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EU Agenda: Week Ahead - 20-25 March 2017

17 March 2017, 20:08 CET

This week, EU leaders meet in Rome to mark the 60th anniversary of the signature of the Treaties of Rome; Commission president Juncker presents a White Paper on the future of Europe; ministers debate a reverse charge mechanism for VAT; and MEPs in committee vote on protection against online fraud, and books for visually impaired people. 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 March 2017.

Monday 20 - Thursday 23 March

Presidency of the Council of the EU, Presidency of the Council of the EU, Culture, education and youth

European Youth Conference

Qawra, Malta

The Youth Conference is a headline event of each EU presidency. It brings together policy makers, young people and relevant stakeholders to consider and discuss youth policy development and implementation. It also affords young people the opportunity to inform and influence policy makers on the issues that are impacting on their lives. The Structured Dialogue between young people and policy makers is a central feature of each Youth Conference. This year's conference at Bugibba marks the conclusion of the V cycle of the Structured Dialogue process.

The Youth Conference during the Maltese Presidency will focus on the third and concluding phase of the V cycle of the Structured Dialogue process "Ready for life, ready for society - Enabling all young people to engage in a diverse, connected and inclusive Europe". The Youth Conference will discuss and develop practical measures for implementing the recommendations resulting from the consultation of young people conducted during the Slovak Presidency and will also propose an implementation toolbox.

More information on the event

Monday 20 - Wednesday 22 March

European Commission, Events/Conf/Fairs, Research and innovation

From advanced materials research to innovation and growth

Brussels

The workshop will bring together venture capital and private equity investment specialists and research policymakers.

It intends to provide an insight in technology-driven investment strategies and future market opportunities for value-added and value-adding materials.

Participants in the workshop will also set out the various technical and economic scenarios linked to their potential development and use.

There will be time for networking and discussion of current objectives and strategies, and for recommendations for possible future research policies in this area.

More information on the event

Monday 20 - Wednesday 22 March

European Commission, Events/Conf/Fairs, Consumer affairs and public health, Research and innovation

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 March

Other bodies and agencies, Events/Conf/Fairs, Institutional affairs

Regulatory scrutiny in the EU

Brussels

The Regulatory Scrutiny Board (RSB) presents its first annual report and invites you at a conference on 'Regulatory scrutiny in the EU'.

The 2016 annual report gives account of the achievements and reflects the problems identified, solutions put in place and lessons learnt during the first full year of operation of the RSB as an independent body of the European Commission. It will be presented at the first RSB annual conference.

Promoting better regulation is a shared objective requiring commitment and continued efforts from all EU institutions and national governments, as well as strong participation from the civil society. The first RSB annual conference will provide a timely opportunity to touch base with the wider better regulation community and offer an EU platform for exchanging views on key aspects of the regulatory impact assessment design and techniques, on evidence-based regulatory analysis and on best regulatory scrutiny practices.

More information on the event

Monday 20 March

Council of the EU and European Council, Presidency of the Council of the EU, Political Meetings, Presidency of the Council of the EU, Economy and the euro

Eurogroup

Brussels

Draft budgetary plans and the implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact

Ministers will discuss implementation of euro area member states' draft budgetary plans for 2017 and the budgetary situation in the euro area as a whole, taking into account the economic outlook presented by the European Commission in its 2017 Winter Forecast, published on 13 February.

The discussion is the Eurogroup's follow-up to its meeting on 5 December 2016, when ministers looked into the draft budgetary plans, and to its discussion on 26 January, when ministers exchanged views on the updated budgetary plans of Spain and Lithuania.

The Eurogroup is expected to adopt a statement summarising the discussion.

Thematic discussion on growth and jobs: pension systems

The Eurogroup will continue its thematic discussion on the euro area member states' pension systems. Ministers will look into the possibility of introducing benchmarking in this policy area, and will discuss the choice of indicators and the frequency of reporting. The discussion will be based on a recent analysis by the European Commission.

The Eurogroup held a debate on this theme in June 2016, when ministers agreed on a set of common principles for strengthening the fiscal sustainability of pension systems, and invited the Commission to explore benchmarking that would be suitable in this context.

Greece

The Eurogroup will discuss developments regarding the second review of Greece's macroeconomic adjustment programme since the last Eurogroup meeting in February.

The institutions (European Commission, European Central Bank, International Monetary Fund and European Stability Mechanism) and the Greek Minister for Finance, Euclid Tsakalotos, are expected to report on the progress achieved towards concluding a staff-level agreement on the required policy reforms.

A staff-level agreement is a step towards concluding a review of a programme. A completed review, in turn, is a condition for releasing a further instalment of financial support available under the programme.

Reporting on debt issuance plans

The Eurogroup will exchange views on the euro area member states' reporting on their annual debt issuance plans.

The euro area countries have to report in advance to the European Commission and the Eurogroup on their national debt issuance plans. This is an annual procedure, carried out in accordance with the EU's policy coordination rules applicable to the euro area member states only (known as the 'two-pack'). The aim of the exercise is to improve the coordination of euro area member states' public debt issuance planning.

Agenda and briefing

Monday 20 March

European Medicines Agency, Events/Conf/Fairs, Business, taxation and competition, Consumer affairs and public health

SME information day on the new clinical trial regulation

EMA, London

This SME information day, organised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), provides an overview on the key features and objectives of the new clinical trial regulation. It also covers the future clinical trial authorisation process, the functionalities of the European clinical trial (EU CT) portal and database, transparency aspects of the new regulation, and safety reporting requirements.

The event is for companies that have been assigned SME status by the EMA and representatives of stakeholder organisations.

More information on the event

Tuesday 21 March

European Parliament, Political Meetings, Institutional affairs

European Parliament Committee Meetings

European Parliament, Brussels

60th anniversary of the Rome treaties: to mark the occasion, the EP will hold a "Citizens' Parliament", bringing together people from all over the EU to discuss the future of the EU in the plenary chamber.

Protection against online fraud: national authorities would have more powers to enforce consumer rights, e.g. by checking whether websites geo-block consumers or to order the taking down of websites that host scams, under draft rules to be voted by the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee. These aim to tackle the most common practices harming online consumers, from abuse of online games for children to unfair contract terms for renting cars.

Clothing industry: the Commission should table a draft law to improve conditions for millions of workers in the global textile and clothing industry, Development Committee MEPs are likely to agree. They may call for binding due diligence checks throughout the whole supply chain, conditional trade preferences, and clothes labels.

Schedule by day

Tuesday 21 March

Council of the EU and European Council, Presidency of the Council of the EU, Political Meetings, Presidency of the Council of the EU, Economy and the euro

Economic and Financial Affairs Council

Luxembourg

Reduced value-added tax rate for electronic publications

The Council will debate a proposal to amend the EU VAT directive in order to allow electronic publications, such as electronic books, newspapers and periodicals, to benefit from reduced VAT rates, along the same lines as physical publications.

VAT reverse charge mechanism

The Council will debate a proposal for a VAT reverse charge mechanism which aims to contribute to the prevention of VAT fraud. According to the proposal, the member states would be able to temporarily apply, if they so wish, a VAT reverse charge mechanism to domestic supplies of goods and services above a threshold of €10 000.

The reverse charge mechanism involves shifting the liability for VAT payment from the supplier to the customer and therefore derogates from one of the general principles of the EU's current VAT system.

European Semester

The Council will discuss the country reports, which present an analysis of each member state's economic situation, the necessary structural reforms and progress achieved in implementing the recommendations made by the Council in 2016. Reports on 13 countries also contain the results of in-depth reviews of macroeconomic imbalances.

The Commission issued the country reports on 22 February 2017.

The Council will adopt, without discussion, a recommendation on the economic policies of the euro area for 2017.

G20 meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors

The Council will discuss the outcomes of a G20 meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors which takes place in Baden-Baden (Germany) on 17 and 18 March 2017.

The agenda for the meeting includes the global economy, a compact with Africa, international financial institutions, taxation and financial regulation.

The 2017 G20 summit under the German presidency will be held in Hamburg on 7 and 8 July.

Other issues

The Council presidency will inform ministers about current legislative proposals on financial services, and the European Commission will brief them on the implementation of financial services legislation and on the defence action plan, with a particular focus on the European defence fund.

Agenda and briefing

Tuesday 21 March

European Commission, Events/Conf/Fairs, Energy, environment and climate, EU regional and urban development

Citizens' dialogue in Bratislava with Vice-President Maros Sefcovic

Bratislava, Slovakia

Commission Vice-president Maros Sefcovic and Slovak Deputy Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini will discuss how to make the EU energy sector more resilient, more sustainable and how to achieve a fair deal for energy consumers in the entire EU. The discussion will also focus on introducing smart solutions for smart cities and on mobilising crucial investments for the energy systems and cities of tomorrow.

More information on the event

Wednesday 22 - Thursday 23 March

Other bodies and agencies, Events/Conf/Fairs, Employment and social rights, Consumer affairs and public health

EU-OSHA good practice exchange event

Brussels

A two-day exchange of good practices event for official campaign partners of the 'healthy workplaces' campaign will take place in Brussels on 22-23 March, organised by the European agency for safety and health at work (EU-OSHA).

The opening session will begin with a welcome speech by Christa Sedlatschek, Director of EU-OSHA. Two series of parallel workshops will give participants the opportunity to collaborate and share their experiences.

More information on the event

Wednesday 22 - Friday 24 March

Other bodies and agencies, Events/Conf/Fairs, Transport and travel

Regional safety oversight organisations (RSOOs) conference 2017

Swaziland

The conference on regional safety oversight organisations (RSOOs), jointly organised by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), will bring together all parties that have a stake in the establishment and management of RSOOs, in order to promote the concept of regional cooperation for the purpose of enhancing global aviation safety in the regions.

More information on the event

Wednesday 22 March

European Parliament, Political Meetings, Institutional affairs

European Parliament Committee Meetings

European Parliament, Brussels

Rule of law in Poland: Civil Liberties Committee MEPs will debate the ongoing EU Commission probe into respect for the rule of law in Poland, with Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans.

Schedule by day

Thursday 23 - Friday 24 March

European Commission, Events/Conf/Fairs, EU regional and urban development, Transport and travel

Regional transport investment conference

Sofia, Bulgaria

The conference will discuss new initiatives aimed at boosting infrastructure financing in Europe and facilitating the transition into an efficient, safe and sustainable mobility. It will bring together ministers and high level personalities involved in transport financing and planning from the EU cohesion Member States, the Western Balkans and eastern partnership countries, the European Investment Bank (EIB), international financial institutions, European TEN-T coordinators, project promoters, investors and national promotional banks.

Innovative financing mechanisms of the investment plan for Europe will be discussed and achievements will be presented. Dedicated project discussion sessions will give project promoters and interested investors the opportunity to discuss specific transport projects, in terms of investment opportunities, respective requirements and potential need for advisory support to improve the project quality.

More information on the event

Thursday 23 March

European Commission, Events/Conf/Fairs, Energy, environment and climate, EU regional and urban development

North seas energy forum

Brussels

The North Seas energy forum brings together representatives of the public, private and non-governmental sectors in the northern seas region to discuss challenges and opportunities and the role of stakeholders in realising the region's full energy potential.

More information on the event

Thursday 23 March

European Parliament, Political Meetings, Institutional affairs

European Parliament Committee Meetings

European Parliament, Brussels

Books for visually impaired people: draft legislation providing for copyright exceptions to facilitate access to books and other print material for blind and visually impaired people will be up for a vote in the Legal Affairs Committee. The proposal would help make available works in accessible formats such as Braille, large print, e-books and audiobooks.

Schedule by day

Thursday 23 March

European Investment Bank, Events/Conf/Fairs, Culture, education and youth, Economy and the euro, Consumer affairs and public health, EU regional and urban development

Infrastructure for the human touch

Zagreb, Croatia

The European Investment Bank (EIB) will host the conference 'Infrastructure for the human touch' to discuss health and education sector issues with a special focus on infrastructure development and rehabilitation in Croatia and the neighbouring countries.

Against the background of recent developments, including fiscal constraints and migration in the wider region, new challenges have arisen and require appropriate responses at various levels.

This conference will assemble leaders from government, academia, industry and the civil society in order to bring a large array of stakeholders from the regional markets together to exchange views and opinions and learn from best practice projects.

Following the plenaries and the project presentations, the EIB will make available a number of senior experts to discuss individual projects and to provide hands-on advice for projects related to the health and education sectors.

More information on the event

Thursday 23 March

European Commission, Events/Conf/Fairs, Economy and the euro, Research and innovation

Conference #FinTechEU - Is EU regulation fit for new financial technologies?

Brussels

Technology is transforming the financial sector. As the world's largest user of IT products and services, finance stands to benefit from new generations of processing, storage, mobile and authentication technologies as well as social networks, artificial intelligence or distributed systems. New business models are emerging that could help turn our single financial services market into a practical reality – one where the relationship between customers and suppliers is no longer restricted by physical distance or even linguistic differences. This raises important policy and regulatory questions for EU financial services policy.

In organising this conference, the Commission hopes to feed into the debate on whether the EU is ready for this digital transformation and identify which specific measures and overall approach will contribute to creating a vibrant EU technology enabled finance sector.

Besides presentations and panel discussions with recognised experts, the conference will leave room for questions and input from participants.

More information on the event

Thursday 23 March

European Commission, Events/Conf/Fairs, Justice and citizens' rights

Citizens' dialogue in Helsinki with Vice-President Jyrki Katainen

Helsinki, Finland

Following the publication of the white paper on the future of Europe, European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen will meet citizens in Helsinki to debate on the EU's perspectives.

More information on the event

Friday 24 March

European Commission, Events/Conf/Fairs, Food, farming and fisheries

Conference on the role of inter-branch organisations in the food supply chain

Brussels

This half-day conference will provide a forum to discuss the findings of the study on 'Agricultural interbranch organisations (IBOs) in the EU' and to engage in an active dialogue with stakeholders on the role of inter-branch organisations in the food supply chain.

To that end, the conference seeks launching a discussion on which benefits IBOs can bring concretely to the supply chain and which factors are favourable for their creation and their daily work. It will bring together participants from IBOs, their members, academia and public authorities dealing with food chain issues.

The presentation will be followed by a panel discussion of experts from IBOs, government and academia highlighting different aspects of IBOS activities, working conditions and impact on the supply chain.

More information on the event

Friday 24 March

European Commission, Events/Conf/Fairs, Food, farming and fisheries

Citizens' dialogue in Zagreb with Commissioner Phil Hogan

Zagreb, Croatia

Citizens' dialogue with Commissioner Phil Hogan, Croatian minister of agriculture Tomislav Tolusic and the member of the European Parliament Marijana Petir.

Do you have concerns about prosperity of rural communities and job creation in rural areas? Do you want to know more about harnessing the latest innovations for a sustainable agriculture? Or how trade agreements help to grow agri-food exports? You want to know how the EU is addressing the biggest challenges it is facing? What is the future of the EU? Come and ask directly Phil Hogan, European Commissioner for Agriculture.

More information on the event

Saturday 25 March

European Commission, Events/Conf/Fairs, Institutional affairs

Commission White Paper on the future of Europe and Rome Summit to mark the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome

Rome, Italy

On 25 March, Heads of State or Government will come together in Rome to mark the 60th anniversary of the signature of the Treaties of Rome, which laid the foundations for the European Union we know today. This summit is the next step in implementing the positive agenda President Juncker set out in his State of the Union address and agreed at the informal Bratislava summit in September 2016 by the 27 EU Member States. To support the reflection on the future of the European Union at 27, President Juncker will present a White Paper on the future of Europe in time for the meeting of EU leaders in Rome.

More information on the event

Document Actions
Eurozone Economic Calendar

Monday 20 March


11:00 Labour cost (Q4)

Tuesday 21 March


15:30 Targeted LTRO

Wednesday 22 March


09:00 Non-monetary policy's ECB meeting
11:00 Current Account n.s.a (Jan)
11:00 Current Account s.a (Jan)

Thursday 23 March


10:00 Economic Bulletin
16:00 Consumer Confidence (Mar) (Preliminary release)

Friday 24 March


10:00 Markit Manufacturing PMI (Mar) (Preliminary release)
10:00 Markit Services PMI (Mar) (Preliminary release)
10:00 Markit PMI Composite (Mar) (Preliminary release)
20:30 CFTC NC net positions
EU Calendar
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