In June, a large majority of MEPs had voted in favour of setting up additional committees. The compositions have now been announced.

UM – 07/2020

651 MEPs had decided on 18 June to set up temporary special committees on cancer, artificial intelligence (AI) and foreign influence on all democratic processes in the European Union, including disinformation. Decisions were taken on a standing committee on tax matters within the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and a committee of inquiry into the protection of animals during transport.

The chairpersons will be elected September this year

The Special Committee to Beat Cancer (BECA) has long been the subject of debate. In fact, the parliament wanted to decide on its establishment as early as the end of last year. It is now being set up on a proposal from the Conference of Presidents, which consists of the President of Parliament and the parliamentary party leaders. The latter had reached an agreement January this year. The composition of the new committees was announced in Parliament on 10 July. The chairperson and vice-chairperson of the individual committees will be decided during the constituent meetings of the new committees in September.

Term: 12 months

The European Parliament may set up special committees to examine specific subjects. The Special Committees, which were decided in June, have a 12-month mandate. This may be extended, if necessary. They are each composed of 33 members of Parliament.

BECA supports the European cancer plan

The Special Committee on Beating Cancer has the task of evaluating possibilities for specific EU action, identifying legislation and measures that can help prevent and control cancer, and considering how research can be effectively supported. It will accompany the European Cancer Plan and evaluate its individual projects. A Commission proposal on this is expected towards the end of the year. The DSV had already positioned itself on the roadmap in a statement at the beginning of this year.


With the set-up of the Special Committee, the fight against cancer will become a top priority for the whole European Union. This was already stated in January of this year by Dr Peter Liese, health policy spokesman for the EPP Christian Democrats in the EP, who is very committed to this issue. That was before the coronavirus. The decision by the MEPs underlines that the fight against cancer has not lost any of its importance, even with the COVID-19 pandemic. Of course, Liese also has a place in the special committee; incidentally, he is the only German representative.

AIDA contributes to the digital age

From a social security perspective, the work of the Special Committee on AI (AIDA) will also be of great interest. Germany has taken its place here with Axel Voss (EPP), Birgit Sippel (S&D), Svenja Hahn (Renew) and Alexandra Geese (Greens/Free European Alliance). The issues on the agenda here especially relate to the implications and challenges of introducing AI. The Committee is also expected to draw up a roadmap for "a Europe for the digital age", which should develop targets for the EU in the field of AI and the steps necessary to achieve them. The basis for this is the recently published releases of the EU Commission and the White Paper on AI. The DSV had also submitted comments on this.