Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) This week, the European Parliament convenes in plenary session. MEPs will debate and vote on the so-called “golden passports”, the war in Ukraine, and foreign interference and disinformation. They will also celebrate International Women’s Day, debate developments on the rule of law in Hungary and Poland and vote on new EU measures to deliver more sustainable batteries.
Banning “golden passports”
The week kicks off on Monday, as MEPs debate a ban on “golden passports”, citing their objections to “citizenship by investment”. The session is likely to deliver a strict redesign of EU-wide rules for ‘’residence by investment’’ aimed at limiting the role of intermediaries. After the vote, a press conference is scheduled for Wednesday.
War in Ukraine
Tuesday and Wednesday see two separate debates. MEPs will discuss measures to handle the increasing number of refugees fleeing from the war in Ukraine and review the EU’s role in a changing world as well as Europe’s security situation in the wake of the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Estonia’s Prime Minister Kaja Kallas is to participate in the latter discussion.
Foreign interference and disinformation
Also on Tuesday, MEPs will vote on the final report by the Special Committee on Foreign Interference and Disinformation. They are expected to point to a lack of EU measures and awareness that allows malign foreign actors to interfere with EU democracy, and to propose countermeasures that include sanctions and/or revoking the licenses of organisations that distribute foreign state propaganda.
International Women’s Day
To mark Tuesday’s International Women’s Day, the Ukrainian writer Oksana Zaboujko will address MEPs during a solemn sitting. This will be followed by debates on the EU’s Gender Action Plan and gender mainstreaming.
Rule of law
Following the last session’s debate, MEPs vote on Wednesday on a resolution assessing the implications of the recent decision by the European Court of Justice to uphold the rule of law conditionality regulation and to dismiss appeals raised by Hungary and Poland.
New rules for batteries
Parliament will debate on Wednesday, and vote the next day, on new EU measures for the design, production and disposal of batteries, ahead of negotiations with EU governments. Batteries for energy storage, such as those for electric car engines, pose specific concerns with regard to their life cycle. The European Environment Agency estimates that by 2030, 240,000 tonnes of lithium-ion batteries could be recovered through the circular economy.
Setting up Special Committees and committee of inquiry
On Wednesday, Parliament will vote on a second mandate of the Special Committee on Foreign Interference and Disinformation and decide whether to set up a special committee to look into the COVID-19 pandemic as well as a committee of inquiry into the Pegasus spyware affair.
Conference on the Future of Europe
The fourth plenary of the Conference on the Future of Europe will take place in Strasbourg on Friday and Saturday to discuss recommendations from two European Citizens’ Panels on the EU in the world and migration and a range of policy aspects that include a strengthened economy, social justice and jobs, education, culture, youth