Next week will be a committee and political group week for the Members of the European Parliament (“MEPs”) in Brussels.  Several interesting debates are scheduled to take place.

On Monday, the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (“LIBE”) will have an exchange of views on the establishment of an EU Mechanism on Democracy, the Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights (“DFR Mechanism”).  The MEPs will first listen to several presentations, including one by the Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders.  The debate will be held in preparation of a new legislative initiative on the DRF Mechanism.  The Parliament will update their 2016 position regarding the DRF Mechanism, while taking the Commission’s Communication from July 2019 into account.  In this Communication, the Commission committed itself to exploring by the end of 2020 whether the impact of persistent rule of law deficiencies on the implementation of EU legislation would require new legal mechanisms.  The discussions on the DRF Mechanism occur in parallel to the ongoing legislative negotiations on a Regulation on the protection of the EU’s budget in case of generalized deficiencies as regards the rule of law in the Member States.  In the Commission proposal, the EU could suspend payments to Member States when deficiencies in the rule of law risk to impeded the sound financial management of EU funds.  The Commission proposal is available here.

On the same day, the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (“ENVI”) will vote on a resolution that outlines the Parliaments views on a chemicals strategy for sustainability to ensure high standards for the protection of human health and the environment, minimizing the exposure to hazardous chemicals.  The European Commission announced its intent to draft such a strategy in the European Green Deal, which was presented on December 11, 2020.

Also on Monday, the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (“ITRE”) will adopt an own-initiative report on a comprehensive European approach to energy storage.  To meet the EU’s commitments to become carbon neutral by 2050, the EU must expands its energy storage capacities to ensure the security of energy supply.  The draft report, prepared by rapporteur Claudia Gamon (AT, RE) concludes, among others, that there are serious regulatory barriers which interfere with a swift exploitation of the EU’s potential.  She also highlights the importance of shifting to the production of green hydrogen and the essential role of batteries for short-term storage.  The European Commission is also expected to come with a green hydrogen strategy soon to bolster the development of a hydrogen economy in the EU.  The draft report is available here.

For the complete agenda and overview of the meetings, please see here.

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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.