The Letter n°1022

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The Letter n°1022
The Letter
Wednesday 10th May 2023
issue 1022
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9 May is a day to celebrate peace and unity in Europe. This date marks the anniversary of Robert Schuman's historic declaration on 9 May 1950, in which he set out the idea of a new form of political cooperation in Europe, which would make war between European nations unthinkable. 9 May marked the beginning of the construction of the European Community.
The European institutions dealing with crises
Author : Charles Fries
Charles Fries
In the face of rising geopolitical tensions and increasingly disordered multipolarity, the European Union has understood the imperative need to demonstrate "strategic responsibility" so that it can better defend its security interests.
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Front Page : The declaration of 9 May 1950
The declaration of 9 May 1950, the 73rd anniversary of which is being celebrated this year, is considered the founding text of European integration. Delivered by Robert Schuman, the French Foreign Minister, it proposed the creation of a European organisation to pool French and German coal and steel production and gave rise to the first European Community (ECSC). In 1985, 9 May was declared "Europe Day". We offer you the full text of this declaration... Read more
Celebrating 9 May
On 9 May, the 73rd anniversary of Robert Schuman's declaration, we can celebrate an exemplary success; above all we must show that we are ready to finalise it, so that Europe remains among the three great powers, writes Jean-Dominique Giuliani... Read more

Foundation : Publication of the Schuman Report, the State of the Union 2023
Founded on 9 May 1950 with the Schuman Declaration, Europe has changed a lot... this is what is shown by the "Schuman Report on Europe, the State of the Union 2023", which analyses the profound changes that have taken place in Europe, accelerated by the shock of the war in Ukraine. This 17th edition (14th in English) 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 French in print and digital format, and in English in digital format. Order your copy here!.. Read more
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Commission : Ammunition production support plan
On 3 May, the Commission presented a plan to support ammunition and missile production in Ukraine and to replenish Member States' stocks. It proposes to set up subsidies and improve monitoring of supply chains to strengthen cooperation with Member States, as well as emergency measures for managing orders. The plan provides for a budget of €500 million from the European Defence Fund to reach a capacity of 1 million rounds of ammunition per year... Read more
Draft directive on the fight to counter corruption
On 3 May, the Commission presented a draft directive on the fight against corruption. It proposes to harmonise the definition of criminal offences considered as corruption and to increase the level of sanctions, as well as to raise awareness and to make public service reporting on corruption more widespread and strict. It proposes a sanctions regime to target serious acts of corruption around the world... Read more

Council : Agreement to extend the protection of geographical indications
The Council and the Parliament reached a provisional agreement on 2 May on the regulation on the protection of geographical indications for craft and industrial products. This regulation will extend the protection of geographical indications to goods such as glass, porcelain or knives, whereas this protection was previously restricted to food and drink... Read more
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Meeting of Ministers in charge of Development
The Ministers responsible for development exchanged views on 4 May on the global consequences of the war in Ukraine and the reform of the multilateral development banks. They also discussed the reconstruction of Ukraine, the situation in Sudan, Afghanistan, the humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa, the post-Cotonou agreement and the European Investment Bank's non-EU investments... Read more
Informal Meeting of Health Ministers
EU Health Ministers met in Stockholm on 4-5 May to discuss access to medicines, including the need for affordable prices and the prevention of shortages through stockpiling. At the same time, the World Health Organisation decided on 4 May to end the global pandemic emergency for the management of Covid-19... Read more
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Informal Meeting of Employment and Social Affairs Ministers
The ministers for employment and social affairs discussed labour market transitions and their consequences for the supply of skills in the EU, as well as the impact of ageing populations on social security systems, at an informal meeting on 4-5 May in Stockholm... Read more
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Diplomacy : Agreement between Serbs and Kosovars on missing persons during the war
Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic met on 2 May in Brussels in the presence of the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, to discuss the normalisation of relations between the two countries. They pledged to resolve the case of people who disappeared during the war. The meeting failed to find a solution to the tensions that still exist in northern Kosovo... Read more
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Economic aid to Moldova
On 2 May, the Commission proposed to extend for one year the suspension of customs duties and tariff quotas on imports from Moldova. The Commission disbursed on 3 May a €40 million loan in the framework of the macro-financial assistance operation for the country. This aid is intended to offset the impact of the war on the country's economy... Read more
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Court of Justice : Judgment regarding data protection
In a judgment delivered on 4 May, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that not every breach of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) gives rise to a right to compensation and that it is up to the courts of each Member State to set the criteria for entitlement to compensation for the damage suffered. This ruling was issued after the Austrian Supreme Court requested the collection of data on the political affiliations of an individual who had not given his consent... Read more

ECB : Increase in interest rates
The European Central Bank (ECB) decided on 4 May to raise its key interest rates by 0.25 percentage points. It warned that key rates will continue to be set at "sufficiently restrictive levels to ensure that inflation returns to the 2% objective as soon as possible over the medium term". ECB President Christine Lagarde justified the decision by saying that "underlying price pressures remain strong", despite falling inflation... Read more

Ukraine : 1 billion to provide ammunition
On 5 May, the Council approved the use of a €1 billion tranche of the EU Peace Facility to supply Ukraine with artillery shells and missiles... Read more
Visit of Volodymyr Zelensky to The Hague
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited the International Criminal Court in The Hague on 4 May. He addressed the Dutch parliament and met with the kings of the Netherlands and Belgium. He gave a speech entitled "No peace without justice for Ukraine" and called for the creation of a special tribunal for Russia's crime of aggression against Ukraine... Read more
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Visit of the Venice Commission
The Venice Commission, the Council of Europe's advisory committee on constitutional law, sent a delegation to meet the Ukrainian President in Kyiv on 5 May. Volodymyr Zelensky and Claire Bazy Malaurie, President of the Venice Commission, discussed ongoing and future reforms to help Ukraine comply with European standards in the context of its application for EU membership. In particular, they discussed the reform of the Constitutional Court, the laws on de-oligarchization and on national minorities... Read more

European Agencies : European Defence Agency Annual Report
The European Defence Agency published its report for the year 2022 on 8 May. In particular, it explains that it managed 97 cooperation projects and programmes for capability development, training, joint tenders and research and development, for a total amount of €672 million... Read more
Operation against the dark web
An intervention coordinated by Europol and involving 9 countries resulted on 2 May in the arrest of 288 suspects of drug and arms trafficking on the dark web and the seizure of 850 kilos of drugs and 117 weapons across the European Union, the UK and the US... Read more
European partnership for the IRIS2 constellation
On 2 May, European space and telecoms organisations signed a partnership to bid for the IRIS2 (Infrastructure for Resilience, Interconnectivity and Security by Satellite) satellite constellation. The consortium will be led by Airbus Defence and Space, Eutelsat, Hispasat, SES and Thales Alenia Space, but remains open to other actors. The consortium will also include Deutsche Telekom, OHB, Orange, Hisdesat, Telespazio and Thales... Read more
Finalists of the European Inventor Prize
The European Patent Office announced on 9 May the list of 12 finalists for the European Inventor Award 2023, to be presented on 4 July... Read more

Finland : Nordic Countries' Summit
A Nordic summit on the war in Ukraine was held in Helsinki on 3 May, attended by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Finnish President Sauli Niinistön, Danish and Icelandic Prime Ministers Mette Frederiksen and Katrin Jakobsdottir, Swedish and Norwegian Prime Ministers Ulf Kristersson and Jonas Gahr Store reaffirmed the need for continued military and economic support to Ukraine. The Finnish President stressed the importance of the Nordic countries speaking with one voice on the issue of the war in Ukraine... Read more
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UK : Coronation of King Charles III
King Charles III of England was crowned in London on 6 May. He succeeds his mother Elizabeth II, who died in September 2022. He is the head of state of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of 14 Commonwealth countries... Read more
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Local elections in England
On 4 May, local elections were held in England to renew 8000 seats in 230 local councils. After the count, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's Conservatives were down by 960 seats, Labour won 635, the Liberal Democrats 416 and the Green Party gained a net 200 seats. This is the last election before the general elections scheduled for 2024... Read more
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Slovakia : Resignation of the Prime Minister
Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger resigned on 6 May after the departure of his foreign minister, ending the coalition government he had led since April 2021. President Zuzana Caputová announced on 7 May the appointment of a technocrat government led by the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank, Ludovit Odor, until the next parliamentary elections scheduled for 30 September... Read more
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Council of Europe : Annual report of the Secretary General
In her annual report published on 5 May, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić, called on member states to commit to reversing the decline in democracy at the fourth Summit of Heads of State and Government in Reykjavik on 16-17 May. She highlights the increase in violence, intimidation and surveillance of journalists, the use of laws to limit the actions of civil society, the excessive use of violence in the face of demonstrations, or the increase in hate speech, particularly in politics... Read more
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Report on the fight against child exploitation in Moldova
A Council of Europe report published on 4 May highlights the need for Moldova to devote more resources to identifying and supporting sexually exploited children, especially those from the most vulnerable groups. In particular, the report notes that the war in Ukraine has put the Moldovan child protection system at risk due to the increased risk of trafficking and exploitation of child refugees... Read more

World Bank : Ajay Banga elected President
On 3 May, the American of Indian origin Ajay Banga was elected President of the World Bank. He announced that during his mandate he would give priority to financing the fight against global warming and to reforming the World Bank. He will take office on 2 June for a five-year term... Read more

Eurostat : Increase in inflation in April
According to a Eurostat flash estimate published on 2 May, the inflation rate in the euro area was 7% in April 2023, compared with 6.9% in March. This rise in inflation is notably linked to an increase in energy prices (+2.5% compared to -0.9% in March)... Read more
Decrease in unemployment
In March 2023, according to figures published on 3 May by Eurostat, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6% in the European Union and 6.5% in the euro area, down from the rate recorded in March 2022... Read more

Culture : European Museum Night
The 19th European Museum Night will take place on 13 and 20 May in 1,300 museums in France and more than 3,000 across Europe, in almost 30 European countries... Read more
Lavinia Fontana: pioneering rule breaker on show in Dublin
The National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin is devoting an exhibition to Laviana Fontana, a Bolognese painter from the late 16th century, until 27 August. She is often regarded as the first artist to succeed professionally beyond a court or convent. The exhibition explores Fontana's life through a selection of her best-loved works and gives an insight into the cultural climate that allowed her to flourish as a female artist... Read more
Louise Bourgeois Exhibition in Oslo
Until 6 August, the exhibition "Louise Bourgeois. Imaginary Conversations" at the National Museum of Norway in Oslo, features encounters between Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010) and other artists including Edvard Munch, Pablo Picasso, and Alberto Giacometti. The French-American artist is known for exploring the artistic and social changes of contemporary life... Read more
Robert Doisneau in Milan
Until 15 October, in the cloister of Sant'Eustorgio, the Carlo Maria Martini diocesan museum in Milan is hosting an exhibition dedicated to Robert Doisneau. The exhibition deals with the most emblematic themes of his work, such as war and liberation, love and desire. The Kiss at City Hall and other iconic photographs by the artist are presented... Read more
Norman Foster at the Pompidou Centre
Until 7 August, the Centre Pompidou in Paris is devoting a vast exhibition to Norman Foster, a major figure in world architecture and leader of the high-tech (or late modernist) movement. Two thousand square metres are dedicated, in the form of a drawing room, to his workbooks and his numerous models, which provide an insight into a hundred or so architectural and design projects... Read more
Loving Picasso in Madrid
The Opera Gallery in Madrid presents the exhibition "Loving Picasso", until 11 June. This exhibition marks the 50th anniversary of the death of the legendary Pablo Picasso and inaugurates the new exhibition space in Madrid... Read more
Vija Celmins and Gerhard Richter in Hamburg
Until 27 August, an exhibition at the Kunsthalle Hamburg features some 70 works by the American artist Vija Celmins and the German painter Gerhard Richter. The dialogue reveals surprising similarities between the two artists, including the special role of the colour grey in their work and a strong interest in themes such as everyday life, war and migration... Read more
"Hidden Life, the Child in Polish Contemporary Art"
Until 16 July, the exhibition "Hidden Life, the Child in Polish Contemporary Art" at the Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw examines the image of children and childhood as perceived by more than 40 artists working since the period of transformation of the political system in Poland in the late 1980s and 1990s... Read more
Re-opening of the Gaîté Lyrique
From 12 to 14 May, the Gaîté Lyrique in Paris reopens its doors and turns a new page in its history, which is being written by several authors, through the unprecedented alliance of Arty Farty, makesense, SINGA, ARTE France and Actes Sud. For this opening weekend, a Fabrique de l'époque will be held... Read more

8-11 May 2023


Plenary Session of the European Parliament

9 May 2023

Europe Day

12-13 May 2023


Informal Meeting of Foreign Ministers

14 May 2023


Meeting with the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan

15 May 2023


Eurogroup Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council meeting

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