Sunday

24th Jul 2016

Agenda

Eastern Europe on this WEEK's agenda

Eastern Europe dominates this week's agenda (25 February - 3 March) as EU leaders hope to pave the way for a “historic breakthrough” with Ukraine, while Latvia lays out its plans to join the euro.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych is in Brussels on Monday for a summit with European Commission chief Jose Manuel and European Council head Herman Van Rompuy.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • The three leaders meet this week at the EU-Ukraine summit in Brussels. (Photo: president.gov.ua)

Under fire for jailing opposition leaders, rigging elections and bullying journalists, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych is in Brussels on Monday for a summit with European Commission chief Jose Manuel and European Council head Herman Van Rompuy.

Van Rompuy on Friday said the Union is still ready to make a "historic … breakthrough" in Ukraine relations by signing an association treaty and trade pact with it later this year if Yanukovych mends his ways

Meanwhile, another former Soviet vassal, Latvia, is to lay out its plans for greater economic ties with the eurozone.

The Baltic state plans a formal application in March to join the single currency.

Its prospects will be discussed on Tuesday with MEPs in the economic and monetary affairs committee along with Latvia’s finance minister Andris Vilks and central bank governor Ilmars Rimsevics.

The future of the single currency is also an issue in Italian and Cypriot elections, due to be decided over the weekend.

If Italy's former leader and convicted fraudster Silvio Berlusconi regains power, banks say it could spook the markets and force the country into a bailout.

In Cyprus, the departure of its anti-austerity President is expected to pave the way for an EU rescue package for the small island state.

EU agriculture ministers will on Monday in Brussels convene to discuss the horsemeat fraud scandal which has dominated headlines in recent days. New data in the US indicates that the flesh of escolar and snapper fish is also routinely being routinely mislabelled as tuna.

The European Parliament's environment committee will on Tuesday vote on whether to suspend the inclusion of aviation in EU trading of pollution allowances.

The global airline industry says the tax is unfair and could create a patchwork of similar schemes elsewhere. The United States, China, India, Russia and other countries have all threatened to boycott it.

On Wednesday, the European Commission will present its so-called ‘smart borders’ package, with EU home affairs commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom to discuss how technology can “speed up and facilitate” border checks for foreigners travelling to the Union.

The commission says its system will simplify the lives of frequent travellers.

But some pro-privacy advocates say it would compromise rights because it collects personal data for security profiling purposes.

Thursday is dedicated to the impact if the economic crisis on urbanites.

Mayors from 20 EU capitals will travel to Brussels and meet with EU commissioners for regional development, the digital agenda and the environment.

Discussions will focus on how to solve an economic crisis that has thrown millions into unemployment and poverty. Earlier in the week, on Tuesday, the commission will also put out ideas on how to eradicate "extreme poverty" in the EU by 2030.

On the international agenda, Barroso and EU parliament head Martin Schultz go to Dublin on Thursday. Barroso will discuss policy priorities with the EU Irish presidency and talk to students at Trinity College.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is in Turkey on Sunday and Monday.

Turkey plans to seek assurances on protection of the nearly 3 million Turkish-origin people who live in Germany, while Merkel plans to say Ankara must become more friendly toward Cyprus in order to unfreeze EU accession talks.

The recently appointed US secretary of state, John Kerry, is also due for a peregrination of European capitals.

He aims to visit London, Paris, Berlin, Rome and Ankara before going to the Middle East. The EU capital, Brussels, is not on his list.

Investigation

ECB in ‘bail-out’ of scandal-tainted VW

The ECB has started to “bail out” Germany’s Volkswagen Group by buying its corporate bonds, but other EU-linked banks continue to shun the scandal-tainted firm.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Belgrade Security ForumMigration, Security and Solidarity within Global Disorder: Academic Event Agenda for 2016
  2. GoogleHow Google Fights Piracy: Creating Value While Fighting Piracy
  3. EJC"My Visit to Israel" - Opinion by MEP Lopez Aguilar, Chair of the EP Working Group on Antisemitism
  4. World VisionChildren Migrating, Out of School and at Work as Hunger Deepens in Southern Africa
  5. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceStand-Up (and Exercise) to Prevent Chronic Diseases
  6. Centre Maurits CoppietersLaunches a Real-time News Hub Specialised in EU Stakeholders
  7. Dialogue PlatformFethullah Gulen Calls for International Probe Into Turkey Coup Allegations
  8. GoogleEU-US Privacy Shield: Restoring Faith in Data Flows and Transatlantic Relations
  9. World VisionWorld Leaders & Youth Advocates Launch Partnership to End Violence Vs. Children
  10. Counter BalanceReport: Institutionalised Corruption in Romania's Third Largest Company
  11. Access NowEuropol Supports Encryption. We Can Relax Now… Right?
  12. GoogleLearn about Google's projects across Europe on Twitter @GoogleBrussels

Latest News

  1. Munich attack might not have been terrorism
  2. A very British (and Corbynite) coup
  3. Poland 'changing for the worse' for Muslims and refugees
  4. EU aims to lift visas on Turks despite purge
  5. ECB in ‘bail-out’ of scandal-tainted VW
  6. EU failed to learn lesson from Brexit, Poland says
  7. UK accord on EU workers 'crucial', France says
  8. EU and US take different lines on Turkey crackdown