Thursday

2nd Dec 2021

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

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

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.

MEPs focus on Belarus, digital rules This WEEK

The debate over a successor for David Sassoli, the centre-left Italian president of the European Parliament will heat up, and Belarusian democratic opposition figure Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya will address the plenary.

Facebook scandal and COP26 climax in focus This WEEK

Facebook whistleblower is expected to meet with MEPs and representatives of the French senate this week. Meanwhile, eyes turn again to the Glasgow UN climate summit as pressure is mounting for negotiators to finish the 2015 Paris Agreement rulebook.

News in Brief

  1. EU commission unveils proposal to digitalise justice systems
  2. German ICUs expected to peak at Christmas
  3. Report: First Omicron case found in the US
  4. US urges Russia to pull back troops from Ukrainian border
  5. Ukraine president calls for direct talks with Russia 'to end war'
  6. Renewable energy saw 'record year of growth'
  7. Dutch coalition talks aim for Christmas breakthrough
  8. Poland curtails media access to Belarus border

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. EU mulls mandatory vaccination, while urging booster for all
  2. EU unveils €300bn reply China's infrastructure programme
  3. Current global financial system is a 'dance with death'
  4. EU skirts pushbacks, suggests people seek asylum in Belarus
  5. EU warned against making 'Future EU' conference a one-off
  6. My 6-point plan for Belarus, by former Lithuanian PM
  7. No obligation to defend Ukraine from Russia, Nato chief says
  8. EU agency: 'Omicron vaccine' approval to take 3-4 months

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us