The Week Ahead – 15-18 March 2021

Exchange of views on COVID variants and vaccines' efficacy; Committee vote on Rail passenger rights; Public Hearing on “Enabling innovation for sustainable agriculture”; Presentation of a draft INI report on Rebuilding fish stocks in the Mediterranean Sea: assessment and next steps; Exchange of views with the ECB President.

Exchange of views on COVID variants and vaccine efficacy

On Monday, the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety will have an exchange of views on COVID virus variants and the efficacy of vaccines against them. Experts are invited from the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO). The Commission’s plans for the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA Incubator) is also to be discussed. The HERA Incubator is a bio-defence preparedness plan that aims to mobilise all means and resources necessary to respond to the potential impact of variants.

When: Monday @ 13:30

Committee vote on Rail passenger rights

On Tuesday, the Committee on Transport and Tourism will hold a vote on the updated European rules on rail passenger rights to better protect train travellers in case of delays, cancellations or discrimination. According to the agreement, railway companies will also have to provide better assistance to people with reduced mobility, as well as provide more space for bicycles. The ECR is of the opinion that Europe needs high quality and reliable rail transport for both citizens and the overall benefit of the economy. Additionally, the ECR supports the second reading as agreed between the Parliaments and the Council.

Votes: Monday @ 16:45 and Tuesday @ 9:00

Public Hearing on “Enabling innovation for sustainable agriculture”

By the ECR Group’s initiative, the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development will hold a hearing on “enabling innovation for sustainable agriculture”. MEPs and experts will discuss innovations and new developments for both plant production and animal husbandry. The underlying objective of this hearing is to respond to the shift towards more sustainability and the reduction in the use of pesticides and fertilisers as reflected in the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform and the Biodiversity Strategy as well as the Farms to Fork Strategy. To be able to deliver within the upcoming new legislative framework, farmers must have an ‘appropriate innovative toolbox’ at their disposal. Examples of this toolbox will be discussed during the hearing.

When: Tuesday @ 13:45

Presentation of a draft INI report on Rebuilding fish stocks in the Mediterranean Sea: assessment and next steps

On Wednesday, ECR Rapporteur Raffaele Stancanelli will present the draft of his initiative report on rebuilding fish stocks in the Mediterranean to the Committee on Fisheries. The INI report will request changes to reach the optimal balance between economic, environmental, and social sustainability in the fisheries sector. Mr. Stancanelli stresses that it is essential to constantly collect and update scientific data about stocks and to involve local and regional actors directly in this process. He also calls on the Commission to carry out socioeconomic data analysis on behalf of the Mediterranean fisheries sector as soon as possible. The purpose of this research will be to assess the industry-specific impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The text also condemns the ongoing violations of the law of the sea which includes kidnappings; requisitions of vessels, illegal imprisonment, assaults and unfair trials against EU fishers in The Mediterranean and urges the Commission to call on third countries bordering the Mediterranean to ensure that fishers can carry out their legitimate activities without fear of reprisals.

When: Wednesday @ 17:00

Exchange of views with the ECB President

On Thursday, MEPs in the Committee on Economic and Monetary affairs are going to question ECB President Christine Lagarde on the Monetary Policy Instruments aimed at addressing the economic fallout because of the Covid19 pandemic.

When: Thursday @ 9:00

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