Friday

28th Jan 2022

Agenda

Biden in Brussels, recovery package underway This WEEK

  • US president Joe Biden in March joined EU leaders' summit online. He will be in Brussels now for the EU-US summit (Photo: Council of the European Union)

A formal relaunching of EU and US relations in the post-Trump era is scheduled for Tuesday (15 June), when US president Joe Biden will be in Brussels.

The most senior EU officials already met Biden at the G7 summit last week in the UK, but this will be a dedicated EU-US summit.

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Biden joined, in March, a video conference of EU leaders online, but that was more of an informal discussion rather than anything heavy on substance.

The EU and the US are set to commit at the to end their transatlantic metals and aircraft trade disputes, and call for progress on a new study into the origins of Covid-19.

The two side are expected to agree to cooperate on China policy, which is a boost for the US administration.

The draft joint statement does not mention Biden's proposals for vaccine patent-waivers to boost global vaccine production - which is a win for the EU that has been lukewarm on Biden's call.

Instead the statement pledges to reduce US export restrictions, Reuters reported.

Before Biden another North American leader will visit Brussels.

The EU-Canada summit will take place on Monday (14 June) and Canadian PM Justin Trudeau will be in town.

The leaders are expected to discuss the Covid-19 response and recovery, climate change, trade and and security.

Pandemic recovery kick-off

After Biden's visit, EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen will travel to Spain and Portugal on Wednesday (16 June), Greece and Denmark on Thursday (17 June), and Luxembourg on Friday (18 June).

The commission is expected to approve the recovery plans submitted by these countries on how they want to use the funds available from the EU's €800bn recovery fund.

"The intention is to announce the outcome of our assessment and to present our recommendations to the council on these plans," a commission spokesperson said.

The commission will propose to the council of member states to unlock the first batch of funds for the countries, which is 13 percent of their total allocation.

Parliamentary work

The European Parliament on Monday is to give its final nod to the agreement aimed to open the tax books of companies to the public.

The adoption of the so-called Public Country-by-Country Reporting wants to achieve more public pressure on companies which systematically avoid taxes.

On Tuesday, the European Parliament's budget control committee will hear from the director-general of the bloc's anti-fraud agency, Ville Itälä on OLAF'S annual report.

On Wednesday, MEPs on the civil liberties committee will hear from home affairs commissioner Ylva Johansson on the EU strategy on voluntary return and reintegration of migrants.

Commission to approve first Covid-recovery plans next week

This means that, following council approval, and after the financing agreement has been signed with EU governments, the first countries can receive pre-financing from the recovery fund, of up to 13 percent of their allocated funds.

EU counters Biden's vaccine patent-waiver with WTO plan

The EU has submitted to the World Trade Organization a plan aimed at expanding the production of Covid-19 vaccines - seen by Brussels as a quicker and more targeted solution than the intellectual property right-waiver proposal backed by the US.

Opinion

Biden in Brussels - what's in the 'in-tray'?

As president Joe Biden, EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and EU Council president Charles Michel meet today, more than seven years have passed since the last opportunity for leaders from both sides of the Atlantic to engage face-to-face.

Ukraine and Covid-19 on Europe's minds This WEEK

Throughout the week, MEPs will vote on the chairs and vice-chairs of the 20 standing committees and three sub-committees for the next two-and-a-half years, the remainder of the current legislative term.

New EU Parliament chief elected This WEEK

The lead candidate is the centre-right European People's Party's (EPP) Maltese MEP Roberta Metsola, who has been outspoke against corruption and rule-of-law issues - but some MEPs are concerned over her anti-abortion voting record.

Key talks with Russia over European security This WEEK

The Nato-Russia council will take place in Brussels on Wednesday, as western and Russian officials begin a series of meetings this week in an effort to de-escalate tensions over Ukraine's eastern border - where Russia has amassed troops.

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