A new round of possible sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine will be in focus this week , with halting Moscow’s oil imports remaining a controversial issue among member states.
As part of the fallout from the war, MEPs are expected on Wednesday morning (4 May) in their plenary meeting in Strasbourg to discuss the economic consequences of the conflict with EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen.
Inflation and energy prices are at a record high and the economic outlook is gloomy, with Russia cutting gas exports to Bulgaria and Poland last week, risking Europe’s energy supply.
European lawmakers also set to discuss how to reinforce the bloc’s capacity to act to offset the negative social and economic results of Russia’s invasion.
A day later, on Thursday (5 May), lawmakers are set to discuss and vote on how to protect womenfleeing Ukraine from violence and sexual exploitation.
On Tuesday afternoon (3 May), MEPs are expected to discuss the impact of the war on the EU’s transport and tourism sectors, and the bloc’s preparedness for cyber-attacks.
At the informal video conference of economy and finance ministers on Tuesday, ministers will discuss the economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and approve the national recovery plans for Bulgaria and Sweden, which would allow them to unlock EU funding.
On Tuesday, Italian prime minister Mario Draghi is expected to address MEPs and share his vision for the future of the EU.
MEPs will also take time on Tuesday afternoon to assess the conclusions of the Conference on the Future of Europe, a set of recommendations put together by citizens.
Rule of law
Hungary and Poland, two countries under EU scrutiny for challenging the principle of the rule of law, will be on the agenda for European lawmakers who will debate recent developments with regards to the democratic backsliding in the two countries.
A resolution on the topic is set to be voted on by MEPs on Thursday.
The commission has launched a probe against Hungary which would allow the EU to suspend funds to the country for failure to respect the principle of the rule of law.
On World Press Freedom Day on Tuesday, lawmakers will discuss with the EU Commission how to address threats against journalists, and challenges to media freedom.
On Wednesday, lawmakers are expected to debate the use of the Pegasus surveillance software which has been used against journalists. The parliament has set up an inquiry committee on Pegasus spyware to map out the abuse of the software.
On Tuesday, MEPs are expected to debate and vote on the final report by the special committee on artificial intelligence, in an effort to set global AI standards protecting EU rules and values, and preventing unlawful surveillance.
MEPs are set to adopt on Tuesday a legislative proposal for a new European Electoral Act, aiming to turn the 27 national elections into a real, single European election with common minimum standards.