Tuesday

16th Apr 2024

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.

EU special summit, MEPs prep work, social agenda This WEEK

EU leaders gather in Brussels for a special two-day summit this week, while MEPs will prepare for the last plenary session of the legislature. In Italy, G7 foreign affairs ministers will convene from Wednesday to Friday.

Plenary session, single market and economy in focus this WEEK

This week, get ready to dive into another plenary session of the EU Parliament and an agenda packed with economic and financial issues, ahead of a special EU summit in Brussels that will focus on competitiveness and the economy.

Environment, Ukraine imports, fish and Easter this WEEK

This week, expect no more than talks on environment, agriculture and fisheries, including discussions between the Polish and Ukrainian governments over angry protests by Polish farmers objecting to cheap grain imports from Ukraine.

EU summit, Gaza, Ukraine, reforms in focus this WEEK

This week, EU leaders come together in Brussels for their usual two-day summit to discuss defence, enlargement, migration and foreign affairs. EU ministers for foreign affairs and EU affairs will meet earlier in the week to prepare the European Council.

Opinion

Private fears of fairtrade activist for EU election campaign

I am not sleeping well, tossing and turning at night because I am obsessed about the EU election campaign, worried by geopolitical tensions, a far-right next parliament, and a backlash against the Green Deal, writes Sophie Aujean of Fairtrade International.

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