Summary of the plenary session: Ukraine, Conference on the future of Europe | News

Ukraine

On Wednesday, a debate took place with the participation of the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. MEPs debated the social and economic consequences for the EU of the Russian war in Ukraine. MEPs called for joint support for EU citizens and businesses affected by the war.

On Thursday, MEPs called on the EU to protect Ukrainian refugees from violence and, in a separate resolution, demanded that Russia return the stolen planes.

Conference on the future of Europe

After a year of meetings and exchanging ideas, the Conference on the Future of Europe will present its proposals for change for the EU at the closing event of the Conference on 9 May. To make these changes possible, MEPs called for the EU Treaties to be amended.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi visited parliament on Tuesday. In a plenary debate with MEPs, he stressed the need to reform the EU to ensure sustainable economic growth and transformation.

Changes in the conduct of the European elections

On Tuesday, Parliament approved a proposal to reform the rules for organizing European elections. These changes will allow voters not only to choose their candidate for the European Parliament, but also to support a European political party and a candidate for the presidency of the European Commission.

universal charger

On Wednesday, Parliament adopted its position on the introduction of a universal charger and is ready to start negotiations with EU governments. The new rules are expected to help reduce e-waste by making USB-C the new charging standard for mobile devices in the EU.

Artificial intelligence

The EU is lagging behind in development, research and investment in artificial intelligence and must step up its efforts, warns the final report of the European Parliament’s special committee on artificial intelligence in the digital age , which was adopted on Tuesday.

The parliamentary committee said the EU must set global standards for artificial intelligence and unlock its potential to meet the challenges of health, environment and climate change. He also proposed an action plan on artificial intelligence by 2030.

EU preparedness for cyber attacks

In view of the hundreds of cyber attacks against Ukraine since the Russian invasion, MEPs debated the EU’s cyber defense options and stressed the need to increase its resilience against the Kremlin’s hybrid warfare.

Harmful chemicals in waste

To create a toxin-free circular economy in the EU, MEPs approved new rules to limit the amount of persistent organic pollutants allowed in products and the recycling chain.

Threats to journalists’ safety and media freedom

On Tuesday, World Press Freedom Day, MEPs debated threats to journalists’ safety and media freedom. Parliament also officially announced an invitation to submit nominations for the journalism prize. Daphne Caruana Galizii. This prize recognizes outstanding journalistic achievements that promote or defend the fundamental principles and values ​​of the EU.

Extension of the validity of the COVID certificate

Parliament has backed extending the validity of the EU’s digital COVID certificate until June 2023, but wants to review it after six months. Negotiations with the Council to agree an extension could start immediately.

Budget discharge

Parliament on Wednesday approved the 2020 budgets of most EU bodies, except for the European border control agency Frontex, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Council. Frontex’s discharge has been suspended pending the availability of the full investigation report from the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF). Also, as has been the case for more than ten years, MEPs postponed the discharge to the Council for lack of cooperation.

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