08 February 2016
Article by Gregg Jones, Head of EU Office, National Assembly for Wales
The EU Weekly blog provides a snapshot of key developments on the EU agenda (in Brussels and back at home) of most relevance to Wales.
The main news, of course, from last week was the publication of the draft negotiating texts for the UK-EU renegotiation. Section 2.3 below contains a number of links to debates, blogs, and news stories on this subject. Discussions are ongoing on the texts, through so-called ‘sherpa’ meetings (i.e. Member State Ambassadors to the EU) as well as bilateral meetings between the Prime Minister and other Heads of State and Government. The endgame being the European Council in Brussels next week (18-19 February). The mood music in Brussels and EU capitals suggests there is a good prospect of a deal being reached at the EU Summit.
Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee will discuss (in private session) follow up on its inquiry to the UK’s EU Reform agenda at its meeting this afternoon.
This week is half-term in Brussels with no formal business in the European Parliament, and aside from the ‘sherpa’ meetings already referred to, in Council there is a meeting of Economic and Financial Affairs Ministers. The Committee of the Regions holds its plenary session this week, and Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM will be in Brussels for his final CoR plenary – he steps down from this role when the Assembly is dissolved (taking effect from 6 April).
Next Monday DG Grow (Director General is Lowri Evans) is organising a High-Level Conference on Energy-Intensive Industries in follow-up to the Extra-ordinary Competitiveness Council on Steel that took place in 9 November 2015. Anna Soubry, UK Minister of State for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise will make closing remarks at the conference. David Rees AM will attend this conference, as well as holding other meetings in Brussels during a two-day visit.
The European Commission published consultations last week on the ex-post evaluation of the EU Structural Funds for 2007-2013, with a closing date of 27 April for responses.
Europa Newsroom (press releases; details of all new proposals)
European Parliament Committees (details of meetings, agendas etc)
European Parliament UK (representation based in London and Edinburgh)
Council of the European Union (press releases etc.)
UK in a Changing EU (ESRC project to inform public in lead up to EU referendum – includes Cardiff Law School)
Follow us on Twitter: @SeneddEurope