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.
European Council [nid:47952]

EU leaders should take another step in protecting Europe against COVID-19

The only acceptable strategy to fight the COVID pandemic now is ‘whatever it takes’. The EU Summit on the Corona strategy on Thursday and Friday should take another step towards protecting Europe against the variants by finally adopting uniform travel rules, supporting the Commission’s investment and vaccine production capacity drive and taking the next step in preparing for a European vaccination certificate.

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Coronavirus

Increasing COVID-19 vaccine production and improving delivery

On Thursday, Parliament's Environment and Industry Committees will meet with the leaders of various pharmaceutical companies to debate ways how to increase Coronavirus vaccine production and improve delivery. "Nothing we can do is more costly than the human and economic cost of this pandemic. We must act faster and think bigger", said Esther de Lange MEP, EPP Group Vice-Chairwoman responsible for Economy and Environment. 

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Coronavirus vaccine

Export controls for COVID-19 vaccines

On Wednesday, Parliament's International Trade Committee will hold a debate on the transparency and authorisation mechanism for exports of COVID-19 vaccines. This mechanism has been put in place by the European Commission to ensure timely access to COVID-19 vaccines for all Europeans and to tackle the current lack of transparency of vaccine exports outside the EU.

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Relations with National Parliaments logo

MEPs debate rollout of the European Recovery Fund with national Parliamentarians

On Monday, national Members of Parliament from the EPP family and EPP Group MEPs will meet online to discuss the state of play of the national ratification processes of the EU Own Resources Decision and the preparations of national recovery and resilience plans. "This inter-parliamentary meeting is incredibly important, as the reform of the revenue system still needs to be ratified by many national parliaments", explained Vangelis Meimarakis MEP, Vice-Chairman of the EPP Group responsible for relations with national parliaments. Siegfried Mureşan MEP, who negotiated the Recovery Fund for the European Parliament, reminded EU governments that "if they want to get help from the Recovery Fund, it is now their responsibility to swiftly present their final national recovery and resilience plans. The plans have to be future-oriented and must strengthen our economies”, he stressed.

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Smiling young man with mobile phone and bag

Europeans should continue travelling across EU without roaming charges

On Wednesday, the European Commission will present a review of the Roaming Regulation which has been in force since June 2017. The existing rules will expire at the end of June 2022. The European Commission will present its assessment of the Regulation's effects and state whether there is a need to prolong it or not. The EPP Group believes that regulatory intervention is still necessary in order to ensure that EU citizens continue to benefit from the Roam Like At Home rule. Hence, we believe that the Regulation should be extended so that European consumers can continue travelling across the European continent without paying roaming charges.

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Frontex11

Allegations against Frontex must be investigated and clarified

The European Border and Coast Guard Agency Frontex has been growing rapidly, both in budget, human resources and competences, with the standing corps of 10,000 border guards currently being developed. For the agency to play its crucial role in assisting in the protection of Europe's external borders, it is important to provide answers to recent allegations of fundamental rights violations. To ensure adequate parliamentary oversight, the EPP Group pushed for a standing Frontex Scrutiny Working Group which will monitor all aspects of the functioning of Frontex. It will be useful, also for the agency, to have more structural exchanges between the European Parliament and Frontex on its operational challenges and all other relevant issues. The Frontex Scrutiny Working Group will hold its constitutive meeting this Wednesday. On Monday, Members of the Budgetary Control Committee will discuss the Frontex 2019 discharge with Frontex Director Fabrice Leggeri and Ylva Johansson, the responsible European Commissioner.

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Polish flag

We stand with Polish women

At the request of the EPP Group, the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties and Women's Committees will hold a public hearing on Wednesday on attacks on abortion rights and breaches of the rule of law in Poland. The EPP Group stands by Polish women and all Polish citizens and urges the Polish Government to implement the rule of law recommendations already issued by the European Commission, including on the composition of the Constitutional Tribunal. We ask the Commission to consider launching an infringement procedure in relation to the Tribunal's pseudo rulings and its unlawful composition. The EU cannot permit the right to fair justice to be eroded by the increasingly autocratic PiS-led government.

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#EPP4Health

Create Health Union to prevent future health threats

On Thursday, Parliament's Environment Committee will discuss three law proposals to better prepare Europe for future health threats, namely strengthening the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and improving the existing rules on cross-border health threats. "We need a European Health Union to better fight against pandemics in the future", said Peter Liese MEP, the EPP Group's Spokesman for Health. 

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Security concept

Create a single market for data

On Tuesday, the MEPs of the European Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy will vote on a European strategy for data. There is a clear need to create a single market for data that boosts Europe's global competitiveness and enhances data sovereignty. Data is an essential resource for economic growth, competitiveness, innovation, job creation and societal progress in general.

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Social media web sites

New rules for digital services and markets

Parliament's Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee meets on Tuesday morning with Commission Vice-President Margrethe Vestager to discuss the Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act. The EPP Group wants the new rules to set a clear European standard to provide legal clarity for the digital platforms and guarantee the fundamental rights of users. "We want a level playing field to help companies - including SMEs - go digital, innovate, scale up within the internal market and to go cross-border", says the EPP Group Internal Market Spokesman Andreas Schwab MEP, who will negotiate the Digital Markets Act on behalf of the European Parliament. Arba Kokalari MEP will be the EPP Group negotiator on the Digital Services Act.

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EUCBC

Hearing on Child Cancer

On Tuesday, Parliament's Special Committee on Beating Cancer will discuss research, treatment and the care of children, adolescents and people with rare cancers.

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Teenager girl explore nature

Online Coffee Chat: Women and Girls in Science and Technology

On Thursday, MEPs and experts will discuss the EPP Group's goal of encouraging more women and girls to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The discussion is part of the EPP Group Coffee Chat Series live on Facebook. Women make up 52% of the European population, yet only account for 2 out of 5 scientists and engineers. Only 18% of Europe's Information and Communication Technology (ICT) professionals are women, yet encouraging more women into the digital and ICT sectors could add €16 billion in GDP to the EU economy, while closing the gender gap in STEM could create an additional 1.2 million jobs, according to the European Institute for Gender Equality.

 

 

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European Commission is out of touch with SMEs' plight

On the initiative of the EPP Group, MEPs of the European Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy will be asking the European Commission on Tuesday to present a timeline for appointing a new Envoy for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). For many years, the EPP Group has been calling for a single and central contact for SMEs within the European Commission in order to provide structured and systemic assistance.  “With the total and utter devastation left by COVID-19 on SMEs across the European continent, it is hard to comprehend why the European Commission is finding it so hard to appoint the much-needed SME Envoy. The vast majority of European small businesses are currently on the verge of collapse and the Commission does not have the time to nominate a person to focus specifically on their needs”, declared the Co-Chairs of the EPP Group SME Circle, MEPs Henna Virkkunen and Jens Gieseke.

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