Saturday

19th Sep 2020

Agenda

Barroso commission finishes This WEEK

  • Jose Manuel Barroso is having his last week in office as EU commission chief (Photo: epp.eu)

A quiet week is kicking off in Brussels, with the outgoing commission meeting for the last time on Wednesday (29 October) and a farewell party for president Jose Manuel Barroso at the museum of fine arts (Bozar) Monday night.

Incoming commission president Jean-Claude Juncker will meet Barroso and the new EU council president, Donald Tusk (although he only takes up his post on 1 December) on Thursday for a last discussion before the new commission begins.

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The most contentious inherited dossier is set to be negotiations on an EU-US free trade agreement, where the new commission president has different views to his predecessor, particularly on clauses that allow US companies to sue EU governments in special courts.

The response of EU countries to Ebola remains the prime concern this week, with the new health commissioner and Ebola response coordinator, Christos Stylianides, briefing press on Monday on the issue.

The following day, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will join the Belgian king and queen for a commemoration in Ypres, where the first battle in World War I was fought 100 years ago.

MEPs are having a quiet week being either in their constituencies or abroad. The two delegations of MEPs who monitored the parliamentary elections in Ukraine and Tunisia will present their conclusions on Monday in Kiev and on Tuesday in Tunis, respectively.

On the council side, ministers of environment are meeting in Luxembourg on Tuesday to hold a public debate on a draft law on packaging, and to discuss what the EU's position should be at a UN climate change conference in Peru in December.

Elsewhere in the EU, Romanian voters are heading to the polls on Sunday to elect a new president from 14 candidates who have registered, including centre-right MEP Monica Macovei.

Socialist Prime Minister Victor Ponta is the frontrunner, polling at 36-40 percent, followed by Klaus Iohannis, the Liberal mayor of a Transylvanian town. It is likely that the two will face each other in a run-off on 16 November.

EU parliament approves Juncker commission

MEPs have approved Juncker's new EU commission, with a slightly smaller majority than in 2010, and following a number of concessions on portfolios.

Barroso bows out before MEPs

Barroso made his valedictory speech in the EU parliament on Tuesday after 10 years in office, but few MEPs turned up to listen and those who did gave him a mixed review.

EU gets ready for sanctions and plenary This WEEK

Negotiations on the EU budget - between the parliament and member states - and on Brexit continue. Meanwhile, MEPs are voicing concern about travelling to Strasbourg during the pandemic for the parliament's next plenary session.

Searching for a commissioner This WEEK

Ireland's deputy prime minster Simon Coveney is reported to be the frontrunner for the post. MEPs will also discuss where negotiations on the EU's long-term budget with member states are heading.

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