Plenary highlights: Commission changes, EU budget and climate law

(Guillaume Périgois, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.


MEPs voted for changes at the European Commission, more ambitious climate targets, and discussed the rule of law in EU countries during the 5-8 October plenary session in Brussels.

On Wednesday, Parliament approved the appointment of Mairead McGuinness as commissioner for financial services, financial stability and the Capital Markets Union as well as Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis’ change of portfolio to include responsibility for trade.

MEPs called on Wednesday for reinforcement of the rule of law across Europe through a new mechanism linking receipt of EU funds by a member state to respect for the rule of law. In a separate vote, they called for EU values to be fully and unconditionally respected in Bulgaria.

All EU countries must become climate neutral by 2050, MEPs said in a vote on the EU climate law. Parliament also called for a 2030 emissions reduction target of 60% (compared to 1990 levels) and an interim target for 2040 to ensure the Union is on track to reach its mid-century goal of climate neutrality. In a separate vote, MEPs called for the EU to promote forest management models that ensure forests are environmentally and economically sustainable.

Members also discussed Brexit and the economic recovery in a debate with Council President Charles Michel on last week’s EU summit and the upcoming one on 15-16 October.

On Thursday, MEPs called for EU countries to take stronger action to counter the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on young people by ensuring that those who register for the Youth Guarantee schemes are offered “good-quality, varied and tailored jobs, training or internships”.

Regarding Brexit, MEPs endorsed two proposals on Thursday concerning the Channel Tunnel with the goal of maintaining the same set of rules governing the whole railway tunnel once the UK has the status of a third country.

This week’s plenary also approved a deal struck with the Council on common rules to boost EU crowdfunding platforms and protect investors. The new single set of rules aims to help crowdfunding services function smoothly across the internal market and to foster cross-border business funding.

On Thursday, with public health in mind, MEPs objected Commission proposals on food products containing titanium dioxide and acrylamide.

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