The Letter n°1002

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The Letter n°1002
The Letter
Tuesday 6th December 2022
issue 1002
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How Can We Achieve Europe's Ambitions in terms of Research?
Author : Maria LEPTIN
Maria LEPTIN
One year after the Council conclusions on its governance, the European Research Area (ERA) requires a change of mindset so that resources are no longer scattered and fragmented across twenty-seven different systems.
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Front page! : Europe needs a new investment plan
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Faced with an energy crisis that began long before the war in Ukraine, European industry is in danger of relocating on a massive scale in the face of rising costs. To cope with this, the European Union must launch a major investment plan to cap the price of electricity and subsidise critical industries, writes Jean-Dominique Giuliani... Read more

Foundation : Energy Crisis, European Measures
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In response to rising energy prices, Member States and the European Union have taken action. On 29 November, the Slovak government decided to tax electricity producers' super profits made between 1 December 2022 and 31 December 2024 at 90%. The German government stated on 25 November that €56 billion of the €200 billion support plan will be used to subsidise fossil gas and district heating and €43 billion for electricity. The Foundation is providing its readers with a regularly updated map to help you understand the situation... Read more
European Recovery Plans: figures and priorities
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In response 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, for Member States in the form of grants and loans. On 30 November, the Commission approved Hungary's recovery plan, for which a payment will only be made if the Hungarian government implements the 17 corrective measures, as well as 27 other reforms related to the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary. It also paid €85 million to Cyprus. The Foundation has an interactive map of the country-by-country plans, showing figures, timetables and priorities... Read more

Ukraine/Russia : Agreement on the cap on Russian oil
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The price cap on Russian crude oil came into effect on 5 December, in an effort to reduce Russian funding of the war. The price was set at $60 per barrel by the Council, the G7 and Australia on 2 December. This will be reviewed every two months and the mechanism includes an "emergency clause" which allows oil to be transported above the price cap if human health and safety or the environment are at risk. New sanctions are expected to be extended to all processed oil products from 5 February 2023... Read more
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The breach of sanctions added to the list of criminal offences
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With a view to ensuring better implementation of the sanctions adopted against Russia, the Council approved on 28 November the inclusion of the breach of sanctions in the list of criminal offences. On 2 December, the Commission put forward a list of criminal offences of sanctions violations which includes, inter alia, any action to make funds or economic resources available or to allow the entry of a sanctioned person or body into the territory of a Member State... Read more
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Proposals on Russia's responsibility for its international crimes
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On 30 November, the Commission presented various options to ensure that Russia's responsibility for crimes committed in Ukraine is established. These include the creation of a new structure to manage, invest and use the proceeds of the €300 billion of Russian public assets currently frozen and immobilised by the European Union and its partners for Ukraine, including compensation for damages. The Commission proposes the creation of an ad hoc international tribunal or a hybrid tribunal that would be integrated into a national judicial system with international judges. In addition, the G7 Justice Ministers, meeting on 28-29 November in Berlin, agreed on closer and faster cooperation in investigations so that no war crime "goes unpunished"... Read more
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OSCE Ministerial Meeting
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At the OSCE Ministerial Council in Lodz on 1 and 2 December, foreign ministers discussed the impact of the war in Ukraine on regional security in the OSCE area. They exchanged views on energy security challenges and the increased risk of human trafficking. Josep Borrell, the EU High Representative, called on member countries to give full support to Ukraine and hoped that assets seized under the sanctions would be used to finance Ukraine's reconstruction... Read more
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Meeting of NATO Foreign Affairs Ministers
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NATO Foreign Ministers, meeting in Bucharest on 29-30 November, condemned Russia's crimes in Ukraine and its attempts to annex Ukrainian territory. They said they would support Ukraine in its reconstruction and strengthen their partnership "as it fulfils its Euro-Atlantic aspirations. They spoke of the accession of Finland and Sweden and rapprochement with the Western Balkans. They said they were developing a united response and defence against any attack on Alliance countries... Read more
The role of regional and municipal authorities in Ukraine's resilience
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According to an OECD report published on 2 December, local and regional authorities have enabled Ukraine's societal resilience since the start of the war. Regional development and decentralisation reforms implemented since 2014 have played an important role in protecting civilians, ensuring access to and quality of local public services, registering citizens' movements during the war and ensuring continued access to social benefits. The report makes several recommendations for organising reconstruction, such as including regions and municipalities in the design of recovery plans... Read more
Italy renews its military support to Ukraine for 2023
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On 1 December, the Italian government adopted a decree authorising the transfer of military assets, supplies and equipment to Ukraine until 31 December 2023... Read more
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Commission : Strategy for a European drone market
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On 29 November, the Commission presented a strategy to develop a European drone market. It plans to introduce new drone services by 2030, such as emergency services, mapping and surveillance and medicine delivery, as well as air mobility services, including air taxis. A European drone traffic management system will be implemented by January 2023... Read more
Proposal to suspend European funds for Hungary
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The Commission found on 30 November that Hungary's corrective measures under the conditionality mechanism were insufficient to eliminate the threats to the EU budget and proposed to suspend the payment of €7.5 billion under the cohesion policy. At the same time, it approved Hungary's recovery plan, for which a payment will only be made if the Hungarian government implements the 17 corrective measures, as well as 27 other reforms related to the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary. The Council has until 19 December to validate the two proposals... Read more
Revision of the rules on packaging and packaging waste
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On 30 November, the Commission proposed new rules to promote reusable or refillable packaging and eliminate unnecessary packaging. The aim is to limit over-packaging and improve the sharing of information on recycling, notably through clear labelling. The aim is to ensure that only recyclable packaging is on the European market by 2030... Read more

Parliament : Follow-up to the Conference for the Future of Europe
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Representatives of the Parliament, the Council and the Commission, as well as European citizens, met on 2 December to take stock of the follow-up to the Conference on the Future of Europe. The three institutions committed to implementing the measures put forward by citizens. According to a Council analysis, around 95% of the proposals can be implemented without revising the European treaties... Read more
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Meeting with the Chief of Staff of the Ukrainian President
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The Ukrainian President's Chief of Staff, Andriy Yermak, met with a delegation from the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee and Subcommittee on Security and Defence on 3 December. He said he wanted to secure security guarantees from the Parliament and asked for its support in tightening sanctions against Russia... Read more
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Council : Meeting of Competitiveness Ministers
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Industry Ministers agreed on 1 December on the Chips Act, which aims to reduce European dependence on semiconductors. They also adopted a position on legislation on corporate responsibility and a general approach on the protection of geographical indications for artisanal and industrial products. They also agreed on a European tourism agenda for 2030. On 2 December, the ministers responsible for research adopted conclusions on the new innovation programme. They discussed science as an instrument to facilitate policy-making in the Member States, and guidelines for the valorisation of knowledge.. Read more
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Meeting of Development Ministers
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On 28 November, the Ministers for Development insisted on the need to continue partnerships with Africa. They discussed the EU's responses to the crises in Ukraine and Afghanistan and approved a "deepened and strengthened basic needs approach" to support the Afghan population. They also called for a proactive response to a disaster crisis... Read more
Meeting of Ministers for Education, Youth, Culture and Sport
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On 28 November, the Ministers of Education adopted a recommendation on children's educational success and well-being in the age of digital education. On 29 November, the Ministers of Culture added a specific action on Ukraine to the work plan for culture 2023-2026 to support the Ukrainian cultural sector and its heritage. They took stock of the progress of the legislative proposal for the adoption of a European act on media freedom. The ministers responsible for sport discussed the impact of the crisis on this sector and the implementation of sustainable sports infrastructures... Read more
Digital finance, cybersecurity, due diligence, foreign subsidies and sustainability
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On 28 November, the Council definitively adopted the directive on sustainability reporting by companies, which obliges them to share data on their societal and environmental impact, and a regulation on foreign subsidies, to ensure a fair rebalancing of competition in the single market when they lead to distortions. It also approved new requirements for cooperation between Member States to improve cyber security resilience and a regulation for the digital operational resilience of banks and other financial services. On 30 November, it adopted its position on new rules on due diligence for large EU companies and non-EU companies operating in the EU... Read more
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Trilogues : Agreement regarding European police cooperation
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On 30 November, the Parliament and the Council reached an agreement on police cooperation to improve the fight against cross-border criminal activities. The new legislation aims to simplify the organisation and procedures for the exchange of information between Member States' law enforcement authorities, including the establishment of a common database accessible through a single European contact point... Read more
Agreements on consumer loans and on-line trading
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The Council and the Parliament reached a provisional agreement on 2 December to strengthen the protection of individuals seeking consumer credit and to prevent people from getting into too much debt. They also reached a provisional agreement on 29 November to ensure that non-food consumer products sold both offline and online meet EU standards. The Parliament and Council must now formally approve the agreement... Read more
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Agreement regarding autonomous measures for the UK
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The Council presidency and the Parliament reached a provisional agreement on 30 November on measures the EU could take to encourage the UK to comply with the withdrawal agreement and the trade and cooperation agreement. The draft includes rebalancing and compensatory measures, temporary suspension of preferential treatment for certain products, and measures restricting trade, investment, air carrier licensing and operations... Read more

Diplomacy : Meeting between Xi Jinping and Charles Michel
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In a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on 1 December in Beijing, European Council President Charles Michel called on China to use its influence on Russia to comply with the UN Charter, and the two leaders stressed that Russian nuclear threats were unacceptable. Charles Michel re-launched the EU-China dialogue on the respect of human rights and the situation of minorities, notably in Xinjiang. The discussion also covered Taiwan, the trade partnership, cooperation on an international treaty on pandemics and the fight against climate change... Read more
Cooperation with Japan regarding renewable hydrogen
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On 2 December, the EU and Japan signed a Memorandum of Enhanced Cooperation to stimulate innovation and help develop an international hydrogen market. Governments, industry, research institutions and local authorities will work together on the production, trade, transport, storage and distribution of renewable hydrogen... Read more
ACP-EU Council
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At the 45th Council meeting with the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries on 29 November, the Ministers discussed the post-Cotonou partnership, in particular trade, economic and financial cooperation, and the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing. On the subject of the current food and energy crisis, the European Union reiterated its commitment to support the ACP countries. The Ministers discussed the implementation of the Global Gateway strategy... Read more
Financial support to the armed forces of five countries
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On 1 December, the Council adopted measures to assist the armed forces of five countries under the European Peace Facility (EPF). 10 million will be provided to Bosnia and Herzegovina, €20 million to Georgia, €6 million to Lebanon and €12 million to Mauritania. In addition, to support the deployment of the Rwanda Defence Force in Mozambique, the Council approved a €20 million assistance measure... Read more

Germany : Ratification of the EU-Canada free trade agreement
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On 1 December, the Bundestag ratified the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) signed between the European Union and Canada in 2016 and provisionally applied since 2017 by 559 votes to 110. This ratification follows a positive ruling by the Federal Constitutional Court. Eleven Member States still need to ratify the agreement for it to enter fully into force... Read more
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France : State Visit to the USA
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French President Emmanuel Macron met with his US counterpart Joe Biden on 1 December during a State visit to Washington. The two leaders announced their intention to work together to strengthen global security and prosperity, fight climate change and its consequences, and promote democratic values. They reiterated their continued support for Ukraine, and the need to end the war. On 30 November, the French Minister of the Armed Forces, Sébastien Lecornu, and his American counterpart, Lloyd Austin, signed a declaration of intent to deepen and strengthen military cooperation between the two countries... Read more
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Agreement between Dassault and Airbus regarding the SCAF
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On 1 December, Dassault Aviation CEO Eric Trappier announced an agreement with Airbus on the new generation fighter aircraft, the core element of the Future Air Combat System (SCAF) project led by France, Germany and Spain. The agreement concerns the development of a demonstrator, which should be flying by 2029, and leaves Dassault in the role of prime contractor and architect of the aircraft... Read more

Ireland : Meta condemned for violation of data protection rules
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The Irish Data Protection Commission, acting on behalf of the EU, fined Facebook's data processor Meta Platforms Ireland Limited €265 million on 28 November following an investigation on behalf of the EU for breaches of the GDPR, including shortcomings in the protection of its users' data. In addition, the company will have to take a series of corrective measures... Read more
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Visit by Ursula von der Leyen on the Northern Ireland Protocol
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Visiting Dublin on 1 December, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen reminded the Irish Parliament that the EU's priority after Brexit remains the smooth functioning of the single market, which rules out the establishment of a border on the island. She welcomed a "more pragmatic" approach by the UK government to the Northern Ireland Protocol issue, which she said could lead to a positive outcome... Read more
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Italy : Mediterranean Dialogues
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The 8th edition of the Rome Med - Mediterranean Dialogues, organised by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Institute for International Policy Studies, was held in Rome on 2 and 3 December in the presence of the President, Sergio Mattarella, and the President of the Council, Giorgia Meloni. The latter stated that the management of repatriation must be "Europeanised" to reduce the pressure on the countries of the South. She called on the EU to relaunch migration cooperation with African and Mediterranean partners, to involve them more in the fight against human trafficking... Read more
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Kosovo : Visa exemption
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On 30 November, the Council voted in favour of allowing visa-free travel within the EU for holders of passports issued in Kosovo for a stay of 90 days in any 180-day period. The liberalisation of the visa regime must now be negotiated with the Parliament and would apply by 1 January 2024... Read more

Council of Europe : New signatories to the Convention on Cybercrime Protocol
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Croatia, Moldova, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, Ukraine and the United Kingdom signed on 30 November the Second Additional Protocol to the Budapest Convention on cooperation and disclosure of electronic evidence. The aim is to strengthen cooperation with service providers, immediate cooperation in case of emergency and conduct joint investigations... Read more
Report on Belgian prisons
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According to a report published on 29 November by the Council of Europe's Anti-Torture Committee, the Belgian prison system suffers from overcrowding and understaffing which leads to inter-prisoner violence. The report includes recommendations to the Belgian government on staff training, prison modernisation and educational and professional activities... Read more

NATO : Cyber coalition exercise
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The Cyber Coalition 22 cyber defence exercise was held from 28 November to 2 December in Tallinn and at a distance. Twenty-six Alliance countries participated, as well as Finland, Sweden, Georgia, Ireland, Japan, Switzerland and the European Union, and actors from the private sector and academia. This NATO exercise is held annually... Read more

Eurostat : Decline in inflation in the euro zone
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According to figures published by Eurostat on 30 November, the annual inflation rate in the euro area was 10% in November compared to 10.6% in October. The lowest rate was recorded in Spain at 6.6%, and the highest in Latvia at 21.7%. Energy is the main component of inflation, followed by food, alcohol and tobacco, industrial goods excluding energy and services... Read more

Eurobarometer : Survey on the euro
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According to a Eurobarometer published on 2 December, 77% of respondents consider the euro to be beneficial for the Union, and 69% that it is beneficial for their own country. Furthermore, 75% are in favour of the recovery and resilience plan and 80% for the SURE employment support instrument put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey also reveals that 64% of respondents are in favour of abolishing the 1 and 2 cent coins... Read more

Studies/Reports : Reports on Air Quality
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According to a report published by the European Environment Agency on 24 November, air pollution is the highest health risk in Europe, especially in urban areas where 96% of the population in 2020 was exposed to levels of fine particles above the level recommended by the World Health Organisation. Furthermore, according to a 30 November report on methane emissions, policies to reduce CH4 emissions will result in rapid climate mitigation in the short term. The analysis reports that methane is a short-lived greenhouse gas that traps much more heat than carbon dioxide... Read more
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Culture : European Cultural Solidarity with Ukraine
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The world of culture is mobilising for Ukraine. In France, a concert of Basque songs in aid of UNICEF will be held on 9 December in the village church of Guéthary. The town of Mirecourt will host a concert organised by the Liouba Lorr'Ukraine association on 28 December. The town of Twickenham in the UK will host a Christmas charity concert on 11 December, featuring Ukrainian and English Christmas carols performed by world-renowned musicians and singers. In Germany, the charity group "Echte Ärzte" will raise funds for Ukrainian aid at a concert on 16 December in Berlin. On 6 December, Ukrainian superstar Jamala is performing in Toruń (Poland)... Read more
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ArteKino, European Online Cinema Festival
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The European online film festival ArteKino, organised by the channel Arte, will take place throughout December. 12 films by young European filmmakers are being screened in French, German, English, Spanish, Polish and Italian. One of these films will win €20,000 thanks to an online vote as part of the European Public Prize. The Young Jury Prize will also be awarded. The European Film Fans' Prize will be given to the internet user who has voted for at least 8 different films during the competition... Read more
Modernism in Ukraine in Madrid
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The exhibition "In the Eye of the Storm: Modernism in Ukraine, 1900-1930" is being held at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid until 30 April 2023. Organised in partnership with the National Art Museum of Ukraine, it presents 70 works. This is the first time that such a large collection of modern art has left Ukraine... Read more
Max Beckmann in Munich
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The Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich is presenting the exhibition "Departure" dedicated to the 20th century German painter and draughtsman Max Beckmann until 12 March 2023. The paintings on display explore the theme of travel, which was very present in the artist's life, which was marked by the trauma of war and exile, but also by the need for freedom and the desire to travel... Read more
Venetian Renaissance in Paris
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Until 26 March 2023, the Hotel de la Marine will host the works of the Galleria Giorgio Franchetti alla Ca'd'Oro in Venice, during its restoration. More than 70 works by great Renaissance artists on the history of Venice are on display... Read more
Giotto revisited in Rovereto
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The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of the city of Rovereto is showing the exhibition "Giotto and the 20th century" until 19 March 2023. The exhibition features works by modern and contemporary artists inspired by the art of Giotto, the master who revolutionised medieval painting... Read more
Malgorzata Mirga-Tas in Krakow
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"Travelling Images", the first solo exhibition of Małgorzata Mirga-Tas, currently the leading representative of contemporary Roma art, runs until 5 March 2023 at the International Cultural Centre in Kraków. It includes a large selection of works made by the artist in the years 2017-2022, as well as new works addressing, among others, the history of the Roma community in Nowa Huta and Roma memory... Read more
Annual exhibition by the Royal Ulster Academy
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The Royal Ulster Academy in Belfast, which brings together a wide range of visual artists working in Northern Ireland, is holding its annual exhibition at the Ulster Museum until 3 January 2023. On this occasion, works by established and emerging artists from around the world, as well as work by RUA academics, will be on display to the public... Read more
Exhibition 'Intime et moi' at the Louvre-Lens
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As part of its 10th anniversary, the Louvre-Lens Museum has initiated a pioneering project in the museum world: entrusting a group of young adults undergoing professional and social re-adjustment with the complete creation of an exhibition on the place of art in the private sphere, which will be presented until 27 March 2023... Read more

6Dec
6 December 2022

Brussels

Economic and Financial Affairs Council Telecommunications Council

Tirana

EU-Western Balkans Summit

8Dec
8-9 December 2022

Brussels

Justice and Home Affairs Council Employment, Social Policy and Healthcare Council

11Dec
11-12 December 2022

Brussels

Agriculture and Fisheries Council

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