Tuesday

26th Oct 2021

Agenda

Parliament and Juncker plan to take centre stage this WEEK

  • The European Parliament and Jean Claude Juncker's €300 billion investment plan will dominate next week. (Photo: European Parliament)

The European Parliament will take centre stage next week as MEPs gather in Strasbourg on Monday (12 January) for their first plenary session of 2015.

The assembly’s agenda is light on legislation but heavy on speeches by EU leaders.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

It will be a case of ‘goodbye’ from Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi and ‘hello’ from Latvian premier Laimdota Straujuma, as the Baltic country starts its six month EU presidency. Both leaders will address the Parliament on Tuesday and Wednesday morning respectively.

On Tuesday, deputies will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Nazi death-camp Auschwitz, one of the defining symbols of the Second World War and the Holocaust, where over 1 million Jews were murdered.

Donald Tusk, the newly installed President of the European Council, will debate the outcome of his first EU summit in December - notable for being short- with MEPs later that day.

The European Commission will also be in Strasbourg next week and plans to unveil draft legislation aimed at putting President Juncker’s flagship €315 billion investment plan into action on Tuesday.

The EU executive wants the European Parliament and government ministers to "fast-track" the laws so the fund, which relies on €21 billion of guarantees from the EU budget and the European Investment Bank being leveraged fifteen-fold and attracting private and public investments, can be set up by June.

The Commission will also publish its findings from a public consultation held in early 2014 on whether investor state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions should remain part of ongoing trade talks with the United States.

The clauses, which critics argue could prevent governments from passing legislation in fields such as health and safety and environmental and social protection, have become one of the main items of controversy in the talks which began in summer 2013.

The German and French governments have indicated that ISDS is unnecessary because investor rights are already safeguarded by national laws, while the European Parliament’s left and Green political groups have vowed to oppose any EU-US trade deal which includes the provisions.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday the European Court of Justice will release its preliminary opinion on the case brought by Peter Gauweiler - a German conservative MP from the Christian Social Union, a junior member of chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition - against the bond-buying programme at the heart of ECB chief Mario Draghi's promise to do "whatever it takes" to protect the eurozone.

The Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT) programme announced in September 2012 at the height of the eurozone crisis allows the European Central Bank to buy potentially unlimited amounts of government bonds, effectively making it a bank of last resort.

However, despite being credited as the most important step in quelling market panic about the debt sustainability of the eurozone’s periphery countries - particularly Spain and Italy - the ECB has not bought a single bond under the programme.

However, the ECB insists that eligibility for the programme depends on countries making structural reforms to their economies.

Nonetheless, Gauweiler and the other plaintiffs, which include several academics and the opposition Die Linke party, argue that the programme exceeds the ECB’s mandate is undemocratic.

They had originally brought the case before the German constitutional court which referred it to the EU’s top court.

Opinions by the court’s advocate generals are not legally binding but, in practice, usually form the basis of the final verdict.

Energy and gender in EU focus This WEEK

In the European Parliament, the home affairs committee will start to work on new migration laws: providing the legal framework for the new migration policy in the EU.

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.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew report reveals bad environmental habits
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersImproving the integration of young refugees
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNATO Secretary General guest at the Session of the Nordic Council
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCan you love whoever you want in care homes?
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNineteen demands by Nordic young people to save biodiversity
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable public procurement is an effective way to achieve global goals

Latest News

  1. How to break the political deadlock on migration
  2. Hedegaard on the hazards of stalling climate action
  3. Belarus exiles in EU fear regime-linked murderers
  4. No place for Polish 'war' rhetoric, Commission says
  5. Nine countries oppose EU gas market reform
  6. EU-UK impasse on top court in post-Brexit customs talks
  7. Erdoğan orders out US and EU ambassadors
  8. EU banks play 'major role' in deforestation, report finds

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us