Friday

30th Jul 2021

Agenda

Mammoth green package out This WEEK

  • The transport system will be impacted by the new rules set out by the green legislation (Photo: Oli)

The EU Commission on Wednesday (14 July) will drop a mammoth package of legislation on energy and climate laws, to translate the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent by 2030 into concrete new rules for transport and industry.

The package, called 'Fit for 55', will be a roadmap on how to slash gas emissions, which will likely reshape how people commute, how land and forests are managed, and how homes are built. It will also including charging more for pollution.

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  • EU Commission vice-president Frans Timmermans will unveil the proposals - that promise to be one of the cornerstones of the von der Leyen executive (Photo: European Parliament)

The package consists of 13 legislative proposals, which will determine who bears the costs for this major transition of the European economy.

It is a key moment in the life of the Ursula von der Leyen-led EU Commission, which has put the green economic turnaround at the centre of its policies.

MEPs will quiz commission vice-president Frans Timmermans on Wednesday in the environment committee, and the industry committee on Thursday will listen to energy commissioner Kadri Simson on the proposals.

Recovery adoption

In the meantime, the commission will continue to assess and approve the national Covid-19 recovery plans of EU governments. Von der Leyen will travel to Ireland on Friday (16 July) to seal the approval of that deal.

This month will be the first time economy ministers gathering Brussels will get a chance to discuss and sign of the plans approved by the commission.

According to the deal underlying the €800bn recovery fund, EU governments can scrutinise each others' plans and can stop distribution of funds if there are major concerns, or if milestones in the plan are not met.

Ministers will meet on Tuesday (13 July) to adopt the first batch of plans.

Finance ministers will also hold a discussion with Janet Yellen, the US secretary of the treasury. The talks are expected to focus on the economic recovery, as well as on banking and financial stability issues.

On Wednesday, MEPs in the budget and economic committee will hear from commission vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis and economy commissioner Paolo Gentiloni on the national recovery and resilience plans.

Court ruling

On Wednesday and Thursday, Poland's controversial Constitutional Tribunal - which has been staffed with loyalists to the country's ruling Law and Justice party - is set to pronounce two key verdicts, which could fundamentally impact both Poland's EU membership, and the primacy of European law.

On Wednesday, upon the request of Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki, the tribunal will decide if EU law is valid in Poland.

On Thursday, it is set to decide if Polish courts should apply European Court of Justice verdicts.

On Tuesday, von der Leyen will receive Morawiecki.

Borderline

On Monday (12 July), foreign affairs ministers meet in Brussels and will discuss Lebanon, Afghanistan and the South Caucasus.

The ministers will also hold a working lunch with Israeli foreign affairs minister, Yair Lapid.

Also on Monday, MEPs in the civil liberties and foreign affairs committee will debate the escalating migratory pressure on Lithuania's border with Belarus, with the commissioner for home affairs Ylva Johansson, Frontex chief Fabrice Leggeri and Lithuanian interior minister Agnė Bilotaitė.

The Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko is putting pressure on the Lithuanian border by sending hundreds of migrants into the EU there.

On Wednesday and Thursday, MEPs on the foreign affairs committee will vote on EU-Russia political relations, and also on the new EU-China strategy.

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Recovery and rule of law are back This WEEK

EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen will continue to travel to member states to "personally hand over the assessment" of the EU executive on national Covid-19 recovery plans.

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