21st Feb 2024


La Rentrée and MEPs anti-corruption reform This WEEK

  • MEPs from the committee on constitutional affairs will vote on the 14-point anti-corruption reform presented by EU parliament president Roberta Metsola (Photo: European Parliament)
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With politicians, lobbyists, diplomats and bureaucrats streaming back into the city, the so-called 'La Rentrée' has officially started — with a touch of much-needed sun to brighten the week.

On Tuesday (5 September), EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen will be in Nairobi, Kenya, to participate in the first Africa Climate Summit.

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Discussions about how to provide financial assistance to those most affected by climate change will be high on the agenda, ahead of a UN climate summit in New York in September and the COP28 in November.

A 2022 report from the Climate Policy Initiative revealed that African countries received only 12 percent of the funding the continent needs to cope with the impacts of climate change.

Von der Leyen, together with EU Council president Charles Michel, will also travel to India for the weekend to take part in the G20 meeting where Russia's invasion of Ukraine is expected to be discussed.

Russian president Vladimir Putin is not expected to attend the summit in New Delhi.

Following the Qatargate allegations, MEPs from the parliament's committee on constitutional affairs will vote on the 14-point anti-corruption reform presented by the president of the parliament, Roberta Metsola.

Reforms include, for example, stricter rules for the publication of meetings with lobbyists and widening the scope of who should declare such meetings.

Last week, Belgian police found €280,000 in cash at the home of the son of MEP Maria Arena, according to Le Soir.

The parliament's committee on constitutional affairs will also hold a debate about the upcoming 2024 EU elections on the same day.

A key vote on the European Media Freedom Act, the draft law that aims at protecting media pluralism and independence in the EU, will also take place in the culture committee on Thursday. And if adopted, the plenary vote could be in October.

MEPs meet Nato and Frontex chiefs

Also on Thursday, the parliament's foreign affairs committee and the security and defence committee will hold a debate with Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg on the latest on the war in Ukraine and other security matters.

On the same day, MEPs in the human rights committee will have a debate with the head of the EU's border agency Frontex, Hans Leijtens.

The EU Ombudsman recently launched an investigation into the role of Frontex in the 14 June sinking of the Adriana trawler that led to more than 500 people drowning.

On Wednesday (6 September), the European Commission is expected to present a roadmap to help digitalise the traditional approach of social security administration in member states as well as a proposal for a European disability card to ensure the recognition of persons with disabilities across the EU.

EU agriculture ministers will gather in Cordoba, Spain, on Tuesday (5 September) to have a discussion about new technologies and innovations such as the controversial new genomic techniques and their impact on sustainable agriculture.

Meanwhile, a committee vote on the report about critical raw materials, such as lithium or cobalt, will take place on Thursday.

MEPs' integrity vote skirts binding anti-corruption reforms

MEPs on Thursday passed another integrity resolution on the European Parliament that is unlikely to have any practical effect. The non-binding resolution is among a series of similar declarations passed by the European Parliament since the 'Qatargate' scandal.

New Red Sea mission and more Russia sanctions This WEEK

EU foreign affairs ministers launch the bloc's new Red Sea naval mission, plus hold talks on new sanctions against Russia — amid Hungarian objections — on Monday. Plus a home for the EU's new anti-money laundering authority will be picked.

Nato, defence summit, and UNRWA in focus This WEEK

Nato defence ministers will meet this week ahead of the Munich Security Conference. ECB chief Christine Lagarde will address MEPs in the committee on economic affairs and MEPs will hold a debate about the defunding of the UNRWA agency.

EU's 2040 climate target and farmers in focus This WEEK

This week, the EU commission will present a proposal to cut net emissions by 90 percent by 2040, while MEPs discuss the demands of farmers' protests across Europe. Romanian president Klaus Iohannis will also address the EU parliament in Strasbourg.


EU-Israel trade agreement must be on table to stop Rafah attack

The EU-Israel association trade agreement enabled €46.8bn of trade last year. Exports rose for both parties by around 20 percent in 2022. As the bloc's foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said: "Yes, we have the capacity to influence [Israel]."

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