As published on knews.kathimerini.com.cy, Tuesday 8 March, 2022.
The European Parliament is scheduled to have its plenary session this week from the 7th to the 10th of March in Strasbourg. On the agenda will be, most importantly, the Ukrainian issue as well as a discussion on an EU-wide ban on citizenship by investment schemes.
According to the Plenary’s schedule, MEPs will discuss how to handle the increasing number of refugees fleeing from the war in Ukraine and look into the EU’s role in a changing world as well as Europe’s security situation in the wake of the Russian aggression against Ukraine.
The Plenary is also set to vote on the final report by the Special Committee on Foreign Interference and Disinformation and is expected to acknowledge collectively that a lack of EU measures and awareness has allowed foreign interference in EU democracy, thereby proposing countermeasures such as sanctions or revoking the licenses of organizations that distribute foreign state propaganda.
Another issue on the agenda is that of the “golden passports”. MEPs are set to call for a ban on ‘citizenship by investment’ and EU-wide rules for ‘residence by investment' schemes, which would strictly limit the role of intermediaries.
The legislative draft initiative states that "citizenship through investment" programs, through which third-country nationals can obtain so-called "golden passports", are objectionable and reprehensible from an ethical, legal and economic point of view. Moreover, it “also poses serious security risks while undermining the essence of EU citizenship, and should be banned.”
MEPs are expected to ask the Commission to draw up a proposal for strict EU regulation, which would include a levy on investments (with contributions going to the EU budget), stringent background checks and requirements for a physical presence, and a comprehensive set of rules for the activities of intermediaries.
The EP will also mark International Women’s Day with debates on the EU’s Gender Action Plan and gender mainstreaming.
Other issues on the agenda are the increasingly tense situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the need for special committees on foreign interference and disinformation, on the COVID-19 pandemic and a committee of inquiry on the Pegasus spyware affair.
MEPs are also expected to approve on Tuesday Spain’s request for support for around 450 dismissed workers after Nissan closed its production plant in Catalonia in 2021, which was a part of the company's plan to reduce its presence in Europe and to focus on China, North America and Japan.
On Tuesday evening, MEPs will debate with the Commission on strategies to tackle the surge in energy prices and market manipulation on the gas market.
Parliament will also debate and vote on the EU environment program until 2030, which aims to accelerate the EU’s transition to a climate-neutral, clean, circular and wellbeing economy.