Monday

23rd Jan 2017

Agenda

Barroso takes the stand in Dalli case This WEEK

  • Dalligate drags Commission president Barroso to the EU's top court this week (Photo: ec.europa.eu)

European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso will take the witness stand at the European Court of Justice this week in the latest act of the Dalligate lobbying scandal.

He is to answer judges’ questions as a witness on Monday (7 July) in a case brought by former EU health commissioner John Dalli, who was forced out of the EU executive in 2012 amid allegations of bribery.

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Dalli wants the Court to strike down Barroso’s request for his resignation, made on the grounds that he had secret contacts with tobacco firm Swedish Match, and is seeking symbolic damages of €1.

Lawyers from both sides give their arguments on Tuesday.

In Brussels, meanwhile, MEPs return after the European Parliament's constitutive session in Strasbourg.

Deputies will formally elect the chairpersons of the assembly's powerful legislative committees on Monday. Although the positions have been provisionally agreed, there have been suggestions that the Parliament's three centrist groups will prevent the euro sceptic EFDD group, led by Ukip's Nigel Farage, from claiming the leadership of the petitions committee.

Commission president nominee Jean Claude Juncker will make his pitch for the EU's top job when he meets with the Parliament's political groups on Tuesday and Wednesday (6/7 July).

Juncker, who will make a presentation followed by a debate, needs a majority of at least 376 MEPs to back his candidacy in Strasbourg next week.

He is likely to get the support of the Parliament pro-European groups, although the centre-left S&D group say that they are conditioning their support on whether the former Luxembourg prime minister will commit to implementing the EU's stability and growth pact with more flexibility to allow public investment.

The 18 Eurozone finance ministers will meet on Monday, before their counterparts for the entire EU gather on Tuesday to discuss the Italian presidency's economic priorities for the next six months.

The Eurogroup meeting is expected to confirm the latest €1 billion payment of Greece's bailout.

Trump pledges US-first foreign policy

Economic protectionism and war on Islamist terrorism will form the heart of US foreign policy, Trump has said. He did not rubbish Nato, but indicated interest in a new Russia alliance.

GMO opt-out plan remains in waiting room

The commission wants to give the power to member states to reject EU-approved genetically modified organisms, but the Maltese presidency is unlikely to approach the issue any time soon.

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