The Letter n°945

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The Letter n°945
The Letter
Tuesday 20th July 2021
issue 945
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The entire Foundation team wishes you a wonderful summer and looks forward to seeing you on 6 September.
Covid-19 crisis and European mobility: What lessons? What future?
Author : Nicolas Blain
Nicolas Blain
The ability to travel, a pillar of European integration, has been challenged by the pandemic and is undergoing profound transformation. From urban mobility to travel between Member States, transport policy is now linked to the dual digital and climate transition.
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Front page! : Human Rights' Black Summer
From Belarus to China, the exercise of human rights is increasingly difficult. Human rights, an inalienable value guaranteed by our constitutions and the European treaties, deserve a resolute commitment from Europeans throughout the world, underlines Jean-Dominique Giuliani... Read more

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 by Marie B. The articles written by the best experts and leading personalities, such as Josep Borrell and Margaritis Schinas, offer an assessment 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 more than 50 maps, texts and thematic sheets, the Atlas summarises the Union's history and political and statistical realities. It is available in paper version in French in bookshops and on our website, and in digital version in French and English. You can order it here... Read more
Map of health measures and travel conditions in Europe
In response to the increase in cases due to the Delta variant, Catalonia and the Valencia region in Spain have reintroduced curfews and limited gatherings to 10 people. In France, a health certificate will be required from 21 July in cultural and leisure venues, and from 1 August in cafés, restaurants, shopping centres and hospitals, as well as for air and long-distance travel by train and bus. To keep track of the situation and the conditions of entry into the different EU Member States, the Foundation offers a complete map of the measures in place. An indispensable, regularly updated resource... Read more
Belarus: chronology of a revolution in progress
The European Union and the Council of Europe have condemned the recent raids on human rights organisations and independent media in Belarus. They have again called for the release of all political prisoners. To follow the crisis since the rigged presidential election of August 2020, the Foundation offers you a chronology of events and links to European responses and initiatives... Read more

Commission : Package of measures to reduce CO2 emissions by 55%
On 14 July, the Commission presented a number of measures to achieve the objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990. The Commission is proposing to lower the overall emissions cap of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), to abolish free allowances for aviation, and to include maritime transport emissions. A second trading scheme will be created for road transport and buildings. The Commission is proposing a border carbon adjustment mechanism that will put a price on carbon for imports, as well as ending the use of internal combustion engines for cars and vans by 2035. The share of renewables is to reach 40% by 2030, and energy taxation will be reviewed... Read more
New strategy for the forests
On 16 July, the Commission presented the EU's New Forest Strategy for 2030 as part of the Green Deal for Europe. The aim is to promote new forest management and ensure the multifunctionality of Europe's forests. In particular, the proposed measures should enhance carbon sequestration by improving sinks and stocks... Read more
New industrial alliances on microprocessors and the cloud
On 19 July, the Commission launched the Alliance for Processor and Semiconductor Technologies and the European Alliance for Industrial Data, Edge and Cloud. The two new alliances aim to advance the next generation of chip and industrial technologies and strengthen the EU's critical digital infrastructure, products and services. They are open to the participation of all public and private entities with a legal representative in the EU, provided they meet certain security requirements... Read more
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Civil Protection Mechanism to counter the floods
At the request of Belgium, faced with terrible floods which have caused many victims, the Commission activated the EU's Civil Protection Mechanism on 15 July. A rescue team and a helicopter were mobilised from France to support local rescue operations, mainly in the flooded areas around the city of Liege. Italy and Austria have also offered to make their specialised rescue teams available. The Commission is coordinating the aid and financing up to 75% of the transport costs. According to a provisional assessment, the floods have left 36 dead and around 100 missing in Belgium, and 160 dead and several hundred missing in Germany. Luxembourg and the Netherlands were also affected... Read more

Parliament : The Slovenian Presidency of the Council presents its priorities
From 12 to 15 July, the Slovenian Presidency of the Council presented its 14 priorities to the European Parliament committees. The priorities include fisheries to make the aquaculture sector more sustainable, development through support to partner countries to recover from the impact of the pandemic on education, gender equality, food security and health, and industry, research and energy to create a more stable European energy sector to prepare for a stable, cost-effective and equitable transition... Read more

Council : Economic and Financial Affairs Council
Finance ministers adopted 12 national recovery plans under the NextGenerationEU programme on 13 July. Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain can now sign the grant and loan agreements to receive the EU funds. The Council also approved conclusions on the 2021 in-depth reviews for 12 Member States within the framework of the European Semester. In addition, the Slovenian Presidency presented its work programme in the field of economy and finance... Read more
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Agriculture and Fisheries Council
The Agriculture and Fisheries Ministers met on 19 July to discuss the action plan for the development of organic production, the evolution of trade relations with the United States, as well as the ongoing negotiations for new free trade agreements with Australia, Chile and New Zealand. They discussed the ban on the caging of farm animals and the slaughter of chicks, as well as issues related to extreme weather conditions and other problems affecting European agriculture. In addition, the Slovenian Presidency presented its priorities in the field of agriculture and fisheries... Read more
Position on the 2022 Budget
On 14 July, the Council adopted its position on the 2022 budget proposal. It is asking to set appropriations at € 167.7 billion in commitments and € 170 billion in payments... Read more
Adoption of the European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking
On 13 July, the Council adopted the regulation establishing the European Joint Undertaking for High Performance Computing, which should help strengthen research and innovation capacities and broaden the use and development of an ecosystem of supercomputing infrastructures. The Joint Undertaking will be able to use budgetary funds from EU programmes... Read more
Informal Meeting of Research Ministers
On 19 July, Research Ministers discussed how to make the EU more competitive by improving the efficiency of the research sector. They discussed with Commissioner Mariya Gabriel her proposal for a pact for innovation and research. The ministers also discussed international cooperation with representatives from the EFTA countries and the Western Balkans... Read more
Informal Meeting of Justice Ministers
The Ministers of Justice, meeting on 16 July, stressed the importance of having legislation on artificial intelligence (AI) to ensure the protection of fundamental rights and to regulate the development and use of AI in a uniform manner within the Union. They discussed the protection of children and their rights in legal proceedings. They discussed the challenges of identifying and accessing the content of digital assets... Read more
Extension of sanctions against terrorists
The Council has extended the Union's sanctions in the fight against terrorism by six months. 14 persons and 21 groups and entities are subject to the freezing of their financial assets in the Union. EU operators are also prohibited from making funds and economic resources available to them... Read more
Interim agreement on access to justice in environmental matters
The Council and the Parliament reached a provisional agreement on 12 July on a proposal for a revision of the Aarhus Regulation, which sets out how the EU and the Member States implement the international Aarhus Convention, which aims to ensure access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters. The aim is to ensure that the Union fully respects the Convention concerning the public right of review of non-legislative administrative acts adopted by a Union institution or body which may, by reason of their effects, infringe environmental law... Read more
Informal Meeting of Ministers of the Interior
The Ministers of the Interior met on 15 July to exchange views on the EU's common migration policy and to discuss the new pact on immigration and asylum. They recalled the importance of responsibility, solidarity and closer cooperation with countries of origin and transit to ensure effective returns. They expressed their concern about the situation in Lithuania and reiterated their support for the management of migration pressure... Read more

Diplomacy : Chinese Cyberattacks
On 19 July, High Representative Josep Borrell called on the Chinese authorities to respect international standards and act against cyber attacks from their territory on government institutions and political and business organisations in the EU. He called on behalf of the EU for a programme of action under the auspices of the United Nations to effectively advance and assist States to behave responsibly in cyberspace... Read more

Court of Justice : Decisions regarding the illegal nature of the disciplinary regime in Poland
The Court of Justice ruled on 15 July that the disciplinary regime for judges introduced in 2017 does not comply with EU law. It found that the disciplinary chamber of the Supreme Court, created by the law, does not offer all the guarantees of impartiality and independence and that it is subject to political influence. The previous day, in an interim order, it ordered the immediate suspension of the provisions relating to the powers of the disciplinary chamber of the Supreme Court with regard to the lifting of immunity and the employment of judges. The court considered that the independence of the disciplinary chamber was not guaranteed and that the provisions threatened the independence of Polish courts... Read more
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EU law allows ban on religious symbols at work
The Court of Justice ruled on 15 July that a ban on wearing any visible form of expression of political, philosophical or religious beliefs in the workplace may be justified by the employer's need to present itself in a neutral manner to customers or to prevent social conflicts. However, it stressed that such a decision must meet a genuine need of the employer and that national courts may take into account national provisions that are more favourable to freedom of religion... Read more
Clarification of the Working Time Directive for the military
In a ruling handed down on 15 July, the Court of Justice, seized by Slovenia, clarified the conditions under which the working time directive would apply to military personnel. It considers that time spent on guard in barracks can be considered as overtime, but that the directive does not apply to the activities of military personnel in the context of their initial or operational training or operations involving a military commitment of the armed forces in a theatre (OPEX), including on national territory... Read more

ECB : Launch of the digital euro project
The European Central Bank launched its digital euro project on 14 July to adapt to the increase in paperless payments that has increased with the pandemic. The study phase will last 24 months and will aim to solve problems concerning design and distribution. The aim is to allow households and businesses to deposit this money directly into an account at the Central Bank, access to which has so far been restricted to commercial banks. The ECB assures that no technical obstacles have been identified during the preliminary testing phase... Read more

European Agencies : Already more than 1,000 investigations for the European Public Prosecutor's Office
The European Public Prosecutor's Office announced on 16 July that since it became active on 1 June, it has dealt with more than 1,000 reports of fraud affecting the EU's financial interests and has seized assets worth €7 million... Read more

Germany : Visit to Washington
Following their meeting at the White House on 15 July, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Joe Biden stressed the strong bonds of friendship between the two countries. They called for stronger transatlantic cooperation, especially in the fight against pandemics and global warming. They discussed their disagreements over the Nord Stream gas pipeline project, which the United States fears could be used by Russia as a weapon to pressure Ukraine. The Chancellor raised the possibility of European sanctions against Moscow... Read more
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Ireland : Adoption of the Recovery and Resilience Plan
The Commission approved on 16 July Ireland's Recovery and Resilience Plan. The €989 million grant will help Ireland emerge stronger from the Covid-19 pandemic by supporting the implementation of key investment and reform measures as described in country's Recovery and Resilience Plan. Ireland will devote 42% of its total allocation to ensuring the green transition and 32% to supporting the digital transition. The plan still needs to be formally adopted by the Council... Read more

Italy : Growth forecasts by the Bank of Italy
On 16 July, the Bank of Italy revised its growth forecasts for 2021 upwards to 5.1%, thanks to a significant acceleration from the third quarter onwards, despite the uncertainties surrounding the evolution of the pandemic... Read more
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Poland : The Constitutional Court rejects the primacy of European law
The Polish Constitutional Court ruled on 14 July that the EU Court of Justice had exceeded its powers by ordering the suspension of the Polish Supreme Court's disciplinary chamber in 2020, and ruled that EU law in this case does not take precedence over Polish law. The European Commission said it was "concerned" about the decision. It recalled that EU law takes precedence over national law and that "all decisions of the Court of Justice of the European Union, including interim orders, are binding on all national authorities and courts of the Member States"... Read more
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Czech Republic : Approval of the Recovery and Resilience Plan
On 19 July, the Commission approved the Czech Republic's €7 billion EU-funded Recovery and Resilience Plan. It devotes 42% of its budget to the climate and 22% to the digital transition. It still is subject to adoption by the Council... Read more

Bosnia-Herzgovina : Stabilisation and Association Council with the Union
The 4th EU-Bosnia and Herzegovina Stabilisation and Association Council was held on 13 July to discuss the pre-accession process with the political and economic criteria, the acquis and pre-accession assistance. The Council also discussed the situation in the Western Balkans... Read more

Ukraine : Partnership regarding raw materials
On 13 July, the EU and Ukraine launched a strategic partnership on raw materials, with the aim of achieving closer integration of raw material and battery value chains. The partnership aims to diversify, strengthen and secure both sides' supply of raw materials, which are essential for the dual green and digital transitions, and to develop industrial resilience... Read more

Studies/Reports : Report on cross-border regions
In a report published on 14 July, the Commission proposes to extend the "b-solutions" initiative, which helps border regions tackle very concrete obstacles and support the production and analysis of cross-border data. It encourages the development of cross-border public services and recommends more support for EURES cross-border partnerships or raising awareness of the European Qualifications Framework to increase labour mobility. It calls for greater regional cooperation in the development of national climate transition strategies... Read more

Culture : Winners of the Cannes Film Festival
The film "Titane", by French director Julie Ducournau, was awarded the Palme d'Or at the 74th Cannes Film Festival. The jury, chaired by director Spike Lee, also awarded the Grand Prize to Iranian director Ashgar Fahradi's "A Hero" and Finnish director Juho Kuosmanen's "Compartment 6". Frenchman Leos Carax won the director's prize for "Annette". The Norwegian Renate Reinsve and American Caleb Landry Jones won the male and female acting awards... Read more
Europa Cantat Festival
The Europa Cantat International Music Festival is taking place in Ljubljana until 25 July. Singers, composers, conductors, instrumentalists and choirs from all over the world, both professional and amateur, are taking part in over 100 events.. Read more
Beaune Festival
The 39th Beaune International Baroque and Romantic Opera Festival is running until 31 July in the town's Hospices and the Notre-Dame Basilica. Handel's triumph of Time and Disillusionment will close the festival... Read more
Wibracje 4.0 Festiwal
From 21 to 25 July, the Wibracje (Vibrations) festival in eastern Poland offers music, readings, workshops and meditations on the theme of ecology and spirituality... Read more
Eurockéennes in Belfort
The Eurockéennes festival in Belfort takes place from July 20th to 24th in "second home" mode. Five afternoons and evenings are programmed for a reduced audience of 1000 people... Read more
Women and Sculpture in Milan
Until 5 September, the Palazzo Reale in Milan is hosting the exhibition "Sculpted", organised by the Association of Women Photographers. Through the eyes of 35 women, the exhibition aims to contribute actively to the creation of an open and critical vision of the figure of the woman in the collective imagination and to stimulate reflection on the weak presence of women in sculpture... Read more
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Vivian Suter in Madrid
Until May 2, 2022, the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid is celebrating nature in painting with an exhibition dedicated to Vivian Suter. The exhibition brings together almost 500 of the artist's paintings, most of which were painted in the Guatemalan jungle, where the environment and nature play a fundamental role... Read more
Photography from the 1920s and 1930s in Frankfurt
The Städel Museum in Frankfurt is honouring the photography of the 1920s and 1930s and its influence on the art world in an exhibition that runs until 24 October. Various themes are discussed, such as the use of photography in science and research or its use in advertising and propaganda... Read more

Napoleon's Bicentenary : Concert in Fontainbleau
As part of the American Schools Festival, which runs until 31 July, Gabriel Fauré's Second Sonata for Cello and Piano, dedicated in 1921 to the centenary of Napoleon's death, will be performed on 24 July, at 3 pm and 4.30 pm in the English garden of the Château de Fontainebleau... Read more
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Napoleonica, the Fondation Napoléon's channel, regularly posts explanatory videos, interviews and conferences on the Napoleonic period. The Foundation looks back on the events that have marked history... Read more

20-21 July 2021


Informal Meeting of Environment Ministers

22 July 2021


Informal Meeting of Industry and Research Ministers

22 July 2021


Meeting of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank

22-23 July 2021


Informal Meeting of Ministers for European Affairs

26 July 2021


Meeting of Economy and Finance Ministers

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published on 11/10/2021
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published on 04/10/2021
The Letter n°949
The Aukus agreement, what repercussions for the European Union?
published on 27/09/2021
The Letter n°948
The Common Agricultural Policy 2023-2027: change and continuity
published on 20/09/2021
The Letter n°947
In support of European Apprenticeships
published on 13/09/2021
The Letter n°946
Who will succeed Angela Merkel? And with which coalition?
published on 06/09/2021
The Letter n°945
Covid-19 crisis and European mobility: What lessons? What future?
published on 19/07/2021
The Letter n°944
"Engaging in politics is a source of risk for the Commission. But it has become inevitable."
published on 12/07/2021
The Letter n°943
Fit for 55: towards the achievement of an ambitious European political compromise for climate
published on 05/07/2021
The Letter n°942
Participating in Sovereignty through the Law
published on 28/06/2021
The Letter n°941
From the Barcelona Process to the Mediterranean Programme, a fragile Partnership with the European Union
published on 21/06/2021
The Letter n°940
600th paper: Governance of the European Union: changing approaches without changing the treaties
published on 14/06/2021
The Letter n°939
The Franco-Italian relationship on the eve of the Quirinal Treaty: between asymmetry and proximit
published on 07/06/2021
The Letter n°938
Sanctions, a privileged instrument of European Foreign Policy
published on 31/05/2021
The Letter n°937
The European Central Bank's Strategic Monetary Policy Review: the key to a return to sustainable growth in Europe
published on 25/05/2021
The Letter n°936
Europe: good rules to recover growth
published on 17/05/2021
The Letter n°935
The Declaration of 9 May 1950
published on 10/05/2021
The Letter n°934
How to avoid the repetition of history: the case of North Korea
published on 03/05/2021
The Letter n°933
Germany turns the page post-Merkel
published on 26/04/2021
The Letter n°932
The Governance of the European Defence Fund
published on 19/04/2021
The Letter n°931
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on posted workers: the new posting framework
published on 12/04/2021
The Letter n°930
Protecting the checks and balances to save the rule of law
published on 06/04/2021
The Letter n°929
The Eastern Partnership, between resilience and interference
published on 29/03/2021
The Letter n°928
Reforming European Economic Policies
published on 22/03/2021
The Letter n°927
The Greens will do everything they can to make the Conference on the future of Europe a success!
published on 15/03/2021
The Letter n°926
Women's Europe
published on 08/03/2021
The Letter n°925
Public Development aid must refocus on agriculture and education in Africa
published on 01/03/2021
The Letter n°924
The Union's external borders: a European debate revisited
published on 22/02/2021
The Letter n°923
Europe-Africa Relations in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic
published on 15/02/2021
The Letter n°922
Brexit and the Irish Question
published on 08/02/2021
The Letter n°921
Europe as a power, European sovereignty, strategic autonomy: a debate that is moving towards an assertive Europe
published on 01/02/2021
The Letter n°920
"Europe is increasingly innovative"
published on 25/01/2021
The Letter n°919
European Trade Policy in the time of Covid-19: adaptation or change of paradigm?
published on 18/01/2021
The Letter n°918
The Biden Transition
published on 11/01/2021