Week Ahead (26 April)
Tuesday, 27 April - European Parliament to vote on ratification of EU-UK trade deal
The Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament has decided that a vote on the ratification of the EU-UK trade deal will be held tomorrow; it is expected to pass by a large majority.
British actions in the months since the UK formally left the European Union have made the European institutions uneasy about the future arrangement. On 3 March the UK government announced that it would take unilateral measures to ensure the supply of goods to Northern Ireland, prompting Brussels to send a formal letter to the UK on 15 March. The letter accused the UK of "breaching the substantive provisions of the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland" as well as the "good faith obligation" enshrined within the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement. The UK last week sought a further month in which to respond to the letter; it is now expected to reveal its response by mid-May.
Thursday, 29 April - Eurostat flash estimate for inflation to be released
Flash inflation data for April will be released on Thursday. The Eurostat release on inflation for March showed that Eurozone inflation jumped to 1.3%, up from the 0.9% reported in February 2021. The rate stood at 0.7% during the same period last year.
While rising in recent months, the inflation rate is still well below the European Central Bank's inflation target of below but close to 2%. Although the March meeting had committed the ECB to a “significant” increase in the pace of purchases under the Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (PEPP), market participants have been underwhelmed by the pace of purchases since then. It remains to be seen whether the modest increase in PEPP purchases will impact on April inflation figures.
Friday, 30 April - Deadline for submission of member state recovery plans to Commission
Although not a hard deadline, member states are due to submit their final detailed plans to the European Commission for spending the moneys allocated to them under the Recovery Fund by Friday. Once the final submissions are made the Commission will respond within two months with its assessment of the proposals.
Portugal has submitted its plan to the Commission while the Draghi led government in Italy spent the weekend finalising its plan, which will see €221.5 billion used to support the economy in the post-pandemic era.
Spain will submit its plan ahead of Friday’s deadline amid requests from the Spanish Economy Minister and former European Commission official Nadia Calviño that the Commission be flexible around questions of state aid.
Funds can only be distributed once all member states have ratified the new "own resources" decision which commits them to new revenue raising measures. Germany, Estonia, Poland, Hungary, Austria, Finland, Romania, the Netherlands, Ireland and Lithuania have not yet ratified the decision.