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27-04-2021 09:45 AM CEST

Albin Kurti
On Thursday 29 April, the Foreign Affairs committee will welcome Albin Kurti, Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo accompanied by Besnik Bislimi, Deputy Prime Minister and Donika Gervalla-Schwarz, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, just a month after the formation of the new government.

The debate will be an opportunity to re-confirm the EP's support for Kosovo European agenda as well as to discuss the way forward for the EU-facilitated Belgrade-Pristina dialogue

Source : © European Union, 2021 - EP
27-04-2021 09:42 AM CEST

"In the context of the exponential growth of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the President of the European Parliament has announced a number of measures to contain the spread of epidemic and to safeguard Parliament's core activities.

The current precautionary measures adopted by the European Parliament to contain the spread of COVID-19 do not affect work on legislative priorities. Core activities are reduced, but maintained to ensure that the institution's legislative, budgetary, scrutiny functions are maintained.

The meetings will be with remote participation for Members (being able to view and listen to proceedings, ask for the floor and intervene in the meeting). Other participants are invited to follow the meeting through webstreaming.

Following these decisions, the next ordinary AFET Committee meetings will take place on 29 April (via videoconference).

Source : © European Union, 2021 - EP
27-04-2021 09:38 AM CEST

Hearing on Arctic - AFET Meeting
On 13 April, the Committee on Foreign Affairs held an online hearing "The Arctic: a new arena of geostrategic importance and great powers' rivalry". The growing geo-economic and geopolitical importance of the Arctic region for European economy and security calls for an updated, more integrated EU approach towards this region.

The hearing focused on the main geopolitical challenges and opportunities that a rapidly changing Arctic is creating in the fields of security, trade and development, and the exploitation of natural resources as well as their possible repercussions on Arctic governance. It also explored avenues towards developing a more coherent framework for EU action with a focus on the European Arctic, in order to have a unified response to the new challenges posed by the changing role of this region.

Source : © European Union, 2021 - EP
27-04-2021 09:36 AM CEST

Landmark deal on new EU NDICI
On 18 March, the Committees on Foreign Affairs and on Development voted on the provisional agreement resulting from interinstitutional negotiations establishing the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument - Global Europe. With a proposed budget of €79.5 billion over the period 2021-2027, this instrument will radically overhaul the manner in which the financing of the European Union's external action is administered.

In an effort to streamline existing external financing instruments, the Global Europe Instrument merges ten existing regulations as well as the European Development Fund into one tool. This will make the financing of EU external action more coherent, transparent and flexible, and will allow the EU to effectively uphold and promote its values and interests worldwide.

Source : © European Union, 2021 - EP
27-04-2021 09:36 AM CEST

Montenegro and the EU
On 17 March Foreign Affairs MEPs welcomed Dritan Abazović, Deputy Prime Minister of Montenegro, several months after the elections, leading to the first transition of power since the introduction of the multi-party system in the country. The debate offered an opportunity to re-confirm the EP support for Montenegro's EU-related reforms and to discuss government priorities in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, which affected Montenegrin economy particularly hard.

Source : © European Union, 2021 - EP
27-04-2021 09:35 AM CEST

On 15 April, the Committees on Foreign Affairs (AFET) and on International Trade (INTA) held a vote on their joint recommendation to the plenary on the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement. The Trade and Cooperation Agreement defines the framework for the European Union's future cooperation with the United Kingdom after its withdrawal from the block.

The Agreement has been applied provisionally since the beginning of this year. Parliament's consent is required for it to enter into force officially.

Source : © European Union, 2021 - EP
27-04-2021 09:34 AM CEST

A drawn red hand holding a red Euro coin.
On Monday 19th April the AFET/DEVE/BUDG committees had the first consideration of the joint implementation report that seeks to make a political evaluation of the EU Trust Funds (EUTFs) established since 2014 and extended until December 2021, as well as the Facility for Refugees in Turkey (FRT).

Parliament has acknowledged the value-added of these extra-budgetary (EUTFs) and extraordinary (FRT) tools but has also voiced its criticism regarding its limited role in the scrutiny of their operations/disbursement.

The report will assess the EUTFs/FRT implementation and make proposals for the way forward under the new Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF - EU's long term budget).

Source : © European Union, 2021 - EP

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