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EU Agenda: Week Ahead - 18-23 January 2021

17 January 2021, 14:11 CET
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This week, EU leaders at a videoconference summit discuss COVID-19 coordination; finance ministers debate the new Portuguese presidency's work programme, implementation of the Recovery and Resilience Facility, and relations with the US; the Commission holds a conference on sustainable use of pesticides; and MEPs in plenary are set to call for the 'right to disconnect', and discuss the Biden inauguration/situation in the US. Events for the week of 18-23 January 2021.

Monday 18 January

European Parliament | Political Meetings | Institutional affairs

European Parliament plenary session

European Parliament, Strasbourg

Agenda by day in PDF format

Monday 18 January

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

Eurogroup

Videoconference

Regular format

Thematic discussion: Imbalances in the euro area in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis

The Eurogroup will hold a thematic discussion on macroeconomic imbalances in the Eurozone on the basis of a technical note prepared by the European Commission.

Ministers will discuss the extent to which the COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated existing macroeconomic imbalances at euro area level and the policy strategies needed to respond.

Recovery and Resilience Plans

Ministers will exchange views on the preparation of the national Recovery and Resilience Plans against the background of the priorities agreed in the euro area recommendation (EAR).

Inclusive format (EU 27)

Relations with the US in the monetary and financial area

The Eurogroup will exchange views on the global monetary and financial system and in particular on prospects for transatlantic cooperation. Lawrence H. Summers, Harvard professor and former US Secretary of the Treasury, has been invited to share his insights and experience with the Eurogroup.

Agenda and briefing

Tuesday 19 January

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

Economic and Financial Affairs Council

Videoconference

Presidency work programme

The Portuguese presidency will present, in public session, its work programme on economic and financial matters.

Action plan for non-performing loans

The European Commission will present its communication of 16 December 2020 on tackling non-performing loans in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ministers will hold a policy debate on the action plan.

European Semester 2021

As part of the 2021 European Semester exercise, ministers will have an exchange of views on the conclusions on the 2021 alert mechanism report and the draft recommendation on the economic policy of the euro area.

Implementation of the Recovery and Resilience Facility

Ministers will discuss the state of play and implementation of the Recovery and Resilience Facility. The Council presidency and the European Parliament's negotiators reached a provisional agreement on the regulation establishing the facility on 18 December 2020.

Other items

The presidency will present a state of play of financial services legislative proposals.

Under 'Any other business', ministers will hear a presentation on the latest EIB Investment Survey.

Agenda and briefing

Tuesday 19 January

Council of the EU and European Council | Political Meetings | European affairs

Informal video conference of European affairs ministers

Videoconference

European affairs ministers will hear a presentation of the Portuguese presidency's work programme, take stock of the discussions on the Conference on the Future of Europe, and prepare the video conference of heads of state or government on COVID-19 coordination to be held on 21 January.

Work programme of the Portuguese presidency

The Portuguese presidency will present its priorities for the next six months.

Portugal has set out three main priorities for its presidency:

  • promoting a recovery boosted by the climate and digital transitions;
  • implementing the European pillar of social rights as a key element for ensuring a fair and inclusive climate and digital transition;
  • strengthening Europe's strategic autonomy whilst remaining open to the world.

Conference on the Future of Europe

EU ministers will take stock of the state of interinstitutional discussions on the Conference on the Future of Europe.

Member states want the Conference on the Future of Europe to get citizens involved in a wide-ranging debate on Europe's future in the coming decade and beyond, including in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On 24 June 2020, EU ambassadors agreed the Council's position on the arrangements for the conference.

COVID-19 coordination

Ministers will prepare the leaders' video conference on COVID-19 coordination to be held on 21 January. Discussions are expected to focus on the vaccine roll-out, three weeks after the start of the vaccination programme.

In December 2020, the European Council welcomed the positive announcements on the development of effective vaccines against COVID-19 and the conclusion of advance purchase agreements by the Commission. However, it recalled that the arrival of vaccines does not mean that the pandemic is over, as the epidemiological situation in Europe remains worrying. The European Council committed to continue coordination efforts, including in the area of vaccines.

Agenda and briefing

Tuesday 19 January

European Parliament | Political Meetings | Institutional affairs

European Parliament plenary session

European Parliament, Strasbourg

COVID-19 vaccines: in a debate on Tuesday, MEPs are likely to reiterate the need for more clarity and transparency regarding vaccine contracts, authorisation, availability and deployment of COVID-19 vaccines. They are also expected to ask for additional clarification on the present status of the EU vaccines strategy for COVID-19, launched by the Commission in June 2020.

Agenda by day in PDF format

Tuesday 19 January

European Commission - Presidency of the Council of the EU | Events/Conf/Fairs | Energy, environment and climate - Food, farming and fisheries

Sustainable use of pesticides – 1st remote stakeholder event

Online

The Commission has started an evaluation of the sustainable use of pesticides directive and an impact assessment of its possible future revision. This work will be carried out in line with the Commission's guidance on better regulation.

This directive aims to achieve a sustainable use of pesticides in the EU by reducing the risks and impacts of pesticide use on human health and the environment and promoting the use of integrated pest management (IPM) and of alternative approaches or techniques, such as non-chemical alternatives to pesticides.

The Commission organises this first remote stakeholder event to consult and receive input to the planned work. The meeting is organised in cooperation with the Portuguese EU Presidency.

More information on the event

Wednesday 20 January

European Parliament | Political Meetings | Institutional affairs

European Parliament plenary session

European Parliament, Strasbourg

Biden inauguration/Situation in the US: on Wednesday, MEPs will debate the inauguration of Joe Biden as new US President taking place the same day, the future of EU-US relations, and the riots and storming of the United States Capitol by some of Mr Trump's hard-line supporters in an attempt to overturn the results of the election and prevent the formalisation of President-elect Joe Biden's victory.

Portuguese Council Presidency: on Wednesday morning, MEPs will discuss with Prime Minister António Costa and Commission President Ursula von der Leyen the programme of the Portuguese Council Presidency, which is set to focus on addressing the social dimension of the COVID-19 pandemic, achieving an inclusive climate and digital transition and on giving new impetus to EU relations with Africa and Latin America.

Right to disconnect: MEPs are set to call for an EU law granting workers the right to disconnect digitally from work without facing consequences from employers. They consider the right to disconnect a fundamental right that allows workers to refrain from engaging in work-related tasks and phone calls, emails and other electronic messages outside their working hours, including holidays and other forms of leave. (debate Wednesday, vote result Thursday)

Tackling the social and employment crisis: MEPs will quiz the Council and Commission on the measures the EU is taking to deal with the social and employment effects of the COVID-19 crisis. They are also set to adopt new rules that allow member states to better support those most in need during post-pandemic recovery (debates Wednesday, vote result Thursday)

Use of Artificial Intelligence: MEPs will outline their proposals on how to govern the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in military and public domains. They are expected to insist on the respect for human rights principles and meaningful human control in the use and development of AI and to warn of threats to fundamental human rights and national sovereignty arising from its use in mass surveillance. (vote result Wednesday)

Agenda by day in PDF format

Thursday 21 - Friday 22 January

European Investment Bank | Events/Conf/Fairs | Covid-19 - Economy and the euro - Energy, environment and climate - Research and innovation

EIB annual economics conference

Online

Under the overarching theme of 'Europe: smart and green', this edition of the European Investment Bank's (EIB) flagship event features an engaging programme aiming to bring together a wide range of perspectives on the transition to a carbon-neutral and highly-innovative European economy.

In this context, some of the main drivers of the discussion are the challenges and opportunities that the COVID-19-induced crisis brings to policymakers around the world and particularly in Europe.

The 2021 edition of EIB's annual high-level conference is organised in cooperation with Columbia University, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the European Monetary and Finance Forum (SUERF).

More information on the event

Thursday 21 January

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

Video conference of the members of the European Council

Videoconference

On 21 January 2021, President Charles Michel will chair a video conference of the members of the European Council. The EU leaders will discuss coordination on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the large-scale roll-out of vaccines and the deployment of all available instruments to limit the spread of the virus.

Background information

At the European Council meeting of 10 and 11 December, leaders adopted conclusions on COVID-19. They welcomed the positive announcements on the development of effective vaccines and the common advance purchase agreements concluded by the Commission. Furthermore, the leaders highlighted the importance of preparations for the timely deployment and distribution of vaccines to ensure they are made available in good time and in a coordinated manner. The European Council also pointed out that the arrival of vaccines does not mean that the pandemic is over and called for sustained efforts to counter the spread of the virus.

Vaccinations against COVID-19 started on 27 December across the EU. Vaccines are being shipped to all member states at the same time and under the same conditions.

So far, the EU has granted a conditional marketing authorisation for two COVID-19 vaccines, following positive assessments by the European Medicines Agency.

Agenda and briefing

Thursday 21 January

European Parliament | Political Meetings | Institutional affairs

European Parliament plenary session

European Parliament, Strasbourg

Advancing gender equality: in a joint debate and votes on three resolutions, MEPs will propose a series of measures to enhance gender equality, better protect women's rights, notably during and after the COVID-19 crisis, and tackle the digital gender gap. (debate and vote results Thursday)

Agenda by day in PDF format

Document Actions
Eurozone Economic Calendar

Monday 18 January


11:00 Eurogroup Meeting

Tuesday 19 January


08:00 EcoFin Meeting
10:00 Current Account n.s.a (Nov)
10:00 ECB Bank Lending Survey
10:00 Current Account s.a (Nov)
11:00 ZEW Survey – Economic Sentiment (Jan)
11:00 Construction Output w.d.a (YoY) (Nov)
11:00 Construction Output s.a (MoM) (Nov)

Wednesday 20 January


11:00 Consumer Price Index (MoM) (Dec)
11:00 Consumer Price Index - Core (YoY) (Dec)
11:00 Consumer Price Index - Core (MoM) (Dec)
11:00 Consumer Price Index (YoY) (Dec)

Thursday 21 January


01:00 EU leaders summit
13:45 ECB Interest Rate Decision
13:45 ECB Deposit Rate Decision
14:30 ECB Monetary Policy Statement and Press Conference
16:00 Consumer Confidence (Jan) (Preliminary release)

Friday 22 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)
21:30 CFTC EUR NC Net Positions
EU Calendar
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