Brussels (Brussels Morning) This week, the European Parliament will convene during committee meetings and in plenary session. Kicking-off the week, a delegation of MEPs will travel to the COP26 in Glasgow. Meantime, in Brussels, the Parliament welcomes Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, who is to address MEPs about the perils of social media platforms. MEPs will also discuss corporate tax transparency, the new EU agency for asylum, media freedom and the situation in Poland vis-a-vis the abortion ban.
On Monday, MEPs will discuss the negative impact of big tech company business models on users and societies and how EU digital legislation might best tackle the issue when they hold a public hearing with Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen. The hearing is organised by the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee, in cooperation with several other committees.
A parliamentary delegation will be in Glasgow from Monday until Saturday, to attend the UN COP26 Climate Change Conference. MEPs are determined to speed up climate action worldwide and want all G20 countries to commit to being climate neutral by 2050 and to provide at least 100 billion dollars in climate finance annually for developing countries.
Corporate tax transparency
On Wednesday, MEPs are set to finally approve new legislation requiring multinationals to publically declare what taxes they pay in each EU country, move known as public country-by-country reporting designed to benefit both the general public and the relevant tax authorities.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, will address the plenary, on Wednesday, in an session devoted to an exchange of views with speakers from different political groups.
Also on Wednesday, MEPs will review the outcomes of the 21-22 October EU summit with European Council President Charles Michel. MEPs will assess the EU’s response to health emergencies, the rule of law controversy in Poland, energy prices, migration and trade.
EU Agency for Asylum
On Thursday, MEPs are expected to give the final green light to the creation of the EU Agency for Asylum. The former Asylum Support Office (EASO) is being upgraded into a fully-fledged agency and will have greater powers to facilitate cooperation among member states.
Thursday will also see MEPs put forward a package of proposals to counter the threat represented by Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation — SLAPPs —to journalists, NGOs and civil society.
Poland’s de facto abortion ban
The same day, MEPs will mark the one-year anniversary of Poland’s near-total abortion ban by adopting a resolution showing their opposition to it. Poland is in the spotlight once more following the death of a pregnant woman caused by septic shock, after doctors in Poland declined to perform an abortion.
The controversial ruling made by Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal restricts legal abortion to cases of rape, incest, or when a pregnancy endangers the mother’s life. The latest death in Poland indicates the last mentioned was not given due consideration.
European political parties and foundations
On Thursday, the Parliament is set to adopt recommendations to strengthen European democracy by instituting more transparent procedures with the removal of red tape and other administrative hurdles. Proposals include ensuring that when it comes to making donations, the transactions are much more transparent and that funds are withheld when parties do not comply with EU values.