Quote of the week by S&D Group president, Iratxe García Pérez
“Let’s face it: the Article 7 procedure has so far not worked in Hungary and Poland. It is time for the European Council to act to defend the European project of a Union built on common, liberal values! For the sake of Polish and Hungarian citizens, these fundamental democratic principles must be protected.”
Earlier this week, at the initiative of the S&D Group president Iratxe García Pérez, European Parliament leaders sent a letter to the European Council president and the Croatian presidency expressing deep concerns over the serious lack of progress in Article 7 proceedings.
Next week the S&D Group’s focus will be on gender equality with a series of events ahead of 2020’s International Woman’s Day on Sunday 8 March.
From 3-5 March in Brussels, we host the S&D Youth Forum for Gender Equality under the title “Step it up for women's rights and gender equality – no to any backlash". 15 young feminist activists from across Europe will join us in Brussels to take part in workshops, conferences and debates. The Forum is co-organised with PES Women, Young European Socialists and the Foundation for European Policy Studies.
On Thursday 5 March, the Commissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli, will present the Gender Equality Strategy. The S&D group has been asking for a comprehensive and ambitious strategy with concrete legislative measures, in particular to help fight the pay and pension gap and to combat violence against women.
On Thursday, S&D MEPs will also take part in the Parliament’s Inter-parliamentary Committee meeting to mark International Women’s Day on “The 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action”. David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament, will open the event and S&D MEP Evelyn Regner will chair.
On Sunday, on International Women’s Day there will be marches in Brussels and beyond where you can join to defend women's rights!
Next week, MEPs will be also preparing for the plenary session in Strasbourg on 9-12 March where the Spring European Council, MFF negotiations, the European Semester and the situation in Georgia will be high on the agenda.
S&D MEPs will also be keeping an eye on important announcements from the Commission on the European Climate Law and the Strategy for Africa, both expected to be announced on Wednesday 4 March. With the European Climate Law on the agenda, climate activist, Greta Thunberg, will be in Brussels next week to speak to MEPs in the Environment committee, to speak at the weekly meeting of Commissioners and to take part in a climate march on Friday 6 March.
S&D MEP Aurore Lalucq will lead the vote in the economic affairs committee on the European Semester for economic policy coordination for 2020 on Wednesday 4 March.
Our Environment and Public Health Committee members meet on Thursday to discuss the EU’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Next week also sees the opening round of negotiations between the EU and the UK on the future partnership. The negotiating teams will meet from Monday until Thursday where we expect a constructive start to talks that leads to an ambitious, fair future for citizens on both sides.