By Ata Ufuk ┼×eker
Brussels letter, April 10

The European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs will discuss European Central Bank’s (ECB) Annual Report for 2016 on Monday.

The Foreign Affairs Committee will debate on Monday the latest developments in Syria, the EU strategy for the country and the results of the Brussels Donor conference held last week.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker will receive Calin Popescu-Tariceanu, president of the Romanian senate on Monday.

The return of migrants without a right to stay in the EU is up for a Civil Liberties Committee debate with the Commission on Tuesday.

 The Environment Committee on Tuesday will propose ways to cut food waste by 50 percent by 2030 through measures in making it easier to donate food.

 Brussels-based think-tank Bruegel will organize an event with Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), who will speak about the global outlook and policy priorities ahead of the upcoming 2017 IMF Spring meeting on Wednesday.

 European Institutions will be on Easter holiday from Thursday, April 13 until Tuesday, April 18.


-Last week

Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci met with UN Secretary-General Antonio in Brussels where Akinci announced that the Cyprus talks would resume on April 11 after a two-month hiatus. Akinci and the Greek Cypriot administration leader Nicos Anastasiades have been involved in UN-led talks to create a federal two-part state since May 2015.  In February, a decision by the Greek Cypriot assembly to introduce a school commemoration of a 1950 referendum on unification with Greece saw the discussions stall.

The deaths of over 100 civilians and some 500 more injured in an alleged chemical weapons attack by regime forces in the opposition-held Syrian province of Idlib have sparked international outrage. The European Union condemned the "awful" attack, adding that the regime of Bashar al-Assad bears responsibility for the attack. "Obviously there is a primary responsibility there of the regime because it has the responsibility of protecting its people not attacking its people," EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini said in Brussels last Tuesday.

 A two-day conference co-chaired by the EU, Germany, Kuwait, Norway, Qatar, the U.K. and the UN concluded in Brussels.  International donors pledged $6 billion in aid for Syria at a EU-UN hosted event. The meeting is considered a continuation of the London conference in support of Syria held in February 2016.

 The European Commission has approved unconditionally, under the EU merger regulation, the proposed acquisition of Sky by Twenty-First Century Fox, a U.S.-based diversified global media company.

As of last Friday, April 7, member states are obliged to carry out systematic checks against relevant databases on EU citizens who are crossing the EU's external borders, in addition to the systematic checks already being carried out on all third-country nationals entering the Schengen zone.

 The European Commission has approved, under the EU merger regulation, the proposed acquisition of Switzerland-based Syngenta by ChemChina. The approval is conditional on the divestiture of significant parts of ChemChina's European pesticide and plant growth regulator business.

10 Apr,2017