Belgium, (Brussels Morning) This week the European Parliament’s agenda features committee meetings on climate change, the ongoing military conflict in Ukraine and energy infrastructure under the European Green Deal. MEPs will quiz the European Commission’s President Ursula von der Leyen and High Representative Josep Borrell about the implementation of the EU executive’s political priorities. During the week, MEPs will also discuss gender quality, the EU Council and EU-China summits and the rule of law in Poland and Hungary.
On Monday, MEPs will discuss with the Commission the latest IPCC report, which calls for urgent measures to limit global warming to 1.5°C and shows that the impact of climate change is greater than previously estimated. In Europe, in particular, the biggest climate-related risk is water stress as changing weather patterns will lead to more droughts and higher water levels.
War against Ukraine
On Tuesday, MEPs will discuss with the Council and the Commission what the EU can do to protect children fleeing war in Ukraine, in particular from trafficking and exploitation. A resolution will be put to the vote on Thursday.
Parliament is set to approve, on Tuesday, a deal reached with EU governments on updated rules to select which energy projects, such as high-voltage transmission lines, pipelines, energy storage facilities or smart grids, would be eligible to receive EU funds. The aim is to align the existing law with the objectives of the European Green Deal.
On Tuesday, MEPs will question President von der Leyen about what the Commission has achieved in the past two years and about the implementation of its political priorities. Afterwards, they will quiz EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell on the EU’s security and defence strategy for the coming decade.
Closing the gender pay gap
On Tuesday, MEPs will discuss gender equality at work and set their position ahead of talks with EU countries. The Parliament is set to discuss a draft law to ensure that women and men earn the same when doing the same job.
On Wednesday morning, MEPs will review the spring European Council and its outcomes with Presidents Michel and von der Leyen and EU Foreign Policy Chief Borrell. On Tuesday, MEPs will also discuss the results of the virtual EU-China summit, that took place on 1 April and focused on China’s position regarding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the future of bilateral relations.
EU leaders have urged China to side by the Union citing its “special responsibility” as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, while Beijing stated that extreme sanctions will only lead to mutual harm.
Rule of law in Hungary and Poland
On Wednesday afternoon, MEPs will take stock of the EU’s response, so far, to the democratic backslide in Hungary and Poland and are set to urge the French Presidency and the Commission to move forward and ensure respect of rule of law.