Sunday

19th Nov 2017

Agenda

This WEEK in the European Union

  • Mr Barroso ponders how to make the EU more competitive (Photo: European Commission)

Boosting Europe’s economic competitiveness is the Barroso Commission’s main aim for the next five years. The Commission President will unveil his plans to do this before the European Parliament on Wednesday (2 February).

MEPs will hear the Commission’s proposals to reform the so-called Lisbon Strategy – which aimed to make the EU the most competitive, knowledge-based economy in the World by 2010.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

A leaked copy of the draft proposal, obtained by the EUobserver two weeks ago, makes no mention of this ambitious target and aims to refocus the Lisbon Strategy around three core goals: creating jobs, improving knowledge and innovation and "ensuring that Europe remains an attractive location for employment".

According to the document, the relaunch of the strategy might be summarised as "more and better jobs in an innovative and attractive Europe".

The Commission report will incorporate some of the recommendations of the report drawn up by former Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok, who will also be in Brussels this week to address a meeting of the European Venture Capital Association (EVCA) the day before Mr Barroso unveils his plans.

This meeting seeks to share ideas on boosting Europe’s competitiveness through private equity and venture capital.

Also within the context of the Lisbon Strategy, the Commission will on Tuesday launch the "Europass", its attempt to improve labour mobility across the Union and improve competitiveness.

The Europass will offer job-seekers a harmonised format for presenting their qualifications that can be assessed by employers across the EU.

Iraqi elections

EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels on Monday and Tuesday will give the EU’s reaction to the elections in Iraq taking place on 30 January. Also on the ministers’ agenda is the Middle East, the Balkans, Ukraine, war-torn Sudan and the EU’s continuing response to the Tsunami disaster in south-east Asia.

Also in the domain of foreign affairs, the Romanian foreign minister Mihai-Razvan Ungureanu will appear before the foreign affairs committee of the European Parliament to discuss with MEPs his country’s bid to join the EU.

Commission President José Manual Durao Barroso told Romania’s prime minister last week that the country is still on track to join the EU as expected in 2007 but that much work remains to be done. Corruption and state aid continue to concern the Brussels executive.

In a relatively full agenda for MEPs, Parliamentary committees will also meet to scrutinise the work of several commissioners this week, including Peter Mandelson (trade), Siim Kallas (budgetary control and anti-fraud), Charlie McCreevy (internal market), Günter Verheugen (industry), Jacques Barrot (transport) and Jan Figel (education and culture).

Money talks

Commissioners will also meet two of the World’s richest men this week.

On Tuesday, Günter Verheugen, Charlie McCreevy and Peter Mandelson will meet Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft.

And on Friday, regional policy Commissioner Danuta Hübner will meet renowned financier George Soros, who has accumulated an enormous fortune through currency speculation.

Defence and competition

Finally, two gatherings in Brussels this week will examine Europe’s role in global defence and global competitiveness.

The European Policy Centre will on Wednesday hold a conference entitled, "Europe in the age of global competition". And on Thursday, a group called the New Defence Agenda will host an international conference entitled "towards an EU Strategy for collective security".

Keynote speakers include Gijs de Vries, the EU’s Counter-Terrorism co-ordinator and commissioners Verheugen and Frattini (Justice, Freedom and Security).

Commission prepares to relaunch Lisbon agenda

Ten new policy areas and a "Mr Lisbon" in every member state. These are some of the proposals in a draft document aimed to relaunch the Lisbon Process - the EU's ambitious aim to become the World's most competitive economy by 2010.

EU agencies and eastern neighbours This WEEK

EU ministers will vote on where to relocate two EU agencies from the UK, while later EU leaders will host six eastern European countries in Brussels. Former Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic awaits his verdict in the Hague.

Catalonia and Nordic Council on agenda This Week

All eyes will be on Barcelona and Madrid as the Spanish government will try to stop Catalan separatists. Meanwhile Nordic countries will meet to discuss regional issues like the future of the Arctic.

Posted workers top EU agenda This Week

The posted workers file will be on the table of ministers and MEPs this week, while budget, journalism, Schengen and party funding are also on the EP's plenary menu.

News in Brief

  1. Bonn climate talks extend into Friday evening
  2. UK needs to move on Brexit by early December, Tusk says
  3. Puigdemont extradition decision postponed to December
  4. Ireland wants written UK guarantees to avoid hard border
  5. US did not obstruct climate talks, says German minister
  6. EU signs social declaration
  7. Puigdemont to be heard by Belgian judges
  8. Steep fall in migrants reaching EU

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressAntisemitism in Europe Today: Is It Still a Threat to Free and Open Society?
  2. Counter BalanceNew Report: Juncker Plan Backs Billions in Fossil Fuels and Carbon-Heavy Infrastructure
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic countries prioritise fossil fuel subsidy reform
  4. Mission of China to the EUNew era for China brings new opportunities to all
  5. ACCASmall and Medium Sized Practices Must 'Offer the Whole Package'
  6. UNICEFAhead of the African Union - EU Summit, Survey Highlights Impact of Conflict on Education
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council Calls for Closer Co-Operation on Foreign Policy
  8. Swedish EnterprisesTrilogue Negotiations - Striking the Balance Between Transparency and Efficiency
  9. Access EuropeProspects for US-EU Relations Under the Trump Administration - 28 November 2017
  10. World Vision20 November: Exchange of Views at the EP on Children Affected by the Syria Crisis
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable Growth the Nordic Way: Climate Solutions for a Sustainable Future
  12. EU2017EEHow Data Fuels Estonia's Economy

Latest News

  1. EU keeps former Soviet states at arm's length
  2. EU leaders make pledge on social issues after populist backlash
  3. EU agencies and eastern neighbours This WEEK
  4. Germany slams Dutch call for more ambitious EU climate goal
  5. Mind the gap: inequality in our cities
  6. Climate activists 'disappointed' with EU at climate talks
  7. Davis outlines UK vision on Brexit in Berlin
  8. German coalition talks in near collapse