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24th Feb 2024

Agenda

Dutch debate on EU agenda This WEEK

  • The Daphne Caruana Galizia murder continues to see EU ripples (Photo: European Parliament)

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte will debate the future of the EU with MEPs and with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker in Strasburg on Wednesday (13 June).

The discussion, part of a series, comes ahead of an EU summit on 28 June and is likely to foreshadow the main topics of the leaders' talks: migration, eurozone reform, Brexit, the EU budget, Russia, and US trade.

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Rutte commands authority as the leader of a net contributor to EU funds and of a founding EU country.

But his views on migration have swung to the right, while his views on euro governance and EU spending are closer to those of some British eurosceptics than to Juncker's ideas on more Europe and more money for Europe.

The Rutte debate also comes after European leaders lock horns with US president Donald Trump on trade tariffs at a G7 meeting in Canada this weekend, an event that will also mark the debut of the new Italian prime minister, who wants to end Western sanctions on Russia, on the world stage.

Poland

MEPs will, also on Wednesday, discuss rule of law in Poland with the commission's Frans Timmermans after he initiated sanctions against Warsaw in one of the EU's thorniest confrontations.

They will turn to kitchen sink issues in a vote the same day on how to redistribute the 76 MEP seats to be left vacant when the UK exits the bloc next year.

They will also legislate, one day earlier, on Tuesday, on how to use drones more safely, and hold a debate, together with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, on how to save the Iran nuclear arms control deal.

There are few EU ministers' meetings next week and few high-profile commission events, as EU institutions hunker down to prepare for the upcoming summit.

But justice commissioner Vera Jourova will travel on a sensitive mission to Malta to meet ministers and law enforcement chiefs on Friday.

The trip comes after the murder of a top journalist, Daphne Caruana Galizia, last year, amid her allegations of top-level corruption on the Mediterranean island, with both EU officials and MEPs now getting involved to try to see that justice is done.

Energy ministers on Monday (11 June) will discuss progress in negotiations with the European Parliament on three clean energy bills. They will also try to reach a common position on the future of the EU agency for the cooperation of energy regulators (ACER).

Juncker seeks budget whip on unruly states

EU officials want discretionary powers to suspend funds from states that violate treaty values, in a bold power grab amid likely clashes with Hungary and Poland.

New Red Sea mission and more Russia sanctions This WEEK

EU foreign affairs ministers launch the bloc's new Red Sea naval mission, plus hold talks on new sanctions against Russia — amid Hungarian objections — on Monday. Plus a home for the EU's new anti-money laundering authority will be picked.

Nato, defence summit, and UNRWA in focus This WEEK

Nato defence ministers will meet this week ahead of the Munich Security Conference. ECB chief Christine Lagarde will address MEPs in the committee on economic affairs and MEPs will hold a debate about the defunding of the UNRWA agency.

EU's 2040 climate target and farmers in focus This WEEK

This week, the EU commission will present a proposal to cut net emissions by 90 percent by 2040, while MEPs discuss the demands of farmers' protests across Europe. Romanian president Klaus Iohannis will also address the EU parliament in Strasbourg.

Opinion

After two years of war, time to hit Putin's LNG exports

Two years of tragedies, with well over 100,000 Russian war crimes now registered, underscore the urgent need to stop international LNG investments in Russia that continue to fund Vladimir Putin's war chest.

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