Take a look at what we have coming up over the next seven days. Explore our EPP Group agenda and the main issues we’ll be focusing on in the week ahead: from upcoming debates in the European Parliament on important legislative and policy issues to the meetings that our Members will be attending.
EPP Group Plenary Press Briefing [nid:104776]

Who will be at the helm of the EPP Group?

On Wednesday, the EPP Group will gather to elect its Presidency (Chair and 10 Vice-Chairs) for the second half of this legislative term, until the next European elections in 2024. Manfred Weber MEP, who has chaired the EPP Group since 2014, will be seeking re-election.

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Freedom Of Speech

How can we protect journalists against intimidation lawsuits?

On Thursday, the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee will vote on a media freedom Report aimed at stopping strategic lawsuits against public participation, so-called 'SLAPP lawsuits', across Europe. "We need to protect journalists against abusive lawsuits aimed at silencing them. I want our Parliament to give them the cover they need. Since no EU Member State has introduced any anti-SLAPP legislation, the Report calls for an EU anti-SLAPP Directive which would provide minimum safeguards for media freedom and freedom of expression in the entire Union. We also propose a number of 'soft measures' to help journalists navigate through the process. The key here is balance, our target is abusive lawsuits that seek to silence, and not legitimate claims", said Roberta Metsola MEP, who is spearheading the Report in the European Parliament.

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Alexeï Navalny

Sakharov Prize: who has shown greater courage than Alexei Navalny?

On Thursday, the Committees on Foreign Affairs, Development and Human Rights will select the finalists for the 2021 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is the EPP Group’s candidate for this year’s prize. “The Kremlin's attempts to eliminate Alexei Navalny show the real face of Mr Putin and the inner circle of his regime. They fear losing power and are waging a war against their own people. Alexei Navalny showed great courage in order to restore the freedom of choice back to the Russian people. He fought for many years for human rights, freedom of speech and thought, civic freedoms and against corruption. His deeds and determination fully deserve to be awarded with the Sakharov Prize”, said Sandra Kalniete MEP, Vice-Chairwoman of the EPP Group in charge of foreign affairs. The final choice of the awardee will be made on 21 October 2021 by the Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament.

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Hand holding smartphone with city guide in Paris

Roaming in Europe even cheaper?

On Thursday, the Industry, Research and Energy Committee will vote for new rules which will make roaming even cheaper. The EPP Group wants a significant reduction of the wholesale caps to enable more competition which would lead to better prices for consumers and enterprises. Roam-like-at-home is an unprecedented European success story that shows how we all benefit directly from the EU Single Market. The EPP Group stands with the consumers and wants to cut costs further and improve the quality of service for all European citizens.

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Budget

Will the next EU budget be enough for the recovery?

On Monday, the Parliament's Budgets Committee will confirm it's position on the EU Budget for 2022. “The task is not finalised. We have to convince our colleagues in the Council that the investment in recovery has no alternative and that these are the expectations of our citizens”, said Karlo Ressler MEP, the European Parliament’s negotiator.

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Climate change

Will China join Europe's efforts to stop climate change?

Next Tuesday, the European Parliament’s Environment Committee will adopt its negotiating position for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), which will take place from 31 October to 12 November in Glasgow in the United Kingdom. It is expected that around 200 participating countries will present their plans to cut emissions by 2030 and agree on certain concrete proposals such as speeding up the phasing-out of coal. The European Parliament will participate with an official delegation. The EPP Group is convinced that in order to contain global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels, ambitious climate policy is necessary, but emerging markets such as China, the world's second largest economy, must make efforts similar to Europe's.

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Terrorism

Is Europol strong enough?

The mandate of the EU police agency Europol must be strengthened to be able to respond faster to threats such as terrorism and cybercrime. On Tuesday, the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee will decide its position on the so-called Europol package proposed by the Commission last year. European Parliament negotiator Javier Zarzalejos MEP says: "Europol's new mandate will allow the Agency to better support Member States in countering the evolving and increasingly complex security threats we face today."

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