15th Jun 2021


Green growth, Greece, and Luxleaks next WEEK

  • Deltour, the whistleblower, risks five years in jail (Photo: R/DV/RS)

Some fireworks may be expected at the beginning of the week in the European Parliament.

The parliament's special committee, which is examining tax breaks for multinationals, will continue its work on Monday (1 June), with a hearing that includes former tax commissioner Mario Monti, and Antoine Deltour, the Luxembourg source behind the Luxleaks scandal.

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  • German chancellor Angela Merkel will host the G7 meeting at Schloss Elmau in Bavaria. (Photo: Alexander Kluge)

Deltour is currently facing a charge by Luxembourg authorities for disclosing confidential agreements and could be sentenced to five years in jail.

The man who was prime minister of Luxembourg during the time when many of those tax deals were made, Jean-Claude Juncker, now head of the European Commission, will be in Berlin on Monday (1 June) with German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Francois Hollande to meet with leaders of industry.

Juncker, Merkel, and Hollande may also discuss a topic which is likely to overshadow two upcoming summits: the Greek debts crisis. It is unclear if Greece will be able to clinch a deal with its international creditors, and if it can continue repaying its loans.

On Friday, Greece faces another IMF repayment deadline.

Greek officials have expressed different views on whether or not they will be able to pay the €300 million due that day. The sum is only the first of four instalments due in June, when, in total, €1.6 billion needs to be repaid to the IMF.

On the two days preceding Greece's pay day, ministers from Europe and other developed nations meet in Paris.

On Wednesday (3 June) and Thursday, politicians will hold the annual ministerial meeting of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to talk about economic growth.

The OECD will present its economic outlook on Wednesday.

Ministers will also discuss how to finance the fight against climate change and “transformation towards a low-carbon economy”.

One issue in this field that may be discussed by ministers, is what to do with their export credit agencies.

The agencies help a country's company export goods and services, by providing preferential loans or guarantees.

The OECD has been trying to find common ground on rules that would restrict the support given to fossil fuel plants and extraction. It wants a deal before the climate summit in Paris at the end of the year, during which the world will try to sign an international treaty on greenhouse emissions.

Climate talks

On Monday (1 June), climate negotiators will meet in the German city Bonn for a session the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

During a climate summit in Lima last year, the draft text for the Paris treaty expanded with amendments and possible versions to a document that is now 80 pages long.

The UNFCCC will try to reduce the draft text to more manageable proportions for ten days, interrupted on Sunday by a meeting-free day “to safeguard the health and well-being of participants”.

G7 in Germany

Climate change may also be discussed on Sunday (7 June) at the G7 meeting in Germany, but the main focus will be the global economy.

German chancellor Angela Merkel will host the other government leaders from France, Italy, the UK, the US, Canada, and Japan. EU commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker and EU president Donald Tusk will also be present at the meeting at the luxurious hotel Schloss Elmau in Bavaria. The meeting continues on Monday 8 June.

Russian president Vladimir Putin has not been invited, because the G7 leaders “do not accept the Russian Federation’s illegal annexation of Crimea”.

Annual reports

In Brussels, the EU commission will present on Tuesday the results of a public consultation into what an EU urban agenda should look like. That same day, the EU's antifraud agency Olaf will present its annual report.

On Thursday, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction will showcase its yearly report.

Also in the parliament, the civil liberties committee will on Thursday discuss the passenger name record bill, which had been stuck since 2013, but has been given a new boost after the attack in Paris on Charlie Hebdo.

On Sunday (7 June) Turkish voters will go to the poll for a new parliament. The Turkish elections are a test for president Erdogan's AK Party, which according to some polls may lose its parliamentary majority and be forced to find a coalition partner.

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First return to Strasbourg for EU Parliament This WEEK

There will be still a very limited number of people traveling to Strasbourg. Many think it is an early return: those travelling will have to respect the French curfew and will need to quarantine upon their return to Belgium.

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Italian prime minister Mario Draghi said he would raise the issue of the onward redistribution of migrants landing on the southern shores of Europe at the summit.

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