Monday

20th May 2019

Agenda

MEPs in Strasbourg amid French election This WEEK

  • MEPs are meeting in Strasbourg this week. (Photo: European Parliament)

The European Parliament meets in Strasbourg this week amid parliamentary elections in France as well as the on-going post UK election fallout on Brexit.

The French election will help steer the political course for France's newly elected president, Emmanuel Macron, who is projected to take over 400 seats in the 577-seat National Assembly, following the first round of voting on Sunday (11 June). A second and final round will take place next Sunday.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

  • Mobile roaming charges across the EU will end this week. (Photo: Nicolas Nova)

It will also test the grounds of support for his defeated contender, the far-right National Front party leader Marine Le Pen.

The French parliamentary election is important because it may further galvanise Macron's pro-EU mandate among the French electorate.

The voting comes amid a wider debate on the future of the UK following a snap election result that saw prime minister Theresa May's Tory party weakened. The Tories won the vote but lost seats, posing questions over May's ability to steer Britain out of the EU.

On Wednesday, EU commission president Jean-Claude Juncker will be debating with MEPs the broader implications the UK election has for Brexit.

The Brexit debate will then follow with a special appearance from Malta's prime minister Joseph Muscat, also on Wednesday, who will be asked about his administration's links to dubious tax shelter schemes.

Muscat himself called a snap election earlier last month, which he survived, following allegations his wife owns an offshore firm in Panama.

But Juncker will first be meeting with his commissioners on Tuesday, in the so-called college, to decide on big issues.

Among them is the possibility to take a handful of EU states to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg for failing to adhere to legally-binding rules under an EU programme that distributes asylum seekers from Greece and Italy to other EU states.

The move comes ahead of announcements by the Czech Republic that it would no longer participate in the EU relocation scheme, followed by similar comments from Poland's president.

The issue has created a rift between the EU and the dissenting member states in their stated aims on solidarity.

It also throws into question other asylum related reforms. Meanwhile, the EU commission will be presenting its latest findings on the two-year relocation programme due to end in September.

Thursday is also a big day for the eurozone finance ministers in the Eurogroup. Ministers are meeting in Luxembourg to decide whether to release the next tranche of bailout money for Greece.

End of roaming charges

Within the mix of meetings, election news, and scheduled policy decisions, also comes the end of roaming charges throughout the EU on Thursday.

People travelling from one EU state to another will no longer be billed extra for using their mobile phones away from home.

The move will be seen as a major achievement by the EU commission, which has pushed the roaming-free regime for years, as part of a bigger drive towards integration.

Brits and French go to polls This WEEK

The British election will determine who will lead the UK out of the EU, while French leader Macron hopes to secure his base for more eurozone integration.

EU summit and Brexit This WEEK

Security and defence, along with Brexit and migration, are among the big issues to be discussed as leaders from all 28 EU states converge in Brussels for meetings and a summit.

EU votes on future leaders This WEEK

The political spotlight switches from Brussels to national capitals and regions this week as Europe gears up for the start of European Parliament elections on Thursday

Spanish vote and EU court's Airbnb ruling in focus This WEEK

Spanish voters are heading to the polls, while in other EU member states campaigning for the European elections is picking up after Easter. The EU's top court will issue important rulings on both the EU-Canada free trade agreement and Airbnb.

News in Brief

  1. Sweden Democrat MEP ousted for revealing sex harassment
  2. 80% of Erasmus students find job within three months
  3. September elections in Austria after Strache scandal
  4. Swiss voters approve tighter gun controls in line with EU
  5. Report: May's fourth Brexit vote a 'retread' of old ideas
  6. Turkey insists on right to drill for oil off Cyprus coast
  7. Anti-Salvini banners become new trend in Italy
  8. EU flies rainbow flag on anti-homophobia day

Opinion

Europe's far-right - united in diversity?

Europe's far-right is set to rise in the next European Parliament election. This vote will not yet allow the populists to build a majority. But it may become another milestone in their process of changing European politics.

Magazine

All about the European Parliament elections 2019

EUobserver's new magazine is meant to help readers prepare for the European Parliament elections, no matter their level of knowledge. You can download and read the entire magazine now.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  3. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  4. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  5. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  6. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  11. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  12. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us