This WEEK in the European Union
A summit of EU and US leaders on Monday (28 November) will likely put more pressure on Europe to get its act together on the euro-crisis risking to bring down the world economy.
Set to take place in Washington DC, the summit will confront President Barack Obama and his foreign minister Hillary Clinton to the chiefs of EU institutions - Jose Manuel Barroso from the European Commission, EU council chair Herman Van Rompuy and foreign affairs representative Catherine Ashton.
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Brussels diplomats expect Obama to repeat his calls on the EU to stop squabbling and put their money where their mouth is when it comes to eurobonds, ECB intervention and other measures aimed at bring an end to the sovereign debt crisis in the eurozone.
"The main focus of the summit will be the global economic situation," an EU statement reads. Trade issues, convergence of regulation on both sides of the Atlantic and the US-EU data sharing agreements are also on the agenda of the second day of meetings, on Tuesday. Last year, the summit was held for a few hours on the margins of a two-day Nato summit in Lisbon.
Finance ministers of the eurozone will meet in Brussels on Tuesday evening to talk about Greece and the release of a delayed tranche of the EU-IMF aid, pending a signature from the opposition leader in Athens on a formal commitment that his party, if it comes to power in elections next year, will stick to the austerity and structural adjustment programme demanded by international lenders.
Meeting at the level of all 27 EU member states, finance ministers the next day are looking at the new capital requirements for banks, amid signals from central and eastern Europe that they may lead to capital flight from subsidiaries and thus expand the sovereign debt crisis into a lending crisis throughout Europe.
Foreign ministers meeting together with defence chiefs on Wednesday will take stock of EU's military missions in Bosnia and fighting pirates off the Somali coast. On Thursday, foreign ministers will most likely adopt a fresh batch of sanctions against Iran following the publication of the UN atomic agency report confirming that Tehran is pursuing its nuclear programme. Syria, Egypt and Kosovo are also on the agenda.
MEPs on Wednesday will adopt the EU membership treaty with Croatia, a formality paving the way for the 28th member of the EU to sit at the table of leaders during the December summit.