Monday

18th Jun 2018

Agenda

Dutch debate on EU agenda This WEEK

  • The Netherlands' Mark Rutte, sounds less EU-enthusiastic than Jean-Claude Juncker might like (Photo: Roel Wijnants)

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

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.

Greece and Merkel's fate top This WEEK

Eurozone ministers are expected to give the green light to the final disbursement of aid to Greece and agree on measures to help with its debt burden. Meanwhile, the government in Berlin is shaken by Bavarian rebels over migration.

New governments in Spain and Italy This Week

MIgration will be back in the EU limelight as interior ministers discuss the latest proposals on asylum. Italy's new minister is a fan of Orban and has vowed mass deportations.

Budget and Bettel on the EU's agenda This Week

MEPs will have their first chance to discuss the EU Commission's plans for the next long-term EU budget in Strasbourg. At the same time, a court case in Luxembourg may shake up the 'rule of law' debate.

Opinion

EU summit: migrants get a 'vote' too

Non-citizens from Nigeria to Afghanistan get a binding 'vote' on whatever the EU's internal debates submit to them. They will vote with their feet on whether to keep trying their luck when faced with a new system.

Basque threat of 'second front' for independence

Last weekend some 175,000 people in the Basque country demanded a 'right to decide'. For some, it means more autonomy from Spain, others independence. "We want to open a second front within the Spanish state," says one Basque politician.

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