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12-05-2021

Newsletter 17-20 May 2021

Likely to be the last plenary session before a return to Strasbourg next week's plenary will include highlights such as Erasmus+ and a fair transition to a green economy. 

Full Agenda
 

MEPs to approve the next generation of Erasmus+

Parliament is set to approve the new Erasmus+, the EU’s education, training, youth and sports programme, for the period 2021-2027.

The new Erasmus+  worth more than 28 billion EUR in current prices, will be significantly more inclusive than previous programmes. It will improve  access to learning and mobility for people who historically have had fewer opportunities to participate – people living with a disability, people living in poverty, in a remote location, people with a migration background, and more.

Compared to the previous Erasmus+, the new programme will expand to support  mobility for students in adult education. It will help people of all ages and backgrounds acquire new work and life skills, helping them better adapt to the changes brought about by the coming green and digital transitions.

In Tuesday’s debate MEPs are likely to address COVID-19 related mobility and education issues, and the challenges in these areas for a post-Covid-19 Europe.  

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate:  Tuesday 18 May

Vote results:  Wednesday 19 May or Tuesday if announced as approved after debate

Procedure:  Ordinary legislative procedure, second reading

Joint Press conference on Erasmus+, Creative Europe and Solidarity Corps, : Tuesday, 18 May at 09.30 Irish time

Irish MEPs following this topic: Ciaran Cuffe (Greens, Dublin), Maria Walsh (Midlands-North-West, EPP) and Sean Kelly (Ireland South, EPP)

Procedure file
Free photos, video and audio material on the new Erasmus+
 

MEPs to adopt €17.5 bn package for a fair transition to a green economy

Parliament is expected to approve the Just Transition Fund, one of the EU’s key tools to support regions in their 2050 climate neutral transition .

The Just Transition Fund (JTF) will finance job seeking assistance, up-skilling and reskilling, and the active inclusion of workers and jobseekers in the changing economy. It will also support micro-enterprises, business incubators and research institutions, as well as investments in new energy technologies, energy efficiency and sustainable local mobility. However, Investments in fossil fuels, waste incineration and decommissioning or construction of nuclear power stations will not be eligible for grants under the Fund.

As part of the Fund, member States will have to focus on the EU’s least developed and outermost regions and islands. At the initiative of Parliament, a “Green Rewarding Mechanism” will be introduced if JTF resources are increased after 31 December 2024. These additional resources will be distributed among member states, with those that succeed in reducing industrial greenhouse emissions receiving more funding.

Background

The JTF comprises EUR 7.5 billion from the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework and an additional EUR 10 billion from the EU Recovery Instrument. It is the first pillar of the Just Transition Mechanism, a key tool to support regions, industries and workers who are expected to face the greatest challenges from implementing the European Green Deal.

Additional information

Debate: Monday, 17 May

Vote and result: Tuesday, 18 May

Procedure: Ordinary legislative procedure

Irish MEPs following this issue: Ciaran Cuffe (Dublin, Greens); Sean kelly (Ireland South, EPP) and Frances Fitzgerald (Dublin, EPP)

 

Press release following the political agreement (09.12.2020)
Procedure file
Free photos, video and audio material
 

MEPs to approve the EU’s new culture programme

Parliament is likely to adopt the next ‘Creative Europe’ programme, making it the biggest ever commitment to support the EU’s cultural and creative sectors.

The new programme will invest 2.2 billion euro in the cultural and creative sectors, recognising the importance of culture and helping the sector recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Apart from a 36% budget increase, MEPs have managed to secure more of a focus on inclusion and gender equality, as well as special support for contemporary and live music sectors that are among those hit hardest by the pandemic.

In Tuesday’s debate, MEPs are likely to discuss the post-COVID-19 recovery for the cultural and creative sectors, with most music and cultural venues across Europe still closed due to public health measures.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate:  Tuesday 18 May

Vote results:  Wednesday 19 May or announced as approved after debate on Tuesday  

Procedure:  Ordinary legislative procedure, second reading

Joint Press conference on Erasmus+, Creative Europe and Solidarity Corps, : Tuesday, 18 May at 10.30

Irish MEPs following this issue: Maria Walsh (Midlands-North-West, EPP) and Sean Kelly (Ireland South, EPP)

Procedure file
Free photos, video and audio material on “Creative Europe”
 

Climate change: MEPs to push for renewable hydrogen, integrated energy systems

MEPs will present their proposals for decarbonising Europe’s energy system, industry and transport sector in two reports to be discussed on Monday.

Hydrogen produced from renewable sources is key to Europe’s energy transition. The first of two reports to be debated by MEPs states only renewable hydrogen can sustainably contribute to achieving climate neutrality in the EU in the long term.

MEPs stress the need for a classification of the different types of hydrogen, by their production method. MEPs stress that fossil-based hydrogen should be phased out as soon as possible. Similar restrictions on imported hydrogen should also be introduced   to avoid carbon leakage, and to help inform consumers about the environmental credentials of the hydrogen they use.

A second report calls for integrating the EU’s energy systems. . MEPs argue that a system that is planned and implemented which links different energy carriers, infrastructures, and consumption sectors to work together would improve energy efficiency and reduce societal costs.

Vote results will be announced on Wednesday.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate:  Monday 17 May

Vote:  result Wednesday 19 May

Procedure: non-legislative resolution

Irish MEPs following this issue: Sean Kelly (Ireland South, EPP) and Ciaran Cuffe (Dublin, Greens)

Press release on committee vote (22.03.2021)
 

Aarhus Convention: MEPs set to call for the EU to comply fully

On Wednesday, MEPs will debate how to bring the EU in line with its obligations to provide access to justice in environmental matters under the Aarhus Convention.

In a vote on Thursday, Parliament is expected to vote in favour of a revision of the existing Aarhus Regulation to ensure that EU administrative acts are aligned with green goals while fully respecting the EU Treaties.

MEPs will vote on changes that aim to guarantee legal certainty for all actors involved. The changes will facilitate the integration of environmental objectives into a wide range of EU policies, broaden the types of administrative acts that can be reviewed, limit the costs of the review process, and allow members of the public to make a request for internal review to an EU institution or body.

Background

The EU as well as its 27 Member States are Parties to the 1998 Aarhus Convention on access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters. 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate:  Wednesday 19 May

Vote: Thursday 20 May

Procedure: Ordinary legislative procedure

 Irish MEPs following this issue: Ciaran Cuffe (Dublin, Greens)

Draft Report
Free photos, video and audio material
 

MEPs to call for EU to protect people displaced by climate crisis

Parliament is expected to adopt a resolution on the impact of climate change on people in developing countries, demanding the EU puts words into action.

In a wide-ranging resolution on the impact of climate change on vulnerable populations living in developing countries, MEPs call for the Commission and member states to consider the destruction of someone’s livelihood by climate change as an eligibility criterion for humanitarian protection.

MEPs are set to call for increased EU climate finance for developing countries, in line with Europe’s commitments under the Paris Agreement. . They also request a comprehensive strategy from the European Commission to deal with the consequences of climate change on countries ill-equipped to deal with them – supporting preparedness, resilience, and adaptation efforts – and taking into account the wider consequences of climate-induced disasters on agriculture, biodiversity, and gender equality in developing countries.

Parliament will hold a debate on the impact of climate change on vulnerable people living in developing countries on Monday. Vote results will be announced on Wednesday morning.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Debate: Monday, 17 May

Vote: result Wednesday 19 May

Procedure:  Own-initiative report

Irish MEPs following this issue: Frances Fitzgerald (Dublin, EPP)

Procedure file
Draft Report
 

MEPs to ask for more flexible EU Solidarity Fund  with faster release of funds

The EU Solidarity Fund should be adapted to to respond better to climate change and more frequent natural disasters in the EU and focus on at-risk regions.

In a draft  report to be debated on Monday and put to vote on Tuesday, MEPs call on the Commission to explore ways of reducing red tape and ensuring “rapid action and prompt relief” for disaster-stricken regions and countries. The text also highlights the “vital” importance of improving preparedness and risk prevention. Parliament is expected to demand that the The European Solidarity Fund (EUSF) have the means to improving Europe’s resilience to climate change rather than just reacting to the consequences.

MEPs also demand special attention to be paid to the EU’s outermost territories, islands and areas prone to intense seismic or volcanic activity, which are particularly at risk of natural disasters. They want to see more cooperation between member states during cross-border disaster response.

Background

The European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) was established following the severe floods in Central Europe in 2002 to provide rapid financial assistance to member states and accession countries in the event of major natural disasters. Since then, the EUSF has allocated some € 6.6 bn in aid for around 100 natural disasters in 23 member states and in one accession country.

In March 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the scope of the Fund was extended to cover major public health emergencies.

Additional information

Vote: Monday, 17 May (results Tuesday, 18 May)

Procedure: Own-initiative report

Irish MEPs following this: Frances Fitzgerald (Dublin, EPP)

Procedure File

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