The Letter n°804

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The Letter n°804
The Letter
Tuesday 15th May 2018
issue 804
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Emmanuel Macron, France and Europe "France is back in Europe": on which terms ?
Author : Thierry Chopin
Thierry Chopin
Does the election of Emmanuel Macron as President of the French Republic comprise an opportunity for the redefinition of a French narrative regarding Europe which breaks not only with the weaknesses of the previous five-year presidency in terms of European policy but also from the rationale of the traditional idea that lies at the heart of France's relationship with European integration, which might be shared by its partners? If this is so on which terms can France's return to Europe be achieved? Doesn't a return like this imply a new discourse of the method and a new approach to the EU by France?
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Foundation : Schuman Report 2018!
The "Schuman Report 2018 on the State of the Union" is available in both French and English. This year analysis is given of the challenges Europe is facing with articles by the very best specialists, an exclusive interview with the French President Emmanuel Macron, commented maps and statistics, offering a full overview of the European Union. You can order it on-line from our site in digital form or in bookshops. Order your copy today!.. Read more

Commission : Modification of the Union's Customs Code
On 8th May the European Commission put forward a new text that aims to regulate the Union's Customs Code. The new code now includes the international agreement with Canada which was not in force in May 2016... Read more
The Commission launched an on-line citizens' consultation
On the occasion of Europe Day, 9th May, the European Commission launched a public on-line consultation to ask all Europeans the direction they want the EU to take in the future. This unique consultation was prepared by a group of 96 citizens from 27 Member States who met to decide on the questions to ask of their fellow Europeans... Read more
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Council : Conclusion of the "General Affairs"
During the General Affairs Council of 14th May the European Affairs Ministers addressed the issue of the European budget post-2020 and the situation of the rule of law in Poland. They also adopted conclusions regarding the fight to counter money laundering and the financing of terrorism and the protection of the environment... Read more

Diplomacy : Declaration on Iran
High Representative Federica Mogherini spoke on 9th May of Donald Trump's decision to leave the Iranian Nuclear Agreement. She stressed that the EU deeply regretted this decision since the agreement had been adopted by the UN Security Council. The French, German and British leaders also made a joint declaration on 8th May. They called for the continued denuclearisation of Iran, as part of the common global action plan, to maintain peace in the region, announcing joint work in the future in this regard... Read more
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2 year extension of the European Training Mission in Mali
The EU training mission in Mali was extended by 2 years until 18th May 2020 by the Council on 14th May with a widened mandate in support of the joint G5 Sahel force... Read more
EU-Algeria Association Council
During the 11th session of the EU-Algeria Council on 14th May a joint declaration was adopted that reviews the progress made in terms of relations between the two countries... Read more

Germany : Angela Merkel launches citizens consultations
On 7th May Angela Merkel took part in the Europe Day in some schools in Germany. Germany thereby launched continent-wide citizens' consultations regarding the future of Europe. Events based exchange will be taking place across the entire country from May to autumn 2018... Read more
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Austria : Austrian Priorities for the Presidency of the Council of the European Union
On 9th May Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz presented his government's priorities for the Presidency of the Council of the European Union that Austria will be guaranteeing following Bulgaria in the second half of 2018. He called for a protective Europe which notably controls its external borders. The environment and the digital sector will also be the core issues of this presidency... Read more
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Cyprus : 4th tripartite summit Cyprus-Greece-Israel
On 8th May the 4th tripartite summit Cyprus-Greece-Israel took place in Nicosia, together with the Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahou. They notably discussed the Regional Emergency Plan to counter marine pollution through hydrocarbons, trade, cooperation in the communication technologies sector. They said they were working towards the signature of an agreement in 2018 regarding the East Med gas pipeline... Read more
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Croatia : Adoption of a "strategy to introduce the euro"
On 10th May the Croatian government adopted a strategy for the introduction of the euro and created a National Council to this end. Although it has not set a date for its entry into the euro zone a period of "5 to 7 years" has been discussed. The government stressed that work still had to be done in certain areas of convergence such as the real level of revenues and accession to the European Exchange Rate Mechanism II (ERM II) over at least two years... Read more
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Spain : Election of Quim Torra as President of Catalonia
On 14th May the Parliament of Catalonia swore in Quim Torra, an independent close to Carles Puigdement, 66 votes in support against 65. The abstention of 4 MPs of the CUP (radical left) was decisive. The new President who responded by thanking Mr Puigdemont has to put his government together in the next few days... Read more
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France : Emmanuel Macron awarded the Charlemagne Prize
French President Emmanuel Macron was awarded the Charlemagne Prize on 10th May from German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Aachen. This prize has been given as a reward for his European commitment which he recalled again in his speech as he spoke of his four priorities for Europe... Read more
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Hungary : Viktor Orban sworn in as Prime Minister
On 10th May Viktor Orban was sworn in as Prime Minister for the third time in a row by the Hungarian Parliament. His party FIDESZ won nearly half of the vote in the general elections that took place on 8th April... Read more
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Italy : Towards the formation of a government
After two months of unfruitful discussions the two parties, M5S and the Lega decided on 10th May to form a coalition to bring Italy out of its political stalemate. On 14th May they consulted with the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, to present the details of their government agreement. However, no name for the President of the Council has been quoted for the time being and both parties have asked for more time to refine their agreement... Read more

Czech Republic : Coalition Agreement between the CSSD and ANO
On 8th May Prime Minister Andrej Babis announced to the Czech President Milos Zeman that he had come to a coalition agreement with the Socialist Party CSSD. The Communists for their part said that they would not be against a formation of a government like this during a vote of confidence. A referendum within the CSSD is due to take place however at the beginning of June to approve the terms of the agreement. It is Andrej Babis's third attempt to form a government since his election... Read more
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UK : Brexit: Lords support remaining in the European Economic Area
The House of Lords voted on 8th May, 245 votes in support 218 against in support of the organisation of a vote to keep the UK in the EEA (European Economic Area), a situation that would oblige the country to continue respecting the four freedoms (of people, goods, capital and services) of the Single Market. They also adopted an amendment that aims to do away with the 29th March 2019 as the effective exit by the UK of the European Union... Read more
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Montenegro : Aggression of an investigative journalist
On 8th May the investigative journalist Olivera Lakic, who works for the independent daily Vijesti, was shot and injured outside her home in Montenegro. A demonstration in her support rallied several hundred people the next day. Attacked in the spring 2012 in front of her house already, Ms Lakic was the focus of protective measures for a long time before choosing to give up the latter so that she could undertake her investigations correctly... Read more
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Armenia : Nikol Pashinyan elected Prime Minister
During an extraordinary session on 8th May the Armenian Parliament elected the opponent of the Republican Party in office, Nikol Pashinyan as Prime Minister. The only candidate running he needed 53 votes to be elected and won 59. This election took place three weeks after lively protest on the part of the population... Read more
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Ukraine : Informal tri-lateral meeting between France-Germany-Ukraine
On 10th May the French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko held talks in Aachen during an informal meeting that focused on the war in Donbass. They addressed several issues such as the humanitarian situation, the fate of hostages, the Nord Stream 2 project, the implementation of the Minsk Agreements and the introduction of a UN peacekeeping force in the occupied part of the Donbass... Read more
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The European Union places a further five people on its list of sanctions
On 14th May the Council added five more people to the list of those who are the focus of restrictive measures linked to acts that compromise or threaten the territorial integrity, the sovereignty and the independence of Ukraine. They now feature on the list because of their involvement in the organisation of the Russian presidential election on 18th March 2018 in Crimea and Sebastopol, which have been annexed illegally... Read more

UN : Negotiation of a World Pact for the Environment
On 10th May after a vote requested by the USA, the UN General Assembly adopted 143 votes in support, five against and 7 abstentions, a resolution entitled "Towards a world pact for the environment". The initiative for a World Pact for the Environment was put forward by the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron in September 2017... Read more
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WTO : 41 members express their concern about trade tension
On 8th May 41 members of the WTO signed a joint declaration in which they express their concern about rising trade tension and the risk of exaggerated protectionism... Read more

Studies/Reports : Development of childcare facilities
On 8th May the European Commission presented its report on the development of childcare facilities. The aim is to increase women's participation in the labour market, to promote life/work balance of working parents and to foster sustainable, inclusive growth in Europe... Read more
Report on the state of relations EU-Tunisia
On 8th May the European Commission and the European External Action Service published the report on the state of progress in relations between the EU and Tunisia, in view of the next EU-Tunisia Association Council on 15th May... Read more
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Culture : European Museum Night
On 19th May the European Museum Night will be taking place. On this occasion many museums will be opening their doors for a unique programme. These events are to take place across all of Europe... Read more
Schmidt-Rottluff, Reidemeister and Düttmann on show in Berlin
The Brücke Museum in Berlin is organising an exceptional exhibition with the works of Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Leopold Reidemeister and Werner Düttmann until 12th August. This exhibition pays tribute to the three artists who founded the museum nearly 50 years ago... Read more
Duchamp, Magritte, Dali Exhibition in Madrid
Until 15th July the Gaviria Palace is hosting the exhibition "Duchamp, Magritte, Dali: the revolutionaries of the 20th century" in Madrid devoted to European artists who overthrew the diktats of the last century... Read more
Art Safari in Bucharest
The Bucharest Art Safari is a temporary exhibition that will be running at the Piata George Enescu of Bucharest until 20th May. It is one of the most important art events in Eastern Europe. Visitors will be able to view Romanian art work but also that by international artists and also take part in other events and educational programmes... Read more
"Exhibition "In tune with the World" in Paris
Until 26th August the Louis Vuitton Foundation is running an exhibition of its collection entitled "In tune with the world". A selection of artists who have focused on topical issues regarding the position of Man in the universe, and a new approach to what links him to his environment and the living world... Read more

14th May


"General Affairs" Council

17th May


European Union-Western Balkans Summit

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