This week in the European Parliament

Afghanistan, Women's' Rights, combatting Digital Disinformation and Beating Cancer are among the topline issues being discussed and debated this week by MEPs
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By Brian Johnson

Brian Johnson is Managing Editor of The Parliament Magazine

06 Sep 2021

MEPs on the Women's Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) and Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI) will hold an exchange of views on women’s and girls’ rights in Afghanistan on Monday (14:45-16:15). The debate will focus on the risks faced by women and girls under Taliban, prospects for the future, and the EU's activities to support women and girls.

The meeting has been organised in association with the Delegation for relations with Afghanistan. The head of the EU’s delegation to Afghanistan, Ambassador Andreas Von Brandt is expected to participate in the meeting, as are Shaharzad Akbar, the chair of the Afghan Human Rights Commission and Sahraa Karimi, the president of the Afghan Film Commission.

Parliament’s Development (DEVE) and Women's Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) Committees will hold a joint meeting on Monday (14:00-14:45) to consider the joint DEVE-FEMM draft report on the EU Gender Action Plan III with Rapporteur: Chrysoula Zacharopoulou (Renew, FR)).

DEVE MEPs will also, with members of the Subcommittee on Human Rights, hold an exchange of views (17.45-18.45) on how best to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic on education for children.

The Parliament’s Special Committee on Foreign Interference and Disinformation (INGE) holds talks on Monday with European Commission Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager on EU digital legislation including the Digital Services and Digital Market Acts, as well as a discussion on artificial intelligence and data.

INGE Committee MEPs will be back in action on Thursday (09:00-10:30) when they hear from Paula Gori of the European Digital Media Observatory and Tobias Schmid of European Regulators Group for Audio-visual Media Services on what can be done to combat with disinformation.

They will then discuss spying on European politicians and institutions and the most recent cases of spying, namely Operation Dunhammer, Pegasus, and APT 31 (10:30-12:00).

MEPs on the Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) begin their Thursday meeting (09:00-10:00) hearing statements from the selected candidates for the post of Chairman of a Board of Appeal of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).

"MEPs on the Women's Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) and Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI) will hold an exchange of views on women’s and girls’ rights in Afghanistan on Monday (14:45-16:15). The debate will focus on the risks faced by women and girls under Taliban, prospects for the future, and the EU's activities to support women and girls"

They then have an hour’s exchange of views (10:00-11:00) with the Slovenian Council Presidency.  Later in the early evening (16-45-18.45), the Committee will discuss, with Rapporteur, Adrián Vázquez Lázara (Renew, ES) his report on the protection of the rights of the child in civil, administrative and family law proceedings, and with Opinion rapporteur Geoffroy Didier (EPP, FR) on the reports on the Single Market for Digital Services (Digital Services Act) and amending Directive.

Parliament’s Special Committee on Beating Cancer (BECA) convenes on Thursday (13:15 -15:45) to focus on two key cancer care and research issues. First up on the Committee’s agenda is a discussion with the European Commission on the creation of a European Health Data Space.

The Commission’s Beating Cancer Plan envisages electronic health records playing a crucial role in in cancer prevention and care and is looking to make the most of the potential of data and digitalisation, through its European Health Data Space initiative to improve cancer treatment, healthcare delivery and quality of life outcomes.

BECA Committee MEPs will also hold an exchange of views with the Commission on progress around the implementation of the so-called Chemicals Strategy for Innovation, which aims to deliver high levels of health and environmental protection from chemicals.

The strategy is seen as another key component of the Commission’s Beating Cancer Plan as it seeks to reduce citizen’s exposure to carcinogenic substances and other hazardous chemicals.

The Environment, Public Health & Food Safety (ENVI) and Agriculture (AGRI) Committees will on Thursday (08:45-11:15) hold a debate and vote (on amendments on Thursday, final vote on Friday) on the Commission’s Farm to Fork Strategy.

MEPs are expected to put forward several major changes to the Commission’s proposals in the joint (Herbert Dorfmann (EPP, IT) for AGRI, and Anja Hazekamp (GUE/NGL, NL) own initiative report and to call for a strengthening of the position of primary producers in the food supply chain.

Parliament’s Subcommittee on Security and Defence (SEDE) will on Thursday (15.00–16.15) discuss the Outcome of the Informal Meeting of European Defence Ministers including the situation in Afghanistan and will be debriefed by the EEAS’ Charles Fries, Deputy Secretary General for Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP).

SEDE MEPs will also discuss a new Study on ‘EU preparedness and responses to Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) threats’ and consider Rapporteur Sven Mikser’s (S&D, EE) INI report on the Challenges and prospects for multilateral Weapons of Mass Destruction arms control and disarmament regimes.

The EPP Group’s Bureau will travel to Berlin from Wednesday to Friday for a get together with Centre-right Prime Ministers and Presidents, Mayors and political party leaders.  The meeting may also be final opportunity for the Group’s senior MEPs to exchange views with Angela Merkel before she steps down as German Chancellor.

"Parliament’s Special Committee on Beating Cancer (BECA) convenes on Thursday (13:15 -15:45) to focus on two key cancer care and research issues. First up on the Committee’s agenda is a discussion with the European Commission on the creation of a European Health Data Space"

S&D group foreign affairs chief Pedro Marques heads up a group of Socialists and Democrats MEPs - Isabel Santos, Tonino Picula (HR), Evin Incir (SE) and Nora Mebarek (FR) - on a mission to Beirut, Lebanon, as part of an ongoing campaign to encourage political leaders to form a new government.

The S&D Group will on Thursday run a webinar on tackling obesity (from 14:00). The online event, entitled ‘Obesity: the silent pandemic’, will be hosted by MEP Andreas Schieder (AT) and will include the participation of Jytte Guteland (SE) as a key panellist.

Read the most recent articles written by Brian Johnson - Editorial: People Power

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