Protecting young Ukrainian refugees, EU security and defence and funding for energy infrastructure are on the agenda for April’s plenary session.
War in Ukraine
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, more than four million people have been displaced or sought refuge in the nearest EU countries – half of whom are minors. They are more at risk of being trafficked and exploited and MEPs will discuss on Tuesday how to better protect them and provide support including education and vote on a resolution on Thursday.
The war will be under discussion again on Wednesday, when MEPs assess the outcome of the EU summit on 24-25 March, which looked at the Russian invasion of Ukraine and resulting sanctions, as well as the impact on the EU economy, particularly on energy prices, with the presidents of the European Council and European Commission.
Energy and climate
On Tuesday, MEPs are set to back updated rules on funding for trans-European energy infrastructure projects. Projects should enable better interconnection between national markets, more competition, security of supply and promote renewables, in line with the Green Deal objectives.
In a question and answer session on Tuesday, MEPs will question the EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on the Strategic Compass- the EU’s plan to increase European security and protect EU citizens and values over the next decade. It was approved by the Council last week.
Right to repair
Ahead of a new European Commission proposal on the right to repair, MEPs will set out their demands for longer lasting products that can be repaired, clearer labelling and longer guarantees, as well as an end to planned obsolescence,
Women in Afghanistan
In the wake of the deterioration of women’s rights in Afghanistan, including the continued ban on girls over the age of 12 attending school and the Taliban regime’s ban on women flying without a male companion, MEPs will discuss the situation with EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Tuesday, followed by a vote on a resolution on Wednesday.
On Wednesday, MEPs will vote on new rules to help step up data sharing and release the potential of artificial intelligence. The Data Governance Act sets down rules on the neutrality of data marketplaces, makes it easier to reuse certain data from the public sector – health, agricultural or environmental – and creates common European Data spaces in strategic areas, including mobility, finance, and manufacturing.
Gender pay gap
MEPs will vote on their position on new rules aimed at reducing the gender pay gap through pay transparency, on Tuesday. A draft negotiating mandate calls for all EU companies with more than 50 employees to make it easier for staff to compare pay and so uncover any discrepancies.
EU’s 2023 budget
On Tuesday, MEPs will set out their priorities for the EU’s 2023 budget, which include economic recovery, health, young people, climate and the consequences of the war in Ukraine.