Sunday

23rd Apr 2017

Agenda

This WEEK in the European Union

  • Friday marks the fifth anniversary of the EU's largest accession (Photo: EUobserver)

EU foreign ministers kick off the week with a meeting in Luxembourg on Monday and Tuesday as Europe digests the results of parliamentary elections taking place in Iceland over the weekend (25-26 April).

Talks on external relations will focus on the European Neighbourhood Policy and the current situation in Moldova where tensions flared up recently over a contested vote that saw anti-Communist protests, multiple arrests and a media crackdown.

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The country's government has also angered the EU by introducing a new visa system for Romanian citizens wishing to enter the country.

Italian foreign minister Franco Frattini will present the latest situation on illegal immigration into the EU via the Mediterranean and discussion will also focus on the controversial Durban II conference on racism that saw a mass walkouts over comments made by Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, regarding Israel.

The ministers are also scheduled to debate Croatia's accession negotiations – currently in limbo as a result of a border dispute with Slovenia. They will also prepare for a jobs summit in Prague on 7 May and the Southern Corridor summit the following day, as Europe tries to tackle rising unemployment and diversify its energy supplies.

At the other end of the week, Friday marks the fifth anniversary of the 2004 enlargement that saw ten new member states join the EU.

Commissioners Jan Figel and Olli Rehn will speak at an event in Prague to mark the accession anniversary as well as the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Midweek sees a flurry of financial activity with a commission communication on taxation due to be published on Tuesday and the presentation of the EU's 2010 preliminary draft budget on Wednesday.

Also on Wednesday, the commission will put forward a package of financial proposals that will include controversial plans on increased regulation for hedge funds and private equity that have already been delayed by a week amid rumours of mass rewriting.

The package will also include proposals to temper executive pay as EU citizens baulk at the idea of taxpayers' money ending up in the pockets of senior bankers.

A report on the future of the EU's cohesion policy post-2013 will be presented by the commission on Monday, based on the findings of Dr Fabrizio Barca, a renowned Italian economist.

Finally, EUObserver will bring you on-the-ground coverage of the European Peoples' Party campaign launch in Warsaw on Wednesday as the EU's political parties attempt to capture the attention of European citizens ahead of the June elections.

Brexit, Syria and Greece on the agenda This WEEK

The European Parliament will adopt its position on the UK's exit, and eurozone finance ministers will try to break a deadlock on the Greek bailout talks. Meanwhile in Brussels, there will be discussions on ending the war in Syria.

UK to file EU divorce This WEEK

UK prime minister Theresa May will trigger Article 50 of the EU treaty on Wednesday, with the EU expected to respond within 48 hours.

EU-27 to back integration This WEEK

EU leaders meet in Rome to recommit to European integration after Brexit, but Greece and Poland serve as reminders of economic and political divisions.

EU tackles CO2 threat This WEEK

EU states will haggle over the reform of a carbon trade system, while MEPs vote on overhauling EU car emissions oversight.

Pence, Greece and Brexit This WEEK

The US vice-president becomes the first senior Trump administration official to visit EU institutions. Greece's creditors try to break deadlock in talks, and British Lords will debate Brexit.

Investigation

Illicit Russian money poses threat to EU democracy

It cost €11 million to help Le Pen campaign in elections, but it cost the Russian mafia less than €100,000 to hire a former UK attorney general to lobby against EU sanctions.

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