The Letter n°769

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The Letter n°769
The Letter
Tuesday 18th July 2017
issue 769
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Post-Cotonou, the modernisation of the ACP partnership
Authors : Charles de Marcilly, Laurent Boulay
Charles de Marcilly, Laurent Boulay
Relations between the European Union and its 28 Member States and 79 States including 48 from Africa, 16 the Caribbean and 15 the Pacific (ACP) will be celebrating their 45th anniversary in 2020. That year will also mark the expiry date of the Cotonou Agreement, signed on 23rd June 2000, the cornerstone of cooperation and dialogue regarding politics, the economy, trade and development aid. Discussions have been launched to identify the content and the shape of future relations. The formal launch of discussions with the ACP States is to take place before August 2018. This paper aims to provide food for thought regarding the future of this unique forum in terms of representation and partnership which covers 700 million citizens.
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Foundation : Read the Schuman Report on Europe, State of the Union 2017
The "Schuman Report on the State of the Union 2017" published by Lignes de Repères, in both French and English offers readers a number of captivating articles on European current affairs. Order your copy on line now from a bookshop or from the Foundation's site... Read more
"Pour quelques étoiles de plus... Quelle politique européenne pour la France ?"
The Foundation's Chairman, Jean-Dominique Giuliani has published "Pour quelques étoiles de plus... Quelle politique européenne pour la France ?" An enlightening read at a time when French President Emmanuel Macron has recalled his attachment to Europe. Order your copy now!.. Read more

Commission : Financing of Terrorism: the EU addresses the trafficking of art
On 13th July the European Commission launched an offensive against the trafficking of pieces of art aiming to halt one of the sources of the financing of "terrorist groups" like Islamic State... Read more
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Launch of sanctions procedures against Hungary
On 13th July the European Commission decided to launch a sanction procedure against Hungary regarding the law regarding NGO's benefiting from foreign capital. The first Vice-President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans declared that this law was not "in compliance with EU law" in view of the rules governing the freedom of association and the protection of private life... Read more
Jobs and internships as part of the European Solidarity Corps
Six months after the launch European Solidarity Corps by the European Commission and since the start of the selection for participation in volunteer projects in March 2017, the greenlight for thousands of placements was given on 10th July... Read more

Council : Position on the 2018 Budget
On 12th July the Council adopted its position over the draft 2018 budget before negotiations with the European Parliament as of October for a total 158.9 billion € in commitments and 144.4 billion € in credit payments up by 0.6% and 7.4% respectively in comparison with the 2017 budget... Read more
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Conclusions of the "Economy and Finance" Council
The 28 Finance Ministers adopted conclusions regarding the mid-term assessment of the action plan regarding the capital markets union; they examined a report on the non-performing loans in the banking sector and adopted country per country recommendations on the Member States' economic, budgetary and employment policies, thereby concluding the European Semester 2017... Read more
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Conclusion of the "Agriculture Fisheries" Council
On 17th July the "Agriculture and Fisheries" Council delivered its conclusions on the future simplification of the CAP as well as the monitoring of the market situation of ongoing trade negotiations... Read more
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Conclusion of the "EU-Uzbekistan" Council
On 17th July the Cooperation Council between the EU and the Republic of Uzbekistan assessed the positive developments in bilateral relations including political, judicial and legal reforms, the rule of law, trade, investments, energy relations and international issues... Read more

Diplomacy : Meeting of Foreign Ministers
On 17th July the 28 Foreign Affairs Ministers added sixteen names to the list of people targeted by sanctions set against the Syrian regime due to their role in the development and use of chemical weapons against the civilian population. They also discussed the situation in North Korea and in Pakistan... .. Read more
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EU-Ukraine Summit
On 12th and 13th July during a summit in Kyiv European leaders called on the Ukrainian authorities to step up their fight to counter corruption, two days after the ratification of an association agreement with Ukraine... Read more
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The European Union deems cooperation with Russia "vital"
The EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini met with her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on 11th July. During a press conference she recalled that it was "vital to maintain dialogue and cooperate in all areas where possible" with Russia... Read more
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Alliance for Sahel
On 13th July on the sidelines of the Franco-German Ministers' Meeting, France and Germany, along with the High Representative Federica Mogherini launched a joint initiative "Alliance for Sahel". The aim is to launch a platform for the Sahel with Europe and the main international partners... Read more
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12th Association Council session with Jordan
On 10th July the 12th Association Council with Jordan notably focused on the fight to counter terrorism and climate change... Read more
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Germany : Germany toughens the rules governing foreign investments
The German government adopted a decision on 12th July toughening the rules governing foreign investments in businesses that are deemed strategic to a backdrop of concern in Europe in the face of China's appetite for this type of investment. "We are one of the most open economies in the world, but we should also ensure that competition conditions remain fair," declared the German Economy Minister... Read more
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Angela Merkel's Summer Interview
On 16th July German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave her traditional summer interview on the state TV channel ARD just two months before the German general election... Read more

Spain : King of Spain visits the UK
King Felipe VI of Spain delivered a speech on 12th July to the British parliament during a State visit to the UK. He called on the UK and Spain to enter into dialogue over Gibraltar in order to come to a status that was "acceptable to everyone" and an agreement over the Brexit that would guarantee certainty to Spanish citizens living in the UK... Read more
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France : "Europe is an absolute necessity"
On the occasion of an interview granted by the French head of State on 13th July Emmanuel Macron deems that in the present international context marked by the emergence of new world powers and the isolationist withdrawal of the USA, "Europe is an absolute necessity.".. Read more
Joint Declaration by Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump
On 13th July on the eve of the National Day to which the American President was invited, the French and American Presidents gave a press conference in which they recalled the historic link which united to two countries, the desire to draft a political roadmap for Syria, Libya and Sahel, as well as their disagreement over the Paris Agreement... Read more
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Franco-German Council of Ministers
On 13th July Emmanuel Macron hosted Angela Merkel at the Elysée on the occasion of the 19th Franco-German Council of Ministers. They decided to focus on European defence cooperation... Read more

Greece : The end of the excessive deficit procedure
On 12th July the European Commission indicated that it was "recommending the end of the excessive deficit procedure" opened in 2009 against Greece, thereby rewarding the country's efforts toward repair its economy... Read more
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Jean-Claude Juncker visits Greece
On 13th July the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker travelled to Thessaloniki where he paid tribute to the Greeks and their massive effort made by them to improve their economic situation. The Commission recommended the closure of the excessive deficit procedure initiated in 2009. The Greek government announced a budgetary surplus of 1.93 billion € in the first half of 2017... Read more
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Loan agreement to improve broadband networks in Greece
On 11th July the European Fund for Strategic Investments supported the loan agreement offered by the European Investment Bank to Greece totalling 150 million € in view of improving the broadband mobile network... Read more

Italy : Western Balkans Summit in Trieste
The city of Trieste is hosting a summit on the Western Balkans on 12th July between the six facilitating countries (Germany, Austria, Croatia, France, UK and Slovenia) and the six candidate countries (Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Macedonia) the instability of which is of concern to European leaders... Read more
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UK : Publication of a draft law to end the supremacy of European law
The British government presented a draft law to end the primacy of European law on 13th July. Baptised "European Union (Withdrawal) Bill" this text of over 60 pages aims to repeal the "European Communities Act" of 1972 which absorbed the community treaties into British national law... Read more
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The Brexit Bill
On 13th July the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) responsible for monitoring the Uk's account deemed that the Brexit bill, which has become a bone of contention for London and Brussels would not have any significant impact on public financing. On 12th July Michel Barnier, Europe's negotiator for Brexit recalled the British that the bill for Brexit could not be dealt with separately in the negotiations as a whole... Read more
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Launch of second round of Brexit negotiations
On 17th July the EU and the UK started the second round of negotiations over Brexit to decide the conditions of the UK's exit. Work groups will meet on Monday to Thursdays. On Thursday 21st July a plenary session and a conference will take place... Read more

Bosnia-Herzegovina : 2nd Association and Stabilisation Council
On 10th July the Stabilisation and Association Council between Bosnia-Herzegovina and the EU noted the progress made by Bosnia-Herzegovina in terms of the EU integration process... Read more

Switzerland : France and Switzerland renew their tax cooperation
On 12th July after several months of discussions over the implementation of the tax convention between the two countries, the French and Swiss administrations announced that they had come to agreement over the exchange of tax information... Read more
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Migration : Pope Francis supports a federal Europe
On 8th July in an interview given to the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, Pope Francis declared that Europe should become a "federal community or it would not have influence in the world". He also repeated that it was necessary to face the migratory crisis together... Read more
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Council of Europe : Slovenia should continue work to protect vulnerable people
The Commissioner for Human Rights at the Council of Europe has delivered his report on the Slovenian institutions. He encourages the authorities to make the necessary structural adjustments so that the country can address an increasing number of asylum requests... Read more
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Public declaration by the committee for the prevention of torture regarding Belgium
The European Committee for the prevention of torture published a public declaration regarding Belgium on 13th July. It shows the continued inability of the Belgian authorities to establish a minimum service to guarantee the respect of the rights of inmates during periods of industrial action by prison staff... Read more
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ECHR : The ECHR deems it necessary to ban the full veil in a democratic society
The ban on wearing the full veil in public places is a "necessary measure" in a democratic society to "guarantee conditions of living together in society" said the European Court of Human Rights on 11th July... Read more

NATO : Partnership between Ukraine and NATO
Ukraine wants to start discussions with NATO regarding an action plan that will allow it to join the organisation announced Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on 10th July during a meeting with NATO's Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. They also discussed cybersecurity... Read more
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NATO-Russia Summit
On 13th July a 5th NATO-Russia Council took place during which time issues pertaining to Ukraine, Afghanistan, transparency and the reduction of risks in general were addressed... Read more

Studies/Reports : Reports on the 2016 European Budget
On 11th July the European Commission published three reports on the execution of the 2016 budget which highlights that political priorities have been completed... Read more
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The future of finance in the European Union
An independent panel of expert responsible for the cohesion policy presented its final report on 11th July regarding a simplified framework for the management of European funds post 2020... Read more
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Review of the respect of international trade rules
On 11th July the Commission delivered its report on the initial review of the scope of the enforcement regulation in terms of the respect of international trade laws... Read more

Eurostat : 511.8 million inhabitants in the EU on 1st January 2017
The EU's statistics office Eurostat published a press release on 10th July indicating that on 1st January 2017 the EU's population lay at 511.8 million residents, in comparison a previous 510.3 million a year ago... Read more
International goods trade surplus
According to a study published on 14th July by Eurostat the international goods trade surplus of the euro zone totalled 21.4 billion € and that of the EU, 4 billion... Read more
Annual inflation rate down
Inflation slowed in June to lie at 1.4% in the EU and at 1.3% in the euro zone said Eurostat on 17th July... Read more

Culture : Classic Open Air in Berlin
The Classic Open Air Festival is taking place from 20th to 24th July in Berlin with six exceptional concerts for this 25th edition... Read more
Malta Jazz Festival
The International Jazz and Groove Festival is taking place in Valletta from 20th to 22nd July and is hosting some legendary stars for three consecutive nights... Read more
International Music Festival Liverpool
From 20th to 23rd July Liverpool is hosting the biggest free music festival in Europe with an expected 350,000 visitors and 150 concerts (pop, rock, country, reggae, jazz, soul, folk ...)... Read more
Salzburg Festival
From 21st July to 30th August the city of Salzburg is hosting its classical baroque music festival. Concerts, ballets and operas are on the agenda played by the biggest international orchestras. The concerts take place in palaces, the Mozarteum and the Landestheater... Read more
Jazz Festival Marciac
Jazz in Marciac, the jazz festival launched in 1978 is taking place from 28th July to 5th August in Marciac, France. The festival attracts around 200,000 visitors yearly and many musicians of international renown... Read more
Sziget Festival in Budapest
The Sziget, the biggest music festival in Europe will be taking place in Budapest from 9th to 16th August. The 25th edition will be taking place under the banner of "brotherhood" and the meeting of cultures of Europe offering an impressive line-up with more than a thousand events... Read more
International Culture Festival "Pirineos Sur"
Until 30th July the towns of Lanuza and Sallent de Gallego in Spain are hosting their world music festival "Pirineos Sur"... Read more
International Piano Festival at Roque-d'Anthéron
From 21st July to 19th August the town of Roque-d'Anthéron (Bouches-du-Rhône) is hosting its international piano festival. On the programme of this 37th year are recitals, concertos and symphonies, classical and contemporary music, performed by young musicians and major international masters... Read more
Bayreuth Festival
The Bayreuth Opera Festival devoted to Richard Wagner's works is taking place at the Festspielhaus in Bayreuth, Bavaria from 25th July to 28th August... Read more

17th July


Foreign Affairs Council

17th and 18th July


Agriculture and Fisheries Council

18th July


EU-Lebanon Association Council


EU-Macedonia Association Council

20th July


ECB Council of Governors

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