Sunday

17th Dec 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.

Netanyahu, Panama Papers, and Brexit This WEEK

The run-up to the Christmas break sees a packed schedule, including the EU summit on Brexit, migration and other issues, a rare visit by Israeli PM Netanyahu, and issues such as fishing quotas and the Panama Papers.

May-Juncker meeting sets the tone This WEEK

As Brexit negotiations approach the (possibly) grand finale of their first phase, the EU's attention this week is turning to the eurozone - who is the new boss and how to deepen and expand it.

Africa and EU summit This WEEK

Billed as a new partnership, the EU and Africa summit in Abidjan will focus on youth and jobs. The gathering takes place against the backdrop of migratory flows towards Europe and reports of open slave auctions in Libya.

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.

Showdown EU vote on asylum looking likely for next June

Divisions on relocating asylum seekers remain entrenched following an EU summit. The east-west divide opens up the possibility of relying on a majority vote for a key asylum in June, further exacerbating disputes among opposing capitals.

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