Brussels letter, week beginning Feb. 15
The European Council will gather in Brussels this week for a two day EU summit where leaders from 28 member states will gather to discuss the refugee crisis, Brexit and state of the Euro economy.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will also arrive in Brussels to participate in dialogue on the refugee crisis with European leaders.
EU steel sector
A massive protest in EU capital Brussels has been organized in light of significant economic challenges that the EU’s steel sector faces.
The industry blames China for dumping steel products while undercutting suppliers in the EU market. The energy-intensive steel sector also objects to high energy costs in the EU.
Meanwhile, the EU continues to discuss a new trading status for China. China claims that in accordance with the World Trade Organization, it can become a market economy by 2016 which would make it difficult to apply anti-dumping measures on Chinese products. However, the EU steel industry objects to this status.
Free travel at risk in Schengen area
The EU announced that free travel in the Schengen area is at “serious risk” because of the increasing number of refugees trying to enter Europe.
The EU has asked Greece to take further measures to tackle the flow of refugees.
500 Euro bank notes
The EU, in a bid to stop the use of 500 euro bank notes, has asked the European Central Bank (ECB) to undertake further studies on their use.
According to some security agencies, these high value banknotes are common in funding criminal activities and terrorism.
Tax probes on U.S. multinationals
US Treasury Secretary Lew asked the EU to reconsider tax probes on U.S. multinational companies.
The European Commission has been investigating tax dealings of large companies such as Apple, Google, Amazon, Starbucks and McDonald’s in various European states.