25th Jun 2022


This WEEK in the European Union

  • Climate protester in Copenhagen: the EU capital will be all but empty this week (Photo: Stop Climate Chaos Coalition)

Brussels will be all-but empty during the last full working week of the year, as leaders head for the climate summit in Copenhagen and MEPs go to Strasbourg.

EU commission president Jose Manuel Barroso and EU parliament chief Jerzy Buzek will take a gaggle of commissioners and MEPs to the Danish capital for the climax of the talks on Thursday (17 December) and Friday.

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With world leaders, including US president Barack Obama and Germany's Angela Merkel, also to attend, expectations are high that the event will lead to a landmark agreement on global warming and re-distribution of wealth to the third world.

EU leaders last week signaled the bloc is unlikely to improve its target of cutting CO2 by 20 percent by 2020, however, while observers predict that the summit will produce a political accord only, with a legally-binding pact still out of reach.

The Strasbourg agenda is dominated by foreign affairs and by the EU budget.

MEPs will at a ceremony on Wednesday honour this year's winners of the Sakharov Prize, the EU's mini-version of the Nobel peace prize.

Oleg Orlov, Sergei Kovalev and Lyudmila Alexeyeva from the Russian NGO Memorial will pick up the award on behalf of the human rights workers in Russia, following a series of murders of activists this year.

Tuesday will see what could be a lively plenary debate on EU policy on East Jerusalem.

The past two weeks have seen a media furore over an EU foreign ministers' statement underlining Palestinians' rights to the occupied city, with an Israeli government plan to give state aid to illegal settlers, unveiled over the weekend, set to add fuel to the fire.

Tuesday will also see an MEPs' debate on the situation in Georgia, following elections in the breakaway region of Abkhazia over the weekend, compounding problems for supporters of the country's EU integration.

Internal matters will also come up in the plenary session: Parliament will on Tuesday debate the bloc's budget for 2010 and adopt the spending plan in a vote on Thursday.

Sweden's outgoing commissioner, Margot Wallstrom, will on Tuesday also make a last push for the EU to give citizens more access to internal documents at the meeting of an inter-institutional committee.

Meanwhile, back in Brussels, farming and transport ministers will meet on Monday and Thursday, respectively, to tidy up business before the Swedish EU presidency steps down.

But the meetings will be overshadowed by unfolding strike action by EU officials after a group of member states decided to block a planned wage increase for EU staff for next year.

EU leaders talk Ukraine candidacy This WEEK

EU leaders will gather in Brussels and discuss Ukraine's candidacy status, and the impact of Russia's invasion of the country on energy and defence. European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde will give a briefing to MEPs on inflation to MEPs.

Taxonomy and Ukraine on top This WEEK

MEPs will vote on an objection to the EU Commission's proposal to classify, temporarily, gas and nuclear energy investment as 'green', under the so-called taxonomy. Meanwhile, EU finance ministers are expected to approve Poland's recovery plan.

EU leaders zoom in on sanctions and energy This WEEK

EU leaders are gathering in Brussels after they got stuck on imposing on oil embargo on Russia. Poland's recovery plan gets approved and Danish voters will vote in a historic referendum this week.

Economic worries and Hungary on the spot Next WEEK

Eurozone finance ministers will discuss the economic worries with the backdrop of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, agriculture ministers are set to talk food prices, and EU affairs ministers will put Hungary on the spot in the Article 7 procedure.

Russia sanctions and energy dominate Next WEEK

The EU Commission is expected to put forward the RePowerEU plan, which aims to help the diversification of fossil fuel imports in the bloc, as the EU aims to get rid of its dependence on Russian energy supplies.

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