Brussels (Brussels Morning) This week the first of the European Parliament committees for 2022 convenes following the three-week holiday break. MEPs will meet — still in hybrid format due to the pandemic — to discuss new rules for political ads, Belarus and its border situation with the EU, and new sources of income to the bloc. Finally, the Parliament will debate the status of vaccine administration in developing countries and begin preparations for its first plenary session in Strasbourg (17-20 January).
On Monday, the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee will kick off the discussion on new rules affecting the transparency and targeting of political advertising. The draft would require all political adverts to be clearly labelled and to include information as to who paid for them and the amount.
On Thursday, the Civil Liberties Committee will hear about the recent proposal from the European Commission for temporary measures in the event of a sudden influx of third country nationals. These measures would allow Poland, Latvia and Lithuania greater flexibility in dealing with the Belarus Lukashenka regime-supported influx of migrants and asylum-seekers at their borders.
New EU sources of income
Also on Thursday, the Committee on Budgets will review with Commissioner Johannes Hahn three new “Own Resources” proposals related to the EU budget. They are based on a revised EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), and will include a share of the future additional corporate tax income that is expected once the OECD/G20 agreement is in place at EU level.
Some MEPs maintain that revenues from the EU’s proposed carbon border tax should be used to support the decarbonisation of least-developed countries.
Vaccines in developing countries
MEPs in the Development and Foreign Affairs committees are to debate access to COVID-19 vaccines in developing countries on Thursday. This will include the EU’s commitment to share 700 million doses by mid-2022, dubbed “Global Gateway”, with representatives of international organisations.
Election of EP President
During the week, MEPs will prepare the upcoming 17-20 January plenary session in Strasbourg, the first of 2022, when political groups will elect their President, 14 VPs and five Quaestors, elected to oversee administrative and financial matters affecting MEPs.
Parliament will also decide on the composition of its standing committees and subcommittees and debate with President Emmanuel Macron the priorities of France’s incoming Presidency of the Council of the EU.