Thursday

21st Jun 2018

Agenda

EU top jobs and economic prospects to dominate this WEEK

  • Talks on the EU's top jobs will shift to the European Parliament this week (Photo: europarl.europa.eu)

The EU's top jobs saga, economic future and a possible tax probe are likely to dominate the agenda in the EU this week.

The European Commission will host the 10th edition of the annual high-level meeting of religious leaders on Tuesday.

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It is also set to decide on whether to launch a formal investigation into tax breaks that countries such as Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands use to attract international companies. Such an investigation would examine whether the tax breaks breach the EU’s state aid rules.

EU countries have promised to crack down on loopholes which have allowed the likes of Amazon, Starbucks and Apple to pay tiny amounts of tax on their European operations.

The commission says that tax avoidance and evasion in the EU costs about €1 trillion each year.

On Tuesday, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy will deliver the keynote speech at the end of the Brussels Economic Forum.

The gathering of finance ministers and economists includes economic affairs commissioner Olli Rehn, Portuguese finance minister Maria Luis Albuquerque, and Jorg Asmussen, formerly of the European Central Bank’s executive board and now a German government minister.

Elsewhere, the saga of who will get the EU’s top jobs is set to continue as leaders bicker over whether Jean-Claude Juncker should be the next commission president.

In the European Parliament, the main political groups are expected to begin several weeks of talks on how to allocate the assembly’s top jobs, including the chairs of key legislative committees and Martin Schulz’s replacement as European Parliament chief.

Last week the centre-right EPP group, which remains the Parliament’s largest group following last month’s elections, elected German deputy Manfred Weber as their new leader.

In the Socialist group, Italian Gianni Pitella is seen as a favourite to replace outgoing leader Hannes Swoboda, who did not seek re-election in May.

The Parliament will vote on the new posts during its constitutive session in Strasbourg in the first week of July.

Meanwhile, budget commissioner Janusz Lewandowski will present the Commission's draft budget for 2015 on Wednesday.

Outside of Brussels, ECB boss Mario Draghi will have an audience with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a week after cutting the bank’s interest rates to a record low of 0.15 percent and imposing negative rates on bank deposits.

Obama back in Brussels this WEEK

US President Obama is back in the EU capital this week for a summit of G7 wealthy nations to be dominated by Ukraine.

Post-election wrangling kicks off this WEEK

EU leaders will meet in Brussels Tuesday to discuss the outcome of the EU and Ukrainian elections, kicking off the nomination process of the next European Commission chief.

MEPs decide Parliament top jobs this WEEK

751 MEPs from 186 national parties will gather in Strasbourg this week, as the eighth European Parliament is formally constituted on Tuesday (1 July).

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.

Hungary to push ahead with 'Stop Soros' law on NGOs

The Hungarian government of Viktor Orban has said it will not wait until Friday, to hear a verdict of European legal experts on human rights, before going ahead with its bill curtailing NGOs who work with migrants.

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