Tuesday

17th Oct 2017

Agenda

Trump descends into 'hellhole' This WEEK

  • Trump's meeting with an EU leader, Germany's Merkel was frosty (Photo: bundeskanzlerin.de)

US president Donald Trump had once called Brussels a “hellhole”, cheered for Brexit, and dismissed Nato as “obsolete” – all of which raised questions in Europe about his commitment to transatlantic alliances.

On Thursday (25 May), fresh from a tour in the Middle East, Trump will arrive into the Belgian capital to meet with the heads of EU institutions for the first time, and attend a summit of the leaders of Nato member countries.

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.

Trump arrives amid serious concerns over his conduct when firing FBI director James Comey and revealing top secret intelligence to Russian diplomats two weeks ago.

Many in Nato are concerned about the US president, who is also entangled in a probe back home over his relationship with the Kremlin, and who has repeatedly voiced support for forces that want to weaken the EU.

In his first foray into EU politics, Trump is going to meet on Thursday with European Council president Donald Tusk and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels’ so-called “Tusk Tower”, the newly-built council building.

In a short meeting lasting one hour, they will also be accompanied by European Parliament president Antonio Tajani and the EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini.

Many hope that Trump will shed light on his administration’s policy on Europe, which has not yet been clear since his inauguration in January.

EU and the US diplomats will need to bridge disagreements over the Iranian nuclear deal, the Paris climate agreement, the issue of visa waivers, and laptop bans on flights.

Nato meetings

On Thursday, Tusk and Juncker will also meet with another unpredictable leader, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Turkey-EU relations have reached a new low point after a Turkish referendum – deemed fraudulent by international observers – gave extra powers to Erdogan, who has toyed with the idea of reintroducing the death penalty.

Some are calling for the EU to officially end the long-stalled accession talks with Turkey.

Trump will also meet with other Nato leaders. In addition, it will be the new French president Emmanuel Macron’s first visit to Brussels for the alliance’s meeting.

The Nato meeting, taking place in the alliance’s new Brussels headquarters, will focus on boosting European military spending and counter-terrorism.

Brexit and Greece

On Monday (22 May), EU ministers gave the official green light to Brexit chief negotiator Michel Barnier to begin the talks, when they adopted the commission’s negotiating directive.

On Monday, eurozone finance ministers will try to clinch a deal that would unlock a new set of loans for Greece, prior to substantial debt repayments becoming due in July.

Ministers will need to tackle possible debt relief measures, a prerequisite to keeping the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on-board for the bailout.

On Friday and Saturday, EU leaders will travel to Italy for the G7 summit – meeting of the world’s leading powers.

EU gives mandate for Barnier to take on Brexit

In its final preparatory act before Brexit talks begin, the EU has officially given the negotiating mandate to Michel Barnier. The French politician said he would like to start negotiations on the week of 19 June.

EU and US discuss in-flight laptop ban

A meeting between US and EU officials in Brussels on possibly imposing a laptop ban on commercial flights was described by one senior Trump administration official as "robust".

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.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership for Human RightsEU Should Seek Concrete Commitments From Azerbaijan at Human Rights Dialogue
  2. European Jewish CongressEJC Calls for New Austrian Government to Exclude Extremist Freedom Party
  3. CES - Silicones EuropeIn Healthcare, Silicones Are the Frontrunner. And That's a Good Thing!
  4. EU2017EEEuropean Space Week 2017 in Tallinn from November 3-9. Register Now!
  5. European Entrepreneurs CEA-PMEMobiliseSME Exchange Programme Open Doors for 400 Companies Across Europe
  6. CECEE-Privacy Regulation – Hands off M2M Communication!
  7. ILGA-EuropeHealth4LGBTI: Reducing Health Inequalities Experienced by LGBTI People
  8. EU2017EEEHealth: A Tool for More Equal Health
  9. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Tourism a Key Driver for Job Creation and Enhanced Competitiveness
  10. CECENon-Harmonised Homologation of Mobile Machinery Costs € 90 Million per Year
  11. ILGA-EuropeMass Detention of Azeri LGBTI People - the LGBTI Community Urgently Needs Your Support
  12. European Free AllianceCatalans Have Won the Right to Have an Independent State

Latest News

  1. No sign of Brexit 'speed-up' after May-Juncker dinner
  2. Report: EU defence strategy 'outsourced' to arms industry
  3. EU privacy rules tilt to industry, NGO says
  4. Malta shocked after car bomb kills crusading journalist
  5. Spanish and Catalan leaders continue stand-off
  6. May pleads for more, as EU makes Brexit gesture
  7. EU circles the wagons around Iran deal
  8. 'Think of the patients!' cry would-be EU agency hosts