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EU Agenda: Week Ahead - 23-28 January 2017

20 January 2017, 18:46 CET

This week, the new Maltese presidency presents its work programme to agriculture ministers; finance ministers discuss Spain's and Lithuania's updated budgetary plan, progress by Greece on its economic adjustment programme, and the reverse charge mechanism for VAT; the Commission holds a conference to define the future direction of the European pillar of social rights, a workshop on ICT standards in public procurement, and the 9th conference on European space policy; and the Euro-Parliament holds a public hearing into the role of lawyers, accountants and bankers in the Panama Papers scandal, while MEPs vote on the CETA trade deal with Canada, waste reduction and recycling, and the firearms directive. 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 23 to 28 January 2017.

Monday 23 January

European Parliament, Political Meetings, Institutional affair

European Parliament Committee Meetings

Brussels

Committee chairs and vice chairs: several EP committees will elect their chairs and vice chairs, following the election of a new Parliament President, 14 Vice-presidents and five Quaestors in Strasbourg. (Monday to Thursday)

Maltese Council Presidency: Maltese Ministers will present the priorities of the Council Presidency in a series of meetings with committees. (Monday to Thursday)

Schedule by day

Monday 23 January

Council of the EU and European Council, Presidency of the Council of the EU, Political Meetings, Presidency of the Council of the EU, Agriculture, fisheries and food

Agriculture and Fisheries Council

Brussels

The Maltese presidency will present its work programme to the Council.

Ministers will have an exchange of views on international trade issues, on the basis of a Commission study on the impact of free trade agreements on agricultural products.

The Council will also hold an exchange of views on the milk package report, which covers market developments, assessing its effects on milk producers and milk production in less-favoured regions. The milk package has been in force since October 2012 and will continue to apply until 30 June 2020.

Agenda and briefing

Monday 23 January

European Commission, Events/Conf/Fairs, Employment and social rights

The European pillar of social rights: going forward together

Brussels

In March 2016, the Commission launched a public consultation to assess the present EU social 'acquis', to reflect on new trends in work patterns and societies, and to gather views and feedback on the principles identified in a preliminary outline of the European pillar of social rights. The consultation ran until 31 December 2016 and its results will contribute to the final outline of the pillar and help to identify the scope of future action where necessary.

In this context, the Commission is holding a European conference which will be an important milestone in wrapping up the consultation and defining the future direction of the European pillar of social rights.

A consolidated version of the pillar should be presented early in 2017. Once adopted, the pillar should become a reference framework to screen employment and social performance of participating Member States and to drive reforms at national level. More specifically, it should also serve as a compass for renewed convergence within the euro area.

More information on the event

Tuesday 24 January

European Commission, Events/Conf/Fairs, Economy, finance, tax and competition

Economic workshop: Fiscal policy and public investment for relaunching potential growth

Charlemagne building, Brussels

The first session will present and discuss papers identifying the most efficient fiscal policies to reignite growth and productivity in the European Union.
The second session of the workshop will include selected papers on public investment under fiscal constraints.

High-profile authors and discussants from the academia and international institutions will distil lessons on how to best conduct fiscal policy to avoid risk of prolonged low growth in Europe. Government actions play an important role in relaunching potential growth over the medium term. In this context, a specific role is played by public investment, which was identified as a promising avenue to boost GDP.

More information on the event

Tuesday 24 January

European Parliament, Events/Conf/Fairs, Economy, finance, tax and competition, Justice and citizens rights

EP Public hearing: The role of lawyers, accountants and bankers in Panama Papers

Joszef Antall building (room JAN 6Q2), Brussels

As part of its fact finding, the PANA inquiry committee of the European Parliament (EP) organises 3 hearings to look specifically into the roles played by banks, accountants and lawyers in the setting-up of secret offshore constructions for their clients. The first hearing, on 24 January 2017, will focus on the professions in general. To what extent are they regulated and how do the applicable rules play out in practice? The subsequent hearings, on 9 February and 6 March 2017, will zoom in on concrete cases in different Member States.

More information on the event

Tuesday 24 January

European Parliament, Political Meetings, Institutional affair

European Parliament Committee Meetings

Brussels

CETA: International Trade Committee MEPs will vote on whether or not to approve the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) negotiated with Canada. The full house will vote on the trade agreement in February. CETA can only enter into force with MEPs' approval.
Waste reduction and recycling: more ambitious EU targets aiming to boost recycling of waste, packaging waste, vehicles, batteries and e-waste, and for reducing landfilling, will be up for a vote in the Environment Committee. Almost a third of EU municipal waste is still landfilled and less than half is recycled or composted, with wide variations among member states.

Car emissions/EP inquiry: meanwhile, Parliament's Special Committee on Emission Measurements in the car sector (EMIS) will continue its inquiry by hearing representatives of car manufacturer Audi AG, part of the Volkswagen Group.

Taxation/EP inquiry: the Special Committee on Money Laundering, Tax avoidance and Tax Evasion (PANA) will continue its inquiry by looking into the role played by banks, accountants and lawyers in the setting up of secret offshore financial vehicles for their clients.

Schedule by day

Tuesday 24 January

European Parliament, Events/Conf/Fairs, External relations and foreign affairs

EU-Turkmenistan relations

Joszef Antall building (room JAN 2Q2), Brussels

This workshop, organised by the European Parliament, will provide external expertise and additional input into the Parliament's position on the EU-Turkmenistan partnership and cooperation agreement, exploring a possible set of feasible benchmarks, notably with regard to the rule of law, good governance and human rights.

More information on the event

Tuesday 24 - Wednesday 25 January

European Commission, European Parliament, Other bodies and agencies, Events/Conf/Fairs, Science and technology

9th conference on European space policy – Space strategy for Europe: the road ahead

Palais d'Egmont, Brussels

With the Space strategy for Europe from the European Commission and the new European Space Agency (ESA) roadmap on the table, the European space stakeholders will have the great opportunity to debate and influence, at the highest level, the medium and long term development of European space programmes and of the spread of space services in many economic and societal activities as well as in a wide range of public fields, including security and defence.

Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Commission Vice-Presidents Maros Sefcovic and Jyrki Katainen, Commissioners Elzbieta Bienkowska and Carlos Moedas, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Commission Vice-President Federica Mogherini, and European Parliament President Martin Schulz, are invited to this unique event.

More information on the event

Tuesday 24 January

European Commission, Events/Conf/Fairs, Employment and social rights, Science and technology

How best to attract talented researchers

Brno, Czech Republic

The purpose of these regional workshops is to fully inform 'newcomers' (research-performing institutions and research funders) on the principles of Charter and Code and their implementation in the research institution via a step-wise procedure called the Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R).

The workshop in Brno is restricted to participants from Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

24 January 2017 – Brno, Czech Republic
25 April 2017 – Ohrid, FYR Macedonia
27 April 2017 (tbc) – Belgrade, Serbia
Autumn 2017 (tbc) – Tallinn, Estonia

More information on the event

Tuesday 24 January

European Commission, Events/Conf/Fairs, Business, Science and technology

Workshop on ICT standards in public procurement

Brussels

Policymakers, public procurers, international standardisation organisations (ISO) and industry players interested in ICT standards in public procurement, are invited to take part in this workshop organised by the European Commission where the prototype of the European catalogue of standards for ICT procurement will be presented.

The objective of the European catalogue is to provide a one-stop-shop at the EU level to support and guide public procurers when referring to ICT standards and profiles of standards in their call for tenders.

In the workshop we will discuss the key developments that EU catalogue will bring in relation to key procurement issues such as how to improve ICT purchasing in the EU, how to make the best of digital technologies for public services in context of constant technological evolution, and how to increase exchanges between public procurers.

More information on the event

Tuesday 24 January

European Commission, Events/Conf/Fairs, Business

EU SMEs in global value chains

Aveiro, Portugal

This workshop intends to show the reality of global value chains (GVCs) through a brief conceptual and statistic description and through testimonials from various participating companies from the industrial and services' sectors. Its main goal is to raise awareness of the main opportunities and challenges that SMEs face while trying to be a part of this global production process.

Finally, representatives from national and European economic policymakers, will discuss the importance of GVCs and present the measures and instruments that, while combining elements from the industrial, European Single Market and internationalisation policies, are focused on promoting the participation of SMEs in GVCs. Entities that represent these instruments will give examples, so will companies which provide services in these areas, e.g. management of supply chains, and business associations/clusters which promote business cooperation.

More information on the event

Wednesday 25 January

European Parliament, Political Meetings, Institutional affair

European Parliament Committee Meetings

Brussels

Euro/budgetary capacity: reforms to create a more stable and resilient monetary union will be voted by the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee. MEPs are keen to complete the banking and financial union, make progress towards more convergent economies in the Eurozone and prevent unsustainable risk-sharing in order to protect taxpayers and restore trust.

Schedule by day

Wednesday 25 - Thursday 26 January

European Commission, Events/Conf/Fairs, Agriculture, fisheries and food

Seafood safety: new findings and innovation challenges

Royal Flemish Academy of Science and Art, Brussels

This event will a great opportunity to strengthen the network between science, industry and seafood safety authorities. The main outputs from the EU-funded ECsafeSEAFOOD project will be presented at the stakeholders session dedicated to the Industry, Food safety organisations/authorities, consumer associations and scientific community. Findings and innovations developed within the project will be shared. Furthermore, seven topics related with food safety will be discussed in the scientific session, where the scientific community can present innovative research.

More information on the event

Wednesday 25 - Friday 27 January

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

Computers, privacy & data protection conference

Brussels

The European Union Agency for fundamental rights (FRA) will host a panel discussion at the annual Computers, privacy & data conference.

The panel will focus on the question of remedies available to individuals alleging a violation of their rights in the context of surveillance. The panel will discuss existing challenges and promising practices in ensuring effective access to remedies in practice as well as possible ways forward. During the conference, FRA will also speak about the rights of Roma.

As one of the sponsors of the conference, FRA will also be present throughout the event with an information stand from 25 to 27 January.

More information on the event

Thursday 26 January

Committee of the Regions, Events/Conf/Fairs, Business, Regions and local development

European Entrepreneurial Region award info day

CoR, Brussels

The 2018 edition of the European Entrepreneurial Region (EER) award has been launched on 23 November 2016 at the European SME Assembly in Bratislava. The deadline for the submission of applications is 7 April 2017.

The EER 2018 info day supports interested cities and regions in the run-up to their application by giving them the opportunity to learn more about the objectives of the award and the selection criteria, and to obtain tips and advice from successful EER regions and members of the EER jury.

More information on the event

Thursday 26 January

Committee of the Regions, Events/Conf/Fairs, Environment, consumers and health, Transport and travel

Stakeholder consultation: a European strategy for low-emission mobility

CoR (room VMA1), Brussels

The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) is drafting an opinion on 'a European strategy for low-emission mobility'.

The rapporteur for the opinion, Jozsef Ribanyi, Vice-President of county council of Tolna Megye, will meet with representatives of local and regional associations and other stakeholders for a consultation and an exchange of views on the relevant topic of this opinion.

More information on the event

Thursday 26 January

European Commission, Events/Conf/Fairs, Business, Economy, finance, tax and competition, Science and technology

8th community of practice for better self- and co-regulation meeting

EESC, Brussels

Stakeholders interested in self- and co-regulation (SRCR) are invited to gather again for the 8th plenary meeting of the community of practice for better self-and co-regulation (CoP) in Brussels on 26 January 2017.

While the CoP pilot phase is coming to an end, the meeting will start by considering the learnings gathered during the first seven plenaries. The practical modes of mainstreaming SRCR in better regulation will then be discussed, with a series of participative workshops addressing diverse aspects, such as the inclusion of codes of conduct provisions in hard law or the monitoring of ongoing SRCR processes.

More information on the event

Thursday 26 January

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

Eurogroup

Brussels

Greece
The Eurogroup will discuss the progress achieved to date in the ongoing second review of Greece's economic adjustment programme, based on the updates by the European institutions participating in the review.

Ministers will also look into the implementation of the short-term debt relief measures, which Eurogroup endorsed at its meeting on 5 December 2016.

Post-programme surveillance in Ireland and Portugal
The institutions will brief the Eurogroup on the respective outcomes of the 6th post-programme surveillance mission to Ireland, and the fifth post-programme surveillance mission to Portugal. Both missions took place between the end of November and the beginning of December 2016.

The aim of post-programme monitoring is to see whether there are any risks that might jeopardise the member state's ability to repay the loans which it received under a financial assistance programme. The monitoring is carried out until at least 75% of the received assistance has been repaid.

IMF Article IV consultation with the euro area
The Eurogroup will exchange views on the International Monetary Fund's presentation of the findings from its interim mission relating to the Article IV consultation with the euro area.

The IMF carries out such consultations every year with all of its own members, both individual countries and currency unions, including the euro area. This is done in accordance with Article IV of the IMF's Articles of Agreement. The final report of the consultation is expected in June.

European Semester: 2017 recommendation for the euro area
The Eurogroup will discuss the draft Council recommendation on the economic policy of the euro area for 2017.

The recommendations for the euro area in 2017 focus on growth and job creation, fiscal policies and the completion of the banking union.

Following a discussion in the Eurogroup, the draft recommendation will be approved by the Ecofin Council on 27 January.

Draft budgetary plans - Spain and Lithuania
The Eurogroup will discuss Spain's and Lithuania's updated budgetary plans, based on the European Commission's opinions, published on 17 January 2017.
Both countries' draft budgetary plans were submitted last October based on the no-policy-change scenario, because at the time their governments did not have full budgetary powers as national electoral processes were under way. Accordingly, they had to submit an updated plan following the appointment of their respective new governments.

Other issues
The Eurogroup will hold a debate on the transposition of the Fiscal Compact into national law by the euro area member states and a special report by the European Court of Auditors on the Single Supervisory Mechanism.

Agenda and briefing

Thursday 26 January

European Parliament, Political Meetings, Institutional affair

European Parliament Committee Meetings

Brussels

Firearms: the provisional deal with the Council on the updated EU firearms directive, setting out the conditions under which private persons may lawfully acquire and possess guns or transfer them to another EU country, is up for a vote in the Internal Market Committee.

Schedule by day

Friday 27 January

European Investment Bank, Events/Conf/Fairs, Business, Economy, finance, tax and competition, Regions and local development

Supporting innovation in the Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic

The European Investment Bank (EIB) Group will host an interactive seminar to present the extensive range of support available to innovative and growing businesses in the Czech Republic.

The seminar will consist of concise product presentations and case studies, followed by a networking lunch.

Both the EU and the EIB Group intend to more than double their combined support for research and innovation in Europe until 2020, making more than €24 billion available.

More information on the event

Friday 27 January

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

Justus Lipsius building, Brussels

Council presidency work programme
The Council will be presided by Malta until 1 July 2017. The presidency will present its work programme in the area of the economy and finance.

European Semester
The Council will adopt conclusions on the annual growth survey for 2017, which marks the start of the 2017 European Semester, and on the alert mechanism report which is the basis for the macroeconomic imbalances procedure in 2017. The Council will also approve a draft recommendation for the economic policy of the euro area.

Value added tax: reverse charge mechanism
The Council will hear a presentation by the European Commission on its December 2016 proposal, which aims to temporarily allow individual member states to apply, on a voluntary basis, a generalised reverse charge mechanism (i.e. shift the liability for the VAT payment from the supplier to the customer) to all domestic supplies above an invoice threshold of €10 000.

The proposal was issued following a request by a number of EU member states suffering significant revenue losses due to VAT fraud.

The Commission proposes that these rules be in force until 30 June 2022 as a temporary measure in the context of the ongoing work to fundamentally reform the EU's current common VAT system.

Banking sector: the Basel Committee reform agenda
The Commission will brief the Council on progress made in discussions on the post-crisis banking reform in the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision is an international forum for regular cooperation on banking supervisory matters. It currently has 28 members, including the EU and some of its member states.

EU budget - Own resources
The chair of the high-level group on the EU's own resources, Mario Monti, will present a final report on the group's work. The Council will exchange views.

Agenda and briefing

Document Actions
Eurozone Economic Calendar

Monday 23 January


00:00 ECB President Draghi's Speech
16:00 Consumer Confidence (Jan) (Preliminary release)

Tuesday 24 January


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

Friday 27 January


10:00 Private loans (YoY) (Dec)
10:00 M3 Money Supply (3m) (Dec)
10:00 M3 Money Supply (YoY) (Dec)
21:30 CFTC NC net positions
EU Calendar
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