Tuesday

23rd Jan 2018

Agenda

Catalonia and Nordic Council on agenda This Week

  • The five Nordic Council countries will be meeting in Helsinki. The future of the Arctic will be discussed. (Photo: Christopher Michel)

The week's main focus within the EU will be on Spain, and the consequences of the triggering of article 155 by the Spanish senate on Friday, following Catalonia's regional parliament's approval of a resolution declaring Catalonia an "independent and sovereign state".

Article 155 will be effective as of Saturday (28 October), and will allow the central government to dismiss Catalan leaders, call for new regional elections and take control of finances and police. Spanish prime minister Rajoy said he had "no alternative" to the move.

EU institutions

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In the meantime in Brussels there will be less business as usual, since the European institutions will be closed on Wednesday and Thursday for the All Saints' Day's holidays.

Between Monday (30 October) and Thursday (2 November), some EP committee delegates will carry out missions.

The European Parliament committee on international trade will send a delegation to Australia and New Zealand ahead of the start of trade talks at the end of the year, agreed by the European Parliament on 26 October.

EU delegates will meet the chief negotiators and stakeholders and hold fields visit to European companies active in both countries. Australia is the EU's third-largest trading partner but has no preferential access to the EU market.

An European mission of the committee on legal affairs will go to Silicon Valley, California, to discuss the enforcement of copyright, patents, trademarks and the new EU copyright package with representatives from companies such as Google, Facebook, Apple, Pixar, Universal Music and 21st Century Fox.

A legislative package for the modernisation of EU copyright rules including a new directive on copyright in the digital single market was presented by the European Commission in November 2016 and is still under discussion.

On next week's agenda there will also be, between 30 October and 1st November, a meeting in Kiev among MEPs and national MPs from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine to agree on their input to the Eastern Partnership Summit.

That meeting will take place in Brussels on 24 November and will be focused on a strengthen cooperation between the countries in the four priority areas (a stronger economy, connectivity, society and governance)

Nato

From Tuesday (31 October) to Friday (3 November) foreign affairs and defence committees MEPs will be traveling to Washington and Norfolk in the US, in order to discuss EU-Nato cooperation, with high-ranking NATO officials, US Congressmen and the State and Defense Departments.

Next week, NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, will visit Japan on Monday, 30 October and Tuesday, 31 October 2017 and the Republic of Korea from Wednesday, from 1 November 2017 to Friday, 3 November 2017.

Nordic countries

On the northern front, the 69th session of the Nordic Council will be held in Helsinki on Monday 30 October to Thursday 2 Nov. The Nordic prime ministers will also meet in a summit in conjunction with the session. Among the issues that will be debated during the council there will be refugees and migration, sustainability and the Arctic, and the programme for the next year's Nordic Council.

The Nordic Council is the official body for formal inter-parliamentary cooperation. Within the council there are 87 members from Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, the Faroe islands, Greenland and Aland. It was formed in 1952.

Brexit

Concerning Brexit, there will be some talks about Brexit within the transport committee of the UK parliament concerning the field of aviation on Monday 30 October and, on 3 November, there will be the second reading of the file concerning terms of withdrawal from the EU.

Spain and Catalonia reach point of no return

The Spanish government will suspend Catalonia's autonomy, after the region's parliament declared its independence. The EU does not recognise the would-be state and warns against the use of force.

Bulgaria takes over, Germany's SPD votes This WEEK

While Bulgaria and Ireland present themselves at next week's plenary at the European Parliament, Germany's Social Democrats will decide if the preliminary coalition deal with Merkel is good enough.

Berlusconi in Brussels on pre-election charm offensive

Berlusconi reassured EPP leaders about the reliability of his centre-right coalition with the eurosceptic Northern League against the rise of the populist Five Star movement, ahead of Italian political elections in March.

EU states loosen grip on tax havens

Finance ministers removed eight entities from the tax havens blacklist, while ruling out more transparency or sanctions - prompting criticism from tax-campaigning NGOs such as Oxfam.

News in Brief

  1. Auditors criticise EU economic governance implementation
  2. Dutch environment group appeals air quality ruling
  3. Commission opens case into Polish railways state aid
  4. EU remove eight places from tax havens blacklist
  5. UK to keep forces in Germany over Russia fears
  6. Finnish presidential vote could go to second round
  7. Report: EU might pay Brexit residency fees for EU citizens
  8. Puigdemont free to travel around EU

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