Tuesday

19th Jun 2018

Agenda

Migration tops EU agenda THIS WEEK

  • Migrants in Italy. The Commission and member states will discuss the refugee crisis in Europe. (Photo: Ben Philabaum)

As the EU machine restarts after the summer recess, migration will be the top issue in the coming week.

Migration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos and the executive's vice-president Frans Timmermans will visit some of the countries most affected by the current refugee crisis.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... our join as a group

On Monday (31 August), they will be in Calais, France, where around 3,000 migrants live trying to cross the Channel to Britain. They will meet French prime minister Manuel Valls and interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve.

On Friday, they'll visit the Greek island of Kos, where 29,551 people arrived between 1 January and 21 August, according to the latest UNHCR figures.

The following week Avramopoulos and Timmermans will also go to Austria and Germany.

On Wednesday and Thursday (2 and 3 September), commission president Jean-Claude Juncker will gather his college for a working seminar.

They will "discuss the current challenges and the state of the European Union", a commission spokesman said, and "migration will be on top of the agenda".

Indications of the commission's position or new proposals could come on Tuesday, when Juncker and the head of EU diplomacy Federica Mogherini address an EU ambassadors conference in Brussels.

Informal meetings

The situation in the Mediterranean and the Balkans will also be discussed by member states.

 On Wednesday and Thursday, EU defence ministers will be in Luxembourg for an informal meeting.

Among other things they will discuss the EUnavfor Med operation aimed at disrupting smugglers' networks off the Libyan coast.

Nato support is on the table, and the alliance's secretary general Jens Stoltenberg will attend the ministers' dinner on Tuesday.

EU foreign affairs ministers will also be in Luxembourg for an informal meeting on Friday and Sunday, where the migrant situation will be discussed as well.

Member states chief diplomats will also discuss the situation in Ukraine, relations with Russia, the Middle East peace process and the Iran nuclear deal.

European Parliament

In the meantime, the European Parliament committee on foreign affairs will discuss the external dimension of the migration crisis on Monday.

On Thursday, the civil liberties committee will hear Fabrice Leggeri, the director of Frontex, the EU border control agency.

Coming back form a month-long holiday, MEPs will hold parliamentary committee meetings all week, before heading for the first plenary session in Strasbourg the following week.

On Monday and Thursday, several committees will vote their positions on the draft proposal for next year's EU budget.

On Thursday, the agriculture committee will define its position on a commission proposal to allow individual member states ban GMO products on their territory.

Economy

Also on Thursday, the parliament's conference of the presidents will discuss a request from Greek PM Alexis Tsipras that the EU assembly enters the group of creditor institutions overseeing the bailout agreed earlier this month.

This request came after a session in parliament in July, when Tsipras gave a speech and had a long and heated debate with MEPs, which many saw as the first EU-level democratic debate on the Greek crisis.

Ahead of the 20 September Greek snap election, the situation of the country's finances and banking sector might be addressed at the press conference the European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi will give on Thursday.

The ECB chief is also expected to react to the Chinese financial troubles which hit world markets on 25 August.

Tsipras launches risky election campaign

Faced with deep divisions in his party, the Greek PM gave a TV interview on Wednesday to defend the bailout agreed with Greece's lenders.

Greece and Merkel's fate top This WEEK

Eurozone ministers are expected to give the green light to the final disbursement of aid to Greece and agree on measures to help with its debt burden. Meanwhile, the government in Berlin is shaken by Bavarian rebels over migration.

Dutch debate on EU agenda This WEEK

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte will debate the future of the EU with MEPs and with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker in Strasburg on Wednesday.

New governments in Spain and Italy This Week

MIgration will be back in the EU limelight as interior ministers discuss the latest proposals on asylum. Italy's new minister is a fan of Orban and has vowed mass deportations.

Opinion

EU summit: migrants get a 'vote' too

Non-citizens from Nigeria to Afghanistan get a binding 'vote' on whatever the EU's internal debates submit to them. They will vote with their feet on whether to keep trying their luck when faced with a new system.

Basque threat of 'second front' for independence

Last weekend some 175,000 people in the Basque country demanded a 'right to decide'. For some, it means more autonomy from Spain, others independence. "We want to open a second front within the Spanish state," says one Basque politician.

News in Brief

  1. Report: Audi CEO arrested over Dieselgate
  2. EU-Australia trade talks kick off in Brussels next month
  3. France and Germany moving closer to eurozone reform
  4. Merkel to meet Conte to find migration compromise
  5. Seehofer gives Merkel time to strike EU migration deal
  6. Schroeder and Sarkozy appear with Putin at World Cup
  7. Tennis champ and 'EU diplomat' claims immunity
  8. Italy threatens to ditch EU-Canada free trade deal

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMHRMI Launches Lawsuits Against Individuals and Countries Involved in Changing Macedonia's Name
  2. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  3. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  5. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  8. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma
  9. PKEE - Polish Energy AssociationCommon-Sense Approach Needed for EU Energy Reform
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to Lead in Developing and Rolling Out 5G Network
  11. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Economic and Trade Relations Enjoy a Bright Future
  12. ACCAEmpowering Businesses to Engage with Sustainable Finance and the SDGs

Latest News

  1. Orban to EPP: turn 'Christian democratic' or face challenge
  2. Is EU retail sector equipped for 21st century?
  3. Tear gas bodes ill for Macedonia name deal
  4. EU asylum claims drop, Germany registers most
  5. EU summit: migrants get a 'vote' too
  6. Basque threat of 'second front' for independence
  7. Progressive regulation needed now for 21st century finance
  8. Greece and Merkel's fate top This WEEK

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersCooperation in Nordic Electricity Market Considered World Class Model
  2. FIFAGreen Stadiums at the 2018 Fifa World Cup
  3. Mission of China to the EUChina and EU Work Together to Promote Sustainable Development
  4. Counter BalanceEuropean Ombudsman Requests More Lending Transparency from European Investment Bank
  5. FIFARecycling at the FIFA World Cup in Russia
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersOECD Report: Gender Equality Boosts GDP Growth in Nordic Region
  7. Centre Maurits Coppieters“Peace and Reconciliation Is a Process That Takes Decades” Dr. Anthony Soares on #Brexit and Northern Ireland
  8. Mission of China to the EUMEPs Positive on China’s New Measures of Opening Up
  9. Macedonian Human Rights MovementOld White Men are Destroying Macedonia by Romanticizing Greece
  10. Counter BalanceControversial EIB-Backed Project Under Fire at European Parliament
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersIncome Inequality Increasing in Nordic Countries
  12. European Jewish CongressEU Leaders to Cease Contact with Mahmoud Abbas Until He Apologizes for Antisemitic Comments

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us