While the European Parliament’s political groups will use this week to prepare for next week’s plenary session in Strasbourg, most committees have scheduled meetings for debates, votes, and annual exercises.
Several committees will host high profile representatives from the Commission and from the French Presidency of the Council.
Against the backdrop of rising inflation driven mainly by continuing energy price rises, the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) will hold its regular economic and monetary dialogues on Monday afternoon.
First Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis and Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni are to report to ECON MEPs and face their questions on the economy, including the management of the Recovery and Resilience Fund (RRF).
Following suit it’s the turn of European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde to lead on monetary matters.
Meanwhile, French government ministers are to brief three committees on the priorities of the French Presidency on Monday.
With the tension around the Russian military build-up on the border with Ukraine continuing to rise, Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly is taking the floor in the Subcommittee on Security and Defence (SEDE).
And with the Rule of Law crisis in some Member States, most notably Poland and Hungary, equally showing no signs of resolution, France’s minister of the interior, Gérald Darmanin, is scheduled to dial into the meeting of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) in the early evening.
Before the minister joins them, the LIBE Committee will have been considering its view, drafted by Greens/EFA Group Vice-Vhair Terry Reintke (DE), on the European Commission’s 2021 Rule of Law report which assesses the situation in every Member State.
Reintke tweeted on Monday:
The Rule of Law report will also be discussed by the Committee on Budgetary Control (CONT), with an additional focus on support for the Rule of Law in the Western Balkans. With a newly introduced mechanism, payments to Member States are now conditional to their commitment to upholding Rule of Law.
Having successfully pushed for 2022 to be the European Year of Youth, the Committee on Culture and Education (CULT) will host Jean-Michel Blanquer, Minister of National Education, Youth and Sport to hear how France’s presidency priorities will live up to the promises made to the young citizens of Europe in the light the pandemic.
The Commission has made youth a central focus of their annual Industry Days starting on Tuesday.
The Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) will discuss its draft report on a proposal to introduce a common charger for all mobile devices, including motions on how to reduce e-waste.
The Foreign Affairs Committee’s subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI) will discuss Child Labour with a representative from UNICEF, following the publication of their report last summer, presenting global trends and future projections on child protection and development.
The subcommittee will also debate the influence operations of Azerbaijan in the European political sphere and attacks on Azerbaijani human rights defenders, together with the Special Committee on Foreign Interference in all Democratic Processes in the European Union, including Disinformation (INGE).
There will be several key votes on Committee reports that will take place this week. The CULT Committee will vote on Salima Yenbou’s (FR, Greens/EFA) report on the role of culture, education, media and sport in the fight against racism on Monday.
Yenbou Tweeted last week: "Fruitful meeting with the shadow rapporteurs for my report on anti-racism! The compromises obtained allow us to present strong demands to [the Committee on Culture and Education] so that the Member States and the EU Commission move forward in the fight against racism."
The Committee on Legal Affairs will vote on report on the “protection of rights of the child in civil, administrative and family law proceedings” drafted by its chair Adrián Vázquez Lázara (ES, Renew) on Tuesday.
On Thursday, the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) is voting on its part legislating for an updated regulation concerning batteries and waste batteries drafted by S&D Group Vice-Chair Simona Bonafè (IT), and on the legislative update, led by Jessica Polfjärd (SE, EPP) of “binding annual greenhouse gas emission reductions by Member States from 2021 to 2030 contributing to climate action to meet commitments under the Paris Agreement”.
In an exclusive article for the Parliament Magazine, Polfjärd wrote:
“The current national targets do not require all Member States to lower their emissions. The new proposal changes this: all Member States must now join in on the action. This is something that the European Parliament has long called for, and it is very much overdue”.
Finally, the Committee on Budgetary Control (CONT) will vote on its report on the “fight against oligarch structures and protection of EU funds from fraud”, drafted by Petri Sarvamaa (FI, EPP) on Thursday. The rapporteur commented in a press statement: “EU funding mustn't seep away into dark channels controlled by oligarchs or their henchmen. Full transparency about the beneficiaries is needed."