Opening: 26-29 February plenary session 

Press Releases 
  • Two-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine 
  • 100 days to the European elections 
  • Minute of silence to remember MEP Erik Bergkvist 
MEPs held a minute of silence to remember MEP Erik Bergkvist at the opening of the 26-29 February session ©European Union, 2024 - Source: EP  

President Metsola opened the 26-29 February plenary session in Strasbourg with the following announcements.

Two-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Saturday 24 February marked two years since Russia launched its war of aggression against independent and sovereign Ukraine, said President Metsola. The horror is as real now as it was then, and the unshakeable courage of the people of Ukraine, who stood up and defied the odds, continue to inspire us all, she added. The worst of times has brought out the best of Europe, which has shown unity and a sense of common purpose, granting Ukraine EU candidate status. The EU will continue to support Ukraine for as long as it takes to find peace with justice and accountability, said the President.

100 days to European elections

The more people that vote, the stronger European democracy becomes, said President Metsola, 100 days ahead of the European elections on 6-9 June 2024.

The elections website and the new version of What Europe does for me can provide information on the elections. President Metsola thanked MEPs for their commitment to close pending legislative work, so that citizens can see the difference that Europe makes.

Minute of silence to remember MEP Erik Bergkvist

MEP Erik Bergkvist (S&D, SE), who passed away on 20 February, will be remembered for his thirst for knowledge, intellectual curiosity and profound sense of humanity, said the President. His commitment to shared values marked him out, as did his work to cut down emissions and to meet the EU’s climate ambitions. Expressing Parliament’s condolences to his family, President Metsola led MEPs in a minute of silence to remember him.

Changes to the agenda


The title of the VPC/HR statement on War in the Gaza Strip, including recent developments related to the ICJ and UNRWA and in the region has been changed to War in the Gaza Strip and the need to reach a ceasefire, including recent developments in the region.

Council and Commission statements on Recent revelations of spying on Members of the European Parliament and the lack of follow-up on the PEGA Committee recommendations is added as the last point in the evening, followed by one round of political groups speakers.


A Commission statement on Preventing work-related deaths following the Florence tragedy is added as the first point after the second voting session in the afternoon. As a consequence, the sitting would be extended to 23:00.

Council and Commission statements on the Need for an urgent Council Decision in favour of amending the protection status of wolves in the Bern Convention is added as the third point after the second voting session.

Council and Commission statements on The extradition and prosecution of Julian Assange and implications on freedom of the press (without resolution) is added as the last point on Wednesday evening, and is followed by one round of political group speakers.

Requests by several committees to start negotiations with Council and Commission

Decisions by committees to enter into inter-institutional negotiations (Rule 71) are published on the plenary website.

If no request for a vote in Parliament on the decision to enter into negotiations is made by Tuesday 12.00 midnight, the committees may start negotiations.

Information concerning the distribution of votes is available under the section “Priority information”.

Outgoing MEPs

Esther de Lange (EPP, Netherlands) as of 15 February 2024

Erik Bergkvist (S&D, Sweden) as of 20 February 2024 (deceased)