Thursday

18th Jan 2018

Agenda

Migrant quotas and Greek vote This WEEK

  • EU justice and home affairs ministers will kick off the week discussing how best to tackle Europe's refugee crisis (Photo: consilium.europa.au)

On Monday (14 September), all eyes will be on EU justice and home affairs ministers who will discuss the European Commission’s plan to deal with the current refugee crisis in Europe.

Ministers are expected to have a heated debate on the mandatory relocation scheme for migrants across Europe. A political agreement is expected, at best, though a subdued conclusion on further work on the proposal is more likely.

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On Tuesday, a European Parliament committee will host a public hearing on migration in the Mediterranean. Commission vice-president Federica Mogherini, migration and home affairs commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos, and United Nations high commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Antonio Guterres will join the discussion.

On Monday, talks will also be held over the current political crisis in Northern Ireland after the unofficial resignation of first minister Peter Robinson over the status of armed groups that want to reunite with the Republic of Ireland.

Britain will start the week with a new Labour leader, as the main opposition party is expected to announce the results of its leadership race on Saturday (12 September).

Popular left-wing candidate Jeremy Corbyn is expected to win.

Agriculture and climate

On Tuesday, agriculture ministers will meet in Luxembourg to try to reach agreement on a rescue package for struggling farmers. The commission proposed €500 million in support last week, but member states have yet to agree on a distribution key.

Climate is also on the agenda on Tuesday, as environment MEPs gear up to discuss the road to a global climate treaty with UN climate chief Christina Figueres.

At the end of week, Friday (18 September) will see EU environment ministers discuss the common position the EU will take in climate talks later this year in Paris.

Taxation

On Thursday (17 September) Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, financial affairs commissioner Pierre Moscovici and competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager will debate current and future taxation policy plans, particularly for multinational companies, in the European Parliament.

The debate comes as the committee is considering its final report on corporate tax avoidance, which is expected to be voted by the committee on 15 October and in the EP plenary in November.

Greece decides

The week will close with the all-important Greek snap elections on Sunday. Polls show the radical left Syriza party of former prime minister Alexis Tsipras nudging ahead of the conservative main opposition, New Democracy Party.

Tsipras resigned seven months into his four-year term, after Syriza hardliners rebelled over his decision to sign a third bailout deal with creditors that required spending cuts and tax hikes despite promises to end austerity.

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.

Netanyahu, Panama Papers, and Brexit This WEEK

The run-up to the Christmas break sees a packed schedule, including the EU summit on Brexit, migration and other issues, a rare visit by Israeli PM Netanyahu, and issues such as fishing quotas and the Panama Papers.

EU 'hypocrisy' condemns people to Libya, says NGO

Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, says the EU's key policy on returning migrants to Libya is condemning them to "nightmarish conditions", and is a hypocritical use of the Libyan coastguard to avoid direct responsibility.

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