The Letter n°935

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The Letter n°935
The Letter
Tuesday 11th May 2021
issue 935
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The Declaration of 9 May 1950
Author : Robert Schuman
Robert Schuman
The declaration of 9 May 1950 is considered the founding text of European integration. Delivered by Robert Schuman, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, in the Salon de l'Horloge of the Quai d'Orsay in Paris, this declaration proposed the creation of a European organisation responsible for pooling French and German coal and steel production and gave rise to the first European Community (ECSC). In 1985, 9 May was declared "Europe Day". We offer you the full text of this declaration by Robert Schuman's.
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Front page! : Europeans and Solidarity
In 1950, Robert Schuman declared that Europe would be made "by concrete achievements creating first of all a de facto solidarity". Today, spontaneous and unrestricted solidarity is the condition for Europeans to be powerful," emphasised Jean-Dominique Giuliani. From the health crisis to Turkey's provocations, European States must assume what their citizens are already demanding and practising... Read more

Foundation : The Permanent Atlas of the European Union is available
The new edition of the Permanent Atlas of the European Union has been published by Marie B. This book reflects the latest political and economic changes in the European Union and its Member States. With more than 50 maps, texts and thematic sheets, the Atlas summarises the essential history and political and statistical realities of the Union. It is available in hard copy in French in bookshops and on our website. The digital version is available in French and English... Read more
Table of Health Measures and Travel Conditions in Europe
Spain lifted the state of alert on 8 May but some regions are maintaining measures such as curfews. Bar and restaurant terraces reopened on 8 May in Belgium, where the curfew was lifted. Greece reopened schools on 10 May and reopened its borders to tourists on 15 May. On 7 May, Germany lifted some of the restrictions for people who have been vaccinated or who have already been ill. Several European countries have introduced restrictions on arrivals from India, Bangladesh and Turkey. To follow developments in the situation, the Foundation is offering you a complete map of the health measures in place and the conditions for travel across Europe. An essential, regularly updated resource for an informed understanding of the situation... Read more
Belarus: chronology of a revolution in progress
Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya is calling for an international conference to resolve the political crisis in Belarus, while in Germany a complaint has been filed against Alexander Lukashenko for "state torture". To follow the crisis that began with the rigged elections in August 2020, the Foundation offers you a chronology of events and links to European responses and initiatives... Read more

European Council : Meeting of heads of State and government
The 27 Heads of State and government of the Union met in Porto on 7 and 8 May to discuss the pandemic, international relations and social issues. They adopted the Porto Declaration, which reasserts their commitment to a spirit of unity and solidarity in dealing with the Covid-19 crisis. The declaration sets out the objectives for the implementation of the European Social Rights Base (employment, investment in education and vocational training, reduction of inequalities, fight against discrimination, social exclusion and poverty), as well as the priority to be given to measures to support young people... Read more

Commission : Updating the industrial policy
The Commission updated its industrial strategy on 5 May to take account of the Covid-19 pandemic. The strategy aims to strengthen the resilience of the single market and better manage the Union's strategic dependencies, and proposes measures to accelerate the digital and ecological transition. SMEs and start-ups will receive appropriate financial support to enable them to adapt to the double transition... Read more
New instrument against foreign subsidies
The Commission proposed on 5 May a new instrument to combat distortions of competition caused by State subsidies to companies from third countries. The instrument would impose rules and controls in particular on merger operations and public tenders. The Commission could prevent certain transactions or request remedies and commitments to remedy the risks of distortions... Read more
Treatment Strategy against COVID19
The Commission proposed on 6 May a strategy for Covid-19 treatments to complement the strategy for vaccines. It plans to invest €90 million in population studies and clinical trials, and €40 million in manufacturing and access to treatments. The aim is to have at least three new treatments approved by next October... Read more

Parliament : Launch of the Conference on the Future of Europe
The Conference on the Future of Europe was officially launched in Strasbourg on 9 May on the occasion of Europe Day. It is intended to give European citizens the opportunity to express their views on the future of the European project in three areas: the direction they would like the European Union to take, the policies pursued in all areas and the degree of the Union's ambition. The first conclusions will be delivered in spring 2022, when France will hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Union... Read more
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Council : Meeting of Defence Ministers
The defence ministers, meeting in Brussels on 6 May, discussed the trip of the High Representative Josep Borrell to the Sahel, called on Russia to de-escalate the military situation in Ukraine and announced that the EU will help Mozambique to deal with the terrorist threat. The ministers discussed the strategic compass and crisis management. The Council authorised Canada, Norway and the United States to participate in the military mobility project led by the Netherlands in the framework of Permanent Structured Cooperation (PSC). J. Borrell also chaired the EU Satellite Centre (SatCen) Council meeting at ministerial level for the first time... Read more
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Social Summit in Porto
The Porto Social Summit, chaired by Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa, brought together the leaders of the European institutions and representatives of the social partners and civil society on 7 May. At the end of the meeting, the participants published a text summarising their commitments to the implementation of the European social rights pillar and to enable an inclusive, sustainable, fair and employment-friendly economic recovery... Read more
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Provisional agreement on EU climate law published
On 5 May, the Council published the text of the proposed EU climate law resulting from the agreement between Council and Parliament negotiators reached on 20 April. The proposed law sets a target of carbon neutrality by 2050, with a 55% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030 compared to 1990. The text still needs to be adopted by the Parliament and the Council... Read more
Legislative framework for research
On 10 May, the Council adopted several texts that complete the EU's legislative framework for research, in particular the "Horizon Europe" programme for 2021-2027, and the strategic innovation programme... Read more

Diplomacy : EU-India Meeting
In a video conference on 8 May, EU leaders and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed the EU-India strategic partnership and their common interests. They agreed to strengthen their trade and investment relationship and to relaunch negotiations for a free trade agreement. They also stressed the importance of maintaining the spirit of solidarity and cooperation to overcome the pandemic and ensure a better recovery... Read more
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G7 Foreign Ministers' Meeting
The G7 Foreign Ministers, meeting in London from 3 to 5 May, discussed international crises, the Indo-Pacific, and the defence of democratic values in the face of the rise of authoritarian regimes. They reiterated their support for the ACT-A initiative, the Covid-19 solution accelerator and the COVAX facility. They strongly condemned Russia's attitude towards Ukraine and denounced its activities aimed at undermining democratic systems in other countries through disinformation. They condemned China over the Uyghurs and warned it against any aggressive attitude towards Taiwan.
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Meeting of Foreign Affairs Ministers
The Foreign Ministers held a strategic discussion on the Western Balkans on 10 May. They stressed the need to move forward the accession process of Albania and Northern Macedonia, the integration process with Serbia and Montenegro, and visa liberalisation for Kosovo. The ministers also discussed with US Special Climate Envoy John Kerry how to increase global climate ambition. They discussed the situation in Palestine, Russia, Belarus and Lebanon, as well as the ongoing negotiations on the nuclear agreement with Iran. Ministers adopted conclusions on the implementation of the EU's security and defence priorities and its new strategy in the Horn of Africa region... Read more
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EU-Kazakhstan Meeting
The European Union and Kazakhstan held their Cooperation Council on 10 May. At the meeting, both sides recalled and reviewed progress in the implementation of their enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. Despite the pandemic, the EU has consolidated its position as Kazakhstan's largest trading partner and foreign investor, while Kazakhstan remains the EU's main trading partner in Central Asia. The EU welcomed Kazakhstan's ratification of the 2nd Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and commended the country's green agenda and its commitment to be climate neutral by 2060... Read more

Court of Justice : Advocate General's opinion on justice in Poland
The Advocate General of the European Court of Justice considers in conclusions delivered on 6 May that the disciplinary regime for judges introduced in Poland in 2017 is contrary to Union law. In particular, he points out that the disciplinary chamber of the Supreme Court, whose suspension the Court already requested in April 2020, offers no guarantees of its independence or impartiality. Pending the Court's final ruling, the Advocate General concludes that "the mere prospect that a national judge may be subject to disciplinary proceedings or measures runs counter to the foundations of the Union itself"... Read more

Court of Auditors : Annual Report
The European Court of Auditors published its annual report on 6 May, detailing how it has controlled EU spending despite the pandemic. It presents its strategy for 2021-2025, including investments in digital auditing. It plans to publish 73 special reports and analysis papers in 2021 and 2022, a quarter of which will focus on the EU's response to the pandemic or the implementation of the Next Generation EU recovery plan... Read more

ECB : Towards a green Capital Markets Union for Europe
In a conference speech on 6 May, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde presented her vision of a green capital market that would finance the dual climate and digital transition while strengthening European financial structures... Read more

European Patents Office : Finalists of the European Inventor Award 2021
The European Patent Office announced on 4 May the list of 15 finalists for the European Inventor Award 2021. The award acknowledges inventors who have made a contribution to technology, society and economic growth. The winners will be announced on 17 June... Read more

Bulgaria : New elections in July
Bulgarian President Rumen Radev announced on 5 May that new parliamentary elections would be held on 11 July, due to the failure of the three largest parties in parliament to form a government following the 4 April vote. An electoral Commission is to be appointed by 11 May, when Rumen Radev will dissolve Parliament, appoint a caretaker government and call the elections... Read more

Spain : People's Party wins the regional elections in Madrid
The Spanish People's Party (PP) won the early regional elections in Madrid on 4 May, with 44.73% of the vote and 65 seats out of 136 in the regional parliament (doubling its score compared to 2019 but narrowly missing the absolute majority). The Left Party "Más Madrid" came second with 16.97% and 24 seats. The Socialist Party (PSOE), with 16.85%, dropped from 37 to 24 seats. The radical left-wing party Unidas Podemos won 10 seats with 7.21% of the vote. This is a bitter defeat for Pablo Iglesias who announced his withdrawal from politics. Outgoing regional president Isabel Díaz Ayuso will have to form a coalition to govern, probably with the far-right VOX party, which has risen from 12 to 13 seats with 9.13% of the vote... Read more
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Poland : Declaration on Ukraine's European future
The Heads of State of Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia and Ukraine met in Warsaw on 3 May to celebrate 230 years of the Polish Constitution of 1791. They signed a joint declaration reaffirming that human rights, respect for state sovereignty, the rule of law and democracy as expressed in the Constitution are fundamental European values. In a Polish-Ukrainian declaration, the Ukrainian President underlined his country's wish to join the Union and the Polish President pledged to support the Ukrainian application... Read more
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UK : Scotland: absolute majority for the independence parties
The Scottish National Party (SNP) and the Greens together won an absolute majority in favour of independence in the elections for the Scottish Parliament on 6 May. The SNP won 64 out of 129 seats, while the Greens won 8 seats. The SNP won 47.7% of the vote, the Conservative Party 21.9% (31 seats), Labour 21.6% (22 seats) and the Greens 1.3%. Referring to the possibility of a new referendum on Scottish independence, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (SNP) said that "the people of Scotland will have the right to have their say" on their future... Read more
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Slovakia : The government wins vote of confidence
The new government of Eduard Heger of OLaNO won the confidence of parliament on 4 May, by 89 votes to 55. The government, a coalition formed by OLaNO and the parties We are a Family, Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) and For the People, has as its priorities the fight against corruption, the improvement of the quality of life of citizens and the fight against the pandemic... Read more
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Council of Europe : 10th anniversary of the Istanbul Convention
Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Istanbul Convention, the Committee of the Parties to the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, welcomed the "remarkable impact" of the Convention in preventing violence and protecting victims and prosecuting perpetrators. It expressed "very serious concern" about the obstacles to ending all forms of violence covered by the treaty, and called on participating States "to intensify their efforts to promote and fully implement" the treaty... Read more
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Report on the conditions of detention in prisons
On 6 May, the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture published a set of minimum requirements for conditions of detention in European prisons. It notes that the Covid-19 pandemic occurred at a time of budgetary crisis within prison systems, which led to a deterioration in the living conditions of prisoners in some prisons... Read more
Report on corruption in Belgium
In a report on the prevention of corruption of parliamentarians, judges and prosecutors in Belgium, published on 5 May, the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) recommends for the second time the introduction of a coherent and effective regulation of gifts, donations and other gratuities received, including the identity of the donors. It recommends the introduction of regulations for foreign donors... Read more
Report on corruption in Romania
The Council of Europe's Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) published on 5 May its report on the prevention of corruption of parliamentarians, judges and prosecutors in Romania. The report highlights that the measures taken against corruption of parliamentarians and prosecutors are not satisfactory. GRECO calls on Romania to act "in a more determined manner" to comply, including by introducing specific measures for judges and prosecutors... Read more
Recommendations regarding justice in Ukraine
On 6 May, the Venice Commission welcomed Ukraine's draft law to create an ethics council to support the process of electing members of the Supreme Judicial Council as "an important element for the independence of the judiciary". It issued a number of recommendations on the draft law, while regretting that the government does not plan a comprehensive reform of the judiciary itself... Read more

Publications : The Founding Fathers of the European Union
The book "L'Europe, un saut dans l'inconnu: Les Fondateurs de l'Union européenne (1948-1957)" by Victoria Martin de la Torre, published by l'Harmattan, explores the journey and values of the "Founding Fathers of Europe" and, in particular, Robert Schuman, Jean Monnet, Konrad Adenauer, Alcide De Gasperi and Paul-Henri Spaak. The French version, whose publication is supported by the Foundation, includes a foreword by Alain Lamassoure, President of the Scientific Committee... Read more
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Culture : Public choice for the Lux Prize
For the first time, the winning film of the European Film Prize LUX will be decided 50% by MEPs and 50% by the public. Until 16 May, the 3 finalist films - Drunk by Thomas Vinterberg, The Collective Affair by Alexander Nanau, and The Communion by Jan Komasa - can be seen on the Festival Scope platform, and a score can be given on The award ceremony will take place on 9 June... Read more
European Museum Nights
The 16th edition of the European Museum Night is taking place on 15 May in some countries, including virtually. In France, the Army Museum is organising a digital round table from 7pm onwards on Napoleon's Russian campaign. On the same day, at 8.30 pm, the National Museum in Warsaw is organising a night visit to the sculpture park. In Barcelona, all the city's museums will be celebrating the event from 6 pm onwards. In Belgium, the museums of Brussels are offering activities every Thursday evening until 10 June. In Ireland, Germany and Austria, the event is postponed until the autumn... Read more
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Re-opening concerts at the Milan Scala
La Scala in Milan is reopening with three concerts conducted by Riccardo Chailly on 10 May, Riccardo Muti on 11 May and Daniel Harding on 17 May. This reopening corresponds to the 75th anniversary of the rebuilding of the theatre. The concert on 10 May will be broadcast by Rai Cultura on Raiplay from 11 May, and then available on video for one week. The 17 May concert will be broadcast live on the Scala website and on its Facebook and YouTube channels at 7pm... Read more
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Prague Spring online
For its 76th edition, from 12 May to 3 June, the Prague Spring International Music Festival, which will be held in public if possible, is offering 22 concerts to be followed free of charge live and in streaming... Read more
Theatre Festival of Berlin online
The 70th Berlin International Theatre Festival is taking place online from 13 to 24 May. The programme includes 10 plays and discussions on the future of theatre in the age of the pandemic... Read more
The Roaring Twenties at the Guggenheim in Bilbao
The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao is hosting an exhibition dedicated to the 1920s, the Roaring Twenties, when the desire for change and the spirit of innovation inspired the arts and encouraged experimentation. Incorporating movements such as Dadaism and Bauhaus, the exhibition features some 300 works from Berlin, Paris, Vienna and Zurich, representing painting, sculpture, drawing, photography and film... Read more

Napoleon's Bicentenary : Bicentenary Commemorations
On 5 May, French President Emmanuel Macron led the commemoration of the bicentenary of the death of Napoleon, before whose tomb he laid a wreath at the Invalides. In a speech delivered at the Institut de France, he said that "the total work of Napoleon, in all its ambiguity", continues to shape France. The historian Jean Tulard drew a distinction between the "black and golden legends" and stressed that the history of the First Empire is "broader and more objective". Ceremonies were also organised from 5 to 9 May in Saint Helena... Read more
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The death of Napoleon, birth of a legend
The "Fondation Napoléon" offers thematic files on its website, including one on the death of Napoleon, with digitised documents, videos and articles by historians, to understand this emperor as described by Chateaubriand: "Alive, he missed the world; dead, he possessed it"... Read more
Napoleon, birth of a legend
The Battle of Waterloo Memorial presents the exhibition "Napoleon: from Waterloo to Saint Helena, the birth of the legend" until 17 October, bringing together original works and authentic objects from around the world, some of which come from Saint Helena, to illustrate the exile and birth of this legendary figure... Read more

11 May 2021


General Affairs Council

17 and 18 May


Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council

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Records of the Letter
année 2022
The Letter n°989
"It is high time to light up Europe's stars again"
published on 18/07/2022
The Letter n°988
"The energy crisis shows the importance of European solidarity in response to asymmetric shocks".
published on 11/07/2022
The Letter n°987
The Black Sea, the spectre of a new Iron Curtain?
published on 04/07/2022
The Letter n°986
France at the head of the Council: positive results despite the war
published on 27/06/2022
The Letter n°985
Conference on the future of Europe: the complex implementation of great ambitions
published on 20/06/2022
The Letter n°984
Outlook for agriculture in the new European context
published on 13/06/2022
The Letter n°983
"Russia's war in Eastern Europe is a central threat to the international architecture"
published on 07/06/2022
The Letter n°982
Europe in a perfect storm
published on 30/05/2022
The Letter n°981
In support of a new approach to the Western Balkans
published on 23/05/2022
The Letter n°980
"Open Conflict between the West and Russia is not an Option"
published on 16/05/2022
The Letter n°979
Europe Day: 72 years of European Integration
published on 09/05/2022
The Letter n°978
The challenges in Protecting Maritime Areas of Common Interest, from the Atlantic to the Indo-Pacific
published on 02/05/2022
The Letter n°977
Strategic dependencies, a question of sovereignty
published on 25/04/2022
The Letter n°976
Reception of Ukrainian refugees. Between emergency responses and long-term solutions
published on 19/04/2022
The Letter n°975
From the Russia Pact to the Green Deal?
published on 11/04/2022
The Letter n°974
Global food crisis: Europe must choose between retreat and responsibility
published on 04/04/2022
The Letter n°973
European unilateralism as a tool for regulating international trade
published on 28/03/2022
The Letter n°972
Has Europe's Hour Come?
published on 21/03/2022
The Letter n°971
The Eastern Partnership under the test of war in Ukraine
published on 14/03/2022
The Letter n°970
"Russia's invasion of Ukraine is a moment of truth for Europe"
published on 07/03/2022
The Letter n°969
A few truths about Ukraine and Russia
published on 28/02/2022
The Letter n°968
Russia, Ukraine and international law
published on 21/02/2022
The Letter n°967
The European Strategy for a "New Deal" with Africa
published on 14/02/2022
The Letter n°966
"If only ageing Europe had chosen the easy option of more immigration"
published on 07/02/2022
The Letter n°965
"The European strategy in the Indo-Pacific is subtle and perfectly adapted"
published on 31/01/2022
The Letter n°964
European sovereignty, strategic autonomy, Europe as a power: what reality for the European Union, and for which future?
published on 24/01/2022
The Letter n°963
For a new European growth strategy
published on 17/01/2022
The Letter n°962
The Challenges of the French Presidency of the Council
published on 10/01/2022