Thursday

13th May 2021

Agenda

EU climate law and Thunberg visit This WEEK

  • Greta Thunberg at the European Parliament in 2019. She will be back again this week - as the EU's unprecedented climate law is unveiled (Photo: European Parliament)

The European Commission will unveil the first-ever EU climate law on Wednesday (4 March), to make its goal of reaching climate-neutrality by 2050 irreversible and legally-binding for all member states.

"The climate law will discipline everyone in the process [of the Green Deal], especially the political side, to take the necessary steps to deliver climate neutrality by 2050," the commissioner for the Green Deal, Frans Timmermans, said earlier this year.

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The environmental activist Greta Thunberg will meet also on Wednesday with the college of commissioners to exchange views on the EU's climate law, as well as with the president of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, and the members of the parliament's committee of environment, public health and food safety (ENVI).

On the same day, Timmermans will launch an open public consultation on the Green Deal for citizens and stakeholders during the climate pact citizens' dialogue event, which will take place together with a ceremony for EU mayors focused on climate action.

Also, the EU's climate chief will be in Johannesburg on Monday (2 March) to discuss with South African authorities the challenges and opportunities of climate action.

On Thursday (5 March), environment ministers will gather in Brussels to discuss air pollution, EU water legislation and the environmental dimension of the European Semester, as well as the new EU climate law and the just transition mechanism of the Green Deal.

Ahead of the United Nations (UN) climate conference in Glasgow in November (COP26), the ministers will also try to adopt the EU's climate long-term strategy - an obligation under the Paris Agreement - based on 2050 climate-neutrality goal.

Additionally, EU's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell will chair an informal meeting of EU defence ministers that will take place in Zagreb from Wednesday until Friday (6 March).

Defence ministers are expected to discuss European security and defence cooperation, stability in the immediate neighbourhood, new threats and the EU-Nato coordination.

Idlib

Also on Thursday, the leaders of Turkey, Germany, France and Russia will meet to discuss the situation in Syria's Idlib region.

Merkel and Macron have recently expressed alarm at the intensifying clashes between Turkish and Russian forces there, which have pushed one million Syrians to move to the Turkish border.

Meanwhile, Sassoli and the president of the commission, Ursula von der Leyen, will meet on Tuesday (3 March) with the prime minister of Norway, Erna Solberg.

The European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR) organise on Wednesday their Africa Summit with several speakers, such as the president of Ghana, Nana Akufo Addo.

Also on Wednesday, Sassoli will meet the president of the European Committee of the Regions, Apostolos Tzitzikostas, who hopes to increase the representation of local and regional authorities in the EU during its mandate.

"EU's legitimacy must be based on the representativeness ensured by all its elected European politicians, from local, regional, national and EU levels," Tzitzikostas told EUobserver.

Coronavirus

On Thursday, the ENVI committee will discuss with the commission the last developments of coronavirus, which "has pandemic potential," according to the World Health Organization.

Health ministers will gather in Brussels on Friday for an extraordinary meeting to better coordinate the EU's response to coronavirus.

Ahead of International Women's Day (8 March), the parliament's women's rights and gender equality (FEMM) organises on Thursday an event on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the UN Beijing Declaration, which set out strategic objectives to achieve gender equality.

Timmermans: EU climate law will 'discipline' rogue states

The first EU-wide climate law will be a "disciplining" exercise to implement the Green Deal - although the Polish climate minister Michal Kurtyka warned the EU Commission about the social cost of delivering the green transition.

Opinion

How a Croatian gas project exposes Green Deal hypocrisy

The EU Commission is pushing a wave of controversial gas infrastructure projects, in parallel to its much-touted Green Deal. One of those a flagship project of the Republic of Croatia, who currently chairs the EU presidency.

Column

Why the EU can't do security and defence

What if the EU can't guarantee European security? In times when US physical presence does not make up for its mental absence, the question got urgent.

Borrell: Africa 'needs guns' for stability

The EU's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the EU will help provide Africa with more guns to fight terrorism. "We need guns, we need arms, we need military capacities," he said in Addis Ababa.

EU climate law slammed for delaying action

The EU's unprecedented climate law will be unveiled on Wednesday, making its 2050 climate-neutrality goal irreversible, but proposal has been criticised for postponing action on the 'climate emergency'.

Thunberg dubs new EU climate law 'a surrender'

"Nature doesn't bargain, and you cannot make deals with physics", activist Greta Thunberg, and a group of 30 youth environmentalists warned, after dubbing the unprecedented EU climate law 'a surrender' for ignoring a carbon budget.

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