The leaders of the European Union’s 28 countries meet this week in Brussels to talk about the ongoing migration crisis and Britain’s upcoming referendum on whether it will remain part of the bloc. Meanwhile, foreign ministers will meet in Luxembourg to discuss Syria and Libya, while European lawmakers will talk about data privacy. Here are five things to watch in the week ahead:
1) European Union heads of state and government will meet in Brussels on Thursday and Friday for their regular October summit. The main item on the agenda will be how to deal with the ongoing migration crisis. More specifically, the leaders will talk about cooperation with third countries such as Turkey to stem the flow of migrants and strengthening the bloc’s borders. They will also discuss the state of the economic and monetary union and the U.K.’s plans to hold a referendum on remaining part of the EU.
2) Britain’s referendum will be in the spotlight from earlier Thursday when British Prime Minister David Cameron and Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission – the EU’s executive arm – meet for a working lunch to discuss the matter, which is expected to be reviewed when leaders next meet in December. The meeting “is part of the ongoing discussions on what President Juncker announced as his ambition to strike a fair deal with Britain,” a spokesman for the commission president said Friday.
3) EU foreign ministers will gather in Luxembourg on Monday for their monthly get-together. They will talk about the latest developments in Syria as well as the ongoing migration crisis, and the future of EU’s relations with African, Caribbean and Pacific countries. The ministers will also talk about the recent political developments in Libya, following the announcement of a national unity government after months of difficult talks between the north African country’s two rival authorities.
4) Meanwhile on Monday lawmakers at the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee will discuss a decision by the EU’s top court last week which struck down a trans-Atlantic pact used by thousands of companies to transfer Europeans’ personal information to the U.S. On Tuesday, the same committee will evaluate what the commission and national governments have done to take on board the Parliament’s recommendations set out in a March 2014 resolution on the electronic mass surveillance of EU citizens, following revelations by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
5) Over in Luxembourg on Thursday, the European Court of Justice — the EU’s top court — will issue its judgment on a case brought by the commission against Greece on the latter’s waste-water collection systems. The commission says that Greece has failed to comply with an October 2007 ECJ judgment that found 23 areas not equipped with appropriate waste-water collection systems. If the court rules in favor of the commission, Greece could be fined €47,462.40 per day from Thursday onwards until it complies, plus €5,191.20 euros per day for each day from the date of the first judgment.