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15th Apr 2024

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China trade tension and migration deal This WEEK

  • The EU-China high-level economic and trade dialogue will take place in Beijing (Photo: European Union)
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EU trade commissioner Valdis Dombrovski will be in China on Monday (25 September) to engage in high-level economic discussions with Beijing — with renewed trade tensions and the EU's 'de-risking' policy high on the agenda.

Dombrovskis' return to China after a three-year gap comes in the wake of an anti-subsidy probe into Chinese electric vehicles (EVs) which are "flooding" the global market.

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His visit follows a series of recent trips by EU officials, including EU commission vice president Věra Jourová and EU energy commissioner Kadri Simson. EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell is expected to travel to China in mid-Ocotber.

Also on Monday (25 September), EU ministers responsible for the internal market will gather in Brussels to discuss design rights in the EU and stricter emissions rules for the transport sector, known as the Euro 7 standards.

Earlier this year, France, Italy, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia voiced opposition against the Euro 7 standards.

They argued that stricter emission thresholds could have negative impacts on investment in the car industry's decarbonisation efforts.

A debate over the EU's industrial competitiveness will also be part of the agenda.

This comes after EU commission president Ursula von der Leyen's state of the union address announced an initiative led by the former Italian prime minister Mario Draghi to do "whatever it takes" to keep the EU's competitive edge globally.

And European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde will return to the European Parliament on Monday for her quarterly meeting with MEPs on the bloc's monetary policy.

Migration

EU home affairs ministers will have a debate on Thursday (28 September) over the EU-Tunisia deal, which includes €100m to the North African country this year for border management.

EU countries, especially Mediterranean countries, are expecting to call for its swift implementation.

The Spanish EU Council presidency is expected to present ministers with the state of play of the so-called EU pact on asylum and migration — amid a dispute between negotiations.

The EU parliament suspended trilogue negotiations over two EU asylum files last week.

"We have been working tirelessly to finalise the EU's asylum and migration reform, but is only possible if all aspects of the reform are included," said the liberal group Renew Europe in a statement.

EU home affairs ministers are also expected to agree on extending temporary protection for Ukrainians who have fled from the war.

This aims to ensure Ukrainians continue having access to housing, healthcare, social assistance, education, and employment opportunities within the EU.

Also on Thursday, the EU commission, Ukraine, Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia will meet again to discuss grain exports.

Cybersecurity

Trilogue negotiation on the EU's cyber resilience act will kick off on Wednesday evening in Brussels. The draft law aims to ensure more secure hardware and software products and better protect consumers and businesses.

Also on Wednesday, the European Court of Justice will deliver its ruling over whether the Spanish scheme for tax amortization of financial goodwill for foreign shareholding acquisitions violates state aid rules.

On Tuesday (26 September), von der Leyen is expected to participate in the Green Deal Summit 23 in the Czech Republic and meet prime minister Petr Fiala.

European Parliament president Roberta Metsola will meet on the same day with Penny Pritzker, who was recently named US special envoy for Ukraine's economic recovery.

The centre-right European People's Party will gather in Split, Croatia, from Wednesday to discuss the group's agenda ahead of the 2024 elections. Von der Leyen, Metsola and other EPP figures are expected to attend.

Meanwhile, the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) in the European Parliament will hold a week-long group session in Madrid. Spain's socialist Pedro Sánchez is expected to attend the meeting on Thursday.

Madrid will also see a meeting of conservative ECR MEPs this week.

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