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The Week Ahead 08 – 14 March 2021
Conference on the Future of Europe. On Wednesday at 13.00, EP President David Sassoli, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Prime Minister of Portugal, António Costa, will sign the joint declaration on the Conference on the Future of Europe. This begins the process that will enable citizens to participate in reshaping the EU’s policies and institutions and to address challenges old and new, while strengthening European solidarity.
International Women’s Day Celebration. President Sassoli, Commission President von der Leyen, European Council President Michel and Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern (via pre-recorded video message) will address MEPs during Parliament’s International Women’s Day celebration before the session officially opens. At 11.00 on Monday, Women’s Rights Committee Chair Evelyn Regner (S&D, Austria) will be live on Facebook to answer citizens’ questions about the current state of gender equality in the EU. At 12.00, she will have a live Instagram exchange with Polish top model and activist Anja Rubik.
EU4Health programme. MEPs will debate and cast their final vote on the €5.1 billion EU4Health programme for 2021-2027. The programme aims to make EU health systems more resilient, address cross-border health threats and make medicines and medical devices more available, accessible and affordable. (debate and vote Tuesday)
InvestEU programme for strategic and innovative investments. Parliament is set to adopt the new InvestEU programme, which is expected to mobilise €400 billion in public and private investments, guarantee simplified access to financing and provide help for SMEs that have been negatively affected by the economic crisis caused by the pandemic. (debate and vote Tuesday)
Carbon levy to raise global climate ambition. Parliament will debate and vote on how to raise global climate ambition and prevent EU production from being moved to non-EU countries that have less strict greenhouse gas emissions rules (‘carbon leakage’). A carbon levy would be placed on imports of certain goods from outside the EU, if they come from countries that are not climate ambitious enough. (debate Monday, vote Wednesday).
Due diligence and corporate accountability. MEPs are expected to call for binding EU rules that set the standard for responsible business conduct and hold companies accountable and liable when they harm - or contribute to harming - human rights, the environment and good governance. (debate Monday, vote Wednesday)
Attacks on media in Poland, Hungary and Slovenia. On Wednesday afternoon, MEPs will debate the attempts by Polish, Hungarian and Slovenian authorities to silence independent media with Council and Commission representatives. (debate Wednesday)
Children’s rights. MEPs will debate and vote on a resolution on children’s rights, calling on EU member states to invest more in education, healthcare, housing, family support and childcare, and ensure that these services reach all children. (debate Wednesday, vote Thursday)
President’s Diary. EP President David Sassoli will meet with the Prime Minister of Croatia, Andrej Plenkovic, on Thursday.
Press Briefing. On Monday at 15.30, spokespersons from Parliament and political groups will hold a press briefing on next week’s plenary session.