What to expect from the last European Parliament’s Plenary

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The European Parliament is preparing for its last Plenary session which will take place on 22 April in Strasbourg, where the next steps of a number of relevant files will be determined. This final Plenary holds significant importance as it marks the end of the legislative work undertaken over the past term. With numerous files still awaiting resolution, ranging from critical policy initiatives to budgetary matters, the outcome of this session will determine whether these issues are concluded or carried over to the next legislature.  

The agenda of the Plenary holds a busy schedule, with a number of files relevant to the e-commerce sector and which are expected to be adopted before the end of the legislative term: 

Common rules promoting the repair of goods (Right to Repair Directive): A measure aimed at making it easier and cheaper to repair products. Inter-institutional negotiations had started on 7 December. As trilogues have resulted in an agreement, the European Parliament is now scheduled to vote on whether to adopt the provisional agreement reached on 1 February. 

Packaging and packaging waste Regulation (PPWR) The proposal was presented as part of the Commission’s second Circular Economy Action Plan, aiming to align the current Directive with the European Green Deal by minimising packaging and packaging waste’s negative environmental impact, while strengthening the internal market. Following the agreement reached by the co-legislators on 4 March, COREPER I confirmed the text on 15 March, while the ENVI Committee approved the provisional agreement on 19 March. The text will now be submitted for adoption in Plenary with the vote scheduled on the 24 April. 

Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence: The Directive aims to advance the green transition and to protect human rights both within and beyond the EU’s borders requiring companies to incorporate due diligence provisions into their policies. After a number of last-minute adjustments made by the Council before its approval by Member States, the revised agreement will be presented to the Plenary for adoption on 24 April. 

These three files are expected to be published on the EU Official Journal in the coming months, therefore entering into force most likely before the end of 2024. 

Payment services Regulation: The proposal was presented as part of a package of measure on payments and financial data in order to ensure the rules regarding payment services were fit for purpose. The ECON Committee adopted its report on 14 February, and it is now expected to be voted and adopted on 23 April during the Plenary. This will set the EP position on the file, while the Council continues to discuss its own position. Inter-institutional negotiations will therefore begin most likely later in 2024 under the new EP, but maintaining the mandate that will be adopted later in April.  

For the files that will remain open after the election, we have the Proposal for a Regulation on the Digital Euro. Since the draft report has not been voted in the ECON Committee yet (and has not even been scheduled at this stage), this file it will not be adopted under this Parliament and discussions are expected to continue under the new mandate. As the Council is also progressing slowly on this file, the timeline for the adoption of the Regulation remains rather open.   

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