Plenary highlights: German presidency, EU recovery, mobility, public health

MEPs discussed German Council presidency goals and the need for a greater EU role in public health and adopted new rules for the road transport sector during the 8-10 July plenary.

Plenary chamber in Brussels
Check out some of the highlights of this week's plenary session

German presidency


MEPs discussed the goals and strategy of the German presidency of the Council with Chancellor Angela Merkel and Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday.


EU budget and the recovery plan


MEPs warned against ignoring the Parliament in talks on the EU’s next long-term budget, and the recovery package, during a debate on Wednesday. They insisted on the need for the EU to have its own resources.


Public health policies


The EU should play a stronger role in improving public health to be able to deal with emergencies such as Covid-19, said MEPs in a resolution adopted on Friday. They discussed the issue during a debate with Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides and the Council on Wednesday.

Reform of road transport sector


Parliament voted in favour of updated rules on road haulage to improve drivers’ working conditions and stop distortion of competition in road transport on Wednesday.


Money laundering


MEPs debated the European Commission’s action plan to tackle money laundering and terrorist financing, which includes measures to be taken over the next 12 months. In a resolution adopted on Friday, MEPs highlighted areas that still need work, such as identifying high-risk countries and letterbox or shell companies in the EU.


Youth employment initiative

MEPs backed an increase in the budget for the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) to €145 million for 2020. The YEI funds apprenticeships, traineeships, job placements and education for young people in regions with high youth unemployment.


Guidelines for funding energy projects and energy storage


On Friday Parliament called for a revision of funding guidelines for cross-border, trans-European energy infrastructure projects to bring them into line with EU climate policy. They also called for a boost to energy storage solutions to help increase the share of renewables in the EU energy mix.


Support Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries


On Friday Parliament approved €585 million to support Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries.


Venezuela


The humanitarian situation in Venezuela has prompted millions of people to leave the country in recent years, causing a migration crisis in the region. On Thursday, Parliament called for the urgent restoration of democracy and the rule of law.


Employment guidelines


On Friday, MEPs adopted a resolution calling for radical measures to prevent massive job losses and a deep recession. Parliament urged the Commission to revise EU Employment Guidelines in light of the consequences of the pandemic and to be better prepared to respond to future crises.


Chemical strategy for sustainability


MEPs called on the Commission to step up action against dangerous chemicals and pushed for further regulatory measures to adequately protect vulnerable groups such as children, pregnant and breastfeeding women and the elderly.

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