Digital, energy and health: the European agenda for the week from 21-25 March



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Beyond the usual meetings of the parliamentary committees, a mini plenary session of the European Parliament will be held in Brussels on Wednesday 23 and Thursday 24 March 2022. The conflict in Ukraine, now in its third week, will again be dominant on the session’s agenda. MEPs will discuss the need for a plan to ensure food security inside and outside the EU in light of the Russian invasion of the country. They will also deal with the preparation of the European Council meeting to be held on 24 and 25 March 2022, as well as discussing REPowerEU – the plan for a joint European action for more accessible, secure and sustainable energy, presented last week by the Commission. As far as the Council is concerned, the Foreign Affairs Council extended to include defence ministers will be held on Monday, the General Affairs Council on Tuesday, while EU leaders will meet for the European Council on Thursday and Friday.

Following are the main European appointments for the upcoming week regarding the digital, energy and health fields, and further important meetings.

DIGITAL

  • Monday 21 March 2022: Joint hearing of the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) and the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice, and Home Affairs (LIBE) on artificial intelligence and the AI ​​Act.
  • Tuesday 22 March 2022: Cédric O, French State Secretary for Digital Transition and Electronic Communications will participate in the meeting of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), during which he will present the priorities of the French Presidency in the field of telecommunications and ICT. ITRE MEPs will also have the opportunity to discuss with the Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, the proposed regulation on secure connectivity based on space technology and the Chips Act. This is the initiative proposed by the European Commission on 8 February to address the shortcomings in semiconductors in Europe. But not only. An exchange of views on recent developments in the work of the EU-US Trade and Technology Council with Margrethe Vestager and Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-presidents of the Commission, will be held at the meeting of the Committee on International Trade (INTA). Finally, the Special Committee on Artificial Intelligence (AIDA) will vote on its own-initiative report on artificial intelligence in the digital age, whose rapporteur is German MEP Axel Voss (EPP).

ENERGY

  • Tuesday 22 March 2022: At the joint meeting of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) and the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI), MEPs will exchange views with Mairead McGuinness, Commissioner for Financial Services, Financial Stability and the Capital Markets Union regarding the complementary Taxonomy Delegated Act introducing specific economic activities in the fields of gas and nuclear power into the EU Taxonomy. MEPs will also have the opportunity to hold discussions with Peter Liese (EPP), rapporteur for the revision of the Emissions Trading System (ETS), and Mohammed Chahim (S&D), rapporteur for the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM). On the same day, the ITRE Commission will hold a public hearing on the review of the third energy package for gas. During the hearing, MEPs will discuss the main aspects of the legislative proposals that make up the package with external experts.
  • Wednesday 23 March 2022: Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, and Commissioner Thierry Breton will take part in the second high-level roundtable on clean hydrogen. The event will explore the issue of transmission and distribution of clean hydrogen, specifically focusing on pipelines, liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHC), liquid hydrogen (LH2) and ports.

HEALTH

  • Tuesday 22 March 2022: Andrea Ammon, Executive Director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) will attend the meeting of the ENVI Committee. On the agenda, in addition to the update on the current epidemiological situation, there will be a debate on the proposal of strengthening the agency’s mandate, which is soon to be voted on in a plenary.
  • Thursday 24 and Friday 25 March 2022: The video-conference of the Facilitation and Coordination Group of Clinical Studies (CTFG), workgroup of the network of heads of EU medicines agencies (HMA), will be held. The mission of the working group is to promote the harmonisation of clinical trial evaluation decisions among the competent EU national authorities.

 

FURTHER APPOINTMENTS

  • Monday 21 March 2022: During the Foreign Affairs Council, ministers will hold an informal exchange of views with Nicu Popescu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Moldova, apart from discussing the Russian aggression. On the same day, a Foreign Affairs Council extended to include EU defence ministers will also take place. Central to the meeting will be the debate on the strategic compass, which will define EU’s strategy in terms of security and defence over the next 5-10 years.
  • Tuesday 22 March 2022: The General Affairs Council will be held in Brussels. During the Council, the French Presidency will present the updated roadmap for the 2022 European semester, with ministers working on the conclusions to be adopted at the end of the European Council to be held on 24 and 25 March, as well as on the revision of the regulation on the status and funding of European political parties and European political foundations.
  • Wednesday 23 March 2022: The Tripartite Social Summit will take place. The summit will provide an opportunity for a constructive exchange of views among the main actors responsible for the Union’s social policies, from national to EU institutions, but also leaders of the trade unions and association categories.
  • Wednesday 23 and Thursday 24 March 2022: Mini plenary session at the European Parliament.
  • Thursday 24 and Friday 25 March 2022: EU leaders will meet for the European Council. On the Council’s agenda, there will be the issues of security and defence, energy, strategic dependencies, the pandemic and the Euro Summit to be held on 25 March 2022.

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