4th Mar 2024


Russia and migration at summit This WEEK

  • Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenka said he brokered the agreement with Wagner mercenaries, and it may strengthen him hand in relations with Vladimir Putin (Photo:
Listen to article

Whatever happened exactly over the weekend in Russia, it will feature heavily on the minds of EU leaders when they meet on Thursday and Friday (29-30 June) in Brussels, and will dominate the discussions of foreign ministers on Monday (26 June) as they gather in Luxembourg.

US secretary of state Antony Blinken on Sunday said the turmoil caused by the unprecedented challenge to Russian president Vladimir Putin by Wagner mercenaries may not be over yet and could take weeks or months to play out.

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

EU leaders are expected to discuss support for Ukraine and Russia's war of aggression and migration, plus defence and the economy will also be on their agenda for the two-day Brussels summit.

In the meantime, Greeks went to the polls on Sunday for the second time in little over a month to elect a new parliament, with voters expected to give (former) prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis' conservatives a second term in office.

On Tuesday (27 June), EU affairs ministers will meet in Luxembourg to prepare for the upcoming European Council in the second half of the week. They are set to also discuss any possible changes to the European electoral law, and the size of the next European Parliament.

In the European Parliament on Tuesday, MEPs in the environment committee are set to finish voting on the draft regulation to introduce legally binding EU targets to restore Europe's damaged ecosystems, a measure that has been heavily opposed by the centre-right European People's Party (EPP). So far, there is no majority to vote down the proposal.

On the same day, the environment committee will vote on a legislative proposal to reduce deaths associated with air pollution by more than 75 percent in ten years and introduce a zero-pollution objective for air quality by 2050.

Lawmakers in the legal affairs committee are expected to vote on Tuesday on a legislative proposal to protect journalists and human rights defenders from abusive lawsuits aimed at silencing them — so-called SLAPP cases.

On Tuesday, MEPs in the foreign affairs committee are expected to hear from Miroslav Lajčák, EU special representative for the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue, and Gert Jan Koopman, chief of the commission's neighbourhood directorate on the recent developments between Serbia and Kosovo.

On the same day, lawmakers on the budget committee will discuss the commission's proposals for revising the EU's long-term budget with budget commissioner Johannes Hahn.

On Wednesday (28 June), the civil rights and women's rights committee is set to vote on legislation to fight violence against women and domestic violence.

MEPs want a uniform criminal definition of rape based on the absence of consent, for cyber violence to be a crime under EU law, including non-consensual sharing of intimate material, and safer and gender-sensitive procedures for reporting incidents.

MEPs on the committees are also set to adopt their proposals on Tuesday for an EU-wide approach to regulate prostitution and overcome the inequalities caused by existing different national rules.

The EU's data act is in the meantime being negotiated between member states and MEPs, wit potentially a last round taking place this week before an agreement.

Row over EPP 'blackmailing' MEPs on eve of nature vote

The centre-right European People's Party (EPP) denied any form of blackmailing — after the chair of the environment committee accused the EPP chair of threatening his own members with political retaliation if they vote for the controversial restoration law.

No details on new EU aid to curb migrants from Tunisia

The European Commission on Monday (12 June) said it cannot yet release details of €105m to prevent migrants from leaving Tunisia. But similar past proposals for Tunisia in the past may offer some clues.

More farmers, Ukraine aid, Yulia Navalnaya in focus This WEEK

EU agriculture ministers meet in Brussels amid new farmers' protests. MEPs will hear from Alexei Navalny's widow and give the final green light to the €50bn Ukraine facility, while the CBAM proposal faces a formal challenge at a WTO meeting.


Hungary's Ukrainian refugees in two minds as relations sour

Ukrainians struggle to match the kindness of individual Hungarians with the nationalist government's pro-Russia rhetoric. "Ukraine's primary enemies are Russians and Putin, obviously. But the number two is Viktor Orbán," Viktoria Petrovszka, a Ukrainian woman living in Hungary, says.


The six-hour U-turn that saw the EU vote for austerity

The EU's own analysis has made it clear this is economic self-sabotage, and it's politically foolish three months from European elections where the far-right are predicted to increase support, writes the general secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation.

Latest News

  1. EU must overhaul Africa trade offer to parry China, warns MEP
  2. EU watchdog faults European Commission over Libya
  3. Hungary's Ukrainian refugees in two minds as relations sour
  4. The six-hour U-turn that saw the EU vote for austerity
  5. Defence, von der Leyen, women's rights, in focus This WEEK
  6. The farming lobby vs Europe's wolves
  7. EU socialists fight battle on two fronts in election campaign
  8. EU docks €32m in funding to UN Gaza agency pending audit

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?

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Georgia Ministry of Foreign AffairsThis autumn Europalia arts festival is all about GEORGIA!
  2. UNOPSFostering health system resilience in fragile and conflict-affected countries
  3. European Citizen's InitiativeThe European Commission launches the ‘ImagineEU’ competition for secondary school students in the EU.
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region is stepping up its efforts to reduce food waste
  5. UNOPSUNOPS begins works under EU-funded project to repair schools in Ukraine
  6. Georgia Ministry of Foreign AffairsGeorgia effectively prevents sanctions evasion against Russia – confirm EU, UK, USA

Join EUobserver

EU news that matters

Join us