Sunday

12th Jul 2020

Agenda

Juncker to outline EU vision This WEEK

  • Juncker will address MEPs in Strasbourg. (Photo: European Parliament)

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker will outline his vision for Europe in his state of the union speech this Wednesday (13 September) in Strasbourg.

The speech, which opens the political season in the EU, is the final one to come ahead of the Juncker commission's last full year before the spring 2019 European elections.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

The president is expected to reflect on the last year's political events, with Emmanuel Macron winning the French presidential election against far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, and populist Geert Wilders failing to win the biggest number of votes in the Dutch elections.

"We are at an important political juncture […] which offers a unique possibility for the president to remind us of things that have happened," a spokesperson said last week of the speech.

Juncker will also try to "crystallise" the debate on the future of Europe, a commission spokesperson said.

In March, the commission chief proposed five different scenarios, ranging from loose cooperation to a strong political union among EU countries.

One of the options gaining traction is multi-speed Europe, which is opposed mainly by central and eastern European member states, but has gathered the support of French president Macron.

The Luxembourger is also expected to set out several proposals, including one on trade - aiming to exclude bilateral investment deals in future trade agreements and push for the multilateral investment court, a planned permanent body.

Juncker's speech will take place in the first plenary week of the European Parliament after the summer break.

MEPs at work

MEPs will kick off the sitting on Tuesday (12 September) by discussing migration, North Korea and Turkey.

The parliament in July has already called for the accession talks with Turkey to be suspended, while member states have discussed it again last week after Germany's chancellor, Angela Merkel, said Turkey should not become an EU member.

MEPs in the constitutional affairs committee on Monday (11 September) will discuss a proposal to reduce the number of EU parliament members to 700 after the next election in spring 2019, aiming to keep the remaining 51 in reserve for a possible pan-EU list of candidates.

On Tuesday, MEPs will listen to the Council of the EU present its position paper on the 2018 draft budget.

Court rules

The European Court of Justice will rule on some key issues this week.

On Wednesday, the court will advise on new genetically modified organism (GMO) techniques, and the issue of how long migrants can be detained.

On Thursday, it will decide on a case involving budget airline Ryanair, determining whether Irish employment law should apply in labour issues involving its staff, or whether it should be Belgian law as some employees argue.

On Friday, eurozone and economy ministers will gather in Tallinn for an informal meeting. Greece's finance minister, Euclid Tsakalotos, the commission and the IMF will brief the Eurogroup on progress in Greece's ongoing bailout program.

Macron revives multi-speed Europe idea

"We have to think up a Europe with several formats," said the French president, who will make "concrete" proposals after the German elections.

Poland: Multi-speed EU could 'break apart'

Poland has warned that French idea of multi-speed Europe could "break apart" the EU, as Warsaw heads for confrontation with Brussels on rule of law.

Analysis

Juncker's unrealistic promise of free wifi

The commission president said "every European village and every city" will have public internet access in 2020, but the statement was not backed up by any legally binding target.

Budget talks shift gear This WEEK

European Council president Charles Michel is expected to present his compromise proposal on the EU's long-term budget and the recovery fund to national capitals in the second half of the week.

Germany's EU presidency launches This WEEK

Germany will take over the EU's rotating presidency for the next difficult six months, making two of the three EU institutions led by German politicians and officials. Poland will digest the results of the first round of its presidential election.

News in Brief

  1. Citizens' perception of judicial independence drops
  2. Irish finance minister voted in as eurogroup president
  3. Italy's League party opens office near old communist HQ
  4. 'Significant divergences' remain in Brexit talks
  5. Germany identifies 32,000 right-wing extremists
  6. WHO to hold probe of global Covid-19 response
  7. China accuses Australia of 'gross interference' on Hong Kong
  8. EU to let Croatia, Bulgaria take first step to join euro

Column

The opportunistic peace

This will be the most selfish act in recent economic history. It will burden future generations and by no means make the weakest member states better off.

Opinion

On toppling statues

The internationally-acclaimed author of King Leopold's Ghost, Adam Hochschild, writes on Belgium's problems with statues, in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDANext generation Europe should be green and circular
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNEW REPORT: Eight in ten people are concerned about climate change
  3. UNESDAHow reducing sugar and calories in soft drinks makes the healthier choice the easy choice
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersGreen energy to power Nordic start after Covid-19
  5. European Sustainable Energy WeekThis year’s EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) will be held digitally!
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic states are fighting to protect gender equality during corona crisis

Latest News

  1. Michel lays out compromise budget plan for summit
  2. Border pre-screening centres part of new EU migration pact
  3. EU 'failed to protect bees and pollinators', report finds
  4. MEPs give green light to road transport sector reform
  5. If EU wants rule of law in China, it must help 'dissident' lawyers
  6. Five ideas to reshape 'Conference on Future of Europe'
  7. EU boosts pledges to relocate minors from Greece
  8. Hydrogen strategy criticised for relying on fossil fuel gas

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us