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In the EU Parliament this week: Brexit, better pay for women, Holocaust remembrance

Along with a vote on the UK withdrawal deal, this week MEPs will tackle the gender pay gap, call for a common charger for electronic devices and mark 75 years since the end of the Holocaust.

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Ahead of the UK’s departure from the EU this Friday night, Parliament votes on the withdrawal agreement on Wednesday evening at 18.00 CET. For the agreement to enter into force, it must be approved by a simple majority of MEPs. In a recent resolution, Parliament warned that approval of the agreement depended on the UK government addressing concerns about citizens’ rights.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen presents the Commission’s 2020 work programme to MEPs on Thursday morning.

This week marks 75 years since the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz. Parliament holds a ceremony in memory of the millions of Holocaust victims on Wednesday afternoon.

In order to tackle the estimated 51,000 tonnes of electronic waste generated by old phone chargers each year, MEPs are set to call for the development of a common charger to fit all mobile phones, tablets, e-book readers and other portable devices. In addition to reducing electronic waste, the move should lower costs for consumers and improve safety and interoperability.

Although the “equal pay for equal work” principle was introduced in the Treaty of Rome in 1957, women in the EU still earn on average 16% less per hour than men. Parliament is continuing calls for more action to narrow the gap and votes on Thursday on the steps that must be taken to ensure equal pay for all.

MEPs are set to condemn India’s controversial citizenship law, which came into effect earlier this month. It excludes Muslims fleeing religious persecution from seeking Indian nationality while granting the right to refugees of other religions.

In preparation for the EU-Western Balkans summit in Zagreb in May, Parliament President David Sassoli and the speakers of the Croatian and Western Balkans’ parliaments debate ongoing enlargement discussions on Tuesday.

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