Thursday

8th Dec 2022

Agenda

EU agencies and eastern neighbours This WEEK

  • Two EU agencies will say goodby to London after Brexit (Photo: almost witty)

Ministers will get be immersed on Monday (20 November) in a complicated three-stage se­cret bal­lot­ing process to decide where to relocate the European Medicine Agency (EMA) and the European Banking Authority (EBA) from London, which need to find a new home in the EU after Brexit.

"It is a serious issue and procedure, we have to order in some sandwiches before we have a result," a senior EU official quipped this week in anticipation of the closely-watched race for the first 'prizes' left in the wake of Brexit.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

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

... or subscribe as a group

Nineteen candidate cities competing. No clear favourite have emerged for either of the two agencies, in a process where objective criteria are likely to be tempered by political calculations.

Brexit will remain high on the agenda throughout next week, as prime minister Theresa May and EU Council chief Donald Tusk will meet on Friday (24 November) to talk about whether enough progress has been made to start talks on transition and the future relationship.

Tusk has said that the UK needs to make progress by early December for EU leaders to give the green light on the next phase of talks at their summit on 14-15 December.

EU affairs ministers will also hear the latest updates from EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier on Monday, while the council's Brexit working group will continue setting out how it sees the possibilities for the future relationship and transition.

Mladic verdict

On Wednesday (22 November) the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in the Hague will give its verdict on Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb general accused of overseeing the murders of thousands of Muslim boys and men in and around Srebrenica, and other war crimes, including the siege of Sarajevo in the 1992-95 Bosnian war.

A guilty verdict would mean some healing for the survivors and the victims. However Mladic is still celebrated by most Serbs as a hero.

The verdict highlights the still fragile situation in Bosnia, where Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik wants to pull the Republic Srpska out of the tripartite power-sharing agreement that has kept it together since the 1995 peace accord.

Glyphosate

Glyphosate will be one of the main issues on the table next week.

On Monday (20 November) the environment committee in the European Parliament will hold a public hearing on the European citizens' initiative (ECI) banning the possibly toxic herbicide.

This ECI calls for a ban on glyphosate, a reform of the herbicide approval procedure, and EU-wide mandatory reduction targets for herbicide use.

On 9 November EU member states failed again to agree on a licence renewal period for the controversial chemical, despite an 18-month debate.

In the European Parliament next week, changes in the rules of how EU political parties are funded will be voted on in the constitutional affairs committee on Thursday (23 November).

Partnership

The education and culture council on Monday and Tuesday (20-21 November) will discuss the future of skills and the changing role of vocational education and training.

EU countries will try to reach a general approach on the issue of European Solidarity Corps, aiming to support volunteering opportunities for young people.

On Wednesday (22 November) the Parliament will host a high-level conference on Africa to look into recent developments in security, human rights, sustainable development and migration ahead of the upcoming EU-Africa Summit.

It will mark the opening of the Africa week in the Parliament.

The week will end with the Eastern Partnership Summit on Friday (24 November) in Brussels.

EU leaders and the six eastern European countries will look at the possibilities for future cooperation, and how to forge closer ties even though the EU does not plan to take in new members before 2019 at the earliest.

The leaders of five of the states - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine - will be in Brussels for the event, although it is not yet clear if Belarus' Aleksander Lukashenko will attend.

Magazine

Decision day for EU agencies relocation race

EU ministers will decide on the future location of two London-based EU agencies on Monday. In this edition of EUobserver's Regions & Cities magazine, we take a closer look at some of the EU agencies.

Bosnia referendum makes mockery of EU step

Western powers have urged Bosnian Serbs to abandon a referendum that threatens to destabilise the country and to undo its EU application, filed Tuesday.

Opinion

EU's eastern partnership needs revival

A week before a summit with EU eastern neighbours, Sweden and Poland's foreign ministers propose "a way ahead" for the relationship that is more focused on people's needs.

EU fails again to agree glyphosate renewal

Member states failed to agree on a licence renewal for weedkiller glyphosate. A new vote will take place before 22 November at the European Commission's appeal committee.

Africa and EU summit This WEEK

Billed as a new partnership, the EU and Africa summit in Abidjan will focus on youth and jobs. The gathering takes place against the backdrop of migratory flows towards Europe and reports of open slave auctions in Libya.

Opinion

The military-industrial complex cashing-in on the Ukraine war

From the outset, arms manufacturers eyed this war as a profitable business opportunity. Structural changes took place across the EU, not only to fast-track arms to Ukraine, but also to make more public finance available to the highly-lucrative arms industry.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersLarge Nordic youth delegation at COP15 biodiversity summit in Montreal
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP27: Food systems transformation for climate action
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region and the African Union urge the COP27 to talk about gender equality
  4. International Sustainable Finance CentreJoin CEE Sustainable Finance Summit, 15 – 19 May 2023, high-level event for finance & business
  5. Friedrich Naumann Foundation European DialogueGender x Geopolitics: Shaping an Inclusive Foreign Security Policy for Europe
  6. Obama FoundationThe Obama Foundation Opens Applications for its Leaders Program in Europe

Latest News

  1. EU takes legal action against China over Lithuania
  2. EU Commission shoring up children's rights of same-sex parents
  3. The military-industrial complex cashing-in on the Ukraine war
  4. EU delays Hungary funds decision, as Budapest vetoes Ukraine aid
  5. Borrell gets pension from MEP fund set for taxpayer bailout
  6. Autocrats make us all less secure
  7. Big Agri's lies: green EU farming not to blame for food insecurity
  8. German top court declares €800bn EU recovery fund 'legal'

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBA lot more needs to be done to better protect construction workers from asbestos
  2. European Committee of the RegionsRe-Watch EURegions Week 2022
  3. UNESDA - Soft Drinks EuropeCall for EU action – SMEs in the beverage industry call for fairer access to recycled material
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic prime ministers: “We will deepen co-operation on defence”
  5. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us