Tuesday

5th Dec 2023

Agenda

Western Balkans and pre-COP meeting in focus This WEEK

  • EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen's trip to the Western Balkans follows her visit to Albania earlier this month (Photo: EC - Audiovisual Service)
Listen to article

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen will be travelling this week throughout the Western Balkans.

She will meet with the prime minister of North Macedonia, Dimitar Kovačevski, in Skopje on Monday (30 October). Later that day, she will travel to Pristina.

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

On Tuesday (31 October), she will meet Montenegro's president Jakov Milatović and the caretaker prime minister Dritan Abazović. Afterwards, she will meet with Serbian president Aleksandar Vučić.

Von der Leyen will meet in Sarajevo with the presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina on Wednesday.

Her trip through the Western Balkans follows her visit to Albania earlier this month.

And it comes one week before the commission's annual progress report for countries in the bloc's accession process.

Eight countries currently have official EU candidate status, but Ukraine, Moldova, and the Western Balkans have become frontrunners in the process.

On Monday and Tuesday, a 'pre-COP28' will bring together ministers in Abu Dhabi to prepare for the UN climate talks later this year, where nearly 200 countries will hold negotiations efforts to fight climate change for over two weeks.

EU climate commissioner Wopke Hoekstra will also be there. On Tuesday, he is expected to meet COP28 president Sultan Al Jaber.

EU leaders have called for increased global action and ambition, pointing out that limiting warming to around 1.5 degrees requires global greenhouse gas emissions to peak at the latest before 2025.

The 27-nation bloc is also expected to push for the global phase-out of "unabated" fossil fuels — which will leave the door open for countries to keep using coal, oil and gas if they use technology such as carbon capture and storage (CCS) to compensate for emissions.

"The European Council calls for the broadest support to the Global Renewables and Energy Efficiency Pledge to be put forward by the European Union at COP28," they also said in last week's summit conclusions.

Also on Monday and Tuesday, EU ministers responsible for tourism will have an informal meeting in Spain to discuss a more sustainable approach to the sector.

On Thursday (2 November), von der Leyen will meet with UN secretary-general António Guterres in the context of the AI Safety Summit 2023.

Meanwhile, several delegations of MEPs will also embark on travel missions this week.

A delegation from the trade committee will go to San Francisco to discuss limitations in sectors such as semiconductors, the automotive industry and critical infrastructure. 

Another group will travel to Mexico to talk about the EU-Mexico partnership and how to conclude the updated trade agreement between the EU and Mexico.

Another group of MEPs from the internal market committee will travel to Washington to discuss EU legislation and initiatives in the US on the digital sector, political advertising and artificial intelligence.

On Tuesday, European Parliament president Roberta Metsola will inaugurate the Europa Experience in Paris and meet French president Emmanuel Macron.

The initiative to bring the European Union closer to citizens, using technology to explain how institutions and EU policy-making work. The Europa Experience can be found in several capitals across Europe, including Berlin, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Vienna, Paris, and Rome.

Delegations, composed of 87 national MPs, mirroring the political composition of the Nordic parliaments will gather for the 75th Session of the Nordic Council in Oslo from Monday to Thursday.

Nato chief and former Norwegian prime minister, Jens Stoltenberg, will address the assembly on Tuesday. The agenda includes a member's proposal for a nuclear-weapon-free Nordic zone, how to speed up the green transition, and young people's participation in democracy.

Large east-west divide in quality of life after enlargment

Citizens from the new member states are much less satisfied with their lives, have incomes in some cases ten times lower, and have much worse jobs than their counterparts in current EU countries, new research has shown.

EU-China summit and migration files in focus This WEEK

This week, EU and Chinese leaders will meet in Beijing to discuss how to cooperate in the international area despite their rivalry. Meanwhile, a marathon trilogue on the five migration files takes place on Thursday.

UN climate talks and passengers' right in focus This WEEK

The two-week UN climate talks (#COP28) will kick off on Thursday. Earlier this week, the EU Commission will unveil a proposal to improve passengers' rights and Nato foreign affairs ministers will meet in Brussels.

Opinion

The EU's U-turn on caged farm animals — explained

A European citizens' initiative — signed by 1.4 million people — saw the EU Commission promise to ban cages for 300 million farmed animals. Then the farming lobby got involved.

Latest News

  1. Afghanistan is a 'forever emergency,' says UN head
  2. EU public procurement reform 'ineffective', find auditors
  3. COP28 warned over-relying on carbon capture costs €27 trillion
  4. Optimising Alzheimer's disease health care pathways across Europe
  5. Georgian far-right leader laughs off potential EU sanctions
  6. The EU's U-turn on caged farm animals — explained
  7. EU-China summit and migration files in focus This WEEK
  8. COP28 debates climate finance amid inflated accounting 'mess'

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersArtist Jessie Kleemann at Nordic pavilion during UN climate summit COP28
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP28: Gathering Nordic and global experts to put food and health on the agenda
  3. Friedrich Naumann FoundationPoems of Liberty – Call for Submission “Human Rights in Inhume War”: 250€ honorary fee for selected poems
  4. World BankWorld Bank report: How to create a future where the rewards of technology benefit all levels of society?
  5. Georgia Ministry of Foreign AffairsThis autumn Europalia arts festival is all about GEORGIA!
  6. UNOPSFostering health system resilience in fragile and conflict-affected countries

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Citizen's InitiativeThe European Commission launches the ‘ImagineEU’ competition for secondary school students in the EU.
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region is stepping up its efforts to reduce food waste
  3. UNOPSUNOPS begins works under EU-funded project to repair schools in Ukraine
  4. Georgia Ministry of Foreign AffairsGeorgia effectively prevents sanctions evasion against Russia – confirm EU, UK, USA
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersGlobal interest in the new Nordic Nutrition Recommendations – here are the speakers for the launch
  6. Nordic Council of Ministers20 June: Launch of the new Nordic Nutrition Recommendations

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us