This week efforts will be made to assist the relief effort in New Orleans
in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. All 30 countries in Europe's Civil Protection
Mechanism have offered help after an official request from the US. The aid
effort, which is being coordinated by the Commission's Monitoring and Information
Centre, is being run in close collaboration with the UK Presidency. Throughout
the week, details of the various offers will be discussed with the US in order
to use them to their best effect.
As petrol prices reach £1 per litre at the pumps across the UK, oil
prices have become a focal point of Europe's political agenda. On Friday, the
European Commission assembled together the Oil Supply Group, which consists
of oil experts from the 25 Member States, in order to consider the oil stocks
in Europe. EU policy makers are to look at ways to control the effect of high
diesel, petrol and raw material costs. The issue is set to linger throughout
The 'bra war' is over. An agreement has been reached between Europe and China,
unblocking textile imports that have been left stranded in ports across Europe.
The Commission is now set to accept a regulation that details the legal grounds
on which Member States can grant import licences to goods presently blocked.
It is predicted that this will be feasible by the middle of this week. EU-China
trade for the year 2004 was valued at 175 billion Euros (the EU's 2nd biggest
trading partner behind the US).
This week sees the launch of the new Parliamentary website which can be accessed
on www.europarl.eu.int .
20 permanent committees and 2 sub-committees are meeting this week in what
is aptly called "Committee Week." One of those to keep an eye on
is the Foreign Affairs Committee, which will be discussing Turkey in the EU
with Commissioner Olli Rehn.
The next plenary sitting of the European Parliament will be on the 26th September
On the agenda for the European Commission is the UN 2005 World Summit, which
will be meeting on 14-16 September. The Summit will be held in the United Nations
Headquarters in New York and is expected to draw together the largest assembly
of world leaders in history.