Summary

Next week, Members of the European Parliament (“MEPs”) will gather in Brussels for Committee Meetings.  Many interesting votes and debates are scheduled to take place.

On Wednesday, during a joint meeting of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (“ITRE”) and the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (“IMCO”), Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton will present his long awaited White Paper on Artificial Intelligence and a European Strategy for Data.  The two highly anticipated documents will set out the Commission’s approach to future legislative initiatives on regulating Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) and common European data spaces.  Two previous versions of the Commission’s White Paper on AI have been leaked, and gave insights into the Commission’s thought process.  For example, the Commission was initially considering an outright (temporary) ban on the use of facial recognition technology in public spaces; but, as a subsequent leak showed, it has shifted to a risk-based approach to AI that makes use of biometric data.  After the White Paper is presented, the Commission will seek input from stakeholders, which will feed into a formal legislative proposal, expected in Q3 2020.

A key element for fostering innovation and developing more capable AI is the widespread access to (high quality) data.  Commissioner Breton will therefore simultaneously present a draft European Strategy for Data to increase access to and the quality of data.  This will likely not only be limited to government-to-business data sharing, but may also include provisions on business-to-business data sharing.  Multiple drafts of the strategy have been leaked and describe how the Commission is planning to fund the creation of EU-wide, common, interoperable data spaces for certain sectors – such as healthcare, mobility, and energy.  The Commission is then expected to present a proposal for a legislative framework in Q4 2020 that will establish a governance framework for data sharing.  This will probably include rules on data formatting standards and data sharing obligations for governments and (possibly) also businesses.

On Thursday, the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice, and Home Affairs (“LIBE”) will hold a hearing on the use of Artificial Intelligence by law enforcement agencies and judicial authorities in criminal matters.  For example, MEPs will debate the ethical and fundamental rights implications of predictive policing and facial recognition technology.  Among the organizations represented during this hearing are the Council of Europe, the UN Center for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, EUROPOL, and the European Network against Racism AISBL.

Meetings and Agenda

Monday, February 17, 2020 

Subcommittee on Human Rights

15:00-18:30

Debates

  • Exchange of views with Yehuda Shaul, co-founder of Breaking the Silence Public hearing: Respect for minorities, beliefs and religions

Subcommittee on Security and Defence Debate

Debates

  • PESCO review: the way ahead

Committee on Development

16:30-18:30

Debates

  • The desert locust infestation in East Africa – exchange of views with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the European Commission

Jointly with the Committee on Budgets (BUDG) and the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET)

  • External Investment Plan and the European Fund for Sustainable Development – State of play (17.45 – 18.30)

Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs

15:00-18:30

BUDG-ECON Joint meeting in meeting

  • Scrutiny of delegated acts and implementing measures – Exchange of views on the delegated act on Market Risk under CRR and on other forthcoming delegated acts

Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

15:00-18:30

Debates

  • Exchange of views with the Commission on the Fitness Check of the Water Framework Directive, Groundwater Directive, Environmental Quality Standards Directive and Floods Directive Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a framework for the Community action in the field of water policy Directive 2006/118/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of groundwater against pollution and deterioration Directive 2008/105/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on environmental quality standards in the field of water policy, amending and subsequently repealing Council Directives 82/176/EEC, 83/513/EEC, 84/156/EEC, 84/491/EEC, 86/280/EEC and amending Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council Directive 2007/60/EC on the assessment and management of flood risks
  • Exchange of views with the Commission on the evaluation of the Council Directive 91/27/EEC of 21 May 1991 concerning urban waste-water treatment
  • Exchange of views with Mr Pierre LARROUTUROU, rapporteur for the 2021 budget Guidelines for the 2021 Budget – Section III – Consideration of draft opinion
    • Rapporteur: Pascal CANFIN (Renew, FR)
  • Exchange of views with the Commission on the Fitness Check of the Ambient Air Quality Directives Directive 2004/107/EC relating to arsenic, cadmium, mercury, nickel and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in ambient air and Directive 2008/50/EC on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe
  • Exchange of views with the Commission on food safety risks related to imports of horse meat.

Committee on Industry, Research and Energy

15:00-18:30

  • Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: Secure 5G deployment in the EU – Implementing the EU toolbox

Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection

15:00-17:15

Debates

  • Public hearing – Digital advertising and consumer information

Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development

15:00-18:30

  • Exchange of views on the situation of imports to the EU of japonica rice

Committee on Legal Affairs

15:00-18:30

  • Vote Election of the Chair

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Subcommittee on Human Rights

09:00-18:30

Debates

  • Exchange of views with 2005 Sakharov Prize laureate Bertha Bueno Fuente and Elena Larrinaga de Luis on behalf of the Ladies in White (“Damas de Blanco”) and 2010 Sakharov Prize laureate Guillermo Fariñas Hernández
  • Exchange of views on the human rights situation in Turkey (special focus on the situation of academia, lawyers, artists and journalists.
  • Public hearing: Authoritarianism and shrinking space for freedom of expression, press freedom and human rights defenders, with case studies on China, Egypt and Russia.

Subcommittee on Security and Defence

0900-18:30

Debates

  • Public hearing: The future of nuclear arms control regimes and the security implications for the EU
  • Exchange of views on the implementation of the NPT Safeguard Agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran, and Teheran’s compliance with its nuclear related international obligations, jointly with the Committee on Foreign Affairs and in association with the Delegation for relations with Iran)
  • Exchange of views on the security situation in East Asia and prospects for denuclearisation of Korean Peninsula (11.15 – 12.00, in association with the Delegation for Relations with the Korean Peninsula)
  • Follow-up to the Berlin conference: implementation of the arms embargo in Libya (15.30 – 16.30, in association with the Delegation for relations with Maghreb countries)

Committee on Budgets

09:00-12:30

  • Guidelines for the 2021 Budget – Section III- Consideration of draft report
    • Rapporteur: Pierre LARROUTUROU (S&D, FR)

Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs

11:00-13:00

  • Exchange of views with Hans HOOGERVORST, Chairman of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and Erkki LIIKANEN, Chairman of the IFRS Foundation Trustees (11.00-12.00) 

Votes

  • Banking Union – annual report 2019 (INI) – Vote on a draft report
    • Rapporteur: Pedro MARQUES (S&D, PT)
  • Competition policy – annual report 2019 (INI) – Vote on a draft report
    • Rapporteur: Stéphanie YON-COURTIN (Renew, FR)
  • European Semester for economic policy coordination: Annual Growth Survey 2020 (INI) – Vote on a draft report
    • Rapporteur: Aurore LALUCQ (S&D, FR)

Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

09:00-18:30

Debates

  • Exchange of views with Mrs Stella KYRIAKIDES, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, on Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, the state of play of the Coronavirus outbreak and the Farm to Fork Strategy
  • Election of the second Vice-Chair Election of the third Vice-Chair Global data collection system for ship fuel oil consumption data – Consideration of draft report
    • Rapporteur: Jutta PAULUS (Greens/EFA, DE)
  • Exchange of views with the Commission on e-cigarettes and heated tobacco Exchange of views with the European Court of Auditors on Special Report No 16/2019 on European Environmental Accounts : usefulness for policy makers can be improved
  • Exchange of views with the European Court of Auditors on Special Report No 18/2019 on EU greenhouse gas emissions: well reported, but better insight needed into future reductions
  • Exchange of views with the Commission on lead gunshots

Votes

  • Quality of water intended for human consumption (recast) – Vote on the provisional agreement resulting from interinstitutional negotiations
    • Rapporteur: Christophe HANSEN (EPP, LU)

Committee on Industry, Research and Energy

09:00-18:30

Vote

  • Revision of the guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure (RSP) – Vote on a motion for a resolution further to a question for oral answer
  • Structured dialogue with Mariya GABRIEL, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth

Joint debate on EU SME policy

  • Presentation by the European Court of Auditors (ECA) of the Special Report: The SME Instrument in action: an effective and innovative programme facing challenge
  • Structured dialogue with Frans TIMMERMANS, Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal 

Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development

09:00-18:30

Debates

  • Exchange of views with Bernhard Url, Executive Director of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)
  • Hearing on “EU support for innovation in agriculture”

Committee on Legal Affairs

09:00-18:30

Debates

  • Digital Services Act: adapting commercial and civil law rules for commercial entities operating online (INI) – exchange of views
  • Rapporteur: Tiemo WÖLKEN (S&D, DE)
  • Exchange of views with Ewa KOPACZ European Parliament’s Coordinator on Children’s Rights
  • Presentation of the work programme of the Coordinator’s Office 

Reports on artificial intelligence

  • Framework of ethical aspects of artificial intelligence, robotics and related technologies (INL) – exchange of views
    • Rapporteur: Ibán GARCIA DEL BLANCO (S&D, ES)
  • Civil liability regime for artificial intelligence (INL) – exchange of views
    • Rapporteur: Axel VOSS (EPP, DE)
  • Intellectual property rights for the development of artificial intelligence technologies (INI) – exchange of views
    • Rapporteur: Stéphane SÉJOURNÉ (Renew, FR)
  • Artificial intelligence: questions of interpretation and application of international law in so far as the EU is affected in the areas of civil and military uses and of state authority outside the scope of criminal justice (INI) – exchange of views
    • Rapporteur: Gilles LEBRETON (ID, FR) 

Joint debate

  • Service in the Member States of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil or commercial matters (service of documents) and cooperation between the courts of the Member States in the taking of evidence in civil or commercial matters (COD)- reporting back to committee on negotiations
    • Rapporteurs: Franco ROBERTI (S&D, IT) and Emil RADEV (EPP, BG)

Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality

09:00-18:30

Debates

  • Gender Mainstreaming Network
  • Workshop on “Gender aspect of trafficking in human beings”
  • Structured dialogue with Helena DALLI, Commissoner for Equality – exchange of views

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Committee on Foreign Affairs

09:00-18:30

Debates

  • Exchange of views with David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Programme (Jointly with the Committee on Development)
  • Exchange of views with Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim AlThani, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar (10.45 – 11.30)
  • Exchange of views with Riyad Al-Maliki, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Palestine (11.30 – 12.15)
  • Exchange of views with Aharon Leshno-Yaar, Ambassador of Israel to the European Union and NATO (12.15 – 13.00)

Vote

  • Adoption of draft report: Recommendation to the High Representative and to the Council under Rule 118 in preparation of the 2020 Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty (NPT) review process, nuclear arms control and nuclear disarmament options (2020/2004(INI))
    • Rapporteur: Sven Mikser (S&D, EE)

Committee on International Trade

09:00-18:30

Debates

  • Exchange of views with Phil Hogan, Commissioner for Trade, in the context of the structured dialogue with the Commission

Committee on Budgetary Control

09:00-18:30

  • Discharges : Institutions and agencies – adoption of draft reports 

Joint meeting – Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection

16:00-18:00

Debates

  • Presentation by Thierry BRETON, Commissioner for Internal Market, of the new initiatives in the digital sector

Committee on Transport and Tourism

09:00-18:30

Debates

  • Exchange of views with Eamonn Brennan, Director-General of EUROCONTROL
  • Tourism Task Force: Exchange of views with the United Nations World Travel Organisation (UNWTO), Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili Hearing on “The role of public transport in low-density areas”

Committee on Regional Development

15:00-18:30

  • Presentation by the Commission, followed by workshop on “Just Transition Fund”

Committee on Fisheries

09:00-18:30

Votes

  • Election of the Chair
  • Conclusion of the Protocol on the implementation of the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Community and the Republic of Cape Verde (2019-2024) (NLE) – adoption of draft report
    • Rapporteur: Cláudia Monteiro de Aguiar (EPP, PT)
    • Hearing on “Measures to improve sustainable aquaculture in the EU”

Committee on Culture and Education

09:00-18:30

  • Structured dialogue with Commissioner Mariya Gabriel
  • Hearing on ‘The use of artificial intelligence in education, culture and the audiovisual sector’

Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs

09:00-18:30

  • Hearing on the Implementation of the Dublin III Regulation (09.00-12.00) – draft programme and further information
  • Structured dialogue with Věra JOUROVÁ, Commissioner for Values and Transparency – exchange of views
  • EU Strategy for Completing the Security Union: addressing both traditional and modern threats – exchange of views with Margaritis SCHINAS, Commissioner for Promoting the European Way of Life

Committee on Constitutional Affairs

14:30-18:30

Vote

  • European political parties and foundations: guidelines for the treatment of requests from a group of citizens – presentation and adoption of a draft endorsed by the AFCO Working Group on the Rules of Procedure

Debate

  • Exchange of views with Maroš ŠEFČOVIČ, Vice-President of the European Commission for Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight

Committee on Petitions

09:00-18:30

  • Petitions for discussion on the basis of the Commission’s written reply or other documents received on the topics of education, fundamental rights, agriculture, environment, disability, health, animal welfare, competition, social affairs, environment.

Thursday, February 20, 2020 

Committee on Foreign Affairs

09:00-12:30

Debates

  • Recommendation to the Council, the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on the Western Balkans, in the run-up to the May 2020 Summit (2019/2210(INI)).
    • Rapporteur: Tonino Picula (S&D, IT)
  • Recommendation to the Council, the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on the Eastern Partnership, in the run-up to the June 2020 Summit (2019/2209(INI)).
    • Rapporteur: Petras Auštrevičius (Renew, LT)

Committee on International Trade

09:00-12:30

Debates

With the participation of the Members of the Steering Committee of the Parliamentary Conference to the World Trade Organization (WTO)

  • Discussions on WTO: reform, EU-Japan-US talks, fisheries

Committee on Employment and Social Affairs

09:00-12:30

Votes

  • European Semester for economic policy coordination: Employment and Social Aspects in the Annual Growth Survey 2020 – Adoption of draft report
    • Rapporteur: Klára DOBREV (S&D, HU)
  • EU disability strategy post 2020 – Adoption of motion for a resolution
    • Co-rapporteurs: Marc ANGEL (S&D, LU), Katrin LANGENSIEPEN (Greens/EFA, DE), Elżbieta RAFALSKA (ECR, PL), Radka MAXOVÁ (Renew, CZ), Stelios KYMPOUROPOULOS (EPP, EL), José GUSMÃO (GUE/NGL, PT), Lucia ĎURIŠ NICHOLSONOVÁ (ECR, SK), Elena LIZZI (ID, IT)

Committee on Transport and Tourism

09:00-18:30

Debates

  • Presentation by Adina-Ioana Vălean, Commissioner on transport on the transport policy and future perspectives
  • Exchange of views with the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Secretary-General Kitack Lim

Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs

09:00-18:30

Vote

  • Implementing decision on the launch of automated data exchange with regard to dactyloscopic data in the United Kingdom (CNS) – adoption of draft report
    • Rapporteur: Juan Fernando LÓPEZ AGUILAR (S&D, ES)
  • Hearing on artificial Intelligence in criminal law and its use by the police and judicial authorities in criminal matters
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Photo of Sebastian Vos Sebastian Vos

Sebastian Vos is co-chair of the firm’s public policy practice, and heads up its European division. He has extensive experience in the European Union and advises clients as they navigate and manage today’s global regulatory and policy challenges.

Sebastian provides clients with strategic…

Sebastian Vos is co-chair of the firm’s public policy practice, and heads up its European division. He has extensive experience in the European Union and advises clients as they navigate and manage today’s global regulatory and policy challenges.

Sebastian provides clients with strategic public policy, regulatory, and communications advice on a range of competition, trade, transactional and sectoral issues. Sebastian has particular expertise in advising companies in the technology, financial services, energy and transport sectors.

Sebastian was formerly a partner at a leading global public affairs consultancy. Prior to this, he was head of the competition practice at a strategic communications agency. He worked as an attorney at a magic circle firm, specialising in Antitrust, Competition and Trade law, as well as being a member of the Public Policy practice. He has also worked at the European Commission, and was part of its Delegation to the United States in 2000.

Sebastian has written articles on legal and political developments in various publications, including Europe’s World, Bloomberg Business Law Review and European Competition Law Review. He has also been a commentator on broadcast media including CNBC and Bloomberg TV.