The Letter n°470

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The Letter n°470
The Letter
18th January 2011 - n°470
Comment recréer un environnement économique européen prévisible ?
Jean-François Jamet
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Foundation :
Poland/20 years
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The Chairman of the Robert Schuman Foundation, Jean-Dominique Giuliani will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Polish Robert Schuman Foundation in Warsaw on 20th January.
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France/Korea
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The National Assembly is organising a forum on 20th January on the theme of "Korea/France: from one G20 to another what opportunities are there for French companies?" in which the Chairman of the Robert Schuman Foundation, Jean-Dominique Giuliani will be taking part. He will be speaking on the theme of "What possibilities are there for cooperation in the light of the free trade agreement between the EU and Korea?"
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France/Germany
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The Franco-German Studies Committee of the IFRI and the Zentrum für Europäische Integrationsforschung of the University of Bonn are organising a conference in Brussels on 19th January on the theme of "Europe and the World in 2020 - Franco-German Outlook" in which the chairman of the Robert Schuman Foundation, Jean-Dominique Giuliani will be participating. He will be speaking on the theme "For leadership via Credibility - Recommendations for a more effective European Policy."
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Europe/World
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The IEP of Strasbourg is organising a conference together with the Robert Schuman Foundation on 19th January "Which Europe in the World?". The conference will start with an analysis of the European External Action Service (EEAS) notably with Maxime Lefebvre, Director of International Relations for the ENA, author of a study on the EEAS for the Foundation; the second part is devoted to the EU's external neighbourhood policy notably with Alexandra Goujon who has also written several studies for the Foundation.
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Election/Portugal
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On 23rd January the first round of the presidential election will take place in Portugal. According to the latest poll by Intercampus, published by TVI outgoing President Anibal Cavaco Silva is due to be re-elected in the first round with 60.1% of the vote. Manuel Alegre is due to win 25.3%, Francisco Lopes 6.3% and three other candidates - Fernando Nobre, Defensor de Moura and José Manuel Coelho are each due to win 5% of the vote.
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Elections/Kosovo
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The Democratic Party maintained its lead after the by-elections in Kosovo on 9th January. Indeed voters from the five towns ((Ferizaj-Urosevac, Decan-Decani, Malishevo, Skenderaj-Srbica and Gllogovce-Glogovac) were called back to ballot after voting in the election on 12th December was cancelled in these five towns due to infringements. The Democratic Party (PDK) led by outgoing Prime Minister Hashim Thaci won 32% of the vote (1.5 points less in comparison with the result achieved on 12th December last). The general election results are still not final since another by-election is due to take place in Mitrovica. The vote of the electorate in the country's second biggest town should not affect the final results of the election however.
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Financial Crisis :
ECB
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On 13th January the President of the European Central Bank, Jean-Claude Trichet declared that inflationist pressure would remain short term in the euro area because of the rises in energy prices but that this will be contained mid and long term. He admitted that inflation was recently greater than forecast in the euro area. On the same day the ECB decided to maintain its main interest rate at 1%. However if inflation gathered pace the ECB will be quick to react by raising its rates intimated Mr Trichet. Finally the ECB President said he was carefully optimistic about growth in the euro area this year, and it should remain "positive" but "shrouded in great uncertainty".
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Commission
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On 12th January the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso set the new annual priorities for European economic growth. He put forward a global plan comprising 10 steps placing emphasis on three main areas: the need for rigorous budgetary stabilising to strengthen macro-economic stability; structural reform to create jobs; measures to enhance growth. In addition to this the Commission launched a consultation on Central Securities Depositories (CSDs) and on the harmonisation of certain aspects of securities settlement in the EU in view of making the financial markets safer. The consultation is open until March 1st. The Commission will analyse the answers and will make a legislative proposal by the summer of 2011.
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Parliament
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During an audition on 13th January on economic governance organised by the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee Mario Monti, former European Commissioner and present chair of the Bocconi University of Milan joined other leading academics to take part in a brainstorming over the approach to follow in terms of economic governance in the EU. He supported the European Parliament's desire to achieve an economic governance model that was very different from the one implemented during the first ten years of economic and monetary union. "The European Parliament can contribute greatly to budgetary transparency and to counter the nationalist cartel that has dominated the last few years of economic and monetary union," he declared.
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World Bank
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A report published on 12th January by the World Bank forecasts regular growth of 3.3% in 2011 and 3.6% in 2012. In Europe growth is due to rise to 4.7% after a contraction of more than 6% in the GDP in 2010. In some countries (Bulgaria, Lithuania and Romania) which experienced a decline or stagnation of the GDP in 2010 growth is due to be restricted to 2% in 2011 and 3.3% in 2012. But recovery still largely depends on the situation of European countries with high revenues where the viability of the sovereign debt continues to be the cause of concern. The report also points to a rise in food prices which increased by 10% over the last few months.
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G20
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French President Nicolas Sarkozy arrived in Washington on 10th January to speak with his American counterpart, Barack Obama, about the G20 and G8, international issues, but also terrorism. Just a few weeks before the press conference on the launch of the G20 the French president described the priorities of the dual presidency of the G20 and G8; he gauged the degree of possible cooperation with the USA. The French President said that "our teams will work hard together to put forward proposals on currency, raw materials prices and all issues on the G20 agenda to reduce world imbalances." Given the American refusal to put an end to the supremacy of the dollar that would endanger the base of their economic policy Nicolas Sarkozy pleaded for a "diversification in currency reserves."
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Germany
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The German economy grew again strongly in 2010. With +3.6%, the increase in the price-adjusted gross domestic product (GDP) was larger than ever since German reunification according to a press released by Destatis, the Federal Statistical Office on 12th January. Growth is being pulled along by vigourous exports and a recovery in domestic consumption. Germany's public deficit in 2010 totalled 88.6 billion euros, ie 3.5%.
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Belgium
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Belgium ended 2010 with a public deficit of 4.6% of its GDP ie better than the 4.8% set in its stability programme and with a debt totalling 97.2% of the GDP also lower than previous forecasts indicated Prime Minister Yves Leterme on 12th January after a Council of Ministers. These results which are still provisional "are higher than the goal set by Belgium as part of the stability programme," said Mr Leterme who has been trying over the last few days to reassure the markets which are still concerned about Belgium's political instability. On 10th January King Albert II asked the resigning government to manage current affairs and plan for more budgetary effort in 2011.
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Denmark
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According to figures published on 10th January by the Danish statistics institute, Statistics Denmark, exports rose by 1.5% in November in comparison with October whilst imports remained almost the same. The Danish trade surplus lay at 5.8 billion crowns (778 million euros) in November 2010. These figures are adjusted to seasonal variations and do not include ships and aeroplanes. Statistics Denmark announced the same day that inflation in Denmark accelerated to 2.8% in December in comparison with 2.6% in November. In addition to this Danish industrial production declined by 0.6% in November according to a press release by the institute dated 13th January.
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Spain
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During the presentation of the government's annual economic report on 11th January Prime Minister José Luis Zapatero declared that the country had entered the most important economic modernisation process ever witnessed since democratic transition. He said he was confident that the reforms would be effective in boosting growth from 2011-2015 if work continued over the next few months. He recalled that the final goal of these reforms was the "creation of jobs" and "the country's prosperity".
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Finland
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According to figures published on 14th January by the Finnish statistics institute Statistics Finland, inflation lay at 2.9% in December in Finland. It lay at 2.5% in November. The inflation rate in 2010 rose to 1.2% on average.
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France
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The Bank of France confirms its forecast of 0.6% GDP growth in the fourth quarter of 2010 in its monthly economic survey published on 11th January. This figure is the third and last forecast by the Central Bank for this period. The Bank of France raised its forecast in December to 0.6% against a previous 0.5%.
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Greece
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Unemployment in Greece leapt to 13.5% in October in comparison with 9.8% a year ago thereby beating the record in over ten years whilst the country is starting its second year of recession said the Greek Statistics Authority on 13th January. In September unemployment affected 12.6% of the working population. On 10th January the Greek Finance Minister announced that Greece had reduced its budgetary deficit by 36.5% in 2010 down to 19.603 billion euros thanks to cuts in spending. This result only concerns the execution of the 2010 budget without affecting the entire pubic deficit - which includes the accounts of local communities and public companies - retained as a criteria by the EU said the ministry in a press release.
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Italy
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Italy's public deficit fell to 5.1% of the GDP over the first nine months of 2010 against 5.5% recorded over a matching period in 2009 said the national statistics institute, Istat, on 10th January in a press release. This drop in the public deficit is due to a 0.4% reduction in spending whilst revenues increased by 0.3% at the same time.
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Iceland
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On 10th January the IMF announced that it had released the fifth part of its loan to Iceland for a total of 160 million $, one month after the signature of an agreement settling the international dispute that involved the bankruptcy of the bank Icesave. The institution said that its board has approved the payment of this sum. It brings the amounts received by Reykjavik up to 1.49 billion $ of the 2.13 billion initially planned.
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Moldova
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According to the National Statistics Bureau of Moldova exports (notably agricultural products) increased by 20.4% between January and November 2010 whilst imports increased by 17.1%.
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Portugal
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Seen as the next country likely to request European aid, Portugal announced on 11th January that it had beaten its goal of reducing budgetary deficit in 2010 bringing it down from 7.3% of the GDP. However on the same day the Bank of Portugal reviewed its growth forecast for 2011 downwards and is now counting on a decline of 1.3% in the GDP whilst its previous estimates forecast a stagnation in the Portuguese economy.
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OECD
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According to a study published on 12th January by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) growth in the OECD area slowed in the third quarter of 2010 dropping from 0.9% to 0.6% due to a decrease in investments. In these conditions private consumption was the main element in growth (0.4%) followed by the reconstitution of stocks (0.3 points).
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European Council :
Chalenges/EU
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The Heads of State and government of the euro area should be able to meet when circumstances required it said the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy in London on 13th January. He recommends that the meetings be organised directly after the European Councils. In his opinion the 17 Members of the euro area must work more closely together rather than with other EU member countries to guarantee greater convergence of their economic policies. Herman Van Rompuy quoted as an example the pensions systems and the fiscal regimes.
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Commission :
Internet
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A study published on 13th January by the European Commission warns of the weaknesses in parental control instruments. Software is mainly "good" when it comes to filtering pornographic content however other content passes through notably "sites encouraging young people to hurt themselves" for example sites promoting "anorexia, suicide and self-mutilation" said the Commission in a press release. In the end at least >20% of content that should be blocked gets through whilst sites especially designed for children are blocked by mistake. Other weaknesses noted by the study - filtering software is quite ineffective for blogs and social networks such as Facebook as well as for cetain communication systems such as instant messages or Skype telephone software.
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Hungary/Media
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During a debate organised at the European Parliament on 11th January on the freedom of the press in Hungary European Commissioner for the digital economy, Neelie Kroes indicated the problems relative to the field of application of this controversial law on the media. She said that the law's scope could be far too wide and hence not in line with a European directive on audiovisual media, which Hungarian legislation is supposed to transpose nationally. She also questioned the pertinence of obliging the audiovisual media on the internet to register with the Hungarian authority as planned for by Budapest. Hungary is at present under the fire of criticism because of its law on the media which entered into force on 1st January. The Commission is exmaning the text with the aim of checking that it respects the EU's rules.
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Azerbaijan
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The President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso travelled to Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan on 13th and 14th January. On 13th January in Baku he met the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and signed a long term Joint Declaration on gas delivery for Europe; with this Azerbaijan commits to supplying substantial volumes of gas over the long term to the European Union, while Europe will provide access to its market for them. The project to open a Corridor comprises the construction of several gas pipelines to bring gas from the Caspian Sea to Europe. This is part of the new extremely strategic gas routes alongside the Nabucco project. In 2014 this is due to link the gas fields of Central Asia to Western Europe via Turkey and the South East of Europe thereby avoiding Russia.
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Ukraine
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The European Union has raised the tone against President Viktor Yanukovich's government accused of repressing the opposition, stressing that the rapprochement between Kiev and Brussels depended on the respect of democratic principles. "Progress in bringing Ukraine closer to the EU depends on the reforms and the commitment to common values that aim to strengthen democratic principles and to ensure fundamental rights," declared Stefan Füle, the European Commissioner for Enlargement to the press on a trip to Kiev on 11th January. Obstacles to freedom could endanger the signature of an association agreement with Brussels and impede the abolition of the European visa regime he intimated.
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Parliament :
Belarus
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President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek said on 12th January that the representatives of the democratic opposition and Belarussian civil society were the true victors in the Presidential election. He defined the EU's present priorities with regard to Belarus as being the liberation of opponents imprisoned during the electoral evening of 19th December. He invited all European institutions to review their relations with Belarus whose situation has changed greatly since election day and for them to support the Belarussian people. On the same day the Belarus opposition leader, Aleksandr Milinkevich met members of the Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee as well as the President of Parliament, Jerzy Buzek. During this interview he said that the EU had to "punish the authorities but open the doors to Europe for Belarussian citizens."
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Consumers
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Construction products containing dangerous substances should be clearly labelled to protect workers' and users of construction works' health and security by using construction products that fall in line with the new rules adopted by the Internal Market Committee on 10th January. The vote on this text in plenary session is planned for 18th January.
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Diplomacy :
Belarus
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The High Representative for the EU's Diplomacy and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton met the main representatives of the Belarussian opposition on 12th January in Brussles then the Belarus Foreign Minister Serguey Martinov. She re-iterated the EU's condemnation of the "violent repression of demonstrators, the en masse arrests and the harassment suffered by the representatives of civil society after the election." She insisted on the "immediate liberation of people being held for political reasons and for the immediate end of the persecution of the opposition." Finally she said she supported, as did the EU, all of the prisoners and their families."
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Moldova
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The EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton and European Enlargement Commissioner, Stephan Füle welcomed the formation of a new government in Moldova. Both stressed the importance of this step for the democratic development of Moldova. They confirmed their confidence in the rapprochement of the EU and Moldova. The EU hopes to see the Republic of Moldova elect a President in the near future.
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Council :
Men/Women Equality
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Equality between men and women is on the agenda of the Hungarian Presidency which is working on perfecting the European Pact for Equality between Men and Women. The draft document in line with the Europe 2020 strategy was presented at the Budapest meeting of high level experts. The impact of the crisis on gender equality was also examined.
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Germany :
Malta/Cyprus
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On 10th and 11th January Chancellor Angela Merkel travelled to Malta and Cyprus. In La Valette she spoke with Maltese Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi. They discussed the future of the euro area and migration on the borders of the Schengen Area. On 11th January the German Chancellor travelled to Cyprus where she met Cypriot President Demetris Christofias. With regard to the road to settling the Cypriot conflict Ms Merkel said that "this had to be found by the population of Cyprus itself." Simultaneously she guaranteed that the country had Germany's full support.
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Demography
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According to an estimate published on 13th January by the Federal Statistics Office, Destatis, the number of inhabitants in Germany is said to have decreased slightly in 2010. According to the study's results around 81.7 million people were living in Germny at the end of 2010; this is 0.1 million or 0.1% less than in 2009.
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Prize/Merkel
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The Coudenhove-Kalergi Society has awarded the European Prize (Europapreis) 2010 to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. This prize which is given every two years for merits earned in the European unification process was given to Ms Merkel on 13th January. On this occasion the Chancellor stressed an increase in European integration via the single currency.
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Austria :
Portugal
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Portuguese Prime Minister José Socrates and Austrian Chancellor Werner Feymann pleaded on 14th January in Lisbon in favour of a joint European response to the sovereign debt crisis. "We both think that the sovereign debt demands a European response worthy of the circumstances," declared Mr Socrates, believing that this was "a systemic problems that affects the euro and the European project."
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Denmark :
Party
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On 14th January the Danish Justice Minister, Lars Barfoed, was elected head of the ruling conservative party in the place of Lene Espersen who resigned the day before.
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Hungary :
Spanish
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Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Zapatero was host to the President of the Republic of Hungary, Pal Schmitt on 13th January at the Palais de Moncloa - Mr Schmitt was on a visit to Spain for the launch of the Hungarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The two men exchanged information on the economic situation in both countries and addressed the main points on the agenda of the Hungarian Presidency of the EU. The Hungarian President also met King Juan Carlos.
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France :
Piracy
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Drawn up in September 2009 since acts of piracy were on the increase, notably off the coasts of Somalia and in the Indian Ocean the law of 5th January 20011 to counter piracy and the powers enjoyed by the State police on the high seas attempts to enhance the capabilities of the French State, particularly at sea. To this end the law creates a legal framework for the repression of piracy. It includes an almost universal competence for the French authorities to judge acts of piracy committed exterior to its national territory.
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UK
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On 13th January French Prime Minister François Fillon travelled to London where he met his counterpart David Cameron. Speaking to leaders of the business world from the City, François Fillon recalled that France and Germany were prepared to "do everything possible" to "guarantee the stability of the euro area". In the French Prime Minister's opinion "the stability and dynamism of the euro area are a condition for the prosperity of all European States, including the UK". He welcomed the spirit of cooperation shown by London which has not adopted the single currency. However after their meeting the British Prime Minister said that the UK refused to particpate in "any new European mechanism" as part of the stabilisation of the euro area.
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Defence
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The French and British Defence Ministers, Alain Juppé and Liam Fox met on 13th January in Paris. They re-iterated the "priority" they gave to Franco-British defence cooperation with the goal of "producing the first real results in time for the next bilateral summit in the autumn of 2011." They reviewed all areas covered by the bilateral treaties on 2nd November last: operational cooperation between armies, cooperation in terms of capabilities and industry. The ministers "confirmed their joint determination to complete the reform of NATO in 2011 as planned in terms of its three main chapters: command structure, agencies and modernisation of financial governance." They confirmed France and UK's support of the "transition process in Afghanistan" for a transfer of security responsibility over to the Afghan forces starting in 2011.
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Woen/Business
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On 13th January the National Assembly adopted - on an equal footing - the draft law that had already been adopted by the Senate which plans for the progressive introduction of quotas in a move to feminise the boards of major companies. This concerns the boards of companies that are floated on the stock exchange and public companies. Three years after its promulgation the bodies involved will have to include 20% of women. Boards that include no women at the time of the law's promulgation will have to appoint one within the next sixth months. Six years after its promulgation the level of women involved in companies' boards will have to have reached 40%.
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Ireland :
Resignation?
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Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen announced on 16th January that he would stay at the head of his party in spite of calls for his resignation including from Fianna Fail and that he intended to ask Fianna Fail to renew its confidence in him on 18th January during a secret ballot on the occasion of a parliamentary group meeting. In a declaration to the press he said it was "not in the country's interest" for him to resign and he said he was confident about the confidence vote.
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Italy :
Justice
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The Italian Constitutional Court announced on 13th January the partial annulment of the legal immunity enjoyed by the Head of Government Silvio Berlusconi until October thereby doing away with its automatic nature. The two cases brought against Silvio Berlusconi in Milan, one for tax fraud (the Mediaset Affair) and the other for the corruption of a witness (the Mills trial) can now resume but the President of the Council will continue to enjoy room to manoeuvre so that he is not obliged to stand in court. The 15 magistrates opted for a compromise solution between the rejection or approval of the so-called "legitimate prevention" law that has until now enabled Mr Berlusconi not to stand before the courts as long as he is head of government. The court reduced considerably the field of the law's implementation after its adoption in April last - it is valid until October 2011, without however invalidating it by notably removing its automatic nature that enables Mr Berlusconi to avoid any type of court appearance.
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Germany
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On 12th January during the German-Italian intergovernmental consultations in Berlin German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the President of the Italian Council, Silvio Berlusconi said they wanted closer cooperation within the EU to counter the financial and economic crisis. During the joint press conference the Chancellor said that Germany "would do what was necessary for the stability of the euro." "We support what is necessary in support of the euro - also in terms of the European Fund," she said.
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UK :
Trade
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British Prime Minister David Cameron chaired a business ambassadors meeting on 11th January together with the new Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green. This meeting was devoted to the ways to stimulate the country's export market. On this occasion the Prime Minister reminded his audience that the UK's main objective in 2011 was still "growth, growth growth." The business ambassadors were created in November last by the government in view of helping businesses make better use of trade opportunities.
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Vatican :
Beatification
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Pope Benedict XVI decided on 14th January to beatify his predecessor Jean Paul II on May 1st.
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Moldova :
Government
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The Moldovan Parliament approved the composition of the government led by outgoing Prime Minister, Vlad Filat on 14th January. In his speech the Prime Minister promised to "bring the political crisis to an end, to ensure the respect of Human Rights, to reform the legal system and to guarantee citizens' security."
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Iceland :
Anti-Corruption
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An OECD report published on 11th January invited Iceland to do more to counter economic and financial crime, particularly against transnational corruption. The country has to complete its legislative arsenal and improve the coordination of the work of its repressive authorities. Iceland has one year to provide the working group on corruption with an oral follow-up report on what it has done and it has two years to submit a written report to the same group.
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Serbia :
WTO/Agreement
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On 11th January the EU and Serbia signed a bilateral agreement on Serbia's accession to the WTO. The agreement was signed by Mladjan Dinkic, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Regional Development of Serbia, and the European Commissioner for Trade Karel De Gucht. It comprises provisions on tariffs for trade in goods and the reciprocal opening of the partner's respective services markets. These commitments will be embodied in the future Protocol of Accession of the Republic of Serbia to the WTO.
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Eurobarometer :
Economic Governance
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The most recent poll by Eurobarometer focuses on economic governance in the EU. According to this study 77% of Europeans think that the coordination of economic and fiscal policies between the Member States and the EU are two effective tools to counter the economic crisis.
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Eurostat :
Inflation
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According to the most recent figures published by Eurostat the annual inflation rate in the euro area was 2.2% in December 2010 in comparison with November. One year ago it lay at 0.9%. The monthly inflation rate lay at 0.6% in December 2010. The EU's annual inflation rate lay at 2.6% in December 2010, against 2.3% in November. One year ago it lay at 1.5%.
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External Trade
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According to Eurostat estimates for November 2010 the euro area recorded an external trade deficit of 0.4 billion euros with the rest of the world, against a surplus of 3.1 bilion euros in November 2009. Economists had forecast a surplus of 2.8 billion euros. In November 2010 in comparison with October 2010 exports adjusted to seasonal variations increased by 0.2% and imports by 4.4%.
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Industry
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According to figures published on 12th January by Eurostat industrial production adjusted to seasonal variations increased by 1.2% in the euro area and by 1.4% in the EU in November 2010 in comparison with October 2010. In October 2010 production increased by 0.7% and 0.4% respectively. In November 2010 in comparison with November 2009 industrial production rose by 7.4% in the euro area and by 7.8% in the EU.
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Studies/Reports :
Euro
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The January issue of the review "World Today" published by Chatham House devotes an article to the euro entitled "The Euro: 'til Debt Do Us Part" written by Jens Bastian and Vanessa Rossi. In this article the authors look at the debt crisis in the euro area.
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Development
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The general department for globalisation, development and partnerships at the Foreign and European Affairs Ministry recently published a report entitled "Which European Development Policy?". This study offers six goals for more effective, more integrated European action which is better adapted to new challenges.
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Climate
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The Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) published a report on the European Emissions Trading System as well as on the EU's climate policy. This report entitled "The EU Emissions Trading System and Climate Policy towards 2050: Real incentives to reduce emissions and drive innovation?" was written by Christian Egenhofer, Monica Alessi, Anton Georgiev and Noriko Fujiwara.
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Environment
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The German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) has published a study by Nils Simon on international environmental governance in the 21st century (Internationale Umweltgovernance für das 21. Jahrhundert).
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Publications :
Black Sea
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Artège publishing has just released a book by Oleg Serebrian, prefaced by François Frison-Roche entitled "Around the Black Sea, Geopolicy of the Pontic Area." This work relates the multiple geopolitical changes in the Pontic area after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
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World 2030
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For its 20th anniversary the Intstitute for International and Strategic Relations (IRIS) is devoting a special issue to "Which World in 2030?". This issue written under the management of Pascal Boniface includes amongst others an article by Alain Juppé ("What will the world look like in 2030?") and an interview with Hubert Védrine on the new paradigms in international relations.
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Diplomacy
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The University Press of France PUF has published in the series "Que sais-je?" a book by Maxime Lefebve on "La politique étrangère européenne." (European Foreign Policy)
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Culture :
Turku/Tallinn
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The towns of Turku (Finland) and Talinn (Estonia) are the European Cultural Capitals 2011. During the year they will be offering a wealth of events to show the world their cultural heritage.
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Cinema
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On 12th January the European Commission announced the creation of a Loan Guarantee Fund aimed at making it easier for film producers to gain access to bank financing. The €8 million MEDIA Production Guarantee Fund will be run by the Commission in tandem with two operators with a long-standing expertise in this area, the French Institute for the Financing of Cinema and Cultural Industries (Institut pour le Financement du Cinéma et des Industries Culturelles, 'IFCIC') and Spain's Guarantee Society for the Audiovisual Sector (Sociedad de Garantia reciproca para el Sector Audiovisual, 'Audiovisual SGR'). The MEDIA Production Guarantee Fund will be available to support film producers throughout Europe. The Fund will, for example, help to cover a proportion of a loan in the event of non-payment by a producer due to bankruptcy.
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Exhibition/London
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From 22nd January to 7th April the Royal Academy of Arts is devoting an exhibition to modern British sculpture. This retrospective provides an occasion to review the famous bronze and marble sculptures of Henry Moore. The Royal Academy has chosen a provocative set of juxtapositions that will challenge the viewer to make new connections and break the mould of old conceptions. Hence the visitor can see Phillip King's "Ghengis Khan" - a threatening, blue cone, evocative of armour and the extremely classical 'Queen Victoria' by Alfred Gilbert.
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Exhibition/Prague
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The National Gallery in Prague is devoting an exhibition to the Flemish painter Roelandt Savery (1578-1639) until 20th March. The paintings on show depict the town of Prague and scenes of daily life.
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Exhibition/Martigny
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Until 13th June the Pierre Gianadda in Martigny (Switzerland) is offering a wide selection of works which belong to a private collector. The 120 works, paintings and drawings relate the development in painting since Jean-Baptiste Corot and Eugène Boudin to modern times. This exhibition entitled "De Renoir à Sam Szafran - Parcours d'un collectionneur" (From Renoir to Sam Szafran - the experience of a collector) includes work such as "Water Lilies" by Claude Monet and "Julie playing the Violin" by Berthe Morisot.
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Festival/Sarrebruck
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The 32nd Max Ophüls Film Festival will take place from 17th to 23rd January in Sarrebrücken. It is offering a means for young German, Austrian and Swiss talent to show what they can do. Several prizes are being awarded in various categories.
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Agenda :
17th January

Eurogroup Meeting


17th-18th January

Informal "Employment, Social Policy, Healthcare and Consumer" Council


17th-20th January

Plenary Session of the European Parliament


18th January

"Economy-Finances" Council


19th January

Conference "Europe and the World in 2020 - Franco-German Outlook" Brussels

Conference "Which Europe in the World" IEP Strasbourg


19th-21st November

Informal "Justice and Internal Affairs" Council


20th January

France-Korea Forum (National Assembly - Paris)

20th Anniversary of the Polish Robert Schuman Foundation


23rd January

Presidential Election - Portugal (1st round)


24th January

"Agriculture and Fisheries" Council

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Records of the Letter
année 2018
The Letter n°820
Towards a "painless and frictionless" Brexit
published on 15/10/2018
The Letter n°819
Social Europe: from slogan to reality
published on 08/10/2018
The Letter n°818
The Sword and the Market - A Defence Union would strengthen European economic integration
published on 01/10/2018
The Letter n°817
The Salzburg Summit: a salutary shock?
published on 24/09/2018
The Letter n°816
What the European personal data model shows us
published on 17/09/2018
The Letter n°815
European Union-Russia: after three lost decades, will there be cohabitation once more?
published on 10/09/2018
The Letter n°814
Developing a common civil aviation strategy
published on 03/09/2018
The Letter n°813
Strength in Unity, the rebirth of a geopolitical fact
published on 16/07/2018
The Letter n°812
Western Balkans-European Union: between internal cohesion and external stability
published on 09/07/2018
The Letter n°811
The Vital Cultural Combat over Values
published on 02/07/2018
The Letter n°810
How to consolidate the euro zone?
published on 25/06/2018
The Letter n°809
Tax Harmonisation Chapter I
published on 18/06/2018
The Letter n°808
European Union Budget: which compromise?
published on 11/06/2018
The Letter n°807
"Decyphering the political situation in Italy" and "Europe: the proof of strength"
published on 04/06/2018
The Letter n°806
Europe and Power
published on 28/05/2018
The Letter n°805
Defence, the Awakening of Europe
published on 22/05/2018
The Letter n°804
"France's return to Europe": on which terms?
published on 14/05/2018
The Letter n°803
Declaration of the 9th May
published on 07/05/2018
The Letter n°802
Africa: the externalisation of the European Migration Policies
published on 30/04/2018
The Letter n°801
Schengen: from resistance to resilience?
published on 23/04/2018
The Letter n°800
Democracy, Secularity and Religious Freedom: which balance?
published on 16/04/2018
The Letter n°799
European Momentum
published on 09/04/2018
The Letter n°798
European integration as a tool of sovereingty
published on 03/04/2018
The Letter n°797
"Wishful Brexiting", a new study by the BrexLab
published on 26/03/2018
The Letter n°796
Europe and the Identity Challenge: who are "we"?
published on 19/03/2018
The Letter n°795
A new European energy-climate leadership
published on 12/03/2018
The Letter n°794
The Franco-German relation in the context of the last elections
published on 05/03/2018
The Letter n°793
Will there be a parliamentary majority in Italy after the elections on 4th March?
published on 26/02/2018
The Letter n°792
Reforming the European Union: A political and democratic imperative
published on 19/02/2018
The Letter n°791
Europe 2050: Demographic Suicide
published on 12/02/2018
The Letter n°790
Brexit: the period of transition
published on 05/02/2018
The Letter n°789
Towards a European sustainable business model?
published on 29/01/2018
The Letter n°788
The Western Balkans: between Stabilisation and Integration in the European Union
published on 22/01/2018
The Letter n°787
Catalonia: the lie of the land after the battle
published on 15/01/2018
The Letter n°786
International Trade, the conditions of an ambition
published on 08/01/2018