Week Ahead (30 May)
Monday, 30 May and Tuesday, 31 May - Special Meeting of the European Council to discuss Ukraine and energy independence
On 30 – 31 May a special meeting of the European Council will be held to discuss the EU’s financial and military support to Ukraine and efforts to maximise energy security.
On Monday, President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, expressed her hope that an EU deal for a total embargo of Russian oil imports would be reached ‘in the coming days’. However, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban warned in a letter to the President of the European Council Charles Michel this week that new sanctions against Russia, including an oil embargo, should not be discussed at the upcoming summit. Unanimity is required to impose sanctions on Russian oil and it remains unlikely that Budapest, which heavily relies on Russia for oil and gas imports, will drop its opposition.
The RePowerEU plan, presented by the European Commission on 18 May, will also be discussed. A summit will follow on 23-24 June where EU leaders are expected to discuss Ukraine’s potential membership.
Monday, 30 May - ECON and ENVI committees to debate green credentials of nuclear and gas
The Economic and Monetary Committee and the Environmental Committee of the European Parliament will hold a joint session on Monday to discuss the proposed delegated act for the purposes of the European green taxonomy. Discussions will focus on whether to allow nuclear power and gas to be marketed to investors as green, a controversial proposal which has divided opinions across member states.
The delegated act was proposed by the Commission in February (the Taxonomy Complementary Climate Delegated Act) in which it outlined that current scientific evidence suggests that "there is a role for private investment in gas and nuclear activities in the [energy] transition".
Despite the opposition to the inclusion of nuclear power, it is believed the proposal will gain majority support across the European institutions.
At Monday's discussion representatives of the European Investment Bank, the Joint Research Centre, the World Wildlife Fund and financial sector personnel will present their views to parliamentarians ahead of a vote on the act in join committee.
Tuesday, 31 May - ITRE report on digital identity expected to be released
The European Parliament’s first draft report on standards for digital wallets in Europe is expected to be published on Tuesday. The European Commission published the legislative proposal in June 2021 and Romana Jerkovic MEP is leading from the European Parliament side as rapporteur for the Industry, Research and Energy Committee of the European Parliament. The report will form part of wider European efforts to update rules on digital identification within the European Union.
Wednesday, 1 June - Meta v. Commission case to be heard in General Court
The General Court of the European Union will hear arguments in the case of Meta Platforms Ireland v. European Commission on Wednesday. The case relates to the decision of the General Court on 24 July 2021 to provisionally suspend information requests placed on Meta (then trading as Facebook) by the European Commission as part of several investigations into its marketplace competition practices and data collection. Facebook had disputed the information requests on the grounds that some of the information requested involved the disclosure of personal data of individuals which would breach their fundamental rights to privacy. The case next week will see the General Court make a final ruling on Facebook's request for interim measures against the Commission.
Wednesday, 1 June - Flash eurozone inflation statistics to be released
Eurostat will release its latest flash inflation data for the eurozone on Wednesday, providing an early picture of inflation through May. April's final data, released on 18 May, shows that inflation stood at 7.4%, the same as the rate recorded in March and marginally lower than the earlier flash reading of 7.5%. While halting the six-month streak of record-breaking high rates, April's result was still a joint-record high rate for the eurozone and indicative of high prices across several of the main categories measured.
It is understood that the ECB is currently planning to exit its current negative interest rates shortly after the conclusion of its regular Asset Purchase Programme. While an exact date has not yet been set, the ECB President Christine Lagarde indicated this week that we should anticipate a rate hike in July.
Thursday 2 June – President of the European Commission to visit Poland to sign milestones related to sign off on Polish Recovery Plan (KPO)
On 2 June, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, will visit Warsaw to formally sign off on the Polish Recovery Plan, following the approval by the Polish parliament of the abolition of the judicial disciplinary chamber. This was one of the three milestones outlined by the European Commission as the precondition to releasing €36billion of funding under the Recover and Resilience Facility.
The funds were previously withheld by the European Commission due to the longstanding dispute over the rule of law. Warsaw is expected to apply for funds in July. The government is optimistic that the money could start flowing in early autumn.