Sunday

17th Nov 2019

Agenda

Merkel to visit Brussels this WEEK

  • Merkel (l) and Juncker have known each other for years, but this week is the first time she visits the European Commission with Juncker at its head (Photo: EPP)

German chancellor Angela Merkel will be in Brussels on Wednesday (4 March) to visit the European Commission for the first time since Jean-Claude Juncker took over from Jose Manuel Barroso last November.

She will meet with the full college of commissioners to discuss Greece and Ukraine and is due to give a press conference afterwards.

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Her visit comes on the heels of weeks of disagreement between Athens and its creditors over extending Greece's bailout, with Germany taking a harder approach on the issue than the European Commission.

It also comes shortly after Brussels agreed to give France an extra two years to bring its budget deficit into line with EU rules, sparking criticism from several centre-right German politicians.

Greek debt is also expected to be part of discussions by the European Central Bank's meeting on Thursday, with Greek finance minister Varoufakis saying that his country will prioritise paying back the IMF first, and that ECB debts are in a "different league".

The bank is also expected to reveal details on its bond-buying programme which is set to start later this month. It is also set to publish growth and inflation forecasts for the eurozone.

The European Union will take stock of the Ebola outbreak at an international conference in Brussels on Tuesday (3 March), which the presidents of Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Togo will also attend.

The outbreak that started in 2013 cost almost 10,000 deaths in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone, with between 300 and 500 confirmed new cases a week at the height of the outbreak.

In Liberia, there are now one to two new cases each week.

Key moments for new commission This WEEK

MEPs will decide on Monday if they want the Hungarian commissioner-designate to come back for a second hearing, as commission president-elect Ursula von der Leyen hopes to finally take office on 1 December.

Brexit delay rolls into This WEEK

Westminster will vote on a possible election, while EU ambassadors will reconvene to decide on the length of a Brexit extension. The awkward Brexit tango continues.

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