The Letter n°768

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The Letter n°768
The Letter
Tuesday 11th July 2017
issue 768
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Coalition democracy in Europe
Author : Alexis Fourmont
Alexis Fourmont
On the continent the formation of a coalition often precedes that of the government. In this regard electoral systems are significant. This paper analyses the various coalition systems within the European Union's Member States.
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Foundation : European Defence is now finally possible
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Jean-Dominique Giuliani, the Foundation's Chairman, published an article in Le Figaro on 10th July on European Defence following the decision taken by the European heads of State and government on 23rd June to step up defence cooperation and to adopt the European Commission's proposals to help finance military equipment... Read more
"Pour quelques étoiles de plus... Quelle politique européenne pour la France ?"
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The Chairman of the Foundation, Jean-Dominique Giuliani, has published "Pour quelques étoiles de plus... Quelle politique européenne pour la France ?" This is an enlightening read at a time when French President Emmanuel Macron has recalled his deep commitment to Europe... Read more
Schuman Report on Europe, State of the Union 2017
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The "Schuman Report on the Europe, State of the Union, 2017" published by Lignes de Repères in both French and English offers many interesting articles regarding current affairs in Europe. Order your copy online now!.. Read more

Migration : The 28 Home Affairs Ministers commit to helping Italy
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The Home Affairs Ministers who met in Tallinn committed on 6th July to "taking urgent steps" to assist Italy which is overwhelmed by the constant arrivals of migrants on its shores. This situation is "a source of great concern for all Member States," declared Estonia in a press release... Read more
More than 100,000 migrants have crossed the Mediterranean since January
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More than 100,000 migrants and refugees have arrived since January in Europe crossing the Mediterranean announced the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) on 4th July. 2,247 have drowned or been reported missing. Around 85,000 went to Italy, 9,300 to Greece and 6,500 to Spain. Italy is threatening to close its ports to boats rescuing migrants if there is no balanced, strong support in terms of responsibility between the countries of Europe... Read more
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Rise in refugee and migrant flows crossing from Libya
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According to an UNHCR study on 3rd July, Libya is by far the most privileged crossing point for refugees and migrants hoping to join Europe, and this in spite of the insecurity that reigns there. Italy alone cannot continue to absorb tens of thousands of migrants who are arriving on its shores, warns the UN which is demanding the introduction of a system to share out the burden... Read more
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Migratory "action plan" to help Italy
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On 4th July the European Commission put forward an "action plan" in support of Italy which is overwhelmed by the constant arrivals of migrants on its shores as they cross over from Libya. The plan notably provides for further funding to help the Italian and Libyan authorities control the situation... Read more
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Commission : Three companies suspected of infringing merger procedure rules
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On 6th July via the intermediary of its Competition Commissioner Margreth Vestager the European Commission accused the German group, Merck, American General Electric and the Japanese giant Canon of having infringed Europe's rules in terms of merger procedures... Read more
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for the Economy and Digital Society
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On 4th July MEPs approved the appointment of Mariya Gabriel 517 votes in support, 77 against and 89 abstentions as Commissioner for the Economy and Digital Society. A hearing was organised on 20th June last... Read more
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Council : Eurogroup Meeting
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On 10th July the members of the Eurogroup met to discuss the deepening of Economic and Monetary Union. They discussed insolvency, the Italian banking sector, the hierarchy of creditors in the euro zone, the protection of private investors, the correct assessment of assets and transparency. All of this progress is vital to complete banking union... Read more
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Parliament : Resolution on the budget 2018
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On 5th July MEPs adopted a resolution on the EU's 2018 budget including principles to follow during the budgetary negotiations with the Council. The resolution was adopted 445 votes in support, 144 against and 80 abstentions... Read more
Greater tax transparency for multinationals
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On 4th July MEPs adopted the draft directive obliging businesses whose turnover is above 750 million € to publish yearly "country by country" tax and accounting data of their business... Read more
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European Parliament's greenlight to the first EU-Cuba cooperation agreement
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MEPs gave their greenlight 567 votes in support, 65 against and 31 abstentions on 5th July to the entry into force of the very first "political and cooperation dialogue" agreement between the EU and Cuba... Read more
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New committee on the fight to counter terrorism
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On 6th July MEPs approved (527 votes in support, 73 against and 36 abstentions) the establishment of a new special committee for a duration of 12 months in order to remedy the practical and legislative shortfalls in the fight to counter terrorism.. Read more

Diplomacy : EU/Japan Summit: Economic and Strategic Partnership Agreements
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On 6th July the European and Japanese leaders concluded a political agreement in principle in two areas: the economic partnership agreement and the strategic partnership agreement... Read more
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G20 Summit Hamburg
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On 7th and 8th July the leaders of the G20 met in Hamburg. A final declaration was adopted as well as an action plan to counter terrorism... Read more
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Court of Justice : Legal age limit for airline pilots
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According to a decision delivered by the European Court of Justice on 5th July the age limit of 65 years laid down in EU law for pilots of commercial aircraft transporting passengers, cargo or mail is valid. It is justified by the goal of ensuring civil aviation safety in Europe... Read more
Illegal State aid received from France by SNCM
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According to a decision delivered by the EU's General Court, the provision of capital and privatisation measures adopted by France in support of the Société Nationale Corse-Méditerranée (SNCM) constitute illegal State aid that is incompatible with the internal market... Read more

European Agencies : Spaceship for the first European mission to Mercury unveiled
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On 6th July the European and Japanese Space Agencies (ESA & JAXA) unveiled their spaceship that is due to start a 7 year trip next year to Mercury. The first European mission of its kind comprises the BepiColombo ship that is equipped with two modules that will separate to orbit around the smallest and least explored planet in our solar system... Read more
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Airbus: record sale of 140 planes to China
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The Chairman of Airbus announced during a press conference on 5th July in Berlin that the European plane manufacturer had signed a "framework agreement" with a Chinese company "CAS" (China Aviation Supplies Holding Company) for the sale of 140 planes to a total value of 22.8 billion $... Read more
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122 tons of illegal or counterfeit pesticides seized by the European customs services
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On 6th July the European customs services seized 122 tonnes of illegal pesticides as they searched ships and airplanes entering Europe during a vast operation called "Silver Axe II" over 10 days, undertaken in 16 European countries. In this operation the customs services, Europol officers and the European anti-fraud office, OLAF worked together... Read more
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Germany : The Sumitomo Mitsui Bank sets up in Frankfurt in view of Brexit
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The third Japanese bank Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group announced on 3rd July the creation of a branch in Frankfurt in preparation for the UK's exit of the EU in 2019... Read more
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CDU-CSU electoral programme - Germany
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On 3rd July the CDU and the CSU published their electoral programme 2017-2021, committing themselves to full employment by 2025, to an increase of 15,000 work posts in the police force and the launch of a "Marshall plan for Africa". They say they are prepared to work with the French government to strengthen the euro zone progressively but are against the pooling of the debt... Read more
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Visit by the Chinese President Xi Jinping in Germany
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On 5th July Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He declared that "Sino-German relations are now about to experience a new start which has to succeed.".. Read more

Spain : Catalonia unveils its "self-rule referendum bill"
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On 4th July the Catalan government unveiled the proposal for a "referendum bill" which will be submitted to the regional Parliament for a vote within the next few weeks - the Spanish State is still refusing to acknowledge this vote... Read more
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France : Emmanuel Macron's speech to Congress
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On 3rd July French President Emmanuel Macron spoke to MPs and Senators in Versailles. He announced several measures and also repeated that "more than ever before we need Europe.".. Read more
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Union's greenlight to PSA's acquisition of Opel
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On 5th July the European Commission gave the unconditional acquisition of car manufacturer Opel by French company PSA for 1.3 billion €. The European executive, the guardian of competition concluded that the "operation would not cause competition distortion on the markets in question.".. Read more
Vote of confidence in support of the French government
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After making his general policy statement, French Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe won the confidence of the National Assembly on 4th July - 370 votes in support, 67 against and 129 abstentions... Read more
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Greece : The ESM approves a loan tranche of 8.5 billion € for Greece
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The European Stability Mechanism's board approved the third tranche of 8.5 billion € of financial assistance to Greece on 7th July... Read more

Poland : Donald Trump visits Poland
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On 6th July after meeting his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda, Donald Trump gave a speech before the monument erected in memory of the Warsaw uprising. For the first time he recalled his commitment to article 5 and promised to help Poland emerge from its energy dependency by increasing sales of American liquid gas... Read more
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Three seas summit
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On 6th July 12 countries of Central and Eastern Europe met in Warsaw for the Three Seas Summit (Baltic, Adriatic and Black Sea) that aimed to step up cooperation and regional infrastructures in the area of transport, telecommunications, energy and the environment... Read more

UK : Extension of negotiations to form a government in Northern Ireland
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On 3rd July James Brokenshire, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland declared that negotiations between the two sides to form a coalition government in Northern Ireland were to continue. The British government has three options: to extend discussions further, convene new elections or place the semi-autonomous region under London's direct control for the first time in ten years... Read more
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Bosnia-Herzegovina : Meeting on the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the Union
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The 2nd meeting of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the EU and Bosnia-Herzegovina took place on 10th July... Read more

Ukraine : International Conference on Ukraine
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On 6th July London organised an international conference on the reforms in Ukraine. Boris Johnson, the British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs welcomed the fact that Ukraine has undertaken more "reforms in three years than in the previous 20", declaring that "Ukraine was moving in the right direction." He said that the UK wanted to "establish in-depth political and economic cooperation" with the country... Read more
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OECD : Progress made towards a fairer tax system
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In the most recent report by the Secretary General of the OECD Angel Gurria delivered to the leaders of the G20 shows that countries have achieved and continue to achieve significant progress in terms of taxation thanks to greater cooperation. The report highlights the main progress achieved as being the main driver to do even more together... Read more
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Studies/Reports : Respect of Union law by the Member States
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The annual report on the audit of the application of EU law published on 6th July illustrates how the Commission monitored and audited the implementation of EU law in 2016. The online single market scoreboard shows that although most impediments to the free movement of people, services, goods and capital are in the process of being removed, the situation is stagnating in some areas... Read more
The role of research and innovation for the future of Europe
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On 3rd July the Commission received the report by the independent panel of high level experts led by Pascal Lamy regarding the new vision for European research and innovation. The report defends the introductions of 11 strong proposals so that Europe can cash in on the enormous potential offered by its research... Read more

Eurostat : 58.9 billion € surplus in the current operations account
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According to a Eurostat study dated 5th July the EU's current account of the balance of payments recorded a surplus of 58.9 billion € (1.6% of the GDP) in the first quarter of 2017 up in comparison with the surplus of 52.9 billion (1.4% of the GDP) in the fourth quarter of 2016 and that of 57.4 billion (1.5% of the GDP) in the first quarter of 2016... Read more
Spain, France and Italy, the Union's leading tourist destinations
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According to a Eurostat study published on 7th July in the EU tourism is above all an internal affair. Around 90% of the tourism nights in the Union are spent by Member State residents... Read more

Culture : Sanfermin Fiesta Pamplona
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The Sanfermin fiesta is taking place until 14th July. People from Navarre and elsewhere dressed in red and white circulate in the town the rhythm of folk music, jazz, txistu (Basque flute) fireworks, parades, popular dances and theatre shows... Read more
Summer Festival - Dubrovnik
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Until 25th August Dubrovnik is hosting the oldest and most famous Croatian festivals, that joined the European Festival Association in 1956. The festival hosts actors, dancers, musicians, composers and orchestras who perform in the town's historic buildings... Read more
Jarocin Festival
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From 14th to 16th July the town of Jarocin is hosting its rock and punk festival. Created in 1980 it was one of the biggest alternative festivals in the Warsaw Pact. After the collapse of the USSR it was no longer a militant festival but remained a reference in Eastern Europe with international stars taking part... Read more
Benicassim Festival
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The international Benicassim Festival is devoted to independent pop, rock and electronic music. Created in 1995, it takes place from 13th to 16th July... Read more
Francofolies at La Rochelle
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The Francofolies, the grand festival French "song" festival is taking place from 12th to 17th July in La Rochelle with concerts featuring Renaud, Christophe Maé, Julien Doré, Black M, DJ Snake, Vianney, -M-, Camille, Soprano, Kungs, MHD, Tryo, Gauvain Sers, Boulevard des airs, Michel Jonasz, Benjamin Biolay, Albin de la Simone, Juliette Armanet, Tété... Read more

10Jul
10th July

Brussels

Eurogroup Meeting

11Jul
11th July

Brussels

Economic and Financial Affairs Council

12Jul
12th and 13th July

Kyiv

EU-Ukraine Summit

13Jul
13th July

Paris

Franco-German Council of Ministers

17Jul
17th July

Brussels

Foreign Affairs Council

17Jul
17th and 18th July

Brussels

Agriculture and Fisheries Council

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The Letter n°769
EU-Ukraine, Franco-German, Budget, UK/Brexit, Festivals
published on 17/07/2017
The Letter n°768
Defence, EU-Japan, G20, Migration/Italy, ESA/Mercury, Airbus/China, ESM/Greece
published on 10/07/2017
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Google, Simone Veil, Helmut Kohl, EU Budget, Slovenia/Croatia
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Editorial, European Council, Negotiations/Brexit, Romania, Albania, Serbia
published on 26/06/2017
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Editorial, End of Roaming Fees, Helmut Kohl, Elections/France, Aid/Greece, Varadkar/Ireland
published on 19/06/2017
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Elections/UK, Defence, European Prosecutor's Office, ECB, Union/Capital
published on 12/06/2017
The Letter n°763
Elections/Malta, EU/China, Digital, Transport, EMU, Competitiveness
published on 05/06/2017
The Letter n°762
NATO/Summit, G7/Summit, Franco-German, USA/EU, Defence
published on 29/05/2017
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published on 15/05/2017
The Letter n°759
Editorial, 9th May, France/President, Government/Bulgaria, EU/ACP, House of History/EU
published on 09/05/2017
The Letter n°758
Editorial, European Council, ECB, Social Rights, G20/Women, Hungary/Infringement, Greece/Agreement
published on 02/05/2017
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
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France/EU, Syria, Roaming, EU/Switzerland
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Editorial, Book/Europe/France, Article 50, Note/50€, G7/Culture, Migration
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Schuman Report, 60 years/Rome Treaties, Elections/Bulgaria, Elections/France, EU/Japan
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Editorial, President/Germany, May/Speech, Budget/EU, Tajani/Parliament, ECB
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