Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) This week, MEPs will convene in committee meetings to discuss the war in Ukraine and its impact on agriculture and trade. The European Parliament is also set to celebrate the upcoming International Women’s Day (8 March)and it will vote on corporate sustainability due diligence. Brexit and its impact on fisheries also feature on the week’s agenda.
Russia-Ukraine’s impact on agriculture and trade
With the military escalation in Ukraine, MEPs and the Commission review, on Monday, the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on the EU’s agricultural markets, the economy and trade. Belgium’s pear growers are already feeling the economic impact of the conflict, and face losses of some 3,000 euro per hectare as a result. Portugal’s wine sector will be hard hit too. Yet, the greatest disruption (yet to be fully felt) will be the follow-on from the EU decision to cut Russia from the SWIFT inter-banking facility
International Women’s Day
On Monday, the Women’s Rights and Economic and Monetary Affairs committees will hold a joint event focusing on women in Economics in Finance in the EU. High-level participants will include the Parliament President Metsola, European Central Bank President Lagarde, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Georgieva, US Secretary of the Treasury Yellen, and EU Commissioners Vestager, Gentiloni and McGuiness.
Corporate sustainability due diligence
Also on Monday, MEPs meet with Justice Commissioner Reynders to review the Commission’s long-awaited proposal on corporate sustainability due diligence. Parliament adopted its own legislative initiative report, which was prepared by the Committee on Legal Affairs back in March 2021.
Companies will be required to introduce rules on due diligence stipulating that they identify, mitigate and end any adverse impact of their activities on human rights and the environment — in short, halting any such activities.
Extraordinary measures on the war Russia-Ukraine
On Tuesday, the plenary discusses EU responses to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, including the EU sanctions agreed at the extraordinary meeting of the European Council on 24 February. Over the weekend, the EU decided on the absolute closure of its airspace to Russian civilian aviation, including privately owned and operated jets. In a new departure, the bloc also announced that it will purchase weapons for Ukraine.
International Women’s Day and the impact of COVID-19
On Thursday, the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee will organise an inter-parliamentary meeting focusing on future ambitions for Europe’s women post-COVID-19, taking into account issues of mental load, gender equality in teleworking and unpaid care work after the pandemic.
President Metsola, France’s Minister for Equality, Elisabeth Moreno, Equality Commissioner Dalli and Iceland’s Prime Minister, Katrín Jakobsdóttir, are among the scheduled speakers.
Brexit and EU-UK fisheries
On Thursday, the Fisheries Committee votes on ways to foster EU-UK fishing partnerships in the Channel, the North Sea, and the Atlantic. MEPs, concerned about protectionist UK measures to limit fishing licences for EU vessels, are set to urge UK partners to refrain from controversial action. They are also expected to call on the Commission to consider the possibility of limiting UK access to EU ports.
Survey on International Women’s Day
On Friday, the Parliament will publish a Flash Eurobarometer survey for International Women’s Day. It focuses on the impact of government COVID-19 measures on the mental health and the financial and economic situation of women in the EU, the increase of mental and physical violence against women, and what women want MEPs to do in order to address these issues.