29th Mar 2023


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.

EU summit zooms in on global roles This WEEK

Competitiveness is expected be on the top of the agenda of EU leaders after the EU Commission last week rolled out a series of proposals to boost the bloc's capacity in green tech.

Green acts and data flow in focus This WEEK

Economic ministers set to talk about the reform of the economic governance and even agree on conclusions. The EU Commission is also expected to come with several proposals on supporting the greening of the economy.


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