Monday

20th May 2019

Agenda

All eyes on refugees and Poland This WEEK

  • Orban and Merkel are at the opposite ends of the EPP spectrum on the refugee crisis (Photo: consilium.europa.eu)

After Hungary sealed its border with Croatia, the second country along its southern frontier after Serbia, refugees and migrants will have to find another way into Europe along the Balkan trail.

Croatia’s neighbor, Slovenia might come under pressure, as Zagreb is planning to shuttle people there.

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Migration will be on the agenda of the congress of the European People’s Party (EPP), the largest political family in the EU, who gather in Madrid on Wednesday-Thursday (21-22 October).

EPP leaders will discuss the wide-ranging approach they have toward the refugee crisis, with German chancellor Angela Merkel leading a welcoming policy at one end of the centre-right spectrum, and on the other, with Hungary’s Viktor Orban sealing borders.

“We must start by finding a European solution to securing our external EU borders,” party leader Joseph Daul said, promising the EPP will lead the way.

Feeding into the European Commission’s fight against anti-Semitism, and Islamophobia, justice ministers from Europe will gather in Brussels on Monday (19 October) to discuss how to respond to radicalisation.

Fish will also be on the EU’s plate this week, as, on Thursday (22 October), fisheries ministers are expected to reach political agreement on fishing opportunities for member states in the Baltic Sea for 2016.

Sunday (25 October) will see parliamentary elections in Poland, which might result in Warsaw becoming even more reluctant to participate in EU schemes on managing migration.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, Poland’s former leader and the head of the right-wing Law and Justice party (PiS), might once again be prime minister, as his party is leading polls with 36 percent.

The current leader of the country of 38 million, Ewa Kopacz, from the centre-right Civic Platform party, stands at 24 percent.

Hungary to seal border with Croatia

Hungary will seal its borders with Croatia by midnight, with Zagreb planning to send migrants and refugees to Slovenia.

EU summit on migrants and Syria This WEEK

EU leaders will meet on 15 and 16 October to continue talks on how to tackle the refugees crisis. The situation in Syria, where Russia is intervening, will be the new emergency issue.

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Timmermans calls for left-wing coalition at debate

The centre-right's Manfred Weber got most of the heat at the EU Commission presidential candidates' final debate before the European elections, while Frans Timmermans reached out to a possible coalition partners - piling more pressure on Weber's EPP.

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