Monday

19th Nov 2018

Agenda

EU still in Paris' shadow This WEEK

  • Athens: Each tranche comes with strings attached (Photo: EUobserver)

Fellow euro states, at a ministers’ meeting in Brussels on Monday (23 November), are expected to disburse the next tranche in the Greek bailout.

The aid, €2 billion for the Greek treasury and €10 billion for helping to prop up its banks, comes after Athens passed new laws on tax arrears and home foreclosures in line with creditors’ demands.

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But the Paris attacks will take centre stage in political affairs, with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker to discuss the bloc’s reaction to the security crisis at a plenary debate with MEPs in Strasbourg on Tuesday.

The deputies will debate the bloc’s handling of the refugee crisis the next day with foreign relations chief Federica Mogherini, as the two situations become increasingly entangled in terms of public opinion.

The same day they will vote on a report by French centre-right MEP, Rachida Dait, on how to counter radicalisation.

They will wave through a new EU budget for 2016, an envelope which contains more money for refugee front-line states than earlier planned.

Back on finance, Wednesday’s plenary will also vote on what to do about Luxleaks.

The tax revelations, which make Juncker, a former Luxembourg leader, look like Europe’s tax-avoide-in-chief, indicate that the Grand Duchy let multinationals off the hook for billions of euros.

But EU states and big corporations fobbed off the EP’s enquiry, causing frustration.

When executives from leading firms, including Google, Facebook, and Amazon took part in a recent EP hearing, they either dodged questions or denied wrongdoing.

For several EU leaders, the week will start in Hamburg, amid obsequies for former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt, who died on 10 November.

Meanwhile, Italy’s new president, Sergio Mattarrella, who was recently elected, will address the Strasbourg plenary for the first time on Wednesday.

Anti-terror raid in Paris region

Eight suspected terrorists are reported dead or arrested. The mastermind of Friday's Paris attacks was targeted.

Brexit dominates EU affairs This WEEK

All eyes on London this week, where May struggles to hold onto power against Brexit rebels, while EU leaders meet in Brussels on Sunday to try to clinch agreement.

Merkel and Brexit in spotlight This WEEK

The now-outgoing German chancellor will outline her vision for Europe in the EU parliament, as political parties gear up for the election next May. Brexit will also dominate, even though talks have yet to yield a breakthrough.

EU elections and Italy's finances are in focus This WEEK

A debate among would-be EPP 'Spizenkandidat' candidates next week in Helsinki will be the first of many clashes of ideas ahead of European elections next May. The liberals are also holding their own congress.

News in Brief

  1. Ireland extradites Polish man despite rule of law concerns
  2. Germany and France agree eurozone budget framework
  3. Austrian foreign minister: EU's Israel policy 'too strict'
  4. Soros and Kurz discuss Central European University move
  5. EU set to tighten rules on foreign strategic investment
  6. Macron repeats call for unified Europe in Bundestag speech
  7. US warns EU banks and firms against trading with Iran
  8. Merkel urged Romania not to move embassy to Jerusalem

Opinion

EU must recognise new force for Balkans destabilisation

EU foreign ministers will discuss Bosnia and Herzegovina on Monday. The EU has the opportunity to show that it is not a political dwarf in the Balkans, where not only economic, but also political reforms are necessary.

Brexit dominates EU affairs This WEEK

All eyes on London this week, where May struggles to hold onto power against Brexit rebels, while EU leaders meet in Brussels on Sunday to try to clinch agreement.

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