Look Ahead European Commission — Green Deal, AI, COVID-19, Space

Look Ahead European Commission — Green Deal, AI, COVID-19, Space

Brussels (Brussels Morning) This week, the European Commission will discuss the Green Deal and the general direction it is taking when the Commissioners meet. Also, the EU executive will announce its legislative proposal on artificial intelligence (AI), hold discussions on COVID-19 and the EU space agency will launch an astronaut into space.

European Green Deal

On Monday, Commissioner for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans, will hold virtual consultations online with representatives of NGOs on the Renewable Energy Directive that is to be tabled in the second quarter of the year.

During Thursday’s meeting of the College of Commissioners, EU leaders will take stock of the status of the “Fit for 55 initiatives”, the Commission’s ambitious policy objective comprising 12 crucial initiatives for the efficient deployment of the European Green Deal, including the legislation on renewable energy.

On the same day, Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson is to address the European Economic and Social Committee Conference focusing on energy poverty in the context of the European Pillar of Social Rights and the Green Deal.

COVID-19

Updating on COVID-19 incidences, vaccine supply and related developments, Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides and Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation, will hold a virtual consultation on Wednesday. The recently proposed global pact to avert future pandemics may also feature in their discussions.

On Friday, President Ursula von der Leyen visits the Pfizer Global Manufacturing site in Puurs, Belgium, while Kyriakides will meet with G7 Health Ministers.

Space

On Wednesday, the European Space Agency’s Alpha mission will launch astronaut Thomas Pesquet into orbit for the second time to the International Space Station. Pesquet’s voyage will be his first on board a spacecraft from the American aerospace manufacturer SpaceX, the Crew Dragon.

The Alpha mission is scheduled to last six months, a total of 197 days in space, including two spacewalks for infrastructure maintenance.

ESA’s mission is a signature development in defining Europe’s space capability and hopes to ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to Europe and the world.

AI and Quantum

On Wednesday, the Commission will present legislative proposals on AI that aim to safeguard fundamental EU values and rights but also user safety by obliging high-risk AI systems to meet mandatory requirements related to their trustworthiness.

Since 2018, the EU executive has developed a declaration of cooperation on AI while assessing possible liabilities inherent to the use of AI and other emerging technologies. In 2019, the Commission’s High-Level group on AI published the final ethics guidelines for AI.

On Thursday, Commission VP Margrethe Vestager will attend a symbolic ceremony to inaugurate the first EuroHPC supercomputer located in Slovenia, which is being organised by the European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking.

On the same day, Research and Innovation Commissioner Mariya Gabriel will discuss advances of quantum computing with IQM CEO, Jan Goetz.