The Letter n°905

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The Letter n°905
The Letter
Tuesday 29th September 2020
issue 905
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The Europe of compliance, at the heart of tomorrow's world
For a transformation of our European businesses and the upturn in their international competitiveness
Author : Amélie Giuliani-Viallard
Amélie Giuliani-Viallard
Europe is not lagging behind in the development of business ethics and compliance, concepts which it has taken up as tools and vectors for the promotion of its values and fundamental freedoms. It is through political will and the genuine integration of the notion of ethics and responsibility at the heart of our legal systems that these developments can help European companies in their transformation and development in the world of tomorrow.
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Front page! : Mamma Li Turchi
Whether in Syria, Libya or Nagorno-Karabakh, Ankara has become a destabilising factor. There is once again a "Turkish question" that concerns NATO, Europe and the Mediterranean. The Europeans will have to find the means to contain Turkey's aggressions to compel it to discuss with its partners before acting in an increasingly brutal manner... Read more

Foundation : The Schuman Report on Europe, State of the Union 2020
The 2020 edition of the "Schuman Report on Europe, the State of the Union", a reference work for European decision-makers, is available in hard copy in French, published by Marie B, and in electronic format in French and English. With contributions from leading personalities and experts, together with original maps and annotated statistics, it provides a comprehensive view of the European Union and analyses the challenges facing Europe. You can order it from our website... Read more
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Belarus: chronology of a revolution in progress
Since the "rigged" presidential election of 9 August, the Belarusian people have been protesting against the continued rule of Alexander Lukashenko. While opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya is in exile in Lithuania and arrests of opponents and police violence continue, the European Union is calling for political dialogue and is preparing sanctions against the regime. To follow this crisis, the Foundation offers you a chronology of events and links to European reactions and initiatives... Read more
Table of health measures and travel conditions in Europe
The 27 Member States of the European Union are trying to determine the conditions for a resumption of activities without reviving the epidemic. The Foundation offers you a summary of the health measures in place and travel conditions across Europe. An indispensable up-to-date resource to help you understand the sequence of events as they unfold... Read more

European Council : The UN is 75 years old
On 22 September, António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), opened the virtual meeting of the General Assembly. On the occasion of its 75th anniversary, which it is celebrating this year, the president of the European Council Charles Michel gave a speech on 21 September in which he reaffirmed the EU's "multilateral oath"... Read more

Commission : New migration and asylum deal
On 23 September, the Commission presented its New Pact on Migration and Asylum. It provides for a pre-entry check prior to entering the territory of the European Union, including the identification of all persons without the right of residence in the Eurodac database. Each Member State will then have to participate in the distribution or return effort. A European legal framework for returns with the appointment of a Coordinator, an Action Plan on Integration and Inclusion 2021-2024, a Code of Conduct for Sea Rescue and new tailor-made partnerships with countries of origin and transit are also planned... Read more
New measures for digital finance
On 24 September, the Commission presented legislative measures and proposals to adapt European rules to the digital age to make digital finance more secure and efficient. The Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA) is the first European legislation governing crypto-actives, a digital representation that can be exchanged electronically. Measures aimed at a single digital finance market include better data sharing, cross-border access to financial products by consumers, the emergence of pan-European payment solutions and the establishment of safeguards to mitigate cyber attacks and other risks posed by digital technology... Read more
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Development of the Single Capital Market
The action plan presented by the Commission on 24 September aims to remove the remaining obstacles to a genuine single capital market, while promoting investment and access to finance for European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Among the 16 measures announced, the Commission wants to support equity investments by insurers and banks, promote alternative financing and financial education, harmonise insolvency rules, create a single access point for company data and improve pension adequacy within Member States... Read more
Apple vs Commission
On 25 September, the Commission announced that it would appeal against the Court of Justice's decision of 15 July overturning the Commission's decision on Apple's repayment of €13 billion in tax benefits to Ireland... Read more
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Council : Meeting of European Affairs Ministers
European Affairs ministers met in Brussels on 22 September to prepare for the European Council on 1 and 2 October. Discussions were dominated by negotiations on the next budget. In addition, in the presence of Michel Barnier, they demanded that the United Kingdom withdraw the controversial internal market bill. They also maintained the Article 7 procedure for infringement of the Treaties against Hungary and Poland... Read more
Financial aid to cope with unemployment
On 25 September, the Council approved financial assistance of €87.4 billion from the SURE programme which aims to mitigate the risks of unemployment during the pandemic for the benefit of 16 Member States. This aid will help to offset the increase in public spending by Member States following the use of national short-time working schemes... Read more
Meeting of Trade Ministers
Trade Ministers met in Berlin at an informal meeting on 20 and 21 September to discuss the reorientation of the Commission's trade policy to deal with the consequences of the Covid-19 crisis, the situation of the steel industry, cooperation with the WTO and the appointment of its future Director-General... Read more

Diplomacy : France, Germany and the UK defend the Iranian nuclear agreement
On 20 September, France, Germany and the United Kingdom (E3) jointly responded to the US request to reinstate multilateral sanctions against Iran, lifted in 2015 in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2231. The three countries stated that the United States, no longer a member of the Joint Comprehensive Joint Action Plan (JCPOA) since 8 May 2018, cannot request the reinstatement of sanctions on the basis of paragraph 11 of the resolution, as this would be "without legal effect"... Read more

Court of Justice : State aid can help towards the construction of a nuclear power plant
The European Court of Justice confirmed in a ruling on 22 September the European Commission's decision authorising the granting of state aid by the United Kingdom for the construction of a nuclear power plant. Austria contested this authorisation as it considered it to be contrary to environmental protection and the internal market. The Court stated that environmental protection does not call into question a Member State's freedom to use nuclear power as an energy resource... Read more
Fight to counter lack of housing
The renting of short-term residential premises without a permanent address may be subject to prior authorisation by the local authorities as provided for by national law, according to a judgment of the Court of Justice of 22 September. This ruling is part of the fight against the housing shortage and follows the conviction by the Paris Court of Appeal of two Parisian homeowners who had rented their flats to a clientele passing through for short periods without giving prior notice to the local authorities as provided for in the French building and housing code... Read more

Court of Auditors : Review of digital support to business
On 22 September, the Court of Auditors published a report on the Commission's 2016 "Digitising European Industry" initiative. The auditors highlight the wide disparities between Member States and between large and small businesses. In particular, they call for better use of EU regional development funds for digital development and stronger monitoring by the Commission, for example in setting up digital innovation clusters (DIPs) to support businesses and encourage them to adopt broadband... Read more

European Agencies : Operation against the sale of illegal products on the dark net
The US Department of Justice and the European agency Europol announced on 22 September the arrest of 179 alleged sellers of opiates and illicit goods on the dark net in the United States and Europe. As a result of this joint operation, €5.5 million in cash and digital currency, 500 kilos of opiates and around 60 firearms were seized by the police... Read more
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Germany : The German 2021 budget breaks with budgetary balance
On 23rd September, the German government approved the 2021 budget put forward by Finance Minister Olaf Scholz. The 2021 budget totals €413.4 billion of which €55 billion will be devoted to investment to revive the economy. This budget, which will be financed in part by the €96.2 billion loan, breaks with the constitutional rule that prohibits the Federal Government from borrowing more than 0.35% of its GDP unless the majority of the members of the Bundestag recognise an exceptional emergency situation. The government plans to restore the balance by 2022... Read more
The German economy is recovering
On 22 September, the Munich Institute for Economic Research (Ifo) published an analysis on the recovery of the German economy. According to its forecasts, the German GDP is expected to contract by 5.2% in 2020, compared to 6.7% previously anticipated. In the absence of a second lockdown, the Ifo predicts that the German economy might catch up in the fourth quarter of 2021 and that growth would remain sustained in 2022 at around 1.7% per year... Read more
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Belgium : New government "formateurs"
On 23 September, King Philip of the Belgians entrusted Alexander De Croo (Open Vld) and Paul Magnette (PS) with the formation of the Belgian government following the elections of 26 May 2019. The summary note of the two pre-formers Egbert Lachaert (Open Vld) and Conner Rousseau (sp.a) had been accepted by 7 parties. The "formateurs" must submit their report to the King "as quickly as possible", since the parties of the so-called "Vivaldi" coalition have announced that they want to present their government agreement on 1 October to the Chamber, where they have a majority of 87 seats out of 150... Read more
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France : Results of the senatorial elections in France
Following the partial renewal of the Senate on 27 September, the balance has not changed. A new group could be created around Europe Ecology-Greens. Alain Cadec, Special Adviser of the Foundation and President of the Departmental Council of Côtes d'Armor, was elected senator... Read more
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Joureny to Latvia and Lithuania
French President Emmanuel Macron is visiting Lithuania and Latvia on 28 and 29 September. The first day of the meeting ended with a joint proposal by France, Lithuania and Latvia for a "joint election protection mechanism". The project foresees a network of cybersecurity experts in the EU, modelled on Frontex and RescEU, which could help Member States that request it to secure national and European elections. The schedule of the trip includes a visit to the 300 French military personnel based in Rukla as part of a NATO mission and a meeting with the main Belarusian opposition figure, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya... Read more

Italy : Reduction in the number of MPs and results of regional elections
In the constitutional referendum on 20 and 21 September, the Italian electorate voted for a reduction in the number of members of parliament by 69.64% in favour. The number of parliamentarians is to be reduced from 945 to 600. With regard to the regional elections held at the same time, the Democratic Party (PD), which governs in coalition with the 5-Star Movement, has retained three regions (Tuscany, Apulia and Campania) while the centre-right-extreme right united front has retained its own (V2netia and Liguria) and won the Marche region. The League came first in Valle d'Aosta... Read more
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Romania : Results of local elections
On 27 September, Romanians were called to the polls to renew the members of all local government bodies. According to exit polls in Bucharest, the elections were won by Nicușor Dan, an independent candidate supported by the centre-right Alliance, PNL and USR PLUS, (47.2%). At the national level, the turnout was 46%, down from 48.43% in 2016. For political observers, the elections are a test before the legislative elections scheduled for 6 December... Read more
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UK : No deal Brexit is forecast to be expensive to the British
On 22 September, the research centre "UK in a changing Europe" published a report on the effects of a no deal Brexit, which it estimates to be three times more costly for the British economy than the Covid-19 pandemic. The report points to short-term disruptions such as customs delays, but it is mainly the long-term effects that are to be feared. The study forecasts a cost of around 5.7% of GDP over 15 years. The report comes at a time when negotiations with the EU are blocked, notably by the draft "internal market law" which violates the withdrawal agreement signed in October 2019... Read more
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No deal Brexit would lead to severe disruptions in movement
On 23 September, Minister of State Michael Gove presented to the British Parliament the different scenarios envisaged by the government for the end of the transition period with the European Union. In the case of a no deal Brexit, he warned that 50 to 70% of large companies and only 20 to 40% of small companies are prepared. This would result in a 60-80% reduction in road freight traffic between the EU and the UK compared to normal in January. Trucks that have not completed the necessary formalities risk blocking others and causing queues of up to "7,000 trucks in Kent"... Read more
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Belarus : European refusal to acknowledge Alexander Lukashenko as president
On 24 September, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, reacted to the "oath-taking" that took place in Minsk on 23 September by declaring that "this ceremony and the new mandate that Alexander Lukashenko claims to have, has no democratic legitimacy". This statement follows the Belarusian presidential elections of 9 August, the results of which are not recognised by the European Union and a significant part of the Belarusian population demonstrating every Sunday... Read more
Lithuania, Poland and Romania present a plan to aid democratic Belarus
On 21 September, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda made public an economic assistance plan prepared with Poland and Romania to help "democratic Belarus". The three countries propose a preferential trade regime between the European Union and Belarus, the possibility for Belarusians to enter the Union without visas and support for the country's application for WTO membership. This plan will be presented by Lithuania, Poland and Romania to the European partners at the European Council on 1 and 2 October... Read more

Switzerland : Referendum result on the popular initiative "For Moderate Immigration"
On 27 September Swiss citizens rejected the popular initiative organised by the Union Démocratique du Centre (UDC) party entitled "For moderate immigration" by 61.7% of the vote. The President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen welcomed this result on the same day and said she was waiting for the Swiss Federal Council to take steps to sign and ratify the Institutional Framework Agreement negotiated with the European Union in 2018... Read more
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ECHR : The Court involved in case opposing Poland against a Judge
On 21 September, the European Court of Human Rights asked Poland for its opinion in the case against Polish judge Igor Tuleya, one of the most critical voices in the country's judicial reforms, which have strengthened executive and legislative control over the judiciary and allowed judges to be sanctioned for their judicial decisions. Igor Tuleya filed his petition in April 2019, alleging that the seven disciplinary proceedings brought against him have damaged his reputation. The International Commission of Jurists had called for a withdrawal of the proceedings against Igor Tuleya last June... Read more
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Armenia : Tension in the High Karabakh
On 27 September, fighting broke out in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, a predominantly Armenian region. A provisional death toll of 95 people has been reported. The region has announced full mobilisation, Armenia and Azerbaijan have declared martial law. Armed conflict in the breakaway region resulted in more than 30,000 deaths and 1.5 million refugees between 1988 and 1994. On 28 September Armenia filed an application with the European Court of Human Rights for interim measures against Azerbaijan. EU High Representative Josep Borrell held talks with the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan and called on 29 September for a halt to foreign interference and an end to the clashes... Read more
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Studies/Reports : Stepping up the fight to counter COVID
On 24 September, the Commission called on Member States to step up the fight against Covid-19, building on the conclusions of the report by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, published the same day. The report warns that the rate of infection is rising, with immunity levels at European level not exceeding 15%. The Commission is calling for more tests, better tracking of contacts, better access to protective clothing and medicines and more capacity in hospitals while waiting for a vaccine... Read more
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Rise in consumption of drugs
A report published on 22 September by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) shows that drug use and production in Europe is increasing and diversifying. Cannabis use is taking precedence over the use of drugs such as MDMA and cocaine. The period of confinement has favoured the development of home selling, social networks and the darknet. Opioid use among people aged over 50 has also increased... Read more

Culture : PHotoEspaña Festival in Madrid
From 29 September to 9 January, the PHotoESPAÑA festival will showcase the latest trends in photographic art in Madrid. The exhibitions "Foto No Foto" and "Lee Friedlander" are among the highlights, as well as an open-air projection entitled "Ondulación en sombra", which focuses on the metaphorical power of natural spaces inaccessible to human beings... Read more
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Romaeuropa Festival 2020
The 35th edition of the Romaeuropa Festival, dedicated to the contemporary Italian world, is taking place until 22 November. On the programme are 62 events ranging from theatre performances to film screenings and dance performances in 14 venues. This year the festival's offer has been enriched by an online section with 40 events designed specifically for the web... Read more
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Festival of Lights in Berlin
The Berlin Festival of Lights returns for a special edition, from 2 to 4 October, to celebrate the Day of German Unity on 3 October. On the programme, 90 light shows, spread over 86 locations in Berlin, can be viewed between 8 pm and 6 am... Read more
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"Poisoned Well" by Jerzy Kalina in Warsaw
Until 8 November, the main courtyard of the National Museum in Warsaw will be transformed into an exhibition space for a sculpture of John Paul II created by the contemporary artist Jerzy Kalina. The installation commemorates the centenary of the birth of this Pope, a very important figure in Poland... Read more
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White Nights in Paris
On 3 October, the White Nights will take place in Paris, when visitors will be able to rediscover the city through prestigious venues with a special focus on the theme of contemporary art for one night. On this occasion, many museums and cultural institutions will be open free of charge all night long... Read more
"Rembrandt: portrait of a man" in Prague
The National Gallery in Prague together with the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum in Cologne presents an exhibition dedicated to the painter Rembrandt Van Rijn until 31 January 2021. Around 100 works on loan from regional and international museums and galleries are on display... Read more
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28th September 2020

Visioconference of Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Ministers

29th September 2020


Competitiveness Council


1st-2nd October 2020


Extraordinary European Council


5 October 2020

Eurogroup Videoconference

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année 2020
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Special Letter 20th anniversary - "Europe is a world power and doesn't know it"
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The Letter n°907
The European Council: a self-proclaimed "sovereign" off the rails
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The Letter n°906
Ending the political crisis in Belarus: with or without external intervention?
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The Letter n°905
Europe of Compliance, central to tomorrow's world
published on 28/09/2020
The Letter n°904
The conundrum of the great gas game and the ensuing strategic realignment in the eastern Mediterranean
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The Letter n°903
The Importance of the Moral Dimension in the European Project
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The Letter n°902
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published on 07/09/2020
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Relations between the European Union and the UK: a final agreement in sight?
published on 20/07/2020
The Letter n°900
What should we think of the Transition Mechanism put forward by the European Commission?
published on 13/07/2020
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The Letter n°898
German Presidency of the Council of the European Union: "... and suddenly everything is different"
published on 29/06/2020
The Letter n°897
Mediterranean: a paradigm of contemporary conflict
published on 22/06/2020
The Letter n°896
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published on 15/06/2020
The Letter n°895
Restoring free movement in the Union
published on 08/06/2020
The Letter n°894
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published on 02/06/2020
The Letter n°893
The challenges and constraints facing a "Geopolitical Commission" in the achievement of European sovereignty
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The Letter n°892
Impact of Covid-19 on the media and telecoms
published on 18/05/2020
The Letter n°891
Parliamentary oversight in the sanitary crisis
published on 11/05/2020
The Letter n°890
Europe is 70 years old
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The Letter n°889
Coronavirus: globalisation is not the cause, but the remedy
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The Letter n°888
European solidarity in times of crisis: a legacy to deep in the face of COVID-19
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The Letter n°886
The European Union and the coronavirus
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In the storm
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Naval military industry: urgent need for European consolidation
published on 23/03/2020
The Letter n°883
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published on 16/03/2020
The Letter n°882
For a Healthcare Europe. Chronicle of an epidemic: a health crisis which is severely disrupting the economy
published on 09/03/2020
The Letter n°881
The feminisation at the EU's top in 2019 will it have positive repercussions for gender parity in Europe in 2
published on 02/03/2020
The Letter n°880
Data: the fuel of the third industrial revolution
published on 24/02/2020
The Letter n°879
Challenges facing the CAP over the next decade
published on 17/02/2020
The Letter n°878
The German Energy Transition: ambitions under the test of reality
published on 10/02/2020
The Letter n°877
The US-European Relationship in the Trump era
published on 03/02/2020
The Letter n°876
Getting Brexit done - a continuous process
published on 27/01/2020
The Letter n°875
Competition Policy and Industrial Policy: for a reform of European law
published on 20/01/2020
The Letter n°874
It is time to review public development aid goals
published on 13/01/2020