Thursday

17th Oct 2019

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.

Commissioner hearings start This WEEK

MEPs will grill the commissioner-designates for the next two weeks, while the fate of the Romanian and Hungarian candidates remain uncertain. And the Brexit chaos continues with the Conservative party conference.

Europe goes to New York This WEEK

Iran and climate change likely to dominate as French president Emmanuel Macron speaks for Europe at the UN general assembly in New York this week.

Podcast

Not That Ambassador

Gordon Sondland, Donald Trump's ambassador to the EU, is due to appear before the House impeachment inquiry in Washington on Thursday. His predecessor as ambassador, Anthony Gardner, talks about the role, and his predecessor, on our EU Scream podcast.

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