Digital, energy, and health: this week's Brussels agenda in a nutshell



The week of 21-25 February is packed with ministerial meetings of interest for the Council. These include the transport ministers meeting in Le Bourget in France, the council on foreign affairs, the council on general affairs, the council on competitiveness. In the latter the European ministers for the internal market and industry will discuss the importance of semiconductors for mobility and the ecological transition, as well as the EU Chips Act. On Friday 25 February, the European ministers of finance will gather for the Eurogroup and for the informal meeting of the ministers for the economy and finance (Ecofin Council). As well, on Wednesday, the Commission will present the EU Data Act, the new proposal to regulate the sharing of non-personal data. As for the Parliament, the MEPs will be carrying out constituency work, and committee meetings will start up from next week (28 February-4 March)

Following are the main dossiers to be discussed during the week at European level in the digital, energy and health fields.

DIGITAL

  • Wednesday, 23 February 2022: The Commission will present the Data Act during the College of Commissioners meeting. This legislative proposal aims at disciplining non-personal data sharing, and, specifically, new rules will apply to the manufacturers of connected products, digital service providers and users in the EU. The act will define the rules for sharing data, conditions for access by public bodies, international data transfers, cloud switching and interoperability.
  • Thursday, 24 February 2022: The Competitiveness Council will meet. On the agenda of the European ministers responsible for the internal market and industry there will be, among other topics, an information point by the European Commission on the European Chips Act, the legislative proposal on semiconductors presented on 8 February.

ENERGY

  • Monday 21 and Tuesday 22 February 2022: Informal meeting of transport ministers in Le Bourget, in France, to debate on the main topics of interest within the sector. Adina Vălean, the European Commissioner for Transport, will also participate in the meeting.

HEALTH

  • The week of February 21-25 does not envisage any important ministerial meetings for the health sector. The 27 European health ministers already met in Grenoble for an informal meeting last week, where they discussed the next steps towards the “European Health Union” and ways to facilitate universal access to health care. No concrete measures were drawn up during the meeting, however, it represented an important opportunity for ministers to define European priorities and ambitions for the health sector. The French Health Minister, Olivier Véran, announced the drafting of the “Grenoble Declaration”, a document that will reiterate the EU’s commitment to continue the progress made during the pandemic as far as the health sector is concerned.

FURTHER MEETINGS

  • Monday, 21 February 2022: European ministers for foreign affairs will meet in Brussels to participate in the Foreign Affairs Council chaired by Josep Borrell, the high representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Ministers will address some of the main topical dossiers. Specifically, they will discuss European security with a focus on the situation on Russia’s border with Ukraine, make decisions on climate diplomacy, and assess the latest developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s current crisis. EU foreign affairs ministers will also meet their counterparts from the Gulf countries in the joint council of the European Union and the Gulf Cooperation Council.
  • Tuesday, 22 February 2022: The General Affairs Council will meet. During the session, ministers will be responsible for drawing up the agenda for the next European Council to be held in March. They will also hold an orientation debate on the EU’s response capacity and resilience to future crises and a hearing on the subject of the rule of law in Poland.
  • Friday, 25 February 2022: The Euro zone ministers of finance area will meet for the monthly appointment of the Eurogroup which coincides with the informal meeting of the ministers of economy and finance (Ecofin Council) to be held on Friday 25 and Saturday 26 February 2022.

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