Week Ahead - 20 - 24 June 2022

Fit for 55 package; EU Candidate Status for Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia; Addressing food security in developing countries; Kalinowski Conference; Iraq: out of the news, not out of problems

Fit for 55 package

On Wednesday, the European Parliament will vote on the remaining files of the so-called Fit for 55 package, which aims to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve climate neutrality by 2050. The vote on the Revision of the EU Emission System is back on the agenda after it was voted down and referred back to committee during the previous plenary session. As a result, the votes on the Social Climate Fund and Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism have been postponed from the previous plenary session on the request of a majority of Members of the European Parliament.

Revision of the EU Emission Trading System (ETS)

The European Climate Law makes the EU’s climate neutrality target legally binding and raises the Union’s 2030 climate ambition by setting a target of at least 55 per cent net emission reductions by 2030 compared to 1990. The Emission Trading System (ETS) revision proposal, that strengthens and boosts the contribution of the ETS to that effort, is the cornerstone of the ‘Fit for 2030’ legislative package, which amends the existing climate and energy legislation. After the report was referred back to the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, the rapporteur made a deal with the major political groups in the Parliament on the ETS reform, but the overall ambition level will remain to decrease ETS emissions by 63 per cent before 2030. The ECR is warning against this agreement, as it will result in even higher energy prices for industry and households. Moreover, the extension to road transport and buildings will lead to unfair costs for citizens, especially in poorer Member States and to an enormous administrative burden for market participants, and may create incentives for unfair practices.

Social Climate Fund

To alleviate energy poverty and the social impacts that arise from the Fit for 55 legislative package, the Commission has proposed to introduce the Social Climate Fund. For the ECR Group, the proposed structure – financed by own resources and conditional upon the introduction of the revised ETS – is unacceptable. Energy poverty is a burning problem exacerbated by high inflation across the EU and Russia’s aggression on Ukraine. Thus, a wider scope and a longer perspective should be introduced independently of the ETS revision process. In order to maximise its effectiveness and help European citizens as much as possible, this fund should also be flexible, so that it can be adjusted to the needs of individual Member States. Unfortunately, this has not been ensured in the final text, as it reduces the fund’s flexibility by limiting direct income support and imposes a heavy administrative burden upon Member States.

Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM)

The Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) aims to address the risk of carbon leakage caused by asymmetrical climate policies of non-EU countries (where policies applied to fight climate change are less ambitious than those of the EU). Well-conceived in its approach, in the ECR’s opinion, it is very difficult to implement. The ECR supports CBAM in the fight against climate change, provided there is evidence that the measures will work and that the timelines are realistic. We also believe a CBAM authority is unnecessary. In addition, it should be ensured that the revenues generated via the CBAM are not misappropriated but used for investments in the competitiveness of European industry.

Votes: Wednesday @ 14:00

EU Candidate Status for Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia

On Wednesday, the European Parliament will debate the EU Candidate Status of Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia, followed by a resolution to be voted on Thursday. The ECR Group believes that this is a truly historic moment and that all three countries should be granted candidate status, which would also give additional leverage to the EU to push for necessary democratic reforms and changes in the respective countries. According to the ECR-Co Chairmen Prof Ryszard Legutko and Raffaele Fitto, the granting of candidate status is an elementary stop signal to Russia that the times of post-Soviet imperialism are finally over.

Debate: Wednesday @ 16:00
Vote: Thursday @ 11:30

Addressing food security in developing countries

On Thursday, the Committee on Development will vote on ECR Rapporteur Beata Kempa’s Initiative Report that calls on the EU to build a stronger partnership with developing countries, since investing in food and nutrition is key to building human capital and achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The EU Parliamentarians also call for humanitarian aid to tackle immediate life-threatening situations.

When: Thursday @ 14:00
Where: PHS P5B001

Kalinowski Conference

On Tuesday, ECR Foreign Affairs Coordinator Anna Fotyga will host a conference in cooperation with the Kalinowski Forum. The discussion will focus on the future of a democratic Belarus as part of the European family and in the context of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. The event will open with special remarks from Žygimantas Pavilionis, Chairperson of the Kalinovski Forum; Mateusz Morawiecki, Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland; Ms Ingrida Šimonytė, Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania; Ms Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Leader of democratic Belarus; and Olivér Várhelyi , EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement. The Conference will cover topics such as ‘The battle for freedom, Lukashenko’s regime in the context of the war against Ukraine’, ‘The people of freedom’. Repressions and the situation of political prisoners’, ‘Sanctions. Deterring Lukashenko’s internal violence and alignment with the Russian aggressor’ and ‘Truth vs. lies. The situation of independent media vs regime propaganda’.

When: Tuesday @ 9:30 - 18:30
Where: PHS 1A002
More information is available here.

Iraq: out of the news, not out of problems

The situation in Iraq may not grab headlines anymore, but the problems persist. Violence is wide spread. A few days ago, the Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr withdrew his large group from government talks, making it even harder to form a government. Meanwhile Christians are being wiped out of society, even after the visit of the Pope to Iraq a year ago. MEP Bert-Jan Ruissen hosts a conference on Tuesday, with keynote speaker Dr Aziz Emmanuel Gewargis Al-Zebari, head of the English department of the Catholic University of Erbil.

When: Tuesday @ 14:00
Where: ASP 1H1

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