Estonian Deputy Minister for EU Affairs Matti Maasikas will head the General Affairs Council of the European Union in Brussels on Monday, where two of the most controversial topics in the EU will be discussed — the withdrawal of the U.K. from the EU, and the situation concerning the rule of law in Poland.
Topics to be discussed at the meeting include the priorities of the Estonian presidency of the Council of the European Union and the draft European Commission work program through end of 2018. In addition, preparations will also begin for the European Council on Oct. 19-20, spokespeople for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
On Monday afternoon, 27 EU member states will discuss the current situation of Brexit negotiations, with the fourth round of talks with the U.K. to be launched this week, and will prepare for the European Council in October, the main theme of which will be Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which stipulates the conditions of the withdrawal of any country from the EU.
Under any other business, the European Commission will also update ministers on the status of its rule of law dialogue with Poland.
The European Commission is to continue infringement proceedings against Poland by sending to Warsaw a justified opinion on the law governing the recent working order of the general courts. The European Commission has said that the Polish law is inconsistent with EU law in some aspects. Critics said that the court reform initiated by the Polish government damages the independence of the judicial power and thus jeopardizes the rule of law in Poland.
Editor: Aili Vahtla