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The French Presidency of the Council of the European Union

The French Presidency of the Council of the European Union

Since 1 January and until 30 June, France is holding the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union. This institutional role has an important political dimension, as the Union emerges from the economic crisis while facing the pandemic and many geopolitical challenges. The Foundation will follow and analyse this presidency, so that you can understand all the issues at stake.
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The Challenges of the French Presidency of the Council

On 1 January, France took over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for six months. The exercise, which mainly consists in leading the meetings of European ministers, is also an opportunity for the country temporarily in charge of it to convey its priorities and even a political vision for Europe. The French Presidency comes at a particular time for the Union, for France and for its President, Emmanuel Macron.
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Who will succeed Sergio Mattarella as President of the Italian Republic?

On 24 January, the procedure for the election of the President of the Italian Republic will begin. The mandate of the outgoing head of state, Sergio Mattarella, expires on 3 February. With two weeks to go before the election, the race is wide open. No single person has emerged as the frontrunner for the top job. Former Council President Silvio Berlusconi has made public his desire to become president, and current Council President Mario Draghi is the favourite candidate of many politicians, although his supporters would like him to stay in office until the next legislative elections scheduled for early 2023.
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Socialists remain favourites in Portugal's legislative elections but their lead in the polls is shrinking

Early parliamentary elections will be held in Portugal on 30 January, due to a crisis within the ruling coalition over the 2022 budget. With three weeks to go, Prime Minister Antonio Costa's Socialists remain in the lead in the polls, although their lead is narrowing as the weeks go by. They would get 38% of the vote, ahead of the centre-right Social Democratic Party, which would get 31%. Neither of the two main parties seems to be in a position to form a coalition that will ensure a stable majority.
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The Covid-19 pandemic, what lessons for the European Union?

In combating Covid-19, the European Union has been more effective rather than ineffective: the Europeans have given an in-depth boost to the European project, which has been buffeted successively for the past ten years by several crises. However, the response to the coronavirus has highlighted several structural fragilities that have appeared in Europe's recent history.
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Our publications in December 2021

The Foundation published the following studies in December:
- The Covid-19 pandemic, what lessons for the European Union? by Sylvain Kahn
- Europe-India: new strategic challenges by Karine Lisbonne-de Vergeron
- "The recovery plan must be used to make intelligent investments." Interview with Philippe Aghion and Céline Antonin
- The "Traffic Light" Coalition Contract explained by the Robert Schuman Foundation
- New Stars by Jean-Dominique Giuliani
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Facts and Figures on Europe

In order to make more information on Europe available, the Robert Schuman Foundation publishes summary sheets of all the 27 EU Member States and its neighbours and three tables on the position of women in governments, national parliaments and the European Parliament.
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Map of the European Recovery Plans

In order to respond to the economic and social consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, the European Union has set up a €672.5 billion recovery fund, known as the Recovery and Resilience Facility, to be used by member states in the form of grants and loans. The first plans were adopted in July. The Foundation provides you with an interactive map of the plans country by country, to find out more about the amounts, timetables and priorities.
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The New German Government

08/12/2020 Olaf Scholz became the ninth Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany on December 8, succeeding Angela Merkel who had been in power for 16 years. He leads a coalition between his party, the SPD, the Greens and the FDP, which will govern for the next four years on the basis of a contract presented on November 24.
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Health measures and travel conditions across Europe

11/01/2022 To follow the evolution of the situation, the Foundation offers you a complete map of the sanitary measures in place and the travel conditions across Europe. An essential resource that is regularly updated.
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Demonstrations in Belarus - Chronology of a revolution in progress

The EU has extended sanctions against Belarus with sectoral measures, in particular on trade and financial services. EU leaders called once again for an end to repression, the release of political prisoners and the organisation of free elections. To follow the crisis since the rigged presidential election of August 2020, the Foundation offers you a chronology of events and links to European responses and initiatives.
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The Schuman Report on Europe, State of the Union 2021

The 12th edition analyses the challenges facing Europe. With contributions from leading personalities and the best experts, original maps and annotated statistics, the Schuman Report on Europe, State of the Union 2021 offers a comprehensive view of the European Union. Available as e-book.
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Permanent Atlas of the European Union

30/04/2021 The Robert Schuman Foundation has published a new edition of its Permanent Atlas of the European Union. The third edition of this unique book provides a comprehensive and easily accessible overview of the Union, the euro area and each of the 27 Member States. It summarises historical milestones and political and statistical realities of the Union and offers more than 50 physical and geopolitical maps of Europe.
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The Big Shift

Contrary to popular discourse, Jean-Dominique Giuliani shows that the European Union has the means to address the new challenges of the 21st century. Europe has succeeded beyond the expectations of its founding fathers. It can still succeed in guaranteeing its place among the three greatest powers in the world by the end of the century.
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European news
  • Poland: new President of the Supreme Court
    Polish President Andrzej Duda appointed Judge Malgorzata Manowska to head the Supreme Court on 25 May. The appointment has been strongly criticised by legal experts and the opposition because Ms Manowska, a former deputy justice minister, is close to the ruling Law and Justice Party. Poland has already been threatened with sanctions by the European Union for its attempts by the government to take control of the Supreme Court.
  • European Economic Area Council meeting
    On 25 May, the members of the European Economic Area (EEA) Council discussed the functioning of the EEA and the consequences of Covid-19 for the internal market. They reiterated their commitment to continue the energy transition and the fight against pollution, as well as their desire to reduce social disparities and improve working conditions. They also exchanged views with Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier on the discussions between the Union and the United Kingdom.
  • Adoption of support measures for the air and rail sectors
    The Council definitively adopted on 25 March the support measures for the air and rail sectors proposed by the Commission on 29 April. These measures allow a temporary suspension of the air transport licensing system in the event of financial difficulties, make air traffic restrictions easier for Member States to implement and enable airports to extend unloading service contracts until 2022. With regard to rail, the Regulation extends the period of implementation of the 4th railway package.