Brussels (Brussels Morning) This week, the European Parliament will announce a series of legislative measures to achieve the EU’s climate targets — the so-called “Fit for 55” package. MEPs will also vote on new rules to strengthen capacity for dealing with cross-border health threats and they will review the EU’s relations with Russia and China. Also featured on the agenda are a vote on the Data Governance Act, a debate on the global status of human rights and ongoing meetings detailing the newly installed Slovenian Presidency’s priorities.
Based on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Environment and Public Health (ENVI) Committee will vote on Tuesday on new legislation to upgrade the bloc’s approach to managing serious cross-border health threats.
The aim is to reinforce the crisis preparedness and response roles of the relevant EU agencies, including the European Medicines Agency and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
As part of the European Health Union, the proposal envisages the creation of the European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority along with a strengthened monitoring system for infectious diseases and other health threats.
“Fit for 55”
On Wednesday, MEPs from the ENVI Committee will respond to the European Commission’s “Fit for 55” package, a legislative package that is expected to deliver on Ursula von der Leyen’s flagship pledge, the European Green Deal.
Parliament will exchange views with Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans in reviewing official details of the “Fit for 55” proposal, which has been designed to provide the roadmap for achieving the EU’s revised target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030 from 1990 levels.
On Thursday, the Foreign Affairs (AFET) Committee will review the EU’s policy vis-à-vis Russia and propose a new strategy for EU-Russia relations. The draft covers a wide range of issues, from deterring Russian security threats to fighting Russian interference in EU’s domestic affairs. MEPs are also eager to promote the EU’s support for democracy in Russia, including a review of sanctions policy and an assessment of the country’s approach to media freedom and human rights.
Also on Thursday, MEPs in the AFET Committee will take stock of relations between the EU and China. Parliamentarians are set to provide their input for a new EU strategy towards Beijing, including how to sustain cooperation with China, while dealing with emerging threats and challenges like disinformation, the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI), security, human rights, and issues such as Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Data Governance Act
The Industry and Research Committee will vote on Thursday on draft legislation to facilitate data sharing in the single market. The Data Governance Act (DGA) sets conditions for the reuse of the data of public bodies, private companies and citizens. The proposal is intended to facilitate and enable the sharing of sensitive data held by public bodies and to regulate data sharing by private actors.
However, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) has concerns about the DGA proposal, given that it covers data-sharing services and is expected to be applicable in the context of data processing — including personal data.
Slovenia’s ministers will present their priorities for the EU Presidency in a series of meetings with parliamentary committees scheduled to run from Monday to Thursday. Slovenia holds the Presidency of the Council until the end of 2021. Its main priorities will focus especially on national recovery plans and the rule of law.
On Friday, the first Global State of Human Rights conference is being held to promote discussions on the state of human rights in the world. The event, jointly organised by the Global Campus of Human Rights and the European Parliament, features MEPs, EU Commissioners, Nobel Peace Prize winners and Sakharov Prize laureates, along with representatives of international organisations and senior academics.