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Week Ahead (4 July)

Monday, 4 July – Tuesday, 5 July – Ukraine recovery conference to take place in Lugano

Today and on Tuesday, a high-level meeting including European leaders, ministers, and high profiled members of international organisations and the private sector will take place in Lugano, Switzerland, to help create a roadmap for Ukraine’s recovery and reconstruction.

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, will unveil plans for a ‘Ukraine reconstruction platform’, responsible for monitoring reconstruction work, only a few days after the official endorsement of Kyiv’s EU accession bid by the last European Council on 23-24 June. Ukrainian President Zelensky will present Kyiv’s own vision for national recovery, with the first version of ’Ukraine’s recovery and reconstruction plan’. The European Investment Bank will also present one of the mechanisms for the disbursement of funds to Ukraine and the goal of collecting €100 billion for its first funding round.

Tuesday, 5 July – European Parliament set to approve Digital Markets Act

On Tuesday, the European Parliament is set to approve the Digital Markets Act (DMA) in the last plenary session before summer.

The purpose of the DMA is to regulate the digital market by preventing Big Tech companies, referred to as ‘gatekeepers’, from abusing their dominant market positions, and to open up competition to smaller competitors. The DMA regime would place obligations on gatekeepers to avoid anti-competitive behaviour and would give power to the European Commission to regulate the actions of Big Tech companies, raising risks for companies such as Apple, Google, and Meta, as its primary aim is to allow new competitors to enter digital markets in Europe.

Its enforcement would take place in 2023, most likely during its second quarter.

Monday, 4 July – Thursday, 7 July - EP parliament's plenary session to vote on the Commission's proposal to include gas and nuclear in the EU taxonomy

In this week’s plenary session, MEPs will have to decide whether to veto the inclusion of gas and nuclear activities in the list of environmentally sustainable activities under the EU taxonomy.

The taxonomy is part of the Commission’s plan on financing sustainable growth. Critics of the labelling of gas and nuclear activities as ’green’ investments argue that it would classify investments in infrastructure transporting Russian gas as sustainable, highlighting the fact that LNG is not eligible for inclusion.

The European Parliament cannot introduce amendments to the proposal. However, it has the power to reject the plan with an absolute majority. Several MEPs are expected to vote along national lines, as different levels of exposure to Russian gas dictate distinct approaches to energy security, increasing the unpredictability of the outcome.

Wednesday, 6 July - UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson appears before the Liaison Committee

This Wednesday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will appear before the Liaison Committee of the British House of Commons to discuss the war in Ukraine and its impact on UK, the governmental response to the rising cost of living, integrity in politics, and the Rule of Law.

The Prime Minister is currently facing down a rising number of rebels in his party, following controversies over lockdown-breaking scandals earlier this year, and a double electoral blow in by-elections in Tiverton & Honiton and Wakefield on 23 June, amid an ongoing cost of living crisis driven by inflation.

Thursday, 7 July - Poland to decide on interest rates

On Thursday, Poland’s Monetary Policy Council will decide on whether to raise interest rates for a tenth consecutive month to tackle inflation. In June, Poland’s central bank raised its main interest rate by 0.75% to 6%, its highest level since 2008. Its governor, Adam Glapinski, announced last month that Poland would most likely start cutting interest rates in the last quarter of 2023.

The country is currently dealing with a cost-of-living crisis, mainly due to a strong rise in energy and agricultural commodity prices driven largely by the war in Ukraine. Consumer prices rose 15.6% in June from a year earlier, hitting another quarter-century high.

Poland is among the most affected countries by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The need to support Ukrainian refugees has put additional budgetary strains on Warsaw, including a subsequent housing crisis.

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