Plenary highlights: climate action, Ukraine, LUX Award 

 
 

MEPs backed measures to ensure a faster green transition reiterated support for Ukraine and called for changes to the EU Treaty during the plenary session on 6-9 June.

Climate action


To help meet the EU’s commitment to a 55% cut in emissions by 2030 and climate neutrality by 2050, Parliament agreed its negotiating position on the revision of a series of EU laws in sectors responsible for emissions - known as Fit for 55. They include: zero-emissions for cars and vans in 2035 and higher carbon sink ambitions in land use and forestry. MEPs also backed more ambitious emissions reductions in international aviation and stricter reduction targets for EU countries.

The files related to carbon pricing - including changes in the EU Emission Trading System, a new carbon levy on imports and a fund to help those affected by energy and mobility poverty - were sent back to committee for further consideration.


Reforming the EU


On Thursday, MEPs called for the start of the process to change the EU’s founding treaties in response to proposals from the Conference on the Future of Europe, including the end of unanimity voting in the Council in most areas and more EU competences in health and energy. Separately, MEPs demanded that Parliament be given the right to propose new legislation. This is currently reserved to the European Commission, while both the Council and the Parliament have an indirect right of initiative.


Ukraine


The speaker of the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada (parliament), Ruslan Stefanchuk addressed the European Parliament on Wednesday in Strasbourg. He urged the EU to grant Ukraine candidate status and thanked the Parliament for its strong support for his country.


LUX Audience Award


Quo Vadis, Aida? won the 2022 LUX Audience Award. Presenting the award to Bosnian director Jasmila Žbanić on Wednesday, President Roberta Metsola said, “This film is a strong call for justice for the women and mothers of Srebrenica who witnessed the atrocious killing of over 8,000 loved ones.”


Poland


Parliament expressed serious concerns about the European Commission's recent endorsement of the Polish government’s €35.4 billion Recovery and Resilience Facility plan on Thursday. MEPs called on the Council not to approve it until conditions are met, notably in terms of compliance with EU values, rule of law and independence of the judiciary.


Debate with Irish prime minister


During a debate with the Irish Taoiseach Micheál Martin on Wednesday, MEPs reaffirmed their solidarity with Ireland on dealing with the consequences of Brexit. Martin highlighted the important role of the EU in promoting democracy, peace and security in Europe. The Taoiseach addressed the plenary as part of This is Europe, a series of special debates where leaders discuss the EU and its future.

Turkey


On Tuesday, MEPs warned Turkey that over the past two years the country has consistently gone back on its commitments to EU values and standards, thus jeopardising its path to EU membership.

Europol


Parliament agreed to give more powers to Europol to help police and judicial cooperation in criminal investigations, facilitating cooperation between national authorities, especially customs and border control agencies.


Forced labour


MEPs called for a ban on imports of products made with forced labour on Thursday. Authorities should use International Labour Organisation indicators such as restriction of movement, withholding identity documents and debt bondage to determine if a production site, importer, transporter or company uses forced labour, they said.

Common Agricultural Policy


Parliament marked the 60th anniversary of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy on Monday. With a new and reinforced agricultural policy entering into force next year and the war in Ukraine underlining the need for food security, agriculture remains an essential European policy.