Monday

8th Mar 2021

Agenda

Budget and Brexit near finishing line This WEEK

  • EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said there are still too many difficulties remaining to have an EU-UK agreement on future relations (Photo: Council of the European Union)

A new round of budget talks will kick off this week on Monday (9 November) - with increasing pressure on MEPs and member states amid the second wave of corona infections in Europe to strike a deal on the €1.8 trillion long-term EU budget and coronavirus recovery package.

Adding to the pressure, in separate talks, MEPs and the German EU presidency (representing the member states) last week reached a deal on the key political issue of linking the EU budget to the respect of rule of law.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Brexit talks will also head into crucial territory, as the year-end deadline of reaching an agreement between the EU and the UK on their future relations approaches fast.

But the prospect of such an agreement still seems distant.

"At this stage, there are still too many difficulties remaining on important topics," EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said last Wednesday before he briefed the ambassadors of the 27 member states on the talks.

Key differences remain in fisheries, fair competition and dispute settlement.

A deal will also have to be ratified before the end of the year by the European Parliament.

Tackling Covid

MEPs in the parliament's economic and budgets committees will on Monday vote on the 'Recovery and Resilience Facility', which is the main pot of money in the recovery package.

MEPs on Tuesday (10 November) will discuss with national parliamentarians the commission's first annual rule of law report and the Covid-19 pandemic's impact on EU values.

At next week's plenary meeting, MEPs will also debate on Wednesday (11 November) the outcome of the US elections.

On Thursday (12 November), MEPs will debate the transparency regarding the purchase and the access to future Covid-19 vaccinations.

The same day, MEPs will discuss, and later vote, on a resolution looking at the impact of the pandemic on democracy, fundamental rights, and rule of law.

On Wednesday, lawmakers will discuss how to stop impunity for crimes committed against journalists.

Fighting terrorism and safeguarding the right to freedom of expression and education will also be debated on Wednesday.

On Monday, the women's rights committee will vote on a report on the impact of Covid-19 on women, men, and vulnerable groups.

New world

On Monday, EU foreign affairs and trade ministers will discuss, online, trade relations with the US in light of the recent elections, and debate trade relations with China.

On Friday, home affairs ministers will look at how to further strengthen the EU's efforts to fight terrorism in light of recent terrorist attacks in France and Austria.

The ministers will also continue negotiations on the commission's new migration and asylum pact.

EU seeks political accord on migration this year

The German EU presidency is striving to sort a political agreement on the migration and asylum pact before the end of the year. In reality, it means two months when factoring Christmas holidays.

Deal reached on linking EU funds to rule of law

The deal means MEPs and the German EU presidency unblocked a major political hurdle to agreeing on the €1.8 trillion long-term EU budget and coronavirus recovery package.

Coronavirus

EU Commission's Covid-19 expert offers bleak outlook

Belgian microbiologist Peter Piot offered a bleak assessment of available options to rid the world of the pandemic caused by Covid-19. Aside from wishful thinking, millions of possible deaths, and crushing poverty, a vaccine appears to be the only solution.

EU 'Future' Conference plus Covid recovery talks This WEEK

MEPs will give the green light for a more united EU health policy, a new investment plan, and debate the Covid recovery fund, which is yet to be unleashed. Lawmakers will also debate media freedom in Hungary, Poland, and Slovenia.

Women fighting Covid-19 in focus This WEEK

To help bridge the stubborn gender pay gap, the EU Commission will present pay transparency measures so that differences in wages and salaries do not remain hidden from employees.

EU leaders seek to speed up vaccinations This WEEK

EU leaders talk vaccines, while the Portugues EU presidency introduces itself to MEPs. Joe Biden will be inaugurated as president of the United States, and the EU hopes this will mark a new beginning for EU-US relations.

Unblocking Brexit and budget in focus This WEEK

With only five weeks to go before the UK severs all ties with the EU, chief negotiator Michel Barnier warned that the "same significant divergences persist" between the two sides in post-Brexit talks.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council to host EU webinars on energy, digitalisation and antibiotic resistance
  2. UNESDAEU Code of Conduct can showcase PPPs delivering healthier more sustainable society
  3. CESIKlaus Heeger and Romain Wolff re-elected Secretary General and President of independent trade unions in Europe (CESI)
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen benefit in the digitalised labour market
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersReport: The prevalence of men who use internet forums characterised by misogyny
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersJoin the Nordic climate debate on 17 November!

Latest News

  1. Frontex's 'serious incident reports' - revealed
  2. Women hit 'disproportionately' hard by Covid-19, report finds
  3. EU 'Future' Conference plus Covid recovery talks This WEEK
  4. Covid-19 recovery: How to miss the target even with a bazooka
  5. Who cares? Precarious situation facing 21st century heroines
  6. China and Russia abusing corona for geopolitics, Lithuania says
  7. Worries on Europe's infection surge, after six-week drop
  8. EU wants large firms to report on gender pay-gap or face fines

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us