Thursday

21st Oct 2021

Agenda

Bad banks and better loans on the agenda this WEEK

  • The ECB chief will be in Brussels to discuss bank loans with MEPs (Photo: European Parliament)

Implementing the EU response to minimising the public cost of future financial crises and getting banks to offer up loans top the agenda this WEEK.

European Central Bank (ECB) chief Mario Draghi on Monday (22 September) is set to debate the so-called targeted longer-term refinancing operations (TLTROs) with MEPs in the committee on economic affairs.

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The idea is to improve bank lending to the eurozone by offering banks extra liquidity at a fixed rate for up to four years.

But the scheme attracted just €82.6bn (out of the €400bn on offer) of interest from banks this month.

Draghi had earlier this month surprised analysts by slashing interest rates to a historic low in an effort to stimulate lending.

The ECB cut is part of a larger attempt by EU policymakers to kick start member states’ overall sluggish economies and put millions of unemployed back to work.

But with the prospect of possibly having to fend off another financial crisis, lawmakers also tasked the ECB to oversee the financial health of around 130 banks with the power to shut them down.

Also known as the single supervisory mechanism, the newly endowed ECB oversight of banks is part of the single resolution mechanism (SRM), which aims to minimize bank bailout costs to taxpayers.

It is the SRM, which is the topic of discussion in the same committee but with the EU’s out-going internal market commissioner, Michel Barnier.

Banking and economic woes aside, the EU’s deteriorating relations with Russia also continues to stimulate heated debate.

On Wednesday, MEPs will discuss jobs, money, and fruit producers hit by Russia’s food import ban EU produce.

EU fruit producers complain the Russian embargo has cut into their profits.

To ease the financial shortfall and risk of job cutting, the European Commission promised some €158 million for aid to fruit and vegetable farmers and another €30 million for diary suppliers. The money is set to start flowing in October.

Meanwhile, seven nominees for the 2014 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought will be presented by political groups and individual MEPs on Tuesday.

The European Commission, for its part, will see president Jose Manuel Barroso and other commissioners in New York attending the UN's climate leaders summit on Tuesday.

The event is being billed as the biggest gathering of world leaders to discuss climate change since the summit in Copenhagen in 2009, which was largely considered a flop.

Barroso, along with EU trade chief Karel De Gucht, will also attend the Canada-EU Summit in Ottawa at the end of the week.

All eyes on Scottish independence vote this WEEK

This week most of the EU's attention will focus on Scottish voters who, on Thursday, will decide whether they want their country to break away from its 300-year union with rest of the UK.

EU leaders meet This WEEK amid EU-Poland clash

Vaccine roll-outs, energy prices, migration and an upcoming climate summit will top the agenda at an EU summit in Brussels on Thursday, while MEPs in Strasbourg tackle rule of law.

UN annual meeting plus Poland in focus This WEEK

The Polish Constitutional Tribunal is holding a hearing on the issue of whether EU law has primacy in the country. It is not clear whether the tribunal will deliver a ruling.

Opinion

MEPs poised to vote blank cheque for Europol using AI tools

Fair Trials, EDRi and other civil society organisations are calling on MEPs to hold true to protect our fundamental rights. We urge MEPs to vote against the revision of Europol's mandate, which distinctly lacks meaningful accountability and safeguards.

Romania pushes live-animal exports despite EU criticism

Romania was criticised during a crisis in the Suez canal earlier this year when the country was the source of 130,000 of the 200,000 live animals stranded without food and water during the shipping bottleneck.

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