Sunday

29th May 2022

Agenda

This WEEK in the European Union

  • Last year's EU-US summit lasted a few hours on the margins of a two-day Nato summit (Photo: Valentina Pop)

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.

This WEEK in the European Union

The European Commission will this week set out new legislative proposals on credit ratings agencies, seen by many in Brussels as a thorn in the side of the eurozone crisis.

Economic worries and Hungary on the spot Next WEEK

Eurozone finance ministers will discuss the economic worries with the backdrop of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, agriculture ministers are set to talk food prices, and EU affairs ministers will put Hungary on the spot in the Article 7 procedure.

Russia sanctions and energy dominate Next WEEK

The EU Commission is expected to put forward the RePowerEU plan, which aims to help the diversification of fossil fuel imports in the bloc, as the EU aims to get rid of its dependence on Russian energy supplies.

Fallout from Russia's war in focus This WEEK

More sanctions against Russia, energy imports, and the economic fallout of the war in Europe will be in focus this week, as Italian prime minister Mario Draghi will address MEPs in Strasbourg.

Orbán's new state of emergency under fire

Hungary's premier Viktor Orbán declared a state of emergency due to the war in neighbouring Ukraine hours after pushing a constitutional amendment through parliament, where two-thirds of MPs are controlled by his Fidesz party, allowing his government special powers.

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When Reagan met Gorbachev — a history lesson for Putin

Neither Reagan nor Gorbachev achieved their goal at the famous Reykjavik summit of 1986. Despite that fact there are lessons that current leaders — particularly Vladimir Putin — could adopt from these two iconic leaders.

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