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EU Agenda: Week Ahead - 6-10 December 2021

06 December 2021, 01:05 CET
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This week, ministers aim to adopt Council position on adequate minimum wages in the EU; the Commission holds the EU Agricultural Outlook conference; and MEPs in committee debate an EU cancer policy, safety of toys and migration and asylum. 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 6-10 December 2021.

Monday 6 December

European Parliament | Political Meetings | Institutional affairs

European Parliament committee and group meetings

European Parliament, Brussels

Plenary preparations: political groups will prepare for the 13-16 December plenary session, where MEPs will debate and vote on the Digital Markets Act, which aims to end unfair practices used by big online platforms, measures to uphold women's rights and reduce gender inequalities, the situation in Nicaragua as well as EU humanitarian aid. MEPs will also debate the 16-17 December European Council, the state of play on the Recovery and Resilience Facility and vote on fundamental rights and the rule of law in Slovenia. Also during the session, Ghana's President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will address plenary, and the award ceremony for 2021 Sakharov Prize Winner Alexei Navalny will take place

Agenda by day in PDF format

Monday 6 December

Council of the EU and European Council | Political Meetings | Economy and the euro

Eurogroup

Brussels

Twelfth enhanced surveillance report on Greece

The Eurogroup will discuss the twelfth enhanced surveillance report on Greece. Within this context, ministers are also expected to discuss if the necessary conditions are in place to release the sixth tranche of policy-contingent debt measures.

Post-programme surveillance

The European Commission and the European Central Bank (ECB) will brief the Eurogroup on the main findings of the post-programme surveillance reports on Cyprus, Portugal, Ireland and Spain.

Post-programme surveillance starts automatically after the end of financial assistance programmes and continues until at least 75% of the financial assistance received has been repaid. The reporting occurs twice a year.

Eurogroup work programme for first half of 2022

The Eurogroup will adopt the work programme for the first half of next year, covering the period from January until June.

IMF Article IV mission to the euro area

The International Monetary Fund will present the outcome of its Article IV mission to the euro area. The Article IV review is a regular exercise in which the IMF reviews economic developments, consults with policy-makers and provides targeted policy advice.

Euro area recommendation

The Commission will present its proposal for the recommendation on the economic policy of the euro area for 2022, published on 24 November.

The Eurogroup will exchange views on the proposal, and return to the topic in January 2022.

2022 draft budgetary plans

The Eurogroup will review the economic and fiscal situation of the euro area member states.

This discussion will be based on Commission opinions on the draft budgetary plans (DBPs) of the 19 euro area member states and on the Commission communication on its overall assessment of the DBPs, published on 24 November 2021.

Any other business

After the Eurogroup meeting, the President of the Eurogroup will host an informal dinner with all EU economic and financial affairs ministers to discuss banking union and the preparation of the December Euro Summit.

Agenda and briefing

Monday 6 - Tuesday 7 December

Council of the EU and European Council | Political Meetings | Employment and social rights

Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (Employment and social policy)

Luxembourg

Employment and social affairs (Monday 6 December)

Minimum wages

EU ministers responsible for employment and social affairs will aim to adopt the Council position on a directive on adequate minimum wages in the EU.

The Commission presented its proposal for an EU directive in October 2020. The aim of the proposal is to ensure that workers in the Union are protected by adequate minimum wages.

Pay transparency

Ministers will also aim to adopt the Council position on a directive on binding pay transparency measures.

The Commission presented its proposal in March 2021. The aim of the directive is to ensure that workers can enforce their right to equal pay for equal work.

Other matters

Ministers are expected to approve conclusions on sustainable work over the life course and on the impact of artificial intelligence on gender equality in the labour market.

The European Commission will inform ministers on the ALMA (Aim, Learn, Master, Achieve) initiative and on the current legislative proposals.

The Slovenian presidency will inform ministers on the outcomes of the presidency conferences.

The French delegation will present its priorities for their upcoming presidency (January-June 2022) in the fields of employment and social affairs.

Health (Tuesday 7 December)

Health ministers will exchange views on the state of play of the current and future EU response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The presidency will be seeking guidance from ministers on the next steps as well as their views on the presidency proposals as regards to a Council regulation on the emergency framework regarding medical countermeasures.

The Council is also expected to approve conclusions on strengthening the European Health Union.

Other matters

The European Commission will inform ministers on the state of play of the pharmaceutical strategy for Europe and current and future initiatives and legislative proposals.

The Slovenian presidency and the Commission will also inform ministers on the Europe's Beating Cancer Plan, the outcomes of the special World Health Assembly session on pandemic preparedness and response and on the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

The French delegation will present its priorities for their upcoming presidency (January-June 2022) in the field of health.

Agenda and briefing

Monday 6 - Wednesday 8 December

Presidency of the Council of the EU | Events/Conf/Fairs | Research and innovation

European strategy forum of research infrastructure (ESFRI) days

Ljubljana, Slovenia

As part of the European strategy forum on research infrastructure (ESFRI) framework, a series of events entitled ESFRI days will conclude the process of updating the ESFRI roadmap 2021.

The publication of the ESFRI roadmap 2021 will mark the launch of new research infrastructure (RI) projects on the priority list. The new roadmap will also include ongoing projects launched in previous ESFRI roadmap iterations.

The roadmap launch and publication will facilitate discussions on the following key points:

  • the lessons learnt from the procedures that lead to its development
  • the main challenges in setting up large-scale European RI as well as their long-term sustainability
  • the planning of the next roadmap update.

In addition, the regular meeting of the ESFRI forum and the meeting of the stakeholders' forum will be held, functioning as a new mechanism for open interaction of key stakeholders in the field of international research infrastructure.

More information on the event

Tuesday 7 December

Council of the EU and European Council | Political Meetings | Business, taxation and competition - Economy and the euro

Economic and Financial Affairs Council

Brussels

Taxation

Economic and financial affairs ministers will be invited to adopt a general approach on updating rules for reduced value-added-tax rates, following on from a 2018 Commission proposal that set out to update the list of goods and services for which reduced rates or exemptions are allowed.

Fit for 55 package

The presidency will present a progress report on the Fit for 55 legislative package, particularly regarding the regulation establishing a carbon border adjustment mechanism, the revision of the energy taxation directive and the proposal for a regulation establishing a social climate fund.

Banking union

The presidency will present a progress report on measures to strengthen the banking union, including a proposal on the European deposit insurance scheme and other risk reduction measures listed in the 2016 Council roadmap to complete the banking union.

Capital markets union

The Commission will present and ministers will have a first exchange on the legislative package for the capital markets union, including the alternative investment fund managers directive (AIFMD),the European long-term investment funds (ELTIF) regulation, the European single access point (ESAP) and the review of markets in financial instruments regulation (MiFIR). The aims of the legislative package are to better connect EU companies with investors and improve their access to funding, broaden investment opportunities for retail investors and better integrate capital markets.

Anti-money laundering proposal

The presidency will present a progress report on the package to counter money laundering and the financing of terrorism. The Commission presented the package on 20 July 2021.

European Semester

Ministers will discuss the 2022 European Semester cycle, including the 2022 sustainable growth survey, the 2022 alert mechanism report and the recommendation on the economic policy of the euro area, as set out in the autumn package presented by the European Commission on 24 November 2021.

Ministers will also consider progress on the code of conduct for business taxation files.

Agenda and briefing

Wednesday 8 - Thursday 9 December

European Commission | Events/Conf/Fairs | Consumer affairs and public health - Energy, environment and climate

Citizens' Energy Forum

Brussels

The European Commission is organising the 2021 edition of the Citizen's energy forum as a hybrid event. The structure of the forum will be slightly different compared to previous years. Day 1 will open with a plenary session followed by 4 parallel sessions. Day 2 will be a full plenary in 3 sessions using a TED Talk style format. The forum conclusions will, as usual, close the event.

The first day plenary session will look at immediate and structural measures to protect vulnerable customers against price hikes, as well as consumer trends in an increasingly decarbonised, digitalised and integrated energy system. The parallel sessions will discuss key consumer issues that require further attention in order for the energy transition to work, including building consumer trust, engagement of energy poor and vulnerable households, protection of decarbonised heat and gas consumers, as well as digitalisation.

The second day will provide behavioral insights on what makes citizens tick, and share hands-on advice and inspirational examples on how one can decarbonise their energy lifestyle and find the most suitable offer on the energy market.

More information on the event

Wednesday 8 December

Presidency of the Council of the EU | Events/Conf/Fairs | Research and innovation

SEMIC 2021: Human-centric data spaces, powered by interoperability

Online

Over the last year, different sectors have announced preparatory work on data spaces, aiming to foster a single market for data. Semantic interoperability is the key enabler for data to flow within the EU and across sectors.

SEMIC 2021 will therefore bring together stakeholders and practitioners across domains to discuss how data sets can be exchanged between data providers and consumers while protecting EU ethical and legal aspects, ensuring human centricity, and using emerging technologies.

Participants can learn about examples of cross-border data exchange between public administrations and find out about the potential of emerging technologies. Parallel sessions, illustrated by case studies, will be held on topics such as:

  • Methods and tools for creating semantic assets
  • How interoperability and user centricity can help exchange complex datasets across Member States within and across sectors
  • Usage of emerging data technologies in ethical manner to enhance public services
  • Good practice on semantic interoperability and data tools

More information on the event

Thursday 9 December

European Commission | Events/Conf/Fairs | Consumer affairs and public health

EU animal welfare today and tomorrow

Online

The high-level conference 'EU animal welfare today and tomorrow' will constitute an opportunity for stakeholders to validate the preliminary findings of the fitness check of the current EU animal welfare legislation. It will also offer a possibility to express opinions on the Commission's main ideas on the revision of the EU animal welfare acquis.

The conference will be opened by European Commissioner Stella Kyriakides and will gather the main players in the field of animal welfare from the EU and beyond. The keynote speech will be delivered by the world-renowned ethologist and conservationist, Dr Jane Goodall.

During 5 interactive thematic panels, high-level experts will address the main animal welfare issues to be tackled by the future European legislation: end the cage age, welfare at farm, labelling, transport and slaughter.

More information on the event

Thursday 9 - Friday 10 December

Other bodies and agencies - Presidency of the Council of the EU | Events/Conf/Fairs | Culture, education and youth - Employment and social rights

5th CareersNet annual meeting

Online

CareersNet is a network of independent experts in lifelong guidance and career development, created in 2017 by the European centre for the development of vocational training (Cedefop), to collect comparable and reliable information on a European scale in the field of lifelong guidance and career development for informing improvements in national systems, policies, and practices.

This 5th CareersNet annual meeting is organised in partnership with the Slovenian Ministry of education, science and sport, in the framework of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU.

Invited partners will attend sessions on the first day of the event, alongside Cedefop and CareersNet members, and the second day will be dedicated to network management and attended by network members.

More information on the event

Thursday 9 December

Council of the EU and European Council | Political Meetings | Transport and travel

Transport, Telecommunications & Energy Council (Transport)

Brussels

More information on the event

Thursday 9 - Friday 10 December

Council of the EU and European Council | Political Meetings | Justice and citizens' rights - Security and defence

Justice and Home Affairs Council

Brussels

Home affairs, 9 December Resilience of critical entities

Home affairs ministers will take stock of progress regarding the directive on the resilience of critical entities.

In September 2020, the European Commission proposed new rules to strengthen the level of protection and resilience of infrastructures that provide fundamental services for social or economic activities and the well-being of citizens.

The proposal covers ten sectors: energy, transport, banking, financial market infrastructures, health, drinking water, waste water, digital infrastructure, public administration and space.

The Slovenian presidency aims to reach an agreement on the Council's negotiating mandate before the end of 2021.

Countering hybrid threats and migratory challenges

The Council will hold a debate on hybrid attacks and migrant smuggling. Ministers will focus in particular on: the effectiveness of the current tools in responding to migratory challenges; the tools needed to be better prepared in the future.

The EU has been facing increased migration flows at the external border for several years. The phenomenon recently reached a new level with the hybrid attack carried out by the Belarus regime. Thanks to concerted EU efforts, the flows of migrants from Belarus have dropped. However, the pressure at the EU border remains high.

At the same time, other migration challenges at the external borders must not be overshadowed, in particular in the Mediterranean. As the tragic loss of lives in the English Channel has demonstrated, combatting migrant smuggling remains an important challenge. Another phenomenon requiring an immediate response is the constant increase in unauthorised movements inside the EU.

Schengen evaluation and monitoring mechanism

Ministers will assess progress on the proposed Council regulation on a Schengen evaluation and monitoring mechanism. The proposal aims to make the Schengen area more adaptable to current and future challenges. The new rules will:

  • increase the strategic focus of the mechanism
  • shorten and simplify the evaluation and monitoring procedures
  • strengthen the verification of the respect for fundamental rights in the implementation of the Schengen acquis
  • optimise the participation of all state and EU actors

EU recovery funds: preventing infiltration by organised crime

Home affairs ministers will hold a debate on the EU recovery funds and on how infiltration by organised crime into legal structures and processes can best be prevented. Prevention measures include multi-agency cooperation and a combination of law enforcement, criminal law and administrative tools.

Other matters

Ministers will exchange views on the implementation of interoperability and decide whether the implementation timelines need to be adjusted. They will also be updated on the state of play of cooperation between competent authorities dealing with counter-terrorism.

Justice, 9 December

Access to e-evidence to fight crime

Justice ministers will take stock of progress on the ongoing negotiations between the Council and the European Parliament regarding the e-evidence regulation.

The new rules would allow judicial authorities from one EU country to directly request access to e-evidence from any service provider offering services in the European Union and established or represented in another member state.

Other matters

Ministers will exchange views on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic for the functioning of courts and for the judicial review and scrutiny of emergency measures.

The presidency will update justice ministers on the state of play on the EU's accession to the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Council will also discuss how to better combat hate speech and hate crime for a more inclusive and protective Europe.

Agenda and briefing

Thursday 9 - Friday 10 December

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

2021 EU Agricultural Outlook conference

Online

The 2021 EU Agricultural Outlook conference will take place online on 9 and 10 December. Now in its eighth edition, the theme of this year's event is 'Fit for 2030 – resilient EU agri-food systems and rural areas'. The conference will examine what we can expect global agricultural markets to look like in 2030, in light of the political and market uncertainty currently facing the agricultural sector. Will food systems be more resilient following the Covid-19 pandemic? Will the new common agricultural policy effectively encourage farmers across Europe to embrace the green transition?

Senior representatives from EU bodies and international organisations, farmers, agricultural experts and rural actors will come together to discuss these questions, as well as the broader medium-term outlook for agricultural markets, income and environment.

The EU Agricultural Outlook conference has become a successful annual event for broad exchanges among stakeholders on market prospects in agriculture, including the political framework and uncertainties surrounding market developments in the next 10 years. Each year the conference coincides with the release of the annual report on market prospects.

More information on the event

Friday 10 December

Presidency of the Council of the EU | Events/Conf/Fairs | Justice and citizens' rights - Research and innovation

E-government conference: Human-centric digital transformation of the public sector

Online

The conference on the digital transformation of public administration follows the tradition of numerous e-government events organised under previous presidencies of the Council of the EU. It will allow participants to discuss current topics and to maintain contacts with experts from other EU countries, the European Commission and other international organisations. The event will also enable the participation of the Western Balkan countries.

Speakers from public administrations, international organisations, business, academia and NGOs will present their inspiring good-practice examples, strategies, projects and research. Various panels will cover the topics of current EU issues, public administration topics, service design, co-creation, innovation, e-democracy, digital skills, business and the economy. This year's conference will place an emphasis on the human-centric digital transformation of public sector.

More information on the event

Thursday 9 December

European Parliament | Political Meetings | Institutional affairs

European Parliament committee meetings

European Parliament, Brussels

Safety of toys: the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee will assess how EU rules on toy safety have been implemented and propose measures to ensure that all toys sold on the EU market, including from non-EU countries and online, are safe. Recommendations cover issues such as tackling chemicals in toys and labelling.

Beating Cancer: Parliament's Special Committee for Beating Cancer will adopt its final recommendations to develop an EU cancer policy that includes fighting inequalities in cancer prevention, treatment and survivorship across Europe, more support for cancer research and innovation, making treatments more accessible and affordable, especially through joint evaluation as well as the negotiation and purchase of cancer medicines.

Conference of Presidents/French Presidency: EP President and political groups' leaders (Conference of Presidents) will meet in Paris with ministers from the French government, including Prime Minister Castex, and the speaker and members of the National Assembly (Assemblée Nationale), to prepare the upcoming six-month Presidency of the EU Council, starting in 2022.

Agenda by day in PDF format

Friday 10 December

European Parliament | Political Meetings | Institutional affairs

European Parliament committee meetings

European Parliament, Brussels

Migration and asylum: MEPs and national parliamentarians will gather for the third High-Level Conference on Migration and Asylum. They will debate migration partnerships with non-EU countries and the state of play on the proposal for a Pact on Migration and Asylum. Speakers include EP President Sassoli, Slovenia's National Assembly President Zorcic, Portugal's Assembly President Ferro Rodrigues and Germany's Bundestag President Bas.

Agenda by day in PDF format

Document Actions
Eurozone Economic Calendar

Monday 6 December


09:30 Sentix Investor Confidence (Dec)
13:00 Eurogroup Meeting
20:30 CFTC EUR NC Net Positions

Tuesday 7 December


07:00 EcoFin Meeting
10:00 Employment Change (QoQ) (Q3)
10:00 Employment Change (YoY) (Q3)
10:00 Gross Domestic Product s.a. (QoQ) (Q3)
10:00 Gross Domestic Product s.a. (YoY) (Q3)
10:00 ZEW Survey – Economic Sentiment (Dec)

Friday 10 December


20:30 CFTC EUR NC Net Positions
EU Calendar
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