In the coming months, MEPs are set to vote on the EU’s long-term budget, a new climate law and continue to debate the future of Europe.
Long-term budget and recovery plan
In May the European Commission proposed a €750 billion economic stimulus plan that along with a revised proposal for the EU’s 2021-2027 budget of €1.1 trillion should help mitigate the shock from the coronavirus pandemic and pave the way to a sustainable future. The proposals are subject to negotiations between Parliament and the member states in the Council.
In September, Parliament’s environment committee will vote on the EU’s climate law, as proposed by the Commission in March, including how the EU can achieve climate neutrality by 2050. It is likely to be voted on by all MEPs during a plenary session in October.
Future of Europe conference
The Conference on the Future of Europe is a new initiative looking at what changes are needed to better prepare the EU for the future. The conference was meant to have kicked off in May, but was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In a resolution adopted during the summer, the Parliament stressed that the conference should start “as soon as possible in autumn 2020”. It is expected to run for two years.
Talks are ongoing to reach an agreement on the future relationship between the EU and the UK. Under the current withdrawal agreement, there is a transition period until the end of December 2020, so the aim for the two sides is to conclude negotiations before the end of the year. Any agreement can only enter into force if it has been approved by the Parliament.
Digital Services Act
As part of the European Digital Strategy, the Commission has announced it will present a Digital Services Act package in late 2020, which should strengthen the single market for digital services. Parliament’s internal market and consumer protection committee, civil liberties committee and legal affairs committee have all published their draft reports. The committees are expected to vote on their reports in September.
In March 2020, the Commission presented a New Industrial Strategy for Europe to ensure that European businesses can transition towards climate neutrality and a digital future. Parliament’s industry and research committee will vote on its report on the matter in September, while all MEPs are expected to vote on it two months after that.
Reform of the EU’s agricultural policy
The final phase of the negotiations on how Europe’s agricultural sector should look after 2020 will depend on a deal on the EU’s budget for 2021-2027. It will also take into account the European Green Deal.
The Commission is set to present a New Pact on Asylum and Migration, once a preliminary agreement on the EU budget by the member states has been reached. Parliament’s civil liberties committee is currently working on a report on new legal pathways for labour migration to the EU.
Rail passenger rights
The EU is working on new rules to strengthen rail passenger rights, including higher compensation in case of delays and more assistance for people with disabilities. The aim is to be done with this legislative file before 2021, which the Commission has proposed should be the European Year of Rail. After an interruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the interinstitutional negotiations resumed in June.
In March 2018, the Commission presented a proposal for a regulation on crowdfunding service providers, as part of its Fintech action plan. The EU market for crowdfunding is underdeveloped compared to other major world economies due to a lack of common rules across the EU. Exactly two years later, Parliament’s economic and monetary affairs committee reached a provisional agreement on the proposal with the Council. This will still need to be formally approved by a majority of MEPs before it can enter into force.