Wednesday

26th Apr 2017

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.

Brexit summit, Turkey and Hungary dominate EU This WEEK

European leaders will adopt their negotiating position on the Brexit summit on Saturday, whereas the situation of Hungary's democracy and post-referendum Turkey will be under scrutiny in the EU this week.

Brexit, Syria and Greece on the agenda This WEEK

The European Parliament will adopt its position on the UK's exit, and eurozone finance ministers will try to break a deadlock on the Greek bailout talks. Meanwhile in Brussels, there will be discussions on ending the war in Syria.

France still anxious over possibility of Le Pen win

Despite opinion polls that place centrist Macron well ahead of the far-right leader Le Pen in the 7 May presidential run-off, doubts are emerging about his capacity to unite the French people around his candidacy.

News in Brief

  1. Council of Europe puts Turkey on watch list
  2. EU to put parental leave on political agenda
  3. Israel cancels German meeting over human rights groups
  4. Hungary's Orban will participate in EU parliament debate
  5. Malta floats cash-for-refugees plan
  6. Ivanka Trump to meet Merkel at Berlin women's conference
  7. Arctic Ocean could be ice-free in 20 years
  8. Nord Stream 2 to get €4.8bn from European energy firms

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFRace Against Time to Save Millions of Lives in Yemen
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersDeveloping Independent Russian-Language Media in the Baltic Countries
  3. Swedish EnterprisesReform of the European Electricity Market: Lessons from the Nordics, Brussels 2 May
  4. Malta EU 2017Green Light Given for New EU Regulation to Bolster External Border Checks
  5. Counter BalanceCall for EU Commission to Withdraw Support of Trans-Adriatic Pipeline
  6. ACCAEconomic Confidence at Highest Since 2015
  7. European Federation of Allergy and Airways60%-90% of Your Life Is Spent Indoors. How Does Poor Indoor Air Quality Affect You?
  8. European Gaming and Betting AssociationCJEU Confirms Obligation for a Transparent Licensing Process
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region and the US: A Time of Warlike Rhetoric and Militarisation?
  10. European Free AllianceEFA MEPs Vote in Favor of European Parliament's Brexit Mandate
  11. Mission of China to the EUXinhua Insight: China to Open up Like Never Before
  12. World VisionViolence Becomes New Normal for Syrian Children

Latest News

  1. European states still top media freedom list
  2. Let’s not put European public health at risk
  3. Threatened Budapest university calls for EU support
  4. Orban set to face down EU threats
  5. Dont expect 'quick fix' in Syria, China tells EU
  6. Russische schwarze Kassen bedrohen EU Demokratie
  7. Libya commanders in Brussels for migration talks
  8. Mixed review for EU asylum spots in Greece and Italy