Saturday

15th Aug 2020

Agenda

EU-Africa strategy and circular economy plan This WEEK

  • EU-Africa strategy will open seven months of negotiations (Photo: Defence Images)

The European Commission is set to unveil the EU-Africa strategy, on Monday (9 March), aiming to strengthen economic cooperation and sustainable development between both continents.

This new "partnership" will open seven months of negotiations between ministers and leaders from the two sides.

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The rules for sustainable finance, also known as "EU taxonomy", will also be published on Monday.

The EU taxonomy framework will help investors and consumers to identify economic activities that can unambiguously be considered environmentally green - although the commission will have to develop a specific taxonomy of harmful economic activities for the environment by the end of 2021.

Also on Monday, four fugitive suspects charged with the murder of 298 passengers and crew aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 will be heard by a panel of three Dutch judges in The Hague.

The commission will present on Tuesday (10 March) the EU's new industrial strategy, with which Brussels aims to boost EU companies.

On Wednesday, the commission will unveil the new circular economy action plan to speed up the EU's transition towards a more sustainable economy.

This strategy will analyse the lifecycle of products, such as textiles, construction materials, electronics and plastics, according to the commission.

On the same day, the commissioner for justice, Didier Reynders, will be in an event organized by the French president, Emmanuel Macron, on the occasion of the 16th European day of remembrance for victims of terrorism.

In addition, Unesco will hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday over coronavirus-related school closures, as more than 300m kids worldwide are missing school because of the outbreak.

So far, only Italy and Greece have taken this extraordinary measure in Europe.

Plenary in Brussels

On Monday, MEPs will kick-start the plenary session in Brussels discussing the new EU climate law, after president David Sassoli cancelled the plenary in Strasbourg due to the coronavirus outbreak.

MEPs will discuss on Tuesday the conclusions of the special European summit on the EU's long-term budget for 2021-2027.

Then, MEPs will vote on the launch of automated data exchange of fingerprint data with the United Kingdom.

The new circular economy action plan, SMS strategy and EU-Africa strategy will be also discussed in the parliament on Tuesday, as well as the coronavirus outbreak.

On the same day, MEPs will receive the president of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo.

MEPs will discuss on Wednesday the current migration situation at the Greek-Turkish border and the EU's response, amid growing violence on the EU border.

"The situation today at the EU's borders with Turkey was avoidable," said the chair of the parliament's committee on civil liberties, justice and home affairs, Juan Fernandez López Aguilar.

"However, member states failed to respond to parliament's repeated calls in the last few years for a reform to the common European asylum system," he added.

Also on Wednesday, MEPs will vote on reopening an investigation against the prime minister of the Czech Republic, Andrej Babiš, on the misuse of EU funds and potential conflicts of interest, after a delegation from the committee on budgetary control carried out a "fact-finding mission" in the country.

EU ministers meetings

EU transport ministers will gather in Croatia on Tuesday and Wednesday for an informal meeting focussed on maritime affairs and shipping.

The meeting will also be attended by ministers from non-EU countries that have access to the Adriatic Sea, concretely Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania and Montenegro.

On Thursday, trade ministers will gather in Brussels to discuss recent developments in trade relations with China and the United States and the impact that coronavirus could have on supply chains and trade flows.

Likewise, there will be a discussion over the state of play of ongoing bilateral trade negotiations with Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Chile, Mexico, and Eastern and Southern Africa.

On Friday (13 March), the EU minister in charge of justice and home affairs will meet in Brussels to discuss digital justice, concretely on e-evidence (such as texts, e-mails, or messaging apps).

Finally, France will hold the first round of municipal elections next Sunday.

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.

Opinion

Don't let circular economy become a health hazard

The promotion of a circular economy must guarantee European consumers that products made from recovered or recycled materials, including plastics, do not also include recovered or recycled hazardous substances.

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Now in EU interest to work with Turkey on migration

The EU's reluctance to take in hundreds of thousands more refugees means the bloc's best option is to try to renew migration co-operation with Turkey - even if this leaves a bitter taste in its mouth.

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EU's new Africa strategy misses the mark

The EU's new Africa strategy promises relentless support for "a comprehensive continent-to-continent free trade area" - and ignores the risks posed by trade liberalisation where labour, fiscal and social regulation is immensely diverse and sometimes weak.

EU marathon summit plus security policy This WEEK

EU leaders resume their summit over the long-term budget and recovery fund, after a fruitless weekend of meetings in Brussels. Meanwhile, the European Commission is to present a new security strategy for the EU plus several action plans.

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