Wednesday

21st Feb 2018

Agenda

Rule of law and Catalonia on the agenda THIS WEEK

  • PM Babis will be back to Brussels as Czechs vote in the presidential race

Undisciplined EU member states will be on the European Union agenda next week.

On Monday (29 January) Czech prime minister Andrej Babis will meet European Commission's president Jean-Claude Juncker and will elaborate his arguments against mandatory migrant quotas.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Babis is also facing legal charges of EU subsidy fraud, hampering his ability to form a new government.

Babis is currently trying to set up a new cabinet after his minority government stepped down, having lost a vote of confidence, on 16 January.

The meeting will follow the election of a new Czech president this weekend (26-27 January).

It's another EU race between populist and liberal ideals. The winner will be either pro-Russian, anti-immigrant, anti-Islam, eurosceptic Milos Zeman or pro-European rival Jiri Drahos.

Juncker will also meet Romanian president Klaus Iohannis on Wednesday (31 January).

The meeting comes a week after Juncker, along with vice-president Frans Timmermans, expressed their concern over the independence of Romania's judicial system.

In December Bucharest passed a reform of the judicial system that the commission considers a step back in fighting corruption and as a threat to the rule of law.

Poland

On Monday (29 January) the civil liberties committee at the European Parliament will vote on a resolution on the situation of the rule of law and democracy in Poland, as the country is considered at risk of breaching European values.

The vote comes one month after the commission's decision to trigger an Article 7 rule of law procedure against Poland over a judicial overhaul that, according to the EU executive, undermines EU rules and values.

Catalonia continued

The Catalan parliament will vote for the new president of the government on Tuesday (30 January) or Wednesday.

The former region's leader Carles Puidgemont, who is currently in Belgium in a self-imposed exile after facing charges of rebellion and sedition in Spain, is the only candidate but the Spanish government has asked the Constitutional Court to block his candidacy.

Brexit's back

Brexit will also be back on next week's EU menu.

EU27 ministers are expected on Monday (29 January) to adopt a new set of negotiating directives for the forthcoming Brexit talks, which focus on the transition period.

The EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier and the UK's Brexit minister David Davis and their teams wil then resume formal talks on the transition.

On Thursday (1 February) MEPs, national experts and activists will discuss the situation of citizens' rights at a public hearing at the European Parliament.

Mercosur

EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem and EU agriculture commissioner Phil Hogan will try to reach a deal in Brussels with the Argentine, Brazilian, Paraguayan and Uruguayan foreign ministers next Tuesday (30 January) as a new rounds of talks kick off on the Mercosur free trade deal.

This round of talks could be the decisive one to be able to reach an agreement in a few weeks.

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.

ECB, Budget, EU elections This WEEK

EU leaders will gather to begin talking about the 2019 election process and the post-2020 budget, while eurozone finance ministers will ponder choosing the next European Central Bank deputy chief.

News in Brief

  1. MEPs approve anti-smuggling bill on tobacco
  2. SPD members start voting on new Merkel-led government
  3. Barroso lobbied Katainen for Goldman Sachs
  4. Berlusconi's coalition ahead with 34.7% support
  5. Moscovici: Greece '99 percent' there to get new bailout
  6. Simone Veil to enter France's Pantheon in July
  7. German poll puts far-right AfD ahead of SPD for first time
  8. Commissioners poised to join EU-Mexico trade talks

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Climate ShowSupporting Start-Ups & SMEs in the Energy Transition. Tomorrow the Brussels Pre-Event
  2. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Tourism Year to Promote Business and Mutual Ties
  3. European Jewish CongressAt “An End to Antisemitism!” Conference, Dr. Kantor Calls for Ambitious Solutions
  4. UNESDAA Year Ago UNESDA Members Pledged to Reduce Added Sugars in Soft Drinks by 10%
  5. International Partnership for Human RightsUzbekistan: Investigate Torture of Journalist
  6. EPSUMovie Premiere: 'Up to The Last Drop' - 22 February, Brussels
  7. CESICESI@Noon on ‘Digitalisation & Future of Work: Social Protection For All?’ - March 7
  8. UNICEFExecutive Director's Committment to Tackling Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Children
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region 2018: Facts, Figures and Rankings of the 74 Regions
  10. Mission of China to the EUDigital Economy Shaping China's Future, Over 30% of GDP
  11. Macedonian Human Rights Movement Int.Suing the Governments of Macedonia and Greece for Changing Macedonia's Name
  12. Dialogue PlatformBeyond the Errors in the War on Terror: How to Fight Global Militarism - 22 February

Latest News

  1. Eastern states push back at rule of law conditions on funds
  2. Katainen explains: My friend Barroso did not lobby me
  3. A European budget: securing a prosperous future for Europe
  4. Poland wrong to log in ancient forest, says EU lawyer
  5. EU taxpayers risk bailing out MEP pension scheme
  6. Commissioner Katainen confirms Barroso lobbied him
  7. Eurogroup chief pledge on transparency after meeting MPs
  8. Poland shows no sign of concessions to Commission