiz Commission on the wall in Białowieża forest

On Thursday afternoon, plenary will look into the construction of a wall in the protected World Heritage Site of Białowieża primeval forest at the Polish border with Belarus.

Following the increased arrival of migrants and asylum-seekers from Belarus in 2021, the Polish authorities declared a state of emergency in the border region with Belarus and decided to build a border wall in order to prevent people from entering Polish territory. The work started in January 2022.

MEPs are likely to raise concerns about the treatment of migrants at this EU border and regarding the legality and environmental impact of the construction as it would affect several Natura 2000 sites, including Białowieża Primeval Forest, and could have a negative impact on protected species and habitats.


During 2021, the Lukashenka regime in Belarus sponsored people’s travel, mostly from the Middle East, to the Belarusian borders with Poland, Latvia and Lithuania with the aim of facilitating their onward travel to EU member states. The EU responded with sanctions. The European Commission also proposed to temporarily modify the asylum, return and reception rules at the EU borders with Belarus for the benefit of Poland, Latvia and Lithuania, but so far the proposed measures have not been adopted.


Debate: Thursday, 5 May

Procedure: Commission statements, no resolution 


Poland-Belarus border: MEPs alarmed by humanitarian and political crisis (10.11.2021)
Belarus: consider taking the Lukashenka regime to international court, MEPs ask (7.10.2021)
Free photos, video and audio material

MEPs to take stock of EU-Moldova cooperation

Parliament will assess the latest developments in the EU’s relations with Moldova, in a debate and vote on Thursday.

Moldova’s Russian-backed breakaway region of Transnistria was recently rocked by as series of explosions, increasing fears that the enclave may be drawn into the war in neighbouring Ukraine and of Kremlin-led attempts to undermine Moldova’s current pro-Western government.

Against the backdrop of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Moldova formally applied for EU membership in early March 2022.

A delegation of MEPs visited the country from 31 March to 2 April. They met with Moldova’s political leadership, including President Maia Sandu, Speaker of the Parliament Igor Grosu, Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilița, and Defence Minister Anatolie Nosatîi. Read more about the visit here.

On Thursday 24 March, Parliament agreed to provide Moldova with €150 million in macro-financial aid to cover a part of its external financing needs. During the same plenary session, MEPs also gave consent for Frontex to provide operational support for the country, including at its borders with Ukraine.


Debate: Thursday 5 May 

Procedure: Statement by the Council and the Commission


EP Multimedia Centre: free photos, video and audio material

Concern over the security situation in Western and Sahelian Africa

MEPs will discuss the threats to stability and the state of democracy in the region, on Wednesday, and vote on a resolution on Thursday.

The security and humanitarian situation in the Sahel and Western Africa has deteriorated sharply in recent years.

Terrorist groups have increased their presence, tens of millions of people are threatened by food insecurity, and the impact of climate change in the region is dramatic. Democratic consolidation is being further undermined by crackdowns on public protests and restrictions placed on opposition parties and politicians.

MEPs are also expected to discuss the presence of foreign private military and security companies, including the so-called Wagner Group, a proxy group of mercenaries for the Russian government.


Debate: Wednesday 4 May 

Vote: Thursday 5 May


European Parliament Research Service Briefing: Jihadist networks in sub-Saharan Africa: Origins, patterns and responses
EP Multimedia Centre: free photos, video and audio material

Resolutions on human rights and democracy  

Parliament will hold urgent debates on the following human rights, democracy and rule of law topics on Wednesday, with votes on three related resolutions on Thursday.

  • The case of Osman Kavala in Turkey;
  • Reports of continued organ harvesting in China;
  • The continuous crackdown of political opposition in Cambodia.


Debate: Wednesday 4 May 

Vote: Thursday 5 May

Procedure: urgency resolutions (non-legislative)


EP Multimedia Centre: free photos, video and audio material