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Europe Diary November 2014

November 2014

1 November – Brussels. The new College of EU Commissioners takes office for a 5-year term, starting work on 3 November, after the European Parliament agreed to the line-up proposed by Commission President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker at the second attempt. The first meeting of the Commission will be on 5 November. Juncker has promised a massive €300bn package for investment in growth and jobs, to be presented before Christmas

1 November – Italy. The EU will launch an operation off the Italian coast to intercept migrants from North Africa. Codenamed Triton, the operation will largely replace Italy’s Mare Nostrum search and rescue operation which is unpopular with voters because of the cost (€10-€20m a month). The EU scheme has a monthly budget of €2.9m. It is already being criticised because its six ships and two aircraft will stay within 30 nautical miles of shore and have no search and rescue mandate.

2 November – Romania. Presidential election. The second round will be on 16 November

3-4 November – London. The 18th Chatham House Climate Change Conference.

4 November – Frankfurt. The European Central Bank will assume ultimate responsibility for regulating all eurozone banks and some non-eurozone banks. This significant step follows a seven-month detailed investigation into the banks’ finances. As well as providing more security for savers and customers, it should lead to more lending with banks protected by a €55bn EU bail-out fund

4 November – Brussels. EU Telecommunication Ministers meet in the TTE Council.

4 November – Brussels. The European Commission is due to publish its autumn economic forecast for the EU states

5 November – Barcelona. The Second EIP Water Conference, discussing new developments in the water industry.

6 November – Rochester and Strood, Kent, UK. Parliamentary by-election after sitting Conservative MP Mark Reckless defected to the anti-EU UKIP. After the spectacular victory for UKIP in Clacton, Reckless is expected to become the second UKIP MP. The recent demand from the European Commission for extra contributions from the UK may help him win

6 November – Frankfurt. European Central Bank Governing Council.

6 November – Brussels. Finance Ministers from the 18 eurozone countries meet in the Eurogroup.

7 November – Brussels. Finance Ministers from all 28 EU member states meet in the ECOFIN Council.

9 November – Berlin. The 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall will be marked by special events and exhibitions.

9 November – Catalonia. The President of Catalonia in Spain has announced an independence referendum, but the Madrid government has declared it illegal and will appeal to the Constitutional Court

10-11 November – Brussels. EU Agriculture and Fisheries Ministers meet.

11 November – France and Belgium. Public holiday to mark Armistice Day

12 November – Space. At 08:35 GMT, the European Space Agency’s Rosetta probe is due to start guiding its Philae lander on to the surface of Comet 67P, 405m km from Earth, in a quest to discover if comets can “seed life” by providing water and carbon. The landing is expected at around 16.00. Live coverage of the key Go/No-Go decisions during the night of 11-12 November and of events through the day on 12 November will be provided by ESA TV, on the homepages of all partners and on Twitter (#CometLanding). Press briefings each day either side of landing day will also be streamed live on internet at and

12-13 November – Brussels. European Parliament mini-plenary session.

12-14 November – Prague. The News Xchange – the annual forum of international TV news supported by the European Broadcasting Union.

15 November – Belfast. 30th anniversary of Margaret Thatcher and Dr Garrett Fitzgerald signing the Anglo-Irish agreement, which gave Dublin a say in Northern Irish affairs

16 November – Romania. Second round of presidential election

17 November – Brussels. This is the date when the EU Council, Commission and Parliament are supposed to agree the controversial budget for 2015

17-18 November – EU Foreign Ministers and Defence Ministers meet in the Foreign Affairs and General Affairs Councils.

18 November – Brussels. Let’s Get Europe Working Conference on growth and competitiveness in the EU, organised by The Economist.

19 November – Frankfurt. European Central Bank Governing Council.

21 November – Brussels. EU Foreign Ministers meet to discuss international trade.

21 November – World Television Day.

24-27 November – Strasbourg. European Parliament plenary session. On 26th, the 2014 Sakharov prize for Freedom of Thought will be presented.

25 November – Strasbourg. Visit by HH Pope Francis to the European Parliament.

26 November – Strasbourg. The 2014 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought will be presented

25 November – Brussels. EU Ministers for Culture and Sport meet.

30 November – Moldova. Parliamentary elections

30 November – Switzerland. Three referendums. One seeks to change the flat tax system, and another calls for an immigration limit of 0.2% per year

December 2014

1 December – Brussels. The new President of the European Council, former Polish PM Donald Tusk, and the new EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Frederica Mogherini from Italy, are due to take office, replacing Herman Van Rompuy and Catherine Ashton

1 December – EU. On this date, member states are supposed to pay any additional budget contributions, or receive rebates, following the adjustment of calculations based on GDP and population. The UK has been asked to pay €1.7bn. David Cameron has said “We won’t pay”. The leaders of Germany, Netherlands and Denmark have publicly said all states must play by the rules and accept the adjustments. The European Commission has reminded Britain that it is obliged by law to meet the deadline.

1 December – Brussels. EU health Ministers meet in the EPSCO Council.

3 December – Brussels. EU Transport Ministers meet.

4 December – Frankfurt. European Central Bank Governing Council.

4-5 December – Brussels. EU Ministers for Industry and Research meet in the Competitiveness Council. Justice and Home Affairs Ministers also meet.

4-5 December – Basel. The annual OSCE Ministerial Council.

8 December – Brussels. Finance Ministers from the Eurozone meet in the Eurogroup

8 December – Brussels. Presentation of the European Bee Award recognising projects for the protection of pollinators.

9 December – Brussels. Finance Ministers from all 28 member states meet in the ECOFIN Council.

9 December – Brussels. EU Energy ministers meet.

11 December – Brussels. EU Ministers for Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs meet.

12 December – Brussels. EU Foreign and Development Ministers meet on development issues.

12 December – Brussels. EU Education Ministers meet.

15-16 December – Brussels. EU Foreign Ministers meet in the Foreign Affairs and General Affairs Councils.

15-16 December – Brussels. EU Agriculture and Fisheries Ministers meet. Usually the December meeting agrees fishing quotas for the following year.

15-18 December – Strasbourg. European Parliament plenary session.

17 December – Brussels. EU Environment Ministers meet.

17-18 December – Frankfurt. European Central Bank Governing Council and General Council meetings.

18-19 December – Brussels. European Summit.

24-26 December – Brussels. EU institutions closed for Christmas

31 December – The last day of Italy’s six months’ Presidency of the European Council. Latvia will take over in January

January 2015

1 January – Latvia takes over the EU Council Presidency from Italy, organising ministers’ meetings and other events for the member states. Its Presidency website, with lists of meetings and events, will open in December

1 January – Lithuania will adopt the euro, at a conversion rate of 3.45 litas to the euro, becoming the 19th eurozone state

1 January – Bristol will take over from Copenhagen as European Green Capital of the year, recognising its environmental achievements.

7 January – Christian Orthodox Christmas

7 January – Frankfurt. European Central Bank Governing Council.

16-25 January – Berlin. International Green Week (not to be confused with European Green Week, the EU environment conference in June). This is the world’s biggest consumer fair for food and the agricultural and horticultural industries.

21-24 January – Davos Kloesters, Switzerland. The World Economic Forum.

22 January – Frankfurt. European Central Bank Governing Council.

23-25 January – London. The France Show at Olympia.

26 January – 1 February – Stockholm. European Figure Skating Championships


This year will be the European Year for Development. It coincides with the UN Millennium Development Goals being replaced by new Sustainable Development Goals.

The UK general election is scheduled for 7 May, with the Conservatives promising an in-out EU referendum by the end of 2017.

8 May will be the 70th anniversary of VE Day (Victory in Europe).

The World Expo will be held in Milan from May to October.

18 June will be the bicentennial of the Battle of Waterloo where Napoleon was finally defeated.

In December the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change will hold a summit in Paris, to seek a global deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions.