4th Jul 2022


EU economic forecast this WEEK

  • EP chief Martin Schulz is seen as a leading candidate for the centre-left nomination for the commission post (Photo:

The European Commission will Tuesday publish its economic forecasts for the 28 member states - prognoses that shape Brussels' recommendations to national governments to keep their economies in line with EU fiscal rules.

One of the big questions will be the state of Germany's budget surplus, which was €8.5bn in the first half of this year. Several analysts have said Germany needs to do more - such as raising wages and boosting domestic demand - help struggling southern Eurozone countries.

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The issue has been a flashpoint in relations with other countries. France's social minister Benoit Hamon has accused Berlin of wage dumping at the expense of euro partners. Similar accusations have come from Belgium.

The European Court of Auditors is also due to publish its annual report on the EU budget the same day.

Each year the assessment is full of examples of how EU money is being misspent at the national level. The ongoing misuse of money and the court's yearly decision not to sign off the Union's accounts has prompted the commission to push ahead with plans for a European Public Prosecutor with the authority to investigate fraud claims.

The economic affairs committee in the European Parliament will Tuesday hold a hearing on the troika - the trio of international lenders (EU commission, IMF and ECB) that oversees the terms of bailout for crisis Eurozone countries.

The troika has come increasingly under the spotlight in recent months, with questions arising over how it arrives at its conclusions and policy recommendations for bailout countries.

Deputies in the civil liberties committee will Thursday again attempt to shed some light on the US surveillance affair.

It will hold its eighth hearing on the extent of the NSA's snooping on Europeans. This hearing will come after a group of MEPs travelled to Washington to try and elicit more information on the affair following revelations that German Chancellor Angela Merkel's phone had also been tapped.

At the end of the week (8-10 November), the European Green Party will launch its primary to select candidates for the post of European Commission president. The two leading candidates - to be chosen in an online vote - are to front the election campaign for the Greens ahead of the May European election.

On Wednesday the European Socialists are due to announce the list of candidates for the commission post. Nominees have been put forward by the socialist parties in member states and a single candidate is to be chosen by February 2014.

Plastic bags will be targeted Monday when the EU commission publishes a proposal aiming to reduce the number appearing in the market every year (98.6 billion or 198 per citizen).

Policies to reduce the use of plastic bags exist at the national level but not at the EU level. Governments will be able to choose between different measures - such as charges or national reduction targets - to reduce the number of plastic carriers.

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.

Taxonomy and Ukraine on top This WEEK

MEPs will vote on an objection to the EU Commission's proposal to classify, temporarily, gas and nuclear energy investment as 'green', under the so-called taxonomy. Meanwhile, EU finance ministers are expected to approve Poland's recovery plan.

EU leaders zoom in on sanctions and energy This WEEK

EU leaders are gathering in Brussels after they got stuck on imposing on oil embargo on Russia. Poland's recovery plan gets approved and Danish voters will vote in a historic referendum this week.


The human rights aspects of Grenoble's 'burkini' controversy

Sooner or later, the European Court of Human Rights will have a final say on whether Grenoble is allowed to permit the 'burkini'. Its judgment, like the one permitting the outlawing of full-face veils, risks influencing policymaking across the continent.


Council must act on core of EU migration package

By only screening, fingerprinting or relocating (some) refugees, or by outsourcing our border control to Turkey and giving Erdogan our keys, we will not solve the current problems.

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