The Letter n°824

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The Letter n°824
The Letter
Tuesday 13th November 2018
issue 824
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A new definition of platform liability is necessary to protect European works and authors effectively
Author : Axel Voss
Axel Voss
Whilst a click is enough to gain access to music anytime, anywhere, the new economic model developed by on-line platforms is leading to untold damage that is threatening the very existence of many artists. With the copyright reform now under discussion by the Union to take on board the reality of the digital world, publishing houses are to be placed on an equal footing with authors, film producers and radio stations.
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Front page! : 11th November: a European lesson
On the occasion of the celebrations of the end of the First World War, Jean-Dominique Giuliani draws the lessons for Europe from the exceptional meeting of 70 heads of State and government in Paris... Read more

Foundation : Is the EU's new multiannual financial framework adapted to the next decade?
The Wilfried Martens Centre and the Robert Schuman Foundation are organising a debate devoted to the future Multi-annual Financial Framework, on 21st November in Brussels. Join us for an in-depth discussion with MEPs and our experts on this issue... Read more
Permanent Atlas of the European Union
In view of the next European elections, the Robert Schuman Foundation has published the Permanent Atlas of the European Union. Unique in its genre, written by the Foundation's experts, it offers a full, accessible panorama of the Union, the euro zone and each of its 28 Member States. It summaries the vital elements of the Union's history and its political and statistical realities, and offers readers more than 50 physical and geopolitical maps of Europe... Read more

Peace : Paris Peace Forum
On the side-lines of the commemoration of the centenary of the end of the First World War, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres chaired the Paris Peace Forum. This new platform for international cooperation aims to provide sustainable solutions to international issues... Read more
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When history rhymes
On 5th November the Director General of the IMF Christine Lagarde advocated a new more inclusive multilateralism which is more focused on the human, and more accountable for its action. It would address a wide range of issues - from financial integration to financial technologies (fintech), as well as the cost of corruption and climate change... Read more
Commemoration of the centenary of the end of the First World War
More than 70 heads of heads of State and government took part on 11th November in the commemoration of the centenary of the end of the First World War under the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. In his speech French recalled the importance of French-German, the European Union and multi-lateralism to protect peace. He also condemned nationalism, the "betrayal" of patriotism. The day before Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel travelled to Rethondes together, where the Armistice was signed in 1918... Read more
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Commission : Economic forecast: less dynamic growth
According to the Commission's autumn economic forecast delivered on 8th November euro zone and EU growth is to continue at a slower pace - dropping from 2.1% and 2.2% to 1.9% and 2% in 2019. In a context of "great uncertainty", investment and private consumption are due to be the main supports to growth. The Commission is forecasting a decrease in unemployment, moderate inflation, stable government deficit and a reduction in government debt... Read more
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Fishing opportunities for 2019 in the North Atlantic
On 7th November the Commission presented its proposal regarding fishing opportunities for 2019 in the Atlantic and the North Sea regarding 89 stocks. In the case of 62 the quota has been increased or remains stable whilst the others have been reduced. These fishing opportunities are established to enable sustainable fishing as well as to protect biodiversity and the fishing industry. The Commission's proposal will be examined during the Fisheries Council in December during which the Member States will decide on fishing quotas for next year... Read more
European strategy against endocrine disruptors
On 7th November the Commission adopted a strategy to protect European citizens against endocrine disruptors. It has three goals: reduce exposure to endocrine disruptors as much as possible, develop research in this area, strengthen dialogue between entities in the sector thanks to an annual forum on the issue. Endocrine disruptors are chemical substances that affect the functioning of the hormonal system and damage to human and animal health... Read more

Parliament : ALDE party congress in Madrid
The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) held its congress from 8th to 10th November in Madrid. They did not present a lead candidate for the European elections but a team to lead the campaign on the theme of the fight to counter extremes. The "République en Marche" (LaREM), Emmanuel Macron's party announced that it intended to join forces with the ALDE in these elections... Read more
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Manfred Weber elected to lead EPP in the European elections
The European People's Party (EPP) which met in congress in Helsinki on 7th and 8th November elected German Manfred Weber to lead its list in the European elections in May 2019. During the same congress, the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk recalled the founding values of the Christian Democratic family at a time when these are being flouted by a certain number of people, including from within... Read more
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Council : Meeting of European Trade Ministers
The European Ministers responsible for Trade who met in Brussels on 9th November spoke of the reform of the World Trade Organisation. They also looked into progress in terms of several bilateral negotiations, notably with Mercosur, Australia and China. They exchanged views on the recent developments of discussions with the USA. They adopted a regulation to eliminate obstacles to the free movement of non-personal data in the Union which is designed to boost the data economy and the development of new technologies such as artificial intelligence... Read more
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Strengthening of the eu-LISA agency
On 9th November the Council adopted the Commission's proposal to strengthen the Union's Agency responsible for the operational management of major information systems within the area of freedom, security and justice (eu-LISA). With a budget of 2 billion euro eu-LISA implements the interoperability of the Union's information systems and will be responsible for developing it... Read more
Conclusions of the Economy and Finance Ministers' meeting
The 28 Economy and Finance Ministers exchanged views on 6th November regarding the draft directive, defended by France, to establish a tax on digital services. They did not reach consensus on most of the points addressed, notably regarding the directive's field of application, but they hope to come to agreement at the next Council on 4th December. However they did agree that the implementation of the directive would come to an end when a global solution - at OECD level - had been found. They also discussed the financial aspects of climate change in view of COP24. They insisted on the importance of increasing investments in terms of the climate and setting a price on carbon... Read more
Still no agreement in view for Brexit
European Affairs Ministers who met on 12th November reviewed the ongoing negotiations with the UK and notably regarding the border with Northern Ireland. They repeated their confidence in Michel Barnier, the negotiator-in-chief and re-asserted the unity of the 27. For the time being no agreement has been found... Read more
Conclusion of the General Affairs Council
On 12th November the European Affairs Ministers were cautious about the chances of achieving agreement over Brexit, notably due to the Irish border. They also discussed matters with Michel Barnier, the EU's negotiator-in-chief, who declared that "intense negotiation work is continuing". 28 Ministers discussed the multi-annual financial framework 2021-2027 and the Commission's work programme for 2019. They also reviewed the situation in Poland and Hungary regarding the article 7 procedure on the rule of law... Read more
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Diplomacy : Meeting of European Intervention Initiative
Defence Ministers from 9 signatory countries of the European Intervention Initiative (EII) (Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Estonia, France, the Netherlands, Portugal, UK) met for the first time in Paris on 7th November to discuss the concrete base of this project that was launched in June 2018 under France's impetus. Complementary to NATO and the EU the EII aims to create a European strategic culture via enhanced operational cooperation missions if necessary. On the occasion of this meeting ministers approved Finland's membership of this project... Read more
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Resumption of dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo in Brussels
The Serb President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovar Hashim Thaci met with the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini in Brussels on 8th November in a bid to revive dialogue between the two countries. The two leaders agreed to "remain in constant contact over the next few days," whilst Ms Mogherini recalled that they should "refrain from making any speeches, or doing anything that would be contrary to the spirit of the normalisation," of bilateral relations. Austrian Chancellor, Sebastian Kurz whose country is currently the six-monthly presidency of the Council of the Union, travelled to Serbia and Kosovo on 5th and 6th November... Read more
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Court of Justice : Cancellation of the regulation on energy efficiency labels on vacuum cleaners
On 8th November the Union's General Court annulled the regulation on energy efficiency labels on vacuum cleaners that had been in force since September 2014. It completed the directive on energy labelling. The Court deems that the tests of a vacuum cleaner's energy efficiency carried out with an empty receptacle do not reflect conditions as close as possible to actual conditions of use... Read more

Court of Auditors : The CAP after 2020 has to be improved
The Court of Auditors deemed in an opinion on 7th November that the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) put forward by the Commission post 2020 does not modify the present CAP enough. The Court deems that the direct payment system in support of farmers has not been improved, that there are no real incentives to improve results. It insists on the lack of sound external supervision. It also stressed that the proposal for the new CAP does not reflect the EU's environmental ambitions, because no goals are quantified specifically... Read more
Passengers' rights not guaranteed enough
Passengers' rights on public transport - by air, rail, sea and road in the Union have been widely extended but passengers must "battle to take advantage of them" said a report by the Court of Auditors published on 8th November. The Court deems that passengers are not really informed of their rights who application is made difficult by differences in coverage according to the mode of transport. It is encouraging the Commission to review the implementation and interpretation of the passenger rights system... Read more
Turkey: shortcomings in the use of European refugee aid
In a report published on 13th November the Court of Auditors deems that the 3 billion euro paid to Turkey in virtue of the facility to aid refugees enabled "a rapid response in a difficult context" in support of 4 million refugees (of whom 3.5 million were Syrians). The "use of resources has not always been optimal" due to inadequate coordination and disagreement between Turkey and the Commission. The Court states that Turkey refused access to data enabling the monitoring of two aid projects to a total of 1.1 billion euro... Read more
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ECB : Appointment of candidate for the chair of the banking supervisory board
On 7th November the European Central Bank nominated Italian Andrea Enria for the chair of the Supervisory Board, the body responsible for the euro zone's banking supervision. A.Enria, the present chair of the European Banking Authority, will take over from French woman Danielle Nouy on 1st January if her appointment is approved by Parliament and the Council... Read more

European Agencies : The Soyuz rocket launches a weather satellite
A Soyuz rocket that lifted off from the Space Centre in Guyana on 6th November successfully placed a weather satellite built by Airbus Defence and Space as part of an agreement between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Russian Agency Roscosmos dating back to 2004... Read more
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France : Fight to counter terrorism
The Justice Ministers of 7 Member States (Germany, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, France) signed a common declaration on 6th November to consolidate the tools they have to provide to the police and judicial authorities, to strengthen support to victims and to improve the fight to counter terrorist content on the internet... Read more
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French Senate greenlight on preparations for Brexit
French Senators approved on first reading on 7th November the draft law allowing the government to take directive steps in preparation for the departure of the UK from the EU, in the event of a no-deal. The next step will be the assessment of the draft law by French MPs... Read more
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Latvia : Jānis Bordāns asked to form the new government
On 7th November Latvian President Raimonds Vējonis asked Jānis Bordāns, of the New Conservative Party, to form a new government. J. Bordāns has until 21st November to form a coalition with the 7 parties that won seats in Parliament during the legislative elections on 6th October, thereby taking over from outgoing Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis... Read more
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Poland : Centenary of Independence
On 11th November Poland celebrated the 100 years of its independence after 123 years of occupation. Polish President Andrzej Duda hoped to highlight the nation's unity beyond differences of opinion, but many political leaders did not take part in the commemorations, which were marked by demonstrations... Read more
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Romania : Resignation of the European Affairs Minister
Romanian European Affairs Minister, Victor Negrescu, resigned on 10th November, one month and a half before the start of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, 1st January. According to the media the Social Democratic Party in office accused him of not having succeed in defending the country when speaking with the European institutions. On 13th November the European Parliament is to vote on a resolution denouncing the reforms being made to the legal system and the fight to counter corruption undertaken by the government... Read more

UK : Resignation of the Secretary of State for Transport
The British Secretary of State for Transport, Jo Johnson, resigned on 9th November due to a disagreement with the Prime Minister Theresa May regarding negotiations over the UK's exit of the EU. Denouncing Brexit as "a terrible mistake" which will leave the UK "trapped in a subordinate relationship to the Union", Mr Johnson called for a second referendum on Brexit... Read more

Slovenia : Meeting with Spanish Prime Minister
Slovenian Prime Minister Marjan Šarec met his Spanish counterpart Pedro Sanchez in Madrid on 8th November. The two leaders exchanged views regarding issues such as migration, the EU's multi-annual financial framework 2021-2027, the integration of the Western Balkans into the EU and negotiations over Brexit... Read more
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Ukraine : Report calls on the reforms as part of the agreement with the European Union
Since last year Ukraine has made progress in certain areas but several reforms remain pending and should be strengthened so that the EU-Ukraine association agreement really benefits Ukrainian citizens maintained the Commission in its report on the agreement's implementation published on 9th November. It stresses the slowness of the reforms being undertaken notably in the area of legal reform and the fight to counter corruption... Read more
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IMF : Europe's economic outlook
Growth in Europe is due to fall to 2.3% in 2018 and to 1.9% in 2019 according to an IMF report published on 8th November. The IMF explains that economic activity will continue to rise but at a slower pace than expected given a less favourable external environment. The IMF also stresses that growth and the monetary situation might be affected by a no-deal Brexit. These conclusions are similar to those published by the Commission on the same day... Read more
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Culture : Biennale of Athens
The Biennale of Athens, an international event of contemporary art is underway in Athens until 9th December. It is a large platform for the critical involvement of local artistic production and for exchange with the international art world... Read more
European Cinema Festival Segovia
The 13th European cinema festival that is taking place from 14th to 20th November in Segovia is paying tribute to a selection of films from the European continent and more particularly Romania this year, as guest country... Read more
Exhibition Freedom of Artists of the "November Group" 1918-1935
The Berlinische Galerie is running an exhibition for the first time ever of the work by the Novembergruppe, an association of artists created in November 1918 as a platform for freedom, democracy and diversity in the public and artistic arena of the Weimar Republic. 119 works by 69 artists are on show until 11th March 2019 to mark the centenary of the most famous of all unknown creative communities and its dramatic origins... Read more
Italy's dream at the Louvre
Until 18th February 2019 the exhibition, "The Dream of Italy, the collection of the Marquis Campana" is bringing together a collection that was made over the period 1830 to 1850 and which has now been dispersed. Via works ranging from archeological objects to works from the Renaissance, the exhibition brings to light the peninsula's cultural heritage where the Italian nation emerged... Read more

12th November


"General Affairs" Council
'Article 50' Council

12th to 15th November


Plenary Session at the European Parliament

EU-South Africa Summit


15th November

16th November


"Budget" Council

19th November


"Foreign Affairs" Council
"Agriculture-Fisheries" Council
"General Affairs" Council (Article 50)

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