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EU Agenda: Week Ahead - 21-26 January 2019

This week, finance ministers are due to adopt conclusions on the EC's annual growth survey and macroeconomic imbalances in the member states; foreign affairs ministers discuss an action plan against disinformation; the Commission holds conferences on sustainable corporate governance, and the blue economy of the Mediterranean Sea basin; and MEPs in committee vote on consumer protection rules, animal welfare, compensation for victims of road accidents, and water reuse in agriculture. 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 21-26 January 2019.

Monday 21 January

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

Eurogroup

Brussels

The Eurogroup will first meet in regular format at 15h and afterwards come together for a Eurogroup meeting in inclusive format at 16.30h.

Regular format

European semester: 2019 euro area recommendations

The Eurogroup will discuss the draft Council recommendations on the economic policy of the euro area for 2019, issued in the context of the European Semester, the EU's policy coordination mechanism.

The draft recommendations will be approved by the Economic and Financial Affairs Council on 22 January. They will be formally adopted by the Council after endorsement at the March European Council.

International role of the euro

The Eurogroup will discuss the international role of the euro on the basis of the Commission communication "Towards a stronger international role of the euro" from December 2018.

In its communication, the Commission outlined scope for the euro to develop further its global role and achieve its full potential, reflecting the euro area's political, economic and financial weight.

Other topics

The Eurogroup President will launch the process to appoint a new member of the European Central Bank's executive board. The term of the incumbent, chief economist and member of the executive board Peter Praet, ends on 31 May 2019.

In addition, Luxembourg's Finance minister Pierre Gramegna will present the policy priorities of the new Luxembourg government.

Inclusive format

Deepening EMU – Follow-up to the December Euro Summit

Ministers will exchange views on the follow-up to the December Euro summit where it was agreed that finance ministers should continue the work toward a significant strengthening of the EMU on the basis of the comprehensive package endorsed by EU leaders.

Ministers will also discuss how to organize the work ahead. In particular, they will exchange views on the next steps on the roadmap for beginning political negotiations on the European deposit insurance scheme (EDIS) and the budgetary instrument for convergence and competitiveness for the euro area and ERM II member states on a voluntary basis.

Agenda and briefing

Monday 21 January

Council of the EU and European Council, Political Meetings, Enlargement, external relations and trade, International aid, development and cooperation, Security and defence

Foreign Affairs Council

Brussels

Current affairs

The Foreign Affairs Council will start with a discussion on current affairs, allowing ministers to review pressing issues on the international agenda.

Regarding the situation in Venezuela, the High Representative will update foreign ministers on the ongoing work to establish an international contact group which could, if conditions are met, help facilitate a political process.

The High Representative and foreign ministers will also refer to the latest developments in the Democratic Republic of Congo, following the presidential election on 30 December 2018.

Disinformation

Foreign ministers will discuss the action plan against disinformation presented by the Commission on 5 December 2018. They will exchange views on the implementation of the action plan. Ministers are expected to focus on the external aspects of the challenges of disinformation.

League of Arab States

The Council will have a preparatory discussion for the EU - League of Arab States ministerial meeting. It will be held in Brussels on 4 February 2019 ahead of the summit on 24-25 February 2019 in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt.

ASEAN

The Council will also discuss the 22nd EU - ASEAN ministerial meeting taking place on the same day in Brussels. The Council is expected to adopt conclusions on EU-ASEAN relations.

Agenda and briefing

Monday 21 January

European Committee of the Regions, Events/Conf/Fairs, EU regional and urban development, Institutional affairs, Justice and citizens' rights

Europe for Her

Brussels

Local and regional authorities have a crucial role to play and can be key actors in bringing about progress, notably through their substantive control over public services. Women remain, however, underrepresented in local decision-making across the EU.

As a step for change, the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) is bringing together a number of locally elected representatives, local leaders and experts, in order to exchange best practices and stir new ideas on how women can be empowered at local level in both politics and society.

The aim is to present a set of policy recommendations to the 350 locally elected members of the CoR during the plenary session of February 2019.

Two central questions will underpin the conference:

  • What measures can local and regional authorities take to forward gender equality at local level?
  • How to improve the political representation of women in local decision-making?

More information on the event

Monday 21 January

Other bodies and agencies, Events/Conf/Fairs, Justice and citizens' rights, Research and innovation, Security and defence

Cybersecurity standardisation and the EU Cybersecurity Act: Where are we today?

Brussels

The draft EU Cybersecurity Act, proposed one year ago, intends to establish a European cybersecurity certification framework for ICT products, services and processes. Standardisation will play an important role in this new framework. It is therefore crucial for all stakeholders to check where we stand today.

This conference, organised by the EU Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA), will discuss the remaining challenges in the standardisation landscape for cybersecurity in light of the new act. The consequences for policymakers, industry, citizens, certification bodies, and the European standardisation system will be also covered.

Attendees will have a clearer view on the current standardisation activities related to the proposed act and will be able to contribute to the discussions between policymakers and standardisers.

More information on the event

Monday 21 January

European Parliament, Political Meetings, Institutional affairs

European Parliament Committee Meetings

European Parliament, Brussels

Agenda by day in PDF format

Tuesday 22 January

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

Economic and Financial Affairs Council

Brussels

InvestEU

The Council will discuss InvestEU, a proposed programme to support investment, innovation and creating jobs in the EU.

The aim is bring the different instruments currently available to support investment and job creation in the EU together under one programme, in the context of the next multi-annual financial framework MFF (2021-2017).

Currently, there are 14 different instruments contributing to supporting investment in the EU, the main one being the European fund for strategic investments (EFSI) which was launched in July 2015 and extended in December 2017.

In June 2018, the European Commission proposed to create the InvestEU programme to bring EU budget financing in the form of loans and guarantees under one roof.

European Semester

The Council is due to adopt conclusions on the Commission's annual growth survey and on macroeconomic imbalances in the member states. It will also approve a draft recommendation on the economic policies of the euro area.

Financial supervision

Ministers will also take stock of ongoing negotiations on reviewing the existing architecture of financial supervision. The aim of the discussion will be to decide on splitting the provisions relating to the strengthening of the supervision of anti-money laundering (AML) and terrorist financing activities from the rest of the review of the European system.

In September 2017, the Commission put forward proposals to improve the mandates, governance and funding of the three European supervisory authorities in the EU.

Other topics

Ministers will discuss the follow-up to the December Euro Summit when leaders achieved an agreement on the key features of the reform of the economic and monetary union. The Romanian presidency is due to present the work programme in the economic and financial area for the next six months.

Agenda and briefing

Tuesday 22 January

Other bodies and agencies, Events/Conf/Fairs, Research and innovation

11th conference on European space policy – Space for Europe, European space in the world

Brussels

In 2019, Europe's space policy will find itself at a pivotal point in its development as it will be confronted with multiple key questions about the responses to bring to new critical needs and major new challenges, such as:

  • What will be new developments for EU space flagship Programmes in the next decade?
  • Is the potential of spatial data sufficiently exploited in Europe?
  • What are the future ways for a strong European space launch sector?
  • Are European space actors prepared for off-earth manufacturing, robotic exploration and human spaceflight?
  • Are Europeans in a swift process of developing effective cyber defence and security tools?

More information on the event

Tuesday 22 January

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

Horizon 2020 energy efficiency information day

Brussels

The Horizon 2020 energy efficiency information day will feature a series of workshops on selected topics for 2019 and will be organised by the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME). The aim of this information day is to present funding opportunities under the 2019 call for proposals and to attract new applicants and potential beneficiaries.

More information on the event

Tuesday 22 January

European Parliament, Political Meetings, Institutional affairs

European Parliament Committee Meetings

European Parliament, Brussels

Consumer protection: an update of EU consumer protection rules will be up for a vote in the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee. It covers, among different issues, penalties for infringements, transparency of online marketplaces (e.g. ratings and reviews), protection for consumers who use 'free' digital services (e.g. apps, social media), doorstep-selling as well as dual quality of products. It is part of the "New Deal for Consumers" package.

Compensation for victims of road accidents: new motor insurance rules to better protect road accident victims will be put to the vote by the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee. Proposed provisions relate to compensating victims when an insurance company goes bankrupt, minimum amounts of insurance cover, as well as checks to tackle uninsured drivers.

Structural policy reform: an overhaul of the rules and conditions on receiving financial support from the main EU funds during the 2021-27 period will be voted on by the Regional Development Committee. The vote covers EU funds for regional development, social, cohesion, asylum and migration, internal security and border management policies, which are spent and managed by member states.

Water reuse in agriculture: a legislative proposal aiming to alleviate water scarcity, in the context of adapting to climate change, by increasing the uptake of water reuse for agricultural irrigation, will be voted on by the Environment and Public Health Committee. The proposal seeks to ensure that reclaimed water is safe, by setting standards for its quality.

Agenda by day in PDF format

Wednesday 23 January

European Aviation Safety Agency, European Commission, European Railway Agency, , Other bodies and agencies, Events/Conf/Fairs, Research and innovation, Security and defence

1st Transport cybersecurity conference

Brussels

The EU Agency for network and information security (ENISA) is organising the first Transport cybersecurity conference, in cooperation with the European Commission (DG MOVE), the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the EU Agency for Railways (ERA) and the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA).

The continuous evolution of the transport sector and its importance across EU, has spurred the need for cybersecurity to be considered in a coordinated manner. The increased connectivity and interdependencies between transport sectors, introduce novel opportunities for the citizens but also raise challenges to be addressed, notably security.

Accordingly, the conference will bring together international organisations, private industry, regulators, academia, and the management of EU decentralised agencies and European Commission services. Approximately 150 participants are expected to join the event, including international high-level speakers from different sectors.

More information on the event

Wednesday 23 January

European Parliament, Political Meetings, Institutional affairs

European Parliament Committee Meetings

European Parliament, Brussels

Animal welfare: following recent media reports on the ill-treatment of transported animals, the Agriculture Committee is set to call on member states to better enforce EU rules, properly penalise infringements and look into ways to reduce transport time. Transport can be very stressful for animals, due to limited space as well as restricted access to food and water, especially on long journeys and for young animals such as calves, lambs or piglets.

Agenda by day in PDF format

Thursday 24 - Friday 25 January

European Economic and Social Committee, Events/Conf/Fairs, Asylum and migration, Employment and social rights, Justice and citizens' rights

Social innovation for refugee inclusion: a sense of home

Brussels

The 3rd edition of the 'Social innovation for refugee inclusion' seminar, organised by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), follows up from 2 previous events in 2016 and 2017.

More than 3 years on from the peak period of arrivals to Europe, many countries are shifting from 'crisis management' towards long-term inclusion of migrant and refugee populations.

This event aims to explore how innovations in living situations promote community-driven inclusion, overcoming divisions, facilitating economic opportunities, and fostering a sense of 'home'.

More information on the event

Thursday 24 January

European Commission, Events/Conf/Fairs, Business, taxation and competition, Energy, environment and climate, Food, farming and fisheries

Blue Invest in the Mediterranean 2019

Westin Dragonara Resort, Malta

This matchmaking event will bring together innovators and the financial community to sustainably develop the blue economy of the Mediterranean Sea basin, while protecting its marine resources.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) projects that the global maritime economy will grow at twice the rate of the mainstream economy by 2030. The potential of the blue economy for sustainable growth and job creation around the Mediterranean Sea basin can play a significant role in stabilising the region, whilst safeguarding its unique natural and cultural capital.

Participants will look at how to realise this potential, and how technology, innovation and creativity can come together with finance.

More information on the event

Thursday 24 January

European Commission, Events/Conf/Fairs, Culture, education and youth, Research and innovation

Forum on the future of learning

Brussels

Organised at the initiative of Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for education, culture, youth and sport, by the European Commission (DG EAC), the event will provide an open platform for exchanges between education, training and youth stakeholders and policymakers.

The main discussions will focus on key issues that education and training will be facing in Europe and beyond until 2030, including the challenges associated to demographics; inclusion and citizenship; technological change and the future of work; digitalisation of society; environmental concerns; investments, reforms and governance

More information on the event

Thursday 24 January

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

Conference on sustainable corporate governance

Brussels

The European Commission (DG Justice) will organise a one-day conference on sustainable corporate governance, bringing together policy-makers and stakeholders in the field of corporate governance with the aim to discuss recent policy developments and proposals, the outcome of which will feed into future EU work on sustainable corporate governance.

More information on the event

Thursday 24 January

European Parliament, Political Meetings, Institutional affairs

European Parliament Committee Meetings

European Parliament, Brussels

EU-Singapore free trade agreement: the International Trade Committee will vote on whether to approve a free trade deal with Singapore that would end virtually all tariffs on EU imports to the country. Intellectual property rights, rules of origin and sustainable development clauses are part of the package. In parallel, the committee votes on investor-state dispute settlement between the two parties.

Agenda by day in PDF format

Thursday 24 January

European Committee of the Regions, Events/Conf/Fairs, Institutional affairs, Research and innovation

Monitoring and evaluation of smart specialisation – State of play and next steps

Brussels

Given its experimentalist and result-oriented approach, smart specialisation places a strong emphasis on the role of monitoring and evaluation.

The Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission has developed a solid framework for monitoring, in response of a very strong demand from national and regional authorities.

As the end of the programming period approaches, it is time to debate on the state of the art of monitoring activities and start defining a framework to evaluate the Smart Specialisation Strategy (S3). This workshop tackles both aspects.

More information on the event

Document Actions
Eurozone Economic Calendar

Tuesday 22 January


10:00 ZEW Survey - Economic Sentiment (Jan)

Wednesday 23 January


15:00 Consumer Confidence (Jan) (Preliminary release)

Thursday 24 January


09:00 Markit Manufacturing PMI (Jan) (Preliminary release)
09:00 Markit Services PMI (Jan) (Preliminary release)
09:00 Markit PMI Composite (Jan) (Preliminary release)
12:45 ECB Deposit Rate Decision
12:45 ECB Interest Rate Decision
13:30 ECB Monetary policy statement and press conference
EU Calendar
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