The Letter n°940

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The Letter n°940
The Letter
Tuesday 15th June 2021
issue 940
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This week the Foundation is publishing its 600th "European Issue". Thank you for your loyalty and your interest in our work.
Governance of the European Union: changing approaches without changing the treaties
A free proposal for reflection on the future of the Union
Author : Jean-Dominique Giuliani
Jean-Dominique Giuliani
One of the most important challenges for the European Union is to convince citizens of the effectiveness of its policies, which are being questioned in particular by authoritarian regimes. Changes in the way the institutions are run could make this possible, without the need to reform the treaties.
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Foundation : The Schuman Report on Europe, State of the Union 2021
The 2021 edition of the "Schuman Report on Europe, the State of the Union", a reference work for European decision-makers, has just been published in French and English by Marie B. The contributions by the best experts and high profile personalities offer an assessment of European achievements and new solidarities in the context of the pandemic, as well as a broad view of Europe's role in the world. It is available in French, in paper version on our website and in bookshops, and in digital version, or in English in digital version only. Order it here!.. Read more
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 paper version in French in bookshops and on our website, and in digital version in French and English. Order it here!.. Read more
Belarus: chronology of a revolution in progress
The European Parliament called on 10 June for the release of political prisoners in Belarus, new sanctions against the regime and the suspension of the country from major international sports competitions. Opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya called for an international tribunal to judge those responsible for the repression. To follow the crisis since the rigged presidential election of August 2020, the Foundation has compiled a chronology of events and links to European responses and initiatives... Read more
Map of health measures and travel conditions in Europe
In Italy, new regions were declared white zones on 14 June, including Lombardy, Piedmont and Lazio. In Denmark, wearing a mask is no longer compulsory, except on public transport. In Poland, it is once again possible to sell and consume food and drink in cinemas, theatres and concert halls. European countries are gradually easing health measures and restrictions for travellers in preparation for the entry into force of the EU certificate on 1 July. To keep track of the situation and to find out about the conditions of entry into the various EU Member States, the Foundation offers you a complete map of the measures in place. An essential, regularly updated resource for you to understand the situation... Read more

Commission : Draft Union Budget for 2022
On 8 June, the Commission proposed a budget of €167.8 billion in 2022, plus an estimated €143.5 billion in NextGenerationEU grants. It notably suggests the allocation of the following amounts: €118.4 billion in NextGenerationEU grants under the Recovery and Resilience Facility, €53 billion for the Common Agricultural Policy and €36.5 billion for regional development and cohesion... Read more
Labour Migration Partnerships
On 11 June, the Commission launched the Talent Partnerships initiative, as part of its proposal for a pact on migration and asylum, which aims to address skills shortages in the EU and open up legal channels for immigration to the EU. These partnerships will be open to students, graduates and skilled workers... Read more
Communication regarding fishing guidelines for 2022
On 9 June, the Commission presented a communication on the guidelines for the fisheries sector for 2022. It notes that despite the pandemic, the fisheries sector has remained profitable, but stresses that care must be taken to ensure the sustainability of fisheries so that future generations can continue the activity. A public consultation is open until 31 August to enrich the future proposal... Read more
Rule of Law: report on Romania
On 8 June, the Commission published its annual report on the development and progress made by Romania under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) to fight corruption and monitor judicial reform. Several recommendations from January 2017 and November 2018 have been taken into account and met, but the Commission has asked Romania to "actively work" to implement all remaining recommendations... Read more

Parliament : Adoption of the Digital Covid Certificate
MEPs on 9 June gave their final approval to the European digital certificate, which will come into force on 1 July and will allow travellers to prove either vaccination, a negative test result or recovery from the Covid-19 virus infection. It will facilitate free movement within the EU and contribute to the progressive lifting of restrictions. On 14 June, the Council adopted new recommendations for free movement taking into account the certificate. The definition of the colour codes of the epidemiological zones has also been modified to take into account the vaccination rate and the prevalence of certain variants... Read more
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Resolution on European Cybersecurity Strategy
On 10 June, MEPs adopted a resolution on the EU's cybersecurity strategy for the digital decade. They call for the development of secure and reliable networks and information systems in the EU to cope with the increase in cyber threats. They also call for the integration of cybersecurity into digitisation and a coherent use of EU funds for cybersecurity and the deployment of related infrastructure... Read more
Strategy in support of biodiversity
On 9 June, MEPs adopted a resolution on biodiversity for 2030. They stressed the importance of providing the strategy with a budget of €20 billion per year and of achieving at least 30% protection of terrestrial and marine areas. The aim of the resolution is to ensure the restoration, protection and resilience of ecosystems by 2050. The strategy aims to tackle the five main drivers of nature change: land and sea use change, direct exploitation of organisms, climate change, pollution and invasive alien species... Read more
Rule of law: preparation of legal action against the Commission
On 10 June, Parliament asked its President, David Sassoli, to remind the Commission to "fulfil its obligations" under the rule of law conditionality regulation and decided to start preparations for legal proceedings against the Commission. In March, MEPs had given the Commission until 1 June to start implementing the rule of law budgetary conditionality regulation. The Commission, which is in breach of an opinion of the Court of Justice, has not yet published its guidelines for the implementation of the mechanism... Read more
Settlement of the conflict of interest of the Czech Prime Minister
In a resolution adopted on 10 June, MEPs call for the Czech company Agrofert, set up by Prime Minister Andrej Babis, to repay any subsidies illegally received from the EU or Czech national budgets. A recent Commission audit concluded that there was a conflict of interest, even though Andrej Babis no longer directly manages Agrofert, as he remains the main beneficiary. MEPs call on the Commission to activate the budgetary conditionality mechanism if it confirms violations of the rule of law.. Read more

Council : Meeting of the Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs
On 7 June, the Justice Ministers discussed the fight against illegal online content and the independence of the judiciary in the Member States. They approved general guidelines on the regulation strengthening the mandate of the Fundamental Rights Agency and discussed the fight against crime and terrorism, as well as the Schengen strategy. On 8 June, the Home Affairs Ministers continued their discussions on the proposed Pact on Migration. They examined the Commission's Schengen Strategy. They discussed internal security and the impact of the pandemic on the fight against crime... Read more
Meeting of Energy Ministers
On 11 June, the energy ministers adopted their position on the proposed revision of the regulation on trans-European energy networks. They also adopted conclusions on the renovation of buildings in the Union as part of the green transition. They discussed the hydrogen strategy, energy diplomacy and the safety of the Ostrovets nuclear power plant in Belarus... Read more
Meeting of Environment Ministers
On 10 June, the Environment Ministers adopted the Council's final position on the EU's new strategy on adaptation to climate change. They took stock of the proposed regulation on batteries and battery waste management, the zero pollution action plan outlining climate targets for 2030, and the Aarhus regulation on access to justice in environmental cases. Several ministers also drew attention to fraud prevention in the biofuels sector... Read more
Meeting of Development Ministers
On 14 June, the Development Ministers discussed middle-income countries and human development. They discussed how the EU can develop its partnerships with these countries, helping them to play a key role in the global recovery, and how to improve the COVAX facility. They adopted conclusions on how to foster human development through the Team Europe instrument, which aims to support the EU's partner countries financially in the fight against the pandemic... Read more
Approval of the agreement on fisheries with the UK
On 11 June, the Council approved the agreement between the EU and the UK on fishing opportunities and deep-sea stocks for 2021 and 2022. The agreement sets total allowable catches for 75 shared fish stocks and clarifies access limits for over-quota species. As soon as the text is transposed into EU law, a specialised fisheries committee will be set up to finalise all outstanding details... Read more

Diplomacy : G7 Summit
Meeting in Carbis Bay, UK, on 11-13 June, G7 leaders pledged to deliver 1 billion doses of vaccines by the end of the year to countries in need. They pledged to support economic recovery, promote a reformed global trading and tax system, and continue the fight against climate change. They also reiterated their shared values of democracy, equality and the rule of law... Read more
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Med7 Meeting
The European Affairs Ministers of the EU-Med7 countries met on 11 June in Athens and signed a joint declaration reiterating their commitment "to continue working closely together on a vision of a stronger and more united Europe that adheres to its fundamental principles and values". They called for the Union's continued engagement in the Mediterranean Sea, "an area of strategic importance for the prosperity, security and stability of the Union" and pledged to continue working together. The meeting was held in preparation for the EU-Med7 summit, scheduled to take place in Athens in September 2021... Read more
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EU-Canada Summit
European Council President Charles Michel and Commission President Ursula von der Leyen met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for an EU-Canada Summit on 14 June. They discussed the objectives of their strategic partnership to overcome the pandemic, pursue a fair and sustainable global recovery, fight climate change, promote common democratic values and give new impetus to their bilateral trade agreement, CETA... Read more
Tensions during discussions regarding Northern Ireland
Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic and UK Brexit Minister David Frost discussed the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol in London on 9 June. No progress was made at this meeting. At the G7 summit in the UK on 11-13 June, the Europeans again called on UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to respect and implement the agreement... Read more
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ECB : Continuation of the accommodating monetary policy
The European Central Bank decided on 10 June to keep interest rates unchanged and to continue its asset purchase programmes to support the economy. ECB President Christine Lagarde explained that "a large degree of monetary accommodation is needed to support economic activity and the robust convergence of inflation to levels below, but close to 2% over the medium term"... Read more
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France : Indepth transformation of the Barkhane Operation
On 10 June, French President Emmanuel Macron announced the end of the Barkhane operation to fight jihadists in the Sahel and to support the Malian armed forces, with a view to developing it into an operational partnership and European and international cooperation in the fight against terrorism in the region. The modalities of this transformation will be discussed with the members of the International Coalition for the Sahel... Read more
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UK : Paul Givan appointed Prime Minister of Northern Ireland
The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), the largest party in the Northern Irish Parliament, appointed Paul Givan as Prime Minister on 8 June to succeed Arlene Foster on 14 June. Other ministers have been appointed. Sinn Féin, the second largest party in Parliament, has 7 days to appoint a new First Deputy Prime Minister or risk the blocking of Northern Ireland's institutions... Read more
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Albania : Impeachment of the President voted by the Parliament
On 9 June, the Albanian Parliament voted 104 out of 121 to remove President Ilir Meta from office. The latter was accused by a Commission of Inquiry of having violated the Constitution by participating in the campaign for the April legislative elections and by "openly" supporting the opposition. However, the parliament's decision is not final. The Constitutional Court must rule on the validity of the vote within three months... Read more
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Macedonia : Rencontre du Premier ministre de Macédoine du Nord avec le Président français
French President Emmanuel Macron received the Prime Minister of North Macedonia, Zoran Zaev on 10 June. They discussed the European perspective for North Macedonia, the rule of law and the situation in the Western Balkans. The French President reiterated France's support for the European accession of North Macedonia... Read more
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Council of Europe : Resolutions in support of the freedom of expression
At the Council of Europe ministerial conference on 10-11 June, ministers responsible for media and information society committed to focus their efforts on protecting the safety of journalists and freedom of expression on social networks, while monitoring the changing media and information environment, including the development of artificial intelligence. They also committed to assessing the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on freedom of expression... Read more
Report on Discrimination in Croatia
In its fifth opinion on Croatia published on 10 June, the Council of Europe's Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities acknowledges that the Croatian legislative framework concerning national minorities is "broadly in line with the provisions of the Framework Convention". However, discrimination against minorities such as Serbs and Roma persists, and hate crimes as well as "hate speech in the media and in political discourse" are on the rise. The report calls for the strengthening of the Ombudsman's Office and improving the effectiveness of the free legal aid system, and for increased training in human rights and non-discrimination for law enforcement and the judiciary... Read more
Report on the fight to counter money laundering in the Vatican
In a report published on 8 June, MONEYVAL encouraged the Vatican to further strengthen measures to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism. The Council of Europe's anti-money laundering body notes that money laundering investigations during the period under review (until October 2020) have been slow and that efforts need to be made in this area. The report highlights that while competent authorities are effective in tracing and seizing proceeds, there is still a considerable gap between the amounts seized and those confiscated... Read more

World Bank : Global Economic Prospects 2021
In a global economic prospects report released on 8 June, the World Bank raised its global growth forecast by 1.5 percentage points to 5.6% in 2021, the strongest rate in 80 years. This recovery is largely due to the strong revival of a few major economies, while many emerging and developing economies are still struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath... Read more

NATO : NATO Summit
Meeting on 14 June, NATO leaders approved the NATO 2030 Agenda to redefine the organisation's goals and strategy. They declared that Russia's actions pose a "threat to Euro-Atlantic security" and that China's ambitions pose "systemic challenges to the rules-based international order". They endorsed a new comprehensive NATO cyber defence policy. They also discussed the withdrawal of Alliance troops from Afghanistan... Read more
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Studies/Reports : Annual report on the management and performance of the EU budget
On 8 June, the Commission presented its annual report on the management and performance of the EU budget, which first shows that the EU has made swift and effective use of its 2020 budget to mitigate the coronavirus crisis and its consequences, notably through the emergency aid and SURE instruments, but also through its support to the COVAX mechanism. The Commission has also published a forward-looking communication on the performance framework for the 2021-2027 budget... Read more
Competition: preliminary results on the internet of things
On 9 June, the Commission published the preliminary results of the sector enquiry into competition in the markets for consumer goods and services related to the Internet of Things. According to the replies from more than 200 companies, the trend is towards the increasing availability and proliferation of voice assistants, but it is difficult to compete with companies with their own ecosystems, such as Amazon or Google. Some companies have raised concerns about the lack of interoperability, exclusivity and tying practices with voice assistants, as well as the collection of data and information from the interactions. The final report is expected in the first half of 2022... Read more

Culture : LUX Audience Award 2021
The Lux Audience Award 2021 was awarded on 9 June to the film Affaire Collective, by Romanian director Alexandre Nanau. It is a documentary about a nightclub fire that killed 64 people in Bucharest in 2015 and revealed the prevailing corruption, especially in the hospital. The Lux Award encourages committed European co-productions on topical political and social issues that promote the debate on European values... Read more
Inauguration of the Hötel de la Marine
On 12 June, the Hôtel de la Marine on Place de la Concorde in Paris opened its doors after almost four years of restoration. You can now see the ceremonial rooms (19th century), the loggia and learn all about its history... Read more
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Copernicus in London
Jan Matejko's epic painting "The Astronomer Copernicus", painted in 1872, is on display at the National Gallery in London until 22 August. The painting, created to mark the 400th anniversary of the astronomer's birth, is on loan from the historic Jagiellonian University in Krakow. Also on display is a copy of Copernicus' "De revolutionibus orbium coelestium", the publication that marked a turning point in human understanding of our place in the universe... Read more
Portuguese artists in Lisbon
Until 23 August, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon is hosting the exhibition "All I Want - Portuguese Women Artists from 1900 to 2020", which includes 200 works by 40 women artists. The exhibition is part of the cultural programme of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union... Read more
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Bruce Nauman at the Palazzo Grassi
Palazzo Grassi - Punta della Dogana is presenting the exhibition "Bruce Nauman: Contrapposto Studies", a series of recent video installations created by Bruce Nauman over the last five years and linked to a single channel video from 1968, "Walk with Contrapposto", until 9 January 2022... Read more
Red Vienna by Alfredo Jaar
The Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna outlines the red Vienna of the 1920s in its exhibition dedicated to the Chilean architect and photographer Alfredo Jaar, which will run until 5 September. The artist's photographic collection deals with the socio-political and urban developments of the city in the inter-war period. The exhibition's setting is bathed in intense red light to reflect the social model of Vienna at that time... Read more
Exhibition on Emilia Pardo Bazan in Madrid
Until 26 September, the National Library of Spain is hosting an exhibition dedicated to Emilia Pardo Bazán (1851-1921), one of the great European writers of her generation, with the aim of bringing to light the modernity of the literary, intellectual, personal and political issues at stake in her works. Around 200 objects, printed books, manuscripts, engravings and photographs trace the writer's way of thinking, structured around Catholic feminism and the demands of modern nationalism... Read more
Warsaw Theatre
The Fatalist, which tells the story of the relationship between a rabbi's son and a merchant's daughter in 1930s Warsaw, will be performed on 19 June in Warsaw's Dramatyczny Theatre as part of the 27th National Competition for the Exhibition of Polish Contemporary Art, organised by the Ministry of Culture... Read more
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Re-opening of the Carnavalet Museum with the Cartier Bresson Exhibition
The Carnavalet Museum in Paris, which has just reopened after four years of renovation, is presenting until 31 October, in partnership with the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation, "Revoir Paris" (See Paris Again), an exhibition that highlights the importance of Paris in the life and work of the great photographer... Read more
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Make Music Day 2021
The Make Music Day is being held on 21 June in most European countries. In France, France Inter is organising a big concert evening at the Olympia. In Belgium, the Brussels town hall is hosting rock, rap, classical and electro concerts. In Poland, the Co Jest association is organising street games and concerts in the town of Elblag on 19 and 20 June. In Germany, the French Institute in Leipzig is organising free concerts of different musical genres throughout the city, and many events are planned in Berlin. In Spain, the National Centre for Music Dissemination (CNDM) and the National Music Auditorium are presenting the 6th edition of "Solo Música!", a series of concerts entitled "Romantic Duel"... Read more
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Napoleon's Bicentenary : Napoleon's Table Etiquette
The French radio station France Inter devoted its programme "On va déguster" on 13 June to the development of the arts of the table in Napoleon's time, when they took on diplomatic importance and began to increase France's influence... Read more

14-15 June 2021


Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Council


Informal Meeting of Agriculture and Fisheries Ministers

15 June 2021


EU-USA Summit

17 June 2021


Eurogroup Meeting

18 June 2021


Economic and Financial Affairs Council

21 June 2021


Foreign Affairs Council

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The Black Sea, the spectre of a new Iron Curtain?
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The Letter n°984
Outlook for agriculture in the new European context
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"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