The Letter n°490

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The Letter n°490
The Letter
7th June 2011 - n°490
Inquiétudes venues de Turquie à la veille des élections législatives
Kemal Koprulu
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Front page! :
Parity
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Equality between men and women, a common value in all European States, became a fundamental law with the Lisbon Treaty. During the period 2010-2015 the European Commission is undertaking a strategy for equality between men and women aiming to promote the respect of this in all policies and activities across the Union, notably in terms of access to employment, promotion and professional training, working conditions, remuneration, the protection of motherhood and parental leave ... In your opinion what are the next stages the EU should address in this area? Answer our survey! We need to know what you think!
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Elections :
Latvia
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Andris Berzins (Union of Latvian Greens and Farmers' Party, ZZS) became the new President of the Republic of Latvia on 2nd June. The former chair of Latvijas Unibanka, won the votes of 53 of the 100 members of the Saeima, the only chamber in Parliament. His rival, outgoing President Valdis Zatlers, supported by the government led by Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis, Unity (V), won 41 votes. In the first round of voting Andris Berzins won 50 votes and outgoing President Valdis Zatlers 43.
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Portugal
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The Social Democratic Party (PSD) easily won the general elections that took place on 5th June in Portugal. Led by Passos Coelho, the PSD won 38.63% of the vote and 105 seats (+ 24 in comparison with the previous election on 27th September 2009). The Socialist Party (PS), led by outgoing Prime Minister José Socrates came second winning 28.05% of the vote (73 seats, - 24). It came out ahead of the People's Party (PP) led by Paulo Portas which won 11.74% of the vote (24 seats). The left, which is against economic liberalism, suffered a severe defeat: the Communist-Green Coalition (CDU) led by Jeronimo de Sousa won 7.94% of the vote (16 seats, + 1) and the Left Bloc (BE) of Francisco Louca, won 5.19% of the vote (8 seats, - 8). Turnout, which is traditionally low in Portugal, totalled 58.32% ie slightly below that recorded in the election in September 2009 (- 1.36 points). Given the serious socio-economic crisis experienced by the country the Portuguese chose to change government. With its allies in the People's Party the PSD will enjoy the absolute majority in the Assembly of the Republic, the only chamber in Parliament.
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Macedonia
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The Revolutionary Organisation-Democratic Party for National Unity (VMRO-DPMNE) led by outgoing Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski won the elections on 5th June in Macedonia. It won 39% of the vote and 55 seats according to results that are still incomplete. The Social Democratic Union (SDSM), the main opposition party led by former President of the Republic (2004-2009), Branko Crvenkovski, won 32.78 % of the vote (39 seats), the Democratic Union for Integration (DUI-BDI) led by Alija Ahmeti, member of the outgoing government won 10.24% of the vote. It came out ahead of the Albanian Democratic Party (PDA-PDSh) led by Menduh Thaci which won 5.89% of the vote and National Democratic Renaissance (RDK), a party created at the end of March by the mayor of Gostivar, Rufi Osmani, won 2.67% of the vote. Finally the Revolutionary Organisation-People's Party (VMRO-NP) of former President of the Republic (1998-2002) Ljubco Georgievski won 2.51% of the vote. The VMRO-DPMNE will probably join forces with the Albanian speaking party that won ie the Democratic Union for Integration (DUI-BDI), to form the next government.
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Turkey
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On 12th June, 50,189,930 Turks will appoint the 550 members of the National Grand Assembly (Parliament) from the 7,492 candidate running in 85 constituencies. According to a poll by Konsensus for the daily Haberturk published on June 1st last the AKP led by outgoing Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is due to win 48.6% of the vote. He is running ahead of the CHP which is due to win 28.3% of the vote and the MHP, 11.6%.
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Financial Crisis :
Charlemagne Prize
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As he received the Charlemagne Prize for his contribution to European unification on 2nd June in Aachen the President of the European Central Bank, Jean-Claude Trichet suggested, in an interview in a German daily the "Frankfurther Allgemeine Zeitung", two levels of sanction for European countries that do not succeed in managing their budget. One would comprise financial aid together with strict conditions and would grant the right of control and monitoring to the countries providing the aid. The second "should be fundamentally different from the present supervision, recommendation and sanction system," explains the ECB President who suggests the creation of a European Finance Minister "who would have a right to review the budgetary policy and competitiveness and a right to direct management of the economic policies of heavily indebted countries." Jean-Claude Trichet said he supported the establishment of the position of European Finance Minister
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Germany
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According to figures published by the Federal Employment Agency on 31st May, unemployment in Germany declined again over the month. The unemployment rate totalled 7% of the working population in May in comparison with 7.3% in April whilst the number of job seekers dropped by 118,000 in gross data to reach 2,960,000. "The labour market is benefiting from the continuous recovery of the Germany economy," explained the Agency.
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Austria
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The unemployment rate in Austria declined in May to 6.1% of the working population (-0.3%) according to provisional figures published on 1st June by the Labour Ministry. According to the latest statistics published by Eurostat the unemployment rate in Austria lay at 4.2% in April. The difference between these figures is due to different calculation methods.
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Denmark
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On 31st May the national statistics institute Statistics Denmark announced that according to figures adjusted to seasonal variations and price rises Denmark's GDP had declined in the first quarter of 2011 by 0.5%. In the fourth quarter of 2010 the GDP contracted by 0.2% said Statistics Denmark in a press release. Hence the Danish economy has entered recession once more.
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Spain
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The Employment and Immigration Ministry in Spain announced on 2nd June that unemployment continued to decline in May (-2%): it is the second consecutive month that it has decreased. The unemployment rate lay at 21.3% in the first quarter ie twice that of the European average. In Spain nearly half of the working population amongst the under 25's was unemployed.
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Finland
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According to a press release published on 3rd June by the national statistics institute, Statistics Finland, the country's GDP rose in the first quarter of 2011 by 0.8% in comparison with the previous quarter. In comparison with the first quarter of 2010 the Finnish GDP was up by 5.5%.
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France
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The national statistics and economic studies institute, INSEE announced on 1st June that there had been a decrease in unemployment down to 9.7% of the working population (including in the DOM). On mainland France unemployment lay at 9.2% ie 2.6 million people. There had been a slight decrease in comparison with the fourth quarter of 2010 (-0.1 points).
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Greece
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The Greek government is facing the challenge of keeping up with the austerity commitments given to its creditors, the euro area and the IMF, whilst the social and political atmosphere is declining sharply across the country. Greece was granted further financial aid on 3rd June from its creditors in order to prevent bankruptcy and its forced exit from the Monetary Union; this aid comes in addition to the 110 billion euros already granted one year ago. In exchange the government, led by George Papandreou, promised to step up the austerity plan to reduce public deficit and to accelerate privatisation to settle the debt of 340 billion euros.
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Italy
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On 31st May the Italian statistics institute published unemployment figures for April. The number of unemployed in Italy decreased by 2.9% in comparison with March and by 7.6% in comparison with April 2010. Unemployment totalled 8.1% in April ie a decrease of 0.2 points in comparison with March and a decrease of 0.6 points in comparison with the previous year.
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Iceland
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On 3rd June the International Monetary Fund announced the release of 155 million euros in support of Iceland as part of a loan granted in November 2008. The IMF stressed that the Icelandic economy was still recovering from the crisis and that growth was forecast to be positive in 2011.
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Lithuania
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The Lithuaniann statistics office published its GDP estimation for the first quarter of 2011 on 30th May. It totalled 22,991 million LTL. The GDP increased by 6.9% in comparison with the same period in 2010.
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Luxembourg
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On 30th May the Luxembourg statistics institute, Statec published the main developments in Luxembourg's foreign trade balance. The study revealed that in 2010 the Grand Duchy's current account displayed a surplus of 3.3 billion euros with the rest of the world which represents nearly 7.8% of the GDP. According to the study the explanation to the surplus is to be found its financial service exports, since the other partial balances in the current accounts (goods, wages, investment revenues and current transfers) were, for their part, in the negative.
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UK
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On 3rd June the British government published the results of the structural reform plans in May for each ministerial department. The Structural Reform Plans are the key tool of the Coalition Government for ensuring that departments are accountable for the implementation of the reforms set out in the Coalition Agreement.
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Sweden
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On 31st May the Riksbank published its financial stability report in which it says that the national banks' resistance has improved over the last few months.
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OECD
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On June 1st the OECD published growth figures for the first quarter of 2011. The GDP in the OECD area increased by 0.5% in spite of slow growth in the US and Japan. Growth accelerated in most major European countries and Canada.
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European Council :
Italy
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On 2nd June Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and President of the European Council Herman van Rompuy met at the Villa Doria Pamphili. They exchanged views on the economic situation of the euro area, immigration, the reform of the Schengen agreement and the Union's role in the country's of the Southern Mediterranean during the Arab Spring uprising.
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Slovenia
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On 3rd June the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy travelled to Slovenia to meet the Slovenian Prime Minister Borut Pahor. They discussed the Euro Plus Pact, the sovereign debt crisis in the euro area and accession negotiations with Croatia. During a press conference Mr Van Rompuy recalled the interest of the Euro Plus Pact for the coordination of vital reform of the social protection systems and public finances - vital reforms to avoid excessive debt. Mr Van Rompuy notably congratulated Slovenia on the progress it has made over the last 20 years, qualifying it as a "model" amongst the new members. With regard to Croatia Mr Van Rompuy said "he was prudently optimistic that the conclusion of negotiations is now close to hand."
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Commission :
Migrations
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On June 1st the European Commission presented two proposals to amend the directives in view of moving forwards in setting up a common European asylum system planned for 2012. The first, relative to asylum procedures, aims to improve the effectiveness of the processing of asylum requests in order to finalise cases within six months. The second concerns reception conditions and aims to guarantee a decent standard of living for asylum seekers, notably thanks to access to the labour market. However the debate over this common asylum system is proving difficult. The main impediment being the creation of a common rule for the management of migrant arrivals and the processing of their requests. France and Germany want to maintain their own criteria. The Commission has planned to put forward these two proposals to the "Justice and Internal Affairs" Council on 9th June in order to come to an agreement.
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Standards
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On June 1st the European Commission proposed a series of legislative and non-legislative measures to develop more and faster standards. Standards are sets of voluntary technical and quality criteria for products, services and production processes. They help both businesses and consumers. •The Commission will enhance its cooperation with the leading standardisation organisations in Europe so that their standards will be available more rapidly. It will also establish an annual Work Programme, which will identify priorities for European standardisation. It notably wants to develop standards in services and information and communication technologies. The Commission also intends to update the Directive on overall product safety to cut down time taken to adopt standards. Finally the Commission wants to promote European standards and international convergence.
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Digital
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On 31st May the European Commission published a scoreboard showing what the EU and its Member States have achieved in terms of their digital strategy one year after implementation. The progress achieved over the first year is generally satisfying especially in terms of internet use (65% of the EU population). But in certain areas they are somewhat disappointing particularly in terms of the deployment of new ultra-rapid broadband networks (one of the key goals in the digital strategy) even though progress has been made in view of modernising cable networks.
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Religion
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As part of the annual dialogue between the Union and religious groups, churches and communities the Presidents of the European Council, the European Commission and the European Parliament, Herman van Rompuy, José Manuel Barroso and Jerzy Buzek met 20 representatives of the Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist religions from 13 Member States and third countries on 30th May. The meeting provided an opportunity to discuss the "Partnership for democracy and shared prosperity" between the Union and its neighbourhood. The religious representatives welcomed this partnership positively and said they were ready to work with the Union for the promotion of democracy, Human Rights, and fundamental freedom.
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Parliament :
Crisis
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The European Parliament's Special Committee on the Financial, Economic, and Social Crisis adopted a final non-legislative report written by Pervenche Berès (S&D, FR). The report recommends a "new European approach". MEPs in this committee are suggesting an increase in the EU's budget beyond 2020 by 5% to 10% of the Union's GDP, funded in part by new own resources, but also by a greater shift of Member State spending over to the Union to fund investments, notably in areas such as energy, transport and R&D. They also advise on better coordination of fiscal policy and taxation on financial transactions. Finally the report asks the Commission to undertake a study on the future euro-bond system and for it to look into the principle of the European Treasury. This report will be on the agenda of the European Parliament's plenary session in July.
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Council :
Competitiveness
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On 30th and 31st May during the Competitiveness Council (Internal Market, Industry, Research and Space) the 27 EU Ministers approved the Communication on the implementation of the Single Market Act. In support of SMEs they approved the revision of the "Small Business Act" and the conclusions on intelligent regulation. Similarly they also came to agreement on the draft of a directive that aims to exempt micro-businesses of some accounting obligations. They also discussed the regulation on the European private company and the implementation of greater cooperation on the Union patent. Finally in the conclusions on space, ministers recalled that satellite positioning systems (including Galileo) are major priorities for the Union.
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Diplomacy :
Yemen
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On 31st May the High Representative Catherine Ashton condemned the repression of demonstrators in Taiz in Yemen. She called on Yemeni President Saleh to start a political transition process by implementing the Gulf Cooperation Council initiative. On 3rd June Ms Ashton repeated her concern about the political situation in Yemen and announced the launch of the Union's Civil Protection Mechanism (MIC) for the evacuation of European citizens from the country. Injured during an attack, the Yemeni President was forced to travel to Saudi Arabia on 4th June. The President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek called on 5th June for an end to violence and the start of political transition.
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Ombudsman :
Radioactivity
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Following the catastrophe of Fukushima in Japan many complaints have been lodged by citizens. The European Ombudsman opened an inquiry on 30th May on information given to citizens about the modifications in the maximum admissible levels of radioactive contamination of foodstuffs. Indeed in a letter to the President of the European Commission the Ombudsman points out that no comparative information on the maximum admissible levels of radioactivity either before or after the incident in Fukushima had been made available to the public. The European Commission is invited to provided answers to the Ombudsman by 30th June.
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Germany :
Asia
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As part of her trip to Asia from 31st May to 2nd June German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited India and Singapore. During the first German-Indian meetings in New Delhi the two governments confirmed that they wanted to cooperate more closely in various areas, such as education, environment and technology. In Singapore she met Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on June 1st. Ms Merkel stressed the close relations between Germany and Singapore. Moreover she pleaded in favour of transparency in the financial markets.
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Nuclear
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On 3rd June German Chancellor Angela Merkel met the Minister Presidents of the Länder to discuss the accelerated implementation of Germany's energy policy. In a press conference after this meeting Ms Merkel confirmed the federal government and Minister Presidents' agreement on the gradual exit from nuclear energy up until 2022. On 6th June during an extraordinary Council of Ministers the German government adopted the draft law relative to the abolition of nuclear energy in Germany and defined the strategy which will enable the country to rise to the challenge.
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Spain :
Equality
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The Spanish government approved to draft laws on 27th May on gender equality. The first concerns stepping up the fight against discrimination and for equal treatment. The second aims to promote gender equality in rural areas. After this decision Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Zapatero received Exective Director of UN Women, Michelle Bachelet, who congratulated the Spanish people on its commitment and work in support of gender equality. Spain is indeed the main contributor to the UN Women budget as well as to other international organisations that fight against sexual discrimination.
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Finland :
Government?
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On June 1st Conservative leader, Jyrki Katainen, who was asked to form a government, said during a press conference that the Social Democratic Party and the Left Alliance had decided that they were no longer going to take part in negotiations for a coalition. Jyrki Katainen announced that he would continue negotiations with the National Coalition Party, the Greens, the Christian Democrats and Swedish People's Party and possibly the Centre Party.
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France :
Kosovo
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On 31st May French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé hosted his Kosovar counterpart Enver Hoxhaj in Paris. Their meeting focused on stepping up bilateral relations between France and Kosovo and regional issues. The two ministers addressed the issue of dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina which the EU had helped facilitate four times. They finally spoke of Kosovo's European perspectives.
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Near East
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French Foreign Minister, Alain Juppé, travelled on 1st-3rd June to Israel and to the Palestinian Territory. Recalling that the USA was not succeeding alone in speeding up the peace process in the region he said that he hoped that all States could work towards the same goal. Stressing the urgency of dialogue between the parties he invited Israeli and Palestinian representatives to a conference in Paris at the end of June, beginning of July, to negotiate "on a specific basis" and stressed that "none of those he had been talking to had said "no" to this idea."
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Hungary :
Albania
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On June 1st Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban travelled to Tirana to meet his Albanian counterpart Sali Berisha. Their meeting mainly focused on the Western Balkans' integration into the EU. Mr Orban gave a speech at the University of Tirana on this subject.
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Italy :
Nuclear
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The Italian Appeal Court said on June 1st that a referendum on nuclear power demanded by the opposition would take place. It will be organised on 12th and 13th June in addition to the decision to bring to a halt projects to return to nuclear power that were decided in April by Silvio Berlusconi's government. On this occasion the Italian must also say by referendum whether they reject two other laws: one on the deregulation of water management to give greater place to private companies and the so-called "legitimate prevention" law that would allow Silvio Berlusconi not to stand before the courts for the next 18 months because of his work as President of the Council. This law has already undergone many amendments.
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Luxembourg :
Norway
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From 30th May to June 1st the Grand-Duke and Grand-Duchess of Luxembourg went on a State visit to Norway. Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker spoke with the leader of Parliament Dag Terje Andersen and Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg. During a meeting with his Norwegian counterpart he spoke of international and European news; Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn commended Norway's commitment to the defence of international law, the consolidation of peace and the promotion of Human Rights. In a meeting with his two counterparts Luxembourg Economy Minister Jeannot Krecké first addressed energy issues with the Oil and Energy Minister Ola Borten Moe and discussed developments in the industrial domain with Secretary of State for Trade and Industry Rikke Lind.
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France
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On 30th May the French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker met at the Elysee in Paris. They discussed international and European news and notably the Greek economic situation, preparations for the European Council and the G20 in June and the implementation of nuclear stress tests in Europe. Taking advantage of this meeting JC Juncker asked Mr Sarkozy about the reform of the Schengen area and asked him "not to challenge the acquis of European integration". In his opinion "a relaxation in measures governing border controls as part of the Schengen convention would only be tolerable in extreme situations and in close consultation with the European Commission and the other Member States.
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Poland :
Presidency/EU
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On 31st May the Polish Council of Ministers adopted the Six monthly Programme of the Polish Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The main aim will be to lead the Union to faster economic growth as well as to greater community policy. The Polish priorities will comprise three mainstays: European integration as a source of growth, secure Europe, Europe benefiting from openness.
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France
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On 3rd June Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk travelled to Paris to meet French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Prime Minister François Fillon. The Polish government leader presented his country's goals for the ppresidency of the EU, starting on 1st July; he particularly focused on issues related to the EU's energy policy, enlargement as well as the budget. Together with the Polish Secretary of State for European Affairs Mikolaj Dowgielewicz he spoke with French representatives of a possible extension of the Schengen area and the future of the Neighbourhood Policy notably as far as the Eastern Partnership was concerned.
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Portugal :
Elections
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According to the official results of the general elections on 5th June the head of the Portuguese Socialist government José Socrates suffered a severe defeat. The right won easily, with the Social Democratic Party, (the centre right PSD) led by Pedro Passos Coelho in the lead. He will form the next government with the support of a small rightwing party the CDS-PP, and will enjoy an aboslute majority in the Chamber of Deputies.
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UK :
Libya
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British Foreign Secretary William Hague and State Secretary for International Development Andrew Mitchell travelled to Benghazi (Libya) on 4th June. This was a demonstration of the UK's support to the National Transition Council and they discussed the political roadmap planned by the latter for the future of Libya.
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Bosnia-Herzgovina :
Sarajevo
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On 31st May Bakir Izetbegovic, a member of the presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina hosted the representatives of the consortium in charge of building the museum of the siege of Sarajevo. As Ratko Mladic is about to be judged, the project points to the desire to share a common history and pass on high quality information about the siege and the years of war. The Bosniak presidency said that he supported this project so "that the recent past is not forgotten, and the lessons learnt kept for the future generations."
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Croatia :
Vatican
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On 4th and 5th June Pope Benedict XVI travelled to Zagreb in Croatia. He met the population, which is 90% Catholic, as they are about the enter the EU; the Vatican considers the country as "little Poland in the South". On 4th and then on 5th June he defended Europe's Christian identity and said that Croatia had its place in Europe, as he spoke to young people during an open air mass at the Family Festival. He invited followers to counter the secularisation of society saying that "a rationalist culture does not take account of diversity adequately". Pope Benedit XVI met Croatian President Ivo Josipovic and Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor.
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Serbia :
Mladic/ICTY
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After having escaped justice for nearly 16 years Ratko Mladic was delivered to the ICTY on 31st May. During the first hearing on 3rd June he said he had not read all of his file, and qualified the charges against him as "vile" and refused to plead either guilty or not guilty. The next hearing is planned for 4th July.
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NATO :
Bulgaria
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NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen travelled to Bulgaria on 30th May. In Sofia he spoke with President Georgi Parvanov on the ISAF operation led by the Alliance in Afghanistan and Operation Unified Protector in Libya. In Varna Mr Rasmussen spoke with Prime Minister Boyko Borrisov, Foreign Minister Nikolai Mladenov - he also spoke during the plenary session of NATO's parliamentary assembly. On the situation in the Balkans Mr Rasmussen said that the arrest of Ratko Mladic, former commander of the forces of the Serbs of Bosnia, accused of war crimes, offers an opportunity for justice and for all the Balkan region to draw closer to Euro-Atlantic integration.
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Libya
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On June 1st NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced a 90-day extension of the "Unified Protector" mission. On 31st May in a meeting with the President of the Commission of the African Union Mr Ping, he stressed the importance of dialogue with the latter to facilitate the successful completion of the NATO mission in Libya. NATO announced on 4th June that it had used fighter helicopters in Libyafor the first time, striking military vehicles, equipment and the armed forces led by Colonel Mouammar Kadhafi.
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IMF :
Belarus
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On 31st May the government and the Belarus National Bank sent a joint request to the IMF for a further loan to stabilise the economy. An IMF mission travelled there on 1st June to assess the present economic situation and the effects of measures already taken by the government. Conclusions are expected on 14th June.
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WHO :
Bacteria
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On 2nd June the World Health Organisation identified the bacteria EHEC that is spreading across Europe as being an "extremely rare form of E.coli" - until now it has not been encountered in epidemic form and is particularly resistant to antibiotics which makes its treatment rather difficult. So far the epidemic has led to 22 deaths in Europe, 21 of which have been in Germany. Moreover the Netherlands and the UK were the latest States to declare cases of contamination. The European Commission said on June 1st that Spanish cucumbers were not to blame and lifted the warning that was affecting all of the country's vegetables. Suspicion is now focused on seeds that have been germinated in Germany.
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Eurostat :
Unemployment
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According to a Eurostat study published on 31st May the unemployment rate in the euro area remained stable in April at 9.9% in comparison with the previous month. In the EU the rate declined slightly to lie at 9.4% instead of 9.5% in March. The figures indicate that 15,529,000 people were unemployed in the euro area in April and 22,547,000 in the EU. The figure had declined by 115,000 in the euro area and by 165,000 in the Union.
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Inflation
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According to economists inflation slowed slightly in May in the euro area but this will not be enough to calm the European Central Bank's concern and persuade it not to raise its main rates, probably in July. According to a first estimate on 31st May published by the European statistics office, Eurostat consumer prices increased by 2.7% over one year in May.
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Industry
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In April 2011 in comparison with March 2011 the industrial price index rose by 0.9% in the euro area and by 1% in the EU. In March prices increased respectively by 0.8% and 1.2%. In April 2011 compared with April 2010 industrial producer prices recorded an increase of 6.7% in the euro area and of 7.8% in the EU.
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Eurobarometer :
Languages
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According to a Flash Eurobarometer published on 30th May English is by far the most frequently used language. Indeed 48% of Internet users in the EU mentioned using English. However the language issue is still important in the construction of a European public space; although 55% of those interviewed say they use sites in another language 90% still prefer to consult sites in their own language. Amongst those most closed to other languages feature the English speakers. Conversely the most open to navigating on sites in different languages are the Maltese, Cypriots, Luxemburgers, Slovenians and Greeks. This study reveals a Europe divided by languages which, in the main, is a result of a lack of education in languages.
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Studies/Reports :
Social Dialogue
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The European Trade Unions Institute (ETUI) has published a study by Stefan Clauwaert and Isabelle Schömann entitled "European Social Dialogue and Transnational Framework Agreements as a Response to the Crisis?" Analysing the reactions of social partners and the crisis as part of European social dialogue, the authors plead in favour of a greater role for social partners in European economic governance.
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G20
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The Collège de Bruges has published a study by Katharina Gnath and Claudia Schmucker entitled "The Role of the Emerging Countries in the G20: Agenda-Setter, Veto Player or Spectator?". Comparing the preferences of China, India and Brazil with that of the USA and the EU the authors conclude that the emerging countries do not form a united bloc but that they do influence the international agenda.
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Schengen
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The Elcano Institute has published a paper entitled "Germany, the Schengen Crisis and Frontex: a Funny Kind of Pro-Europeanism". The author shows that Germany's present reticence towards extending the Schengen area is not a sign of euro-scepticism but rather a new kind of commitment and enthusiasm with regard to the EU.
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Environment
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On 31st May the European Environment Agency announced that in 2009 there had been a sharp decrease in greenhouse gas emissions in the 27 EU Member States in comparison with 2008. The decline recorded in the manufacturing, construction and electricity industries finds its explanation in the economic crisis and also in the increased use of renewable energies. However with the return of growth this trend reverted in 2010 since emissions have increased by 3% in comparison with 2009.
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Culture :
Exhibition/Bonn
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The new permanent exhibition at the House of History of the German Federal Republic in Bonn entitled "Our History. Germany since 1945" presents in an realistic, modern manner Germany's recent past, since the end of the Second World War to modern day. With more than 7000 objects on show this exhibition illustrates Germany's modern history in an international context.
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Festival/Leipzig
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The Bach Festival in Leipzig (Germany) which is being held this year from 10th to 19th June pays tribute with numerous concerts to the famous German composer, Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). Nearly one hundred events are being planned.
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Festival/Transylvania
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The International Film Festival of Transylvania, one of the most important in the Balkans, is open until 12th June in Cluj-Napoca and from 15th to 19th June in Sibiu (Romania) for the 10th year running and is hosting 220 films from across the entire world.
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Agenda :
6th-7th June

"Employment, social policy, healthcare and consumer" Council


6th-9th June

Plenary Session of European Parliament


7th June

Extraordinary 'Agriculture" Council (implications of E.Coli contamination)


9th June

ECB Governing Council


9th-10th June

"Justice and Internal Affairs" Council


10th June

"Energy" Council

EU-Russia Summit


12th June

General Elections - Turkey

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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