Next week, Members of the European Parliament (“MEPs”) will gather in Brussels for committee and political groups’ meetings.  Several interesting debates are scheduled to take place.

On Monday, the Committee on Budgets (“BUDG”) and the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (“ECON”) will both vote on a draft report on the Sustainable Europe Investment Plan (“SEIP”), which must finance the European Green Deal.  In the draft report, co-rapporteurs Siegfried Mureşan (RO, EPP) and Paul Tang (NL, S&D) question whether the SEIP, as presented by the Commission in January 2020, will be able to mobilize EUR 1 trillion by 2030, given the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.  They also stress the central role that the EU’s long-term budget plays in delivering the objectives of the SEIP.  Among other things, the co-rapporteurs also invite the Commission to revise the Energy Tax Directive (Council Directive 2003/96/EC) and coordinate a kerosene tax as Own Resource for the EU.  The draft report is available here.

On the same day, the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (“ENVI”) will vote on the establishment of the EU4Health Program, which has been a long-standing request of ENVI.  The EU4Health Program will address cross-border health challenges by making medicines and hospital equipment available and affordable throughout the EU.  The program would give the EU more capabilities to take swift and coordinated actions with Member States, while preparing for and managing health crises.  The program is supposed to be funded by the EU’s long-term budget (EUR 1.7 billion) and Next Generation EU (EUR 7.7 billion), the EU’s recovery fund.  The draft report is available here.

On Thursday, the MEPs of BUDG will discuss the state of play of the negotiations between the Council of the EU and the European Parliament on the EU’s long-term budget (“Multi-Annual Financial Framework”) and Own Resources.  On October 8, 2020, the MEPs issued a press release in which they stated that they walked out early during the seventh round of negotiations with the Council of the EU and the Commission.  They criticized the Council for not updating its negotiating mandate, and for not having presented a new proposal that takes the demands of the European Parliament into account.  While some progress has been made in the other rounds of negotiations, including on new Own Resources for the EU and the role of the budgetary authority, several critical points of disagreements still need to be resolved.  It remains the objective of the European Parliament to reach an agreement with the Council before the end of October.  The press release is available here.

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