Friday

24th Feb 2017

Agenda

More EU top jobs handed out this WEEK

  • Juncker - Set to be confirmed as the next Commission president on Tuesday. (Photo: consilium.europa.au)

The saga of who will get the EU's top jobs will move a step closer to conclusion this week, in the last major decision before the EU institutions begin their six-week summer recess.

On Tuesday (14 July), attention will be focused on the European Parliament in Strasbourg, where Jean Claude Juncker is almost certain to be elected by MEPs as the next president of the European Commission.

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The former Luxembourg PM spent last week wooing the political factions in the EP in order to secure their backing.

He needs at least half of the assembly's 751 deputies to support his candidacy after having been nominated by EU leaders at the end of June.

He appears to have the backing of the centre-right, centre-left, and liberal groups. Between them, the three groups account for 480 MEPs, with a majority of Green MEPs also likely to back Juncker.

His election would make him the first Commission chief to be elected via the Spitzenkandidat process, a system under which the lead candidate of the most popular political family - in the this case the centre-right EPP - gets nominated for the post.

For their part, the conservative eurosceptics in the ECR group and the left-wing GUE have indicated that they will oppose Juncker's candidacy.

The day after Juncker's likely election, EU leaders will gather in Brussels once more to discuss names for other top posts, such as the EU foreign policy chief and the EU council presidency. They are also expected to discuss the portfolios to be allocated to the 27 national commissioners.

The situation in Ukraine as well as the EU's ambitions for energy independence are on the agenda too.

European Central Bank president Mario Draghi will address MEPs on the economic affairs committee on Monday (14 July), his first monetary dialogue with deputies since May's elections and the ECB's decision to drop interest rates to a record low of 0.15 percent.

MEPs are also due to hear four interim commissioners - from Poland, Luxembourg, Italy and Finland - after their fellow nationals took up seats in the European Parliament.

Elsewhere, EU and US trade officials will gather in the EU capital for the sixth round of week-long talks on the trade and investment agreement known as TTIP.

On Monday, the European Commission will also publish plans to regulate the bloc's online gambling market.

Focus

Who is Jean-Claude Juncker?

From prodigy politician in Luxembourg to master of deception as Eurogroup chair, Jean-Claude Juncker brings both experience and baggage with his nomination as EU commission president.

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).

Pence, Greece and Brexit This WEEK

The US vice-president becomes the first senior Trump administration official to visit EU institutions. Greece's creditors try to break deadlock in talks, and British Lords will debate Brexit.

MEPs vote on EU-Canada deal This WEEK

MEPs will have a final vote on the EU-Canada trade deal, while Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau will address the European Parliament in Strasbourg this week.

Column / Brexit Briefing

Searching for a voice and a standard bearer

As Britons come to terms with the reality of Brexit many Remainers are now listless, looking for someone to present a viable alternative to Theresa May's dominance

News in Brief

  1. Spanish court jails former IMF chief Rato
  2. Macron proposes Nordic-style economic model for France
  3. Germany posts record high budget surplus
  4. Labour ousts Ukip in Brexit homeland
  5. Dutch lower house approves EU-Ukraine treaty
  6. WTO says Russian pork ban was illegal
  7. Belgian nuclear plant made 'significant progress' on safety
  8. Report: Commission gauging EU support for Poland sanctions

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