Saturday

21st Oct 2017

Agenda

Obama visits EU This Week

  • The outgoing US leader's visit is designed to reassure the public on future relations after Trump's win (Photo: bundeskanzlerin.de)

The US election, wide-ranging security concerns, and the EU budget dominate the agenda this week.

Foreign ministers, at a special dinner on Sunday (13 November) in Brussels, discussed the implications of Donald Trump’s victory for Europe, with the bloc’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, saying afterward that “ties between Europe and America are much deeper than any political term”.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

They plan to follow up, also with defence ministers, on Monday and Tuesday, with talks on how to implement German and French ideas on EU military integration amid concern that a Trump-led White House will take less interest in protecting Europe in future.

The outgoing US president, Barack Obama, will also visit Athens on Tuesday and Wednesday before going to Berlin to reassure the European public on transatlantic relations.

In the German capital he will hold a meeting with chancellor Angela Merkel, French president Hollande and British, Italian and Spanish prime ministers Theresa May, Matteo Renzi, and Mariano Rajoy.

Speaking to Greek newspaper Kathimerini prior to his trip, he voiced concern about “the rise of populist movements and questions about the future of European integration” following also the Brexit vote in June.

“European integration is one of the greatest political and economic achievements of modern times, with benefits for EU members, the United States and the entire world”, he said.

He said that he supported the EU-Turkey deal on migrant returns as being the “best hope for managing arrivals in Europe in a way that’s orderly and humane”.

He also indicated that he supports debt relief for Greece, which owes €330 billion to creditors, a sum worth 180 percent of its GDP.

“I will continue to urge Greece's creditors to take the steps needed to ensure the country is well placed to return to robust economic growth, including by providing meaningful debt relief”, Obama said.

Eastern partners

The US aside, Europe’s foreign ministers will on Monday also discuss the future of the EU’s “eastern partnership” policy of forging closer links with former Soviet states.

The debate comes amid concern that pro-Russia politicians are making gains even in countries, such as Moldova, which used to be at the forefront of the EU reform process.

The foreign ministers will touch upon developments in Libya, Iraq, and Syria, and discuss, together with the Nato chief, how their maritime mission in the Mediterranean can work with the Libyan coastguard to stem the flow of refugees.

Meeting later in the week, on Friday, justice and home affairs ministers will discuss an upcoming European Commission proposal on creating new travel checks designed to help keep out unwanted migrants - the EU Travel Information and Authorisation System.

They will also hear from the EU’s counter-terrorism coordinator, Gilles de Kerchove, as part of a review on whether EU states are properly implementing a deal to share data on air passengers - the so called PNR system, adopted in spring.

EU budget

On Wednesday and Thursday, EU finance ministers and MEPs will try to strike a deal on the EU’s budget for 2017.

MEPs want extra money in the pot to help tackle the migration crisis and youth unemployment.

They have called for spending commitments of up to €162.4 billion, but ministers say that €156 billion ought to be enough.

EU affairs ministers, on Tuesday, will hold informal talks on the bigger issue of whether the EU’s seven-year budget, covering 2014 to 2020, is being well spent.

They will also evaluate whether the EU Commission is properly implementing its “rule of law mechanism”, designed to monitor and sanction democratic backsliding in countries such as Poland.

On Monday and Wednesday, the EU parliament’s committee of enquiry into tax evasion, prompted by the Panama Papers leak, will meet with US economist Joseph Stiglitz, who briefly advised the Panamanian government on reform.

They will also meet with delegates from the EU’s joint police body, Europol, on how to combat tax cheats.

Malta presidncy

The Maltese government will, on Tuesday, come to Brussels en bloc to meet the EU commission, as Malta prepares to take over the EU presidency in January.

Outside the EU capital, two commissioners, Neven Mimica and Miguel Arias Canete, will visit Marrakesh, in Morocco, for a week-long international conference on the future of the Paris climate accord.

The Trump victory has also cast a shadow over the anti-global warming pact, which the president-elect promised to scrap during his campaign rallies.

Italy must back Renzi's reforms, Obama says

Barack Obama urges Italians to back their leader's proposed reforms in the forthcoming referendum, saying they will create a more vibrant economy and more responsive political system.

Turkey and Ukraine This WEEK

Future EU relations with Ankara and Kiev will be shaped this week as MEPs vote on Turkey's EU membership talks, and top officials discuss visa waivers and peace in Ukraine with Petro Poroshenko.

Posted workers top EU agenda This Week

The posted workers file will be on the table of ministers and MEPs this week, while budget, journalism, Schengen and party funding are also on the EP's plenary menu.

Brexit on EU summit table This Week

A key showdown on the state of Brexit talks, an ECJ ruling on Ukraine's Viktor Yanukovych, and Macron's proposals for the future of the EU, are all on the agenda this week.

Turkey funding cuts signal EU mood shift

EU leaders at their summit spent some three hours deliberating on relations with Turkey before asking the EU commission to come up with a plan on cutting and reorienting some €4.5 billion in pre-accession aid.

News in Brief

  1. Rajoy to trigger Article 155 on Saturday in Catalan crisis
  2. EU conducts unannounced inspection of German car firm
  3. Lithuania calls for new EU energy laws
  4. EU leaders aim for December for defence cooperation
  5. Juncker says hands tied on Russia pipeline
  6. Czechs set to elect billionaire Andrej Babis
  7. Italian regions hold referendums on more autonomy
  8. EU leaders refuse to mediate Catalonia conflict

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Mission of China to the EUPresident Xi Jinping Proposes Stronger Global Security Governance at Interpol Assembly
  2. European Friends of ArmeniaEU Engagement Could Contribute to Lasting Peace in Nagorno-Karabakh
  3. UNICEFViolence in Myanmar Driving 12,000 Rohingya Refugee Children Into Bangladesh Every Week
  4. European Jewish CongressBulgaria Applauded for Adopting the Working Definition of Antisemitism
  5. EU2017EENorth Korea Leaves Europe No Choice, Says Estonian Foreign Minister Sven Mikser
  6. Mission of China to the EUZhang Ming Appointed New Ambassador of the Mission of China to the EU
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsEU Should Seek Concrete Commitments From Azerbaijan at Human Rights Dialogue
  8. European Jewish CongressEJC Calls for New Austrian Government to Exclude Extremist Freedom Party
  9. CES - Silicones EuropeIn Healthcare, Silicones Are the Frontrunner. And That's a Good Thing!
  10. EU2017EEEuropean Space Week 2017 in Tallinn from November 3-9. Register Now!
  11. European Entrepreneurs CEA-PMEMobiliseSME Exchange Programme Open Doors for 400 Companies Across Europe
  12. CECEE-Privacy Regulation – Hands off M2M Communication!

Latest News

  1. The mysterious German behind Orban's Russian deals
  2. Mogherini urged to do more on Russian propaganda
  3. Turkey funding cuts signal EU mood shift
  4. Posted workers top EU agenda This Week
  5. Leaders lobby to host EU agencies at summit's margins
  6. Legal tweak could extend EU control on Russia pipeline
  7. Ukraine language law does not harm minorities
  8. EU begins preparations for Brexit trade talks

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ILGA-EuropeHealth4LGBTI: Reducing Health Inequalities Experienced by LGBTI People
  2. EU2017EEEHealth: A Tool for More Equal Health
  3. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Tourism a Key Driver for Job Creation and Enhanced Competitiveness
  4. CECENon-Harmonised Homologation of Mobile Machinery Costs € 90 Million per Year
  5. ILGA-EuropeMass Detention of Azeri LGBTI People - the LGBTI Community Urgently Needs Your Support
  6. European Free AllianceCatalans Have Won the Right to Have an Independent State
  7. ECR GroupBrexit: Delaying the Start of Negotiations Is Not a Solution
  8. EU2017EEPM Ratas in Poland: "We Enjoy the Fruits of European Cooperation Thanks to Solidarity"
  9. Mission of China to the EUChina and UK Discuss Deepening of Global Comprehensive Strategic Partnership
  10. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceEHLA Joins Commissioners Navracsics, Andriukaitis and Hogan at EU Week of Sport
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council Representative Office Opens in Brussels to Foster Better Cooperation
  12. UNICEFSocial Protection in the Contexts of Fragility & Forced Displacement