Quote of the week by S&D Group vice-president, Kati Piri, on Black Lives Matter
“Hate speech and racism have no place anywhere - neither in Europe, nor the United States. In times of so much pain and anger, we expect the US president to listen to the demands of peaceful protestors. The use of force against journalists and innocent citizens has no place in a liberal democracy. We also hear the calls of ethnic minorities in Europe who face exclusion and racism. We therefore ask the European Commission to swiftly develop an EU framework for national strategies to combat racism, as the European Parliament has called for in last year’s resolution on the fundamental rights of people of African descent.”
This week, the European Commission began its second phase of consultations on the EU minimum wage. See the reaction of our members and our demands for decent minimum wages that would foremost benefit COVID-19 frontline workers.
The S&D Group also invited European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen to a group debate held remotely, where members reiterated our plea to remain firm when negotiating the Recovery Plan and the future EU budget for 2021 - 2017 with the Council later in the month.
Our members in the committee for regional development will kick off next week with a meeting with commissioner for cohesion and reforms, Elisa Ferreira. During the meeting on Monday, 8 June, they will discuss the next MFF and the future of cohesion policy.
Also on Monday, members of the ECON committee will hold an exchange of views with Christine Lagarde, president of the European Central Bank, touching upon the latest monetary decisions of the ECB, as well as the international role of the euro. Members of the ECON committee will also vote on amending the capital requirements regulation, which aims at decreasing the likelihood of banks going insolvent in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The rapporteur on this file is our coordinator Jonás Fernandez.
On Wednesday, 10 June, the S&D Group will closely monitor the European Commission’s communication regarding disinformation in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The following day, members of the committee on civil liberties, justice and home affairs will host commissioner for equality, Helena Dalli, for a discussion on anti-discrimination measures in the context of the current pandemic.
Also on Thursday, 11 June, we are ready for a vote in the committee on employment, on classifying COVID-19 as a biological agent. The S&Ds oppose the Commission’s decision to classify it only as a mid-level threat; we want to ensure workers’ safety and the health of essential and frontline workers, and especially now that millions of workers are returning to their workplaces. Our coordinator Agnes Jongerius announced that we oppose the decision and will work towards building a majority to reject it in the committee vote.
Following this week’s latest round of talks between the EU and the UK, MEPs in the trade and foreign affairs committees will vote on recommendations for the negotiations on the future partnership, on Friday 12 June.
Next week, the S&D Group will be holding two group meetings, on Tuesday and Wednesday. HRVP Josep Borrell will join our remote group meeting on Tuesday, 9 June, to discuss the external dimension of the COVID-19 pandemic.