Summary

Due to Ascension Day, next week will be brief in the European Parliament.  A limited number of Members of the European Parliament (“MEPs”) will gather in Brussels for committee meetings.  Several interesting debates and hearings are scheduled to take place.

On Monday, Internal Market Commissioner Breton will appear in front of the Parliament’s Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (“IMCO”) to exchange views with MEPs on a EU-level coordination for lifting national coronavirus containment measures.  Commissioner Breton has emerged as one of the Commission’s public faces fighting the pandemic.  He frequently visits the Parliament to debate policy with MEPs and is involved in many of the high level dossiers.  On April 15, 2020, the European Commission and Council of the EU published a joint roadmap with a path towards common lifting of containment measures.  The roadmap recommends a gradual or phased approach and replace general measures with targeted measures for vulnerable groups.  The roadmap also urged EU Member States to open internal borders and avoid obstructing the functioning of the EU internal market.  Previously, Commissioner Breton has also been active with initiatives to facilitate contact tracing of COVID-19 and has called on big tech companies to assist with data analytics.

On the same day, the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (“ECON”) will debate targeted draft amendments to the Capital Requirement Regulation (“CRR”).  The measures concern, inter alia, adapting the timeline of the application of international accounting standards and the leverage ratio buffer.  Also, the draft amendments seek to have public guarantees treated more favourably during the crisis, and to change the methodology for excluding particular exposures from the leverage ratio.  The amendments were part of the “Banking Package” that the European Commission announced on April 28, 2020, to facilitate bank lending to mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.  ECON will vote on the amendments on Wednesday.  The plenary session of the Parliament and the Council of the EU will then have to adopt the proposal as well.  The proposal is available here.

Also on Monday, MEPs of the Committee on Public Health and Food Safety (“ENVI”) will be briefed by Professor Guido Rasi, Executive Director of the European Medicines Agency (“EMA”) on EMA’s activities in response to COVID-19.  In particular, Professor Rasi will touch on the agency’s objective of expediting the development and approval of safe and effective treatments and vaccines to COVID-19.  In addition, he will explain how EMA is supporting the availability of medicines in the EU.

 Meetings and Agenda

Monday, May 18, 2020

Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

09:30  – 10:30

  • Exchange of views with Guido RASI, Executive Director of European Medicines Agency (EMA), on EMA activities on COVID-19 and prospects for the future

Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection

14:00 – 16:00

Debates

  • Exchange of views with Thierry BRETON, Commissioner for Internal Market, on the EU Exit Strategy

Committee on Fisheries

14:30 – 18:30

  • Multiannual management plan for bluefin tuna in the eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean, amending Regulations (EU) No 2017/2107, (EU) No 2019/[NAFO], (EU) No 1936/2001, and repealing Regulation (EU) No 2016/1627 (COD) – Consideration of draft report
    • Rapporteur: Giuseppe FERRANDINO (S&D, IT)
  • The sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement and its Implementing Protocol (2020-2026) between the European Union and the Republic of Seychelles (NLE) – Consideration of draft recommendation (consent) (to be confirmed)
    • Rapporteur: Caroline ROOSE (Verts/ALE, FR)

Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs

10:00 – 16:00

Votes (10:05-10:45)

  • Situation in the Schengen area following the Covid-19 outbreak – adoption of questions for oral answer to the Commission and Council

Debates

  • EASO operational support to Member States in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, notably in Greece – presentation by Nina GREGORI, Executive Director of EASO (10.45-12.00)
  • Europol’s work in combatting Covid-19 pandemic-induced criminal behaviour = presentation by Catherine DE BOLLE, Executive Director, Europol (14.00 – 15.30)

Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs

17:00 – 18:45

Debates

  • Amending Regulations (EU) No 575/2013 and (EU) 2019/876 as regards adjustments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Recommendations on the negotiations for a new partnership with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
    • Rapporteur: Silva Pereira Pedro (S&D, ES)

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Committee on Foreign Affairs

09:00 – 18:30

Vote

  • European Parliament recommendation to the Council, the Commission and the Vice-President of the Commission / 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) (9.00 – 11.00) (Announcement of the result of the votes at 16.30).

Debates

  • Annual implementing report on the EU association agreement with Georgia (2019/2200(INI) (9.30 – 11.00)
    • Rapporteur: Sven MIKSER (S&D, ET)
  • Exchange of views with Olivér Várhelyi, Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, on the Eastern Partnership policy, on COVID-19 related EU support in the Neighbourhood, and Turkey, and on the future external financing instruments (16.30 – 18.30)

Committee on Industry, Research and Energy

16:00

Remote vote open until 16.30

  • An EU legal framework to halt and reverse EU-driven global deforestation (INL) – Vote on draft opinion by Delara BURKHARDT (S&D, DE)
    • Rapporteur: Mauri PEKKARINEN (Renew, FI)
  • The European Forest Strategy – The Way Forward (INI) Vote on a draft opinion by Petri SARVAMAA (EPP, FI)
    • Rapporteur: Mauri PEKKARINEN (Renew, FI)
  • The EU’s role in protecting and restoring the world’s forests (INI) – Vote on a draft opinion by Stanislav POLČÁK (EPP, CZ)
    • Rapporteur: Mauri PEKKARINEN (Renew, FI) 

Results of the vote will be communicated to Members in writing and the final votes will take place during the next ITRE committee meeting of 28 May 2020.

  • Exchange of views with Kadri SIMSON, Commissioner for Energy, on energy-related aspects of European recovery after COVID-19 (14.30-16.00)

Committee on Petitions

10:00 – 12:00

  • Petition by a Spanish citizen on the management of cancelled flights and trips by airline carriers and travel agencies during the COVID-19 outbreak
  • Petition by an Italian citizen on the exemption of VAT for goods and services donated in the fight against and management of the pandemic (in the presence of the petitioner by remote connection)
  • Petition by a Luxemburgish citizen on defending the rights of people with intellectual disabilities and their families in times of COVID-19 emergency (in the presence of the petitioner by remote connection)

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 

Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection

13:45 – 18:45

Debates

  • Exchange of views with Paolo GENTILONI, Commissioner for Economy – on the EU response to the COVID-19 outbreak

Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development

15:00 – 18:30

  • B.D.

Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs

13:00 – 14:00

Votes

  • Amending Regulations (EU) No 575/2013 and (EU) 2019/876 as regards adjustments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Thursday, May 21, 2020

  • No meetings of note

Friday, May 22, 2020 

  • No meetings of note
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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.