Thursday

2nd Feb 2023

Agenda

EU summit and Sakharov Prize This WEEK

Listen to article

European leaders come together again, for the second time in two weeks but this time in Brussels rather than Prague, and try to address the security of energy supplies and the price hikes across the continent.

An increasing number of leaders are worried about the social backlash to the increases in energy price, plus general inflation, and the need for action feels ever more urgent.

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 Commission is expected on Tuesday (18 October) to put forward emergency measures on energy, but it is not clear if it will include price caps.

The proposal is expected to address the joint purchases of gas, creating solidarity agreements among EU countries, more energy-savings targets, and developing a complementary benchmark for gas prices.

Last week, EU countries reached a general agreement to purchase gas through a joint platform before next summer, and energy ministers discussed different options to curb high prices.

The European Council on Thursday and Friday (20 and 21 October) will discuss the matter, but they would merely give political guidance to their ministers in charge of the matter.

On Wednesday (19 October) morning, commission president Ursula von der Leyen will brief MEPs in the European Parliament's plenary sitting about the latest developments.

Leaders are also expected to "strongly condemn" the acts of sabotage against critical infrastructure, such as those against the Nord Stream pipelines.

Rule setting

Before leaders gather in Brussels, foreign ministers will meet on Monday (17 October) in Luxembourg.

They will address the latest developments in Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and talk about EU-China relations.

The ministers will also discuss the upcoming UN climate change conference in Ethiopia.

EU affairs ministers will gather on Tuesday to prepare the leaders meeting, and also discuss in a public session the possibility of revising EU rules ahead of the 2024 European Parliament elections.

The ministers will also take a look at rule-of-law developments in Poland, which has been under the Article 7 sanctions procedure since 2017.

MEPs on Tuesday are expected to vote on the budgetary discharge of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) for the year 2020.

This discharge had been postponed from earlier this year, due to allegations related to the former management of the agency.

Sakharov

Slovakia's president Zuzana Čaputová on Wednesday is set to outline her vision for Europe to MEPs in Strasbourg.

On the same day, the European Parliament's political leaders expected to decide on the laureate for the 2022 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

The nominees this year include the people of Ukraine and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and Colombia's Truth Commission.

The winner will be announced by parliament president Roberta Metsola in the afternoon.

Still on Wednesday, MEPs are expected to discuss what the EU reaction should be to developments in Belarus and the role of the country's strongman, Alexander Lukashenka in the war against Ukraine.

MEPs on Tuesday are set to address the social and economic consequences of the war including the introduction of a windfall tax, and migration flows to the EU.

On Tuesday, lawmakers are expected to quiz the commission on what the EU is doing to protect its critical infrastructure after the alleged attacks on the Nord Stream pipelines and sabotage against the German railway system.

MEPs are set to demand that car-recharging stations be installed every 60km in the EU and greenhouse-gas emissions from ships be limited. Lawmakers will vote on a report on this on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, lawmakers are expected to debate mental health in the EU, as the economic and societal impact of ever-deepening mental health issues is enormous.

Fears on migration plus Ukraine summit this WEEK

MEPs are expected to present their migration and asylum priorities on Wednesday (1 February), before EU leaders will focus on the issue at the 9-10 February special European Council.

New sanctions and democracy in focus This WEEK

On Monday, Brussels will see EU foreign affairs ministers focusing on a 10th sanctions package against Russia, a special tribunal, and preparing the EU-Ukraine summit on 3 February in Kyiv.

Analysis

MEPs push for greater powers for workers' councils

European Works Councils can play a key role for workers and their unions to bargain effectively — but what are they, why have they been neutered, and why is big business objecting to greater powers?

Latest News

  1. MEPs launch anonymous drop-box for shady lobbying secrets
  2. Hawkish ECB rate-rise 'puts energy transition at risk'
  3. MEPs push for greater powers for workers' councils
  4. How Pavel won big as new Czech president — and why it matters
  5. French official to take on Islamophobia in EU
  6. EU green industry plan could spark 'dangerous subsidy race'
  7. Wolves should be defended, EU ministers urge
  8. EU Commission wants drones for Bulgaria on Turkey border

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Party of the European LeftJOB ALERT - Seeking a Communications Manager (FT) for our Brussels office!
  2. European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual & Reproductive Rights (EPF)Launch of the EPF Contraception Policy Atlas Europe 2023. 8th February. Register now.
  3. Europan Patent OfficeHydrogen patents for a clean energy future: A global trend analysis of innovation along hydrogen value chains
  4. Forum EuropeConnecting the World from the Skies calls for global cooperation in NTN rollout
  5. EFBWWCouncil issues disappointing position ignoring the threats posed by asbestos
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersLarge Nordic youth delegation at COP15 biodiversity summit in Montreal

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. Friedrich Naumann Foundation European DialogueGender x Geopolitics: Shaping an Inclusive Foreign Security Policy for Europe
  4. Obama FoundationThe Obama Foundation Opens Applications for its Leaders Program in Europe
  5. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBA lot more needs to be done to better protect construction workers from asbestos
  6. European Committee of the RegionsRe-Watch EURegions Week 2022

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us