Sunday

17th Feb 2019

Agenda

Migration This WEEK, as Brexit looms

  • Aerial view of Dadaab camp, which is home to 600,000 people (Photo: Oxfam International)

Behind the scenes in Brussels and other EU capitals, officials are already preparing for the aftermath of the Brexit referendum in just three weeks time.

They are trying to clear as much as possible off the agenda of an EU summit that will take place a few days after the vote. That means the decision on extending Russia economic sanctions could be taken earlier and at a lower level, EU diplomats said.

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  • Britain looks inward to referendum (Photo: Prime minister's office)

But this week, EU institutions will focus on migration, with the European Commission and the EU foreign service on Tuesday (7 June) to present ideas on how to tackle the crisis overseas.

MEPs will debate the “migration compact” in Strasbourg the same day.

The plan foresees using EU money for investments in poor African countries. It comes amid reports that Kenya has threatened to close the Dadaab refugee camp, the largest in the world, unless it gets EU help.

Kenya's appeal to Europe has echoes of the EU-Turkey deal, which itself looks increasingly wobbly.

Turkey has agreed to take back migrants from Greece in return for EU perks. But NGOs have said some returns are illegal and Turkey’s leader keeps butting heads with EU politicians.

On Wednesday, MEPs will debate president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s latest attack on opposition MPs in Turkey.

On Friday, EU home affairs ministers will discuss if the EU-Turkey deal is being implemented and progress on Turkey’s bid to get EU visa-free travel.

With the Euro 2016 football championships starting in France the same day, an event that the US has said could be targeted by terrorists, ministers will also discuss control of small arms and data exchange.

Tax cheats

MEPs will in Strasbourg on Wednesday decide whether to hold an inquiry into the Panama Papers scandal on offshore tax cheats.

They will the same day vote on whether a new EU anti tax-avoidance law is tough enough.

In other events, Georgia’s president, Giorgi Margvelashvili, will visit Strasbourg and Brussels on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday as Tbilisi also lobbies to get EU visa-free travel.

Meanwhile, Maros Sefcovic, the EU energy commissioner, will on Tuesday give a speech in Berlin amid keen interest on the commission's legal assessment of a new Russia-Germany gas pipeline, Nord Stream II.

Cameron warns of Brexit 'madness'

In an TV debate three weeks before the EU membership referendum, the British prime minister defended his promise to curb migration and warned that leaving the EU would be "economic self-harm".

Brexit and trip to Egypt for Arab League This WEEK

Brexit talks will continue in Brussels, as UK PM Theresa May's government is trying to find a way out of the political impasse at home. Murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's fiancee will speak at the European Parliament next week.

Brexit votes set for This WEEK

Brexit looks to dominate news this week as British MPs gear up for a vote on how to break the internal deadlocks over the proposed deal with the European Union.

News in Brief

  1. Spain's Sanchez calls snap election on 28 April
  2. 15,000 Belgian school kids march against climate change
  3. May suffers fresh Brexit defeat in parliament
  4. Warning for British banks over Brexit staff relocation
  5. Former Italian PM wants Merkel for top EU post
  6. Antisemitic incidents up 10% in Germany
  7. Italy's asylum rejection rate at record high
  8. Hungary will not claim EU funds for fraudulent project

Brexit and trip to Egypt for Arab League This WEEK

Brexit talks will continue in Brussels, as UK PM Theresa May's government is trying to find a way out of the political impasse at home. Murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's fiancee will speak at the European Parliament next week.

Saudis paying College of Europe to lobby MEPs

The Bruges-based College of Europe is setting up private meetings with the EU institutions for seven ambassadors plus seven high-level officials from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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