European Parliament: What to expect in the second half of 2022?

By Thea Pieridou
Press Officer of the European Parliament Office in Cyprus

The European Parliament (EP) has a busy schedule in the second half of 2022. Energy security, gender equality and artificial intelligence will be discussed, among others.

State of the Union
The second half of 2022 begins with the momentous state of the European Union debate, during which MEPs will ask President Ursula von der Leyen about the work of the European Commission and its future priorities.

Energy
Energy security has emerged as a critical issue and a top priority for governments since the outbreak of war in Ukraine, with prices of energy products such as gas and oil rising sharply. MEPs are due to vote on measures to reduce the EU's dependence on Russian fossil fuels and increase green energy production, including new rules on energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Common charger
The EP is expected to approve the introduction of a common charger for electronic devices such as mobile phones and tablets. By autumn 2024,  USB type-C will be the common charging port in the EU, regardless of the manufacturer. This aims to reduce e-waste and make life easier for consumers.

Conference on the Future of Europe
MEPs will follow up on the 49 proposals of the Conference on the Future of Europe, which concluded on 9 May. To inform the citizens who participated in the Conference and to maintain the momentum, a feedback event of the Conference will be organised in autumn 2022.

Minimum wages
The first European legislation on adequate minimum wages is expected to be adopted in September, which aims to ensure minimum wages that provide a decent standard of living in the EU. MEPs hope the new rules will lead to a real increase in workers' wages and a reduction in work poverty and the pay gap.

Artificial intelligence
The EP will also vote on new rules on the use of artificial intelligence (AI). The so-called Artificial Intelligence Act aims to harness the potential of AI in areas such as health, the environment and climate change. MEPs want the EU to take a leading role in this area, setting clear standards that reflect EU values and ensure that fundamental rights are protected.

Gender equality in the workplace
The EP is expected to approve legislation to strengthen gender equality on the boards of major companies. The directive known as 'women on boards' aims to establish transparent recruitment procedures in companies, so that at least 40% of non-executive directorship posts or 33% of all directorships are filled by the under-represented sex.  

MEPs will also start negotiations with the Council on the Pay Transparency Directive, which requires companies with at least 50 employees to make public information that makes it easier for workers who have the same employer to compare their wages and expose any existing gender pay gap in their organisation.

Platform economy
MEPs will vote on a directive to protect the rights of workers on digital platforms such as Uber or Deliveroo. The proposed rules will ensure that these workers can enjoy the employment rights and social benefits to which they are entitled.

Cryptocurrencies
The vote on the regulation of crypto-assets will also be at the heart of the second half of the year. The new rules aim to tackle market manipulation, money laundering, terrorist financing and other criminal acts.  They also require businesses that use cryptocurrencies to better inform consumers about risks, costs and fees.

Sakharov Prize 
In December, the EP will award the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought that honors individuals, groups and organizations that have contributed in a special way to the protection of freedom of thought, human rights and democracy. Last year, the award went to Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

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