Tuesday

16th Apr 2024

Agenda

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

  • European Council president Charles Michel will be in China on Thursday, meeting president Xi Jinping in Beijing (Photo: Council of the European Union)
Listen to article

Hungary's prime minister Viktor Orbán last week was uncharacteristically quiet about "Brussels" and the EU as news emerged that the EU Commission plans to uphold its proposal to suspend parts of EU funds to his country over corruption and rule-of-law concerns.

The commission is, nevertheless, planning to approve Hungary's recovery fund, but withholding the money until the independence of the judiciary is not reinforced.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Get the EU news that really matters

Instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

The EU executive is expected to announce all of that on Wednesday (30 November).

The final say lies with member states, and EU governments have until 19 December to make the unprecedented decision on the suspending funds.

European Council president Charles Michel will be in China on Thursday, meeting Chinese president Xi Jinping in Beijing.

Michel is expected to speak about the geopolitical situation, trade ties, climate change — but also expected to mention both human rights and Taiwan.

In October, EU leaders had a long discussion about the bloc's China strategy, and the dependencies on Chinese manufacturing.

Hear Frontex candidates

Back in Brussels, MEPs on the economic committee will quiz European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde on Monday (27 November) on inflation and the economic outlook in Europe.

On Tuesday (29 November), lawmakers in the energy committee are set to hear from energy commissioner Kadri Simson on the latest EU response to the energy crisis, including the price cap.

On Wednesday (30 November), Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko will debate with MEPs on the regional affairs committee.

The parliament's subcommittee on human rights is set to debate the establishment of an international tribunal for the crime of aggression against Ukraine on Monday.

MEPs on the civil liberties committee is expected on Wednesday to hear the three candidates proposed by the commission for the post of executive director for the EU border agency Frontex — Terezija Gras from Croatia, Frontex's current interim executive director Aija Kalnaja from Latvia, and Hans Leijtens from the Netherlands.

MEPs on the inquiry committee to investigate the use of Pegasus and equivalent surveillance spyware is set to have a hearing on Monday on the situation in Spain.

On Thursday (1 December), MEPs on a taxation subcommittee are expected to vote on a directive to combat the misuse of shell companies for tax purposes.

The new rules set up concrete common minimum economic substance requirements that will help to identify what constitutes a company and what a tax shelter.

EU Commission to keep Hungary's EU funds in limbo

The EU executive, on the other hand, is expected to approve Hungary's recovery plan, worth €5.8bn, but only would disburse actual money if Hungary delivers on some 27 key reforms.

EU special summit, MEPs prep work, social agenda This WEEK

EU leaders gather in Brussels for a special two-day summit this week, while MEPs will prepare for the last plenary session of the legislature. In Italy, G7 foreign affairs ministers will convene from Wednesday to Friday.

Plenary session, single market and economy in focus this WEEK

This week, get ready to dive into another plenary session of the EU Parliament and an agenda packed with economic and financial issues, ahead of a special EU summit in Brussels that will focus on competitiveness and the economy.

Opinion

How Hungary's teachers are taking on Viktor Orban

Orban and his administration are pursuing a strategy of running-down public education in Hungary. They have been explicit in their aims and how their assault on 'non-Christian' teachers is a small price to pay for the cultural shift they want.

Column

What do we actually mean by EU 'competitiveness'?

Enrico Letta and Mario Draghi are coming up with reports on the EU's single market and competitiveness — but although 'competitiveness' has become a buzzword, there's no consensus on a definition for what it actually means.

Latest News

  1. EU leaders mull ways to arrest bloc's economic decline
  2. Police ordered to end far-right 'Nat-Con' Brussels conference
  3. How Hungary's teachers are taking on Viktor Orban
  4. What do we actually mean by EU 'competitiveness'?
  5. New EU envoy Markus Pieper quits before taking up post
  6. EU puts Sudan war and famine-risk back in spotlight
  7. EU to blacklist Israeli settlers, after new sanctions on Hamas
  8. Private fears of fairtrade activist for EU election campaign

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersJoin the Nordic Food Systems Takeover at COP28
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersHow women and men are affected differently by climate policy
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersArtist Jessie Kleemann at Nordic pavilion during UN climate summit COP28
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP28: Gathering Nordic and global experts to put food and health on the agenda
  5. Friedrich Naumann FoundationPoems of Liberty – Call for Submission “Human Rights in Inhume War”: 250€ honorary fee for selected poems
  6. World BankWorld Bank report: How to create a future where the rewards of technology benefit all levels of society?

Join EUobserver

EU news that matters

Join us