EU Conference of Presidents to meet

The Conference of Presidents is set to meet today in the European Union Parliament. Meetings will likely touch on the

EU conference of presidents

Photo: Daina Le Lardic/ European Parliament

The Conference of Presidents is set to meet today in the European Union Parliament.

Meetings will likely touch on the EU’s recently brokered post-Brexit trade deal with the UK on December 24. The initial implementation of the long-awaited deal has been rocky as British businesses struggle to adjust to new regulations. The trade deal will reportedly cost the UK 2% of GDP over the next few years. Meanwhile, COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the EU and its peripheral countries.

Difficulties encountered in the post-Brexit trade deal will likely see the UK turn to other partners such as the US and Japan to recoup losses. Nevertheless, Parliament President David Sassoli has indicated a desire to find a compromise between Brussels and London. The EU is also expected to seek to foster stronger economic relations with the Biden administration, meaning Washington may gain increased influence in EU affairs. Look for Germany to fill the UK-sized hole as Berlin has stepped up leadership in the effort to roll out its goal of 2.3 billion vaccines across the continent and further abroad. Bloc-wide opposition to stimulus spending amidst the economically depressive pandemic could diminish without the UK, as the former EU member was notorious for pushing for budget austerity.

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