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EU Agenda: Week Ahead - 17-22 February 2020

This week, EU leaders discuss the EU's long-term budget for 2021-2027; finance ministers review the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions, and adopt conclusions on the Commission's annual sustainable growth strategy and on macroeconomic imbalances in the member states; the Commission holds the Covenant of Mayors Investment Forum; and MEPs discuss EU economic coordination and governance. 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 17-21 February 2020.

Monday 17 February

European Parliament | Political Meetings | Institutional affairs

European Parliament committee meetings

European Parliament, Brussels

Agenda by day in PDF format

Monday 17 February

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

Eurogroup

Brussels

Regular format (15.00)

Appointment of the Eurogroup Working Group President

After Hans Vijlbrief's resignation from his position as President of the Eurogroup Working Group (EWG) on 29 January 2020, Tuomas Saarenheimo, the Finnish member of the EWG, was elected in the EWG on 6 February 2020 to replace him. Based on the recommendation from the EWG, the Eurogroup is expected to appoint the new President of the EWG, who will take up duties as of 1 April 2020.

Presentation of the Commission priorities for the Economic and Monetary Union

The Commission will present its priorities for the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU).

Presentation of the Commission Six- and Two-Pack review - eurozone related issues

The Commission will present the main points of its economic governance review Communication, focusing on those relevant for the eurozone.

Some elements of EU economic governance are applicable only to the eurozone, notably the so called "2-pack" reforms that were introduced in 2013 to establish a framework for dealing with member states facing financial stability difficulties and to strengthen budgetary co-ordination.

Thematic discussion on growth and jobs: tax wedge on labour

As part of the thematic discussions on growth and jobs, the Eurogroup will continue to exchange views on the tax wedge on labour, focusing on shifting from labour to other forms of taxation. This discussion will look more particularly at the shift from labour to environmental taxation. The aim is to foster the sharing of good policy practices. A technical note by the Commission and an presentation by Professor Ottmar Edenhofer, Director of the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) and of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, (PIK) will inform the debate.

Ireland - Post Programme Surveillance

The Eurogroup will be informed by the European Commission and the European Central Bank (ECB) on the main findings of the 12th post-programme surveillance mission to Ireland carried out between 19-21 November. The European Stability Mechanims (ESM) will inform ministers on its early warning system. The Eurogroup will also be informed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) about its staff visit to Ireland.

Economic situation in the eurozone - Commission winter forecast

The Eurogroup will exchange views on the economic situation of the eurozone on the basis of the Commission Winter forecast. Regular discussions of the economic situation and economic policy challenges underpin the Eurogroup's efforts to bolster economic growth and job creation.

2020 euro area recommendations

The Eurogroup will discuss the draft 2020 recommendations addressed to the euro area, ahead of their approval at the Economic and Financial Affairs Council.

Inclusive format (18.00)

Budgetary instrument for convergence and competitiveness: report on a possible Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA)

At the Euro summit in December 2019, EU leaders invited the Eurogroup to provide a swift contribution on the appropriate solutions for the financing of the Budgetary instrument for convergence and competitiveness (BICC), on the basis of the October 2019 term sheet, in order to be able to finalise it in the context of the next multiannual financial framework (MFF).

Ministers will discuss a report to be delivered to EU leaders, covering the need, the content, the modalities and the size of a possible IGA for the BICC.

Banking Union: reporting by Denmark and Sweden

Both Denmark and Sweden have recently issued reports about the implications of a possible participation in the banking union. Ministers Nicolai Wammen and Magdalena Andersson will present the key elements of these reports.

Agenda and briefing

Monday 17 February

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

Foreign Affairs Council

Brussels

The Foreign Affairs Council will be chaired by Josep Borrell, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The debate will focus on current affairs, the situation in Libya, and relations with the African Union and India.

Current affairs

Ministers will first have a discussion on current affairs, looking at pressing issues on the international agenda, like the situation in the Middle East, Sahel, Venezuela and the Western Balkans.

EU-African Union relations

The Council will review the EU's relationship with the African Union, in anticipation of the European Commission's new comprehensive strategy on Africa.

Libya

Ministers will discuss about the latest developments in Libya, following up on the Foreign Affairs Councils from 10 and 20 January. During the previous two meetings, the Council had expressed concern over the aggravating crisis in the area, agreeing on the need for EU engagement to prevent further escalation.

EU-India relations

Ministers will exchange views on EU-India relations.

Afterwards, over an informal lunch, ministers will meet the Indian Minister of External Affairs, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, to discuss, among others, the preparations for the upcoming EU-India Summit, scheduled on 13 March 2020.

Agenda and briefing

Tuesday 18 February

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

Economic and Financial Affairs Council

Brussels

EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions

The Council will adopt a revised list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes in the framework of new conclusions on this matter.

As part of the EU's external strategy for taxation, the list contributes to ongoing efforts to prevent tax avoidance and promote tax good governance worldwide.

Economic governance review

The Commission will present its communication on the review of EU economic governance, published on 5 February. The review analyses the effectiveness of the economic surveillance framework which was put in place to:

  • coordinate economic policies
  • address macroeconomic imbalances
  • reduce public deficits and debt levels

The communication also launches a public debate on the future of EU economic governance, with a public consultation from February to June 2020.

European Semester

The Council will adopt conclusions on the Commission's annual sustainable growth strategy and on macroeconomic imbalances in the member states.

It should also approve a draft recommendation on the economic policies of the euro area.

EU annual budget

The Council will also adopt:

  • conclusions on the budget guidelines for 2021
  • its recommendation for a discharge for the 2018 budget

Finally, finance ministers will prepare upcoming G20 Finance meetings

Agenda and briefing

Tuesday 18 February

European Parliament | Political Meetings | Institutional affairs

European Parliament committee meetings

European Parliament, Brussels

EU Economic Governance: the 2020 European Parliamentary Week takes place on Tuesday and Wednesday, when MEPs and national parliamentarians from EU member states, as well as from candidate and observer countries, will discuss EU economic coordination and governance. EP President David Sassoli, ECOFIN Chair Zdravko Maric and Eurogroup President Mário Centeno will be among the speakers. The Committees on Economic and Monetary Affairs and Employment and Social Affairs will adopt resolutions related to the topics discussed, on Tuesday and Thursday.

Agenda by day in PDF format

Tuesday 18 February

European Economic and Social Committee | Events/Conf/Fairs | Employment and social rights - Justice and citizens' rights

Information seminar on the European citizens' initiative

Paris, France

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and the French Economic, Social and Environmental Council wish to hold a joint information seminar on the European citizens' initiative (ECI).

In the light of current societal developments and the growing involvement of citizens in the day-to-day political life of the State, especially in the context of the citizens' campaigns in France, it seems a good time to organise a specific event on this instrument of participatory democracy at EU level.

Speakers will include members of the EESC and the French Council, as well as representatives of the European Commission and organisers of ECIs launched in France.

The aim of the seminar is to present the ECI, as well as the work done by the EESC in this field, and to exchange experiences of initiatives undertaken at national and European level to better understand and manage the impact of citizen-led campaigns on the actions and decisions of legislators.

More information on the event

Wednesday 19 February

European Parliament | Political Meetings | Institutional affairs

European Parliament committee meetings

European Parliament, Brussels

Selecting EU energy projects: MEPs from the Industry and Energy Committee will give their input on the upcoming revision of the guidelines used to select energy projects of European interest. The Commission will propose, later this year, new legislation to incorporate EU Green Deal objectives into the methodology on how EU priority infrastructures are being chosen and funded.

Safeguarding EU's financial interests: the Committee on Budgetary Control will complete the so-called 'discharge procedure' for 2018, by passing its verdict on how the EU budget has been managed. The votes will cover the expenses of the Commission, Parliament, EU funds, the other institutions, agencies and joint undertakings (Wednesday and Thursday).

Digital initiatives: the Committees on Internal Market and Consumer Protection and on Industry will have a first debate on the Commission's new initiatives in the digital sector with Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton. These are a Strategy for Europe Fit for the Digital Age, a White Paper on Artificial Intelligence and the European Data Strategy.

Artificial Intelligence: the Culture and Education Committee will hold a public hearing with experts on the use of A.I., and the legal challenges linked to it, in the education, culture and audio-visual sectors. The Civil Liberties Committee is also organising a public hearing to debate the use of A.I. in criminal law and by judicial authorities, including facial recognition and predictive policing (Wednesday and Thursday respectively).

Agenda by day in PDF format

Tuesday 18 - Wednesday 19 February

European Commission | Events/Conf/Fairs | EU regional and urban development

Covenant of Mayors Investment Forum - Energy Efficiency Finance Market Place

Brussels

The European Commission's Directorate-General for Energy, Directorate-General for Climate Action and the Executive Agency for Small and Medium sized Enterprises (EASME) are jointly organising the 2020 edition of the Covenant of Mayors Investment Forum - Energy Efficiency Finance Market Place. The conference will include plenary sessions with high-level representatives from Covenant of Mayors initiative, the investment community, and the European Commission, a showcase of successful projects on:

  • Energy Efficiency Finance – Sources of Value
  • Future-proof Investments – Financing Climate Adaptation
  • Financing Clean Urban Mobility
  • Financing Energy Efficiency in the Public Sector
  • Financing Home Renovation
  • Innovative Sustainable Energy Planning

The conference will bring together cities, industry and financial institutions to exchange on good practices and successful solutions to common challenges.

More information on the event

Thursday 20 February

Council of the EU and European Council - Presidency of the Council of the EU | Political Meetings | Culture, education and youth

Education, Youth, Culture & Sport Council

Brussels

Agenda and briefing

Thursday 20 February

European Council | Political Meetings | Consumer affairs and public health - Institutional affairs

Special European Council

Brussels

EU heads of state or government will discuss the EU's long-term budget for 2021-2027 during a special meeting of the European Council on 20 February 2020. In his invitation letter, the President of the European Council said: "The time has come to reach an agreement at our level on the multiannual financial framework."

Ahead of the summit, President Michel had individual talks with all the 27 leaders of the member states on the EU's next long-term budget.

"This week was full of intense meetings on a #EUBudget that works for all 440 million Europeans", tweeted Charles Michel on Friday, 7 February.

Based on these consultations, President Michel will present a proposal on the overall size of the budget and how it is allocated.

Agenda and briefing

Thursday 20 February

European Parliament | Political Meetings | Institutional affairs

European Parliament committee meetings

European Parliament, Brussels

European Council on MFF: EP President Sassoli will address the extraordinary European Council, setting out Parliament's position on the ongoing negotiations on the EU budget for 2021-2027 (MFF) at 15:00, followed by a press conference. During a plenary debate in Strasbourg, MEPs underlined that Parliament will only give its consent to a budget that meets EU ambitions.

Agenda by day in PDF format

Document Actions
Eurozone Economic Calendar

Monday 17 February


00:00 EUR Eurogroup Meeting
10:00 EUR Construction Output w.d.a (YoY) (Dec)
10:00 EUR Construction Output s.a (MoM) (Dec)

Tuesday 18 February


07:00 EcoFin Meeting
10:00 ZEW Survey - Economic Sentiment (Feb)

Wednesday 19 February


08:00 Non-Monetary Policy ECB Meeting
09:00 Current Account n.s.a (Dec)
09:00 Current Account s.a (Dec)

Thursday 20 February


00:00 European Council Meeting
12:30 ECB Monetary Policy Meeting Accounts
15:00 Consumer Confidence (Feb) (Preliminary release)

Friday 21 February


09:00 Markit Manufacturing PMI (Feb) (Preliminary release)
09:00 Markit Services PMI (Feb) (Preliminary release)
09:00 Markit PMI Composite (Feb) (Preliminary release)
10:00 Consumer Price Index (MoM) (Jan)
10:00 Consumer Price Index - Core (YoY) (Jan)
10:00 Consumer Price Index - Core (MoM) (Jan)
10:00 Consumer Price Index (YoY) (Jan)
20:30 CFTC EUR NC Net Positions
EU Calendar
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