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Week Ahead: 16 - 20 May 2022

Moldova; European solidarity and energy security in the face of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and recent cuts of gas supply to Poland and Bulgaria; The fight against impunity for war crimes in Ukraine; Prosecution of the Opposition and detention of trade union leaders in Belarus; Indo-Pacific strategy in the area of trade and investment; Security in the Eastern Partnership area; Event: With Open Hearts; Event: The Circassian Genocide

Moldova

During the Mini-Plenary on Wednesday, right after the address by Moldovan President Maia Sandu, MEPs will be discussing a report on the EU Association Agreement with the Republic of Moldova. Since the presidential elections of 2020 and the parliamentary elections of 2021, Moldova’s new Government has established an excellent political basis for progress in relations with the EU. Currently, in the context of Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, Moldova’s position as an important partner of the EU has been put in the spotlight. Not only has it taken many Ukrainian refugees (over 420 000 in a country of 2.6 million), it also joined the EU sanctions against Russia and sends humanitarian aid to Kiev, all while having around 1500 Russian soldiers in its the breakaway territory Transnistria. The ECR Group is and has always strongly supported Moldova’s European aspirations, advocating for closer relations and supporting the candidate status of Moldova. The vote is scheduled for Thursday.

Address: Wednesday @ 15.00

Debate: Wednesday @ 15.30

Vote: Thursday @ 12:00

European solidarity and energy security in the face of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and recent cuts of gas supply to Poland and Bulgaria

On the initiative of the ECR Group, the European Parliament will discuss European energy security in the face of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Thursday. The recent action of Russia against Poland and Bulgaria in the termination of gas supply requires a sign of unity and solidarity.

Debate: Thursday @ 11:00

The fight against impunity for war crimes in Ukraine

On Thursday morning, MEPs will debate and vote on a resolution opposing that war criminals in the war in Ukraine go unpunished. Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022, a large number of war crimes perpetrated by Russian Federation forces have been reported and catalogued by Ukrainian authorities and the international community. Among these are indiscriminate or targeted shelling of civilian infrastructure, including houses, hospitals, kindergartens, cultural heritage sites and places where people were sheltering from the attacks. Russians are raping Ukrainian women, killing children and performing mass executions of civilians, as was discovered in Bucha, Irpin and other places.

The ECR Group will call for all those responsible to be brought to international justice – including the highest Russian authorities – making sure that compensation for the Ukrainian state and families is provided – possibly by seizing frozen Russian financial and other assets.

Debate: Thursday @ 9:30

Vote: Thursday 12:00

Prosecution of the Opposition and detention of trade union leaders in Belarus

On Wednesday, MEPs will debate a resolution against the Lukashenko regime’s repression of Belarussian citizens, the abuse on media freedom and the enhanced efforts made to persecute civil society and opposition leaders, most notably the leaders of trade unions. Over 40 000 Belarusians are estimated to have been detained at some point for protesting against the regime. Hundreds of those arrested have claimed cases of torture and ill-treatment, with several people still missing and others found dead. Human rights defenders, opposition politicians, civil society, independent journalists and other activists are systematically subjected to violent repression while thousands of Belarusians have been forced or otherwise compelled to leave their homeland and seek safety abroad. The ECR group condemns the arrest of trade union leaders, including the President of BKDP Alyaksandr Yarashuk, BKDP Vice-President Siarhei Antusevich, President of Free Trade Union of Metal Workers (SPM) Aliaksandr Bukhvostau, and President of Free Trade Union of Belarus (SPB) Mikalaj Sharakh in the strongest possible terms. The debate is followed by a vote on Thursday.

Debate: Wednesday @ 19:30

Vote: Thursday @ 12:00

Indo-Pacific strategy in the area of trade and investment

On Monday, the International Trade Committee will vote on ECR MEP Jan Zahradil’s initiative report on an Indo-Pacific strategy in the area of trade and investment. For the EU it is important to diversify trade relations to reduce strategic dependencies in critical supply chains. The geopolitical reality has dramatically changed since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, making the Union’s further engagement with Indo-Pacific partners even more important and urgent in order to diversify trade relations, deepen cooperation on critical and emerging technologies, on digital issues, on raw materials, and on strengthening supply chains. The report requests closer cooperation with like-minded Indo-Pacific countries in setting technical and industrial standards and to further promote the EU as a global standard setter. MEPs also call for the development of a multilateral, rules-based international order centred around a modernised World Trade Organisation based on the principles of an open environment for trade and investment, a level playing field, reciprocity and mutual benefit. The ECR Group also hopes for a positive outcome of the EU-Japan Summit in Tokyo, and looks forward to the upcoming start of negotiations with India and new momentum in talks with Indonesia.

Vote: Monday @ 18:30

Security in the Eastern Partnership area

On Tuesday, the Foreign Affairs Committee will hold the postponed vote on ECR Rapporteur Witold Waszczykowski’s initiative report “Security in the Eastern Partnership area and the role of Common Security and Defense Policy” that aims to increase the effectiveness of the EU’s security and defense policy towards the Eastern Partnership countries. In the text, MEPs condemn in the strongest possible terms Russia’s unprovoked and unjustifiable war of aggression against Ukraine, support closer security and defense coordination and cooperation with the Eastern Partnership countries and encourages Member States to enhance their defense spending while further strengthening the military resilience of Ukraine.

The report considers Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine as a wake-up call for European defense. In order to ensure that future Common Security and Defense Policy missions are planned effectively with more means, an increased level of ambition and reviewed mandates to confront the challenges faced in the hopes of achieving mission objectives with an emphasis on coping with emerging and disruptive technologies. The plenary vote will take place at the June Session.

Vote: Tuesday @ 13:45

Live-Event: With Open Hearts. Relief efforts of Central and Eastern Europe to the humanitarian crisis caused by the Russian war against Ukraine

On Wednesday morning, ECR Foreign Affairs Coordinator has organised an event dedicated to the relief efforts of Central and Eastern Europe in the humanitarian crisis caused by the Russian war against Ukraine. The war has forced millions of people to leave their homes in search of safety elsewhere in the country or in neighbouring countries. It is estimated that over 7.7 million people are internally displaced and over 5.5 million have crossed the borders to neighbouring countries. The Russian invasion of February 24 has sparked the worst humanitarian crisis in Europe in decades.

When: Wednesday @ 9:30-11:00

Where: PHS6B54

More information on the event is available here.

Live-Event: “Their Only Crime Was Not Being Russian. The Circassian Genocide”

On Wednesday afternoon, ECR Foreign Affairs Coordinator Anna Fotyga has organised an event on modern Europe’s first genocide. The Circassian genocide, or The Tlapserykh, was the 19th century Russian Empire’s systematic extermination, ethnic cleansing and forced expulsion of as much as 97 percent of the north Caucasus Mountain’s indigenous Circassians from their ancestral lands. It gives an example of the now infamous “Russian Way of War” that the world is watching with horror as it is exposed in all of its sickening brutality in Ukraine today. In the case of the Circassians, once the largest ethnic group in the northern Caucasus, this extermination was so complete that few today know this nation even existed.

When: Wednesday @ 16:30-18:30

Where: ASP 1H1

More information on the event is available here.

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