The Letter n°751

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The Letter n°751
The Letter
Tuesday 14th March 2017
issue 751
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Organising Brexit
The Robert Schuman Foundation is launching the BrexLab, an analysis laboratory that will focus on the negotiations in view of the UK's exit of the European Union. As soon as the British express their wish, in line with article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, long discussions will begin between the two sides. Complicated and technical, but important and even vital for many economic sectors, the latter will come under the scrutiny of public opinion and these negotiations will sometimes be difficult to interpret. The BrexLab will bring together a panel of leading experts on European issues who will endeavour to analyse the course of the discussions and developments so as to provide those involved with a vital interpretation of events. The results of its work will be addressed confidentially to entities and institutions who would like to receive them. A brief analysis will be published regularly for a wider audience. The BrexLab is an initiative put forward by the Robert Schuman Foundation and two committees at the French Senate: the Committee for European Affairs and the Committee for Foreign Affairs, Defence and the Armed Forces.
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Foundation : Schuman Report on Europe
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The "Schuman Report on Europe, the State of the Union 2017", the 11th edition has just been published and is available now in bookshops and on the Foundation's site. Order it so that you can understand all present and future European issues... Read more

European Council : Conclusions of the President of the European Council
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On 9th March the European Council published its conclusions (employment, growth, security, defence, migration) which were those of the President and not the Council since they were not accepted by Poland which in this way wanted to express its discontent with the re-election of Donald Tusk... Read more
Re-election of Donald Tusk as the head of the European Council
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On 9th March the heads of State and government re-elected Donald Tusk as President of the European Council for a second mandate of two and a half years until 30th November 2019... Read more

Commission : Fines of 155 million € for trade cartels
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On 8th March the European Commission set fines to a total of 155 million € on six car air conditioning and engine cooling suppliers € 155 million in cartel settlement in the European Economic Area... Read more

Council : CAP post-2020
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On 6th March 28 the Agricultural Ministers indicated that they wanted to reform the CAP after 2020 in response to environmental challenges, to ensure generational renewal and to guarantee a place for farmers in the food supply chain... Read more
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Tripartite social summit on growth, employment and fairness
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On 8th March participants in the social summit recalled the role played by the single market and free-trade in the prosperity of the European economy. Social partners have asked the European Union for more investment... Read more
Adaptation of the financial framework to new priorities
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On 7th March the European Affairs Ministers debated the fight to counter terrorism, the reform of the Schengen Code and of the adaptation of the multi-annual financial framework for 2014-2020 to new priorities... Read more
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Extension of restrictive measures
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On 13th March 2017 the Council extended for a further six month period, i.e. until 15th September 2017 the restrictive measures linked to actions that compromise or threaten the territorial, sovereignty and the independence of Ukraine. These measures comprise a freezing of assets and a ban on entering the EU... Read more
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EU-Algeria Partnership
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The EU and Algeria adopted their joint partnership priorities during an Association Council on 13th March 2017. The partnership priorities establish a renewed enhanced political cooperation framework. The European Commission also presented its annual report on the State of Relations between the EU-Algeria... Read more
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Court of Justice : VAT rate on books, periodicals and digital newspapers
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According to a decision by the European Union's Court of Justice on 7th March the exclusion of digital books, newspapers and periodicals from the application of a reduced rate of VAT where they are supplied electronically is not contrary to the principle of equal treatment... Read more
Confirmation of fines against Samsung
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In a decision on 9th March, the Court upheld the fines imposed on Samsung SDI and Samsung SDI (Malaysia) for their participation in the cartel on the market for tubes for television sets and for computer monitors between 1996/1997 and 2006... Read more

ECB : The ECB Council of Governors
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On 9th March the ECB Council of Governors did not change its interest rates and revised its forecasts of GDP growth for the euro area for 2017 and 2018 upwards. Geopolitical risks have grown in the world, warned Mario Draghi who spoke in support of the euro, a source of "solidarity" ahead of several elections in Europe... Read more
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European Agencies : Successful launch of the VEGA rocket
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The rocket VEGA that is to place the Sentinel-2B satellite in orbit for the European Earth Observation programme Copernicus successfully lifted off from Kourou on 6th March... Read more
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Crime in the digital era
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Whilst 5,000 organised criminal gangs have been detected in Europe, it is vital for European police forces control digital technologies to arrest criminals who are using these means warned Europol on 9th March... Read more
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Germany : Angela Merkel defends an open, strong Europe
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In her declaration on 9th March German Chancellor Angela Merkel defended the interests of the European Union. She highlighted the positive effects of recent economic growth, the importance of solidarity in the immigration crisis and the defence of European security. She warned Turkey of any types of excess... Read more
German Trade Surplus
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Germany's trade surplus rose slightly in January 2017 to reach 18.5 billion € according to provisional data published on 10th March by the Federal Statistics Office, Destatis... Read more

Estonia : Parliament's support to priorities of the Estonian Presidency of the European Council
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The programme defined by the Estonian government for the Presidency of the European Council in the second half of 2017 has won the support of the Parliament's European Affairs Committee... Read more
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France : Opel/Vauxhall joins the PSA Group
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On 6th March the car manufacturer PSA announced the purchase of the European car branch of General Motors, Opel for a total of 2.2 billion €... Read more

Greece : Greece - hopes for growth revised downwards
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The supposed return to growth by Greece in 2016 was broken on 5th March by revised data from the Greek statistics office... Read more

Hungary : Hungary takes position over Brexit
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On 7th March the Hungarian Foreign Affairs Minister Péter Szijjártó spoke for the first time on a "fair agreement" between the EU and the UK... Read more

The Netherlands : Most recent polls ahead of the general elections of 15th March
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The most recent polls on 12th March for the elections on 15th March in the Netherlands show that the People's Liberal and Democratic Party (VVD) led by Prime Minister Mark Rutte is slightly ahead of Geert Wilders Freedom Party (PVV) by some 3%... Read more

UK : New outlook for the British budget
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The British authorities revised their growth forecast to 2% in 2017 which did not prevent the government presenting a frugal budget to parliament on 8th March ahead of the upheaval expected with Brexit... Read more
Reform of English law post-Brexit
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A report by the House of Lords Constitutional Committee has attracted the government's attention to the legislative modifications that will be necessary post-Brexit so that the exit of European law and the replacement of European regulations by British laws can be organised... Read more
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The House of Lords amends the draft bill on Brexit again
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On 7th March the House of Lords adopted an amendment regarding the obligation to have Parliament approve the UK's exit of the EU 366 votes against 268. MPs had a right to veto over the final decision. The text is to be examined again in the House of Commons on 13th March... Read more
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Migration : The Council of Europe issues a warning about the protection of child refugees
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On 6th March the Council of Europe presented a report devoted to the protection of refugee children against exploitation and sexual abuse. In 2015 337,000 children were registered as asylum seekers, of whom 88,300 were unaccompanied and 60% of these unaccompanied children have disappeared... Read more
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The Hungarian Parliament voted in support of the detention of migrants
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On 7th March the Hungarian Parliament adopted a law that is contrary to EU law providing for the systematic detention of all migrants who enter the country. Migrants will be placed in "transit zones" where they will be held whilst waiting for a final decision regarding their asylum request... Read more
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Poland finally signs the agreement for the HQ of Frontex
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The European Agency Frontex will build its own HQ in Warsaw on land made available to it according to an agreement signed on 9th March with the Poland government. Established in Warsaw since 2005 Frontex had to rent its premises to date... Read more
The International Organisation for Migration needs 25 million $ for the Ukraine
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The International Organisation for Migration needs 25 million $ to finance its aid projects for 180,000 who are in a humanitarian crisis in the east of Ukraine... Read more

Council of Europe : The Venice Committee issues a warning to the Turkish regime
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On 10th March the Venice Committee adopted an opinion whereby the proposals to revise the Turkish Constitution would comprise a "dangerous regression" for democracy... Read more

UN : Ukraine lodges a complaint against Russia before the International Court of Justice
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From 6th to 9th March the International Court of Justice looked into the complaint lodged by Ukraine against Russia due to its support of separatist groups in the East of Ukraine. Ukraine hopes that the Court will acknowledge the fact that Russia is infringing international law and its commitments... Read more

OECD : OECD Interim Economic Outlook
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On 7th March the OECD presented its short-term outlook for the world economy whereby world growth will lie at 3.3% in 2017, against 3% in 2016, and 3.6% in 2018... Read more

Eurostat : GDP increase
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According to a study by Eurostat on 7th March GDP increased by 0.5% in the EU and by 0.4% in the euro area in the 4th quarter of 2016... Read more
Significant gaps between men and women
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According to a Eurostat study on 6th March women only represent 35% of European managers and they earn 23% less than their male counterparts... Read more

Studies/Reports : World Bank report on Digital Europe
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A report by the World Bank on 7th March on Digital Europe insists on the work to be made by Europe to put the digital economy into value... Read more
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Report on male/female equality in Europe
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On the occasion of the international day of Women's Rights, the Commission published a report on equality between men and women on 8th March... Read more
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Culture : Aberdeen Jazz Festival
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From 15th to 19th March the town of Aberdeen in Scotland is organising a jazz festival that brings together around one hundred European and international artists, during indoor and external concerts... Read more
The Mediterranean in clair-obscur in the Borghese Gallery
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Until 21st May the Barberini Palazzo, together with the MUZA (Mużew Nazzjonali tal-Arti)of La Valette and the National Galleries of Ancient Art is hosting the works of Ribera, Stomer and Mattia Preti, in an exhibition called "The Mediterranean in clair-obscur, Ribera, Stomer and Mattia Preti from Malta to Rome.".. Read more
Saint Patrick Festival
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From 16th to 19th March the Saint Patrick festivities are taking place in Ireland and the UK. This festival is celebrated in honour of Saint Patrick, a missionary who converted Ireland to Christianity. Tradition has it that people dress in green, the colour of clover and the symbol of Ireland... Read more
Rik Wouters Exhibition in the royal fine arts museums of Belgium
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Until 2nd July the royal fine arts museums of Belgium are organising a retrospective devoted to Rik Wouters. A prominent figure of fauvism Rik Wouters left brilliant, colourful artwork behind. His extraordinary career made him the inevitable Master of Modern Art in Belgium... Read more
Exhibition "21 rue La Boétie" at the Maillol Museum
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Since 2nd March the exhibition "21 rue La Boétie" reviews the career of the major art trader Paul Rosenberg. Around 60 works of modern art - (Picasso, Léger, Braque, Matisse, Laurencin) are on show. Many works are directly linked to the trader, whilst others refer to the historic and artistic context of the period... Read more

13Mar
13th to 16th March

Strasbourg

Plenary Session at the European Parliament

15Mar
15th March

The Netherlands

General Elections

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Records of the Letter
année 2017
The Letter n°757
1st round/France, Poll, IMF Outlook, Surplus/Greece
published on 24/04/2017
The Letter n°756
Election/France, Budget/France/Italy, G7/Diplomacy, Referendum/Turkey
published on 18/04/2017
The Letter n°755
France/EU, Syria, Roaming, EU/Switzerland
published on 10/04/2017
The Letter n°754
Editorial, Book/Europe/France, Article 50, Note/50€, G7/Culture, Migration
published on 03/04/2017
The Letter n°753
Schuman Report, 60 years/Rome Treaties, Elections/Bulgaria, Elections/France, EU/Japan
published on 27/03/2017
The Letter n°752
Elections/Netherlands, Brexit, G20/Finance, Merkel/Trump;Merkel/Abe, President/Germany
published on 20/03/2017
The Letter n°751
Schuman Report on Europe, European Council, ECB/Governors, Tripartite Social Summit
published on 13/03/2017
The Letter n°750
Future/EU, Northern/Ireland, Defence, Digital
published on 06/03/2017
The Letter n°749
Elections/Bulgaria, European Semester, Planets/Trappist 1, Rule of Law/Poland, Trade Facility/WTO
published on 27/02/2017
The Letter n°748
General Election/Netherlands, EU/Canada, Security, NATO, G20/Diplomacy, Romania/Referendum
published on 20/02/2017
The Letter n°747
Germany/President, Agreement/roaming, Article 50/Vote
published on 13/02/2017
The Letter n°746
Romania, Declaration/Malta, Roaming, UK/White Paper, Energy, Transport
published on 06/02/2017
The Letter n°745
Schuman/Albania, Bulgaria, Court/Brexit, Committees/EP, Migration/Mediterranean, Law/Italy
published on 30/01/2017
The Letter n°744
Editorial, President/Germany, May/Speech, Budget/EU, Tajani/Parliament, ECB
published on 23/01/2017
The Letter n°743
Cyprus/Reunification?, Malta/EU Presidency, Resignation/Northern Ireland, Government/Iceland, Budget/EU
published on 16/01/2017
The Letter n°742
Editorial, Hearing/Schengen, Romania/Government, Erasmus, Orion
published on 09/01/2017