16th Sep 2019


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.

Brexit and new commission in focus This WEEK

Jean-Claude Juncker will meet Boris Johnson for the first time, but no breakthrough is expected in Brexit talks. MEPs are preparing to hear from the commission-designates, while Hungary will be grilled at the EU affairs' ministers meeting.

New commission unveiled This WEEK

After weeks of consultations, Ursula von der Leyen will put forward her commission on Tuesday, as London's Brexit drama keeps rumbling on in the background in Brussels.

Lagarde and Brexit centre stage This WEEK

The ECB's possible next chief will appear before the EU parliament, as political life resumes in Brussels. In London, MPs could mount a no-confidence vote against Johnson.

EU goes on holiday as new UK PM arrives This WEEK

Boris Johnson is almost certain to become the UK's next prime minister, and oversee Brexit until the 31 October deadline, as work in the EU bubble is winding down for the summer.

Von der Leyen vote the focus This WEEK

MEPs will vote to confirm - or not - on Tuesday the new commission president, Ursula von der Leyen - a candidate put forward at the last minute by the EU leaders, and grilled by lawmakers recently in Brussels.

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Brexit and new commission in focus This WEEK

Jean-Claude Juncker will meet Boris Johnson for the first time, but no breakthrough is expected in Brexit talks. MEPs are preparing to hear from the commission-designates, while Hungary will be grilled at the EU affairs' ministers meeting.

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