By Ata Ufuk ┼×eker
Brussels letter Feb. 6

-EU's Foreign Affairs Council will meet in Brussels on Monday.

The Council will discuss the situation in Ukraine. Ministers are expected to assess progress in the implementation of the reform agenda in the country over the past year as well as EU support in the implementation of the Minsk agreements.

The Council will also discuss the political situation in Libya, one year after the formation of the Government of National Accord. Ministers for foreign affairs will also discuss how to work with Libya to address irregular migration along the Central Mediterranean route. The Council will discuss the Middle East peace process following up on the most recent developments.


-European Central Bank

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi will present the ECB's perspective on economic and monetary developments to the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee of the European Parliament on Monday.


-Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev will visit Brussels on Monday

Aliyev will meet with European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker, European Council President Donald Tusk and European Parliament President Antonio Tajani on Monday.


-EU's General Affair Council

EU's General Affair Council will meet on Tuesday in Brussels to discuss and prepare for March 9-10, 2017 European Council meeting. The agenda items will consist of economy security and external relations.


-Civil Liberties Committee of European Parliaments 

Civil Liberties Committee of European Parliaments will debate a proposed further three-month prolongation of temporary internal border checks in Austria, Denmark, Germany, Sweden and Norway on Thursday. These checks were first reintroduced in May 2016, in response to growing migration flows.


-Money laundering

EP's Special Committee on Money Laundering, Tax avoidance and Tax Evasion (PANA) will continue its inquiry by hearing from banks, accountants and lawyers on what can be done to avoid the creation of secret offshore financial vehicles on Thursday.


-Last week

Chairman of the Presidential Council of Libya Fayez al-Sarraj met with President of the European Commission, European Parliament , European Council and NATO Secretary General.

The EU strongly opposed the Israeli government’s recent announcement to build new settlements in the West Bank.

The European Commission launched three separate investigations to assess if certain online sales practices, in breach of EU antitrust rules, prevent consumers from enjoying cross-border choice and from buying consumer electronics, video games and hotel accommodation at competitive prices.

As the last step towards the end of roaming charges by June 15, 2017, representatives of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission agreed on how to regulate wholesale roaming markets (the prices operators charge each other when their customers use other networks when roaming in the EU).

The second report on the State of the Energy Union showed that the modernization of the European Union economy and the transition to a low-carbon era are on track.

The European Parliament backed proposals to grant Georgian citizen’s visa-free travel to the Schengen area. European lawmakers passed a new law, which could allow Georgian citizens to enter 22 EU member states --except Ireland, the U.K., Croatia, Cyprus, Romania and Bulgaria --, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland without a visa for short stays.

The legislation still needs to be formally approved by the European Council and will only enter into force once the suspension mechanism, which allows the temporary reintroduction of visas in the event of migration surges or risks to public security, is in place.


-Future plans 

The European Union and Mexico will hold two additional negotiating rounds before summer as part of an accelerated negotiation schedule for a new, reformed Free Trade Agreement. The next two rounds for the EU-Mexico trade negotiations will take place in April and June 2017.


06 Feb,2017