Wednesday

20th Jun 2018

Agenda

Eastern neighbourhood in the forefront this WEEK

  • The Maidan in Kiev. Van Rompuy will be visiting Ukraine Monday (Photo: Christopher Bobyn)

The EU this week will see a flurry of visits to and from the eastern neighbours - Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia - as Russia continues to stir trouble in the region.

On Monday (12 May), foreign affairs ministers in Brussels will consider whether to expand the Russian travel ban to more officials following the "illegal" referendum in eastern Ukraine on Sunday.

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The same day, EU council chief Herman Van Rompuy will travel to Ukraine where he is to meet Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

On Tuesday, Yatsenyuk is set to come to Brussels and meet EU commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

Van Rompuy then travels to Georgia and Moldova, with whom the EU is speeding up the signature of an association agreement, now scheduled to take place in June.

Russian vice-premier Dmitry Rogozin travelled to the separatist Moldovan region of Transnistria where 1,500 Russian troops are stationed. He offered support to the separatists who seek Crimean-style annexation and criticised Moldova's government for wanting to sign the EU association agreement.

He also delivered ballots to Transnistria residents, which were subsequently seized by the Moldovan authorities.

Rogozin, a former Brussels-based Russian ambassador to Nato known for his confrontational style accused Romania and Ukraine for "following orders from the US" when closing their airspace to his plane and threatened that the "next time, I will fly in a TU-160 bomber."

Moldovan Prime Minister Lurie Leanca, along with his entire government, is expected in Brussels on Thursday for meetings with the EU commission.

That same day, the top candidates for the EU commission post from the main parties in the upcoming EU elections will hold another televised debate from the European Parliament from 21.00 Brussels time.

The Eurovision debate - organised by the same network who carried the Eurovision Song Contest last week - will be broadcast live in 15 EU countries plus on the international news channels Euronews, TV5 Monde and Deutsche Welle. A full list of tv channels, webstreams and radio transmissions can be found here.

Meanwhile, in Berlin, Chancellor Angela Merkel is meeting the head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, for the third time in three weeks. Lagarde is tipped for a top EU post after the EU elections.

The week ends Saturday with an Open Day in the EU institutions - the European Commission, the EU diplomatic service, the European Council and the European Parliament will be open for the public to see the meeting rooms where key decisions are taken.

Greece and Merkel's fate top This WEEK

Eurozone ministers are expected to give the green light to the final disbursement of aid to Greece and agree on measures to help with its debt burden. Meanwhile, the government in Berlin is shaken by Bavarian rebels over migration.

Dutch debate on EU agenda This WEEK

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte will debate the future of the EU with MEPs and with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker in Strasburg on Wednesday.

New governments in Spain and Italy This Week

MIgration will be back in the EU limelight as interior ministers discuss the latest proposals on asylum. Italy's new minister is a fan of Orban and has vowed mass deportations.

Budget and Bettel on the EU's agenda This Week

MEPs will have their first chance to discuss the EU Commission's plans for the next long-term EU budget in Strasbourg. At the same time, a court case in Luxembourg may shake up the 'rule of law' debate.

Zuckerberg and Trump top the EU's agenda This WEEK

The Facebook CEO will brief MEPs on data protection - but only behind closed doors. Meanwhile EU leaders are scratching their heads on how to deal with US president Trump's erratic decisions on trade and the Iran deal.

News in Brief

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