From an EU Solidarity Corps to cheaper phone calls and the future of Europe, there will be much for members to work on in the second half of 2018. We have a look at the hot topics coming to Parliament in the next six months.
The second half of 2018 will begin with the annual State of the European Union address. Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker will outline the EU's priorities and challenges before the 2019 European elections. Migration, climate change, growth, security... The EU is facing many challenges. Parliament's debates on the future of Europe will continue with 6 more EU leaders. Another challenge is to update EU copyright rules. Members want to ensure fair pay for artists and journalists for their work online, while respecting the needs of online users. The proposals will be on September's plenary agenda. Better protection of children online, stricter rules for video on-demand and for TV advertising are among proposals to be discussed. Members are pushing to improve access to the internet and lower the costs of long-distance intra-EU phone calls. They also propose a "reverse 112 system" to allow authorities to alert citizens to emergencies. Much like in the first half of the year, environmental concern will continue to top Parliament's agenda. By 2030, at least 32% of EU energy consumption should stem from renewable sources. Parliament will also review plans to curb the use of antibiotics in farm animals. The new rules aim to keep drug resistant bacteria out of the human food chain and reduce the environmental impacts. Members will vote to create a new European Solidarity Corps, giving young people the opportunity to volunteer for projects helping communities across the EU. In November the Lux Film Prize will go to a European film. The prize is awarded annually to a film that contributes to a discussion on a social or political issue. The 2018 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought will honour human rights defenders in December.