Tag Archives: Brussels

Michel: MFF budget talks continue

“The last weeks and the last days, we have worked very hard in order to try to reach an agreement regarding the next European budget” EU Council president Charles Michel said, concluding in Brussels two Multiannual Financial Framework or seven year budget of the European Union.

“Unfortunately, today we have observed that it was not possible to reach an agreement. We have observed that we need more time. We know that this European budget is a very difficult topic, it’s a very difficult negotiation, especially after Brexit and the gap between 60 and 75 billion euro.

“We have worked very hard to try to reconcile the different concerns, the different interests, the different opinions on the table. But we need more time. It means that we will see in the future how it is possible to work on this topic in order to succeed, in order to get an agreement in the Council, to have unanimity in the Council.”

“Je voudrais également remercier l’ensemble des délégations et les chefs d’État et de gouvernement qui ont été très mobilisés pour tenter de travailler techniquement, politiquement avec nous, remercier bien sûr la Commission, Ursula von der Leyen et l’ensemble de son équipe pour tout le support qui a été donné tout au long des dernières semaines et des derniers jours.

“Et nous restons évidemment très engagés, très déterminés. Nous savons que le projet européen est un projet qui nécessite des efforts et de la ténacité, de la constance et de la détermination. C’est cet esprit qui nous habite, qui nous anime. Nous sommes évidemment lucides sur la nature des contraintes et des enjeux auxquels nous sommes confrontés. Nous savons qu’il y a beaucoup de sujets sur la table des institutions européennes et cette réunion aujourd’hui, hier et cette nuit, c’est une réunion qui nous apprend aussi sur la manière dont on peut tenter à l’avenir de faire avancer ce projet européen.”

Merkel predicts “difficult” EU budget Summit

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that talks to set the European Union’s budget for the coming seven years will be “very difficult” at an extraordinary summit beginning February 20 in Brussels.

We think our concerns are not sufficiently addressed on many points, and I therefore see very tough and difficult negotiations ahead,” Merkel told reporters at a Berlin press conference with Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin (pictured).

Germany and Finland belong to the circle of mainly northern European EU members that pay more into the EU budget than they get out, known as net contributors“.

EU heads of state or government will discuss the EU’s long-term budget for 2021-2027 during a special meeting of the European Council on 20 February 2020.

In his invitation letter, the President of the European Council Charles Michel said: “The time has come to reach an agreement at our level on the multiannual financial framework.”

BRAFA 2020 SPECTACULAR

January is Brafa month! With the regularity of a fine watch-making mechanism, the doyenne of generalist fairs returns mid-winter with the aim of combining the best of the art on offer in Brussels. The 133 Belgian and international galleries gathered on the site of Tour & Taxis from 26 January to 2 February compete with a thousand temptations to warm the hearts of all art lovers and to arouse the keen interest of the most discerning collectors. The beautiful, the rare and the exceptional blend harmoniously, eliciting cravings, passion or impulse purchases, while paying tribute to creativity from the earliest times to the present day.

Whether you are a fan of the bas-reliefs of Ancient Egypt, the Roman marbles, mediaeval Virgins, 18th- century dressers, paintings by Flemish Masters, animal or modernist bronzes, Art Deco or Art Nouveau silverware, Wolfers jewellery, paintings by Belgian artists from the Laethem School, precious porcelain and archaic bronzes from China, Meissen or Tournai china, African and Oceanic masks, unusual objects from a cabinet of curiosities, stylish furniture, drawings and engravings and works by the greatest contemporary designers … one thing is clear: you have to go to Brafa to see all these treasures, and many more!

And rather than discovering all these marvels in isolation, or grouped together, Brafa offers to mix them up harmoniously, creating unexpected connections and dialogue between the thousands of works it brings together. From this proximity will emerge a new reading, a new look based on designs, the styles, origins, paths, materials, colours, artists and meanings of which seem to have nothing in common. Current taste is instead moving towards diversity, eclecticism, the abolition of borders and groups made up of scattered items and here, the choice of gender balance advocated by Brafa over many years is entirely contemporary.

#EUCO: Charles Michel chairs EU Summit

“I look forward to welcoming you to the December European Council – my first European Council meeting as President” reads the invitation letter of the EU Council President Charles Michel.(Image above: archive).

“My intention is to build on the impressive work of my two predecessors and create a strong relationship with you, based on trust, confidence and transparency.

Together, we will provide the strategic guidance that Europe needs to tackle the many challenges identified in the Strategic Agenda adopted in June 2019.

Concerning this week’s European Council, the meeting will start at 15:00 on 12 December with an exchange of views with the President of the European Parliament David Sassoli. This will be followed by our first working session, in which we will begin by adopting our conclusions on the Conference on the Future of Europe.

We will then move to the vital challenge of Climate Change. I want us to agree on the commitment for the EU to become climate-neutral by 2050. This would be a major signal from the European Council that the EU will take a global leadership role on this crucial issue. It is my conviction that the transition to climate neutrality will create new opportunities for economic growth and development.

However, we must also recognise that it will require efforts from all Member States. We will put in place a framework and the necessary resources to chart a fair and balanced path towards our objective. This means taking into account the different national realities and starting points.

Over dinner, we will discuss the Multiannual Financial Framework. This is another key area for the future of our Union. We must enter into a new stage of our work and engage seriously. There is no point repeating known positions and maximalist requests; concessions will be needed from all sides. We will work to identify the key elements of a final agreement.

The first day will conclude with a debrief on the implementation of the Minsk Agreement along with short conclusions on WTO, Africa and Turkey.

On Friday, our meeting will begin at 10:00 in the presence of European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde and Eurogroup President Mario Centeno. After an exchange of views on the economic situation, we will take stock of the progress made by the Eurogroup on strengthening the Economic and Monetary Union and give some indications on future work. A statement will be adopted to that end.

The proceedings will conclude in the Article 50 configuration.  We are ready for the next steps and reaffirm our desire for as close a relationship as possible with the United Kingdom. We will adopt short conclusions on Brexit.

I look forward to working closely with all of you on these issues, and many others, to make Europe bolder, more prosperous, and more self-confident.”

EU Council endorses Brexit Deal II

European Council President Donald Tusk said that the EU and the UK were “very close” to concluding Article 50 Agreement, often referred to as “Brexit Deal”. After the European Council Summit, endorsing the deal, the approval by Westminster and the European Parliament will be the final steps to seal it.

President Tusk was addressing the press corps at Brussels Brexit Summit after the 27 European Union member states agreed to approve of a deal, under which Britain will leave on October 31 in an orderly fashion.

However the experts say the Brexit deal is far from being sealed, while there is growing scepticism among British Members of Parliament, who oppose it, claiming that the second version of the Article 50 Agreement is worse than the forme Prime Minister May deal.

Since day one, the EU has been United. We negotiated with the #UK as one union, one family. We put peace and people above everything else. Now it’s time to turn a page and look towards our new partnership with the UK #Brexit”, the EU top negotiator Michel Barnier wrote on his Twitter micro blog.

Brexit meeting delayed to 17 CET

The meeting on debriefing for the EU member-states on the latest developments of Brexit talks has been delayed to 1500 GMT on October 16 from 1200 GMT, European diplomats said, commenting on state of affairs between Brussels and London on sealing a deal for orderly Brexit was postponed on, Reuters news agency reports.

Later the reports of further delay were posted on Twitter, indicating 17 CET as planned time for the meeting.(Image above; Michel Barnier, archive)

https://twitter.com/tconnellyrte/status/1184427393777360896?s=21

Italy insists on change of Dublin rules

On his first visit to Brussels after becoming head of a government backed by the anti-establishment 5-Star and center-left Democratic Party (PD), Giuseppe Conte repeated calls for changes to migration regulations. (Image: archive).

Past governments made similar requests, causing prolonged disputes with the European Union. 

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte visited Brussels on September 11 in Brussels to meet with the president-designate of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.

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