25th Mar 2018


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.

Tariffs and Turkey will top This WEEK

The EU will maintain pressure on the US to resolve a tariff dispute. On Monday, European Commission president Juncker, along council president Tusk, will discuss relations with Turkey's president Erdogan. Additional national measures against Russia are also expected.

Brexit and trade will top This WEEK

A crucial EU summit will decide whether to give a green light to the Brexit transition period, while the EU is also fighting to get exemptions from the new US steel and aluminium tariffs.

'Selmayrgate' moves to the EU Parliament This WEEK

As a global trade war looms over the new US steel tariffs, the EU's attention will shift to Strasbourg - where MEPs are expected to debate the Martin Selmayr appointment, trade, Brexit, journalism and the budget.

EU rejects US trade 'gun to the head'

EU leaders demanded a permanent exemption from US tariffs on steel and aluminium - and ruled out any bilateral trade talks within the 1 May deadline set by Donald Trump.

News in Brief

  1. EU wants 'Paris' climate strategy within 13 months
  2. Workload of EU court remains high
  3. Spain's supreme court charges Catalan separatist leaders
  4. EU calls for 'permanent' exemption from US tariffs
  5. Summit backs guidelines for future EU-UK talks
  6. Macron support drops as public sector workers go on strike
  7. EU leaders condemn Turkey for illegal actions in Aegean Sea
  8. Parliament must publish 'trilogue' documents, court says

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