Take a look at what we have coming up over the next seven days. Explore our EPP Group agenda and the main issues we’ll be focusing on in the week ahead: from upcoming debates in the European Parliament on important legislative and policy issues to the meetings that our Members will be attending.
Raman Pratasievich

Will Lukashenko ever back down?

On Tuesday, the European Parliament will  strongly condemn systematic repressions in Belarus and the consequences for European security following the abduction of Roman Protasevitch and Sofia Sapega from a hijacked EU Rynair flight. “The EU answer must be bold and not diluted or drowned in contradictory economic interests and legal uncertainties. It is not only about making Lukashenko’s regime pay the price of its state-backed terrorism, it is also about the EU's credibility. If this act of aggression is left unpunished, it will surely embolden other tin pot dictators and Russia to try similar methods”, says Sandra Kalniete MEP, EPP Group Vice-Chair for Foreign Affairs. The vote on the Resolution will take place on Thursday.  

MEP:

PRESS OFFICER:

Andrej Babis

Should a Prime Minister put public money into his own company?

No other private company in Europe receives as many agricultural subsidies as the Agrofert holding owned by the Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš. Both EU and Czech laws prohibit conflicts of interest of politicians which is why the European Parliament will vote on Wednesday on a Resolution prepared by Monika Hohlmeier MEP calling for the cutting of all EU and national subsidies to Agrofert as long as Andrej Babiš continues to breach these rules. The Czech authorities must immediately stop covering up the conflict of interest which was confirmed in a recent audit by the European Commission.

MEP:

PRESS OFFICER:

Digital Green Certificate

When can we travel freely again?

The breakthrough of the Parliament's negotiations with Member States on the new Digital COVID Certificate was a big step towards easing various Member States' restrictions on free movement.  The vote in the Parliament's plenary on Tuesday to approve the agreement is the next big step. “This is the happy ending to a very difficult negotiation”, said Jeroen Lenaers MEP, the EPP Group Spokesman in the European Parliament's Civil Liberties and Home Affairs Committee. “By 1 July we are going to have a unified, easy-to-use, non-discriminatory, safe system to be used EU-wide. This certificate will be accepted all over the EU and will massively prevent contradictory national procedures and certificates", stated Lenaers.

MEP:

PRESS OFFICER:

Woman wearing a protection mask

How to step up vaccination in developing countries?

On Wednesday, MEPs will vote on a Resolution on waiving patents for COVID vaccines. The EPP Group wants to help developing countries to speed up vaccinations, but does not believe that this goal can be reached by lifting patents. For the EPP Group, the bottleneck is not first of all knowledge, but production capacities. Therefore, we propose to lift all export restrictions on vaccines and all raw materials that are required for vaccine production, invest in the vaccine production capacity of developing countries and make surplus supplies of vaccines resulting from surplus orders available to emerging and developing countries as soon as possible.

MEP:

PRESS OFFICER:

Man putting up a sign

How to save small businesses hit by the pandemic?

On Monday, the European Parliament will discuss the state of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) across the continent. This debate will become a yearly health check on SMEs, which represent 99 percent of all businesses in the EU. MEPs will discuss this key topic after a presentation by the European Commission on its work done over the past year and the plans ahead. This State of the SMEs Union debate has come to life for the first time now, due to the EPP Group’s insistence over the past year. SMEs have been severely hit by the pandemic and the European Commission is not giving them the attention they deserve. One case in point is how the EU's new 'SME envoy' was chosen by the European Commission. There are still many unanswered questions regarding this nomination.

MEP:

PRESS OFFICER:

Rule of law

When exactly should EU funds be cut for countries that meddle with the rule of law?

The new budgetary rule of law conditionality mechanism is in force since the beginning of this year and should be fully used as soon as possible. No cases of breaches of the new rules must be lost. That will be the EPP Group's message during Wednesday's plenary debate and in a Resolution about the application of the conditionality regulation, which will be voted on on Thursday.

MEP:

PRESS OFFICER:

Man committing a cyber attack

How to better protect the EU against cyberattacks?

The recent cyberattack in Ireland, severely impacting the Irish health service, proves yet again that we must be better prepared against cyberattacks. Cyberattacks on critical infrastructure are part of hybrid warfare aggressions against the EU and are increasing in number and sophistication. We must urgently strengthen our cybersecurity response in order to protect our freedom, democracy, and the rule of law. Critical infrastructure and services that people and businesses depend on need to be secure, reliable and future-proof. We want better coordination between EU governments and a stronger role for the European Network and Information Security Agency. The debate on how to combat cyberattacks with the Council and Commission will take place on Wednesday.

MEP:

PRESS OFFICER:

Field with flowers

How to protect biodiversity hand-in-hand with farmers?

On Monday, the European Parliament will debate its position regarding the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030. The EPP Group thinks that protecting biodiversity must be done wisely, and must go hand-in-hand with European farmers, fishermen and forestry sectors, which not only play a key role in protecting biodiversity, but also in providing jobs.

MEP:

PRESS OFFICER:

Chicken

What does it cost to free chickens?

The European Citizens’ Initiative 'End the Cage Age' gathered almost 1.4 million signatures, calling on the European Commission to propose legislation to end keeping farmed animals in cages. Parliament will adopt its view on the petition on Thursday. "Animal welfare is very important to the EPP Group and it can be best guaranteed when farmers get the right incentives for it", says Michaela Šojdrová MEP, EPP Group Member of the Agriculture Committee. Parliament will debate and vote on the issue on Thursday.

MEP:

PRESS OFFICER:

Girl looking at a microscope

How to get more women into science and technology?

On Thursday, the Parliament will vote on a Report on Promoting Gender Equality in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in education and careers. Women make up 52 percent of the European population, yet only account for 2 out of 5 scientists and engineers, only 18 percent of Europe's ICT professionals are women. Yet, encouraging more women into the digital and ICT sectors could add €16 billion in GDP to the EU economy. Closing the gender gap in STEM could create an additional 1.2 million jobs in the EU and lead to an improvement in EU GDP by €610-€820 billion in 2050. The EPP Group strongly supports removing barriers, fighting gender stereotypes and improving access to education and training.

MEP:

PRESS OFFICER:

People in airport

How to better control who crosses the EU's external borders?

On Monday, MEPs will adopt laws to make sure the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) is in operation by 2022. The system will require all visa-exempt 3rd country travellers to apply for travel authorisation online before arriving at the Schengen border. The information gathered via the ETIAS system, in full respect of fundamental rights and data protection, will allow border and law enforcement authorities to verify potential security or irregular migration risks.

MEP:

PRESS OFFICER: