29th Nov 2022


Meloni mood and energy in focus This WEEK

  • Journalists Dmitry Muratov, the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize laureate and editor-in-chief of Russia's Novaya Gazeta, and Olga Rudenko, editor-in-chief of Kyiv Independent will be heard in the European Parliament (Photo: European Parliament)
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Italians cast their ballot on Sunday (25 September) and chose a rightwing majority parliament, which is expected to have a turbulent relationship with Brussels.

The fallout will be felt early this week in the EU bubble, as the bloc is facing multiple crises simultaneously.

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One of which is soaring inflation and European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde will give an update to MEPs on the economy committee on Monday (26 September) on the bank's efforts to keep consumer prices in check.

Another issue on the top of European's minds is the rising energy prices.

EU energy ministers will on Friday (30 September) meet in Luxembourg with the aim of reaching a political agreement on the EU Commission's proposal to intervene in energy prices.

The proposals include measures to shrink electricity demand and to redistribute the energy sector's surplus revenues to customers.

Disinfo in check

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian war will be in focus at several committee meetings in the European Parliament.

The transport committee will hear from Ukrainian deputy minister of infrastructure Mustafa Nayyem on Monday about the logistics situation in Ukraine.

The discussion will focus on what is the latest state of play with the "grain corridor" via the Black Sea set up to export grains from Ukraine and ease global food shortages.

At the special committee on disinformation, MEPs are set to hold on Thursday (29 September) a public hearing on Russian disinformation and propaganda regarding is war in Ukraine.

One of the guest speakers is expected to be Dmitry Muratov, the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize laureate and editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta, a Russian independent newspaper. Another invitee is Olga Rudenko, editor-in-chief of Kyiv Independent.

The disinformation committee is also expected to hold a debate with Taiwanese digital affairs minister Audrey Tang on Taiwan's responses to Chinese interference.

Sakharov Prize

On Monday, MEPs in various committees will present the candidates for this year's Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, the special prize the parliament gives out each year to a person or an organisation.

The nominees include the people of Ukraine and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the late Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Brazilian environmental and indigenous activist Sônia Guajajara, and Colombia's Truth Commission.

Across town, at the EU Commission headquarters, commissioners are expected on Wednesday (28 September) to present a proposal for an Artificial Intelligence (AI) liability regime.

The point is to clarify who is legally responsible when self-driving cars, delivery drones or other tools do damage or cause injuries.

Of course, friends of the industry are worried about over-regulation.

The commission is also set to come forward with a recommendation on minimum income, which will be non-binding for member states.


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Instead of suppressing the entire economy to tackle inflation, the economist Isabella Weber says a less damaging way to address it is by directly controlling the price of essential resources — like gas and energy.

EU seeks to ease Ukraine export woes

The EU wants to expand its so-called 'solidarity lanes' to help Ukraine exports its goods towards member states. EU officials briefing reporters say around 2.6 million tonnes of Ukrainian agricultural goods were exported via such lanes in August.

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A missed opportunity in Kazakhstan

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