Digital Markets Act (DMA); Joint Debates in Preparation of the European Council and EU’s response to the global resurgence of Covid-19; The awarding of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought; Address by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana; The 30th Anniversary of the dissolution of the Soviet Union and its importance for the future of Europe; Situation at the Ukrainian border and in Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine; Continuous crackdown on civil society and human rights defenders in Russia: the case of human rights organisation Memorial; The situation in Cuba; Digital Services Act (DSA); Mid-Term elections in the ECR Group.
Digital Markets Act (DMA)
On Tuesday, the European Parliament will debate on the Digital Markets Act (DMA), followed by a vote on Wednesday. The DMA is intended to serve ex-ante to create fair and competitive markets in the digital sector. It marks a real step forward for consumers and businesses. It targets the largest digital players who, because of their size, are able to dictate terms in the market that can be anti-competitive or unfair to smaller companies. This is particularly a problem for small and medium-sized enterprises, which feel unfairly influenced by the commercial decisions of these tech giants. The ECR Group is committed to ensuring that the new rules benefit everyone, in particular small businesses who use gatekeeper services and need support to maximise new opportunities under the DMA. A dialogue process with input from small business is therefore crucial to make the DMA a regulation that works.
Debate: Tuesday @ 9:00
Vote: Wednesday @ 12:30
Joint Debates in Preparation of the European Council and EU’s response to the global resurgence of Covid-19
On Wednesday, the European Parliament will debate the next Council meeting and EU’s response to the global resurgence of Covid. The ECR Group will stress that member states remain best placed to roll out the vaccine and booster shots. In regard to external relations, the ECR Group will express concerns that the EU and in particular Latvia, Lithuania and Poland are facing an unprecedented hybrid attack and therefore the ECR Group will repeat its call for full solidarity and support in defending the Union’s external borders. Furthermore, the ECR Group will caution once more against working with Russia when it comes to energy supply and increased imports of natural gas, including the construction of Nord Stream 2.
When: Wednesday @ 9:00
The awarding of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought
On Wednesday, the European Parliament will award the Sakharov Prize to leading Russian opposition figure and anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny. The ECR Group had nominated Jeanine Áñez, interim President of Bolivia from November 2019 until November 2020. Her imprisonment since March 2021 represents a clear violation of democratic values, a break of the rule of law and disrespect for human rights, as well as a breach of the principle of effective judicial protection.
When: Wednesday @ 12:00
Address by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana
On Tuesday, President Akufo-Addo will address the European Parliament. The President of Ghana was first invited to the Parliament by the ECR Group for the ECR Africa Summit that was supposed to take place on 4 March 2020 but was cancelled due to the pandemic. The aim of the ECR Africa summit was to examine and discuss policy options to develop a stronger relationship between Europe and Africa since both continents are in the midst of a massive transformation in their economic, political and social structures and can learn much from each other in seizing new opportunities and tackling common challenges. According to the ECR Group, EU-Africa relations should transition from a development-oriented relationship to one of trade which aims to put African nations on an equal footing and raises African standards. The ECR Group is planning to hold a new ECR Africa Summit when the epidemiological situation allows for it.
When: Tuesday @ 12:00
The 30th Anniversary of the dissolution of the Soviet Union and its importance for the future of Europe
On Monday, MEPs will commemorate the collapse of the Soviet Union 30 years ago. The ECR Group believes that the memory of this terrible regime should be a reminder to us to exercise extreme caution when an ideology claims to hold the key to salvation. The ECR Group believes that healthy and vibrant national democracies are the best protection against the proliferation of totalitarian ambitions.
Debate: Monday @ 17:00
Situation at the Ukrainian border and in Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine
On Tuesday, members of the European Parliament will debate the situation on the Ukrainian border and in Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine, followed by a vote on a resolution on Thursday. Russia’s activities, like the invasion and illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, the current amassing of over 100,000 troops at the border with Ukraine in an offensive formation and development of its hybrid warfare tactics targeting the elected government in Kyiv, demonstrate that Russia is determined to contend and contest any attempts to aid the development of democracy in the region.
Debate: Tuesday @ 15:00
Vote: Thursday @ 13:45
Continuous crackdown on civil society and human rights defenders in Russia: the case of human rights organisation Memorial
On 8 November 2021, the Russian authorities filed two separate lawsuits seeking the liquidation of the Human Rights Centre Memorial and the International Memorial, accusing them of repeated and persistent violation of the Russian “foreign agents” legislation. This is one of many organisations facing attacks from the current regime, although this time the situation is much more significant, as Memorial is the oldest and most respected human rights NGO in Russia, founded by Andrei Sakharov. The ECR Group will be calling for dropping the politically motivated charges against Memorial and for introducing personal EU sanctions against those involved in preparing the lawsuit.
Debate: Thursday @ 10:00
Vote: Thursday @ 13:45
The situation in Cuba
On Thursday, members of the European Parliament will debate and vote on the motion for resolution on the situation in Cuba, namely the cases of José Daniel Ferrer, Lady in White Aymara Nieto, Maykel Castillo, Luis Robles, Félix Navarro, Luis Manuel Otero, Reverend Lorenzo Fajardo, Andy Dunier García and Yunior García Aguilera. The ECR Group will request the suspension of the EU-Cuba Cooperation Agreement, sanctions against officials and entities, and the cessation of economic assistance, all as part of the response to systemic human rights violations from the communist regime.
Debate: Thursday 9:00
Vote: Thursday 13:45
Digital Services Act (DSA)
On Tuesday, the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection will take the final vote on the Digital Services act. The DSA encapsulates a new framework to counter disseminating illegal content online and empowers individual users to challenge platforms’ decisions. Thanks to the ECR Group’s changes, proposed by shadow rapporteur Adam Bielan, this has been extended beyond the platforms’ internal complaint-handling systems to a genuine redress mechanism. It will be up to the Member States to organise a framework that allows users to restore their content wrongly removed by the platforms. While the proposal recognises special categories of very large online platforms, according to Mr Bielan it still does not differentiate enough between social networks and other types of platforms, making it difficult to find a proportionate set of new obligations or to shift enforcement of the regulation to countries where platforms deliver their services. The Group will look for further improvements in the January plenary and Trilogues.
Vote: Tuesday @ 9:15
Mid-Term elections in the ECR Group
On Tuesday, ECR members will elect the Group’s Co-Chairpersons, Vice-Chairpersons and Co-Treasurers, as well as their candidates for Vice-President of the Parliament and Quaestor of the Parliament.
When: Tuesday @ 15:30