Saturday

19th Oct 2019

Agenda

Tax rulings and energy top agenda This WEEK

  • MEPs will be give a chance to grill representatives of multinationals on shady tax rulings (Photo: Ken Teegardin)

Multinational companies, some of them are under investigation by the EU commission for alleged sweetheart tax deals with member states, will have a chance on Monday (16 November) to present their side of the story in the European Parliament.

The special committee on tax rulings, born out of the "LuxLeaks” scandal, finalised its report after eight months of work on tax rulings, the EP plenary wil vote on it at the end of November.

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.

... or join as a group

Multinationals who are implicated in the LuxLeaks affair, which in 2014 revealed the scope of tax rulings that benefited companies like Apple, Ikea, Amazon, Microsoft, and Deutsche Bank, will have a chance to share their views.

Among others, Amazon, Google, Facebook, McDonald’s, the HSBC banking group, and Philip Morris International confirmed their participation for Monday.

The EU Commission recently said that Fiat's financial services arm and Starbucks enjoyed unfair tax advantages in Luxembourg and the Netherlands and ordered the companies to pay back €20-30 million euros to the countries’ budgets.

Decisions are also expected on other cases involving Apple and Amazon.

Foreign affairs

Foreign affairs ministers will gather in Brussels on Monday to digest the latest developments in the Middle East and the migration crisis, which is now threatening the Schengen visa-free travel zone.

No significant decisions are expected, however.

Meanwhile, German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier will pay a visit to the European Parliament on Monday, where he is expected to discuss foreign policy challenges with MEPs.

There is an increasing need for Europe’s political and economic powerhouse, Germany to play a more visible role in foreign policy.

German chancellor Angela Merkel Merkel recently said at a gathering of her CDU party members that one of the lessons of the refugee crisis is that Germany will have to conduct a much more active foreign policy.

After UK prime minister David Cameron spelled out his list of requests for EU reforms ahead of a vote on the UK’s membership last week, this week will see an EP delegation traveling to London to hear the demands first hand.

The delegation will meet government representatives, parliamentary committees of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, civil society, and think thanks.

Energised Union

A major speech on the EU’s energy policy is scheduled for Wednesday (18 November).

The EU commissioner in charge of energy union, Maros Sefcovic, will deliver the first of a series of annual speeches in which he will take stock of the EU's aim to increase energy security, decrease its reliance on fossil fuels, and to create a single market for energy.

According to a leaked version of the speech, he is expected to say the European Commission will scrutinise the plan to build additional natural gas pipelines between Russia and Germany.

Sefcovic will detail how the commission has made progress on emissions trading, renewables, and the further investments in low carbon technologies and energy efficiency this year.

Citizens will be given a chance to ask questions from commission president Jean-Claude Juncker this week.

On Wednesday at an event co-organised by L'Obs, Le Soir and De Standaard newspapers in Brussel’s Bozar, Juncker will answer concerns of average Europeans.

Questions can be submitted via the hashtag #EUdialogues.

The end of the week will see Liberals gather in Budapest for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (Alde) party congress, where participants will elect a new president.

Migration and Turkey top agenda This WEEK

EU leaders to hold two summits on migration as winter approaches, with a Turkey deal key to slowing arrivals. UK also expected to unveil wish list for EU reforms.

Schengen at risk of collapse, as EU looks to Turkey

The future of the free circulation "is at stake”, the EU Council chief said, while EU leaders try to gather money to face the migrant crisis and placate the Turkish government before another summit.

Commissioner hearings start This WEEK

MEPs will grill the commissioner-designates for the next two weeks, while the fate of the Romanian and Hungarian candidates remain uncertain. And the Brexit chaos continues with the Conservative party conference.

News in Brief

  1. Macron: Nato's inability to react to Turkey a 'mistake'
  2. EU: US can expect counter measures after tariff move
  3. Almost 7,500 people forcibly returned to Libya in 2019
  4. Puigdemont released after responding to arrest warrant
  5. Commission: Facebook's Libra needs international approach
  6. Italian PM: denial of accession talks a 'historic mistake'
  7. Catalan president blames clashes on 'infiltrators'
  8. US imposes €6.7bn new tariffs on European products

EU parliament quietly hoards visitors' wi-fi data

The European Parliament is retaining the data of everyone who uses their wi-fi network, including journalists and visitors, and providing access to national authorities in case of investigations.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture
  2. UNESDAUNESDA appoints Nicholas Hodac as Director General
  3. UNESDASoft drinks industry co-signs Circular Plastics Alliance Declaration
  4. FEANIEngineers Europe Advisory Group: Building the engineers of the future
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNew programme studies infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance
  6. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  10. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  12. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  2. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  3. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  4. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  8. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  9. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan
  12. UNICEFUNICEF Hosts MEPs in Jordan Ahead of Brussels Conference on the Future of Syria

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us