The Newsletter79326 févr. 2018

La Lettre

26 February 2018

The Italians are being called to renew the members of both houses of parliament on 4th March. Marc Lazar, a university professor, recalls the situation in which this election is taking place, the themes that have forged the electoral campaign, the political forces standing and the possible alliances; he explains the main issues at stake in these elections. The essence of the question is to see what the turnout rate will be and whether voters will provide a clear majority to one of the camps.

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Front page!

The reunification of Europe under challenge?

26 February 2018

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Jean-Dominique Giuliani explores the impact of the attitude adopted by certain States in Central Europe which are increasingly focused on challenging the EU's foundations and its policies.

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European Council

Informal meeting of heads of State and government

26 February 2018

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27 heads of State and government of the EU met on 23rd February in Brussels. They discussed the institutional issues linked to the next European elections and the future multi-annual financial framework 2021-2027.

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Commission

Feminisation of lead positions still not at parity

25 February 2018

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On 21st February the European Commission made some appointments in the areas of climate action, research, education, youth and culture, social affairs and employment. These strengthen the share of women in posts of Director Generals and Deputy Director Generals from 11% in 2014 to 36%. This result is due to the commitment by President Juncker to achieve the 40% mark by 31st October 2019.

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Visit by Jean-Claude Juncker to Macedonia, Albania and Serbia

26 February 2018

The President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker travelled to Macedonia and Albania on 25th February and to Serbia on 26th to discuss the enlargement of the Union to the Balkans. He congratulated these three countries on the reforms they have made, notably in terms of corruption and encouraged them to continue their efforts.

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Parliament

Reform of the European budget must be in line with the Union's future ambitions

25 February 2018

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The Budget's Commission adopted two reports on 22nd February on the spending and revenues chapters of the next multi-annual financial framework (CFP), to be implemented as of 2021.

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New measures in support of Defence

26 February 2018

On 21st February the European Parliament's Industry, Research and Energy Committee -(ITRE)- adopted a new development programme for the defence industry in order to foster the Union's strategic autonomy.

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Proposals to reduce the sources of financing terrorism

25 February 2018

On 21st February MEPs published proposals that aim to cut the sources used to finance terrorism. In their opinion, the EU's Member States must exchange information more efficiently and follow up on suspicious transactions more closely. They want to counter incomes that are made via the illegal trade of merchandise, oil and drugs.

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Council

New guidelines for the 2019 budget

25 February 2018

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The 28 Ministers of the Economy and Finance met on 20th February to assess the recommendations on sustainable finance and to adopt the guidelines for the European budget for 2019, stressing that a transparent, efficient use of the budget will strengthen the EU's credibility in the eyes of its citizens.

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Belarus: extension of arms embargo

25 February 2018

On 22nd February the Council decided to extend restrictive measures against Belarus for one year, until 29th February 2019. These measures include an arms embargo, the ban on merchandise exports for internal repression and a freezing of assets as well as a travel ban. These decisions are linked to the unsolved disappearances of two opposition politicians, a businessman and a journalist between 1999 and 2000.

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Diplomacy

Strengthening of the joint G5 Sahel force

25 February 2018

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As they met in a donors' conference in Brussels with 32 heads of State and government, European leaders gave the greenlight on 23rd February to political and financial support to the military operation comprising five African countries to counter active Jihadist groups in the Sahel. The EU confirmed its decision to "double" its contribution to the joint military operation from 50 to 100 million €. In all international aid totals 414 million €.

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Call for cease-fire in East Ghouta

26 February 2018

On 23rd February, on behalf of the Union, the High Representative Federica Mogherini called for the immediate application of the cease-fire in East Ghouta in Syria given the extreme seriousness of the population's situation in the region.

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Conclusions of the meeting of Foreign Affairs Ministers

26 February 2018

The 28 Foreign Affairs Ministers met on 26th February an adopted conclusions on Moldova, Cambodia, Myanmar and the Maldives. They also tightened sanctions against North Korea and Syria. The High Representative for European diplomacy Federica Mogherini asked for the immediate implementation of a 30 cease-fire as demanded by the UN Security Council in Syria to enable the delivery of humanitarian aid and medical evacuations.

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Court of Justice

Decisions over deforestation and air pollution in Poland

26 February 2018

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On 20th February the Advocate General of the Union's Court of Justice gave his opinion regarding the use of the forestry site, Natura 2000 Puszcza Białowieska in Poland. He deemed it contrary to Community law. On 22nd the Court condemned Poland for having infringed European legislation on air quality "persistently" as it has regularly gone over the thresholds of fine air particles disseminated in the atmosphere.

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ECB

The ECB publishes its financial statements 2017

26 February 2018

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On 22nd February the European Central Bank published its financial statements for 2017. These show an net increase in profits of 82 million €, from 1 275 million €, mainly due to the rise in net interest rate incomes of the portfolio in dollars and the portfolio comprising the asset purchase programme.

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European Agencies

Frontex: risk analysis in 2018

25 February 2018

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According to the annual report by the agency Frontex in 2018, published on 20th February, the number of migrants having entered Europe illegally via the three main maritime migratory routes dropped in 2017 by 60% in comparison with the previous year, with the almost total closure of the Western Balkan route and a net decrease in migratory flows in the Central and Eastern Mediterranean.

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Germany

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, Secretary General of the CDU

26 February 2018

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On 19th February German Chancellor A. Merkel introduced the new CDU Secretary General Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, leader of the Land of Sarre. The appointment is due to be approved on 26th February during the 30th congress in Berlin, which is also due to approve the coalition contract with the Social Democrats.

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Bulgaria

IMF Report - work to be done

25 February 2018

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"Bulgaria must do more to increase its citizens incomes." This is the conclusion made by the IMF on 22nd February. The demographic situation in Bulgaria masks major risks for the tax system long term. Incomes there are 50% of the European average say experts. The IMF recommends investments in public healthcare and national education, stressing that often the working population's know-how does not match the requirements of the labour market.

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Resignation of the Energy Minister

26 February 2018

The Bulgarian Energy Minister Temenoujka Petkova announced on 23rd February that she was resigning due to a suspicion of corruption linked to the sale of a business in the energy sector, whilst in Bulgaria, which holds the present six-monthly presidency of the Council, is in Brussels' sights in this area.

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Estonia

100 years of the Republic of Estonia

26 February 2018

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On 24th February Estonia celebrated its 100th anniversary as a Republic. On this occasion the President of the Republic Kersti Kaljulaid delivered a speech celebrating the deep transformations that have occurred in her country over the last century. As of 25th February many festivities have been taking place in the capital Tallinn and across the rest of the country.

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France

European elections: return to a national list

25 February 2018

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The French National Assembly voted on 20th February on first reading the draft bill providing notably for a return to a single, national constituency for the European elections in order to raise the French electorate's interest in the 2019 elections. The text was approved 376 votes in support, 155 against and 14 abstentions. The text is now to be examined by the Senate.

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Draft bill on asylum and immigration

25 February 2018

The French Minister for the Interior Gérard Collomb put forward a draft bill on 21st February on asylum and immigration. His three goals are to "reduce the time taken to process asylum requests", "to strengthen the fight to counter illegal immigration" and to "improve the reception of foreigners who are accepted on the basis of their skills and competences".

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The Netherlands

Angela Merkel hosts Dutch Prime Minister

25 February 2018

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Chancellor Angela Merkel hosted her Dutch counterpart, Mark Rutte on 19th February. They spoke of the future of Europe, the European elections in 2019 and the post-2020 European budget.

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Dutch MPs recognise the Armenian genocide

25 February 2018

On 22nd February Dutch MPs voted overwhelmingly in support of a motion that Parliament speak "in clear terms of the Armenian genocide" (142 votes against 3).

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Portugal

Positive IMF report

25 February 2018

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On February 21st 2018, the IMF concluded the Sixth Post-Program Monitoring of Portugal. The latter is positive: the Portuguese economy has consolidated and the country has improved its access to the financial markets. However some consequences of the crisis remain leaving the country vulnerable to unpredictable increases in interest rates.

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Romania

Prime Minister's visit to Brussels

25 February 2018

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Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă travelled on 20th and 21st February to Brussels to meet several high level European leaders. This visit came whilst the draft reform of the legal system, that is highly criticised on the part of Brussels is under discussion in the Romanian parliament.

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UK

New anti-Brexit party

26 February 2018

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A new political party, centrist and anti-Brexit, "Renew" was launched on 19th February in the UK. It aims to overthrow Brexit and revive the political centre in Britain by surfing on a public opinion that is said to be more in favour to the upkeep of EU membership.

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New British positions on the transition period

25 February 2018

On 21st February the government published its positions on the transition period. It deems that the duration of the period should simply be decided by the time necessary for the preparation and implementation of the new processes and system that will govern the partnership with the European Union.

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Armenia

The EU and Armenia sign an agreement on the partnership's priorities

26 February 2018

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The EU and Armenia signed an agreement on 21st February on the priorities of the partnership: strengthening the institutions and good governance; economic development and trade outlets; connectivity; energy efficiency; environment and action for the climate; mobility and contacts between people.

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Switzerland

Schengen/Dublin: a very positive result

25 February 2018

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On 21st February the Swiss Federal Council adopted a report on the economic and financial impact of Schengen and Dublin. The latter deems that Switzerland is benefiting from its association with the two agreements, both economically and financially, since it has helped the country save 220 million CHF since 2012. Giving them up might however cost 10 billion per year.

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Eurostat

Annual inflation rate down

25 February 2018

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According to figures published by Eurostat on 23rd February the EU's annual inflation rate lay at 1.6% in January 2018, against 1.7% in December 2017. The euro zone's rate lay at 1.3% in January 2018 against 1.4% in December 2017.

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Publications

Knowing about and understanding the European Union in 35 information sheets

26 February 2018

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"Knowing about and Understanding the European Union: 35 information sheets on the European Institutions" by Olivier Marty and Nicolas Dorgeret offers students a strong foundation in terms of initiating their knowledge of the roles of the EU's institutional powers. The book is prefaced by Jean-Dominique Giuliani, Chairman of the Foundation.

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Culture

Basquiat Exhibition at the Schirn Museum Frankfurt

26 February 2018

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The Schirn in Frankfurt is running a major exhibition on the works of Jean-Michel Basquiat - a 20th century artist - until 27th May. This exhibition is the very first to put Basquiat's work back into a wider cultural context, highlighting his relationship with music, the written word, film and television.

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Museum Night in Brussels on 3rd March

26 February 2018

On the occasion of "Museum Night" the 27 museums in Brussels will be open until 2 am on 3rd March. Unusual guided tours, events and various shows as well as live music will be offered to visitors.

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Egon Schiele Exhibition at the Leopold of Vienna Museum

26 February 2018

100 years after the artist's death, the Leopold of Vienna Museum is running a retrospective of Egon Schiele's work. Until 4th November this year visitors will be able to view a unique combination of paintings, drawings as well as unique archive material.

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Exhibition on Faust and Goethe's works in Munich

26 February 2018

The Kunsthalle, Munich is organising an exhibition on one of the greatest works of German literature, Goethe's Faust. More than 150 paintings, drawings, films, music and photographs are on show until 29th July.

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Picasso Exhibition at the MUCEM, Marseilles

26 February 2018

The MUCEM in Marseilles is running an exhibition until 24th June on "Picasso, imaginary voyages". It is part of an international event Picasso-Mediterranean 2017-2019 and presents the artist's work alongside objects from the MUCEM.

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Sports

The EU, Olympic Champion

26 February 2018

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The Winter Olympics closed on 25th February in PyeongChange raising the EU's flag high in the medals ranking. The 28 EU Member States together won 54 gold medals, 44 silver and 28 bronze for a total of 146 medals in all. It finished far ahead of the US, China and Russia.

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Agenda

26th February

"Foreign Affairs" Council (Brussels)


27th February

"General Affairs" Council (Brussels)


27th February

First meeting of the joint EU-Cuba council (Brussels)


4th March

Parliamentary elections (House and Senate) (Italy)


5th March

'Environment" Council (Brussels)


Newsletter Archives

"Europe will not survive if it does not evolve"

Europe's Decline, a German Story

How will the European elections reshape the political landscape?

Nationalist obstacles and geopolitical blind spots: the specific case of North Macedonia

Twenty years after the largest-ever enlargement

The Editors of the Newsletter :
Charles de Marcilly, Helen Levy ,Eva Gerland, Salomé Hénon-Cohin, Lily Lajeunesse,Aurélien Pastouret,Kémi Quinio

N°ISSN : 2729-6482

Editor-in-Chief :
Eric Maurice

Director of Publication :
Pascale Joannin

Any questions or suggestions?
Contact Us!

info@robert-schuman.eu

Will there be a parliamentary majority in Italy after the elections on 4th March...

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The Newsletter n°793- version of 26 févr. 2018