(Bloomberg) -- Welcome to the Brussels Edition, Bloomberg’s daily briefing on what matters most in the heart of the European Union. Sign up here to get it in your inbox every weekday morning.

For once it feels like something may actually have changed in the groundhog-day world of Brexit. The question is whether EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier and U.K. Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay can find the same “pathway to a deal” over a Brussels breakfast this morning that Boris Johnson and Leo Varadkar discovered over a lunch in northwest England yesterday. If so, negotiating teams are poised to enter a “tunnel” of intensive talks this weekend in preparation for the EU leaders’ summit. If not, it will be a much more bumpy ride to Thursday, when Johnson will face all his fellow leaders for the first time. 

What’s Happening

Balkan Expansion | EU government envoys will have another go today at reaching a deal over whether to start accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia. While most member states agree to formally begin enlargement talks, France still has reservations over the entire process. Other countries want conditions attached, especially for Albania, meaning the matter may be deferred to ministers or even to EU leaders meeting in Brussels next week. 

Polish Elections | Poland’s ruling party is headed for victory in Sunday’s election, backed by voters in its industrial heartland, struggling with pollution and the demise of their coal economy. The ballot will determine if Poland’s transformation from one of Europe’s greatest successes into one of its biggest renegades is irreversible.

Turkish Question | On Monday, EU foreign ministers will debate a response to the latest Turkish developments, after Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would “ open the doors” for 3.6 million refugees to seek shelter in Europe, should his country come under undue criticism. Meanwhile as Turkish troops continue their incursion in northeastern Syria, Ankara’s reassurances about the jihadists currently held by the Kurds leave something to be desired.

Week Ahead | Not all the action will be in Brussels. The EU’s top economic policy makers head to Washington for the IMF’s annual meetings. With clouds gathering over the euro area, focus will be on the Fund’s economic outlook due early in the week and anything ministers and central bankers contribute to the ongoing debate over further stimulus. Oh, and for the economy nerds among us, the Nobel prize on the dismal science will be announced on Monday. 

In Case You Missed It

Payback Time | Emmanuel Macron riled EU lawmakers before the summer when he sidelined the Parliament’s nominees for the post of Commission chief. Yesterday, the lawmakers got him back, rejecting his pick for the bloc’s executive arm over ethical concerns. The loss of Sylvie Goulard serves as a lesson for the French president of the risks of his at times high-handed style. 

Ready to Retaliate | Meanwhile, France’s finance minister said he doesn’t want the EU to become the latest front in the global trade war, but the bloc would hit the U.S. with sanctions if a settlement isn’t reached in a long-running dispute over aircraft aid.

Romanian Collapse | Romania lost a third prime minister in as many years as the government was ousted in a no-confidence motion. The result paves the way for the opposition Liberal Party to lead a new ruling alliance and comes just a month before presidential elections that polls show will hand incumbent Klaus Iohannis a second term.

Chinese Duties | The EU imposed tariffs as high as 66.4% on steel road wheels from China, targeting exporters of parts used in cars, tractors and trailers, for allegedly having sold them in the EU below cost. The Commission also threatened to stoke longstanding tensions with Beijing over steel trade by opening an inquiry into whether Chinese producers of hot-rolled, stainless-steel sheets and coils receive market-distorting government aid. 

Chart of the Day

The world is officially obese, and that’s bad for health, education and economic growth, according to the OECD. More than half the people in 34 of its 36 member countries are overweight and almost half of those are obese, the Paris-based group said. This creates a burden of around $311 billion per year on treating overweight and related conditions. 

Today’s Agenda

All times CET.

  • 7 p.m. Council President Donald Tusk receives the Globsec European Award at the Tatra Summit in Slovakia
  • Antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager delivers a speech in Athens on “Democracy in a digital age”
  • Trade chief Cecilia Malmstrom gives a lecture on trade policies and challenges at the University of Gothenburg

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--With assistance from Wojciech Moskwa, Viktoria Dendrinou and Zoe Schneeweiss.

To contact the authors of this story: Nikos Chrysoloras in Brussels at nchrysoloras@bloomberg.netIan Wishart in Brussels at iwishart@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Heather Harris at hharris5@bloomberg.net, Chris Reiter

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