Wednesday

25th May 2022

Agenda

EU tackles CO2 threat This WEEK

  • ETS reform will test the EU's commitment to the Paris agreement. (Photo: Clement Costa)

EU states will discuss reforms to the bloc’s cap-and-trade system, ETS, for greenhouse gasses on Tuesday (28 February) in their first test of credibility after the bloc ratified the Paris climate accord last year.

The bill, still in its early stages, aims to balance climate obligations with industry concerns, with member states split into three groups, according to the Reuters news agency.

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  • MEPs' inquiry found holes in EU car oversight system (Photo: European Parliament)

France, Sweden, and the UK are keen to raise carbon permit prices to impose a cost on polluters, but Austria, Germany, Greece, and Italy are more interested in discouraging firms from relocating overseas.

Coal-dependent countries in central Europe, led by Poland, will also be seeking EU funds to modernise their energy sectors, Reuters said.

In the European Parliament, MEPs on the Dieselgate inquiry committee will also on Tuesday vote on final recommendations for how to tighten up EU standards on car exhaust fumes.

On a more political front, euro-deputies on the civil liberties committee will hold a debate on Monday about Hungarian leader Viktor Orban’s recent attack on NGOs.

A mini-plenary in Brussels on Thursday will see a show of hands on whether the EU should impose visas on US nationals in return for Amercia’s ongoing visa requirements for five EU countries - Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania.

MEPs on the economic affairs committee will on Tuesday also vote on how to curb terrorist financing by imposing greater transparency on offshore financial firms.

Serbia and EU states will hold an intergovernmental conference in the EU capital on Monday to press ahead with the opening of further accession chapters.

The bloc’s efforts to stabilise the Western Balkans and to build closer ties with former Soviet states have come under pressure due to regional tensions and Russia’s push-back.

Serzh Sargsyan, the president of Armenia, will visit Brussels this week to discuss an EU association treaty-lite after he opted to join Russia’s Eurasian Union two years ago.

His visit comes after another flare-up in fighting in Armenia’s 30-year old war with Azerbaijan.

MEPs back limited EU carbon trade reform

The parliament backs reform plans for the EU's carbon trading scheme, but allow polluting industries to maintain some controversial benefits.

Economic worries and Hungary on the spot Next WEEK

Eurozone finance ministers will discuss the economic worries with the backdrop of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, agriculture ministers are set to talk food prices, and EU affairs ministers will put Hungary on the spot in the Article 7 procedure.

Russia sanctions and energy dominate Next WEEK

The EU Commission is expected to put forward the RePowerEU plan, which aims to help the diversification of fossil fuel imports in the bloc, as the EU aims to get rid of its dependence on Russian energy supplies.

Opinion

Orbán's overtures to Moscow are distasteful and detrimental

Some Western European politicians are reviving the chimera of a negotiated settlement. None of this makes the current, half-hearted approach towards sanctioning Russia look better — nor does it shed any favourable light on the cravenness of Hungary's current government.

Column

The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth is back

Ukraine is finally understood — and hopefully Belarus will be soon too — as a self-standing society and state with close links to its EU neighbours, rather being relegated to Russia's backyard.

News in Brief

  1. France 'convinced' Ukraine will join EU
  2. Von der Leyen: Russia hoarding food as 'blackmail'
  3. Legal action launched against KLM over 'greenwashing'
  4. Orbán refuses to discuss Russia oil embargo at EU summit
  5. Turkey's Erdogan snubs Greek PM
  6. ECB: Crypto may pose a risk to financial stability
  7. UK PM Johnson faces renewed questions over Covid party
  8. Sweden gives 5th Covid shot to people over 65, pregnant women

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