By Elena Sanchez Nicolas

BRUSSELS - After the climax of Sunday's EU elections, the real work on shaping the next European Parliament will begin, with EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen closely monitoring the results that will influence her re-election chances.

Political groups will rush to rearrange themselves to split funds and top jobs, potentially leading to shakeups and splits in the the political groups themselves.

Expect a lot of events this week discussing the conclusions to be drawn from the European elections, as policymakers shift the attention to the famous puzzle of top job appointments.

While the next EU Commission head is expected to be announced after the European Council meeting on 27-28 June, discussions about top jobs are set to arise during this week’s G7 meeting in Italy (13-15 June) and the Ukraine Peace Conference in Switzerland (15-16 June) — just days before the official EU leaders' dinner next Monday (17 June).

During the G7, leaders are expected to discuss how to use windfall profits generated by Russian frozen assets seized by the West since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022. It is estimated that Euroclear, a securities depository based in Brussels, holds approximately $300 billion (€277bn) worth of Russian assets, generating annual profits of about €3 billion.

The EU previously said it wants to use most of these windfall profits to jointly purchase ammunition and weapons for Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the much-awaited Ukraine Peace Conference in Switzerland has seen a decrease in expectations due to the absence of China — which has argued that such summits should be endorsed by both Russia and Ukraine, with the equal participation of all parties.

Notably, US president Joe Biden will also be absent.

Ahead of the peace summit, the Ukraine Recovery Conference hosted jointly by Germany and Ukraine will take place on Tuesday (12 June). Von der Leyen and EU trade commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis are expected to attend.

Later this week, on Thursday and Friday (13 and 14 June), Nato's defense ministers will meet to discuss the alliance’s defence capabilities and review countries’ defence plans. Ukraine officials will also be present on Thursday.

The meeting will serve as a preparation for Nato’s annual summit in July, during which Ukraine is expected to receive an offer of a security package aimed at advancing its integration within the alliance.

2025 budget

On Wednesday (13 June), the European Commission is expected to unveil its draft budget for 2025 and annual report on the performance and management of EU funds. In addition, EU commission vice president Margaritis Schinas will present a roadmap about the implementation on the recently-agreed migration pact.

The European chief prosecutor Laura Kövesi will present ministers a report on the activities of the European Public Prosecutor's Office.

Meanwhile, Dombrovskis and EU commission vice president Věra Jourová, along with other EU leaders and top national officials, will take part Prague European Summit (13-14).

Also on Thursday and Friday, EU ministers in charge of justice and home affairs will gather in Luxembourg to the extension of the temporary protection for persons having fled from Ukraine, proposals to combat child sexual abused and parenthood recognition across the bloc.

This week will also see plenty of events on renewables and energy efficiency in Europe as part of the European Sustainable Energy Week.

AB/ANA/11 June 2024