Brussels briefing, Sept. 21
EU member states’ foreign ministers will gather in Brussels on Monday to attend the Foreign Affairs Council chaired by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell. The meeting will review recent developments and debate issues related to the Eastern Mediterranean, Libya, EU-African Union relations and Belarus.
The Agriculture and Fisheries Council will meet in Brussels on Monday. EU agriculture ministers will discuss some elements of the reform of the common agricultural policy (CAP) and agricultural trade-related issues.
The European Parliament’s (EP) Foreign Affairs Committee will meet with exiled Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who will be physically present, to discuss the latest developments in the country on Monday. They will also adopt recommendations on how the EU should reassess its relations with Belarus following the fraudulent presidential elections, subsequent popular uprising and the brutal crackdown by the authorities
The General Affairs Council will gather in Brussels on Tuesday to discuss the state of play of the next multiannual financial framework and the recovery package. Ministers will discuss draft conclusions in preparation for the Special European Council meeting on Sept. 24-25, 2020. The EU's Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier will inform ministers of the state of play of the EU-UK negotiations and the implementation of the withdrawal agreement. Ministers will also cover EU coordination of COVID-19-related measures. They will focus on the state of play of Article 7(1) on the Treaty on European Union (TEU) procedures concerning Poland and Hungary.
The EP’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs will vote on a legislative initiative that envisages a permanent EU mechanism to monitor and prevent backsliding on EU values in all member states through country-specific recommendations, with timelines and targets for implementation on Tuesday.
Members of the EP from the Public Health and the Industry Committees will hold a public hearing on Tuesday with researchers and representatives from pharmaceutical companies and civil society organizations on how to secure access to COVID-19 vaccines for all, including challenges linked to clinical trials, production and distribution.
The European Commission will present its proposals for a new EU policy on asylum and migration on Wednesday.
Following Wednesday’s formal asylum and migration presentation, Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas and Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson will present and hold a first debate on the initiatives with MEPs in the Civil Liberties Committee on Thursday.
EU leaders will meet in Brussels on Thursday and Friday. The Special European Council will discuss the single market, industrial policy and digital transformation, as well as external relations, in particular relations with Turkey and with China. The summit will also offer an opportunity to take stock of the COVID-19 pandemic situation.