29th Sep 2023


EU summit prep and Pegasus vote in focus This WEEK

  • MEPs are set to lay out what they expect from EU leaders at their summit meeting later in June (Photo: European Parliament)
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The Brussels heatwave over the weekend has been a prelude to the fast-approaching summer political break for the EU.

One of the final acts is usually the June European Council, the last summit of EU leaders before the summer break.

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On Wednesday (14 June), MEPs are expected to quiz top officials from the EU Commission and the Council and lay out their own demands on what should be discussed with leaders.

EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen in the meantime is due to travel to South America, visiting Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Mexico to reinforce ties in trade, climate and other global topics.

The European Parliament is expected to debate on Tuesday (13 June) and vote on Wednesday (14 June) on their negotiating position on the first-ever rules to regulated AI use in the EU, also aiming to ensure that AI developed and used in Europe is in line with EU values.

MEPs in the plenary are set to debate on Tuesday and vote on Wednesday (14 June) on recommendations to tackle and prevent tech spyware abuse in EU countries — based on a committee inquiry into illicit use of the Pegasus spyware.

The committee expressed concern over the misuse of spyware in several member states against journalists, opposition, and ciivl society figures.

MEPs on Wednesday will discuss the electoral law, the investigative committee and the rule of law in Poland, and a resolution is expected in July, the last plenary session before the summer break.

The commission has launched an EU probe into a new Polish investigative committee, which critics say is aimed at targeting opposition politicians by the Law and Justice government ahead of elections this autumn.

On Tuesday morning, lawmakers are set to discuss the latest developments concerning Russia's invasion of Ukraine and future efforts to reconstruct the country. A resolution on rebuilding Ukraine is expected to be voted on on Thursday.

The majority of MEPs are expected to condemn Russia for the humanitarian and environmental consequences of the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam.

MEPs are expected to give their final green light on Wednesday to updated rules to make batteries more sustainable, and better-performing.

Kosovo president Vjosa Osmani and Cyprus president Nikos Christodoulides are also set to address MEPs this week at the plenary.

The parliament's environment committee is set to vote on Thursday on a draft regulation that would introduce legally-binding EU targets to restore Europe's damaged ecosystems from forests and agricultural land to urban areas.

The centre-right European People's Party (EPP) group has been urging commission vice-president Frans Timmermans to withdraw the disputed Nature Restoration Law.

The EPP accused the commission of overstepping its role by trying to influence how MEPs should vote in order the get the legislation through the parliament.

On Monday, the special committee on the Covid-19 pandemic will adopt its final recommendations to equip the EU for future pandemics.

In the second half of the week, finance ministers are set to meet in Luxembourg, and are expected to discuss the latest on the catastrophic impact of Russia's war in Ukraine, plans to review the EU's long-term budget, and approve recommendations for the member states' economic reforms programmes.

Double rejection for EU flagship nature restoration plan

MEPs from the agriculture and fisheries committees have voted to reject the nature restoration proposal — a key proposal that aims to halt biodiversity loss and reverse the degradation of ecosystems in the bloc.

Pegasus spyware makers grilled by MEPs

"We will not continue to work with a customer that is targeting a journalist illegally," Chaim Gelfand, chief compliance officer of NSO Group told MEPs — but shed little light on EU governments' use of its Pegasus spyware.

China trade tension and migration deal This WEEK

An EU-China high-level economic is scheduled on Monday amid renewed tensions. Later this week, EU home affairs ministers will discuss the EU-Tunisia deal and the state of play of the EU pact on asylum and migration.

Spain's EU-language bid and UN summit This WEEK

While the heads of EU institutions are in New York for the UN high level meeting, Spain's EU presidency will try to convince ministers to make Catalan, Basque, and Galician official EU languages.

Von der Leyen's State of the Union address This WEEK

The EU's political season is back in full swing after the summer break, with the EU Commission president's State of the Union address on Wednesday. Meanwhile, exiled Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya will also address the European Parliament.


Time for a reset: EU regional funding needs overhauling

Vasco Alves Cordeiro, president of the European Committee of the Regions, is advocating a revamp of the EU's regional policy so that it better supports all regions in addressing major challenges such as the green and digital transitions.

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