Next week, Members of the European Parliament (“MEPs”) will gather in Brussels for committee meetings and plenary sessions.  Important votes and interesting debates are scheduled to take place.

On Tuesday, MEPs of the Committee for Industry, Research and Energy (“ITRE”) will have a structured dialogue with Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton.  It is likely that the dialogue will be dominated by questions about the Commission’s draft White Paper on AI that was leaked on January 17, 2020.  The draft White Paper sets out proposals for a European approach to regulating AI.  One striking and provocative example is the proposal to include a time-limited ban on the use of facial recognition technology in public spaces.  Many Member States, such as Germany and France, have already invested heavily in deploying facial recognition systems around critical infrastructure, such as train stations and airports.  A final White Paper on AI is expected to be presented by Commissioner Breton on February 19, 2020.

On Wednesday, MEPs will vote in a plenary session whether to express their consent to the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement, commonly referred to as the Brexit deal.  Last week, the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (“AFCO”) adopted a report that recommended the plenary to give its consent to the Brexit deal.  It is widely expected that the European Parliament will indeed do so.  Nevertheless, it is a significant moment as the vote will formally conclude the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.  On January 24, 2020, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Council President Charles Michel signed the agreement on behalf of the EU and Prime Minister Boris Johnson signed on behalf of the UK, concluding the ratification process from the UK’s side.  For the European Parliament, this means that all British MEPs (73) will give up their seat and a partial redistribution of seats will take place between the political groups.  The total number of MEPs will be reduced from 750 to 705, with 27 seats shared among underrepresented Member States, such as France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands.

On Thursday, MEPs will vote on a resolution that will call on the Commission to adopt secondary legislation by June 2020 that would introduce one common charger for mobile electronic devices.  MEPs argue that this would enhance consumer welfare and significantly reduce e-waste.  In 2009, the Commission already signed a voluntary agreement with industry players to adopt one common charger. However, this has not had the desired effect and MEPs would like to see the Commission take stronger action.

Meetings and Agenda

Monday, January 27, 2020 

Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs / Committee on Employment and Social Affairs

16:00 – 18:30

  • Economic Dialogue and exchange of views on the Autumn Package of the 2020 European Semester (Recommendation on the economic policy of the euro area, on the Annual Sustainable Growth Strategy, on the Alert Mechanism Report and on the Joint Employment Report) with:
    – Valdis DOMBROVSKIS, Executive Vice-President for An Economy that Works for People
    – Paolo GENTILONI, Commissioner for Economy
    – Nicolas SCHMIT, Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights

Committee on Legal Affairs



  • Statements by the candidates for the Chairs of the Board of Appeal of EUIPO (17.00-17.30)
  • Discussion with Margrethe VESTAGER, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission with responsibility for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age (17.30-18.30)

Committee on Regional Development



  • Priorities of the Croatian Presidency of the Council of the EU – presentation by Davor BOŽINOVIĆ, Minister of the Interior and Dražen BOŠNJAKOVIĆ, Minister of Justice (15.00-17.00) 

Joint debate on JHA Brexit related matters (17.00-18.30)

  • Report on Brexit: “Refugee protection and asylum policy” of the EU Affairs Committee of the House of Lords – presentation by Lord Michael JAY, Chair of the Committee
  • Family reunification post-Brexit – exchange of views with Jon FEATONBY, Policy and Advocacy Manager (Refugees and Asylum) at British Red Cross
  • “No-deal Brexit preparedness concerning family reunification under Dublin III Regulation” – question for oral answer to the Commission by Claude MORAES (S&D, UK) – presentation by the Commission under Rule 138

Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs

19:00 – 21:30


  • Election of the third Vice-Chair
  • Search and rescue in the Mediterranean (SAR) (RSP) – adoption of motion for a resolution
  • Rapporteur: Juan Fernando LÓPEZ AGUILAR (S&D, ES) 

Debate (19.30-20.30)

  • Exchange of views with Dunja MIJATOVIĆ, Commissioner for Human Rights, Council of Europe

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Committee on Budgetary Control

09:00 – 12:30

  • CONT mission to the Czech Republic (26-28 February 2020) – exchange of views in preparation for the committee mission
  • Follow-up on recent press reports of alleged fraud in EU agricultural funding in Italy – exchange of views with Commission and OLAF representatives

Committee on Industry, Research and Energy

09:30 – 11:00

  • Structured dialogue with Thierry BRETON, Commissioner for Internal Market

Committee on Legal Affairs

09:00 – 16:30

  • Priorities of the Croatian Presidency of the Council of the EU – exchange of views (14.30-16.00)
  • Representative actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers (COD), reporting back to committee on the negotiations (Rule 74(3)) (16.00-16.30)
  • Rapporteur: Geoffroy DIDIER (EPP, FR)

Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs

09:00 – 16:30

Joint debate (09.00-10.10)

  • State-of-play on the negotiation and implementation of EU readmission agreements and arrangements – presentation by the Commission
  • Conclusion of the Agreements between the European Union and Belarus on the readmission of persons residing without authorization and on the facilitation of the issuance of visas, presentation by the Commission and consideration of draft recommendations, rapporteurs Petar VITANOV (S&D, BG) and Antony HOOK (Renew, UK) 


  • EU Drug Markets Report 2019 – presentation by Alexis GOOSDEEL, Director and Wil van GEMERT, Deputy Executive Director of Europol, Operations Directorate (10.50-11.50) 


  • EU/Montenegro and EU/Serbia status agreements: actions carried out by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency in Montenegro and Serbia (NLE), adoption of two draft recommendations (consent), rapporteur Bettina VOLLATH (S&D, AT) (11.50-12.00) 



  • The future of the EU internal security and EU Internal Security Strategy – discussion with Ylva JOHANSSON, Commissioner for Home Affairs (14.30-15.30) 


  • Visa reciprocity and visa suspension – presentation of two reports by the Commission (15.30-16.30)

Committee on Constitutional Affairs


  • Priorities of the Croatian Presidency of the Council of the EU – presentation by Nikolina BRNJAC, State Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of Croatia (14.30-16.00)

Wednesday, January 29, 2020 

Plenary session



Resumption of session

  • International Holocaust Remembrance Day – 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz

Order of business

  • Withdrawal Agreement of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community
  • Rapporteur: Guy VERHOFSTADT (Renew Europe Group, BE)


Votes (oral explanation of votes will be taken on Thursday)

  • Withdrawal Agreement of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community
  • Rapporteur: Guy VERHOFSTADT (Renew Europe Group, BE)


Debates (or at the end of the votes)

  • Rights of indigenous peoples
  • India’s Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019
  • Urgent humanitarian situation on Greek Islands, especially of children – ensuring protection, relocation and family reunification
  • EU strategy for mobility and transport: measures needed until 2030 and beyond
  • One-minute speeches (Rule 172)

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Plenary session

09:00 – 11:20


  • Commission Work Programme 2020 


VOTES followed by explanations of votes

  • Parliament’s calendar of part-sessions – 2021
  • Parliament’s calendar of part-sessions – 2022
  • Common charger for mobile radio equipment
  • Gender pay gap
  • India’s Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019

 Friday, January 31, 2020 

  • No meetings of notes