Common charger, migration and cyber-violence top busy EP agenda this week

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Common charger, Covid-19, migration, cyber-violence are topping the European Parliament’s busy agenda this week.

MEPs from the internal market committee will start work on rules for a common charger for electronic devices such as mobile phones, cameras and tablets on Wednesday. The EP had long been requesting such a proposal, with a legislative proposal finally tabled in September. The proposal requires that mobile phones and similar devices, such as tablets, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, handheld videogame consoles and portable speakers, that are recharged via a wired cable, be equipped with a USB Type-C port, regardless of the device brand.

Ahead of the first exchange of views in the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee, rapporteur Alex Agius Saliba (S&D, MT), who will steer this legislation through Parliament, recalled that for more than a decade, the European Parliament has been calling for a European universal charger for mobile phones and other electronic devices. “This proposal would benefit everyone – the environment, consumers, and businesses. Electronic waste is a problem, and reducing charger production and disposal will save thousands of tons of electronic trash per year and help re-use old electronics”, Agius Saliba insisted.

The pandemic will also remain high on the agenda, with Emer Cooke, the Executive Director of the European Medicines Agency, invited to discuss the latest Covid-19 vaccination developments as well as the general situation regarding the pandemic, particularly in light of the new developments related to the Omicron variant with members of the environment and public health committee .

In a separate development, the women’s rights and civil liberties committees are set to call for a common definition of the crime of gender-based cyber-violence and new preventative measures. They will also participate in an event on eliminating violence against women. It will include discussions about the Istanbul Convention, which aims to tackle violence against women, and cyber violence.

The civil liberties committee will also be involved in early discussions on new procedures at the EU’s borders to determine whether an asylum-seeker should be refused entry, returned, or referred to the EU’s asylum system as well as a new instrument to tackle migration crises in EU countries.

On Thursday, the inquiry committee looking into the protection of animals during transport will adopt its findings on violations of EU rules on the protection of animals during transport in and outside the EU and vote on recommendations to improve the rules.

This week the EP will also mark the first anniversary of former French President Valery Giscard d´Estaing’s death. Giscard d’Estaing was also a former MEP.

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