Monday

18th Dec 2017

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.

Netanyahu, Panama Papers, and Brexit This WEEK

The run-up to the Christmas break sees a packed schedule, including the EU summit on Brexit, migration and other issues, a rare visit by Israeli PM Netanyahu, and issues such as fishing quotas and the Panama Papers.

May-Juncker meeting sets the tone This WEEK

As Brexit negotiations approach the (possibly) grand finale of their first phase, the EU's attention this week is turning to the eurozone - who is the new boss and how to deepen and expand it.

EU ombudsman asks Tusk for more transparency

Emily O'Reilly wants the European Council president to ask the council to join the transparency register, publish information on meetings with lobbyists and publish more notes on the EU leaders' work.

News in Brief

  1. EU-UK Brexit trade deal by January 2021, official says
  2. Bitcoin is 'deadly', Danish central bank warns
  3. EU Commission wants to ban 'legal weed'
  4. France files €10m complaint against Amazon
  5. EU negotiators reach deal on 'circular economy'
  6. Poll: Tight race in Catalonia days before elections
  7. EU: Israel built 8,000 settler homes in six months
  8. China agrees to promote London as centre for yuan

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