Saturday

21st Jan 2017

Agenda

China comes to EU next WEEK

  • The EU wants to boost its crisis response through setting up a European voluntary corps for humanitarian aid (Photo: Stefan)

China will come to Europe this week (17-24 September) in the form of an EU-China summit, a separate bilateral business summit and a meeting of Chinese and European mayors.

Top brass will be out on both sides. Premier Wen Jiabao will be received by Herman Van Rompuy, EU Council President and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

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The meeting comes as the world continues to watch European politicians struggle with the eurozone crisis. When German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited China last month, she was told that EU leaders needed to do more to stem the crisis.

Meanwhile, Beijing has continued to indicate that it does not think investing in the euro bailout funds is a safe bet.

The visit also comes just after the commission announced it would open an investigation into allegations of Chinese dumping in the solar panel sector. The protection of intellectual property rights - a regular complaint of foreign businesses about China - is also set to be raised.

One prickly issue not on the actual agenda will be whether there will be a press conference at the end of the summit. There was none following the last such event, leaving the EU commission open to accusations that it was letting Beijing set the terms on press access.

The commission will on Monday also reveal proposals to beef up the powers of its statistical arm, eurostat. The potential new powers chime with the commission's strongly increased oversight of national budgets.

Members of the European Parliament's economic and monetary affairs committee will on Monday discuss the future of the eurozone.

They are already squaring up for a fight with member states over how much say they will have on plans to create a banking union. A public hearing with the heads of Europe's financial supervisory authorities is likely to reveal the thinking of the key players in the parliament.

The civil liberties Committee will on Wednesday vote on a law making making it impossible to transfer asylum seekers to member states with poor reception facilities. It will also vote on another law restricting the reasons for detaining asylum seekers.

Mid-week, the commission will propose a law on establishing a European Voluntary Corps for humanitarian aid. Supposed to be operational by 2014, the corps of trained volunteers is meant to strengthen the EU's response to crises.

GMO opt-out plan remains in waiting room

The commission wants to give the power to member states to reject EU-approved genetically modified organisms, but the Maltese presidency is unlikely to approach the issue any time soon.

New EU parliament coalitions get in shape

Social-democrats and their allies scored a major win on Thursday with the adoption of a report on social rights. But questions remain on the parliament's power balance after the end of the left-right grand coalition.

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