The Letter n°946

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The Letter n°946
The Letter
Tuesday 7th September 2021
issue 946
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Who will succeed Angela Merkel? Germany in a state of uncertainty three weeks before the federal elections
Author : Corinne Deloy
Corinne Deloy
The German federal elections on 26 September will bring a new Chancellor to office, as Angela Merkel, Chancellor since 2005, is not standing for re-election. Beyond the person who will be chosen for this position, the question is to determine which government coalition can be negotiated and put in place. With three weeks to go before the election, several scenarios, with different political positions, and perhaps for the first time with three parties, are possible.
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Elections : Alar Karis elected President of the Republic of Estonia
The Estonian Parliament elected Alar Karis as President of the country on 31 August in the second round of voting by 72 out of 101 deputies. He will take office on 11 October and succeed Kersti Kaljulaid... Read more

Foundation : Who will be the next German chancellor and with which government coalition?
On 14 September, the Foundation is organising an online debate on the federal elections of 26 September in Germany. Frank Baasner, director of the Franco-German Institute in Ludwigsburg, Joachim Bitterlichn, former ambassador, and Hélène Kohl, journalist and correspondent in Berlin, will analyse the issues at stake in the elections and discuss the country's political future. The debate will be moderated by Pascale Joannin, Managing Director of the Foundation... Read more
European Recovery Plans: figures and priorities
In response to the economic and social consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, the European Union has set up a €672.5 billion recovery fund, known as the Recovery and Resilience Facility, for Member States in the form of grants and loans. 18 plans have been adopted so far and 10 countries have already received their pre-financing. The Foundation provides an interactive map of the plans country by country, showing amounts, timetables and priorities... Read more
Belarus: chronology of a revolution in progress
More than a year after the rigged presidential election of 9 August 2020, the Belarusian regime's crackdown on the opposition, civil society and independent media continues, despite European censure and sanctions. During the summer, the influx of migrants organised by the Belarusian authorities led Lithuania and Poland to declare a state of emergency at their borders, and the European Union to deploy reinforcements. To follow this crisis, the Foundation offers you a chronology of events and links to European responses and initiatives... Read more
The Schuman Report on Europe, State of the Union 2021
You have not yet had the opportunity to read the 2021 edition of the "Schuman Report on Europe, the State of the Union", a reference work published by Marie B? You can still do so. It is available in hard copy in bookshops and on our website, and in digital version in French and English. Order it here... Read more
The Permanent Atlas of the European Union is available
This autumn, a worthwhile read is the new edition of the 'Permanent Atlas of the European Union' published by Marie B. It 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
Map of Health Measures and Travel Conditions in Europe
The health pass in France, introduced on 9 August, was extended on 30 August to people and employees working in places where it is required. In Belgium, restrictions in bars and restaurants were lifted on 1 September in Flanders and Wallonia but maintained in Brussels. The health pass requirement was lifted in Denmark on 1 September, and all restrictions are to be lifted on 10 September. To follow developments in the situation and learn about the conditions of entry into the various EU Member States, the Foundation offers a complete map of the measures in place. An indispensable, regularly updated resource... Read more

Commission : Simpler energy labelling of lighting products
Since 1 September, a new version of energy labels for light bulbs and other lighting products has been in force in the EU. The energy efficiency classification of products has been simplified to take account of improved technology... Read more
Suggested fishing quotas in the Baltic
On 26 August the Commission presented its proposals for fishing opportunities in the Baltic Sea for 2022. It points out the poor ecological state and gives priority to the recovery of fish stocks such as cod and herring... Read more
Agreements on vaccines with AstraZeneca and Novavax
The Commission reached an agreement with AstraZeneca on 3 September on the delivery of 135 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine by the end of the year, and a further 65 million doses by March 2022. This agreement puts an end to the dispute between the EU and the laboratory that was being examined by the Belgian courts. On 4 August, the Commission signed an agreement with Novavax for the delivery of at least 100 million doses once the vaccine has been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA)... Read more
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Parliament : Conference on the future of Europe
Launched last spring, the Conference on the Future of Europe continues its work, with events online and across the EU and on its participatory platform available in all EU languages. Citizens can post their ideas, respond to those of others and see the programmes of all the events in which they can participate... Read more
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Council : Meeting of Economy and Finance Ministers
Economy and Finance Ministers took stock of the recovery plans on 6 September. They discussed the national plans of the Czech Republic and Ireland, which are expected to be formally approved by written procedure by 8 September... Read more
Informal Meeting of Defence Ministers
At an informal meeting in Slovenia on 2 September, the 27 Defence Ministers discussed the lessons to be learned from the situation in Afghanistan, the security and defence implications of the crisis and its operational implications. They also discussed the strengthening of resilience in the context of the preparation of the EU Strategic Compass... Read more
Meeting of Interior Ministers
Meeting on 31 August to discuss the situation in Afghanistan and its consequences, particularly in terms of migration, the interior ministers announced that the EU will help neighbouring countries to deal with the humanitarian crisis and refugees. They underlined their determination to avoid large-scale illegal migration and to prevent any terrorist risk after the Taliban takeover... Read more

Diplomacy : Meeting of Foreign Affairs Ministers
Meeting in Slovenia on 2 and 3 September, the 27 Foreign Ministers discussed the European response to events in Afghanistan. They stressed that relations with the Taliban will depend on their actions in the fight against terrorism, respect for human rights and humanitarian aid. The Ministers also discussed EU-China relations and stressed the need for a coordinated approach... Read more
World Conservation Congress
The World Conservation Congress, organised by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is being held in Marseille until 11 September with the aim of strengthening international action to protect biodiversity. At the opening of the congress, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that the share of French maritime space in the Mediterranean benefiting from "strong protection" will increase from 0.2% to 5% within 5 years... Read more
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Court of Justice : Cancellation of decisions regarding the application of the partnership with Armenia
On 2 September, the European Court of Justice overturned a Council decision on the application of the Partnership Agreement signed between the EU and Armenia in 2017. The Council had decided to apply separately the provisions of the agreement concerning matters relating to the Common Foreign and Security Policy. The Court found that these issues do not constitute an autonomous component of the agreement... Read more

European Agencies : New Commanding General of Eurocorps
Belgian Lieutenant-General Peter Devogelaere took command of Eurocorps on 1 September. He succeeds French General Laurent Kolodziej for a two-year term... Read more
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Austria : Meeting of Austrian and German Chancellors
German Chancellor Angela Merkel hosted her Austrian counterpart Sebastian Kurz on 31 August to discuss the situation in Afghanistan and its consequences for migration, the pandemic and the climate. They stressed the strength of the relationship between their two countries... Read more
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Bulgaria : Failure to form a government after the 11 July election
The Socialist Party (BSP), which came third in the 11 July parliamentary elections, announced on 2 September that it was unable to form a government. It had been mandated by President Rumen Radev after the failure of negotiations in early August, led by the strongest party, Such a People Exist (ITN), and then by the GERB party, which came second, to form a coalition. New elections, the third in 2021, may well be held in November. The first round of the presidential election would also be held on 14 November... Read more
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France : Agreement on the development of the future combat air system (FCAS)
The French, German and Spanish Defence Ministers signed an agreement on 30 August to finance studies for the flight demonstrator of the aircraft integrated into the Future Combat Air System (FCAS), to the tune of €3.6 billion, divided equally between the three countries. The first flight demonstrations are scheduled for 2027... Read more

Ireland : Visit by French President Emmanuel Macron
French President Emmanuel Macron visited Dublin on 26 August, where he met his Irish counterpart Michael D. Higgins and Prime Minister Michael Martin. Discussions focused on the European recovery plan, climate policy, the European digital agenda and corporate taxation... Read more
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The Netherlands : Franco-Dutch Meeting and Declaration
French President Emmanuel Macron hosted Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on 31 August. They discussed the situation in Afghanistan and its consequences for the European Union, the implementation of the recovery plan, climate policy and the defence of the rule of law. They adopted a joint declaration in which both countries commit themselves to strengthen their cooperation and to bring their views closer together on major European issues. A Memorandum of Understanding on bilateral cooperation in quantum technology was also signed... Read more
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Slovenia : Bled Strategic Forum
At the Bled Strategy Forum from 31 August to 2 September, hosted by Slovenia, which currently holds the Council Presidency, a number of EU leaders and commissioners discussed how the European Union can adapt to crises and changes in the international environment... Read more
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Moldova : New government
On 6 August the Moldvoan Parliament invested the new government that was formed after the elections on 11 July. Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita, member of the President Maia Sandu's party, Action and Solidarity, promotes a pro-European, anti-corruption position... Read more
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Joint Franco-Moldovan Declaration
On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Moldova's independence on 27 August, the French and Moldovan foreign ministers, Jean-Yves Le Drian and Nicu Popescu, reiterated in a joint declaration the close ties between the two countries and their wish to develop their economic relations. France reasserted its support to democracy in Moldova, to its European orientation and to its territorial integrity... Read more
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Council of Europe : Vaclav Havel Prize Finalists
The jury of the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize named the finalists for the 2021 edition on 31 August. They are Maria Kalesnikava, member of the Belarusian Opposition Coordination Council, the NGO Reporters Without Borders, and the Burundian human rights activist Germain Rukuki. The winner will be announced on 27 September... Read more

Eurostat : Rise in inflation in August
Annual inflation in the euro area rose to 3% in August from 2.2% in July, Eurostat reported on 31 August. The rise was largely due to energy prices, which increased by 15.4% on an annual basis, compared with 14.3% in July... Read more
Drop in unemployment in July
The unemployment rate fell in July to 6.9% in the EU and 7.6% in the euro area, according to figures published by Eurostat on 1 September. Youth unemployment stood at 16.2% in the EU and 16.5% in the euro area... Read more

Studies/Reports : Study of Agricultural and Climate Policy
In a study published on 28 July, the European Commission's Joint Research Centre assesses different scenarios for the implementation of the new Common Agricultural Policy and climate and biodiversity programmes. The study highlights the potential benefits of these policies but notes a risk of lower production as well as price and income instability.. Read more
Report on trade defence activities
In its report on anti-dumping, anti-subsidy and safeguard activities in 2020, published on 30 August, the Commission notes an increase in the number of investigations and trade defence measures in force. The vast majority of the measures taken concerned China... Read more

Culture : European Heritage Days
The European Heritage Days 2021 opened on 1 September. More than 70 000 events such as exhibitions, workshops, performances and guided tours are planned until mid-November in 50 countries across the continent... Read more
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Film Festival in Venice
The 78th Venice International Film Festival is being held until 11 September. 21 films are competing and the jury is chaired by Korean director Bong Joon-ho... Read more
Reopening of the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin
The Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin's museum of modern art, reopened its doors on 22 August after six years of renovation. On this occasion, the exhibition "The Art of Society" will show more than 250 works by German artists such as Otto Dix, Hannah Höch and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, created between 1900 and 1945, until 2 July 2023. There is also an exhibition dedicated to the sculptor Alexander Calder until 13 February 2022... Read more
Wilhelm Sasnal at the Jewish Museum in Warsaw
The Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw is showing paintings by Wilhelm Sasnal, one of the leading contemporary Polish artists, until 10 January 2022. Through landscapes, the painter evokes the memory of the Shoah... Read more
Jack B Yeats Exhibition in Dublin
Until 6 February 2022, the National Gallery of Ireland is presenting an exhibition dedicated to Jack B Yeats to mark the 150th anniversary of the Irish painter's birth. The exhibition features 40 years of oil paintings... Read more
Apertura in Madrid
From 9 to 12 September, the Madrid Association of Art Galleries is organising Apertura, a programme of exhibitions, visits and meetings with artists throughout the city... Read more
Georgia O'Keeffe Exhibition at the Pompidou Centre
From 8 September to 6 December, the Centre Pompidou in Paris will be presenting its first retrospective devoted to Georgia O'Keefe. More than 100 paintings, drawings and photos follow the work and life of this major figure of 20th century American art... Read more

Napoleon's Bicentenary : Napoleon in Versailles
On 11 and 12 September, the Château de Versailles is organising a re-enactment of the great regiments of the Napoleonic army in the gardens of the Grand Trianon. More than 400 people in historical costumes, 60 horses, the Garde Républicaine in equestrian show formation and in musical battery are on the programme, as well as animations for the public... Read more

6 September 2021


Meeting of Economy and Finance Ministers

6-7 September 2021


Informal Meeting of Agriculture Ministers

9 September 2021


Meeting of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank

10 September 2021


Eurogroup Meeting

10-11 September 2021


Informal Meeting of Economy and Finance Ministers

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