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



The week following the Strasbourg plenary sees the EU particularly active on health issues. Specifically, the COVI Commission will continue to gather expertise and hear witnesses on the socio-economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. Meetings of the Heads of Food Safety Agencies (HoA) will also be held in Prague. On the digital front, the focus will be on the Union Secure Connectivity programme. Finally, the work of the joint ITRE and ENVI committees will look at the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the reduction of methane emissions in the energy sector.

DIGITAL

Tuesday 29 November 2022. Parliament’s ITRE Committee will vote on the new Union Secure Connectivity programme for 2023-2027. The proposal aims to reduce the EU’s dependence on foreign companies while protecting critical communication services and surveillance data in the face of growing concerns about Russian or Chinese military advances in space.

Thursday 1 and Friday 2 December 2022. The Competitiveness Council in its Internal Market and Industry configuration (Monday) and Research and Space (Tuesday) will meet in Brussels. On the first day, the Council is scheduled to adopt a general approach on the Chips Act, on the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDD), on the regulation on the protection of geographical indications (GIs) for craft and industrial products. Finally, on the agenda are the conclusions on the European Agenda for Tourism and the discussion on the Directive on Consumer Empowerment for Green Transition and the Regulation on Ecodesign of Sustainable Products (ESPR). Then, under Research and Space, research infrastructures and the New European Innovation Agenda will be at the centre of the agenda, with the Spanish delegation reporting on ‘PRIMA’, the partnership for research and innovation in the Mediterranean area. In conclusion, there will be a debate on the exploitation of EU space data.

HEALTH

Monday 28 and Tuesday 29 November 2022. Busy two days for the COVI Commission with public hearings focusing on the socio-economic impact of the pandemic on vulnerable people. Civil society representatives and stakeholders from all over Europe will participate for an exchange of views with MEPs. The three sessions will focus on the gender perspective and how restrictions have affected women, the impact of the pandemic on vulnerable people, and the EU support mechanisms that are currently in place and can be activated to help the EU economy in the event of another pandemic. In addition, the report following the mission of the Special Committee on the Covid-19 pandemic to the European Medicines Agency, based in Amsterdam, and to BioNTech in Mainz, Germany, will be presented.

Tuesday 29 November 2022. In Brussels, the Working Party on Public Health will focus on the proposal for a regulation on the European Heath Data Space.

Tuesday 29 and Wednesday 30 November 2022. Meetings of the Heads of Food Safety Agencies (HoA) will be held in Prague as part of the Czech EU Council Presidency. These meetings are held twice a year for an informal exchange of information in areas concerning food safety in the Member States. The main objective is to discuss the topics on the agenda and share the experiences of other Member States on the issues. The focus is on food safety, animal health and welfare, plant health and consumer protection.

ENERGY

Tuesday, 29 November 2022. The Energy Working Group will work on the proposal for a Council Regulation establishing a market correction mechanism to protect citizens and the economy from excessive prices. Also on the agenda are the Directive on common rules for the internal markets in renewable energy and natural gas and hydrogen and Regulation on the internal markets in renewable energy and natural gas and hydrogen.

Tuesday 29 November 2022. On the agenda of the ENVI and ITRE joint committees, the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the reduction of methane emissions in the energy sector. Rapporteurs for the dossier are Silvia Sardone (ID) from Italy and Jutta Paulus (Verts/ALE) from Germany.

Tuesday 29 November 2022. ITRE Commission guest Christian Zinglersen, Director of the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER), who will discuss with MEPs the annual report on the results of the monitoring of the internal electricity and natural gas markets in 2021.