-EU –U.S. relations
The first EU-U.S. Energy Council Business to Business (B2B) forum will take place in Brussels on Thursday. In the framework of the EU-U.S. Energy Council, the forum is designed as a ministerial-level event to bring together U.S. and European state and LNG sector decision-makers to encourage business contacts and promote the further uptake of competitively priced U.S. LNG in the EU.
U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and European Commissioner in charge of Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Canete will attend the event while the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency Fatih Birol will give a presentation on “The evolving global LNG market and the potential for increasing U.S. LNG exports to the EU”.
Legislative work for the European Parliament’s eighth term ended on April 18, effectively suspending member state’s proposal negotiations. In a direct vote on May 23-26 May, citizens in all EU member states will elect their Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to form the new House. As of May 27, the newly elected MEPs will start negotiations to form political groups that require at least 25 members. A political group must represent at least one-quarter of the member states within the group. On July 2, the ninth term of Parliament will start in Strasbourg where MEPs will meet for its constituent session.
Last week, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and President of the European Council Donald Tusk represented the European Union at the 26th EU-Japan Summit in Brussels while Prime Minister Shinzo Abe represented Japan. The leaders reviewed the implementation of the EU-Japan free trade agreement. The EU and Japan agreed to step up their cooperation in several areas, including connectivity, data protection, and climate change. The leaders also discussed preparations for the G20 summit as well as foreign and security issues. The EU and Japan reaffirmed their commitment to free trade and the rules-based international order. Both sides stressed their commitment to fight protectionism and to defend the rules-based trading system. They committed to modernize the World Trade Organization and to start negotiations to reform rules on industrial subsidies.
Last week, the EC published the latest reports of Facebook, Google and Twitter covering the progress made in March 2019 to fight disinformation. According to the reports, in order to provide more transparency around political advertisements, social media companies have started labeling political ads on their platforms. In particular, Facebook and Twitter have made political advertisement libraries publicly accessible, while Google's library has entered a testing phase. However, further technical improvements, as well as sharing of methodology and data sets for fake accounts, are necessary to allow third-party experts, fact-checkers and researchers to carry out an independent evaluation.