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Plenary round-up – September 2021

17-09-2021

During the September 2021 plenary session in Strasbourg, Parliament held a number of debates, including on legislative proposals for health and disease prevention, and the Brexit Adjustment Reserve; as well as on natural disasters in Europe; the Pegasus spyware scandal; media freedom; and on further deterioration of the rule of law in Poland. Members debated Commission and Council statements on the July 2021 'Fit for 55' package of legislative proposals, in the light of the latest IPCC report. Council ...

During the September 2021 plenary session in Strasbourg, Parliament held a number of debates, including on legislative proposals for health and disease prevention, and the Brexit Adjustment Reserve; as well as on natural disasters in Europe; the Pegasus spyware scandal; media freedom; and on further deterioration of the rule of law in Poland. Members debated Commission and Council statements on the July 2021 'Fit for 55' package of legislative proposals, in the light of the latest IPCC report. Council presented its position on the draft general EU budget for 2022, ahead of the Parliament voting its position during the October II session. Parliament also debated statements from the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission, Josep Borell, on the situation in Afghanistan and in Lebanon. A number of other resolutions and legislative acts were adopted, inter alia on: the instrument for pre-accession assistance (IPA III); a new EU-China strategy; fair working conditions, rights and social protection for platform workers; and on guidelines for Member States' employment policies.

Plenary round-up – July 2021

09-07-2021

During the July 2021 plenary session in Strasbourg, Parliament continued to debate and adopt Multiannual Financial Framework programmes for 2021-2027, this time finalising programmes in the justice and home affairs, fisheries and infrastructure areas. Debates on a number of Council and Commission statements were held, including on the programme of activities of the Slovenian Council Presidency, on the conclusions of the European Council meeting of 24-25 June 2021, on the Commission’s 2022 work programme ...

During the July 2021 plenary session in Strasbourg, Parliament continued to debate and adopt Multiannual Financial Framework programmes for 2021-2027, this time finalising programmes in the justice and home affairs, fisheries and infrastructure areas. Debates on a number of Council and Commission statements were held, including on the programme of activities of the Slovenian Council Presidency, on the conclusions of the European Council meeting of 24-25 June 2021, on the Commission’s 2022 work programme, on the state of play of implementation of the EU Digital Covid Certificate Regulation, on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in aviation, and on the 70th anniversary of the Geneva (refugee) Convention. A number of other debates were held, inter alia on the rule of law and fundamental rights in Hungary and Poland, on amendments to the Visa Information System, and on European Investment Bank activities in 2019. Members also debated international policy issues – the situation in Nicaragua, the repression of the opposition in Turkey, and the situation in Tigray, Ethiopia.

Plenary round-up – June II 2021

25-06-2021

During the June II 2021 plenary session in Brussels, Parliament continued to debate and adopt programmes financed under the multiannual financial framework for 2021 2027, specifically this session in the areas of regional development, with the Common Provisions Regulation, European Territorial Cooperation Regulation, European Regional Development Fund and Cohesion Fund all finalised. Important debates on Council and European Commission statements were held, in particular on the preparation of the ...

During the June II 2021 plenary session in Brussels, Parliament continued to debate and adopt programmes financed under the multiannual financial framework for 2021 2027, specifically this session in the areas of regional development, with the Common Provisions Regulation, European Territorial Cooperation Regulation, European Regional Development Fund and Cohesion Fund all finalised. Important debates on Council and European Commission statements were held, in particular on the preparation of the European Council meeting on 24 25 June 2021 and the relaunch of the Malta Declaration on external aspects of migration, on the urgent need to complete nominations for the full functioning of the European Public Prosecutor's Office, and on the future of EU-Swiss relations. Members also debated and adopted, inter alia, the proposed European Climate Law, the Public Sector Loan Facility, and discussed the Commission's 2020 rule of law report. António Guterres, the recently re-elected Secretary-General of the United Nations, addressed Parliament in a formal sitting.

Plenary round-up - June I 2021

11-06-2021

The June I 2021 plenary session took place in Strasbourg once more (although still in hybrid form), some 15 months after the previous session was held there, with coronavirus-containment measures restricting the Parliament's activity throughout that period. A number of important debates took place, including on European Council and European Commission statements on the conclusions of the special meeting of the European Council on 24 and 25 May 2021, and on preparation for the G7 and EU-US Summits ...

The June I 2021 plenary session took place in Strasbourg once more (although still in hybrid form), some 15 months after the previous session was held there, with coronavirus-containment measures restricting the Parliament's activity throughout that period. A number of important debates took place, including on European Council and European Commission statements on the conclusions of the special meeting of the European Council on 24 and 25 May 2021, and on preparation for the G7 and EU-US Summits. Members also debated the state of play on implementation of the Own Resources roadmap and Parliament's scrutiny of the Commission and Council assessments of the national recovery and resilience plans. Debates were also held on the rule of law situation in the European Union, including the application of the conditionality regulation. Members discussed the follow-up to the Porto Social Summit, as well as the situation of women in politics. Debate was held on systematic repression in Belarus and its consequences for European security in the light of Belarus' interception of a civilian plane. The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission, Josep Borrell, made statements on the situation in Afghanistan and in Cuba. Parliament also voted on the proposed EU biodiversity strategy for 2030, and on amendments to information systems required for operation of the European Travel Information and Authorisation System. In a formal ceremony, Parliament awarded the annual Lux Audience Award to a Romanian documentary, Collective, directed by Alexander Nanau.

Plenary round-up – May 2021

21-05-2021

A number of important debates were held during the May 2021 plenary session, in particular on Parliament's rights to information regarding the ongoing assessment of the national recovery and resilience plans, on a revised industrial strategy for Europe and on recent migrant deaths in the Mediterranean. Members also held a debate on possible waiving of the WTO TRIPS agreement on Covid 19 vaccines to help developing countries fight the pandemic; on business taxation; and on Roma equality in the EU. ...

A number of important debates were held during the May 2021 plenary session, in particular on Parliament's rights to information regarding the ongoing assessment of the national recovery and resilience plans, on a revised industrial strategy for Europe and on recent migrant deaths in the Mediterranean. Members also held a debate on possible waiving of the WTO TRIPS agreement on Covid 19 vaccines to help developing countries fight the pandemic; on business taxation; and on Roma equality in the EU. Two joint debates took place, on hydrogen and energy strategies, and on data protection adequacy. Members debated a statement by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission, on the EU position on the Israel-Palestine conflict. A number of programmes under the multiannual financial framework were approved, and debates and votes were also held, inter alia, on the impacts of climate change on vulnerable populations in developing countries, on the digital single market, consumer use of artificial intelligence and on company liability for environmental damage.

Plenary round-up – April 2021

30-04-2021

The April 2021 plenary session featured a debate on the outcome of EU-UK negotiations and the vote on the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement. Members also debated the conclusions of the 25 and 26 March 2021 European Council meeting and the outcome of the 6 April 2021 high-level EU-Turkey meeting. Members debated ways to save the summer tourism season and provide EU support to the hospitality sector, and underlined the need for affordable Covid 19 testing. Parliament also debated statements by ...

The April 2021 plenary session featured a debate on the outcome of EU-UK negotiations and the vote on the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement. Members also debated the conclusions of the 25 and 26 March 2021 European Council meeting and the outcome of the 6 April 2021 high-level EU-Turkey meeting. Members debated ways to save the summer tourism season and provide EU support to the hospitality sector, and underlined the need for affordable Covid 19 testing. Parliament also debated statements by High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission, Josep Borell, on Russia, Alexei Navalny, the military build-up on Ukraine's border and the Russian attack on an arms depot in Czechia, on Chinese counter-sanctions, and on the fifth anniversary of the Peace Agreement in Colombia. Parliament also voted on a mandatory transparency register for outside interests meeting with the three institutions.

Plenary round-up – March II 2021

26-03-2021

The highlight of the March II 2021 plenary session was the joint debate on the preparation of the European Council and Digital Green Certificates. A number of further joint debates were held on 2019 2020 enlargement progress reports on Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Serbia, on the reform of EU own resources, on a capital markets recovery package: adjustments to the securitisation framework and on a European strategy for data. These debates were followed by votes. Other debates held following ...

The highlight of the March II 2021 plenary session was the joint debate on the preparation of the European Council and Digital Green Certificates. A number of further joint debates were held on 2019 2020 enlargement progress reports on Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Serbia, on the reform of EU own resources, on a capital markets recovery package: adjustments to the securitisation framework and on a European strategy for data. These debates were followed by votes. Other debates held following Council and Commission statements concerned Turkey's withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention, and the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia and the rule of law in Malta. Proposals on guidelines for the 2022 EU budget, implementation of the Ambient Air Quality Directives, for a new EU-Africa strategy, and legislation on exports, brokering, technical assistance, transit and transfer of dual-use goods, were also debated and voted.

Plenary round-up – March I 2021

12-03-2021

The highlight of the March I 2021 plenary session was the official signature of the Joint Declaration on the Conference on the Future of Europe, allowing the Conference's work finally to get under way. Another important point was the celebration of International Women's Day, which was held just before the start of the session, with Kamala Harris, Vice President of the United States of America, and Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, addressing the plenary in video messages, and Ursula ...

The highlight of the March I 2021 plenary session was the official signature of the Joint Declaration on the Conference on the Future of Europe, allowing the Conference's work finally to get under way. Another important point was the celebration of International Women's Day, which was held just before the start of the session, with Kamala Harris, Vice President of the United States of America, and Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, addressing the plenary in video messages, and Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, also participating, in the chamber. The main debates held during the session concerned the economic impact of the Covid 19 pandemic – focusing on investment, competitiveness and skills, as well as the proposed action plan for the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights, in preparation for the Social Summit in Porto in May. Members also discussed the application of the rule of law conditionality mechanism, respect for the partnership principle in the preparation and implementation of national recovery and resilience plans, and ensuring good governance of the expenditure of EU funding. Proposals on the European Semester annual strategies, corporate due diligence and corporate accountability, as well as the InvestEU and EU4Health programmes, were also debated and voted. Parliament also adopted a resolution declaring the EU an LGBTIQ Freedom Zone. Members debated government attempts to silence free media in Poland, Hungary and Slovenia. Debates were held on reforming the EU policy framework to end tax avoidance in the EU following the OpenLux revelations. Members debated statements by High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission, Josep Borell, on the current political situation in Georgia and on the continuing conflict in Syria.

Plenary round-up – February 2021

12-02-2021

The main debates held during the February 2021 plenary session concerned the state of play of the EU's Covid 19 vaccination strategy and the de facto abortion ban in Poland. Members also debated democratic scrutiny of social media platforms and the protection of fundamental rights, including the challenges ahead for women's rights more than 25 years after the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action The impact of coronavirus on young people and sport, relief measures for the transport sector, ...

The main debates held during the February 2021 plenary session concerned the state of play of the EU's Covid 19 vaccination strategy and the de facto abortion ban in Poland. Members also debated democratic scrutiny of social media platforms and the protection of fundamental rights, including the challenges ahead for women's rights more than 25 years after the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action The impact of coronavirus on young people and sport, relief measures for the transport sector, homologation and distribution of transparent masks and the humanitarian situation in Ethiopia were also discussed. Members debated statements by High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission, Josep Borell, on his visit to Russia in the light of the recent crackdown on protestors and the opposition, on the humanitarian and political situation in Yemen, and on the situation in Myanmar.

Plenary round-up - January 2021

22-01-2021

The main debates of the January 2021 plenary session were on the inauguration of the new President of the United States, and the presentation of the Portuguese EU Council Presidency. Members also debated the humanitarian situation of refugees and migrants at the EU's external borders, as well as the EU global strategy on Covid 19 vaccinations, and the social and employment crisis caused by the pandemic and the EU's response. Lack of transparency in Council appointments to the European Public Prosecutor's ...

The main debates of the January 2021 plenary session were on the inauguration of the new President of the United States, and the presentation of the Portuguese EU Council Presidency. Members also debated the humanitarian situation of refugees and migrants at the EU's external borders, as well as the EU global strategy on Covid 19 vaccinations, and the social and employment crisis caused by the pandemic and the EU's response. Lack of transparency in Council appointments to the European Public Prosecutor's Office and the consequences of earthquakes in Croatia were also discussed. Members discussed the Court of Auditors' annual report, and Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borell made statements on the arrest of Aleksei Navalny, on enhancing EU external action in Latin America and the Caribbean, and on the latest developments in the National Assembly of Venezuela.

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