Parliament also sets out its demands for the COP28 world climate conference in Dubai. The situation in the Middle East, the top candidate system and the future of the EU are also discussed. In Austria, the planned SUR regulation for pesticide reduction received a lot of attention. The rapporteur for the EU legislative proposal is the Austrian Green MP Sarah Wiener. MEPs want to reduce the use of “dangerous pesticides” by 65 percent by 2030; the Commission had only envisaged a reduction of 50 percent in its original draft. If the parliamentary position is adopted on Wednesday, the next step will be negotiations with the EU member states.
Tougher emissions standards for trucks and buses
There will also be a vote on Wednesday on stricter emissions standards for trucks and buses. The parliamentary draft that is on the table envisages tightening the reduction targets compared to the EU Commission’s plan. By 2030, fleets of heavy commercial vehicles should cause 44 percent fewer emissions than in 2019. By 2035, this should be 70 percent (EU Commission: 65 percent) and then 90 percent by 2040.
The EU parliament will vote on its position on the Net Zero Industry Act on Tuesday. It is seen as a response to the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)’s billion-dollar subsidy package and is also intended to help reduce CO2 emissions from industry. Furthermore, new rules to reduce packaging waste and a “right to repair” will be voted on. With a view to the world climate conference COP28 in Dubai, parliamentarians could demand an end to all subsidies for fossil fuels by 2025 at the latest if a corresponding resolution passes the plenary session.
Lead candidate system required for EU elections
In addition to the various EU legislative proposals, the EU Parliament also wants to express its opinion on several topics. A resolution will be voted on that will once again call for a top candidate system for the EU elections in June. Parliament demands that the leading candidates, their European parties and parliamentary groups meet after the election and make their own proposal for the head of the EU Commission. Officially, the member states are responsible for filling the posts.
A proposal from Parliament for a reform of the EU is also up for vote. Parliament should therefore have the right to initiate legislative proposals and also have a greater say in the EU’s multi-annual financial framework. At Council level, more decisions should be made with a qualified majority, which would limit the veto options of individual countries.
No decisions have been made, but the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas, ammunition deliveries to Ukraine and the rule of law in Hungary and Spain are still being discussed. The latter point was raised above all by the political right-wing factions, which accuse Spain’s socialist head of government, Pedro Sanchez, of wanting to reverse thousands of court decisions (against Catalan separatists) in order to maintain his own power.