The Letter n°816

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The Letter n°816
The Letter
Tuesday 18th September 2018
issue 816
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What the European personal data protection model shows us
Authors : Constance Bommelaer de Leusse, Lucien Castex
Constance Bommelaer de Leusse, Lucien Castex
Hundreds of millions of people now use the internet on a daily basis in many different ways: shopping, on-line banking, social network etc ... On the web they communicate an exponential amount of data, some of which is of an eminently personal nature. The dangers inherent to this are also growing and range widely from the unauthorised processing of data, to fraud and even to the manipulation of public opinion, which is endangering modern democracy. For all of these reasons, the protection of private life and personal data has become a European priority.
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Foundation : When the Europeans awake
The Chairman of the Foundation welcomed the two votes made by the European Parliament on copyright and the situation in Hungary, as well as the speech "on the State of the Union" which reflects the awakening of Europe... Read more

Elections : General elections in Luxembourg on 14th October
Luxembourgers are electing their 60 MPs on 14th October next. According to the most recent poll by TNS, the Christian Social People's Party is due to win 26 seats (+3 in comparison with 2013) followed by the Democratic Party, with 10 seats (-3), the Socialist Workers' Party 9 MPs (-4), the Greens/Dei Greng 7 seats (+1), the Alternative Democratic Reformist Party (ADR), 5 (+2) and the Left (LG/DL) 3 (+1). Many political observers are betting on the return of a coalition government led by the Christian Social People's Party. With whom? Anything is possible... Read more

Commission : Macrofinancial assistance of 1 billion € to support reform in Ukraine
On 14th September the European Commission signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Ukraine that involves macro-financial assistance to a total of 1 billion € in the shape of mid to long term loans. The next step is ratification of the memorandum by the Ukrainian parliament... Read more
Speech on the State of the Union, the hour of European sovereignty
The President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker advocated on 12th September that the European Union, already an economic heavyweight, strengthen its political aura in the international arena during his speech on the State of the Union to MEPs in Strasbourg... Read more

Parliament : Triggering of article 7 against Hungary
On 12th September MEPs voted, 448 votes in support, 197 against and 48 abstentions, to trigger article 7 of the TEU for the serious infringement by Hungary of the values on which the Union is based. Parliament asked the Council to take steps against a Member States which it deems to be acting against the Union's fundamental values. It now is up to the Council to decide on the issue... Read more
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European strategy on plastic in a circular economy
MEPs adopted a draft resolution on 13th September 597 votes in support, 15 against and 25 abstentions that aims to ban micro-plastics in cosmetics and oxo-degradable plastic, the definition of quality standards for recycled plastic and measures to encourage the collection of marine waste at sea... Read more
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The "America First" policy goes against the EU-USA partnership
In a resolution regarding the state of relations between the EU and the USA, adopted on 12th September, 490 votes in support, 148 against and 51 abstentions, MEPs stressed that the transatlantic relationship is a vital part of world stability, but they regretted that the present US government has chosen a unilateral "America First" policy, which damages Europe's interests likewise those of the USA and challenges mutual trust... Read more
EU-China relations
On 12th September MEPs adopted a report that noted the state of relations with China. It is recalled that this partnership is one of the most important for the EU, but it reasserts the need to promote the rule of law and the principle of reciprocity in its trade relations... Read more
Speech by the Prime Minister of Macedonia, Zoran Zaev
During his speech in Strasbourg to the European Parliament, which met in plenary session on 12th September, Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, advocated his country's European future whilst stressing the progress made by Macedonia in its effort to join the EU, as well as the "historic agreement" over the country's name with Greece... Read more
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New rules on copyright in the digital age
On 12th September Parliament adopted 438 votes in support, 226 against and 39 abstentions, its position on the revision of its rules governing copyright, adding guarantees to protect small businesses and the freedom of expression. Moreover MPs deemed that the giants of technology had to share revenues with artists and journalists, when their work is used by user platforms. Parliament should now negotiate with the Council to reach a final version... Read more
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Alexis Tsipras presents his vision of the future of Europe
The Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, spoke to the European Parliament on 11th September on his vision of the future of Europe. He took advantage of this opportunity to draw a picture of a country that has been a winner in terms of reform and which can be proud of having emerged from the European rescue plans. Stressing the Union's inability to provide functional solutions to the present crises, he called for an "improvement to justice and democratic transparency through audacious reforms.".. Read more
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Final vote on the European Solidarity Corps
European MEPs met in plenary session and voted on 11th September in support of 375.6 million € over the period 2018-2020 to fund the European Solidarity Corps. An initiative launched in 2017 it allows young people to do voluntary work in various solidarity schemes across Europe... Read more
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Programme for the future of mobility in the European Union
MEPs voted on 13th September in support of a resolution to improve European mobility. It advocates the development of safe means of movement, which is less pollutant and solutions using more developed technologies that are useful to the competitiveness of the European sector in this area... Read more

Council : Extension of restrictive measures linked to the Ukraine crisis
On 13th September the Council extended the restrictive measures linked to the "action that either compromises or threatens Ukraine's territorial integrity, sovereignty or its independence. These measures comprise the freezing of assets and travel bans - they are presently applicable to 155 people and 44 entities... Read more
Informal meeting of Healthcare Ministers
On 10th and 11th September an informal meeting of Healthcare Ministers took place in Vienna. At the heart of discussions were medicine supply security and the use of modern e-communication channels in the area of healthcare... Read more
Signature of a Prüm Agreement for South East Europe
As part of the Austrian Presidency, the Interior Ministers of the Western Balkans, five countries of the EU and Moldova signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a Prüm Agreement that will help towards greater cooperation and an automated exchange of data in terms of the fight to counter organised crime, smugglers, extremism and terrorism in this region... Read more

Diplomacy : Federica Mogherini visits Skopje
"Our doors are open, your place is within the European Union, you hold the keys," this is message that the EU's High Representative Federica Mogherini sent out to the citizens of Macedonia during her visit to Skopje on 13th September and before the referendum on 30th September... Read more

Court of Justice : Confirmation of restrictive measures against Russian banks and businesses
The EU Court of Justice confirmed restrictive measures on 13th September adopted by the Council against several Russian banks and oil and gas businesses as part of the crisis with Ukraine... Read more

Court of Auditors : Report on air pollution
According to a report on air pollution published by the European Court of Auditors (ECA) on 11th September, the latter is still a main factor in terms of the environmental risk to health in the EU with 400,000 premature deaths per year... Read more
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ECB : Decisions by the Council of Governors
The European Central Bank reduced its growth forecasts slightly for 2018 and 2019 on 13th September. It will also halve its massive assets purchases on the markets, the final stage before they are stopped completely at the end of December... Read more
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Germany : Visit by the German chancellor to the Baltic countries
Ms Merkel met the heads of State and government of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia and visited the NATO forces stationed in Lithuania on 14th September. She also visited the NATO force stationed in Lithuania. They discussed the priorities of the Summit of Salzburg, trade related issues, security, the EU's multiannual financial framework, migration and Brexit... Read more
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The 2019 budget presented to Parliament
German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz presented his draft federal budget for 2019 to the Bundestag on 11th September, which is balanced and does not need debt despite higher spending (+13 billion €) over one year to 356.8 billion €. The use of a surplus of nearly 30 billion promises for intense debate... Read more
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Spain : New healthcare minister
Maria Luisa Carcedo succeeded Carmen Monton on 13th September as Spanish Healthcare, Consumption and Social Well Being Minister. Following this appointment, women remain the majority in Pedro Sanchez's government (11 out of 17), which comprises the most women in the world... Read more

France : The new maritime routes proposed by the Commission deemed unacceptable
The French government deemed the Commission's project that aims to adapt the maritime corridor between Ireland and post-Brexit Union. The Commission suggested that French ports be excluded from the trans-European North Sea/Mediterranean corridor... Read more
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Latvia : Informal Arraiolos Group Meeting
On 13th and 14th September Riga hosted the 14th informal meeting Arraiolos (Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, Croatia, Estonia, Italy, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Finland and Germany) to discuss the future of Europe... Read more

Luxembourg : Visit by Luxembourg Prime Minister to Vienna
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz met his Luxembourg counterpart, Xavier Bettel on 13th September. They discussed Brexit, immigration and the taxation of digital giants... Read more

The Netherlands : Brexit: visit by the Article 50 working group to Rotterdam
On 10th September the members of "article 50 working group" visited the port of Rotterdam in preparation for Brexit. The aim is maintain the fluidity of trade as much as possible and to limit any possible border delays... Read more
Visit by Dutch Prime Minister to Bucharest
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte met Romanian Klaus Iohannis and Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă on 12th September during a visit to Bucharest. He promised that the Netherlands would help constructively in preparation for the upcoming Council to be presided over by Romania. Discussions also focused on trade issues, security and defence... Read more
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UK : The consequences of a possible no-deal Brexit
On 13th September the British Minister responsible for Brexit published a second round of technical notes on the consequences of a no-deal Brexit for British citizens and businesses. In the event of no deal with the EU some of the most relevant problems, notably the invalidity of the British driving licence, mobile roaming fees, and numerous legal and administrative issues have been identified... Read more

Slovenia : Appointment of new government
On 13th September the new Slovenian government led by Prime Minister Marjan Šarec was appointed. The government comprises 17 ministers, four of whom are women. It should be noted that outgoing Prime Minister Miro Cerar will be Foreign Affairs Minister and that former Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek, will be Infrastructure Minister. The government is a coalition between the parties of Marjan Šarec (LMŠ), Alenka Bratušek (SAB), the Centre Party (SMC), the Social Democrats (SD) and the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS)... Read more

Eurostat : International surplus in the euro zone's goods trade
According to a study published by Eurostat on 14th September, in July 2018, the euro zone recorded a trade surplus of 17.6 billion € with the rest of world, against +21.6 in July 2017. In the same period the EU registered a surplus of 0.1 billion €, against +7.8 billion in July 2017... Read more
Regional Yearbook 2018
The 2018 Regional Yearbook published by Eurostat was published on 13th September. It provides a detailed picture of a wide range of statistical areas regarding the regions of the EU's Member States as well as the EFTA regions and the candidate countries... Read more

Studies/Reports : Increase in illegal arrivals via land routes
The international organisation for migration (IOM) indicated in a report published on 14th September that more than one migrant in five arrived illegally in Europe via land, i.e. six times more than last year at the same period, as they relinquish the maritime route. The most frequent itinerary is the one linking Turkey to Greece in authorities have registered 12,166 arrivals over land since the beginning of the year... Read more
Consensus on the need to reform the WTO at the G20 meeting on trade
The Trade Ministers of the G20 countries, who met in Argentina, unanimously recognised on 13th September the need for the reform of the WTO for the improved management of conflicts, whilst a trade war is threatening the economy... Read more

Culture : 66th International Film Festival San Sebastian
The 66th International Film Festival of San Sebastian is taking place from 21st to 29th September. The prestige of the "Concha de Oro" which is the prize won by the best director or actor is a major venue in the world of cinema. It is also an opportunity for the discovery of a wide selection of international films... Read more
Oktoberfest in Munich
The 185th Oktoberfest of Munich, one of the biggest beer festivals in Europe, is taking place from 22nd September to 7th October... Read more
Balthus Exhibition at the Beyeler Foundation
The Beyeler Foundation in Basel is showing the unusual work of the figurative painter Balthus until 1st January. The latter is one of the greatest master of the 20th century. In his complex work with multiple facets, Balthus continues an alternative artistic route to the trends of modern avant-garde... Read more
18th Dance Biennale Lyon
The 18th Dance Biennale of Lyon is taking place until 30th September. Unrivalled in France or elsewhere in the world the Biennale is designed for all types of audience - amateurs, passionate dancers, professionals - since it offers a programme that is both audacious and creative... Read more
Music festival in Warsaw
The Warsaw Autumn of contemporary music is taking place between 21st to 29th September... Read more
Giacometti Exhibition at the Maillol Museum in Paris
Until 20th January 2019 the Maillol Museum in Paris is showing more than 50 sculptures by the Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti, together with nearly 25 works by other major artists... Read more

17th and 18th September


Informal meeting of Energy Ministers

18th September


"General Affairs" Council

19th and 20th September


Informal Summit of heads of State and government

23rd-25th September


Informal meeting of Agriculture Ministers

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