Sunday

29th May 2022

Agenda

Brexit and digital services overhaul This WEEK

  • The meeting between British PM Boris Johnson and EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen last week did not yield a breakthrough (Photo: European Commission)

EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen spoke with British prime minister Boris Johnson on Sunday (13 December) and agreed to "go the extra mile" to clinch an agreement on future relations between the UK and the EU.

The two agreed, last week, to assess the state of play on Sunday, which was seen as a deadline for the talks that are already running late.

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EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier will brief EU ambassadors on Monday morning about the state of negotiations.

With only a few weeks left before the UK cuts all ties with the bloc, von der Leyen last week told EU leaders there was a greater likelihood of a no-deal.

After EU leaders at their summit last week overcame the blockade by Hungary and Poland, and unlocked the EU budget and coronavirus recovery fund, MEPs will get a chance to vote on it this week.

On Monday (14 December) the text on the controversial rule-of-law conditionality is expected to be voted on in the budget committee, and the plenary will get a chance to vote on it on Wednesday (16 December).

On Wednesday, MEPs will also vote on the seven-year EU budget file as a whole.

The same day von der Leyen and European Council president Charles Michel will brief MEPs on last week's leaders' summit.

Digital re-start

On Tuesday (15 December), the EU Commission is expected to present the Digital Services Act, a comprehensive overhaul of the European rules for online business and social media.

The commission wants to create a true digital internal market and the new proposed rules could also provide legal guarantees for the rights of platform users.

Migration is back

On Monday (14 December) EU home affairs ministers will discuss the migration and asylum pact presented by the commission earlier this year.

Ministers will focus on the external dimension, the proposed pre-entry phase, the solidarity mechanism and internal migration.

They are also expected to discuss how to improve the bloc's relations with non-EU countries in order to improve readmissions and "better manage" migration.

Belarus prize

On Wednesday at noon, the laureates of this year's European Parliament Sakharov Prize For Freedom of Thought will receive their award at a ceremony.

This year, the democratic opposition of Belarus represented by the Coordination Council - an initiative of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Svetlana Alexievich, Maryia Kalesnikava, Volha Kavalkova, Veranika Tsapkala, and political and civil society figures Siarhei Tsikhanouski, Ales Bialiatski, Siarhei Dyleuski, Stsiapan Putsila and Mikola Statkevich, have been nominated.

Water-tight?

On Tuesday and Thursday, MEPs will vote on new drinking water rules, designed to offer high quality and better access to tap water in the EU, in order to encourage people to drink tap water rather than bottled water.

The new rules are the result of the first-ever successful European Citizens' Initiative, called Right2Water which gathered over 1.8m signatures.

EU Commission plans sanctions on disinformation

In part of a series of planned measures, the EU Commission plans to better protect free elections in a digital age, strengthen independent media, and counter disinformation.

Economic worries and Hungary on the spot Next WEEK

Eurozone finance ministers will discuss the economic worries with the backdrop of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, agriculture ministers are set to talk food prices, and EU affairs ministers will put Hungary on the spot in the Article 7 procedure.

Russia sanctions and energy dominate Next WEEK

The EU Commission is expected to put forward the RePowerEU plan, which aims to help the diversification of fossil fuel imports in the bloc, as the EU aims to get rid of its dependence on Russian energy supplies.

Orbán's new state of emergency under fire

Hungary's premier Viktor Orbán declared a state of emergency due to the war in neighbouring Ukraine hours after pushing a constitutional amendment through parliament, where two-thirds of MPs are controlled by his Fidesz party, allowing his government special powers.

Opinion

When Reagan met Gorbachev — a history lesson for Putin

Neither Reagan nor Gorbachev achieved their goal at the famous Reykjavik summit of 1986. Despite that fact there are lessons that current leaders — particularly Vladimir Putin — could adopt from these two iconic leaders.

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