Belgium, (Brussels Morning) This week, MEPs will convene during committee meetings discussing the potential extension of the COVID-19 certificate, the draft laws part of the Fit for 55 that were vetoed during last week’s plenary session, taxonomy and EU enlargement. The Parliament’s agenda will also feature food production in the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, war crimes, how to protect consumers in the digital transition and the upcoming Czech Republic Presidency of the EU.
EU COVID-19 Certificate
On Monday, Parliament and Council negotiators will attempt to reach an agreement on the extension of the EU digital COVID-19 Certificate — due to expire on 30 June — for another year, to ensure EU citizens can benefit from their right to free movement regardless of the progress of the pandemic.
Fit For 55
After three draft laws on carbon-pricing, part of the Fit For 55 package, have been put on hold, political groups’ coordinators in the Environment Committee will discuss, on Monday, how to move forward on these files, with the aim of adopting Parliament’s position during the 22-23 June plenary session, and then starting negotiations with EU governments. During the last plenary session, lawmakers refused to adopt positions on the reform of the EU’s carbon market, the introduction of a carbon border tax and the establishment of a Social Climate Fund following conservative-led efforts to water them down.
On Tuesday, MEPs will vote on the so-called taxonomy. The Economic and Monetary Affairs and Environment, Public Health and Food Safety committees will vote on an objection to the Commission’s proposal to classify, under certain conditions, specific gas and nuclear energy investment as transitional activities contributing to climate change mitigation. Parliament and Council have until 10 July to decide if they want to veto the Commission’s proposal. This period may be extended by two months.
On Tuesday, the Foreign Affairs Committee will vote on its assessment of the progress made towards EU membership by Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Serbia. A core objective of the EU’s engagement with the Western Balkans is to prepare them to meet all the requirements of membership. Last week, the bloc held the first Regulatory Dialogue between the EU and the Western Balkans on Information Society and Media.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, the Agriculture Committee will discuss with Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food the impact of the war on food production and security, while the Transport Committee will quiz the Commission on the Solidarity Lanes to help Ukraine with agriculture exports.
War crimes in Ukraine
On Wednesday, the Human Rights Subcommittee will discuss the fight against impunity for war crimes in Ukraine, with, inter alia, the first President of the War Crimes Court in Sierra Leone Geoffrey Robertson and the Special Assistant to the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court Jonathan Agar.
Protecting consumers in the digital transition
On Thursday, a reform of EU rules on the safety of non-food products, to address challenges coming from new technologies and digital marketplaces, will be voted on by the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee. The committee will also vote on an update of EU rules protecting consumers from over-indebtedness, such as loans, overdrafts and credit cards.
Czech Council Presidency
The Conference of Presidents, composed of the Parliament’s President and the leaders of political groups, will meet in Prague to prepare with the Czech Council Presidency, which will start as of 1 July 2022 until the end of the year. Leaders of the political groups will meet Prime Minister Fiala and assess a smooth transition from the ongoing French Presidency.