The Letter n°758

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The Letter n°758
The Letter
Wednesday 3rd May 2017
issue 758
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Brexit Disillusionment or the Revelation of the Cost of leaving the Union
Authors : Jérôme Gazzano, Andi Mustafaj
Jérôme Gazzano, Andi Mustafaj
The Member States are negotiating the main guidelines to follow in the negotiations with the UK over Brexit. The European Council published an article on this on 29th April. As matters stand the European strategy defines three negotiation periods between the European Union and the UK. The position of Europe at this stage comprises the settlement of accounts whilst foreseeing the transformation of the UK into a third country to then re-create links with the Union as a result.
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Front page! : The return of France to Europe?
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In a personal editorial on his site, Jean-Dominique Giuliani explores the conditions of France's return to Europe on the occasion of the second round of the French presidential election on 7th May... Read more

Foundation : "For a few stars more ... Which European Policy for France?" has been published
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The Chairman of the Foundation, Jean-Dominique Giuliani has published "For a few stars more ... which European Policy for France?" An enlightening read just a few days before the second round of the French presidential election, providing an understanding of what the new president could do..... Read more
The "Schuman Report on Europe, State of the Union 2017", available in digital version
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The "Schuman Report on the State of the Union 2017" published by Lignes de Repères in French and English helps towards a better understanding of the issues at stake and the challenges faced by Europe. Available in bookshops and on the Foundation's site, it has been available in digital form since 27th April... Read more
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Financial Crisis : Greece finds an agreement with its creditors regarding an aid plan
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On 2nd May an agreement was found between Greece and its creditors regarding all technical issues that condition aid (notably the EU and the IMF) being granted to Greece... Read more
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European Council : European Council Directives (article 50) for the negotiations over the Brexit
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On 29th April the 27 Member States of the EU met to decide on the main guidelines in the wake of the UK's notification of its exit of the European Union and Euratom. The EU is "completely united" in its approach to negotiations and will reject any negotiation à la carte. The European Union is expecting that the negotiations over the exit procedure to be completed before starting those regarding future relations... Read more

Commission : The Social Dimension of Europe
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On 26th April the Commission published a document that focuses on the social dimension of Europe. This pillar includes 20 vital principles and rights. It also published a working document focusing on the social dimension of Europe on the horizon of 2025 in order to find answers to the challenges which our societies and citizens will face in the years to come... Read more
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Celebrate Europe Day
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The European institutions will be celebrating Europe Day on 9th May as they open their doors to the public on 6th May in Brussels, on 13th and 14th May in Luxembourg and 14th May in Strasbourg. Many events are taking place in each country... Read more
Action plan in support of biodiversity
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The European Commission unveiled a 15 point action plan on 27th April which aims to improve the protection of nature. This action plan targets an improved implementation of the directives which date respectively back to 1979 and 1992 and which are the main founding texts for the protection of nature in Europe... Read more
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Council : The European Union looks into how to equip Libyan coastguard ships
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The European Union is to assess "in the months to come" the requirements in terms of equipment of the Libyan coastguard in order to combat human traffickers indicated the High Representative Federica Mogherini on 27th April during a Defence Ministers meeting in Malta... Read more
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Conclusions of the General Affairs Council
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The 28 European Affairs Ministers spoke on 25th April of the Cohesion Policy, and also help to be given to countries affected by natural catastrophes, the end of roaming fees improved connectivity as well as the control of firearms... Read more
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Austria, Bulgaria and Estonia coordinate their European presidencies
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In order to ensure continuity between their respective presidencies of the European Council, providing coherence and strength, Austria, Bulgaria and Estonia decided on Sunday 23rd April to sign a joint declaration that indicates the main guidelines for their successive presidencies (security, economy, Brexit, migratory crisis)... Read more
Energy: strengthening of European gas supply solidarity
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On 26th April the Parliament and the Council came to agreement over new European cooperation rules regarding gas supplies. A European country that face a sudden lack of gas will be able warn the other Member States and trigger cross-border aid to remedy the situation... Read more
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Diplomacy : Iranian nuclear: meeting in Vienna
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Iran and the major powers met on 25th April in Vienna to review the nuclear agreement made in 2015 that was designed to guarantee the strictly peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear programme in exchange for a lifting of international sanctions... Read more
New partnership for R&D in the Mediterranean
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The European Union will help develop projects for the supply of water and foodstuffs in the Mediterranean as part of the new partnership for R&D in the Mediterranean (PRIMA). The decision taken on 26th April follows an agreement concluded with the Maltese presidency and the European Parliament... Read more

Court of Justice : Court decision on posted work
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According to an ECJ decision dated 27th April a State cannot requalify a posted worker alone and notably in order to unilaterally invalidate the posting certificates issued by the dispatching State in the event of a dispute. The ECJ confirms this jurisprudence... Read more
An ECJ decision on copyright
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According to an ECJ decision on 26th April the sale of a multimedia player that enables the free, facilitated viewing of films that are illegally available on the internet on a TV screen might be an infringement of copyright.. Read more
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ECB : ECB Council of Governors
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The European Central Bank left its rates unchanged during a meeting on 27th April and reiterated the reduction of the size of its asset purchase programme down to 60 billion €. Mario Draghi acknowledged that economic recovery in the 19 euro zone countries was gathering pace... Read more
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Germany : Women's summit at the Berlin G20
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On 26th April during the Women20 summit in Berlin world leaders discussed the way they should promote the economic emancipation of women and gender equality in the G20 programme... Read more
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Demographic ageing, a bad sign for Germany
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The German Central Bank warned in its monthly report in April that the ageing of the population would impede economic growth in spite of the use of immigration... Read more
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Bulgaria : Boyko Borissov asked to form the Bulgarian government
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Bulgarian President Rumen Radev formally asked former Prime Minister Boyko Borissov to form a new government on 27th April. For the first time this will include the nationalists. Mr. Radev said he believed that the next government "would rise to the Bulgarians' fundamental expectations... Read more

Spain : King of Spain in Strasbourg
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On 27th April on the occasion of the 40th anniversary celebrations of Spain joining the Council of Europe (1977) the King of Spain Felipe VI recalled, as he spoke to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, "Madrid's firm commitment" to Europe and his country's determination to rise to the challenges set by refugees and terrorism... Read more

Estonia : Important exercise in cyberdefence in Estonia
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At the end of April the biggest cyberdefence exercise ever organised, "Locked Shields 2017", to place under the management of NATO's Centre of Excellence for Cooperative Cyberdefence in Estonia... Read more

France : Results of the first round of the French presidential election
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The first round of the presidential election in France took place on 23rd April with a turnout of 78.69%. Emmanuel Macron (ahead with 24.01% of the vote) and Marine Le Pen (21.30%) will face each other on 7th May next... Read more
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Hungary : Launch of legal action against Hungary
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On 26th April the European Commission announced that it was launching legal action against Hungary regarding its controversial law on universities. Viktor Orban explained to the European Parliament that these procedures "were unfounded"... Read more
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Malta : Snap legislative election on 3rd June
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On May 1st because of a number of suspected corruption scandals the Maltese Prime Minister decided to organise a snap election that will take place on 3rd June next... Read more
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UK : Meeting between Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker
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On 26th April British Prime Minister Theresa May hosted the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker to discuss the negotiation process of article 50 between the EU and the UK. This was their first meeting since the triggering of article 50 on 29th March last... Read more
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Albania : Ilir Meta elected President of Albania
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On 29th April the Albanian Parliament elected Ilir Meta, head of the "Social Movement for Integration" as President of the Republic until 2022, 87 votes in support against 2... Read more

Russia : Federica Mogherini in Russia
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On 24th April in Moscow the EU and Russian heads of diplomacy, Federica Mogherini and Serguey Lavrov did not succeed in overcoming their differences in spite of calls for closer cooperation. On her first official visit to Russia, Federica Mogherini deemed that cooperation between Bruxelles and Moscow was impeded by deep disagreement, notably over Syria and Ukraine... Read more
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Ukraine : NATO-Ukraine meeting on progress on reform
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On 25th April the Secretary General of NATO met the Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister, who is responsible for European integration and Euro-Atlantic Affairs. Together they discussed progress of Ukrainian reforms in terms of defence, the fight to counter corruption, and the strengthening of democratic institutions... Read more
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Norway : Norwegian fund to counter youth unemployment
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On 26th April the Norwegian European Affairs Minister launched the Norwegian Fund for Youth Employment that is designed to counter youth unemployment in Europe and which totals 60.6 million €. "We have to do everything we can to prevent there being a lost generation," declared the Minister... Read more

Council of Europe : Warning to Hungary
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On 27th April the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe called on Hungary to stop parliamentary debate over the law regarding the funding of NGO's and universities (the so-called "transparency law on organisations receiving funds from abroad) and to suspend the application of the law on higher education that is threatening the University of Central Europe in Budapest... Read more
Launch of monitoring procedure regarding Turkey
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On 25th April the Council of Europe launched a procedure due to "its deep concern" about human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Turkey has been asked to take urgent steps such as lifting the state of emergency, to stop the promulgation of decree-laws that circumvent parliamentary procedures, to free MPs and journalists who have been imprisoned whilst waiting for trial... Read more

Migration : More than 700,000 asylum requests granted by the Member States in 2016
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According to a Eurostat study published on 26th April the Member States granted protective status to 710,400 asylum seekers in 2016 ie more than double that of 2015. In addition to these protective statuses the Member States hosted more than 14,000 relocated refugees... Read more
Scotland wants its own immigration policy
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On 24th April a study ordered by the European Affairs Committee at the Scottish Parliament emphasised the importance for Scotland of having its own immigration policy in order to attract European migrants and also in response to its demographic and employment requirements post-Brexit... Read more
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Eurostat : Reduction of the government deficit
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According to a Eurostat study on 24th April the government deficit and debt declined in relative terms in 2016 in comparison with 2015, both in the EU and the euro zone... Read more
Unemployment à 8% in the EU and 9.5% in the euro zone
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According to a Eurostat study dated 2nd May unemployment totalled 8% in the EU and 9.5% in the euro zone in March 2017... Read more
Inflation at 1.9% in the euro zone
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According to a Eurostat study published on 28th April the euro zone's annual inflation rate is estimated at 1.9% in April 2017 against 1.5% in March... Read more

Eurobarometer : A more positive opinion of the European Union's work
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According to a Eurobarometer survey dated 28th April most of those interviewed preferred a European response to be given to world challenges rather than national measures... Read more
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Studies/Reports : Freedom of the press in the world
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On 26th April Reporters without Borders - (RWB) published its 2017 World Freedom of the Press Ranking which is marked by the attacks made against the media and the triumph of strong men who are tipping the world into an era of post-truth, propaganda and repression... Read more
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Rise in industrial raw materials prices in 2017 according to the World Bank
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The World Bank is forecasting a rise in industrial raw materials, notably in terms of energy and metals in 2017. These increases are due to a rise in demand, a decline in production, as well as strikes and other serious conflicts that are affecting copper mines... Read more
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Culture : "Hola Prado" at the Fine Arts Museum of Basel
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Until 20th August the Fine Arts Museum of Basel is hosting an exhibition of 26 masterpieces dating from the end of the 15th to the end of the 18th centuries, on loan from the Prado of Madrid. Dialogue between Titien, Zurbaran, Velázquez, Murillo and Goya with Memling, Baldung, Holbein the Younger, Goltzius and Rembrandt... Read more
Spot Festival in Aarhus
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On 5th and 6th May the town of Aarhus in Denmark is hosting the Spot Festival which is organising 200 concerts of artists and pop-rock groups from Denmark and Northern Europe... Read more
World Press Photo, a photojournalism exhibition
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Many towns - Rome, Amsterdam, Sevilla, Poznan, Lisbon, Bari, Barcelona, Dortmund, Hamburg, Jena, Milan) are hosting exhibitions presenting photographs by journalists which have received the famous World Press Award... Read more

4May
4th and 5th May 2017

Brussels

ACP-EU Council of Ministers

7May
7th May 2017

France

French Presidential Election (2nd round)

9May
9th May

Europe Day

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