Monday

20th Jan 2020

Agenda

Migration and bailouts on EU agenda This WEEK

  • Migration and bolder controls will be high on the EU's agenda (Photo: iom.int)

Migration continues to be on top of the agenda in the EU this week, as pressure grows on German chancellor Angela Merkel to reverse her welcoming policy towards asylum seekers.

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte painted a bleak picture as he opened the Dutch presidency of the EU last week in the European Parliament, stating that the EU has 6-8 weeks to “sharply reduce” the number of refugees.

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“We are running out of time,” Rutte said.

French prime minister Manuel Valls warned on Friday (22 January) that Europe's migration crisis was putting the EU at grave risk.

Justice and home affairs ministers will meet on Monday (25 January) and Tuesday (26 January) informally in Amsterdam to discuss ongoing migration issues and counter-terrorism legislation.

PMI decision?

The EU budget commissioner, Kristalina Georgieva, is due to report to the European Parliament budget committee on Monday (25 January). She is also expected to be questioned by MEPs on where the assessment of a 12-year agreement with tobacco multinational Philip Morris International (PMI) stands.

The deal, which made PMI, the EU and its member states allies in the fight against cigarette smuggling and involved PMI paying more than €1 billion, is set to expire in July. The issue is whether the EU wants to renew it.

MEPs are expected to ask Georgieva for the commission’s opinion on the issue.

Checking on the checks

The European Court of Auditors (ECA) will publish on Tuesday (26 January) a report on whether the EU Commission appropriately managed the financial assistance programmes provided to Hungary, Latvia, Romania, Ireland and Portugal during the debt crisis.

EU auditors looked at the commission’s management of assistance provided under the European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism (EFSM), the bloc’s temporary bailout fund, for which the EU executive borrowed on the capital markets using the EU budget as guarantee.

Former UK prime minister Tony Blair will pay a visit to Brussels Tuesday (26 January), and will discuss the “current EU policy agenda” with commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, a commission spokesperson announced.

The UK’s referendum on its membership of the EU certainly will be high on that agenda.

EU failing to deliver on migration plans

Three out of 11 hotspots in place. Two hundred and seventy people out of 160,000 relocated: Last year's EU promises to limit and better manage migration flows yet to materialise.

EU needs more time to assess €1 billion tobacco deal

The commission was expected to publish by the end of 2015 its report on the deal, which will expire in July and which has made the EU, member states and tobacco company PMI allies in the fight against cigarette smuggling.

Davos and Libya in focus This WEEK

The all-powerful will meet in Davos after Berlin tries to resolve the Libyan conflict over the weekend, while MEPs will set the stage for final ratification of the Brexit deal.

Green money and Iran tensions in focus This WEEK

The EU Commission will unveil the financial backbone for its Green Deal, and also debate a possible minimum wage with MEPs. Lawmakers will also hear from the Jordanian king and the EU's foreign affairs chief.

Iran, Brexit test 'geopolitical' commission This WEEK

The EU foreign affairs chief attempts to salvage whatever is left of the Iran nuclear deal by inviting the Iranian foreign minister to Brussels - while the EU commission president heads to London for Brexit talks.

EU values under scrutiny This WEEK

Rule of law, environmental protection, and minority rights will feature high on the agenda in Brussels and Strasbourg as 2019 comes to a close.

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