Coming up in 2022: Digital issues, green transition, health
Conference on the Future of Europe
MEPs will actively take part in the Conference on the Future of Europe that aims to give all Europeans the opportunity to influence how the EU should change. The Conference should reach its conclusions in the first half of 2022 based on people’s recommendations.
Parliament will continue its work on the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act that aim to protect the rights of users online as well as end unfair practices by big online platforms. Parliament is expected to vote on the Digital Services Act in early 2022 and start negotiations with EU countries on the Digital Markets Act in the first half of the year.
MEPs will also prepare their position on the Artificial Intelligence Act proposed by the European Commission in April 2021. Parliament has been calling for a comprehensive legal framework on AI technologies that will boost the European economy, while protecting fundamental rights.
Parliament’s special committee on artificial intelligence will come up with its recommendations on how to deal with the challenges in rolling out the technology.Advertisement
This year, Parliament hopes to adopt legislation that will make USB-C the common standard for charging smartphones and other mobile devices. If MEPs reach an agreement with the EU governments, the rules could enter into force in 2024.
Parliament negotiators will be looking for an agreement with the Council on a number of digital finance files, including rules on crypto assets, that aim to support innovation and uptake of new technologies in finance while protecting consumers and investors.
Learn more about how the Parliament wants to shape the digital transformation in the EU.
Amidst continued concern about Covid-19, MEPs are set to agree to strengthen the European Medicines Agency with the aim of increasing transparency around clinical trials during a public health emergency and to better tackle shortages of medicines and medical devices.
Early this year, Parliament will also adopt the final report from its special committee on beating cancer with recommendations on how to better support cancer research and prevention and strengthen European health systems.
Achieving carbon neutrality
Emissions targets, renewable energy and sustainable fuels, will all contribute to the EU becoming carbon neutral by 2050. They are part of the Commission’s Fit for 55 package of legislative files which will be debated and voted on throughout 2022.
The use of batteries is expected to increase dramatically in the coming years, as they are key to meeting the demand for electric mobility and making the shift towards renewable energy. As part of the EU’s new circular economy action plan and the European industrial strategy, Parliament will work on rules for the sustainable production, application and waste management of all batteries placed on the EU market.
Parliament is ready to start talks in the coming months on rules for fair minimum wages in all EU countries. In November 2021, MEPs welcomed the proposal from the Commission and adopted its position to negotiate with member states.
Reducing the gender pay gap is also a priority for Parliament. In February, MEPs will establish their position on a pay transparency legislation. They believe that forcing big companies to disclose more information on how much they pay their employees can be a useful tool to move towards equal pay for men and women doing the same job.
MEPs will continue to hold meetings with the Commission to scrutinise the progress of the recovery plans and make sure that the money borrowed at EU level is spent wisely in EU countries.
MEPs from the civil liberties committee have been working to improve the Commission’s proposal from September 2020 on a new pact on migration and asylum that seeks to harmonise migration, asylum, integration and border management policies across the EU.
Two reports dealing with the sharing of the burden of processing asylum applications within the EU and the procedures at the external borders are expected to be voted on by MEPs in the spring.
Election of Parliament president
As Parliament is crossing the half-way mark of the legislative term, MEPs will vote in January 2022 to elect a president and vice presidents for the next two-and-a-half years.
In addition to the committees on artificial intelligence and fighting cancer, two other committees are finalising their work. The inquiry committee on the protection of animals in transport approved its report in December and it will be considered by all MEPs at the start of the year. The special committee on foreign interference is expected to propose in the spring measures to counter disinformation and other attempts against EU democracy.
European Year of Youth
2022 is the European Year of Youth. Parliament is helping to shape the programme of the year’s activities and has asked that young people are also involved.
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