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NewsNews of the day | European Parliament in brief

News of the day | European Parliament in brief

Wednesday, 15 December – Live coverage of debates and votes can be found on Parliament’s webstreaming and on EbS+. For detailed information on the session, please also see our newsletter. All information regarding plenary, including speakers’ lists, can be found here.

Alexei Navalny receives 2021 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought

At noon, European Parliament President Sassoli will award the 2021 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to Russian opposition politician and anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny. With Mr Navalny imprisoned in Russia, his daughter Daria Navalnaya will represent him in the ceremony. At 12.45, Mr Sassoli, Ms Navalnaya and one of Mr Navalny’s advisers, Leonid Volkov, will give a press conference in the Daphne Caruana Galizia press room.

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EP_ForeignAff EP_HumanRights

Preparation of December European Council and evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic

In a discussion with Commission President von der Leyen, Vice-President Šefčovič and the Slovenian presidency starting at 9.00, MEPs will outline their priorities for the 16 December summit, the agenda of which focuses on the response to the pandemic, rising energy prices, security and defence and external relations. In the same debate, plenary will assess the global resurgence of COVID-19, as well as emerging new variants.

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National recovery plans: state of play

MEPs will discuss in the afternoon with Commission Vice-President Dombrovskis, Commissioner Gentiloni and the Slovenian Presidency whether national recovery plans meet the agreed targets and look into the situation in countries that have not yet had their plans approved, namely Poland, Hungary, Sweden and Bulgaria as well as the Netherlands, which has yet to present its plans.

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Fundamental rights in Poland: latest events and the EU’s response

In a debate around 17.00 with Commission Vice-President Schinas and the Slovenian Presidency, plenary will assess recent events in Poland that might increase the country’s risk of moving further away from European values. These include a ruling that declared the European Convention on Human Rights incompatible with the Polish constitution and a proposal to set up a register of all pregnancies and miscarriages in the country.

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In brief:

Temporary change to asylum rules at EU-Belarus borders. MEPs will quiz the Commission and the Council on the proposal to adapt EU asylum rules in Poland, Latvia and Lithuania to deal with irregular arrivals from Belarus of migrants and asylum seekers.

European Commission guidelines on inclusive language. At 15.00, MEPs will give their views on inclusive language following the Commission’s decision to continue working on its in-house guidelines on the matter. Vice-President Schinas will represent the Commission in the debate.


There will be two voting sessions. The first will take place between 12.30 and 13.45, with results announced at 19.00. MEPs are set to adopt the reports on:

  • the Digital Markets Act,
  • gender equality,
  • energy efficiency, and
  • Arms control and disarmament regimes for weapons of mass destruction

In the second voting session (between 20.00 and 21.15, with results announced on Thursday at 9.00), MEPs will cast their final vote, among others, on the EU’s humanitarian policy.

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