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The Week Ahead in the European Parliament – March 30, 2018

Summary

Next week is a constituency week for Members of the European Parliament (“MEPs”).  MEPs will go back to their home countries to handle national issues, or convene in their parliamentary delegations to work on matters related to non-EU Member States, after a short Easter break.

This past week, however, a number of initiatives were voted on by the Parliamentary committees.

On Tuesday,  the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (“LIBE”) voted on an own-initiative report by Barbara Spinelli (GUE/NGL, IT) on media pluralism and freedom in the EU.  LIBE seeks to enhance the working conditions of journalists, their integrity and independence in particular.  The Committee calls on the Commission and EU Member States to adopt appropriate measures to attain these objectives through various means, including through ensuring net neutrality and addressing new challenges, such as “fake news” and “hate speech”, appropriately.  44 MEPs voted in favor, 3 voted against, and 4 abstained.  See the report here, and the amendments tabled to the report here.

Also on Tuesday, the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (“ENVI”) adopted a motion for a resolution on the midterm evaluation of the “LIFE” Program, which is the EU’s funding instrument that supports environmental and climate action projects in the EU.  Through the LIFE program, the bloc offers grant opportunities to SMEs, large companies, NGOs, and authorities to support their projects in sectors including energy, climate change, biodiversity and waste.  The resolution outlines the Parliament’s position on the midterm evaluation report that the European Commission published in November 2017.  The Commission’s report evaluates whether the program meets its objectives at midterm.  See the Commission’s report here, the parliamentary resolution here, and the amendments tabled to the resolution here.

On the same day, the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (“EMPL”) voted on a draft report by Claude Rolin (EPP, BE) on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to carcinogens or mutagens at work.  The objective of the proposal is to adopt a new set of thresholds for exposure to eight new cancer-causing chemical agents.  See the report here.

 Meetings and Agenda

  • No official meetings in the European Parliament are planned before April 9, 2018.
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About this Author

Sebastian Vos, Covington, international trade lawyer
Partner

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. 

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

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