Saturday

10th Dec 2022

Agenda

Zooming in on energy and migration This WEEK

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We hope you all in the Brussels bubble have been busy over the weekend downloading your Twitter archive amid fears it will simply collapse, after the world's richest man took over the website a couple of weeks ago.

If it does collapse, there might be a slight panic in the EU capital — how we will find out about gossip, or odd articles that you would have not come across otherwise, plus of course futile debates.

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However, we are bringing you the agenda for next week, so even without Twitter, you will have an idea about what is happening in the EU.

This week two extraordinary meetings of ministers are expected and some of the issues need to be resolved before the leaders' summit mid-December, and deep winter.

On Thursday (24 November), energy ministers will have a meeting on the EU Commission's outline for a gas price-cap.

Governments are split over the informal proposals with Poland, Belgium and southern countries wanting to push ahead, but the Dutch, Hungarians, Germany being more reluctant.

On Friday (25 November), there will be a meeting of home affairs ministers on standoffs in Italy over migrants, and the growing row between Italy and France. Ministers will also look at migrants crossings from Serbia through Hungary's notorious fence.

In Strasbourg, the European Parliament is holding a plenary seating where on Wednesday (23 November) migration is also expected to be on the agenda.

Back in the council, on Friday foreign affair ministers will take stock of trade issues.

The EU Commission on Tuesday is expected to lay out its economic assessment and advice to national capitals as part of the European Semester economic package.

On Wednesday, MEPs will vote on a resolution declaring Russia a state sponsor of terrorism.

It is symbolic, but important. War crimes and violations of international and humanitarian law have prompted MEPs to want to prepare for holding Russian president Vladimir Putin and other officials accountable before an international tribunal.

On Tuesday (22 November), MEPs in a formal vote will adopt the so-called Women on Boards directive.

The new rule introduces transparent recruitment procedures for businesses so that at least 40 percent of non-executive director posts, or 33 percent of all director posts, are occupied by the "under-represented sex" by July 2026, using the parliament's lingo.

Hungary in limbo

MEPs will debate on Wednesday and vote on Thursday on the €18bn financial assistance to Ukraine, which EU governments still need to agree on — and where Hungary is holding out.

Hungary will be on the agenda of the plenary itself too, with MEPs on Monday discussing negotiations between the EU Commission and Hungary on the recovery fund, and the rule-of-law conditionality mechanism, which allows for the suspension of EU funds. A resolution will be voted on Thursday.

The commission was supposed to come with its verdict on Hungary's rule of law situation on Tuesday, but is likely to only reveal its cards next week.

Qatar in spotlight

On Tuesday, MEPs will discuss with EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell the war in Ukraine and its consequences on grain and fertiliser exports.

On the same day, Borrell will also be quizzed on the crackdown in Iran on protestors after the death of Mahsa Amini.

And on Monday afternoon MEPs will talk about the human rights situation in Qatar, as the country hosts the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

No top EU officials going to Qatar World Cup

None of the four top EU officials are going to the Qatar World Cup amid a stink on human rights, but some are more brave than others in criticising the gas-rich emirate.

Rights group documents forcible-transfer war crimes in Ukraine

A new Human Rights Watch report documents how Russia has forcibly transferred Ukrainian citizens from their homes to Russia and Russian-controlled areas of eastern Ukraine, a war crime in breach of international law, in a so-called "filtration" process.

Hungary's funds showdown in focus This WEEK

On Tuesday, EU finance and economy ministers are expected to discuss a whole series of highly-political files, with one country tying it all together: Hungary. EU and Western Balkan leaders will also meet in Tirana.

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.

Opinion

A plea to the EU from inside Tehran's Evin jail

As a result of my peaceful civil activism, I have been arrested 13 times, undergone five trials, and been sentenced to 34 years of imprisonment and 154 lashes in total. I am currently in Evrin prison, without the slightest regret.

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