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EU Agenda: Week Ahead - 20-25 February 2017

17 February 2017, 12:46 CET

This week, finance ministers try to reach a general approach on amendment to the anti-tax avoidance directive; the Competitiveness Council is expected to agree on rules to strengthen consumer protection cooperation in the internal market; the Eurogroup takes stock of Greece's progress in implementing its macroeconomic adjustment programme; and MEPs on the PANA committee conduct a fact-finding mission in Malta. The week's events in the European Union including EU Council, Commission and Parliament meetings and other EU-related conferences and events. Events for the week of 20 to 25 February 2017.

Monday 20 February

European Parliament, delegations

European Parliament delegations


Trade agreements/Mexico: an International Trade Committee delegation will be in Mexico City as the EU and Mexico are set to update a 17-year-old trade agreement. MEPs will meet governmental, parliamentary, civil society and industry representatives to discuss the scope and the potential of a new trade deal. Trade negotiations with Mexico were launched in May 2016. (Monday to Wednesday)

Panama papers inquiry/Malta: members of the Inquiry Committee into Money Laundering, Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion (PANA) will visit Malta, further to the Panama Papers revelations that some Maltese politicians and 45 intermediaries located in the island had links to Mossack Fonseca, the law firm at the heart of the scandal. The delegation will meet, among others, Malta's Finance Minister, members of the tax administration, journalists and intermediaries including law firms and banks.

Asylum/Canada: Civil Liberties Committee MEPs will go to Canada to look into its resettlement program and integration policy for asylum seekers. They will also meet Members of the Citizenship and Immigration and Justice and Human Rights committees, as well as government and NGO representatives. Over 40,000 Syrian refugees have been resettled in Canada since November 2015. (Monday to Friday)

Border controls/Frontex (Poland): a Civil Liberties Committee delegation will go to Frontex headquarters in Warsaw to assess European Border and Coast Guard operations at EU external land, sea and air borders. MEPs will meet, among others, Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri and Fundamental Rights Officer Inmaculada Arnaez. (Monday and Tuesday)

Peace process/Palestine. The Delegation for relations with Palestine will travel there to discuss the Middle East peace process, particularly settlements, and look into EU-funded projects. MEPs will meet President Mahmoud Abbas as well as Palestinian and Israeli peace activists and visit communities at risk of forced displacement. If granted access, they will also go to Gaza to meet Labour Minister Abu Shahla and the Director of UNRWA operations Bo Schack. (Monday to Friday)

EU relations with India: MEPs from the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Delegation for relations with India will visit it to re-launch the stalled EU-India dialogue on counter-terrorism, cyber-security, piracy and human rights. The visit will feed into a draft resolution on EU-India relations to be voted by Parliament later this year. An Internal Market Committee delegation will also go to India to visit start-up incubators and explore new digital market opportunities. (Monday to Friday)

More information on the event

Monday 20 - Wednesday 22 February

European Commission, Events/Conf/Fairs, Environment, consumers and health, Science and technology

Soil erosion modelling workshop

Ispra, Italy

This workshop, which will be held on the Ispra site of the Joint Research Centre (JRC), will address issues regarding how local/regional modelling results can be upscaled (or applied) to the European scale. The workshop also serves as a follow-up of recent JRC modelling developments and published maps on soil erosion by water and wind. The workshop will focus on how various project or local/regional modelling applications can improve 'know-how' at the European scale. Emphasis will also be given to management practices that can reduce soil erosion.

The organisers invite pan-European projects (e.g RECARE) to show the best management practices to reduce erosion and to demonstrate their research work in study sites.

Scientists dealing at the small scale are invited to present the possibilities and limitations of upscaling their results. Scientists operating at the large scale are invited to consider how their modelling/mapping can be validated with small scale data.

More information on the event

Monday 20 - Tuesday 21 February

Council of the EU and European Council, Presidency of the Council of the EU, Political Meetings, Presidency of the Council of the EU, Business, Economy, finance, tax and competition

Competitiveness Council


Consumer protection in the digital single market
The Council is expected to agree on rules to strengthen consumer protection cooperation in the internal market. The goal is to modernise cooperation between national administrations and to reduce damage for consumers because of cross-border infringements to EU consumer law. This responds in particular to the challenges of the digital economy and the development of cross-border shopping in the EU.

Reform of the type-approval system for cars
The Maltese presidency will present a progress report on the ongoing work to reform the system of type-approval and market surveillance for motor vehicles.

Helping EU start-ups to grow
Ministers will discuss concrete actions to help start-ups and scale-ups to better seize market opportunities and do business in the single market.
The new Start-up and Scale-up Initiative aims at supporting young and promising European firms to deliver their full innovation and job creation potential.

Competitiveness check-up: investments in intangible assets
The usual Competitiveness check-up will this time focus on intangible investments (such as skills, software, design and intellectual property) in EU businesses.

Agenda and briefing

Monday 20 February

Council of the EU and European Council, Presidency of the Council of the EU, Political Meetings, Presidency of the Council of the EU, Economy, finance, tax and competition



Thematic discussion on growth and jobs: ease of doing business
The Eurogroup will look into the environment for doing business in the euro area, which includes the administrative and regulatory burden, quality of public services and tax administration. Ministers will exchange best practices for national policymaking.

This discussion is a follow-up to a debate held in July 2016, when the Eurogroup mandated the Eurogroup Working Group to conduct an analysis of conditions that are relevant for promoting investment in the euro area.
Taking into account the outcome of this debate, the Eurogroup will continue the thematic discussion on investment in April.

Economic forecast for the euro area in 2017-2018
The European Commission will present data on the current economic situation in the euro area as well as the outlook for 2017-2018, based on its winter forecast, which was published on 13 February.

Macroeconomic adjustment programme in Greece: state of play
The Eurogroup will take stock of the ongoing implementation of Greece's macroeconomic adjustment programme, focusing on plans to carry forward the second review of the programme. Reviews are carried out by the staff of the European Commission, the European Central Bank, the European Stability Mechanism and the International Monetary Fund.

Agenda and briefing

Monday 20 February

European Economic and Social Committee, Events/Conf/Fairs, Employment and social rights, External relations and foreign affairs

5th meeting of the EU-Korea civil society forum under the EU-Korea free trade agreement


During the 5th EU-Korea civil society forum (CSF), participants will discuss labour standards with the International Labour Organization (ILO) representative, including progress achieved by both parties to the agreement as well as the next steps in the ratification and effective implementation of the ILO fundamental and other up-to-date conventions. Participants will also exchange information about the role of civil society in the EU and the Republic of Korea in the development and implementation of the climate change policy at national, EU and international level. They then will adopt final conclusions.

More information on the event

Monday 20 February

European Parliament, Non Legislative, Economy, finance, tax and competition, Justice and citizens rights

Fact-finding mission of the European Parliament PANA committee to Malta

Valetta, Malta

On 20 February 2017, the PANA committee of the European Parliament will conduct a fact-finding mission in Malta. This mission is designed to take place in full cooperation with the national legislators in order to discuss and scrutinise the effective implementation and enforcement of Union law as specified in the PANA Committee's mandate.

PANA members will meet with their counterparts of the national parliaments, the competent Ministers, representatives of the tax and anti-money laundering authorities and relevant stakeholders from businesses and civil society.

More information on the event

Monday 20 February

Council of the EU and European Council, High Level Visits, External relations and foreign affairs

Visit of Vice President of the United States Mike Pence


10:15 - Arrival of Vice President of the United States Mike Pence
Welcome by the President of the European Council Donald Tusk
11:00 – Press statements

More information on the event

Tuesday 21 February

Council of the EU and European Council, Presidency of the Council of the EU, Political Meetings, Presidency of the Council of the EU, Economy, finance, tax and competition

Economic and Financial Affairs Council


Anti-tax avoidance directive
The Council will be invited to reach a general approach on the amendment to the anti-tax avoidance directive. The amendment concerns hybrid mismatches with third countries.

List of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes
The Council will evaluate the progress achieved in establishing criteria and processes to be used for setting up an EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes. This work is being carried out on the basis of the Council conclusions adopted on 8 November 2016.

G20 meeting
The Council will give a mandate to the Economic and Financial Committee to finalise the EU's preparations for the G20 meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors. The meeting will take place on 17 and18 March 2017 in Baden-Baden (Germany).

Discharge on the implementation of the 2015 EU budget
The Council is expected to approve, by qualified majority, a recommendation on the discharge for the implementation of the EU's general budget for 2015.
Pursuant to the EU treaties, the Council drafts the recommendations to grant discharge to the European Commission. Its decision is based on a report from the European Court of Auditors.

Budget guidelines for 2018
The Council will adopt guidelines for the 2018 EU budget. These guidelines will serve as a reference document for the next budgetary cycle.

Agenda and briefing

Tuesday 21 - Thursday 23 February

Other bodies and agencies, Events/Conf/Fairs, Justice and citizens rights, Science and technology

CEPOL training: Online smuggling – Trafficking from customs perspective

Budapest, Hungary

The European Union Agency for law enforcement training (CEPOL) is organising this training. The aim of this activity is to improve the prevention and investigation of fraud and other illegal activities by enhancing transnational and multi-disciplinary cooperation and by facilitating the exchange of information, experiences and good practices in the area of online customs crime.

More information on the event

Thursday 23 - Friday 24 February

Other bodies and agencies, Events/Conf/Fairs, Culture, education and youth

European public opinion survey on vocational education and training

Thessaloniki, Greece

In 2016, Cedefop launched its first ever opinion survey aimed at investigating European citizens' opinions on vocational education and training (VET). A total of 35,646 interviews were conducted among the citizens of the Member States. The survey provides unprecedented data on Europeans' opinions on awareness, attractiveness and effectiveness of vocational education and training in Europe.

On 23-24 February 2017, an expert workshop will take place at Cedefop in Thessaloniki, where the results of the survey will be presented and further discussed and analysed.

More information on the event

Document Actions
Eurozone Economic Calendar

Monday 20 February

16:00 Consumer Confidence (Feb) (Preliminary release)

Tuesday 21 February

10:00 Markit Manufacturing PMI (Feb) (Preliminary release)
10:00 Markit Services PMI (Feb) (Preliminary release)
10:00 Markit PMI Composite (Feb) (Preliminary release)

Wednesday 22 February

11:00 Consumer Price Index (YoY) (Jan)
11:00 Consumer Price Index - Core (MoM) (Jan)
11:00 Consumer Price Index - Core (YoY) (Jan)
11:00 Consumer Price Index (MoM) (Jan)
11:30 Targeted LTRO

Friday 24 February

21:30 CFTC NC net positions
EU Calendar
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