By Ata Ufuk ┼×eker
Brussels letter, week beginning Oct. 24

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s pre-ministerial press conference will be held on Tuesday in NATO headquarters in Brussels.

Meetings of the North Atlantic Council (NAC) at Defense Minister Level will be held at NATO headquarters on Wednesday and Thursday Oct 26-27 in Brussels. Turkish Minister Fikri Isik will also attend the meeting.

A European Parliament plenary session will take place in Strasbourg where MEPs with Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Council President Donald Tusk will assess the outcome of the European Council meeting of Oct. 20-21 on Wednesday.

On Thursday, President Jean-Claude Juncker, together with Donald Tusk, president of the European Council is expected to meet with Justin Trudeau, prime minister of Canada, ahead of the EU-Canada summit in Brussels. During the summit, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is expected to be signed if all member states approve the deal, including the Wallonia region in Belgium which vetoed the deal last week.

Last week

 The European Council, known as the EU Leaders Summit, gathered in Brussels to discuss migration, trade issues and Russia. The European Council strongly condemned the attacks by the Syrian regime and its allies, notably Russia, on civilians in Aleppo. The Council also decided to modernize the EU’s trade defense instruments.

The Balticconnector, the anticipated €187 million gas pipeline project connecting Finland and Estonia, was signed by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, the Prime Minister of Estonia Taavi Roivas and the Prime Minister of Finland Juha Sipila in Brussels.

The EU was unable to ratify the free trade deal with Canada. The CETA was placed in jeopardy after the Wallonia region in Belgium vetoed the deal late last week claiming it would hurt the country’s farming and industrial sectors through the import of cheaper Canadian goods. The agreement requires unanimous approval by all 28 EU countries. Belgium can agree only if its three regions approve the deal.

The European Union announced that aid in the amount of €467 million out of €3 billion has been disbursed for over 3 million refugees living Turkey.


24 Oct,2016