Wednesday

21st Feb 2024

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.

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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.

New Red Sea mission and more Russia sanctions This WEEK

EU foreign affairs ministers launch the bloc's new Red Sea naval mission, plus hold talks on new sanctions against Russia — amid Hungarian objections — on Monday. Plus a home for the EU's new anti-money laundering authority will be picked.

Nato, defence summit, and UNRWA in focus This WEEK

Nato defence ministers will meet this week ahead of the Munich Security Conference. ECB chief Christine Lagarde will address MEPs in the committee on economic affairs and MEPs will hold a debate about the defunding of the UNRWA agency.

EU's 2040 climate target and farmers in focus This WEEK

This week, the EU commission will present a proposal to cut net emissions by 90 percent by 2040, while MEPs discuss the demands of farmers' protests across Europe. Romanian president Klaus Iohannis will also address the EU parliament in Strasbourg.

Opinion

EU-Israel trade agreement must be on table to stop Rafah attack

The EU-Israel association trade agreement enabled €46.8bn of trade last year. Exports rose for both parties by around 20 percent in 2022. As the bloc's foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said: "Yes, we have the capacity to influence [Israel]."

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