In the first half of 2022, the European Parliament continued work on the Conference on the Future of Europe, supported Ukraine and worked on legislation to help tackle climate change.
Election of the new Parliament President
The year started with the election of Roberta Metsola (EPP, Malta) as the new President of the European Parliament. She is the third female President after Simone Veil (1979-1982) and Nicole Fontaine (1999-2002) as well as the youngest President ever. Metsola will lead the Parliament until the 2024 European elections.
In the wake of Russia’s offensive against Ukraine, Parliament held an extraordinary plenary session on 1 March, in which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed MEPs from Kyiv. Since the beginning of hostilities, the EU and its leaders committed to providing support to Ukraine. In April, President Metsola was the first leader of an EU institution to travel. to Kyiv. In addition to supporting sanctions against Russia and help for Ukraine, the Parliament strongly advocated giving the country EU candidate status.
Future of Europe
On 9 May 2022, following one year of intensive discussions and citizen-led debates, the Conference on the future of Europe concluded in Parliament’s building in Strasbourg.
The final report from the conference contains 49 proposals and more than 320 measures covering issues including climate change, health, social justice, EU values, democracy, security; the digital transformation and culture.
As part of its commitment to fighting climate change and implementing the Green deal, Parliament adopted its negotiating position on a range of proposals in the Fit for 55 in 2030 package. They include:
-the reform of the Emissions Trading System
-the creation of a Social Climate Fund to help those most affected by the energy transition
On 5 July, the Parliament adopted two pieces of landmark legislation: the Digital Markets Act and Digital Services Act. The new EU digital rulebook establishes standards for accountability and protection for consumers from illegal content, unfair practises and certain types of targeted advertising.
Parliament adopted a 10-year extension of roaming rules in April, allowing EU consumers to continue using mobile phones when travelling around the EU with no additional fees. It came into effect on 1 July.
Parliament reached an agreement with the Council to make USB Type-C the common charger for all small and medium-sized portable electronic devices in the EU by the autumn of 2024.
The 2022 LUX Audience Award went to Quo Vadis, Aida? by Bosnian director Jasmila Žbanić. Accepting the award, she drew parallels between her film and the current situation in Ukraine, urging MEPs to find a way to stop the war.