Friday

19th Jul 2019

Agenda

Bulgaria takes over, Germany's SPD votes This WEEK

  • Bulgarian PM Borisov (l) and EU commission president Juncker (r) will both talk at the European Parliament plenary next week (Photo: European Commission)

Bulgaria, which took over the rotating presidency of the EU Council at the start of the year, will formally introduce itself in the European Parliament.

Welcoming the presidency, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker is expected to deliver two speeches, on Tuesday (16 January) and on Wednesday (17 January).

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

Bulgaria is overseeing the Western Balkan countries' attempt to join the EU as one of its main priorities, and intends to give the six countries a "European perspective".

The European Balkan strategy will be discussed in May as part of that effort, at a summit in Sofia, where the countries of the region will participate.

Varadkar and the future

Ireland and its youthful prime minister, Leo Varadkar, is also on the parliament's agenda.

The taoiseach, who played a crucial role in Brexit talks last month before negotiators agreed on the outline of the withdrawal agreement, will present his ideas for the future of the EU on Wednesday (17 January).

This is the first of a series of debate where MEPs and EU leaders will reflect on the future of the Union and its priorities.

Varadkar is expected to focus on the key issue of the future of relations between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland after Brexit, and how he sees the future of Europe from the perpective of Dublin.

After months of uncertainty in German politics, German coalition talks will continue to dominate.

SPD decides

On Sunday (21 January) the German Social Democrat Party's (SPD) congress would decide on the deal chancellor Angela Merkel agreed with SPD on Friday (12 January) to open coalition talks.

Friday's deal eases months of political uncertainty for Germany and the EU, but the SPD's approval of the coalition is not a given as some members are worried what a renewed 'Grand Coalition' with Merkel would do to the party's grassroots.

Russia and elections

Russian propaganda will also be on the parliament's menu.

MEPs will discuss on Wednesday (17 January) the influence of Russian propaganda in some European countries, especially to influence elections via misinformation.

No resolutions will be adopted, but the issue is particularly relevant with several elections coming up in 2018, including in Hungary and Italy.

In April, Hungary will vote. Its prime minister, Viktor Orban is considered as a Kremlin-friendly black sheep among EU leaders.

On 4 March Italian citizens will head to the polls, with the possibility of the anti-establishment 5 Star movement and Northern League seizing power.

Russian propaganda has been a major source of worry within European institutions and the EU will dedicate this year €1.1 million to the battle against foreign propaganda.

Energy will also be on the cards. The parliament will vote on three reports, on energy efficiency, renewable energy and the energy union, while the committee on legal affairs will vote on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources.

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.

May-Juncker meeting sets the tone This WEEK

As Brexit negotiations approach the (possibly) grand finale of their first phase, the EU's attention this week is turning to the eurozone - who is the new boss and how to deepen and expand it.

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.

Analysis

What did we learn from the von der Leyen vote?

The vote on von der Leyen showed the fundamental change in EU politics. The rise of the European Parliament, the power of political parties, and the fragmentation of politics, are new realities to be taken into account.

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. Timmermans: von der Leyen will be tough on rule of law
  2. Timmermans trolls 'idiot' Brexit negotiators
  3. Rudderless Europe: Will real Germany please stand up?
  4. PiS & Fidesz claim credit for von der Leyen victory
  5. Von der Leyen faces gender battle for commission posts
  6. EU proposes yearly rule of law 'reports'
  7. Poland 'optimistic' despite new EU law checks
  8. What did we learn from the von der Leyen vote?

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us