The European Parliament’s monthly plenary sessions in Strasbourg will resume in September after months of being held in Brussels (and mostly online) because of coronavirus, according to an internal note sent to MEPs on Thursday and seen by POLITICO.
“As of September, plenary sessions (weeks 38, 41, 43, 48, 51) will be held in Strasbourg (except the Brussels mini session in week 46),” according to the note, sent to all MEPs following a meeting of the Parliament’s group leaders. Those weeks refer to the sessions in September, October, November and December.
As a result of coronavirus, in March the Parliament decided to hold small-scale plenary sessions in Brussels rather than Strasbourg. So far, four such sessions have been held in Brussels, with some MEPs turning up in person and others calling in and voting online. The last plenary before the summer break will take place next week in Brussels.
However, the note made clear that in September, the Parliament would maintain a “hybrid model,” with debates held “with physical presence only” and votes “using the remote system.”
The note also said that MEPs would vote on the EU’s next long-term budget as well as legislation linked to the bloc’s coronavirus recovery plan during committee meetings on August 24 to 27. It also said that an “extraordinary plenary session” could be held on either July 23 or 30 in Brussels, “if there is a political agreement” on the budget and the recovery plan when EU leaders meet for a European Council summit on July 17.
Under the EU treaties, the Parliament must hold 12 plenary sessions a year in Strasbourg.