Wednesday

18th Jan 2017

Agenda

Russia sanctions to dominate this WEEK

Possible EU sanctions against Russia over Ukraine are set to dominate this week's agenda as heads of state and government gather in Brussels to discuss the implications of the referendum in Crimea.

The EU leaders plan to piece together a response to the unfolding crisis in Ukraine over dinner on Thursday evening (21 March) at the Brussels summit.

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.

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin (l): EU leaders are set to tackle Russia's military occupation of Crimea (Photo: kremlin.ru)

But their reaction will depend in part on the discussions held by EU foreign ministers on Monday.

The foreign ministers are set to discuss the names of the elite circle of Russians implicated in the Crimea military takeover in late February.

Their names could be added to an EU blacklist. This means they would not be able to travel to the EU and their assets would be frozen.

How Russia reacts to the referendum is also set to play a decisive role in the EU response, which could include economic sanctions on Russian energy firms and banks if the situation escalates.

The US, for its part, announced "severe consequences" should Russia decide to annex the peninsula.

The European Commission also has a role.

It is set to lay out its macro-financial assistance plans to Ukraine. The bloc's economic affairs commissioner Olli Rehn will present the €1.6 billion package on Wednesday.

“In very simple terms, this is a direct injection into the Ukrainian budget,” said an EU source.

Meanwhile, summit leaders will tackle issues other than Ukraine as well.

Thursday afternoon will be devoted to finalising the draft conclusions on climate and energy, industry, job competiveness, and growth with follow-up discussions on Friday.

Relations with Africa will also be discussed ahead of the fourth EU-Africa summit in early April.

EU ministers in the general affairs council on Tuesday will put the draft conclusions together.

Leaked draft conclusions seen by this website suggest the EU will submit its plan on a global climate deal by early 2015 ahead of the climate summit in Paris.

It notes the new EU target for greenhouse gas emission reductions will be in line with the agreed EU objective for 2050.

The European Parliament, for its part, will focus on the single resolution system for winding down failing banks and the upcoming review of bank assets by the European Central Bank.

French finance minister Pierre Moscovici on Monday is scheduled to speak on the issue with the MEPs on the parliament’s economic affairs committee.

On Tuesday, the committee will see internal market commissioner Michel Barnier and ECB supervisory board chair, Michelle Nouy.

Mid-week the European Commission will also deliver its visa package.

The proposal aims to make it easier for people to obtain Schengen visas. A new visa that allows people to stay more than 90 days in the EU will also be presented.

Moldova turns from EU to Russia

Moldova's president said he would like to scrap an EU treaty and has already started preparations to join a Russia-led bloc.

News in Brief

  1. Maltese PM announces plan for Brexit summit
  2. EU needs more Turkey-style migrant deals, Malta PM says
  3. Dutch minister: Don't underestimate risk of hacking
  4. European court rules against Russia adoption ban on US
  5. Apple's bill to Ireland could rise to €1.6bn
  6. Scottish independence vote 'more likely' after May's Brexit speech
  7. US imposes sanctions on Bosnian Serb leader
  8. Spain 'broadly compliant' with EU fiscal rules

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