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2 years ago

Who is who in the new European Parliament committees

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When we first floated the idea to publish a magazine on the committees of the European Parliament, enthusiasm was low. It couldn't be that interesting, could it? But the ones who thought this would be a dull exercise, were very wrong.

IMCO Internal Market and

IMCO Internal Market and Consumer Protection The challenge of artificial intelligence The fast-growing impact of artificial intelligence will be the biggest challenge for business and consumers in Europe's single market of tomorrow. By Koert Debeuf The parliamentary committee for internal market and consumer protection (IMCO) is working on one of the most fundamental principles of the European Union: the single market. to continue strengthening the internal market, in particular in a cross-border context, removing unjustified barriers and ensuring that the existing rules are properly and timely implemented and enforced." the speedy growth of artificial intelligence will become the biggest challenge, needing "legislation linked to transparency, liability, safety and ethical rules for digital platforms, services and products". The entire Brexit saga shows once more how difficult it is to leave the single market once you have been a part of it. But also how beneficial it is to be a member of the EU. After decades of living in a common internal market, many people seem to have forgotten how important it is, and how easy. But when you travel to for example the United States, and you forget your adapter, you can't even charge your mobile phone - a problem that never occurs when you travel on the European continent. The internal market is not only about the free movement of goods and services. It's also about standards, for products but also for consumer protection. That's why worldwide people talk about "European standards", as a label of global quality. It is the task of the IMCO committee to make sure these European standards are upheld in every single space in Europe. Next to the announced revision of the E-Commerce Directive or new Digital Services Act, the committee will need to have a lot of attention to what De Sutter calls "a single market fit for the digital age". "Since emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence and blockchain, are becoming key drivers for economic development and enhance the value of goods and services, we will be following with the utmost attention any developments in this area", she said, adding that this is important for both business and consumers. As a fourth major point for IMCO over the next five years, De Sutter mentions a "sustainable Single Market". More concretely, she points out that "addressing the needs of a growing circular economy and the integration of environmental concerns into consumer policy will be a key priority." A politically-sensitive point that might interfere with the IMCO agenda is the free movement of people. On the one hand, European companies need access to data for developing AI. On the other hand "consumer protection rules have to ensure that consumers have clear information on how to use AI-enabled products and services, that they have control over data generated by such products and services, and how that data is used", she said. IMCO coordinators are: Andreas Schwab (EPP, Germany), Christel Schaldemose (S&D, Denmark), Dita Charanzova (Renew, Czech Republic), Marcel Kolaja (Greens/ EFA, Czech Republic), Virginie Joron (ID, France), Adam Bielan (ECR, Poland), Katerina Konecna (GUE/ NGL, Czech Republic). According to Petra De Sutter (Greens/ EFA, Belgium), chairs of IMCO, "developing a long term strategy for better enforcement of Single Market rules" will be key for the committee's agenda for the next five years. De Sutter fears that "member states may take disproportionate measures and apply administrative controls and procedures which make free movement more difficult and costly for SMEs going cross-border." Petra De Sutter (Greens/EFA, Belgium) chairs the IMCO committee. Photo: European Union 2019 – Source: EP Therefore, she says, it is "necessary But all in all, De Sutter thinks that 20 — EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT COMMITTEES

TRAN Tackling climate change through transport Transport and Tourism Getting the mobility package done in the short-term, and helping to change modes of transportation in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, will be key priorities for the transport and tourism committee. By Eszter Zalan Changing (and charging for) transportation methods are key to effectively fighting climate change, and the European Parliament's transport committee chair, Karima Delli (Greens/ EFA, France), will put that struggle at the top of the agenda. "The issue of global warming is one of my top priorities. We are facing a big responsibility," the French politician told EUobserver. "The transport sector accounts for 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions and has an important responsibility on air pollution (600,000 deaths per year in Europe). This priority translates into objectives by mode of transport," Delli added. She said she will defend the obligation for all regional and national trains at EU level to have at least eight reserved bicycle spaces to accelerate the pace of soft mobility. "Cities must seize this means of transport, which is low-carbon and accessible to all", said Delli – who describes herself as an advocate of both train and bicycle. The committee will also enter into negotiations on the text of passenger rights. The MEP said the committee wants to boost freight by rail by 30 percent per country, launch a rail renovation plan, and "to support a real revival of night trains". Dell adds that she is campaigning for a heavy-vehicle fee. She wants for each European country to "introduce a heavy goods vehicle tax based on the polluterpays principle, with revenue earmarked to finance sustainable urban mobility, freight and road safety". In terms of the aviation package, the committee will look at a kerosene tax, and all possible means to invest in alternatives to flying. "The sector should no longer benefit from an exemption from fuel tax. Europe can implement it, and bring it to the international level with a single voice, to show that it is possible to work on this issue. This would provide significant funding for alternatives," said Delli, who has chaired the committee since 2017. Delli also wants to hold a European summit on the "conversion of the automotive industry" in order to work on re-skilling employees, on providing support for regions, and on recycling vehicles. She said that with 12 million workers in the industry, this is an urgent issue. Chairwoman Karima Delli (Greens/EFA, France) wants climate protection to transform mobility and transport. Photo: European Parliament Delli expects more debate on the "complex exercise" of the EU's mobility package, a 2017 proposal for a series of legislations from making traffic safer, through fighting illicit employment to cutting red tape. Completing the mobility package would be a success, in the short term, Delli said. Delli had also served as the vice-chair of the committee of "inquiry into emission measurements in the automotive sector", which was brought in after the 2015 Dieselgate scandal. In the maritime sector, Delli said, the committee will start to tighten up the standards for sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions. "The objective is also to update the air quality directive to the levels recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO)," she said, adding that limits will have to be added for other particles such as PM2.5, which are not included in the current directive. "There are a number of issues that will divide us, according to institutional, political or geographical divisions. It is essential, especially on divisive issues, to take the time, listen and consult everyone," Delli said, adding that she is determined to defend the parliament's positions in negotiations with the other institutions. Coordinators: Marian-Jean Marinescu (EPP, Romania), Johan Danielsson (S&D, Sweden), Jose Ramon Bauza Diaz (Renew, Spain), Ciaran Cuffe (Greens/EFA, Ireland), Roman Haider (ID, Austria), Roberts Zile (ECR, Latvia), Elena Kountoura (GUE/NGL, Greece). EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT COMMITTEES — 21

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