Tuesday

31st Mar 2020

Agenda

Lagarde and Brexit centre stage This WEEK

  • MEPs will hear from the French politician on Wednesday (Photo: Consillium)

Brussels politics will come back to life next week as eurocrats and diplomats return from holidays.

They will kick off a very heavy autumn agenda in the EU with a looming Brexit and a new European Commission coming in.

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The European Parliament will start its work by finalising the composition of committees, with the election of the remaining vice-chairs in the civil liberties and constitutional affairs committees.

Christine Lagarde, the EU leaders' candidate to run the European Central Bank (ECB), will appear before the parliament's economic committee on Wednesday (4 September).

Her hearing will be followed by a vote on her appointment later that day.

On Thursday (5 September), the parliament's civil liberties committee will hold a discussion with commission vice-president Frans Timmermans on strengthening the rule of law in the EU.

Timmermans, who will remain vice-president in the next commission, is unlikely to hold onto the rule of law portfolio, however.

London will also see another week of drama in the Brexit saga.

The British parliament will hold its last debates before their work will be suspended ahead of the Queen's speech on 14 October.

If opposition and rebel MPs want to mount an effort to oust premier Boris Johnson through a no-confidence vote, or to force his hand to ask for an extension of the Brexit deadline from EU leaders, they will have to do so this coming week.

The UK's Brexit top man David Frost will also travel to Brussels this week for more talks, although the UK has so far not presented concrete alternatives to the so-called backstop - an arrangement to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland.

The Brexit working groups, with diplomats from the EU-27 member states, will also meet to discuss the latest developments and review the bloc's preparedness for a no-deal Brexit.

Lagarde set to lead ECB

The Frankfurt-based European Central Bank is set to get its first female leadership after the EU leaders in Brussels nominated Christine Legarde, who is current managing director of the International Monetary Fund.

Timmermans: von der Leyen will be tough on rule of law

The Dutch rule of law top man said the new commission would be just as tough on the issue as the current one, but would not say whether he wants to hold onto the portfolio in the next executive.

EU struggles to remain united This WEEK

EU countries continue to wrestle with economic shock of pandemic and with sharing of medical resources, posing deep questions on solidarity in the bloc.

EU goes fully online in lockdown This WEEK

EU leaders will discuss the coronavirus reponse online, while MEPs will vote on urgent measures by email. Starting accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia will also be high on the agenda.

News in Brief

  1. EU Commission: no 'indefinite' emergency measures
  2. Denmark plans 'gradual' return to normal after Easter
  3. Globally over 780,000 cases of coronavirus, 37,000 deaths
  4. EU states losing 3% of GDP a month, IMF says
  5. Fruit pickers need to cross borders too, EU says
  6. Former Slovak minister to become EU envoy on Kosovo-Serbia
  7. Hungary's Orban wins rule-by-decree vote in parliament
  8. Bars and restaurants remain open in Sweden

Podcast

Věra Jourová on surveillance and Covid-19

Commissioner for values and transparency, Věra Jourová, says Brussels will vet moves in Hungary to give prime minister Viktor Orbán scope to rule by decree and urges Facebook and Google to push official health advice to WhatsApp and YouTube.

EU struggles to remain united This WEEK

EU countries continue to wrestle with economic shock of pandemic and with sharing of medical resources, posing deep questions on solidarity in the bloc.

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