October 21, 2020

EU CHRONICLE

News from the European Union

Article – Coming up in plenary: digital services, farm policy reform, covid-19, Belarus

Rules for digital service providers and artificial intelligence

Digital services, including online platforms and marketplaces are a fast growing sector. MEPs want clear EU rules in the new Digital Services Act to protect our privacy and consumer rights. They reject a “one-size-fits-all” approach and insist big platforms should be held to account while small ones should be allowed to grow. Plenary will vote on three reports to outline its priorities.

MEPs will also outline how the EU can best regulate artificial intelligence (AI) in order to boost innovation, ethical standards and trust in technology.

Future farm policy

EU farm policy should be more sustainable, resilient and flexible so that it can continue to deliver safe food to all Europeans. It also needs to be better tailored to the needs of individual member states. MEPs will set out what they want from a major reform of the Common Agricultural Policy.

Covid-19

Parliament wants to make sure that in case of future lock-downs, every pupil in the EU has access to education. MEPs will call on the Commission to come up with an urgent plan. MEPs will also debate how to protect employment and income and help young people find work in times of economic crisis.

Brexit

Brexit is on the agenda Wednesday, when European Council President Charles Michel will discuss the 15-16 October EU summit with MEPs.

Deforestation

Since 1990, 1.3 million km2 of forests have been lost globally- an area larger than South Africa. MEPs want binding rules to stop EU-driven deforestation, with penalties for companies selling products that endanger forests and ecosystems.

Find out more about forests in the EU.

Sakharov prize

Parliament’s President and political group leaders will decide on the 2020 Sakharov prize for freedom of thought on Thursday. The finalists are the democratic opposition in Belarus, Honduran environmental activists and the Archbishop of Mosul.

Also on the agenda:

MEPs will suggest a comprehensive review of EU relations with Belarus, reiterating their September resolution.

The European Commission will present its 2021 work programme on Tuesday focusing on the recovery from the pandemic, the green economy and digitalisation.

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