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.