Monday

28th Nov 2022

Agenda

UN annual meeting plus Poland in focus This WEEK

  • EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, European Council president Charles Michel and the EU’s foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell will be in New York (Photo: un.or)
Listen to article

Senior EU officials will travel to New York for the UN general assembly, taking place between 20-24 September.

It comes at a sensitive moment in EU and US relations: the US's messy withdrawal from Afghanistan last month reinforced calls for more EU sovereignty, while the move last week by the US and UK to supply sensitive technology to Australia has been described as a "stab in the back" by some European politicians.

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

The EU officials will also try to push the US to join the bloc's ambitious plan in cutting greenhouse gas emissions and fighting climate change.

The European trio will not meet US president Joe Biden in person, because the US president will not be there in person, but they are scheduled to have a meeting online, EU officials said.

EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, European Council president Charles Michel and the EU's foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell on Monday will go to New York.

On Monday they will hold a high-level roundtable discussion on climate, and meet with UN secretary-general António Guterres.

On Tuesday, Michel will host a meeting of UN women with a focus on women in conflict. He will make his speech on Friday, and is expected to meet with African leaders and the president of Vietnam, Libya, and Turkey.

Michel will travel to New York from Mexico City, where he is meeting with leaders of Latin America and the Carribean countries.

The EU side is expected to raise the issue of the UK and US new security pact with Australia with its UK partners, and the issue will also feature on the October EU summit.

The deal, seen as an effort to counter China, will have the US and UK pass on sensitive technology to Australia to build nuclear-powered submarines.

The move surprised and angered EU partners, with France's foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian calling the announcement a "stab in the back".

Illiberal creep

In the meantime, over the weekend Russians went to the polls in a general election, where the winner was already clear from the beginning: president Vladimir Putin and his United Russia party.

Parliamentary and local elections began on Friday and lasted three days.

Although a total of 14 parties took part in the vote, many candidates seen as anti-Putin had been barred from running.

For the first time since 1993, election observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) were not present due to "limitations" imposed by Russian authorities.

On Wednesday (22 September), the Polish Constitutional Tribunal is holding a hearing on the issue of whether EU law has primacy in the country. It is not clear whether the tribunal will deliver a ruling.

Poland's prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki asked the court, dominated by ruling party loyalists, to make a judgment - amid a larger conflict over systematic changes to the judiciary in Poland, which the EU views as a violation of democratic norms.

Back in Brussels, on Tuesday (21 September) EU affairs ministers will meet and will focus on EU-UK relations, the Conference on the Future of Europe, Covid-19 cooperation, and preparations for the October EU summit.

EU 'stands by Afghans' but wants most kept away

The European Commission wants to help vulnerable Afghans to reach the EU, while seeking to resettle thousands of others. But an internal document also says those not welcomed should be returned to transit or so-called third countries.

Von der Leyen issues rallying cry for more EU sovereignty

The Commission president hailed the EU's scientific capabilities at providing the most vaccines to the world, and the speed at which the bloc rolled out its digital Covid-19 vaccine certificate, as examples of the EU's resources and capacities.

Opinion

US relations and European security after fall of Kabul

For Brussels in particular, one lesson should be painfully clear: do not put all your eggs in one basket. Placing big bets on Biden cannot be a substitute for a strong and common European approach to international security.

EU's Hungary funds, China, energy, and Frontex This WEEK

In the European Parliament, MEPs will hear from ECB president Christina Lagarde, Kyiv's Vitali Klitschko, and from the three candidates proposed by the EU Commission to be the new boss of EU border agency Frontex.

Zooming in on energy and migration This WEEK

Two extraordinary meetings of ministers, on gas price caps and migration, are expected, while the European Parliament will keep the heat on Hungary and the EU Commission over rule of law.

Opinion

A missed opportunity in Kazakhstan

Tokayev received congratulations on his election victory from presidents Xi, Putin, Erdogan, and Lukashenko. However, the phone in the Akorda, Kazakhstan's presidential palace, did not ring with congratulatory calls from Berlin, Paris, London, or Washington.

Sweden says 'no' to EU asylum relocation pledges

Sweden won't make any pledges to relocate asylum seekers under a French-inspired EU plan because there is no legal basis, says Sweden's ambassador to the EU. But Sweden's new right-wing government is also tightening migration rules.

News in Brief

  1. 'Pro-Kremlin group' in EU Parliament cyberattack
  2. Ukraine will decide on any peace talks, Borrell says
  3. Germany blocks sale of chip factory to Chinese subsidiary
  4. Strikes and protests over cost-of-living grip Greece, Belgium
  5. Liberal MEPs want Musk quizzed in parliament
  6. Bulgarian policeman shot dead at Turkish border
  7. 89 people allowed to disembark in Italy, aid group says
  8. UN chief tells world: Cooperate on climate or perish

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP27: Food systems transformation for climate action
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region and the African Union urge the COP27 to talk about gender equality
  3. International Sustainable Finance CentreJoin CEE Sustainable Finance Summit, 15 – 19 May 2023, high-level event for finance & business
  4. Friedrich Naumann Foundation European DialogueGender x Geopolitics: Shaping an Inclusive Foreign Security Policy for Europe
  5. Obama FoundationThe Obama Foundation Opens Applications for its Leaders Program in Europe
  6. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBA lot more needs to be done to better protect construction workers from asbestos

Latest News

  1. A missed opportunity in Kazakhstan
  2. EU's Hungary funds, China, energy, and Frontex This WEEK
  3. Sweden says 'no' to EU asylum relocation pledges
  4. The 'proof' problem with EU sanctions — and how to fix it
  5. The EU gas cap: will the bottle ever be 'uncorked'?
  6. Enough talk, only rights can eliminate patriarchal violence
  7. Swedish EU presidency: 'Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine'
  8. EU Commission to keep Hungary's EU funds in limbo

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Committee of the RegionsRe-Watch EURegions Week 2022
  2. UNESDA - Soft Drinks EuropeCall for EU action – SMEs in the beverage industry call for fairer access to recycled material
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic prime ministers: “We will deepen co-operation on defence”
  4. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  6. European Centre for Press and Media FreedomEuropean Anti-SLAPP Conference 2022

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us