Wednesday

17th Aug 2022

Agenda

Another 'make-or-break' EU summit next WEEK

  • The EU summit on Thursday and Friday will seek greater economic and monetary integration. (Photo: Images Money)

The EU's pre-summer-break summit looms large on next week's agenda, as the crisis, which wrecked Greece, threatens to engulf Italy and Spain.

The centerpiece of the event will be proposals drafted by the EU commission, the EU Council, the central bank and eurozone leaders on a future banking union and political Union.

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Several previous summits were already billed as make-or-break events for the single currency and the world economy.

In the run-up to this one, Moody's cut the rating of 15 major European lenders, including bulwarks of stability, such as Deutsche Bank.

Italy's Mario Monti warned that if EU leaders do not get it right, markets will wreak havoc on Madrid and Rome.

A recent €100 billion pledge to help Spanish banks did nothing to improve Spanish or Italian bond yields, which still trade at close to 7 percent.

But Germany, the EU's paymaster, refuses to budge on proposals such as eurobonds, European Central Bank intervention or a speedy banking Union - considered by many experts as the only way to stop the rot.

On Monday, EU foreign ministers will debate the situation in Bosnia, Egypt, Iran, Pakistan and Syria.

They will endorse a new action plan for how the European External Action Service can better protect human rights around the world.

Belarus is also on the agenda. The EU is considering more sanctions against regime-linked oligarchs and wants Minsk to agree on softer EU visa rules for Belarusian citizens.

On Tuesday, European Commission vice president Antonio Tajani will present plans on how to help European scientists create more high-tech products in the fields of nano-technology, electric cars and satellites.

On Wednesday, taxation commissioner Algirdas Semeta will unveil a report on how to fight tax fraud and tax evasion.

Trillions of euros - dwarfing the EU's bail-out programmes to date - are said to be hidden by Europe's rich in tax havens around the world. But Austria and Luxembourg have said No to a new EU law to clamp down on cheats.

Later in the week, the secretary general of the Paris-based economic club, the OECD, along with home affairs commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom and employment commissioner Laszlo Andor, will present findings on recent developments in migration movements and policy.

The European Parliament, for its part, will be meeting the Danish EU presidency on Wednesday to seek agreement on new legislation on detention conditions for asylum seekers.

The new law would also cover access to the labour market, free legal assistance and the identification of vulnerable asylum seekers.

Parliament chief Martin Schulz is to meet Georgia's President Mikheil Saakashvili on Wednesday.

Once a darling of EU efforts to bring democracy to post-Soviet countries, Saakashvili has struggled to get top-level meetings in EU capitals after starting a war against Russia in 2008 and clamping down on opposition.

Greek election aftermath to dominate this WEEK

With Greek voters having given a majority to pro-bailout parties on Sunday, the EU's immediate agenda is likely to centre on offering some sort of sweetner to any future coalition government.

Rule of law and Czech presidency priorities This WEEK

The European Commission will unveil its rule-of-law audit of all EU member states this week. Meanwhile, several ministers from the Czech Republic will present to EU lawmakers the priorities of the rotating EU Council presidency for the next six months.

Czech presidency and key nuclear/gas vote This WEEK

MEPs will gather in Strasbourg for the final plenary before the summer break, with a crucial vote on the classification of gas and nuclear. The Czech Republic will present to EU lawmakers its presidency's priorities for the next six months.

G7, Nato, gas anxiety and Ukraine top This WEEK

EU energy ministers and environment ministers are expected to reach common positions on different aspects of the Fit for 55 package — as the continent is increasingly worried about energy prices and future supplies.

EU leaders talk Ukraine candidacy This WEEK

EU leaders will gather in Brussels and discuss Ukraine's candidacy status, and the impact of Russia's invasion of the country on energy and defence. European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde will give a briefing to MEPs on inflation to MEPs.

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