The Letter n°781

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The Letter n°781
The Letter
Tuesday 21st November 2017
issue 781
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Brexit means...? Or the urgency of defining Brexit before the Brexit happens
Authors : Jérôme Gazzano, Andi Mustafaj
Jérôme Gazzano, Andi Mustafaj
After six rounds of discussion, the first stage of negotiations is still not sufficiently complete to justify moving on to the next stages. However, in the quest for a Brexit that is both symbolic and beneficial for the UK, British negotiators are pushing to accelerate negotiations.
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Foundation : Forum on internal security issues
On 23rd November a conference on the European migratory policy is taking place in Prague as part of the internal security forum in which Charles de Marcilly, the manager of the Foundation's Brussels office is taking part... Read more
Which European policy for France and Germany?
On 22nd November the Pierre Werner Institute is organising a debate on the French and German European Policies with Jean-Dominique Giuliani, the Foundation's Chairman, and Frank Baasner, Director of the Franco-German Institute of Ludwigsburg, at the Neumünster Abbey in Luxembourg... Read more

Financial Crisis : Euro zone: the European Stability Mechanism prepared to play a central role
In his speech at the Collège d'Europe on 14th November Klaus Regling, the Managing Director of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) suggested that the ESM might ensure the role of guarantor for banks in difficulty in the euro zone. The European Commission is due to put a plan forward on 6th December that targets a vast reform of the euro zone... Read more
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Commission : 10th Meeting on Competition Policy between the EU and China
The 10th dialogue meeting on competition policy between the EU and China took place on 15th November. The European Commission and the three Chinese authorities responsible for competition confirmed that they were prepared to step up cooperation in terms of implementing their respective competition legislation, notably in the area of disloyal practices, monopolies and State aid... Read more
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Reports on Romania and Bulgaria
On 15th November the Commission published its reports on the measures taken by Romania and Bulgaria in terms of keeping their commitments to reform the judicial system and to counter corruption. The demands made by the Commission have not yet been fulfilled satisfactorily, in spite of some "progress" - the Commission is still concerned about the challenge of the "judiciary's independence.".. Read more
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Progress Report on the European Agenda in terms of Migration
On 15th November the European Commission published a progress report on the follow-up regarding migration. It indicates a 63% reduction in the total number of illegal border crossings registered along the main migratory routes in 2017... Read more
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European Education Area by 2025
On 14th November the European Commission presented its plan to finalise the creation of a European Education Area by 2025. Mobility will be encouraged thanks to the introduction of an EU student card, greater recognition of diplomas via the revision of the Bologna system. The learning of languages will be improved thanks to a new reference criteria and an action plan in support of on line teaching will be introduced... Read more

Parliament : e-Commerce: greater protection against fraudsters
On 14th November the European Parliament stepped up protection against e-commerce fraudsters. Hence the national authorities will have greater power to prevent on-line scams and fraud... Read more
Eastern Partnership: rewarding the progress achieved
In view of the Eastern Partnership Summit on 24th November MEPS made some recommendations on 15th November... Read more
Strengthening European Trade Defence
On 15th November MEPs adopted some anti-dumping rules to protect the Union's jobs and industry. The modernisation of the trade defence instruments aims to counter social and environmental and manufactured goods dumping... Read more
Resolutions on the rule of law in Poland and Malta
MEPs deemed on 15th November that the situation in Poland presented a "clear risk of serious breach" of European values, including the rule of law. They asked the Council to trigger the mechanism provided for in article 7 of the TEU. They also demanded the Commission "establish dialogue with the Maltese government on the functioning of the rule of law in Malta". Regarding Poland, the Foundation has just published a detailed study of this question... Read more
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Council : Agreement on the 2018 budget
On 18th November the Council and the European Parliament came to agreement over the European budget for 2018. The commitment payments total 160.1 billion € and payments 144.7 billion €... Read more
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Results of the Ministers' Meeting on the Cohesion Policy
On 15th November the 28 European Affairs Ministers discussed the future of the Cohesion Policy after 2020 and adopted - without debate - conclusions on the synergies and the simplification of this policy... Read more
Conclusions of the Council "European Economic Area"
The 48th session of the European Economic Area that was held on 14th November was preceded by an informal political dialogue with the EFTA States, which are also EEA members. Discussions mainly focused on the consequences of the UK's withdrawal from the EU on the EEA agreement and on the Eastern Partnership... Read more
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Cyber-security, capital markets union and Schengen Information System
On 20th November Ministers called for a strengthening of European cybersecurity, whilst cyberattacks are leading to world losses estimated at "400 billion euro per year". They also adopted the regulation on an entry/exit system and the regulation modifying the Schengen border code. The Council adopted rules that aim to facilitate the development of a securitisation market in Europe... Read more
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European Solidarity Corps
Ministers adopted a general approach regarding the European Solidarity Corps on 20th November in view of providing it with a legal Framework. The Corps will be open to anyone aged 18 to 30 from the EU, the EEA, EFTA countries and to those targeted by a European Neighbourhood Policy. This should provide many opportunities such as volunteer work, training and even solidarity projects... Read more
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Germany : German President FW Steinmeier calls on the political responsibility of all parties
The leader of the Liberal Democrats (FDP) Christian Lindner announced in the night of 19th to 20th November the withdrawal of his party from discussions concluding: "it is better not to govern at all than to govern badly." President Frank Walter Steinmeier reminded all parties of their responsibility. "I am expecting that everyone will be ready to discuss, to make a government possible as quickly as possible.'.. Read more

Austria : Elisabeth Köstinger takes over as leader of the Austrian National Assembly
Elisabeth Köstinger became the new president of the Austrian National Council, the lower house of parliament. Aged 38 she has been MEP since 2009. The Nationalrat comprises 63 women MPs, i.e. 34.4%... Read more

France : Meeting between the French and British Home Affairs Ministers
Gérard Collomb, the French Interior Minister travelled to London on 16th November to attend a weekly security meeting chaired by his British counterpart Amber Rudd and to address internal security issues, notably regarding joint efforts to counter terrorism, illegal immigration, securing the borders, as well as organised crime... Read more

Greece : Report by the European Stability Mechanism on Greece
On 13th November the European Commission published a report by the European Stability Mechanism on Greece. This comprises a basic analysis of the design of a support programme to the stability of the ESM in August 2015 for Greece and the implementation of the programme until the conclusion of the second review in July... Read more
Alexis Tsipras announces social measures totalling 1.4 billion €
Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras announced social support measures on 13th November to a total of 1.4 billion € to help the "popular classes". 720 million € will be paid in the shape of exceptional aid to people whose annual revenues are not over 18,000 € per year, ie 3.4 million people. 315 million will be given a reimbursement of healthcare spending that was levied on small pensions. Finally, the indebted state owned electricity company, DEI, will receive 360 million € to subsidise reduced tarifs for the most vulnerable... Read more

Lithuania : Lithuania adopts the so-called Magnitski law
Lithuanian MPs adopted on 16th November a law 91 votes in support, banning for a maximum of five years access to its territory by Russians, who it seems have committed serious crimes, attacked human rights or freedoms, or who have been involved in corruption or money laundering scandals... Read more
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UK : Vote on the Withdrawal Bill
On 14th November the British government just won a first round in the House of COmmons regarding the draft bill on the withdrawal from European legislation called the "Withdrawal Bill"... Read more
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British economy could lose 25 billion by 2030
The auditors' consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers has published a study entitled "UK Economic Outlook" that analyses the economic outlook of the UK post-Brexit, the challenge of productivity and migration. It emerges that the UK might lose up to 25 billion € by 2030, Moreover the study forecasts a slowing of growth that would decrease from 1.8% in 2016 to around 1.5% in 2017 and 1.4% in 2018... Read more

Sweden : Social Summit for Fair Jobs and Growth
On 17th November Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven hosted the heads of State and government for a Social Summit in Göteborg. They jointly proclaimed the European Pillar of Social Rights. This proclamation re-iterates the common commitment to defend and safeguard the 20 principles and rights which are part of the pillar... Read more
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Albania : EU-Albania: ninth Stabilisation and Association Council
During its ninth meeting on 15th November the EU-Albania Stabilisation and Association Council welcomed the progress achieved by Albania in view of joining the Union in the future inviting the country to continue reforming its justice system... Read more

Kosovo : 2nd Meeting of the EU-Kosovo Stabilisation and Association Council
During its second meeting on 17th November the EU-Kosovo Stabilisation and Association Council revised the state of relations and the development of the situation in Kosovo... Read more

Serbia : EU-Serbia: fourth Stabilisation and Association Council
During its fourth meeting on 16th November the EU-Serbia Stabilisation and Association Council highlighted the progress achieved by Serbia in view of joining the Union in the future. The Council notably welcomed the smooth running of the Presidential election on 2nd April last and the opening of internal dialogue over Kosovo... Read more

UN : Review of the 23rd conference on the climate
The 23rd Conference on the Climate (COP23) ended on 17th November in Bonn. The countries set themselves the task of drawing up a collective review of greenhouse gas emissions by the end of 2018 and to assess the work that still to be done if the world is to remain below the threshold of a 2° rise in temperatures as stipulated in the Paris Agreement... Read more
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Eurostat : GDP increase of 0.6% in the 3rd quarter
The EU's GDP and that of the euro zone rose by 0.6% in the third quarter in comparison with the previous quarter announced Eurostat on 14th November... Read more
Annual inflation down
According to Eurostat the annual inflation rate in the EU lay at 1.7% in October 2017 against 1.8% the previous month. In the euro zone the annual inflation rate dropped from 1.5% to 1.4% between September and October 2017... Read more
Goods trade in surplus
On 15th November Eurostat published the September figures of the international goods trade in the euro zone, revealing a 3.1 billion euro surplus in EU28 and a 26.4 billion euro surplus in the euro zone... Read more

Studies/Reports : European Budgetary Committee Report
In a report published on 15th November, the European Budgetary Committee, an independent body created by the Commission deems that budgetary procedures must be simplified... Read more
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Airbus: record contract of nearly 50 billion $ with Indigo Partners
On 15th November at the Dubai Airshow, Airbus announced that it had signed the biggest contract in the sector's history. The European aircraft manufacturer sold 430 320 Neo aircraft to the American company Indigo to a total of 42 billion €... Read more
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Assessment of the progress achieved by Ukraine
The European Commission and the European External Action Service (EEAS) published a report on 15th November on Ukraine. Although both of these institutions welcome the implementation of a certain number of reforms defined in its association programme in 2017, it is however urgent to accelerate work in order to effect real change in the country... Read more
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Culture : "Sami Blood" wins the Lux Prize 2017
The Swedish drama "Sami Blood" by Amanda Kernell that relates the fight in the 1930's of a Swedish Sami teenager against racism and discrimination that struck her people won the European Parliament's Lux Prize on 14th November... Read more
Transmission Festival in Prague
The 12th Transmission Festival in Prague takes place on 25th November. For a whole night the public will be able to see films, light and laser shows as well as fireworks and listen to electro music... Read more
Mariano Fortuny Retrospective at the Prado Museum
From 21st November 2017 to 18th March 2018, the Prado Museum is organising the first retrospective of the Spanish painter Mariano Fortuny y Marsal (1838-1874), who was an innovator in many areas... Read more
Peru before the Incas
The Museum on the Quai Branly - Jacques Chirac in Paris is hosting an exhibition until 1st April 2018 entitled "Peru before the Incas", which offers visitors a view of the origins and organisation of power in these ancient societies and in the vaster pre-Hispanic empire... Read more
Turin Film Festival
The Italian town of Turin is organising its film festival from 24th November to 2nd December. The avant-garde and works by young film makers will form the heart of this 35th edition... Read more
Propaganda during the Great War
As part of the commemoration of the hundred years of the battle of Cambrai - described in the "Storm of Steel" by Ernst Jünger - the Fine Arts Museum of Cambrai is running an exhibition from 22nd November 2017 to 12th February on the role of the picture during the war "Mobilising minds: propaganda during the Great War.".. Read more
Modigliani at the Tate Modern
From 23rd November 2017 to 2nd April 2018 the Tate Modern in London is running an exhibition on Modigliani, notably his unknown sculptures as well as some portraits... Read more

20th November


"General Affairs" Council

20th and 21st November


"Education, Youth, Culture and Sport" Council


ASEAN Foreign Affairs Ministers' Meeting

24th November


Eastern Partnership Summit

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