Sunday

21st Jul 2019

Agenda

May-Juncker meeting sets the tone This WEEK

  • May will travel to Brussels to lunch with Juncker and try to convince him 'sufficient progress' has been made (Photo: European Commission)

British prime minister Theresa May will need to carry with her a set of proposals on Monday (4 December) when she arrives to Brussels for lunch with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker.

This is when the "absolute deadline" – as defined by European Council president Donald Tusk – expires for the UK to make the final proposals on the three key issues of the first phase of divorce talks: citizens' rights, the financial settlement and the Irish border.

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

Negotiations are ongoing over the weekend before Monday's lunch, and the 'choreography' for the meeting is still under discussion.

On citizens' rights, most issues have been worked out, although the role of the EU's top court in guaranteeing those rights is still under discussion.

On the financial settlement, the UK has offered to pay almost all the EU has asked for.

But on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland the two sides are still hammering out a compromise between the two positions: the Republic of Ireland wanting the UK to guarantee that Northern Ireland will not diverge from EU rules, and the UK wanting to keep options open

On Wednesday (6 December), the college of commissioners will assess the progress achieved in the talks so far, based on a report by EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier.

The commission will make its recommendations to the EU leaders on whether to move on to the next phase of negotiations.

Member states' diplomats then would start wording the final document for the EU summit on 14-15 December that could give the green light for talks to enter their second phase, focusing on future relations and trade.

Eurozone adventures

On Monday euro area finance ministers will chose a new chief.

Portugal's Mario Centeno, Luxembourg's Pierre Gramegna, Slovakia's Peter Kazimir and Latvia's Dana Reizniece-Ozola are in the race for the crucial post - amid plans to radically overhaul the eurozone's functioning.

The Socialist Centeno is seen as the favourite to replace the outgoing Jeroen Dijsselbloem from the Netherlands.

On Wednesday (6 December) the EU Commission will roll out its ambitious plans for the eurozone reform, the central project of the Juncker Commission as the UK leaves the bloc.

There has been concern that as chancellor Angela Merkel struggles to form a governing coalition in Germany, the reform will may stall.

However, legislative proposals will be published to transform the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) into a European Monetary Fund in the next two years, and to create a real backstop for the bank single resolution fund - a lender of last resort in a crisis that would represent the final element in the banking union.

The EU executive will also present plans on how to strengthen expert support to member states for structural reforms.

Rex and tax

On Tuesday (5 December) foreign ministers will host US secretary of state Rex Tillerson at their informal meeting amid speculation that Tillerson faces the sack by president Donald Trump.

On Tuesday, the 28 finance ministers will approve an EU list of tax havens, jurisdictions that are not "cooperative" with efforts to prevent tax fraud and tax avoidance.

The 'blacklist' will not include EU countries, such as Ireland, Malta, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, which are seen by many as part of the problem.

Justice

On Thursday (7 December) MEPs in the civil liberties committee will hold another hearing on the situation in Hungary.

It feeds into the committee's efforts to draw up a report on whether there are sufficient concerns on the rule of law and democracy that the European Parliament should trigger Article 7, a sanctions procedure.

Hungary's foreign minister will be defending his government's position.

At the end of the week, home affairs and justice ministers meet on Thursday and Friday to focus on how to tackle radicalisation, and combatting terrorism.

The latest proposal of the Estonian presidency on migration and the toxic issue of relocation quotas however, will be not be discussed.

On Monday ex-Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont will again stand before a Belgian judge, who will decide on Spain's European arrest warrant against him. And on Thursday, pro-independence Catalans will march in Brussels to mark the start of the election campaign in Catalonia.

Netanyahu, Panama Papers, and Brexit This WEEK

The run-up to the Christmas break sees a packed schedule, including the EU summit on Brexit, migration and other issues, a rare visit by Israeli PM Netanyahu, and issues such as fishing quotas and the Panama Papers.

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.

EU goes on holiday as new UK PM arrives This WEEK

Boris Johnson is almost certain to become the UK's next prime minister, and oversee Brexit until the 31 October deadline, as work in the EU bubble is winding down for the summer.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  5. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  7. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  8. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  9. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  10. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North

Latest News

  1. EU goes on holiday as new UK PM arrives This WEEK
  2. Survey: Half of EU staff 'don't know' ethics rules
  3. Von der Leyen signals soft touch on migrants, rule of law
  4. Timmermans: von der Leyen will be tough on rule of law
  5. Timmermans trolls 'idiot' Brexit negotiators
  6. Rudderless Europe: Will real Germany please stand up?
  7. PiS & Fidesz claim credit for von der Leyen victory
  8. Von der Leyen faces gender battle for commission posts

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  3. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  4. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  6. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan
  7. UNICEFUNICEF Hosts MEPs in Jordan Ahead of Brussels Conference on the Future of Syria
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic talks on parental leave at the UN
  9. International Partnership for Human RightsTrial of Chechen prisoner of conscience and human rights activist Oyub Titiev continues.
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic food policy inspires India to be a sustainable superpower
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersMilestone for Nordic-Baltic e-ID
  12. Counter BalanceEU bank urged to free itself from fossil fuels and take climate leadership

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us