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Plenary highlights: Ukraine, energy, equal pay

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MEPs discussed Ukraine, called for an ambitious EU budget for 2023 and defined their priorities on the right to repair during the April plenary session.

Ukraine

On Thursday, MEPs called for more support for Ukraine and safe passage for children fleeing the war as well as further sanctions against Russia. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has forced millions of people to leave their homes.

Energy

On Tuesday, Parliament approved new rules for selecting which energy projects can receive EU funding and aligning rules with the EU’s Green Deal. Funds should support hydrogen and carbon capture and storage.

Equal pay

On Tuesday, Parliament set out its position on pay-transparency measures aimed at reducing the gender pay gap. MEPs called for all EU companies with more than 50 employees to make it easier for staff to compare pay and so uncover discrepancies. On average, women are paid 13% less than men in the EU.

Gas storage

On Thursday, Parliament voted in favour of plans to require EU gas storage facilities to be 80% full by November 2022, rising to 90% in future years.

Women in Afghanistan

 In the wake of the deterioration of women’s rights in Afghanistan, including the continued ban on girls over the age of 12 attending school and the Taliban regime’s ban on women flying without a male companion, MEPs called for a reversal of these restrictions and commended brave Afghan women defying the authorities.

Rule of law in Poland and Hungary

On Wednesday, MEPs evaluated the EU response to the degradation of democracy in Hungary and Poland. Due to the risk of violating rule of law and EU values, both countries are under Article 7 proceedings.

Right to repair

On Thursday, MEPs defined their priorities on the right to repair ahead of a European Commission proposal in the third quarter of 2022. MEPs want to make repairs more attractive to consumers, ensure devices are more durable and easier to repair and include removable and replaceable parts.

Data governance

On Wednesday, MEPs backed new EU legislation on data sharing. The aim is to give access to more data to smaller companies and start-ups to allow them to develop new products and services.

Defence 

On Tuesday, MEPs questioned EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on the EU’s security and defence strategy for the next 10 years.

EU’s 2023 budget

On Tuesday, the Parliament adopted a resolution calling for a “future-oriented budget that matches the Union’s political priorities”. According to MEPs, the EU’s budget for 2023 should focus on the economic recovery, health, young people, climate action and the impact of the invasion of Ukraine.

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