Jam-packed last European Parliament plenary starts today

The European Parliament’s closing plenary session will be a four-day marathon to finalise as much legislation as possible before next month's European elections.

With the June elections looming and a new legislature on the horizon, MEPs convening in Strasbourg this week for the last plenary session of their term face a record-breaking challenge: a marathon four days tackling a whopping 89 legislative files in a bid to finalise deals reached with the Council before Europeans go to the polls.

The first items for debate on Monday afternoon include new rules promoting the repair of goods, resulting in sustainable consumption and reducing costs from new purchases, as well as proposals to minimise pollution by preventing and addressing plastic pellet losses throughout the supply chain.

On Tuesday, MEPs start their day with a discussion on the conclusions of last week’s European Council meetings, in particular on a new European Competitiveness deal and the EU strategic agenda 2024-2029. In this regard Iratxe García Pérez, President of the S&D Group, has commented about how that the political family she leads has played an instrumental role in shaping policies and legislation aimed at addressing pressing issues, advancing social progress, and protecting consumer rights. Stressing that the S&D Group’s commitment doesn’t end here, she said that, in order to make the single market fit for the future, we need to adapt to new realities and switch our focus towards a real modern, social economy that creates jobs, protects the rights of workers, and enables the shift towards a more sustainable model of production.

“We call for a permanent investment fund as a tool to enable member states to ensure huge investments, which are needed to tackle current and future challenges,” she said. “We also work for fairer taxation of big tech companies and new taxation methods that keep up with the increasing digitalisation of the economy while ending tax avoidance from big companies who benefit from the EU single market.”

In their very last plenary, MEPs will also debate and take a final vote on updated EU fiscal rules aimed at encouraging EU countries to commit to national reforms, be more investment friendly, and lead to better debt reduction. They will also debate the situation in the Middle East, and take a final vote on the Platform Work Directive to ensure that platform workers have their employment status classified correctly and correct bogus self-employment.

▪️ Here’s a look at the key items on the agenda of this last European Parliament plenary session:

Strengthening consumers’ right to repair

MEPs are set to approve new rules promoting the repair of goods, resulting in sustainable consumption and reducing costs from new purchases.

Final vote on new EU rules for sustainable packaging

Revamped rules to reduce, reuse, and recycle packaging will be put to a final vote by MEPs on Wednesday.

Parliament set to adopt first ever EU law on combating violence against women

The new rules aim to prevent rape and raise awareness on consent, while female genital mutilation and forced marriage will be included as crimes under EU law.

Air pollution: MEPs to adopt new requirements to improve EU air quality by 2030

 The new law aims to reduce air pollution in the EU so that citizens can benefit from a cleaner and healthier environment, in line with the EU zero pollution vision for 2050.

Fighting money laundering: final vote on a single EU rulebook and a new watchdog

 MEPs will assess plans to beef up the EU’s response to money laundering, terrorist financing and sanctions evasion, and to set up a new enforcer for the common rules.

MEPs set to greenlight new EU due diligence rules for companies

 Parliament will vote on Wednesday on the provisional agreement reached with member states requiring companies to mitigate their adverse impact on people and the planet.

Final vote on the Platform Work Directive

 On Wednesday, MEPs are expected to approve new rules to improve the working conditions of platform workers.

Debate on Iran’s attack on Israel

 On Wednesday, MEPs will discuss Iran’s unprecedented attack on Israel, the need for de-escalation and for an EU response. They will vote on a resolution on Thursday.

Assessment of the EU summit outcome

MEPs will evaluate the results of the most recent European Council meetings, including last week’s special summit.

Parliament celebrates the 20th anniversary of the EU’s biggest enlargement

On Wednesday morning MEPs, EU and member state representatives, and young people born in May 2004, will mark the ten countries joining the EU 20 years ago.

Final vote on updated EU fiscal rules  

The overhaul, to be put to a vote on Tuesday, will encourage EU countries to commit to national reforms, be more investment friendly, and lead to better debt reduction.

Vote on a review of the EU’s agriculture policy to enhance support to farmers

 On Thursday, MEPs will vote on a targeted review of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to reduce the administrative burden and increase flexibility for farmers.

Body for Ethical Standards: vote on the deal between EU institutions and bodies

 The Body would develop and interpret common minimum standards of ethical conduct, as well as publish reports on how these have been applied in internal rules.

Final vote to ban products made with forced labour from the EU market

 On Tuesday, plenary is set to give its go ahead to a new regulation enabling the EU to ban the sale, import and export of goods made using forced labour.

Human trafficking: final vote to boost law enforcement and victims’ rights

 MEPs are expected to endorse the revised rules to more effectively fight trafficking in human beings, and to protect its victims.

Discussion on Israeli attacks on Gaza

On Tuesday afternoon, MEPs will debate the EU’s response to the continuous killing of civilians in the Gaza Strip.

MEPs to take stock of alleged Russian interference in the European Parliament

 On Thursday, MEPs will vote on a resolution assessing alleged Russian attempts to interfere in the European Parliament and the upcoming European elections.

Assessment of the outcome of Russia’s presidential election

 On Thursday, MEPs will vote on a resolution on Russia’s latest stage-managed presidential election, which saw Vladimir Putin strengthen his grip on power.

Rule of law in Hungary: resolution on the latest developments

MEPs will give their final assessment for this term on the release of frozen EU funds, the dead-end Article 7 procedure, and other threats to EU values in the country.

Final vote on faster cross-border investigations into traffic offences

 To prevent reckless driving abroad, MEPs are set to expand the list of punishable offences committed by non-resident drivers and close loopholes to find offenders.

MEPs to give final go-ahead to renewed trade support for Ukraine

 On Tuesday, Parliament will vote on extending temporary trade liberalisation measures for Ukraine while protecting EU farmers.

New EU rules to make sustainable products the norm

 On Thursday, Parliament is set to approve new “ecodesign” measures to make products sold in the EU last longer, and make them easier to repair, upgrade and recycle.

EU plans to accelerate ultra-fast network rollout and end intra-EU call fees

On Tuesday, MEPs will give their final approval to the “Gigabit infrastructure Act”, designed to reduce costs for the deployment of very high-speed networks.

MEPs to vote on updated guidelines for trans-European transport network

 Parliament is set to renew the EU’s commitment to finishing major trans-European transport projects, such as cross-border roads, railways and bridges by the end of 2030.

EU Health Data Space: more efficient treatments and life-saving research

MEPs will take a final vote on creating a European Health Data Space to improve access to personal health data and to boost secure sharing for the public interest.

Parliament set to adopt European Disability and Parking Cards

 In a debate on Tuesday and a vote on Wednesday, MEPs are set to adopt the first EU-wide Disability Card and Parking Card for persons with disabilities.

Mandatory training on conflict and harassment

Parliament will vote on Wednesday to introduce training on preventing conflict and harassment in the workplace and fostering good office management.

Vote on stricter rules to reduce microplastics losses

MEPs will debate on Monday and adopt on Tuesday proposals to prevent and address plastic pellets losses throughout the supply chain, to minimise pollution.

Revised rules for use of blood, tissues and other substances of human origin

New rules to ensure improved protection for citizens that donate or are treated with blood, tissues, or cells will be put to a final vote by MEPs on Wednesday.

Plans to boost Europe’s Net-Zero technology production

 On Thursday, MEPs are set to adopt legislation intended to bolster Europe’s production in technologies needed for decarbonisation.

MEPs to vote on EU withdrawal from the Energy Charter Treaty

Parliament will vote on whether to give its consent to proceed with an EU withdrawal from the treaty, considered as hampering the climate transition.

Combating late payment in commercial transactions

The proposed rules aim to protect companies, particularly SMEs, against those who pay late and ensure timely receipt of payments to avoid cash flow disruptions.

Support for Ukraine and the Western Balkans

MEPs are set to approve a new facility to support the EU’s Western Balkans partners and a €5.8 billion increase for the 2024 EU budget, mainly to support Ukraine.

Vote on measures to improve access to cash and protection against fraud

On Tuesday, plenary will adopt proposals for a more open and competitive payment services sector in the EU, with strong defences against fraud and data breaches.

Cybersecurity: plans to increase EU cooperation against threats

The Cyber Solidarity Act aims to build a more resilient, collective EU response against cyber-threats.

New system to ensure the single market keeps functioning in a crisis

On Wednesday, MEPs are expected to greenlight a new crisis preparedness and coordination system to keep essential goods and workers moving in future crises.

Air passenger data: clearer rules to increase EU security 

On Wednesday, MEPs will vote on updated rules on how airlines should gather and transmit passengers’ data ahead of their trips.

Vote on EU job seeker’s aid for dismissed workers in Denmark and Germany

MEPs are set to approve €1.9 million for 390 dismissed meat workers in Denmark and €3 million for 835 steel workers in Germany.

Resolutions on human rights and democracy

 Parliament will hold urgent debates on the following human rights, democracy, and rule of law topics on Wednesday afternoon, followed by votes on Thursday.

– Azerbaijan, in particular the repression of civil society and the cases of Dr Gubad Ibadoghlu and Ilhamiz Guliyev;

– The proposed repeal of a law banning female genital mutilation in The Gambia;

– The new security law in Hong Kong and the cases of Andy Li and Joseph John.

Photo: Christen Michel/European Union

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