The Letter n°798

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The Letter n°798
The Letter
Wednesday 4th April 2018
issue 798
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Taking back control of globalisation:
Sovereignty through European integration
Author : Benoit Coeuré
Benoit Coeuré
On the occasion of the publication of the Schuman Report 2018 on the State of the Union, the Foundation has published the article featured in it by Benoit Coeuré, a member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank, which recalls the conditions necessary for the management of globalisation through European integration as a tool of sovereignty.
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Foundation : Smuggling, Counterfeiting and the Financing of Terrorism
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On 11th April the Robert Schuman Foundation is organising a conference entitled "Smuggling, Counterfeiting and the Financing of Terrorism - Mobilising Economic Stakeholders". To take part it is recommended that you enrol... Read more

Commission : Action plan to facilitate "military mobility"
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On 28th March the European Commission presented an action plan to improve the mobility of troops and military equipment in Europe in a context of increasing tension with Russia. The measures proposed aim to remove numerous bureaucratic and regulatory obstacles which complicate military movement, notably when it comes to the transit of explosives and dangerous materials, and adapting road and rail infrastructures to the transport of vehicles like tanks for example... Read more
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Reducing costs of cross-border payments
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On 28th March the European Commission suggested reducing the cost of cross-border transfers in euro across all of the EU. Since the rules in force do not make any difference between residents or businesses in the euro zone undertaking operations in euros in their own country or with another Member State of the euro zone, the proposal suggests extending this advantage to physical people and to businesses outside of the euro zone... Read more

Parliament : e-Call obligatory in all new models of cars
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On 31st March Parliament announced that the eCall, which issues an automatic warning to the emergency services in the event of an accident will have to be integrated into all new car and van models in the EU. This system which calls 112 automatically in the event of a serious road accident helps the emergency services to decide on the type and scale of intervention necessary... Read more
Helping to safeguard the independence of the media
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The Civil Liberties Committee at the European Parliament adopted a resolution on 27th March to protect the independence of the media. MEPs called for Member States to provide better support to public service providers investigative journalism, the creation of a regulatory organisation and to monitor and flag threats made to journalists, as well as making investments to improve education about the media and the digital economy... Read more

Council : Travel with your digital subscriptions
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According to a joint declaration by the Commission, the Parliament and the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council on 27th March Europeans will be able to access online content services to which they are subscribed in the country where they find themselves in the EU... Read more
Monitoring and reporting of data on CO2 emissions
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On 27th March the Bulgarian presidency came to an informal agreement with the European Parliament on a regulation regarding the monitoring and report of data on CO2 emissions and the consumption of fuel by new heavy goods vehicles to reduce CO2 emissions and to foster a low-carbon economy... Read more

Diplomacy : Skripal affair: expulsion of more than 150 Russian diplomats
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Since 26th March 27 countries, including 19 EU Member States as well as NATO have decided to expel more than 150 Russian diplomats in retaliation against Moscow after the poisoning in the UK of a former Russian spy and his daughter... Read more
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Tension between Serbia and Kosovo
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On 27th March after a discussion with the President of Kosovo Hashim Thaçi, the EU's High Representative Federica Mogherini met Serb President Aleksandar Vučić in Belgrade. In a context of rising tension, she deplored the arrest and expulsion on 26th March of a Serb Minister from Kosovo and called for dialogue. The Serb members of the government of Kosovo also announced their departure, thereby placing it in a minority position... Read more
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EU-Turkey, Varna Summit
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On 26th March a summit in Varma brought together the Presidents of the Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker and of the European Council, Donald Tusk, the Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan. They addressed several issues such as migration, the rule of law in Turkey, Syria and the Eastern Mediterranean. Jean-Claude Juncker warned that Turkey should improve its relations with the EU's Member States... Read more
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Austria : Austria reviews the Kurz government
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On 27th March, 100 days after the election of Sebastian Kurz, the latter made a first review and gave the priorities of his mandate. Emphasis is placed on security, help to SMEs and education. Regarding Europe, Austria hopes to remain a vital link between East and West and in virtue of this it has not expelled any Russian diplomats in the context of the Skripal scandal... Read more

Spain : Spain: Carles Puigdemont arrested in Germany
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On 25th March the former President of the region of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont was arrested in Germany on the Danish border. Mr Puigdemont is subject to a European Arrest Warrant issued by Spain. Germany announced its decision to detain him and has 60 days to decide whether to extradite him or not... Read more
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France : France: the public deficit drops below the 3% of the GDP in 2017
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In 2017 France returned to the fold in terms of European budgetary requirements with a public deficit of 2.6% of the GDP. Growth, stronger than anticipated, is notably at the origin of this figure... Read more

Greece : Greece: 5.7 billion euro from the European Stability Mechanism
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On 28th March the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) disbursed 5.7 billion euro to Greece, prior to a further billion planned for May 1st. It is the 4th tranche of aid from the ESM delivered to Greece. Its director Klaus Regling highlighted the "hard work undertaken by the Greek government and people", with regard to the multiple reforms requested in areas such as privatisation, fiscal policy and the resolution of non-performing loans... Read more
Greece: a European "passport" of qualifications for refugees
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On 28th March in Athens the Council of Europe launched the second phase of its project for a "passport" for refugees who hope to have their diplomas acknowledged in their host country... Read more

Ireland : Compensating the negative effects of Brexit
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On 28th March the Irish government launched the "Brexit Loan Scheme", the aim of which is to compensate the negative effects of Brexit on certain Irish businesses.

To this end it has deployed financing of 300 million euros... Read more

Poland : The Council of Europe warns of the risks of corruption
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At the beginning of March the Council of Europe deemed the effect of the reforms on the independence of the legal system made by the Polish government since 2015 as being "negative". In a report published on 29th March the Council of Europe warned of the risks of corruption on the part of the judges of the National Council of Judiciary, who have been selected by the party in office... Read more
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Czech Republic : A law tightens referendum criteria on Europe
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Andrej Babis' government presented a bill on 27th March to tighten the criteria surrounding the organisation of a referendum on the European Union. 850,000 signatures will now be necessary for its organisation and to be valid the result will require a majority of those registered to vote. International agreements cannot be subject to referendum... Read more

UK : Brexit in one year!
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Just one year before the exit of the UK from the EU, British Prime Minister Theresa May started a tour of the UK on 29th March in a bid to rally and reassure her fellow citizens over Brexit which remains very divisive... Read more

Macedonia : Discussions under the auspices of the UN regarding the country's name
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30th March marked the end of a week of discussions in Vienna between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia over the name of the latter, under the auspices of the UN's Special representative Matthew Nimetz. The Greek Minister for Foreign Affairs Nikos Kotzias, spoke of "a convergence of views on the method" to resolve the problem of the country's name... Read more
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Eurostat : International goods trade in 2017
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According to a press release published by Eurostat on 26th March the USA (631 billion €, i.e. 16.9% of the total goods trade of the EU) and China (573 billion €, i.e. 15.3%) were the EU's two main trade partners in 2017. As for the Member States intra-Union trade dominates in general... Read more
Births and fertility in 2016 in the EU
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According to a press release by Eurostat on 28th March the birth rate in the EU was up in 2016 in comparison with 2015. In 2016 5.148 million babies were born in contrast to 5.103 million in 2015. Another observation is that women have their first child at around 29 years of age... Read more

Culture : Art Fair Paris
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From 5th to 8th April the "Art Paris Art Fair" is taking place at the Grand Palais, bringing together no fewer than 142 art galleries from 23 different countries. Switzerland is the guest of honour of the 2018 exhibition... Read more
European Artistic Craft Days
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The French National Craft and Design Institute (INMA) and its partners are organising the European Artistic Craft Days from 3rd to 8th April on the theme of "Futurs en Transmission". Supported and organised for the new generations, this year a widened programme is on offer over the six days of the event, offering new openings in addition to the 8,500 workshops and venues organised over the weekend of 6th to 8th April... Read more
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Turner Exhibition at the Chiostro del Bramante
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The Chiostro del Bramante in Rome is running an exhibition of the works of British artist Joseph Mallor Willam Turner on loan from the Tate London collection. Visitors will be able to view 90 works of art, including sketches, water colours, drawings, as well as oil paintings... Read more

8Apr
8th April

Hungary

General Elections

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