Monday

22nd Jan 2018

Agenda

Migration plans and UK top the bill this WEEK

  • The EU's plans to resettle migrants crossing the Mediterranean sea will be unveiled on Wednesday. (Photo: Amnesty International)

A week shortened by the Monday public holiday will, nevertheless, be a busy one for EU lawmakers, dominated by the ongoing migration crisis in the Mediterranean sea and the UK’s plans to renegotiate its EU status.

The European Commission will unveil new proposals on Wednesday (27 May) for EU governments to relocate thousands of asylum seekers who have arrived by boat in Italy and Greece in recent weeks. According to Reuters, the proposal will call for the relocation of 40,000 asylum seekers.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • Several EU governments have already spoken out against any form of formal distribution of migrants between member states (Photo: Migrant Offshore Aid Station)

The plan, which is based on an EU treaty article allowing the bloc to adopt emergency provisions if countries face a sudden increase in migration, will require the support of a majority of EU governments to become legally binding.

However, a number of governments appear unwilling to accept any formal burden sharing agreement, while the numbers involved are still tiny compared to the 600,000 asylum claims made in Europe in 2014.

The commission is also set to recommend that member states resettle 20,000 refugees from outside the EU in the next two years - the distribution will also be based on criteria such as a country's wealth.

Lawmakers also hope to strike a deal on the Commission’s flagship investment fund, with the bloc’s investment commissioner Jyrki Katainen leading negotiations with MEPs and the Latvian presidency.

The “European fund for strategic investments” was tabled by the Juncker commission last November and is meant to raise €315 billion from pension funds and other private sector investors to fund infrastructure projects across the bloc as the way to revitalise the EU's economy.

On Monday, UK prime minister David Cameron will begin a week-long charm offensive with EU leaders by hosting Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker at his country residence, as he begins his bid to renegotiate the UK’s membership of bloc.

Cameron will then journey to Paris and Berlin for meetings with French president Francois Hollande and his German counterpart Angela Merkel later in the week.

Cameron is poised to publish an EU referendum bill on Thursday, having indicated that he would like to hold a referendum in autumn 2016 if possible.

Commitments to reduce the number of EU migrants moving to the UK, and their access to welfare benefits, are expected to be the main aims of Cameron, alongside more cosmetic changes to references in the EU treaties to “ever close Union” and to the EU as a “single currency” bloc.

MEPs, meanwhile, will gather in Brussels for two days of committee meetings and then a ‘mini-plenary’ session. On Thursday deputies will adopt a set of recommendations based on the first two years of negotiations on the free trade agreement with the US.

G7 finance ministers, including ministers from Germany, France and the UK, will meet in Dresden at the end of the week. The ongoing Greek debt crisis will inevitably dominate discussions, as Athens edges closer to default on its debt repayments.

Analysis

Migration plan: Juncker's gamble

Juncker's migration proposal is the first clear sign that he's willing to challenge member states, but has he overplayed his hand?

Military action underpins EU migration plan

The EU commission has unveiled its migrant quota system, as ministers get set for talks on military operations to destroy migrant smuggler boats in Libya.

Bulgaria takes over, Germany's SPD votes This WEEK

While Bulgaria and Ireland present themselves at next week's plenary at the European Parliament, Germany's Social Democrats will decide if the preliminary coalition deal with Merkel is good enough.

News in Brief

  1. Germany confirms attendance at air quality summit
  2. Nearly half of 'fixed' Dieselgate cars show problems
  3. YouTube, Twitter, Facebook up hate speech deletion
  4. UK mulls bridge to France
  5. German far-right float anti-asylum bill
  6. EU Parliament to investigate glyphosate-decision process
  7. 'Mutagenesis' falls outside EU's GMO rules, says EU top lawyer
  8. Decision on Polish MEP's Nazi-era slur postponed

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Solutions for Sustainable Cities: New Grants Awarded for Branding Projects
  2. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersOresund Inspires Other EU Border Regions to Work Together to Generate Growth
  4. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  5. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Calls on EU to Sanction Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Expel Ambassadors
  6. Dialogue PlatformRoundtable on "Political Islam, Civil Islam and The West" 31 January
  7. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement and Same-Sex Couples in Romania – Case Update!
  8. EU2017EEEstonia Completes First EU Presidency, Introduced New Topics to the Agenda
  9. Bio-Based IndustriesLeading the Transition Towards a Post-Petroleum Society
  10. ACCAWelcomes the Start of the New Bulgarian Presidency
  11. Mission of China to the EUPremier Li and President Tusk Stress Importance of Ties at ASEM Summit
  12. EU2017EEVAT on Electronic Commerce: New Rules Adopted

Latest News

  1. Middle East, Messi and missing MEPs on the agenda This WEEK
  2. Instagram and Google Plus join EU anti-hate speech drive
  3. EU wants 'entrepreneurship' in education systems
  4. UK loses EU satellite centre to Spain
  5. Pay into EU budget for market access, Macron tells May
  6. Ethiopian regime to get EU migrants' names
  7. EU to lend Greece up to €7bn more next week
  8. Nato prepares to take in Macedonia