The Letter n°783

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The Letter n°783
The Letter
Tuesday 5th December 2017
issue 783
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The budgetary impact of the Brexit on the European Union
Author : Nicolas-Jean Brehon
Nicolas-Jean Brehon
As in any divorce Brexit will come at a cost. And both sides will have to pay, but in the present paper, the budgetary impact is seen from the European point of view. The UK is a more important budgetary partner than it might at first appear. Its weight goes well beyond its budgetary contribution alone.The indirect effects of the Brexit on the budgetary policy and negotiations will be decisive. Some Member States will soon see this and this aspect of the issue has been neglected. This paper aims to describe the range of issues that will have to be anticipated and notably the divorce bill after the Brexit.
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Foundation : "Which European model for the digital revolution?"
The President of the National Assembly's European Affairs Committee is organising together with the Robert Schuman Foundation a conference on 7th December entitled, "Which European model for the digital revolution" together with Andrus Ansip, Vice-President of the European Commission for the Digital Single Market... Read more

Brexit : Brexit: major progress made, total agreement still lacking
British Prime Minister Theresa May and the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker welcomed the "major progress" made in the Brexit negotiations after their meeting on 4th December. President Juncker remains "confident" about being able to move on to phase 2 of negotiations after the European Council on 14th and 15th December which is to decide whether the progress made regarding three priority issues is "adequate"... Read more
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Commission : A more flexible, simplified approach to the Common Agricultural Policy
In a communication entitled "The future of food and agriculture" published on 29th November the European Commission called for a simplification of the rules and the adoption of a more flexible approach to the Common Agricultural Policy. The present two pillar structure will be maintained but each Member State will then set out its own strategic plan - that will be approved by the Commission - in which it will indicate how it foresees the attainment of the goals agreed at European level... Read more
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Countering VAT fraud
After the revelations of the Paradise Papers scandal the European Commission presented new tools on 30th November to make the EU's Value Added Tax (VAT) system more fraud-proof and close loopholes which can lead to large-scale VAT fraud... Read more
Encouraging European businesses to invest in innovation and creation
On 29th November the European Commission presented measures targeting the guarantee to protect intellectual property rights and to encourage European businesses and in particular SMEs and start-ups, to invest in innovation and creation... Read more
1 billion € for 39 transport projects
On 30th November the Commission suggested the investment of 1 billion € in 39 transport project which is due to release 4.5 billion € in public and private cofinancing. Most of the appropriations will be used to decarbonise road transport, to develop the European rail network, maritime ports and navigable waterways... Read more
Rules to guarantee safer on-line payments
On 27th November the European Commission adopted new rules to guarantee greater security regarding e-payments in shops and on-line. To reduce the present level of fraud when payments are made on-line greater authentification of the client will be necessary... Read more
A new record year for the Erasmus+ programme
On 30th November the European Commission presented its report on the results of the Erasmus+ programme in 2016. The budget increased by 7.5% providing a mobility grant to 725, 000 Europeans. Erasmus+ is due to fulfil its goal of helping 3.7% of young people in the EU between 2014 and 2020... Read more

Parliament : 2018 EU budget adopted: support to youth, growth and security
The Council and the Parliament adopted the EU's 2018 budget on 30th November. The appropriations will increase by 8.4% for the Horizon 2020 programme, 12.1% for the Erasmus+ programme and 8.9% for the agencies in the areas of security and citizenship. The pre-membership funds for Turkey have been reduced by 105 million € due to threats that weigh over democracy, the rule of law and Human Rights... Read more
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New ways to support stability and peace outside of the Union
The European Fund for Stability and Peace might for the first time finance military actors in third countries to support development activities after the adoption on 30th November of an informal agreement between Parliament and the Council. Moreover the provision of non-lethal Equipment or infrastructures (IT systems, hospitals ...) will be now eligible for EU support... Read more
New rules on bank losses
On 30th November MEPs adopted rules on the way bank debtors must cover their losses. The international standard TLAC will notably be incorporated into European legislation, with this demanding that banks provide enough funds to absorb losses and for recapitalisation with as limited an impact as possible on taxpayers... Read more
Introduction of the European strategy for handicapped people
MEPs recalled on 30th November the introduction of measures for positive discrimination in support of handicapped people such as quotas in public and private sectors. They are also asking for particular attention to be given to women and young handicapped girls who often suffer double discrimination... Read more

Council : Conclusions of the Competitiveness Ministers' Meeting
On 30th November the ministers adopted a guideline for the introduction of a single digital portal. This on-line portal will provide citizens and businesses with information, procedures and assistance services and for the settlement of problems. Ministers are being called to define an innovative strategy for the Union's industrial Policy focused on 2030 and beyond... Read more
Anti-dumping rules
Ministers adopted new rules on 4th December to counter unfair trading practices. These will enter into force on 20th December and include, amongst others, a new method to counter dumping... Read more
Conditions for the reception of asylum seekers
On 29th November the Council adopted a negotiation mandate regarding the directive targeting the establishment of common rules for the reception of asylum seekers. This directive extends to the material conditions of reception and to access to healthcare - it provides that asylum seekers will have access to the labour market within the 9 months following their request... Read more
Conclusions of the "Transport, Telecommunications and Energy" Council
On 4th December the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy" Council adopted a general approach regarding the revision of the rules governing the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communication (BEREC). Ministers also assessed the progress made towards a revision of the ePrivacy directive and established a road-map for the 5G that should enable Europe to become a leader in this area... Read more

Diplomacy : African Union - European Union Summit
The fifth summit between the EU and the African Union took place on 29th and 30th November in Abidjan. The European and African leaders came to agreement on four priorities - notably a new external investment plan that will mobilise 44 billion € of private investments in support of sustainable development and the creation of jobs. They took a firm stance against the criminal acts in Libya... Read more
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Eurogroup : Mario Centeno elected President of the Eurogroup
On 4th December Eurogroup elected Mario Centeno, the Portuguese Finance Minister, as its president. His term will start on 13th January 2018 and this will last 2 and a half years. The first Eurogroup meeting under M. Centeno's presidency will take place on 22nd January 2018. Eurogroup also discussed the budgetary plans of the countries in the euro zone for 2018... Read more

ECB : Financial risks continue in spite of strong growth
The European Central Bank pointed to the strength of the economy on 29th November but warned of the risk of abrupt change in assets' prices on the markets (shares and bonds). The ECB is concerned about the viability of non-financial businesses which are already weak should interest rates rise without any improvement in economic conditions taking place... Read more

Germany : Presentation of the Bundesbank's annual report on Financial Stability
According to a Bundesbank's annual report published on 29th November the German economy is facing many dangers which range from housing prices to the weakness of its banks... Read more

France : National Assembly vote on a resolution to promote European symbols
On 27th November the National Assembly voted on a draft resolution to promote the symbols of the European Union, notably the flag... Read more
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Speech by French President Macron in Ouagadougou
On the eve of the African Union Summit-EU on 29th and 30th November, the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron travelled to Burkina Faso. In a speech given at the university he mentioned Europe and Africa's joint future as well as issues like immigration, environment, development, cultural assets and education... Read more
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Ireland : Resignation of Trade, Business and Innovation Minister
The Tànaiste and Trade, Business and Innovation Minister, Frances Fitzgerald resigned on 28th November. This resignation will avoid the organisation of a snap election. She was replaced as Deputy Prime Minister by Simon Coveney, Foreign Affairs Minister, and by Heather Humphreys as Trade, Business and Innovation Minister... Read more
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Meeting between Donald Tusk and Leo Varadkar
After the conditions set by the Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, said that he was on Ireland's side regarding the question of the border with Ulster which will become one of Europe's external borders if the UK leaves the Customs Union and the Single Market as it leaves the EU. "The Irish demand is that of the EU," he maintained... Read more

Italy : Forum on the Mediterranean
The third forum on the Mediterranean (Mediterranean Dialogues) took place in Rome from 30th November to 2nd December. Questions regarding migration and trans-Mediterranean energy cooperation were the focus of discussions... Read more
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Czech Republic : Resignation of the Government
The Czech government, in office since 2014, resigned on 29th November giving way to the new government to be led by Andrej Babis, head of the ANO movement that won the general election on 21st October. On 6th December, President Milos Zeman is to appoint A.Babis as Prime Minister. The appointment of all of the members of government is expected on 13th December... Read more
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Bosnia-Herzgovina : International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
The International Court for the former Yugoslavia rendered its final judgment on appeal of 6 former military leaders of the Croats of Bosnia notably accused of war crimes (1992-1995). The sentence of 25 years in prison for Jadranko Prlic, former President of the Croatian Defence Council was confirmed. It was the last appeal to come before the ICTY. After 24 years the court will close its door officially on 31st December 2017... Read more
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Ukraine : Will there be a referendum on joining the EU and NATO?
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced in a speech on 1st December that the government will organise a referendum on Ukraine's membership of the EU on the one hand and of NATO on the other. He did not give a precise date but said he was confident, since Ukraine "was firmly committed to the Euro-Atlantic integration process.".. Read more

Iceland : Katrin Jakobsdottir appointed Prime Minister
The President of the Vinstri Graent (Left Green Movement), Katrin Jakobsdottir was appointed Prime Minister of Iceland on 30th November by the President of the Republic, Guðni Thorlacius Jóhannesson. The new head of government formed a coalition with the Independence Party (SJA) and the Progress Party (FSF) which occupies 33 of the 63 seats in the Althing. She will lead a government of 11 ministers (5 women and 6 men)... Read more

OECD : Economic forecasts
On 28th November the OECD published its world economic forecasts. The euro zone's growth rate has been revised upwards to 2.4% in 2017 but this is due to slow in 2018 to 2.1% and 1.9% in 2019. Countries like Italy, France and Germany have higher performance forecasts in the first quarter of 2017. However the UK's growth is due to keep slowing: 1.5% in 2017, 1.2% in 2018 and 1.1% in 2019... Read more

Studies/Reports : The fight to counter drug trafficking requires greater means
Drug trafficking on the hidden side of the internet, the "darknet", represents an increasing threat against which Europe has to deploy greater means says a report published on 28th November by Europol and the European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA)... Read more
Increase in HIV in Europe
In a press release published on 28th November, the World Health Organisation reviewed the HIV situation in Europe. The organisation deplores an increase in the numbers of cases of infection, with 160,000 HIV positive (29,000 in the EU) cases, 80% in the eastern part of Europe. The WHO insists on the importance of prevention, diagnosis and rapid access to treatment... Read more
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Arctic Ocean: moratorium on commercial fishing
The countries living on the shores of the Arctic ocean and the big fishing countries (Canada, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Norway, Russia, USA, China, Iceland, Japan, South Korea and the EU) agreed to set a moratorium on commercial fishing at the heart of this ocean before the present melting of the polar ice-cap even offers this possibility. "No commercial fishing will take place in the high sea at the centre of the Arctic Ocean" they indicated on December 1st... Read more

Eurostat : Stabilisation at 2% of the GDP on R&D spending in 2016
On 1st December Eurostat published spending figures in terms of R&D over 2016. The 28 Member States spent more than 300 billion € in virtue of research and development. The share of these investments in percentage of the GDP remained stable in comparison with 2015 lying at 2.03% in 2016... Read more
Unemployment down, annual inflation at 1.5%
According to Eurostat figures published on 30th November unemployment decreased to 7.4% in the EU and to 8.8% in the euro zone. Annual inflation in the euro zone rose from 1.4% to 1.5% in October and November 2017... Read more
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Culture : Europoly: the European Union Identity Trading Game
From 15th December 2017 to 7th January 2018 the multidisciplinary project "Europoly - the European Union Identity Trading Game - is on show at the Volkskundemuseum in Vienna. It highlights the influx of economic migrants in the 1960's, the wave of immigration following the armed conflict in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990's and finally the present migration of workers. The project comprises 2 days conferences in 4 towns (Belgrade, Zagreb, Sarajevo and Vienna)... Read more
Fernand Léger intimate
Until 26th March 2018 the National Fernand Léger Museum in Biot is running an exhibition devoted to Fernand Léger entitled "Draw First - Fernand Léger intimate". It presents preparatory drawings of the works painted in order to highlight all of Fernand Léger's diversity and drawing techniques... Read more
Festival of Light Lyon
The Festival of Light in Lyon is taking place from 7th to 10th December. Across the entire town installations will light up the buildings that have been set in place by lighting engineers, architects, designers and film makers. Moreover there will be live performances in the streets... Read more
The Master of Messkirch at the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart
In 2017 in celebration of the 500 years of the Reform the Staatsgalerie of Stuttgart is hosting the first complete exhibition of the works by the Master of Messkirch, that are normally dispersed amongst the muséums and private collections of Europe and the USA. His work, paintings of altars that went against the Reform is accessible to visitors from 8th December 2017 to 2nd April 2018... Read more

4th & 5th December


"Télécommunications-Transport" Council

5th December


"Economic and Financial Affairs" Council

7th & 8th December


"Justice and Internal Affairs" Council
"Social Policy and Healthcare" Council

8th December


EU-Georgia Association Council
EU-Ukraine Association Council

10th December

Buenos Aires

"Trade" Council

10th to 13th December

Buenos Aires

11th WTO Ministerial Conference

11th December


"Development" Council

11th & 12th December


"Agriculture and Fisheries" Council

11th to 14th December


Plenary Session of the European Parliament

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