The Letter n°1019

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The Letter n°1019
The Letter
Tuesday 18th April 2023
issue 1019
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European Policies in the fight to counter propaganda
Author : Marie Robin
Marie Robin
In response to terrorist propaganda and Kremlin disinformation, the European Union is choosing to promote a positive narrative about its benefits and values. It is up to the institutions to make their functioning and the measures adopted accessible and understandable to citizens
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Front page! : Publication of the Schuman Report, the State of the Union 2023
Europe has changed ... this is what the "Schuman Report on Europe, the State of the Union 2023" shows, as it analyses the profound changes that have occurred in Europe, accelerated by the shock of the war in Ukraine. This 14th edition published by Marie B. includes 19 contributions from high level personalities, 30 original maps and a complete set of commented statistics. The book is available in English in digital format. Order your copy!.. Read more
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Ukraine/Russia : Further sanctions against Russia
The Council added the Wagner Group and the Russian news agency RIA FAN to the EU's list of entities subject to restrictive measures on 14 April, bringing the list to 1 473 persons and 207 entities in total. These individuals and entities are subject to an asset freeze and EU citizens and companies are prohibited from making funds available to them... Read more
Adoption of ammunition support plan for Ukraine
On 13 April, the Council approved €1 billion in support from the EU Peace Facility to reimburse Member States for ammunition donated to Ukraine... Read more
Meeting of European and Ukrainian Parliaments
On 12 April, the committee chairpersons of the Ukrainian and European parliaments held a long-distance meeting to launch "in-depth, comprehensive and concrete sectoral cooperation". Among other things, they discussed the challenges of Ukraine's EU accession process and the reconstruction of the country... Read more
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Third Ministerial Meeting in Support of Ukraine
The third ministerial roundtable in support of Ukraine took place on 12 April, co-chaired by the Ukrainian government, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for the approval of the $14.1 billion reconstruction support programme for Ukraine. He called on the international community to work on concrete mechanisms for using frozen Russian assets to compensate for the damage caused by Russia... Read more
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Meeting of the Ukrainian and French Chiefs of Staff
French Chief of Staff Thierry Burkhard met his Ukrainian counterpart Valery Zaluzhny on 13 April in Kiev to discuss military support to Ukraine and military perspectives... Read more
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Meeting of the Lithuanian President and the Prosecutor General of Ukraine
On 14 April, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda met with Andriy Kostin, Prosecutor General of Ukraine. The meeting focused on Russia's responsibility for war crimes committed in Ukraine and the establishment of a special court to investigate the Russian crime of aggression against Ukraine... Read more
Russia condemned to pay 5 billion $ to Naftogaz
On 13 April, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ordered Russia to pay $5 billion to the Ukrainian gas company Naftogaz. This amount is to compensate for losses and damages caused by Russia's seizure of Naftogaz's assets in Crimea when the peninsula was annexed in 2014. Arbitration decisions can be enforced through the enforcement mechanism: if Russia refuses to comply with the court's decision, Naftogaz will be able to implement the judgment on the territory of the states where Russia's assets are located... Read more
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Black Sea Security Conference
On 13 April, a conference on Black Sea security was held in Bucharest, bringing together representatives of Romania, Ukraine, Moldova, the Council of Europe and NATO. In the face of Russian aggression, the three states signed agreements on security cooperation and expressed their wish to deepen their coordination in this area. NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana recalled the strategic importance of the Black Sea for Euro-Atlantic security... Read more
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Aid to Ukraine increases development assistance spending
The OECD published a report on 12 April regarding the global boom in official development assistance, driven by spending on refugees and aid to Ukraine. The total amount of such development assistance rose from $186 billion in 2021 to $204 billion in 2022. This is the fourth year in a row that aid has reached this level. Official development assistance to Ukraine is estimated by the OECD to be $16.1 billion in 2022, up from $918 million in 2021. Otherwise, official development assistance is directed to the least developed countries... Read more
25 years imprisonment for Vladimir Kara-Murza
On 17 April, Russian opposition figure Vladimir Kara-Mourza was sentenced to 25 years in prison by a Moscow court for high treason and several other charges, after criticising Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The 41-year-old was awarded the Vaclav Havel human rights prize in October 2002... Read more
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Diplomacy : Meeting of G7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors
On 12 April, G7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors met in Washington to discuss the latest developments in the global economic and financial sector, the Russian war on Ukraine and sanctions, economic resilience and supply chains, and support for the poorest countries affected by the war in Ukraine... Read more
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Meeting of G7 Energy Ministers
On 15 and 16 April, the G7 ministers met in Sapporo, Japan, to discuss climate, environment and energy. While they recognised the urgent need to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 43% by 2030 and 60% by 2035, they did not specify a date or firm commitment to follow. They agreed on the need to stop building new coal-fired power plants but did not set a date for the end of coal use... Read more
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ECB : ECB does not plan to cut rates
On 14 April, in a speech to the International Monetary and Financial Committee, ECB President Christine Lagarde noted that the outlook for the recovery of the global economy remains fragile, in particular because of the war in Ukraine and the possibility of renewed pressures on global energy and food markets. Despite this context, she noted that the euro area economy is expected to recover in the coming quarters and that inflation in the euro area should continue to fall... Read more
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European Agencies : Juice launches successfully
The European space probe of the Juice mission, launched by Ariane 5, took off from Kourou on 14 April, starting its multi-year journey to reach Jupiter in 2031. The objective of this European Space Agency mission is to explore the moons of the gas giant, as indicated by its name, Juice, an acronym for Jupiter icy moons explorer... Read more
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Germany : Trip to China, Korea
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock visited China from 13 to 15 April and South Korea from 15 to 16 April. In Tianjin, the Minister visited several industrial sites and discussed with representatives of the German economy the opportunities and risks for German companies operating in China. In her view, an escalation between China and Taiwan would be a "worst case scenario" for Germany and the European Union. During her visit to South Korea, she held talks with her Korean counterpart Park Jin. Germany and South Korea agreed on closer cooperation in the face of rising tensions on the Korean peninsula... Read more
Closure of the last three nuclear power plants
Germany shut down its last three operating power plants on 15 April. The operation of these plants had been extended for three and a half months due to the war in Ukraine and the rise in energy prices. The country now relies partly on renewable energy but still operates its coal-fired power stations... Read more

Estonia : Kaja Kallas re-elected as Prime Minister
On 12 April, outgoing Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas won parliamentary approval to form the next government. The new coalition resulting from the 5 March elections includes the Reform Party (ER), Eesti 200 and the Social Democratic Party (SDE). On 17 April, the 14 ministers, including five women, were sworn in... Read more
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Finland : Olkiluoto 3 EPR goes into operation
On 16 April, the Olkiluoto 3 EPR, which is now the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, was officially activated in Finland. It is expected to produce 30% of the country's electricity for the next 60 years... Read more

France : State Visit to the Netherlands
French President Emmanuel Macron was on a state visit to the Netherlands from 11 to 12 April. After a reception with King Willem-Alexander, he met with Prime Minister Mark Rutte to discuss their defence cooperation and renew the bilateral Declaration of Intent of May 2019... Read more
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Pension reform enacted after favourable opinion of the Constitutional Council
On 14 April, the French Constitutional Council issued a decision validating the amended social security financing law for 2023, which provides for a gradual increase in the legal retirement age to 64. The law was promulgated on 15 April and will enter into force on 1 September... Read more
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Ireland : Joe Biden's Visit
From 11 to 14 April, US President Joe Biden paid an official visit to the island of Ireland. Welcomed in Belfast by the British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, he took part in the commemorations of the 25th anniversary of the peace agreements. He welcomed the UK's post-Brexit agreement with the European Union, which he believes will lead to significant US investment by guaranteeing peace and progress. In Dublin, he met with Irish President Michael D. Higgins. In a speech to the Irish Parliament, he spoke of his Irish roots and said he was "at home" in Ireland... Read more
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Italy : Economic and financial document 2023
On 11 April, the Italian Council of Ministers approved the Economic and Financial Document 2023, which outlines the main objectives of the government's economic and fiscal policy for the period 2024-2026. Among the measures announced are the reduction of social contributions borne by middle and low income earners and the gradual reduction of the general government deficit and debt. The document also contains measures to stimulate investment and strengthen the country's competitiveness... Read more
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Poland : Polish President visits Austria
On 14 April, Polish President Andrzej Duda met his Austrian counterpart, Alexander Van der Bellen, in Vienna. They held a press conference in which they reiterated the need for the European Union to remain united behind a "democratic Ukraine". The Polish president said he respected Austrian neutrality, while suggesting that Austria provide more non-military goods, such as bullet-proof jackets... Read more
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UN : Disquiet regarding the migratory crisis in the Mediterranean
On 12 April, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) announced that between January and March of this year, more than 400 migrants had died trying to cross the central Mediterranean. The first quarter of 2023 is thus the deadliest quarter recorded since 2017. On 13 April, Volker Türk, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, expressed alarm at the situation of asylum seekers and migrants crossing the central Mediterranean. He urged states to open up more regular migration routes and to make greater efforts to ensure speedy rescue and dignified treatment... Read more
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India, the most populous country in the world
The UN has predicted that India will overtake China in terms of population by mid-April. The Indian nation is expected to have nearly 1.417 billion people, compared to China's 1.412 billion. This makes India the most populous country in the world, with growth expected to peak in 2060 at 1.7 billion. The United States (338 million), Indonesia (275 million) and Pakistan (234 million) are the next most populous states... Read more

OECD : Report on critical raw materials
On 11 April, the OECD published a report on the supply of critical raw materials, including the risks and challenges associated with the green transition. It notes that the increase in production and trade remains insufficient in relation to demand, and highlights the negative role of export restrictions and the concentration of critical material reserves in a few countries: China, Russia, Australia, South Africa and Zimbabwe... Read more
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IMF : World Economic Outlook
The IMF released its global economic forecast on 11 April, which has deteriorated due to inflation, increased financial instability and soaring public debts. The IMF estimates that global growth will be 2.8% in 2023, down 0.1% from the previous forecast in January. For the eurozone, it predicts growth of 0.8% in 2023, and 1.4% in 2024. Europe is expected to experience a "sharp downturn" in growth but will avoid recession in 2023, before accelerating in 2024, the IMF's European Department Director Alfred Kammer said on 14 April... Read more
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Culture : The Bourges Spring
The 47th edition of Printemps de Bourges is taking place from 18 to 23 April. On the programme, numerous artists will be performing for six days, the event announces artistic renewal as it opens the festival season... Read more
Brussels Art Fair
The Art Brussels Contemporary Art Fair is taking place from 20 to 23 April at Brussels Expo. It brings together 150 of the most important art galleries on the international scene and is expected to attract around 25,000 visitors... Read more
Paris Book Festival
The Paris Book Festival takes place from 21 to 23 April. The programme includes the presentation of the Prix littéraire des lycéens and the Prix Marie Claire on 21 April, writing workshops, readings, book signings and interviews with writers and philosophers. Italy is the guest of honour at the Festival... Read more
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"Miró, Homage to Gaudí. Space and Colour" in Castres
On 15 April the Goya Museum in Castres celebrated its reopening with a unique exhibition that will run until 4 June. Entitled "Miró, Homage to Gaudí. Space and Colour", it aims to present to the public for the very first time a series of 23 engravings by Miró, acquired by the museum between 2003 and 2022. This particularly colourful series allows us to explore Miró's late work and his talent for etching, as well as to appreciate the links between him and Gaudí, another major Barcelona artist... Read more
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Picasso and Classical Antiquity
Until 27 August, the Naples Museum of Archaeology is devoting an exhibition to "Picasso and the Ancient", to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the artist's death. The exhibition aims to establish a comparison between Picasso's works and the sculptures and paintings of Pompeii. The aim is to illustrate the influence of Italian classical art on Picasso's artistic career... Read more
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White Picasso in the Blue Memory in A Coruña
On the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Pablo Picasso (1973-2023), the Picasso Festival will be held, organised jointly by France and Spain. In this context, the Museum of Fine Arts in A Coruña is offering an exhibition entitled "White Picasso in Blue Memory" until 25 June. It is structured in ten chapters, which refer to thematic and conceptual references in Picasso's work, thus allowing the different facets to be explored... Read more
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Edmondo Bacci, Energy and Light in Venice
Until September 18, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice is hosting an exhibition dedicated to Edmondo Bacci. The exhibition aims to explore the lyrical phase of the painter's career through the presentation of 80 works, some of which have never been shown to the public... Read more
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Würth Collection in Vienna
Until 10 September, the Leopold Museum in Vienna is presenting the first comprehensive exhibition in Austria of the finest works from the Würth Collection, one of the largest private collections in Europe. The exhibition brings together 200 works ranging from classical modernism to contemporary art... Read more
Gerard Richter: 100 works for Berlin
The German painter, sculptor and photographer Gerhard Richter has donated 100 of his works to the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, giving visitors the chance to see them together for the first time until 2026. The central work in the exhibition is the "Birkenau" series, consisting of four abstract paintings based on photographs taken by prisoners in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp and a mirror positioned in front of the paintings, which creates another level of reflection by integrating the viewer into the painting... Read more
Marc Chagall in Warsaw
Until 30 June the Warsaw Auction House is presenting a selection of 40 works by Marc Chagall on paper... Read more
Hilma af Klint and Piet Mondrian at the Tate Modern
Until 3 September, the Tate Modern Gallery in London is hosting an exhibition devoted to the Swedish painter Hilma af Klin and the Dutch artist Piet Mondrian. The exhibition brings together works by these two artists who, although they never met, each invented their own abstract art languages rooted in nature... Read more

17-20 April 2023


Plenary Session of the European Parliament

18-19 April 2023


Informal Meeting of Environment Ministers

24 April 2023


Foreign Affairs Council

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