Digital, energy and health: the European agenda for the week March 28 to April 1



The European agenda for the week from March 28 to April 1 is packed with appointments. From the extraordinary meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs Council, to the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumers Affairs Council focusing on health. But not only. The following parliamentary committees will also be meeting this week: the Committee responsible for the Internal Market (IMCO), the Committee for Foreign Affairs (AFET), the Committee for the Environment (ENVI) and the Committee for Social Affairs (EMLP). Furthermore, on Wednesday 30 March, the European Commission is expected to present a package of legislative proposals on the circular economy.

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

DIGITAL

  • Monday 28 March 2022: During the meeting of the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) German MEP Andreas Schwab (EPP) will report back on DMA negotiations for which a provisional deal was struck on 24 March. MEPs will also discuss the Commission’s proposal on a common charger. The initiative aims to make chargers for phones and other devices interchangeable, introducing a common standard for their construction. Another novelty introduced by the proposal would concern “unbundling”, that is the possibility of purchasing a device without it being automatically accompanied by its charger. This would lead to a significant reduction in the generation of electronic waste in Europe.

ENERGY

  • Monday 28 March 2022: Joint meeting of the Committee on Development (DEVE) and the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI). During the meeting, MEPs will discuss the report on the implementation and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The report, whose Rapporteurs are the Irish MEP Barry Andrews (Renew) and Greek MEP Petros Kokkalis (The Left) analyses the tools currently available to the EU for implementing the SDGs, as well as defining opportunities, and the criticalities that remain for reaching them.
  • Wednesday 30 March 2022: The Commission will present a package of legislative proposals on the circular economy. Among the proposals there is an initiative for sustainable products, a specific strategy for sustainable textile products and a new regulation on the sustainability of construction products.

HEALTH

  • Monday 28 March 2022: The Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) will discuss the draft report on Mental Health in the Digital World of Work, whose Rapporteur is the Irish MEP Maria Walsh (EPP). The own-initiative draft report addresses the challenges deriving from recent developments within the EU work field, concerning their implications on citizen mental health.
  • Tuesday 29 March 2022: The Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (focusing on health) will take place in Brussels. Apart from working on defining the EU solidarity strategy against COVID-19, the European ministers responsible for health will discuss the measures to be taken to address the health consequences of the conflict in Ukraine. Ministers will also hold an exchange of views on rare diseases and the related EU strategy.
  • Thursday 31 March and Friday 1 April 2022: Videoconference of the Committee for Orphan Medicines (COMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) with experts and officials. In addition to providing advice to the European Commission, the Committee evaluates applications for the assignment of the status of drugs for orphan medicines intended for the treatment, diagnosis or prevention of serious rare diseases.

FURTHER APPOINTMENTS

  • Monday 28 March 2022: Extraordinary meeting of the Council of the European Union for Justice and Home Affairs. On the Council’s agenda there are the pressing issue of providing assistance to refugees from Ukraine and Moldavia, as well as material and financial support for Member States. Ministers will also debate on security and border control issues. As well, Josep Borrell, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, will join this week’s meeting of the Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET) and will be holding a structured dialogue with MEPs on the Commission’s 2022 work programme. The debate will allow MEPs to discuss the state of implementation of the Commission’s current work programme and provide input on the priorities for next year.