Monday

23rd Apr 2018

Agenda

Juncker's State of the Union on EU agenda This WEEK

  • The president of the commission will give his first state of the union address to parliament

The coming week will be marked by Jean-Claude Juncker's return to the centre stage on Wednesday (9 September), when he will give his first state of the union address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg.



The president of the European Commission did not remain silent during the summer recess. He gave interviews and published an impassioned editorial in several newspapers on the migration challenge facing Europe.

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.

But all eyes will be on him on Wednesday, when he is expected to present new proposals to tackle the migrant crisis and make the commission the main player on the issue ahead of an emergency EU ministerial on 14 September.

Juncker is expected to unveil a plan to relocate up to 160,000 asylum seekers in EU member states. His spokeswoman, Natasha Bertaud, confirmed Friday (4 September) that such a plan is in the works.

This proposal will certainly ruffle feathers in countries that refused to endorse Juncker's previous plan for 40,000 relocations. But the commission has been insisting, for weeks, that its Agenda on Migration, presented last May, is the foundation for any solution.

"Some seem to be [just] discovering now what we already proposed last May", commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said on Wednesday (2 September).

"The commission is determined to deliver on everything we promised in the agenda and the commission will be swift, bold and complete in doing this," he said, setting the tone for Juncker's speech in Strasbourg.

Debates

The president of the commission will also present his college's work programme for 2016.

Juncker's address will be followed by a debate with MEPs over the commission's proposals on migration and its actions over the past year.

After the debate, MEPs will vote on the commission's proposal for 40,000 relocations. They will also vote on a non-binding resolution on the migrant crisis.

For their first post-summer plenary session, MEPs will hold debates and votes on a variety of issues.

On Tuesday, they will vote on the parliament's first reading position on animal cloning. The legislation under discussion aims to ban cloning of all farm animals, their descendants, and products derived from them in the EU.

On Wednesday, they will discuss the EU's foreign policy with the head of EU diplomacy, Federica Mogherini. The Middle East peace process, the Iran nuclear agreement, and the situation in Belarus before the presidential election will be on the agenda.

Agriculture

In Brussels, the week will kick off with an EU agriculture ministers' meeting, set against a tense backdrop.

While ministers discuss measures to support milk and meat production in Europe, farmers will demonstrate outside the building. The farmers union has announced the presence of 1,000 tractors on the streets and a symbolic pouring out of vast quantities of milk.

Proposals to help farmers include a rise in intervention prices - the price at which states can buy products to support the market - on powdered skimmed milk and cheese, as well as an increase in aid to producers in 2016.

Imposing fines on countries exceeding milk quotas (before they were lifted in April) in order to support farmers is also under consideration.



The day after the meeting, on Tuesday, the EU parliament's agriculture committee will discuss the issue with agriculture commissioner Phil Hogan in Strasbourg.

Ukraine

Also on Monday, trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem will host talks between the EU, Ukraine and Russia over the EU's Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) with Ukraine.

This free-trade treaty was signed in June 2014, but all parties agreed to suspend its implementation until January 2016 to alleviate Russia's concerns about its trade with Ukraine.

The talks aim to iron out issues which will in turn facilitate DCFTA implementation.

On Friday and Saturday (11 and 12 September), EU finance ministers will meet in Luxembourg for an informal 28-strong meeting as well as an informal Eurogroup.

It will be their first meeting since they agreed on a third Greek bailout on 14 August. The snap Greek election on 20 September will probably be on their minds.

Opinion

EU needs to step up its game in Ukraine

The EU should not expect Russia to change its posture in the foreseeable future, because confrontational EU and US relations suit the Kremlin.

Whistleblowers, Syria and digital revolution This WEEK

The European Commission will present proposals to protect whistleblowers, combat fake news and organise the digital single market. The international community will gather in Brussels to discuss how to help Syrians in the current war and after.

Macron and Syria top EU agenda This WEEK

French president to deliver speech on EU democratic model after populist victories in Hungary and Italy and amid an escalation of the Syria crisis.

Facebook and Hungary top EU agenda This Week

The US internet giant's massive data breach will be discussed in the EU, while Europe will find out whether Viktor Orban and his party are re-elected for another term to lead Hungary.

Investigation

MEP friendship groups offer 'backdoor' for pariah regimes

MEPs are using so-called 'friendship groups' to cater to foreign governments without oversight and little public scrutiny. Initially set up to promote cultural exchanges, some have become lobbying platforms to push state views from governments with poor human rights records.

News in Brief

  1. Commission will 'not shy away' from Malta killing repercussions
  2. EU Commission opens probe on Alitalia state loan
  3. Paris suspect given 20-year sentence for Brussels shoot-out
  4. Merkel and Pena Nieto praise EU-Mexico trade agreement
  5. Nahles elected new leader of Germany's SPD
  6. Report: EU budget to refocus on South
  7. Audit office: Brexit 'divorce' bill could be billions higher
  8. MEPs urge better protection for journalists

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersWorld's Energy Ministers to Meet in Oresund in May to Discuss Green Energy
  2. ILGA EuropeParabéns! Portugal Votes to Respect the Rights of Trans and Intersex People
  3. Mission of China to the EUJobs, Energy, Steel: Government Work Report Sets China's Targets
  4. Martens CentreJoin Us at NET@WORK2018 Featuring Debates on Migration, Foreign Policy, Populism & Disinformation
  5. European Jewish CongressKantor Center Annual Report on Antisemitism Worldwide - The Year the Mask Came Off
  6. UNICEFCalls for the Protection of Children in the Gaza Strip
  7. Mission of China to the EUForeign Minister Wang Yi Highlights Importance of China-EU Relations
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersImmigration and Integration in the Nordic Region - Getting the Facts Straight
  9. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMacedonians in Bulgaria Demand to End the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  10. Counter BalanceThe EIB Needs to Lead by Example on Tax Justice
  11. ILGA EuropeTrans People in Sweden to be Paid Compensation for Forced Sterilisation
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsThe Danger of Standing Up for Justice and Rights in Central Asia

Latest News

  1. 'Strong suspicion' of corruption in Council of Europe assembly
  2. France tightens immigration law, sparking division
  3. ECJ ruling set to end 10-year 'mouth tobacco' lobbying saga
  4. Whistleblowers, Syria and digital revolution This WEEK
  5. MEP friendship groups offer 'backdoor' for pariah regimes
  6. Macron and Merkel pledge euro reform
  7. Obscurity surrounds EU military fund's expert groups
  8. New EU party finance rules short circuit accountability

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Mission of China to the EUChina and EU Must Work Together to Promote Global Steel Sector
  2. Swedish EnterprisesEU Tax Proposal on Digital Services Causes Concern for Small Exporting Economies
  3. Europea Jewish CongressCondemns the Horrific Murder of Holocaust Survivor Mireille Knoll in Paris
  4. Mission of China to the EUAn Open China Will Foster a World-Class Business Environment
  5. ECR GroupAn Opportunity to Help Shape a Better Future for Europe
  6. Counter BalanceControversial Turkish Azerbaijani Gas Pipeline Gets Major EU Loan
  7. World VisionSyria’s Children ‘At Risk of Never Fully Recovering', New Study Finds
  8. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMeets with US Congress Member to Denounce Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  9. Martens CentreEuropean Defence Union: Time to Aim High?
  10. UNESDAWatch UNESDA’s President Toast Its 60th Anniversary Year
  11. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Condemns MEP Ana Gomes’s Anti-Semitic Remark, Calls for Disciplinary Action
  12. EPSUEU Commissioners Deny 9.8 Million Workers Legal Minimum Standards on Information Rights