Wednesday

28th Feb 2024

Agenda

Orban's EPP place and summertime back This WEEK

  • Proposals on the summertime clock changes will be voted on in the parliament's transport committee. And the clock is now ticking down to the UK actually leaving the EU - supposedly on 29 March

Europe's largest political family will continue to battle with what to do with its Hungarian member, Fidesz - which recently began its latest anti-EU campaign.

Domestic parties of the European People's Party (EPP) are fed up with having to deal with their increasingly populist and nationalist fellow party, while they try to battle nationalist and populist parties in the upcoming European elections in May.

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The letters calling for the expulsion of Fidesz from EPP members is expected to keep trickling onto EPP president Joseph Daul's desk during the week.

The French party leader, who has been an ally of Hungary's prime minister, and Fidesz leader, Viktor Orban, is also expected to reach out to the presidency of the party to discuss how to proceed.

The EPP group in the European Parliament will hold its regular meeting on Wednesday (6 March), when the issue might come up, although the expulsion procedure will have to be dealt with by the bigger far-reaching European alliance.

Prosecutor post

After the hearing of possible candidates for the EU's top prosecutor post, including the Romanian star former anti-corruption chief Laura Codruta Kovesi, the leaders of the European Parliament will meet on Thursday (7 March) and decide how to go about negotiating with member states over the final appointee.

Two parliamentary committees have supported Kovesi for the post, but member states backed her rival French candidate. Parliament and the council of member states will have to come to an agreement on whom to nominate.

On the same day, ahead of Friday's International Women's Day, an event titled "Women's Power in Politics" organised by the EP's women's rights and gender equality committee will take place.

Croatia's president, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini are expected to speak at the event.

What time is it?

Meanwhile, summertime clock changes, that seemed to have been stuck because of member states' opposition, will be back on the agenda of the EU bubble.

The commission's proposal to stop the current system of bi-annual clock changes, between so-called summer time and winter time, will be up for a vote in the transport and tourism committee on Monday (4 March).

Migration

At the end of the week, justice and home affairs ministers will gather in Brussels to discuss migration.

Ministers will be briefed on the progress of negotiations with the parliament over the controversial issue of the European Border and Coast Guard, and on the reform of the common European asylum system, which have been stuck due to sharp disagreements among EU countries.

On the back of the EU-Arab League summit, ministers will also discuss cooperation with third countries on migration.

Ministers will also be updated on the nomination procedure for the EU's top prosecutor, while discussing progress on negotiations with the parliament on the whistleblower protection directive.

Brexit talks will also continue, as parliament and member states are conflicted by whether to make the UK hold European elections if it wants to delay Brexit for a longer period. March 29 is the official date on which the UK, which joined in 1973, leaves the EU.

EPP hits threshold to trigger Orban expulsion probe

At least seven national parties from Europe's biggest political alliance, the centre-right European People's Party, want the group's 'enfant terrible', Hungary's nationalist and authoritarian Fidesz kicked out - following Budapest's latest anti-EU campaign.

More farmers, Ukraine aid, Yulia Navalnaya in focus This WEEK

EU agriculture ministers meet in Brussels amid new farmers' protests. MEPs will hear from Alexei Navalny's widow and give the final green light to the €50bn Ukraine facility, while the CBAM proposal faces a formal challenge at a WTO meeting.

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 supply chain law fails, with 14 states failing to back it

Member states failed on Wednesday to agree to the EU's long-awaited Corporate Sustainable Due Diligence Directive, after 13 EU ambassadors declared abstention and one, Sweden, expressed opposition (there was no formal vote), EUobserver has learned.

Opinion

Joined-up EU defence procurement on the horizon?

Disputes between member states, notably Germany, highlight the lack of coordination among national industrial capabilities for a European Defence Industrial Strategy — which may include the EU's first ever defence commissioner.

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