EP Today 

Press Releases 
Plenary session 

Wednesday, 15 September

Live coverage of debates and votes can be found on Parliament’s webstreaming and on EbS+.

For detailed information on the session, please also see our newsletter.

All information regarding plenary, including speakers’ lists, can be found here.

Debate on the State of the European Union

Starting at 9.00, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will deliver her annual State of the European Union address to Parliament. In the ensuing three-hour debate, MEPs are expected to assess the EU’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, the strategy for economic recovery, measures against climate change, the digitalisation agenda and the Conference on the Future of Europe.

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Poland: threat to media freedom and deterioration of rule of law

The continued democratic regression in Poland will be the focus of an afternoon debate with Commission Vice-President Jourová, Commissioner Reynders and the Slovenian Presidency. MEPs will consider a recent draft bill, which critics say threatens media pluralism, as well as the latest Polish legal challenge to EU rules and values. A resolution will be put to the vote on Thursday.

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The Pegasus scandal: surveillance of politicians and journalists in the EU

MEPs will seek answers from the Commission and member states about recent allegations that journalists, politicians and others are being subjected to governmental cyber-surveillance, following revelations by an international journalism consortium.

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In brief:

Gender-based violence as a new area of crime. Plenary will discuss with Commissioner Dalli a draft proposal calling on the Commission to include gender-based violence as a new area of crime in EU law. To be adopted, the legislative initiative needs the backing of an absolute majority of MEPs. The final vote will take place on Thursday.

Banning the use of certain antimicrobials on animals. MEPs will decide whether to block a Commission proposal on the veterinary use of antimicrobials, arguing that critically important antimicrobials should be reserved for human use (final vote to be announced on Thursday at 9.00).

Exchange of tax information. At 15.00, plenary will assess with Commissioner Gentiloni to what extent EU countries are cooperating with each other by exchanging information to fight tax avoidance and evasion.


The first voting session will take place between 13.00 and 14.15, with results announced at 19.00. MEPs will cast their final vote, among others, on:

  • strengthening the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, and measures to combat serious cross-border health threats;
  • the reform of the EU Blue Card for highly-skilled migrants.

They will also vote on amendments to resolutions on:

  • EU-Russia relations;
  • working conditions and social protection for platform workers,
  • a new EU-China strategy, and
  • plans to accelerate a transition to innovation without the use of animals in research.

The final vote on these four resolutions will take place in the second voting session (between 20.00 and 21.15, with results announced on Thursday at 9.00). MEPs will also vote on then:

  • a revised agreement for the facilitation of visas with Cabo Verde, and
  • amendments to the legislative proposal on gender-based violence.