Sunday

28th Aug 2016

Agenda

Tricky EU visit for Erdogan this WEEK

  • The Turkish leader's trip to Brussels was meant to celebrate the recent restart of accession talks (Photo: svenwerk)

Turkey, Ukraine, Serbia, and global warming will dominate this week’s agenda in Brussels.

The increasingly authoritarian Turkish PM, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, will on Tuesday (21 January) visit the EU capital for the first time in five years.

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.

His trip was meant to celebrate the recent restart of accession talks. But instead, EU chiefs are likely to criticise his purge on Turkish policemen who tried to investigate corruption in his inner circle.

EU officials expect a brief, but lively, press conference. “Erdogan will have prepared his rebuttals well in advance,” one contact said.

The equally authoritarian Ukrainian leader, Viktor Yanukovych, will on Monday be discussed by EU foreign ministers.

Germany has said Europe should freeze co-operation with Ukraine unless he rolls back new laws which criminalise pro-EU protests.

In other business, ministers are to suspend sanctions on some Iranian oil sales and on shipping insurance in return for a freeze on uranium enrichment.

They are also set to give the green light for an EU military operation in the Central African Republic.

The following day, Serb PM Ivica Dacic and EU ministers will hold the first ever round of accession talks with Serbia.

“It will be mostly ceremonial,” the Greek EU presidency says, but it crowns years’ worth of EU and US diplomacy in the Western Balkans.

Meanwhile, the European Commission will on Wednesday unveil new targets for cutting CO2 emissions by 2030.

Original proposals spoke of a 40 percent cut on 1990 levels. But leaked papers indicate it will go for 35 percent, while dropping renewable energy targets from 27.7 percent to 24.7 percent.

The change is reportedly due to industry lobbying. A commission spokeswoman on Friday underlined the need for EU industry to remain “competitive.”

The commission will the same day publish new ”fracking” guidelines.

The technique, used to extract shale gas, could generate wealth and improve energy security in France, Germany, Poland and the UK. But toxic chemicals pose a risk for groundwater reserves.

For their part, MEPs will interview the Greek foreign minister (Monday), justice minister (Tuesday) and finance minister (Wednesday) in light of Greece’s current EU chairmanship.

They will on Monday start three-day talks with 140 national MPs on how to improve democratic oversight of EU economic governance.

They will on Tuesday also vote on an EU law about returning stolen art treasures to their home countries.

Outside Brussels, EU foreign relations chief Catherine Ashton will on Wednesday go to the so-called Geneva II peace talks on Syria in Montreux, Switzerland.

But there is little hope of a breakthough amid violent division in the rebel camp.

EU justice ministers will on Thursday and Friday also flock to an informal meeting in Athens.

They will discuss how to improve legal aid for vulnerable people and recent commission ideas on how to curb radicalisation of Muslims and far-left or far-right activists.

Senior EU officials will on Wednesday also go to the annual meeting of politicians, intellectuals and billionaires in Davos, Switzerland.

Top guests this year include British PM David Cameron, the Queen of Jordan, UN chief Ban Ki-moon, as well as arch enemies Hassan Rohani of Iran and Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu.

Italy earthquake is test for Renzi

Italian prime minister is expected to present a quick reconstruction plan and request more budget flexibility from the EU after this week's tragic earthquake.

News in Brief

  1. Hungary plans to reinforce border fence against migrants
  2. France's highest court suspends burkini ban
  3. Greeks paid €1bn more in taxes in June
  4. Greek minister denounces EU letter on former statistics chief
  5. Turks seeking asylum in Greece may cause diplomatic row
  6. Merkel becomes digital resident of Estonia
  7. Report: VW will compensate US dealers with €1bln
  8. EU mulls making Google pay news media for content

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. GoogleBrussels - home of beer, fries, chocolate and Google’s Public Policy Team - follow @GoogleBrussels
  2. HuaweiSeeds for the Future Programme to Bring Students from 50 countries to China for Much-Needed ICT Training
  3. EFASpain is not a democratic state. EFA expresses its solidarity to Arnaldo Otegi and EH Bildu
  4. UNICEFBoko Haram Violence in Lake Chad Region Leaves Children Displaced and Trapped
  5. HuaweiMaking Cities Smarter and Safer
  6. GoogleHow Google Makes Connections More Secure For Users
  7. EGBAThe EU Court of Justice Confirms the Application of Proportionality in Assessing Gambling Laws
  8. World VisionThe EU and Member States Must Not Use Overseas Aid for Promoting EU Interests
  9. Dialogue PlatformInterview: "There is a witch hunt against the Gulen Movement in Turkey"
  10. ACCAACCA Calls for ‘Future Looking’ Integrated Reporting Culture With IIRC and IAAER
  11. EURidNominate Your Favourite .eu or .ею Website for the .EU Web Awards 2016 Today!
  12. Dialogue PlatformAn Interview on Gulen Movement & Recent Coup Attempt in Turkey