The upcoming negotiation over the multi-annual financial framework (2021-2027) comprises specific features, since it will be undertaken without the UK. Germany will be losing its best budgetary ally. For the first time in 25 years there is a real possibility if not almost certainty that the glass-ceiling of 1% of the GNI will be broken, at the cost of tension between the Member States. France and Germany will be on the front in this negotiation which might prove to be the most difficult in the EU's budgetary history.
By establishing its HQ in one State, a business can choose at its convenience – almost freely – its tax framework. It is of little importance that its activities take place elsewhere and that the link between the business, and the State in question, is limited to the location of its HQ or its intellectual property. This link, which is often purely artificial, allows it to choose how it is taxed as it so wishes, in other words how it can avoid taxation. Offshore leaks, Swiss leaks, LuxLeaks, Panama Papers, Paradise Papers: the tax scandals succeed each other, the topography changes from time to time, but the repercussions of outrage persist. The leaders of Europe should make the most of this!
Regular predictions announcing the "death of the Schengen area" have been rather excessive, if not meaningless. Indeed, they echo the high tension that opposes the 26 countries sharing this area, notably becoming clear during the massive influx of refugees in 2015-2016 and then during the terrorist attacks of the last few years. Tension like this is symptomatic of a double crisis, whose causes must be identified to provide effective remedy: an often-mentioned solidarity crisis between the States of the EU, but also a confidence crisis, which reflects the difficulty in sharing a so-called area "without internal borders."
For geographic as well as historic, cultural and linguistic reasons, Africa, represented by the African Union (AU), and the European Union are both privileged partners. Europe, with its 28 Member States is still the most important foreign investor on the continent, the primary source of financial transfers and the greatest provider of development and humanitarian aid , not forgetting the many common security and defence missions and operations. The issue of migration flows between the two pervades all aspects of cooperation.
"We have moved more in the last two years than over the last 60," wrote the European Commission in June 2017 in a paper devoted to the future of European defence. This file reviews recent developments in terms of "Defence Europe" between real progress and persistent challenges and suggests a direction to follow in order not to allow this dynamic to die.