Friday

6th Aug 2021

Agenda

Slovenia takes the EU steering wheel This WEEK

  • Slovenia's prime minister Janez Janša has already engaged in several twitter spats with top EU politicians (Photo: consilium.europa.au)

Slovenia is taking over the EU's rotating presidency on Thursday (1 July) - marked by EU commissioners traveling to Ljubljana to mark the start of the six-month period.

The Slovenian presidency has plenty of EU files it needs to push through the bloc's legislative machinery, with migration and asylum reform being one of the top priorities.

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The presidency will also oversee the Conference on the Future of Europe, which should produce tangible results early next year.

Slovenia will give special attention to its neighbourhood, and Western Balkan integration into the EU. In October, the country will host the EU–Western Balkans summit.

The country's prime minister Janez Janša, a major ally of Hungary's prime minister Viktor Orbán, has been criticised for smearing journalists, and has been entangled in several Twitter spats with top EU politicians.

While Janša will not have an impact on the day-to-day operations on the presidency, the platform it gives to the increasingly bellicose PM - who has refused to appoint his nationally-allocated prosecutors to the new EU chief prosecutors office - has been a cause for concern.

In the European Parliament on Tuesday (29 June), the civil liberties and home affairs committee will vote to set up the asylum and migration fund, and the instrument for financial support for border management and visas.

On Monday, MEPs on the health and environment committee will quiz commission vice-president Margaritis Schinas on what lessons the EU executive has learned from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The same day MEPs on the home affairs committee will discuss with commissioner Ylva Johansson the situation of migrant arrivals at the EU's closest borders with Africa, and in particular in Ceuta.

On Thursday, the parliament's economic committee will hear from Christian Lagarde, the governor of the European Central bank.

Slovenia causing headaches for new EU anti-graft office

Slovenia was supposed to nominate a delegated prosecutor for the new European Public Prosecutor Office, in charge of cracking down on corruption of EU funds. Ljubljana finalised procedures in December but has yet to send nominations, causing headaches.

EU institutions brace for impact of Slovenia's Janša

The Slovenian prime minister recently lashed out against both journalists and MEPs. His country will soon take over the presidency. In Brussels, there is concern - but also faith that Janez Janša cannot have much impact on the EU machinery.

EU condemns Slovenian PM's harassment of journalist

Slovenia's populist prime minister Janez Janša attempted to discredit a Brussels reporter after she published a critical article about the state of media freedoms in the country. The European Commission condemned the PM's language - but refrained from naming him.

Public spat with Brussels mars start of Slovenian presidency

A rift between Brussels and Ljubljana marred the start of the Slovenian presidency of the EU Council - with host prime minister Janez Janša publicly rebuking Brussels that "smaller countries in the EU are treated as second-class".

Recovery and rule of law are back This WEEK

EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen will continue to travel to member states to "personally hand over the assessment" of the EU executive on national Covid-19 recovery plans.

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