Pencil it in – EU Summiteering
European Leaders are expected in Brussels on May 25 to discuss the pandemic, ironing out further cooperation on restarting their economies and assess the ongoing vaccination rollout across the bloc. The agenda includes, Climate Change, on which an agreement has been reached between the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, thereby placing the EU in pole position to reach its climate neutrality target by 2050. Russia is also expected to feature on the agenda.
Please, have a seat!
The ramifications of Sofagate are still making the rounds here in Brussels. Following the embarrassing situation Commission President Von der Leyen found herself in during the visit to the Turkish President together with her European Council counterpart, scars have been left open not just between the two leaders but also the institutions they represent.
During her address to the European Parliament this week, Von der Leyen declared that she felt “hurt and left alone, as a women and as a European.” Her passionate speech has been described by some observers as an attempt to rally support from the Members of Parliament, something which she appears to have succeeded in, judging by the reception she received at the EP Plenary.
Migration, Migration, Migration
The European Commission has this week launched a new strategy on the voluntary return and reintegration of migrants. The Commission has acknowledged that more work is needed on returning migrants who do not qualify for asylum in the EU. It has equipped Frontex with an operation mandate to carry out the returns. Voluntary returns, coupled with strong reintegration measures could make it more attractive for third countries to accept back their nationals.
Businesses benefit from LGBTIQ inclusion
European Commissioner Helena Dalli stated that businesses benefit when adopting LGBTIQ inclusion policies. She was participating in an event organised by Open for Business which discussed their research on the economic case on LGBTIQ inclusion in Central and Eastern Europe.
Commissioner Dalli declared that “Tackling discrimination against LGBTIQ people is not only important in the pursuit of equality and fairness but it will also give companies a competitive edge in attracting and retaining talent”.
See full report.
Well a dangerous one for that, between the EU and Russia. Following the dismissal of some European diplomats from Moscow, we learned from the Czech Republic that Russia was behind an arms depot explosion in 2014. This discovery prompted Prague to expel Russian diplomats and urged other Member States to express solidarity with Russia and follow suit. And to further rub it in, Russia announced a ban on the European Parliament President David Sassoli, European Commissioner Vera Jurova and officials from six other Member States to enter Russia. This ongoing tit-for-tat between the two sides has been ongoing for quite some time and there is deep mistrust compounded also by the recent US President declarations. In a show of unity, the Presidents of the European Council, the European Commission and the European Parliament issued a joint statement on the matter.
Read the Joint Statement here.