Saturday

21st Jan 2017

Agenda

Merkel gets royal reception in London this WEEK

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be received with the highest level of pomp during her visit to London on Thursday (27 February).

She is to meet the queen, Prime Minister David Cameron and speak to the joint houses of the British Parliament, a rare invitation among foreign dignitaries.

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.

  • Merkel will travel to London to meet Cameron, the queen and appear before parliament (Photo: REGIERUNGonline/Kugler)

This stands in stark contrast to a Franco-British summit in January, when French President Francois Hollande was received by Cameron on an airfield in Oxfordshire and held a short press conference in a hangar.

Cameron is seeking German support for his push to reform the EU and possibly renegotiate the terms of Britain's EU membership.

Merkel has always sought not to isolate Britain and is sympathetic to some "repatriation of powers" from Brussels, as formulated in her party's EU election platform.

On the economic front, the EU commission Tuesday will forecast how all 28 member states will fare this year and in 2015 in terms of gross domestic product, unemployment, inflation, budget deficit and public debt.

With the risk of deflation still looming in the eurozone, European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi is likely to test the idea of further lowering the ECB key interest rate - unpopular in Germany - when he visits Merkel on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, in Strasbourg, the European Parliament on Wednesday will turn its attention to recent events in Ukraine and will hear from the Czech President, Milos Zeman.

MEPs are also set to adopt stricter tobacco rules aimed at discouraging children taking up smoking, as well as adopt rules on preventing insurance salespeople from misleading their customers.

Members of the economics committee on Monday will adopt a first report scrutinising the work of the so-called troika of international lenders (European Commission, ECB and International Monetary Fund) in bailed-out eurozone countries.

EU trade ministers will gather in Athens on Friday for informal talks - likely to focus on the ongoing EU-US trade negotiations.

Back in Berlin, Angela Merkel will receive her European People's Party colleague Nicolas Sarkozy, the former President of France who is seeking a return to the political scene and is being tipped to run again in the presidential elections in 2017.

On Saturday, Merkel and EU commission chief Barroso will participate in an attempt to find a "new narrative for Europe." The event involves artists, writers and scientists and is aimed at countering populism and nationalism ahead of the May elections for the European Parliament.

GMO opt-out plan remains in waiting room

The commission wants to give the power to member states to reject EU-approved genetically modified organisms, but the Maltese presidency is unlikely to approach the issue any time soon.

New EU parliament coalitions get in shape

Social-democrats and their allies scored a major win on Thursday with the adoption of a report on social rights. But questions remain on the parliament's power balance after the end of the left-right grand coalition.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Caritas EuropaEU States to Join Pope Francis’s Appeal to Care for Migrant Children
  2. UNICEFNumber of Unaccompanied Children Arriving by sea to Italy Doubles in 2016
  3. Nordic Council of Ministers"Nordic Matters" Help Forge Closer Bonds Between the UK and the Nordic Region
  4. Computers, Privacy & Data ProtectionThe age of Intelligent Machines: join the Conference on 25-27 January 2017
  5. Martens CentreNo Better way to Lift Your Monday Blues Than to Gloss Over our Political Cartoons
  6. Dialogue PlatformThe Gulen Movement: An Islamic Response to Terror as a Global Challenge
  7. European Free AllianceMinority Rights and Autonomy are a European Normality
  8. Swedish EnterprisesHow to Create EU Competitiveness Post-Brexit? Seminar on January 24th
  9. European Jewish CongressSchulz to be Awarded the European Medal for Tolerance for his Stand Against Populism
  10. Nordic Council of Ministers"Adventures in Moominland" Kick Off Nordic Matters Festival in London
  11. PLATO15 Fully-Funded PhDs Across Europe on the Post-Crisis Legitimacy of the EU - Apply Now!
  12. Dialogue PlatformInterview: Fethullah Gulen Condemns Assassination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey