The Letter n°943

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The Letter n°943
The Letter
Tuesday 6th July 2021
issue 943
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Fit for 55: towards the achievement of an ambitious European political compromise for climate
Author : Clémence Pèlegrin
Clémence Pèlegrin
On 14 July, the Commission is due to present measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% in 2030 compared to 1990, the target set by the climate law adopted in April-May by the Parliament and the Council. These measures, known as "adjustment to target 55", should both extend and deepen the current scope of the EU's climate action.
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Foundation : Research, innovation and education as the main drivers in the recovery
The Foundation organised a video conference with Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth on 28 June. The debate is available in full here... Read more
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 by Marie B. Articles by leading experts and personalities such as Josep Borrell and Margaritis Schinas offer an overview of European achievements and new forms of solidarity in the context of the pandemic, as well as a broad view of Europe's role in the world. It is available in hard copy in bookshops and on our website, and in digital version in English and French. 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 over 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
While Belarus has suspended its participation in the Eastern Partnership in response to the latest EU sanctions, the EU says it will continue to support the Belarusian people. It is still calling for an end to repression, the release of political prisoners and the organisation of free elections. To follow the crisis since the rigged presidential election of August 2020, the Foundation offers you a timeline of events and links to European responses and initiatives... Read more
Map of health measures and travel conditions in Europe
The European certificate, designed to facilitate free movement within the Union, came into force on 1 July. In Sweden, masks are no longer recommended on public transport, stadiums can accommodate up to 5,000 people. Discotheques reopen in France on 9 July. Several Member States took measures to counter the variants: on 1 July, Portugal re-established curfews in 45 cities, including Lisbon, and Lithuania re-established a national state of emergency. Portugal, Spain, Poland and Malta are imposing restrictions on travellers from the UK. Germany has tightened controls for travellers from risk areas. To follow developments in the situation and to understand the conditions of entry into the different EU Member States, the Foundation offers you a comprehensive map of the measures in place. An essential, regularly updated resource, to help you understand the situation... Read more

Commission : NextGenerationEU: first payment and second issuance
On 28 June, the Commission made its first payments under NextGenerationEU, amounting to €800 million. 41 national and regional programmes in 16 Member States have been funded under "Supporting Recovery for Europe's Cohesion and Territories" (REACT-EU). On 30 June, the Commission issued €15 billion in bonds to finance NextGenerationEU. After a first issue in June, the Commission has now raised €35 billion and plans to raise a total of €80 billion in 2021... Read more
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Launch of European Defence Fund
On 30 June, the Commission adopted decisions to support the competitiveness and innovation capacity of the EU defence industry. The first annual work programme of the European Defence Fund (EDF) paves the way for the EU to support €1.2 billion in collaborative defence research and development projects. The Commission has selected 26 new projects, with a budget of over €158 million, through the European Defence Industry Development Programme (EDIDP), the precursor to the Defence Fund... Read more
Long term vision of rural areas
On 30 June, the Commission presented a long-term vision for the EU's rural areas. It proposes a rural pact and an action plan, which will involve actors at European, national, regional and local levels, with the aim of improving the resilience and prosperity of these areas. By the end of the year, the Commission will liaise with the Committee of the Regions to discuss the way forward to achieve these objectives... Read more
Launch of Knowledge Centre on Cancer
On 30 June, the Commission launched the Cancer Knowledge Centre, an online platform, which aims to gather, disseminate and harmonise knowledge and data so as to coordinate actions across the EU... Read more
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Proposals to revise consumer protection rules
On 30 June, the Commission proposed to revise the rules on product safety and consumer credit, with an update of the General Product Safety Regulation to address the risks of these new technological products and a revision of the Consumer Credit Directive... Read more
Strategic framework for occupational health and safety
On 28 June, the Commission presented its strategic framework for health and safety at work for the period 2021-2027, with three objectives: to manage the change brought about by the green, digital and demographic transitions and changes in the traditional working environment, to improve the prevention of accidents and diseases, and to strengthen preparedness for any potential future crisis. The Commission calls on the Member States to update their national strategies to ensure that the new measures reach the workplace... Read more
Decisions for the circulation of personal data to the UK
On 28 June, the Commission adopted two adequacy decisions vis-à-vis the UK allowing for a better flow of personal data from the EU. One under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the other under the Directive on data protection in the field of law enforcement. The UK's legal regime for the protection of personal data remained the same as in the EU, which allowed the decisions to be adopted. However, safeguards are provided for if changes occur on the UK side... Read more

Council : Start of Slovenian Presidency
Slovenia began its six-month Presidency of the Council on 1 July by presenting its programme, which has four priorities: facilitating the Union's recovery and greater resilience, reflecting on the future of Europe, strengthening the rule of law and European values, and ensuring security and stability in the European neighbourhood. During the visit of the College of Commissioners, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stressed the need for progress on climate, digital and migration issues, as well as the need to protect the rule of law... Read more
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Meeting of Agriculture and Fisheries Ministers
At the Agriculture and Fisheries Council on 28-29 June, Ministers endorsed the provisional agreement on the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), and submitted a request to the Commission for a study on the introduction, evaluation, production, marketing and use of biological control agents. They reiterated the need for a new approach to protect bees and adopted general guidelines on the revision of the fisheries control system in order to modernise them... Read more
A further 11 countries to be exempted from travel restrictions
On 1 July, the Council added 11 countries to the list of those for which travel restrictions at external borders can be lifted. These new countries include Canada, Qatar, Armenia, Jordan and Saudi Arabia... Read more

Diplomacy : New Programme for the Eastern Partnership
On 2 July, the Commission and High Representative Josep Borrell presented their proposals for cooperation with the Eastern Partnership countries in the coming years. The programme focuses on long-term recovery, resilience and reform, and would be backed by a €2.3 billion economic and investment plan in the form of grants, blended finance and guarantees and up to €17 billion in public and private investment. It aims to boost trade, growth and employment, invest in connectivity, and strengthen democratic institutions and the rule of law. Belarus suspended its participation in the Eastern Partnership on 28 June... Read more
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Extensions of Union missions in Palestine
On 28 June, the Council decided to extend the mandates of two of its civilian missions until 30 June 2022 as part of the Union's wider efforts to support Palestinian state-building, in the context of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP): the European Union Border Assistance Mission at the Rafah Crossing Point (EUBAM Rafah) and the European Union Police Mission for the Palestinian Territories (EUPOL COPPS)... Read more

Court of Auditors : Air passengers' rights were not sufficiently protected during the pandemic
In a report published on 29 June, the Court of Auditors considers that the basic rights of air passengers were not sufficiently protected during the Covid-19 pandemic. It notes that few passengers were informed of their rights and many were not refunded. It calls on the Commission to better protect passengers' rights and to strengthen the coordination of national measures... Read more
The fight to counter capital laundering is overly fragmented
On 28 June, the Court of Auditors published a special report on the fight against money laundering in the European banking sector. It notes that there is institutional fragmentation and insufficient coordination at EU level when it comes to preventing money laundering and taking action where risks are detected. It believes that the problem stems in particular from the lack of a single supervisory authority at European level... Read more

European Agencies : Provisional agreement on the European Asylum Agency
Council and Parliament negotiators reached a provisional agreement on 29 June on the transformation of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) into the European Asylum Agency. The agency will provide support for cooperation between Member States and third countries, including a pool of experts ready to assist national structures faced with a high caseload... Read more
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Negotiating mandate for new Europol rules
On 1 July, the Council adopted its mandate to negotiate with the Parliament on the revision of Europol's rules on cooperation with third countries, the European Public Prosecutor's Office and other parties, as well as on the processing of personal data in support of criminal investigations and on the agency's role in research and innovation... Read more
Appointment of the President of the European Research Council
German Maria Leptin, Director of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO), was appointed President of the European Research Council (ERC) on 30 June. She will take up her post on 1 October. The ERC, the body responsible for coordinating research in the EU, is expected to receive more than €16 billion from the Horizon Europe programme, an increase of 22% on the previous scheme... Read more

Germany : Chancellor's visit to the UK
In her last official visit to Britain before stepping down as Chancellor, Angela Merkel was hosted by Queen Elizabeth II before joining Prime Minister Boris Johnson to discuss the health situation. The Chancellor is pushing for the 27 countries of the European Union to agree to impose a quarantine on travellers from the UK to prevent the spread of the Delta variant on the continent... Read more

Hungary : Declaration by 16 nationalist parties on the future of the Union
Sixteen European nationalist and far-right parties signed a joint declaration on 2 July calling for a "profound reform" of the Union. In particular, they believe that the competences of the European institutions have expanded to the detriment of the Member States and want to restore "consensus" as "a fundamental means of achieving a common position in the Union"... Read more

Poland : Donald Tusk takes over as leader of the Civic Platform (PO)
Donald Tusk, President of the EPP and former President of the European Council, who co-founded the Civic Platform (CP), wants to carry the progressive torch high in the face of Poland's ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS) by taking over the leadership of the main opposition party... Read more

UK : Measures for the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol
On 30 June the Commission announced measures on the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol. The transitional period for the shipment of chilled meat from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will be extended until 30 September to allow businesses to adapt their supply chains. The Commission also adopted an implementing act to facilitate the movement of livestock and will present a text on the movement of medicines in the autumn. On the same day, the High Court in Belfast ruled that the protocol "conflicts" with the Act of Union, but that it is part of a process of "constitutional evolution" and therefore in accordance with the law... Read more
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Jersey gives go-ahead to extend fishing licences
Jersey agreed on 28 June to a three-month extension of fishing licences for European vessels in its waters. The fishing restrictions had caused much discontent among fishermen in Brittany and Normandy in recent weeks... Read more
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Council of Europe : Report on the Warsaw Convention
In a report published on 30 June, the Committee of the Warsaw Convention on Laundering and Financing of Terrorism recommends that Member States reverse the burden of proof to allow confiscation in serious offences. If this measure were adopted, the alleged offender would have to establish the origin of the confiscable proceeds. The Committee justifies the reversal of the burden of proof on the grounds that it would increase efficiency in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing... Read more
Report of the fight to counter online child abuse
On 28 June, the Council of Europe published a report which aims to help policy makers develop a comprehensive and balanced approach to the use of automated technologies to detect online child sexual abuse material. Prepared by a group of independent experts, it includes recommendations and calls for the establishment of a "public interest framework", based on the Lanzarote Convention and other Council of Europe conventions, enabling service providers to automatically detect, remove and report relevant content in a way that respects data protection and privacy... Read more

ECHR : France condemned for rejecting anti-nuclear complaint
The European Court of Human Rights condemned France on 1 July for disproportionate restrictions on the right of access to court, upholding the claims of associations opposed to a planned radioactive storage facility at the Bure site, one of which had been ruled inadmissible by a court. On the other hand, it rejected the associations' complaint for violation of the right of access to information... Read more
Poland condemned for the dismissal of judges
The European Court of Human Rights condemned Poland on 29 June for violating the right of access to a court after the Minister of Justice dismissed two judges in 2018. The Court found that the compatibility of the law allowing the government to dismiss judges with the requirements of the rule of law" was "doubtful". It stressed that such a procedure should be subject to review by an independent judicial body, which was not the case... Read more
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OECD : Agreement on the reform of world taxation
130 countries and jurisdictions agreed on 1 July on a global tax reform, with the aim of limiting the opportunities for tax optimisation and evasion by large multinationals. The reform is based on two pillars: a global minimum corporate tax of 15% and a reallocation of the taxing rights of multinationals, including digital companies, by reallocating part of the taxing rights of these companies to their home countries. Three EU Member States did not join the agreement: Estonia, Hungary and Ireland. The reform, which is due to come into force at the beginning of 2023, is due to be finalised in the autumn... Read more

UN : Generation Equality Forum
From 30 June to 2 July, the Generation Equality Forum was held in Paris, organised by UN Women, France and Mexico. The Forum announced a series of groundbreaking investments, programmes and policies on gender equality. It marks the beginning of a five-year action plan and a compact on women, peace, security and humanitarian action... Read more
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IMF : Report on the Belgian Economy
On 29 June, the International Monetary Fund published its assessment report on the economic situation in Belgium. It considers that Belgium's rapid response to the Covid-19 pandemic has mitigated its social and economic impact. It expects Belgian growth to reach 5% in 2021 and 3.5% in 2022, but recommends that the government strengthen its adjustment plan to build up reserves against future pressures and new shocks... Read more
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Assessment Report on the Hungarian Economy
The International Monetary Fund published its conclusions on Hungary's economic response to the Covid-19 crisis on 29 June. It notes that the response of the Hungarian authorities has been particularly strong, but stresses that Hungarian fiscal policy needs to strike a more flexible balance between supporting the economy and preserving medium-term fiscal sustainability. The IMF forecasts GDP growth of 6.2%, unemployment of 4.1% and inflation of 4.1% for 2021... Read more

G20 : Meeting of Foreign Ministers
The G20 Foreign Ministers, meeting in Matera on 29 June, discussed global governance and the sustainable development of the African continent. They called on the international community to "build inclusive and resilient food chains and ensure adequate nutrition for all" in line with the "Zero Hunger" goal set for 2030, as well as achieving climate neutrality by 2050... Read more
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Culture : Cannes Festival
The 74th Cannes Film Festival is being held from 6 to 17 July. 24 films are competing and the jury is chaired by American director Spike Lee. Actress and director Jodie Foster is the special guest of the opening ceremony and will receive a special Palme d'Or... Read more
Line of Wit at the Guggenheim
The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao is presenting "The Line of Wit" until January 16, 2022, an exhibition that explores the experimental nature of contemporary art through works dating from the 1950s to the present. The exhibition brings together artists from several generations, reflecting the diversity of artistic practices... Read more
Avignon Festival
Avignon is hosting the 75th edition of its theatre festival until 25 July, with no limit on the number of spectators but with health measures in place. More than 100 shows are on offer as part of the off-festival, and the official programme includes a variation on Hamlet by director and festival director Olivier Py... Read more
Fede Galizia in Trente
The Castello del Buon Consiglio in Trento is presenting the first monographic exhibition dedicated to the Milanese painter Fede Galizia (1578-1630) until 24 October... Read more
Anna Blinska in Warsaw
Until 10 October, Polish artist Anna Bilinska (1854-1893) is being honoured at the National Museum in Warsaw. The exhibition brings together a large number of paintings and drawings, including unpublished works, from museums and private collections... Read more
Beuys and Lehmbruck in Bonn
The Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn is hosting an exhibition dedicated to the sculptors and designers Joseph Beuys and Wilhelm Lehmbruck until 1 November. The exhibition addresses their progressive vision of social and political reorganisation expressed in their art... Read more
Francofolies de La Rochelle
The Francofolies de La Rochelle music festival is taking place from 10 to 14 July. Many French artists and musicians will perform on the festival's 9 stages, including Jane Birkin, Alain Souchon, Jeanne Cherhal, Jean-Louis Aubert, les Rita Mitsouko and Grand Corps Malade... Read more
Dante at the National Library of Spain
The National Library of Spain is presenting an exhibition dedicated to Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy until 2 October, on the occasion of the 700th anniversary of the poet's death. By means of 10 manuscripts, the exhibition evokes the three parts of this reference text in the thought of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance: Hell, Purgatory and Paradise... Read more

Napoleon's Bicentenary : Exhibition and Festivities on the Isle of Elbe
Elba, the Emperor's first place of exile, is organising a series of events in Portoferraio. Until 10 October, an exhibition at the Pinacoteca Foresiana is being held in conjunction with the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. A photographic itinerary traces Napoleon's life on the island. Film screenings and meetings with historians are also being organised in July and August... Read more
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Napoleon, Flight of the Eagle
From 7 July to 26 August, the Hôtel des Invalides is organising the 9th edition of the Nuit aux Invalides, which this year celebrates the 200th anniversary of Napoleon's death with its new show entitled "Napoleon - The Flight of the Eagle". This performance offers visitors the opportunity to explore the Emperor's life and his civil and military legacy. After the show, the evening can be extended with a night walk in the Dome church... Read more
Napoleon Superstar
From 9 July to 5 September, a thematic tour created in partnership with Paris Match in the centre of Ajaccio presents photos of film shoots dedicated to Napoleon, notably with the actors who played the emperor... Read more

5-8 July 2021


Plenary Session of the European Parliament

8-9 July 2021


Informal Meeting of Employment and Social Policy Ministers

9-10 July 2021


Meeting of G20 Finance Ministers

11 July 2021


General Elections

12 July 2021


Foreign Affairs Council


Eurogroup Meeting

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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