Tuesday

9th Mar 2021

Agenda

Banking resolution and US trade feature next WEEK

  • How and when banks should be wound down is on the agenda next week (Photo: snorski)

The European Commission is on Wednesday to unveil proposals for the creation of a single bank resolution mechanism, a controversial step towards full banking union.

The plans will lay out how to wind up a failing bank and come after EU leaders agreed that the eurozone should have a single bank supervisor in 2014 to ensure that lenders do not get into difficulties in the first place.

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A recent paper by France and Germany envisioned only loose rules on winding up banks although several politicians, particularly in the European Parliament, say this is not enough. Little is expected to happen with the proposals until after the German federal elections in September.

Eurozone finance ministers will meet Monday to decide on whether Greece is making enough reform progress, amid reports that lenders have been considering not paying the country its next bailout tranche.

The meeting also comes amid heightened tension in the single currency area as markets put pressure on Portugal, where the government is wobbling due to popular malcontent with austerity measures.

This issue is expected to come up when European Central Bank Mario Draghi appears before the monetary affairs committee in the European Parliament on Monday.

The commission will Wednesday unveil a multi-billion-euro investment package to boost research and innovation in areas such as innovative medicines and aeronautics.

Students will be the focus on Monday when the annual statistics from the exchange programme Erasmus are published. Each year about 250,000 students study abroad, with the Erasmus fund to be boosted by about 40 percent, to €14.5 billion, in the next longterm budget (2014-2020).

MEPs in the regional development committee are Wednesday due to vote on five reports on legislative proposals to reform how aid is given to the EU's poorer regions. The commission has proposed rules that would require investments to focus on small businesses, research and innovation.

The legal affairs committee will vote on draft rules on improving the management of music royalty collecting societies.

The civil liberties committee will the same day discuss the setting up of a committee inquiry into US surveillance activities. It will come two days after EU and the US officials meet to discuss whether Washington's data snooping, which extended to European citizens, breached privacy laws.

Officials from both sides will also Monday kick off talks on free trade between the EU and the US after Washington and Brussels decided that the potential benefits of a trade deal should not be derailed by the snooping revelations by US whistleblower Edward Snowden.

EU 'Future' Conference plus Covid recovery talks This WEEK

MEPs will give the green light for a more united EU health policy, a new investment plan, and debate the Covid recovery fund, which is yet to be unleashed. Lawmakers will also debate media freedom in Hungary, Poland, and Slovenia.

Women fighting Covid-19 in focus This WEEK

To help bridge the stubborn gender pay gap, the EU Commission will present pay transparency measures so that differences in wages and salaries do not remain hidden from employees.

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EU leaders seek to speed up vaccinations This WEEK

EU leaders talk vaccines, while the Portugues EU presidency introduces itself to MEPs. Joe Biden will be inaugurated as president of the United States, and the EU hopes this will mark a new beginning for EU-US relations.

Unblocking Brexit and budget in focus This WEEK

With only five weeks to go before the UK severs all ties with the EU, chief negotiator Michel Barnier warned that the "same significant divergences persist" between the two sides in post-Brexit talks.

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