Friday

23rd Aug 2019

Agenda

Catalonia, Brexit, and Uber on EU agenda This WEEK

  • Turnout expected to reach over 80 percent on Thursday (Photo: Sasha Popovic)

Catalan elections are the crucial event next week, with the result to determine whether stability will be restored in Catalonia or not.

Thursday's (21 December) elections were called by the Spanish government after it suspended Catalonia's autonomy in the wake of the region's declaration of independence in October.

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

Eleven parties are be running, including Junts per Catalunya (Together for Catalonia), led by the former president of the regional government Carles Puigdemont; its former ally, the left-wing ERC; liberal Ciutadans; the Catalan Socialist Pary; and the Popular Party of Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy.

Puigdemont is currently in Belgium with four former members of his cabinet, campaigning for elections and after a Belgian court ended an extradition procedure against him.

Four Catalan activist are in jail - including the former government's vice president Oriol Junqueras - waiting for a verdict and with a pending charge for rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds.

Recent polls show that separatist parties will narrowly fail to secure a majority in the regional parliament, while the turnout could reach a record 82 percent

Brexit

Brexit will also be on the table again next week.

The European Commission will present its mandate for the next Brexit negotiations on Wednesday, after EU leaders agreed on Friday to open the second phase of the talks.

On the same day, British prime minister Theresa May will discuss with her cabinet about the trade deal that the United Kingdom is seeking to obtain from the EU after Brexit.

Energy and Transport

On Monday, EU transport ministers will discuss issues linked to renewables and energy union governance.

DIscussions are linked to the "clean energy for all Europeans package", a financial option that will shape European energy policy in the next years and concerns also financing renewable energy projects.

On Wednesday, the Court of Justice of the European Union will decide on how to classify the American transport company Uber, after its top lawyer said in an opinion to the court that Uber must be classified as a 'service in the field of transport'."

The app's features mean that "Uber cannot be regarded as a mere intermediary between drivers and passengers", and that it "is not governed by the principle of the freedom to provide services in the context of 'information society services'".

The final ruling will have repercussions for the so-called sharing economy.

Thousands march for Catalonia in Brussels

Around 45,000 people marched in support of Catalonia in Brussels to get the EU involved in mediating the conflict with Madrid. 'Europe must realise that it can still play a role in the Catalan crisis,' said self-exiled Catalan leader Puigdemont.

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.

Rule of law and Catalonia on the agenda THIS WEEK

EU Commission president Juncker will meet Czech PM Babis to discuss migration quotas. He will also receive the Romanian president - just after Juncker warned Bucharest not to backtrack on fighting corruption.

News in Brief

  1. Ocean Viking to disembark in Malta after ordeal
  2. Germany joins France in world outcry on Brazil fires
  3. British people lose faith in Brexit deal
  4. Brexit hardliners want further changes to EU deal
  5. German manufacturers confirm fear of recession
  6. Belgian socialists and liberals scrap over EU post
  7. Fall in EU migration leading to UK skills shortages
  8. Switzerland makes post-Brexit flight preparations

Investigation

The EU committee's great 'per diem' charade

Around 30 members of European Economic Social Committee, who live and work primarily in Brussels or nearby, have claimed €1.47m in a 'daily subsistence' allowance from European taxpayers to cover accommodation, food and local transport for meetings held in Brussels.

EU ends silence on Hong Kong protests

The EU, in league with Canada, has spoken out on the Hong Kong protests after months of silence in what one expert called "a clear expression of support for the protesters".

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. Spain heading for yet another general election
  2. EU to discuss Brazil beef ban over Amazon fires
  3. 'Our house is burning,' Macron says on Amazon fires
  4. What happens when trafficking survivors get home
  5. EU states and Russia clash on truth of WW2 pact
  6. EU considers new rules on facial recognition
  7. EU to pledge Africa security funds at G7 summit
  8. Letter from the EESC on per diem article

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us