Written by Clare Ferguson and Katarzyna Sochacka.
During the first November plenary session, Members held a debate with the European Council and Commission on the conclusions of the European Council meeting of 26‑27 October 2023, and on the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the need for a humanitarian pause. Further debates took place on Council and Commission statements on the outcome of the EU–United States Summit, EU enlargement policy and the state of the energy union.
Roberta Metsola, the Parliament’s President, made a statement on the urgent need for immediate measures against the rise of antisemitism. Finally, the session was preceded by an address by Cate Blanchett, UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador.
System of own resources of the European Union
Members debated and voted a Committee on Budgets (BUDG) report on the Commission’s proposed amendment to the 2021 Own Resources Decision (ORD). The Commission’s latest proposal presents an adjusted package for the next generation of own resources, with an increased call rate on emissions trading system (ETS) revenue and a temporary statistical own resource based on company profits. The BUDG report considers the amended proposal adequately reflects the Interinstitutional Agreement (IIA) roadmap and calls on the Council to adopt the amended ORD. The committee again emphasises the need to secure sufficient (and not merely temporary) own resources for the EU budget, and introduces further amendments. Following Parliament’s vote, the Council can adopt now its decision on the proposal.
Motor vehicle emissions and battery durability (Euro 7)
Members debated and voted on a new proposal to tighten the regulations on light- and heavy-duty motor vehicle emissions and battery durability (Euro 7). Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) seeks to set stricter limits for heavy-duty vehicle exhaust emissions, but would grant additional time to reach the more stringent thresholds. The committee would retain most Euro 6/VI standards on testing conditions for cars and trucks, and supports the proposed creation of an environmental vehicle passport and on-board systems for monitoring emissions, consumption and battery health. The report as voted now constitutes Parliament’s position for negotiations with the Council.
Members approved the political agreement reached following trilogue negotiations on fair access to and use of data (Data Act). The Council and Parliament agreed on a final text in June 2023, which the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) and the Member States’ Permanent Representatives have both endorsed. The agreed Data Act sets out users’ rights to access and share the data they generate through their use of connected devices, the possibility to share private sector data with public sector bodies and institutions in public emergencies, sets new requirements to allow users to switch cloud provider, and safeguards against unlawful international data transfers. The Data Act now needs Council adoption before it becomes law.
EU-Madagascar Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreement
Members followed a Committee on Fisheries (PECH) recommendation, giving consent to the conclusion of a new EU fisheries agreement and implementing protocol with Madagascar, as part of a set of EU tuna agreements. The new framework should provide access rights for the EU fleet to fish in Malagasy waters in return for an EU contribution of €1.80 million per year, €700 000 of which represents access rights. The rest should support Madagascar’s fisheries policy and conservation efforts. A four-year agreement and implementing protocol, initialled after eight rounds of negotiations between the European Commission and the government of Madagascar, have applied provisionally since June 2023.
Opening of trilogue negotiations
Decisions to enter into interinstitutional negotiations on a number of files were announced, and in all cases endorsed without a vote being required, so the committees may now open negotiations. The files concerned are: a report on managed security services from the ITRE committee; a report on import, export and transit measures for firearms, their essential components and ammunition: implementation of Article 10 of the UN Firearms Protocol from the Committee on International Trade (INTA); a report regarding management, conservation and control measures applicable in the Convention area of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) and establishing a multiannual management plan for bluefin tuna in the eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean (PECH); a report regarding making public capital markets in the Union more attractive for companies and facilitating access to capital for small and medium-sized enterprises; and reports (directive and regulation) on multiple-vote share structures in companies that seek the admission to trading of their shares on an SME growth market from the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON); a report on Community designs and a report on legal protection of designs from the Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI); a report on prohibiting products made with forced labour on the Union market from the INTA/Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) committees; and a report on digital labelling of EU fertilising products from the IMCO committee.
Read this ‘at a glance’ note on ‘Plenary round-up – November I 2023‘ in the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.