This week begins with a Council of Europe summit in Warsaw on Monday and Tuesday,
with all 46 members debating ways to boost the powers of the European Court
of Human Rights and to combat human trafficking and racism.

Several countries,
such as the UK and Russia, have opted to send foreign ministers instead of
government heads, however. External relations commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner
will represent the European Commission.

Over the same two days, environmental
experts from Canada, Japan and the US will present a series of papers on
climate change at a UN-sponsored seminar in Bonn, Germany.

On Wednesday the
EU Presidency
will meet with foreign affairs ministers from Niger and Ghana at the
Chateau de Senningen in Luxembourg to discuss economic co-operation with the
community
of west African states (ECOWAS).

Polish President Alexander Kwasniewski,
Germany’s
Chancellor Gerhard Schroder and French leader Jacques Chirac will attend
a Weimar Triangle summit in Nancy, France on Thursday.

Thursday will also see
a meeting of some 40 European education ministers and education commissioner
Jan Fiegel in Bergen, Norway, to discuss progress on the Bologna Process,
which aims to harmonise European higher education standards by 2010.

On the
same
day in Brussels, the Gallup Organisation will present its findings
on public attitudes toward the EU in Moldova, Georgia and Belarus.

EU regional
affairs
ministers will hold an informal meeting in Luxembourg over Friday
and Saturday to examine Brussels’ cohesion strategy with respect to hitting Lisbon
Agenda targets on competitiveness.

Brussels closed on Monday

The European Commission
and the European Parliament are closed on Monday due to a public
holiday in Belgium, but administrative affairs boss Siim Kallas is travelling
to Sofia
to discuss EU-related reforms with Bulgarian financial and home
affairs chiefs.

On Tuesday, regional policy commissioner Danuta Hubner will
issue an update
on the status of European regional cohesion.

Meanwhile, President
Jose Manuel Barroso will meet with the head of the African Union to discuss
the EU’s
role in managing the Darfur crisis in Sudan and agriculture
commissioner Mariann Fischer-Boel will visit the UK’s Prince Charles
to chew the fat on rural development.

On the financial front, economic affairs commissioner Joaquin Almunia
will be in Nicosia on Thursday to discuss the introduction
of the euro in Cyprus, before flying to Belgrade to attend an annual gathering
of European Bank of
Reconstruction and Development governors on Sunday.

The Middle
East will also loom large this week with trade commissioner Peter Mandelson
spending Thursday,
Friday and Saturday on a whirlwind tour of Palestine, Israel
and Jordan, meeting with President Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
and King Hussein
I.

With the French referendum just around the corner, Ms
Ferrero-Waldner, transport commissioner Jacques Barrot and social affairs
commissioner Vladimir
Spidla
will also take part in a debate on the EU constitution
at the Fondation Schuman in Paris on Thursday.

Meanwhile, MEPs are set to
spend the week visiting domestic
constituencies. But a nine-strong team of ministers
will help monitor legislative elections in Ethiopia on Monday and Tuesday.

The
European
Parliament next sits
in plenary in Brussels on 25 May.

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