The Letter n°1018

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The Letter n°1018
The Letter
Wednesday 12th April 2023
issue 1018
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The European Union's New Life
Author : Jean-Dominique Giuliani
Jean-Dominique Giuliani
Europe has changed, Jean-Dominique Giuliani emphasises in the introduction to the "Schuman Report on Europe, the State of the Union 2023", to be published by Marie B. In under five years the European Union has acquired most of the tools it needed to develop an industrial policy, to organise solidarity in times of hardship and a strategy of autonomy in economic and health matters.
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Front page! : Incentive or prohibition
While the United States relies on science and industry to make a success of their ecological transformation, Europe favours rules and prohibitions. It must develop incentives if it intends to set a good example, writes Jean-Dominique Giuliani... Read more

Commission : 2022 Report on Competition Policy
On 4 April, the Commission published its 2022 Report on Competition Policy, which details the most important policy and legislative initiatives of the year and the Commission's decisions under EU competition law... Read more
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Facilitating the transfer of criminal proceedings between Member States
On 5 April, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation on the transfer of criminal proceedings between Member States. The increase in cross-border crime has led to a growing number of cases where several Member States have jurisdiction to prosecute the same case. This proposal will help prevent duplication of proceedings and avoid cases of impunity... Read more

Diplomacy : Payment of €10 million to Moldova
The Commission announced on 5 April the disbursement of €10 million of macro-financial assistance to Moldova. A further disbursement of €40 million will be made in early May to help the country meet its urgent financial requirements and to support macroeconomic stability and reforms... Read more
Energy Council with the USA
The tenth EU-US Energy Council met on 4 April in Brussels. Both sides stressed the importance of transatlantic coordination on strategic energy issues in the context of the war in Ukraine, and discussed efforts to reduce CO2 emissions... Read more

European Agencies : Dismantling of an online hacker market
The European police agency Europol announced on 5 April that it had dismantled one of the world's most notorious hacker platforms, Genesis Market, which was used to sell stolen digital identities, including bank accounts and their logins. The operation involved 17 countries and 119 people were arrested... Read more
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Airbus to double its production in China
The European aircraft manufacturer, Airbus, signed on 6 April agreements with the Chinese aeronautics industry to increase the final assembly capacity of its A320 aircraft with a second line on its Tianjin site which should be operational by 2026... Read more
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Germany : Olaf Scholz visits Romania
On 3 April, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz visited Romania to meet both Romanian President Klaus Iohannis and Moldovan President Maia Sandu. He reiterated Western support for a valuable NATO ally in supporting Ukraine and called for Romania's accession to the Schengen area. The visit came a day after German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall announced it was setting up a maintenance and logistics centre in northern Romania to service weapons used in Ukraine... Read more
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Spain : Pedro Sanchez visits Cyprus, Malta and Italy
On 4 April, the Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, met Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides in Nicosia and Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela in Valletta, with a view to preparing the Spanish Presidency of the Council in the second half of the year. He announced his intention to revive the dialogue for the reunification of Cyprus. He discussed with his counterparts European strategic autonomy, energy and food security, and the need to reform the European electricity market. On 5 April, he met his Italian counterpart, Georgia Meloni, with whom he discussed the war in Ukraine, the climate and migration... Read more
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Estonia : Kaja Kallas forms a new government coalition
On 8 April, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas announced that she had reached an agreement with two other political parties to form a new coalition government that includes her Reform Party, the Centrist Estonia 200 Party and the Social Democratic Party... Read more

Finland : Resignation of Sanna Marin's government
Following her party's defeat in the parliamentary elections on 2 April, Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin submitted the resignation of her government to President Sauli Niinistö on 6 April. The government will remain in place to manage current affairs until a new coalition is formed. The day before, Ms Marin had announced that she would step down as the leader of the Social Democratic Party... Read more

France : State Visit to China
French President Emmanuel Macron paid a state visit to China from 5 to 8 April, with the aim of engaging China in shared responsibility for peace and stability, strengthening the Franco-Chinese trade relationship, and re-engaging a common framework for action on major international issues such as the fight against climate change and the protection of biodiversity. On 6 April, he met Chinese President Xi Jinping together with Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. They asked China to act to help end the war in Ukraine and rebalance trade relations between China and the EU... Read more
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Military Programming Law
Sébastien Lecornu, the French Minister of the Armed Forces, presented the 2024-2030 military programming bill (LPM) to the Council of Ministers on 4 April. With a budget of €413 billion, this LPM aims to transform the armed forces with a view to meeting new threats... Read more
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Lithuania : Restrictive measures against Russians and Belarusians
On 4 April, the Lithuanian parliament adopted additional restrictive measures aimed at safeguarding the country's national security interests. In particular, the text tightens the conditions for granting visas and residence permits to Russians and Belarusians, reinforces individual controls, and suspends the purchase of real estate on the territory by nationals of both countries... Read more
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Czech Republic : Council of Czech-Slovakian Ministers
On 3 April, the 8th Czech-Slovak Council of Ministers was held in Trencin, Slovakia. The Slovak and Czech Prime Ministers, Eduard Heger and Petr Fiala, reiterated the importance of harmony within the European Union and NATO to counter the Russian aggression in Ukraine and to make the sanctions against Russia more effective through mechanisms to prevent their circumvention. The Ministers discussed energy issues, European standards on carbon emissions, which could affect the automotive industry... Read more
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UK : Plan to simplify post-Brexit customs controls
On 5 April, the UK government unveiled a plan to simplify post-Brexit customs controls for goods coming from or going to the EU, while maintaining the security of the UK's borders. The reform includes an investment of more than £1 billion to improve customs technology, new "simplified and digitised" export health certificates, tailor-made checks for imported or exported goods and the creation of a one-stop shop... Read more
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25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreements
On Good Friday, 10 April 1998, 25 years ago, Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland reached a historic peace agreement. US President Joe Biden is expected in Belfast on 11 April... Read more
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Russia : Call for the release of journalist Evan Gershkovich
On 30 March, more than 30 media editors from around the world sent an open letter to the Russian ambassador to the United States condemning the detention of Evan Gershkovich, a Wall Street Journal journalist accused of espionage by Russia, and demanding his immediate release. On 3 April, 22 directors of major French media joined this initiative and sent an open letter to the Russian ambassador in France demanding the unconditional and immediate release of Evan Gershkovich... Read more
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Ukraine : Volodymyr Zelensky's visit to Poland
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Poland on 5 April. In a speech, he thanked Poland for its solidarity. He signed a letter of intent with Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki for cooperation on the supply of defence equipment. He met with his Polish counterpart, Andrzej Duda, with whom he discussed the further strengthening of the Ukrainian army, the return of Ukrainian children illegally deported by Russia, Ukraine's membership of the European Union and its Euro-Atlantic integration... Read more
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EU officials visit Kiev
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met with German Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck, UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay and Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejcinovic Buric on 3 April in the Chernihiv region. He thanked the German government for its solidarity. He discussed the need to include other Ukrainian cultural heritage sites in the Unesco list. He discussed the creation of a compensation mechanism in preparation for the next Council of Europe summit in Reykjavík... Read more
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Denmark confirms delivery of Leopard 1 tanks
Acting Danish Defence Minister Troels Lund Poulsen confirmed on 10 April in Odessa during a briefing with his Ukrainian counterpart Oleksii Reznikov the delivery of Leopard 1 tanks to Ukraine before the summer... Read more

NATO : Finland becomes the 31st member of the Alliance
On 4 April, Finland officially became the 31st member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, following ratification by the other 30 Allies. Sweden, which applied for membership at the same time as Finland, is awaiting ratification by Hungary and Turkey... Read more
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Meeting of Foreign Ministers
NATO foreign ministers met on 4 and 5 April in Brussels. They discussed China's alignment with Russian positions and the risk of more concrete Chinese support in the Russian war in Ukraine, as well as the development of a multi-year strategic assistance programme for Ukraine... Read more

WTO : Progression of international trade
The World Trade Organisation said on 5 April that trade growth would slow to 1.7% in 2023 after rising to 2.7% in 2022, pointing to the effects of the war in Ukraine, high inflation, tighter monetary policy and uncertainty in financial markets... Read more

IMF : Growth of the World Economy below 3% in 2023
The world economy is expected to suffer one of the weakest periods of growth in recent decades and to be below 3% in 2023, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), estimated Kristalina Georgieva during her speech launching the institution's spring meetings on 6 April... Read more
Switzerland's Economic Outlook
The IMF published its economic outlook for Switzerland on 4 April. It notes that the Swiss economy is resilient. The IMF expects GDP growth to slow from 2.1% in 2022 to 0.8% in 2023 before recovering to 1.8% in 2024. Inflation is projected at 2.5% for 2023. Among its recommendations, the IMF believes that easing the labour market will be essential to contain inflation and prevent labour shortages from becoming a bottleneck for Switzerland's competitiveness... Read more

Culture : Re-opening of the Ateneum Museum in Helsinki
On 14 April, the Ateneum Museum in Helsinki will reopen. At the same time, the exhibition "A question of time" will be opened. For this occasion, the museum has decided not to present this exhibition in the traditional chronological way. Instead, "A Question of Time" presents four themes: the age of nature, images of a people, modern life and art and power. These themes cross different eras and are inspired by contemporary issues... Read more
David Cerny Museum in Prague
Czech artist David Černý, known for his provocative works and collaboration with major developers, opened a museum, Musoleum, in Prague on 1 April. It is located opposite the MeetFactory art centre, which David Černý and his friends have been running for several years... Read more
Caspar David Friedrich in Schweinfurt
The Georg Schäfer Museum in Schweinfurt is hosting an exhibition on the painter Caspar David Friedrich and the heralds of Romanticism until 2 July. The exhibition focuses on the influence of 17th and 18th century painting on the birth and development of pictorial romanticism in the 19th century. It highlights the profound change in the Romantic painters' perception of nature... Read more
Ai Weiwei in London
The Design Museum in London is hosting an exhibition dedicated to the Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei until 30 July. This exhibition will be the first to present his work as a commentary on design. Many works will be on display for the first time, which question the meaning given to objects, what they say about history, particularly that of China, the country Ai Weiwei was forced to leave in 2015... Read more
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Roni Horn in Santander
Until the 10th of September, the Centro Botin in Santander is holding an exhibition dedicated to Roni Horn, entitled "Hope paralyses me". It was designed by the artist himself, in accordance with the architecture of the museum and its location facing the bay, so as to produce a singular effect on the viewer. Through photographs, drawings and sculptures, the exhibition covers almost three decades of the artist's career... Read more
Miriam Ella in Warsaw
Until 11 June, the Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw is hosting the exhibition "The New Normal" by Miriam Elia. She explores the new "rules of the game" that were played out during the pandemic and the containment, she assesses the aftermath and the new world order that has followed... Read more
Exhibition "Picasso 1969-1972: la fin du début" in Antibes
Until 2 July, the Picasso Museum in Antibes, with the support of the Picasso Museum in Paris, is devoting an exhibition to Pablo Picasso on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of his death. The exhibition gives the visitor the opportunity to discover the wealth of the artist's work towards the end of his career... Read more
Helmut Newton in Milan
Until 25 June, the Palazzo Reale in Milan, in collaboration with the Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin, is hosting an exhibition devoted to Helmut Newton. 250 photographs, including some of the most emblematic of his work, trace the photographer's career. Unpublished photographs are also presented for the first time in Italy, offering the visitor the opportunity to discover an unknown aspect of Helmut Newton's career... Read more
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Zurich Contemporary Art Fair
From 14 to 16 April, the international contemporary art fair art3f will be held in Zurich. All the more reason to discover art with your family... Read more
Ramses and the Pharaohs' Gold
Until 6 September, the Grande Halle de la Villette is presenting the exhibition 'Ramses and the Gold of the Pharaohs'. After Houston in the United States, France is the only country in Europe to host the exhibition and, above all, the only country to show the painted wooden coffin of Ramses II thanks to an unprecedented cooperation between France and Egypt. More than 180 original pieces (statues, jewels...), some of which have never been seen outside of Egypt, are presented in this exhibition, which plunges into more than three thousand years of history... Read more
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11-12 April


State Visit by the French President

17-20 April 2023


Plenary Session of the European Parliament

18-19 April 2023


Informal Meeting of Environment Ministers

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