The Letter n°791

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The Letter n°791
The Letter
Tuesday 13th February 2018
issue 791
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Europe 2050: Demographic Suicide
Authors : Jean-Michel Boussemart, Michel Godet
Jean-Michel Boussemart, Michel Godet
In 2050 Europe might stagnate at around 500 million inhabitants and lose 49 million people of working age in the 20-64 age group. We shall need arms and brains to compensate for this loss in number. At the same time, the population of Africa is due to increase by 1.3 billion. This means that migratory pressure on Europe will be stronger than ever before. This demographic shock (internal implosion and external explosion), is never spoken of in Europe and we are not preparing for it. The demographic suicide of old Europe is now imminent but we still have time: good forecasting is not necessarily the one that is made but the one that leads to action to avoid it.
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Front page! : When political Europe changes
Jean-Dominique Giuliani deems that the reshaping of national policies now underway in Europe will have an impact in 2019 on European debate, the elections, on the appointment of the Union's leaders and on the orientation of its future policies... Read more

Foundation : Integration of renewable energies
The Hanns Seidel Foundation, the Robert Schuman Foundation and the Association for Electrical Engineering (VDE) are organising a discussion on the integration of renewable energies in Europe on 27th February in Brussels. It is obligatory to enrol... Read more
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Commission : World Urban Forum
On the occasion of the World Urban Forum organised on 9th February the Commission reviewed the progress made as part of three commitments made 15 months ago by the EU and its partners. The Union is prepared to show the way for towns across the world to become clean, safe and prosperous... Read more
Economic forecasts: strong, stable expansion
The euro zone's growth rate and that of the EU have risen beyond forecasts of last year, said the Commission on 7th February. The transition over from the economic recovery phase to that of expansion is continuing. According to estimates the European economy recorded growth of 2.4% in 2017, the highest rate in ten years... Read more
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Parliament : Ryszard Czarnecki dismissed from office as Vice-President of the European Parliament
On 7th February the European Parliament brought the mandate, held by Ryszard Czarnecki (ECR, PL) as Vice-President to an end for "serious misconduct" , 447 votes against 196. He attacked his colleague Roza Thun (EPP, PL) extremely violently in an offensive, insulting manner... Read more
Agreement over a new distribution of seats
On 7th February MEPs rejected 368 votes against 274 the proposal to create transnational lists for the European elections of 2019. However, they did adopt the report supporting the upkeep of the process of the future president of the Commission as well as the proposal to redistribute seats following the departure of the UK. The Council must now decide... Read more
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Reducing CO2 emissions
Legislation targeting further reduction of CO2 emissions in European industry in order to meet commitments made in Paris was adopted by MEPs on 6th February by 535 votes against 104 and 39 abstentions. The Council now has to adopt this decision formally... Read more
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Establishment of a special committee on pesticides
On 6th February MEPs adopted the creation of a special committee on the procedure for the authorisation of pesticides in the Union... Read more
Facilitating e-trade
On 6th February MEPs voted in support of new rules banning "geo-blocking" of consumers who purchase via the web in another Member State. This enables them to choose from which site they want to purchase goods or services without being blocked or automatically re-directed to another site due to their nationality, their place of residence or even their temporary location... Read more
Human Rights in Turkey
On 8th February MEPS criticised the recent arrests of journalists, activists, doctors and citizens for having expressed their opposition to Turkish military intervention in the Kurdish controlled enclave of Afrin enclave in Syria... Read more

Diplomacy : Strategy for the Western Balkans
The European Commission adopted a strategy entitled "A credible enlargement perspective for and enhanced EU engagement with the Western Balkans." Six leading initiatives aim to strengthen cooperation in terms of security and migration, to extend energy union to the Western Balkans and to reduce roaming fees as well as deploying broadband to the region... Read more
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Cooperation Council with Azerbaijan
The Cooperation Council with Azerbaijan met on 9th February for the 15th time and discussed progress made, notably in terms of the economy, energy and aviation... Read more
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Association Council with Georgia
On 5th February the EU and Georgia held their 4th Association Council meeting which welcomed the adoption of a constitutional reform and the reform of the legal system started by Tbilisi... Read more

Court of Auditors : Annual meeting between the Court of Auditors and the European Commission
The President of the European Court of Auditors, Klaus-Heiner Lehne, hosted the President of the European Commission on 5th February, on the occasion of the annual meeting of the two institutions, organised in the buildings of the Court in Luxembourg. Discussions notably focused on social issues, the Economic and Monetary Union, security and defence issues... Read more

European Agencies : New International Space Station ISS module
The European Space Agency (ESA) and the Airbus Defence and Space group signed a public/private partnership agreement on 7th February to make a new module designed to integrate the International Space Station. The latter, baptised Bartolomeo in tribute to the Christopher Columbus's young brother, will be set up at the beginning of 2019 in the front of the Columbus module, ESA's main laboratory on board the Station, notably to offer a study platform for businesses working in the space industry... Read more
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Germany : Coalition agreement between the CDU-CSU and the SPD
The representatives of the CDU-CSU and the SPD announced on 7th February to have concluded an agreement of principle for the formation of a government coalition - in other words a "grand coalition". After long negotiations and a deadline that was postponed several times "a coalition contract" was finally approved by both parties, although this still has to be approved by a vote on the part of SPD members... Read more
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Martin Schulz renounces post as Foreign Affairs Minister
ON 9th February SPD leader Martin Schulz decided not to enter the government so as not to endanger the chance of a coalition contract before the vote of SPD members... Read more

Croatia : Speech by the Croatian Prime Minister at the European Parliament
Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic was guest in a debate of the future of Europe with MEPs on 6th February. Warning against the rise of populism he stressed that the wanted to cooperate fully with the Union. On this occasion the President of the Commission Jean-Claude Juncker recalled the work undertaken by the Western Balkan countries in view of their membership. He did however stress that this could only happen if all border disputes between the Balkan countries were settled - referring notably to the one between Croatia and Slovenia... Read more
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Spain : Catalonia: a new president?
The Spanish court obliges the physical presence of the next regional president for his investiture. Since Carles Puigdemont is in exile the Catalan parliament might decide to invest 41 year-old Elsa Artadi as the head of the executive... Read more
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Estonia : Juri Ratas meets Pope Francis
Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas met Pope Francis on 9th February. They notably discussed the protection of environmental assets, migration and commitment to the settlement of conflict in the world... Read more

Lithuania : The 100th anniversary of independence will be celebrated on 16th February 2018
On 16th February the Republic of Lithuania will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of its independence from the German empire in 1918 after which it remain a sovereign republic until the Second World War. The event will be celebrated across the country... Read more

The Netherlands : Dutch court turns to the ECJ regarding the fate of British expats
On 7th February the Dutch court referred the request of five British citizens living in the Netherlands to the ECJ regarding their rights following the UK's exit from the EU. One million British expats are concerned... Read more
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UK : Michel Barnier reviews Brexit negotiations
During a press conference on 9th February Michel Barnier reviewed his meeting with Theresa May and David Davis. "The transition agreement has not yet been decided," he maintained, speaking of significant disagreements on both sides. Michel Barnier also recalled that the Union did not want the introduction of a "hard" border in Ireland... Read more

Slovenia : Meeting with the leaders of Benelux
The Slovenian Prime Minister, Miro Cerar, hosted the Belgian, Luxembourg and Dutch leaders on 6th February. The four leaders came to agreement for an intensification of cooperation between their countries, especially from an economic point of view... Read more

Macedonia : Prime Minister supports a name change
During a press conference on 6th February Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said he supported the addition of a geographical determinant after the name of Macedonia to bring tension with Greece to an end... Read more
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Turkey : Turkish President invited to Sofia on 26th March to meet European leaders
Donald Tusk invited the President of Turkey, Mr Erdogan to the summit of European leaders that will take place on 26th March in Varna, Bulgaria. The presidents of the European Council, Donald Tusk and the Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker have already announced that they intend to address the issues of fundamental freedoms and the rule of law in Turkey... Read more

Norway : EU-Norway agreement for better tax cooperation
The EU and Norway committed on 6th February to develop tax cooperation, notably in terms of VAT. The agreement signed creates a regulatory framework for the establishment of a administrative cooperation to counter VAT fraud and to recover unpaid sums... Read more
Lower increase in growth and inflation
The Norwegian Central Statistics Office (Statistisk sentralbyrå, SBB) published the country's official growth figures for 2017 which total 1.8% of the GDP against 1% in 2016. Inflation lay at 1.1%... Read more

Studies/Reports : Scandinavian Growth Forecasts
A report on the general state of the Nordic Region was published on 8th February by the Nordic Council. This document points to the economic and demographic growth of the entire region and especially highlights the optimistic forecasts for the next 12 years. It also stresses the resilience of the Scandinavian economies illustrated during the crisis... Read more
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Memorandum for the cross-border financial stability of Northern Europe
The governments of northern Europe (Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) signed a Memorandum on 9th February on cooperation and coordination of work towards cross-border financial stability... Read more
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Employment and the social situation continue to improve
Employment in the EU continued to increase more than forecast in the third quarter of 2017 and is going hand in hand with a downward trend in unemployment according to the most recent report on employment development and the social situation in Europe published on 12th February... Read more

Publications : Reviving Europe? Yes, but how? Integration via the example
Jean-Dominique Giuliani has published an article in "Réalités Industrielles", the quarterly series in the "Annales des Mines" regarding the revival of European integration via setting an example... Read more

Culture : Corot Exhibition at the Marmottan Museum in Paris
The Marmottan-Monet Museum in Paris is running an exhibition devoted to Camille Corot until 8th July. With a wealth of 60 masterpieces on loan from some of the world's biggest public and private collections, the exhibition intends to highlight the original aspects of the work of the first modern landscape painter... Read more
Fernand Léger Exhibition Brussels
The Bozar Brussels is showing the works of French artist Fernand Léger until 3rd June 2018. Léger was a leading figure in the Cubist movement in the first half of the 20th century... Read more
Man Ray Exhibition - Vienna
The Kunstforum of Vienna is running an exhibition comprising nearly 150 of Man Ray's work from 14th February to 24th June 2018. The 150 key pieces of work were chosen from across the world, bringing notably together paintings, photographs, objects, collages and experimental films... Read more

15th February


"Education, Youth, Culture and Sport" Council

19th February


"Agriculture and Fisheries" Council Eurogroup Meeting

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