Brussels (Brussels Morning) The European Parliament is coming up to speed after the summer break with agenda highlights on the situation in Afghanistan, EU countries’ delay of new Own Resources proposals, the rule of law in the EU, and an assessment of the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RFF) mechanism. The Parliament’s rentrée will also feature a recap of the priorities of the Slovenian Presidency, running since July 1 and until the end of the year.
Conference of Presidents
On Monday, political group leaders and the Parliament’s President David Sassoli discuss the evolving situation in Afghanistan with Josep Borrell, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs.
According to an EU diplomat, the EU has not mentioned how many refugees it’s willing to accept; before doing so, it wants to see how third-countries respond to the intake of refugees.
EU leaders are also set to discuss the rule of law situation in the EU and the application of the Conditionality Regulation.
Delay of new Own Resources proposals
On Tuesday, MEPs on the Budgets Committee will discuss the delay in new Own Resources proposals on a digital levy and a carbon border adjustment mechanism with the Budget Commissioner Johannes Hahn.
The Own Resources, one of the most complex pieces of legislation, sets the financing system of the EU budget. According to the Inter-institutional Agreement, the Commission was to put these proposals forward by June 2021, with a view to their introduction by 1 January 2023 at the latest. However, due to US pressure, the EU executive is delaying action on the digital levy.
On Wednesday, the Committees on Foreign Affairs and on Development will jointly meet with the Delegation for Relations with Afghanistan to discuss the developing situation on the ground in the country, with a representative from the European External Action Service. The following day, the US is due to withdraw from the country.
Commission’s 2021 rule of law report
On Wednesday, the Civil Liberties Committee will discuss the findings in the Commission’s second annual review of the condition of the rule of law with Commissioner Reynders. According to the report, concerns remain and, in the case of certain member states — like Hungary and Poland —have increased. MEPs have repeatedly called for a more comprehensive approach to encompass all EU values.
Recovery and Resilience Facility
The Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee will hold its third hearing on Wednesday, with the Commission’s Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis and Commissioner for the Economy Paolo Gentiloni on the progress being made under the RFF — the EU’s main tool to mitigate the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
So far, Italy, Greece, Belgium, Luxembourg, Portugal, and now Lithuania, Spain and Germany have received planned disbursements from the RFF, part of the NextGenerationEU.
Also on Wednesday, the Trade Committee discusses the draft by Rapporteur Daniel Caspary’s European People’s PRTY (EPP) on a reviewed parliamentary position concerning the mechanism that aims to protect EU companies against unfair treatment in international public tenders.
Parliament’s original position dates from 2014, and it became necessary to update it after the European Council agreed on its own mandate in July, following nine years of standstill.
Slovenian Presidency priorities
Towards the end of the week, Slovenia’s ministers for justice and for the interior will present the Slovenian Presidency’s priorities in two meetings with the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs.