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Committee work

The Parliament has 20 permanent parliamentary committees. As a full member, I am the EPP-coordinator in the Committee for Industry, Research and Defence (ITRE) and I am also a substitute member of the Committee of Culture and Education (CULT). The appointment of the parliamentary groups and its members took place during the first plenary session of the newly-elected Parliament. The committees are newly formed every two and a half years. During its inaugural session, the committee elects its Bureau in a secret ballot without debate. The Bureau consists of a chairman and three deputy chairmen. The committees meet once or twice a month for several days. The committee sessions regularly take place in Brussels. For urgent matters (extraordinary general meetings), the committees can also meet during the plenary sessions in Strasbourg. The most important task of the permanent committees is to check amendments to new laws, submitted by the European Commission, and to draft initiative reports. In line with an agreement between the parliamentary groups, one rapporteur is appointed for each legislative proposal or initiative. The report will be discussed in the committee, amended and approved. It will then be submitted to the plenum that will consult and vote on it. In practice, multiple committees are involved in a submission by the Commission. The responsible committee will be determined depending on the topic. The resolution proposals and reports that are submitted by the Members of Parliament and the parliamentary groups are voted upon by the Parliament, with or without a debate. After the vote, the final texts in their approved form are published and submitted to the recipients concerned.

My work in the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy- To master economic and technological challenges

Economic development, the funding of innovation and research, as well as environmentally friendly energy production are fundamental questions for the European Union. These are dealt with by the committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). I am a full member and co-coordinator of ITRE, one of the most important committees of the European Union due to its far-reaching task fields. In nearly all areas, the Parliament share authority to decide on EU legislation proposed by the committee. Since 2019 its chairwoman is the Rumanian MEP Adina-Ioana Valean.

The ITRE committee deals with matters regarding EU industrial policies as well as funding of new technologies by small and medium-sized companies. In addition, the ITRE committee deals with questions regarding EU research policies, including the distribution and use of research results. This includes topics like ITER, a research project on nuclear fusion, Euratom and space travel policies. It is one of the biggest committees of the European Parliament.

More information on: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/committees/en/itre/home.html

Fundamental questions regarding the development of our energy systems

In addition, issues regarding energy supply security and its efficiency are dealt with, as are issues on general energy politics, including the expansion of trans-European grids in the domains energy infrastructure, information society and telecommunications infrastructure.

These issues are also important for Brandenburg as a whole, but in particular for the Lausitz area, as we are talking about future developments in energy politics. It is important to me that a structural change takes place in the medium to long-term, also with regards to the population’s social and economic stability. (Hyperlink to: 4.2 Energy: The Challenge of Structural Change: Full power for Brandenburg

Research and innovation as a fundamental basis for economic development in Europe

The committee looks after numerous topics, which play a key role for Brandenburg, too.

The Horizon 2020 programme is a key topic in the ITRE committee. Horizon 2020 is an EU research programme, running from 2014-2020, with a budget of nearly €80 billion. It is the biggest research programme worldwide and it deals with topics regarding research and innovation.

More information can be found here: https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/
4.3 Research & Innovation: A drive forward for economic growth and social development

Another key topic of the work of the ITRE committee is the development and regulation of the EU digital domestic market. It is our task to take the right decisions to guarantee the required security for grids and information circulating in Europe. As a result, we expect to guarantee and improve smooth cooperation of the economy and the banks with the digital infrastructure like computers, mobile phones, the Internet, to protect the privacy of the EU population.

The Committee on Culture and Education (CULT) promotes the cultural aspects of the European Union, education policy as well as youth and sports policy. Since 2019, the Chairperson of the Committee on Culture and Education, of which I am a deputy member, has been the German MEP Sabine Verheyen. The Committee is composed of a Chairperson, three Vice-Chairpersons, and full and substitute members. A total of 60 members of the European Parliament work in the Committee on Culture and Education.

The CULT Committee is responsible for the dissemination of culture, cultural heritage and cultural and linguistic diversity. The Committee also deals with the Union’s education policy, including the European Higher Education Area, the promotion of the European school system and lifelong learning. Within this framework, the Committee is responsible for the three major funding programmes: ‘Erasmus +’ programme for education, training, youth and sport, ‘Creative Europe’ which supports European cultural and creative sectors and the ‘European Solidarity Corps’ programme.



Erasmus+ to promote education

Erasmus+ is the European Union’s education, youth and sport programme. In the period 2014 – 2020, the budget for the programme was 14.7 billion euros. During this period more than 4 million people benefited from EU funds. While the Commission proposes doubling the current budget for the period 2020 – 2027, the European Parliament advocates tripling it to reach more people from different sectors and encourage the participation of people with fewer opportunities.

With its well-known universities, a lively start-up scene, beautiful natural surroundings and with Berlin being one of the hippest cities in Europe, Brandenburg can also benefit from the Erasmus+ programme and is a popular destination for foreign students or apprentices. The intercultural exchange with young foreign students and professionals leads to a more cosmopolitan Brandenburg and an open economy, which makes it easier for us to export our goods to the European market.

Creative Europe to support the European cultural and creative industries

The creative industry is our future, it provides the basis for innovation and always manages to surprise us. The Creative Europe programme supports the European cultural and creative sector, particularly the audio-visual sector. Its main objective is to give projects a European added value in order to increase their international success, to promote the professionalisation of the actors on an international level and to open up new audiences.

In this regard, I founded the Intergroup “Cultural and Creative Industries in Europe” in 2014 together with my colleague Pervenche Berès (S&D). Issues such as the digital single market, the copyright directive and industrial strategy require an international and non-partisan approach with allies in all committees and parties.

I was also co-rapporteur for a comprehensive, coherent and long-term industrial policy framework for the cultural and creative sector. The joint report calls on the EU to include adequate funding for the cultural and creative sector in its strategic goals and overall priorities. The joint report of the Committee on Industry and Culture (ITRE/CULT) sees the cultural and economic potential of the sectors as mutually reinforcing to provide employment and contribute to GDP.

Solidarity Corps

The European Solidarity Corps is a European Union initiative that creates opportunities for young people to participate, in their own country or abroad, in voluntary or employment projects which benefit communities and people across Europe. Participants must be between 18 and 30 years old. The different fields of activity vary from individual volunteering, volunteer team activities, internships or full-time jobs. Young people can also set up their own solidarity projects. The different projects are based on topics such as inclusion, environment or culture. In Germany, 11.931 interested people had registered by October 2019.