Brussels (Brussels Morning) This week, the European Parliament is sending delegations to a number of countries to assess key policy issues that are on the EU agenda. MEPs will travel to the US, Greece, Iceland and Spain, to examine migration and asylum issues, gender pay gap, terrorism and trade, respectively.
From Monday to Thursday, an International Trade Committee delegation will be in Washington DC to discuss global trade challenges, including Trade and Technology Council deliverables. MEPs will meet with White House officials, members of Congress, the US Trade Representative, US-based European companies as well as US enterprises, trade unions and think tanks.
This visit is a follow-up to the 15 June launch of the Trade and Technology Council by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and US President Joe Biden.
The Council is to serve as a forum for the transatlantic partners to coordinate approaches to key global trade, economic, and technology issues including applicable standards, secure supply chains, export control and investment screening cooperation and global trade challenges.
Migration & asylum
From Tuesday to Thursday, MEPs on the Civil Liberties Committee will travel to Athens and Samos to assess on-the-ground conditions for migrants and asylum-seekers and to exchange views with Greek authorities, representatives of EU institutions, agencies, and NGOs.
MEPs will evaluate how the establishment of new multi-purpose reception centres is progressing, following reports about the use of digital surveillance technology. They will also seek to verify how applications for international protection are being managed, and they will look at reception and integration policies.
Gender pay gap
From Wednesday to Friday, MEPs from the Women’s Rights Committee will be on mission in Iceland studying how the Nordic country implements gender pay gap measures.
In particular, MEPs will gather information on a law that requires companies and institutions with more than 25 employees to prove that they pay men and women equally for a job of equal value.
MEPs will meet representatives of the government, women’s rights organisations, civil society and professional organisations as they inquire into practical aspects of implementing gender gap policies and its results.
From Wednesday to Friday, a delegation from the Petitions Committee will be in Madrid and the Basque country to inquire into unsolved murders attributed to the terrorist Basque separatist organisation ETA. The mission follows a petition by the Dignity and Justice Association.
The MEPs will meet the petitioners, government representatives and the police, members of the judiciary and victims’ associations.
In October 2011, ETA declared a “definitive cessation” of its armed activity. However, it was not until 2018 that the group formalised its dissolution. The group was responsible for more than 850 deaths in the Basque country and in other parts of Spain between 1959 and 2017.