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1 December – Brussels. The new President of the European Council, former Polish PM Donald Tusk, is due to take office, replacing Herman Van Rompuy

1 December – EU. Member states are supposed to pay any additional budget contributions, or receive rebates, following the adjustment of calculations based on GDP and population. After strong disagreements, the UK’s payments will be phased over two years

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

2-3 December – Brussels. European e-Skills 2014 Conference.

2-5 December – Dijon. Global Soil Biodiversity Conference.

3 December – Brussels. EU Transport Ministers meet.

3 December – EU. Deadline for member states to adopt European energy-security measures

3 December – Space. The European Space Agency’s Rosetta probe, currently orbiting Comet 67P as it travels towards the Sun at enormous speed, will be moved down to a height of 20 km above the surface for about 10 days, to gather dust and data about the nucleus. The mass of data sent by the Philae lander before its batteries ran out will take many months to analyse.

4 December – Frankfurt. European Central Bank Governing Council.

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

4-5 December – Basel. The annual OSCE Ministerial Council, the organisation’s central decision-making body.

5 December – Italy. Another day of strikes and protests is planned against Prime Minister Renzi’s plans for labour market reforms, which include making it easier for firms to hire and fire staff. The trades unions are opposed. Youth unemployment rates in Italy are put at 42%.

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

8 December – Brussels. Biodiversity conference organised by the European Landowners Organisation, followed by 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 December – Latvia. The website of the Latvian six-month Presidency of the European Council is due to go live, giving a calendar of ministerial meetings and other events.

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. MEPs are supposed to approve the shape and size of the EU’s 2015 budget. But there are big disagreements with the Commission and the member states about how to deal with the EU’s unpaid bills for 2014. If no deal has been finalised by 31 December, the EU faces the embarrassing prospect of a "provisional twelfths" regime – a monthly budget based on 2014 amounts, which can severely hamper long-term project planning.

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. There is likely to be discussion about The UK Prime Minister’s announcement that migrants from the EU will have to wait 4 years to be eligible for any benefits.

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




1 January – Latvia takes over the EU Council Presidency from Italy for the first half of the year – organising ministers’ meetings and other events for the member states.

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.

12-15 January – Strasbourg. European Parliament plenary session. On 13 January, Latvian Prime Minister, Laimdota Straujuma, will present the Presidency programme for the first half of the year to MEPs.

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.

20 January – Brussels. EU Foreign Ministers and Europe Ministers meet in the General Affairs Council, and are expected to adopt the work programme for the first half of the year prepared by the Latvian Presidency.

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

28 January – Brussels. European Parliament mini-plenary.

28 January – Brussels. "Investing in the Future Power System" is the title of a conference on Europe’s energy supplies organised by Eurelectric, the European Association of Power Generators.




2 February – Brussels. Green Transport Information event organised by the European Commission.

3-8 February – Leipzig. Hockey Indoor World Championships.

4 February – Frankfurt. European Central Bank Governing Council.

9-10 February – London. Chatham House conference on the challenge of ‘Ageing and Health’.

9-12 February – Strasbourg. European Parliament plenary session.

18 February – Frankfurt. European Central Bank Governing Council.

23-24 February – London. Chatham House conference on Security and Defence.

25 February – Brussels. European Parliament mini-plenary.


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 in 1945).

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. Also in June, the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta will be celebrated in the UK.

Pope Francis will make a state visit to France.

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 – described as the "last chance" to keep global warming to no more than 2 degrees celsius.




Europe Diary

December 2014


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