The Letter n°947

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The Letter n°947
The Letter
Tuesday 14th September 2021
issue 947
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In support of European Apprenticeships, "the only thing that counts is the trainees' interest"
Author : Jean Arthuis
Jean Arthuis
The Erasmus+ exchange programme, soon to celebrate its 35th anniversary, is a success story for higher education. The "Erasmus generations" still include few apprentices. It is now necessary to remove the various obstacles that prevent many young people from benefiting from a European experience.
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Front page! : Will Europe succeed in its revolution?
Europe has been up to the challenge of the crisis, and effective in vaccination and economic response. It has also begun to develop strategic thinking. To face the great changes of our time, it must assume and develop its power, and to do so, it must abandon many of its dogmas, writes Jean-Dominique Giuliani... 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 concerning the federal elections of 26 September in Germany. Frank Baasner, director of the Franco-German Institute in Ludwigsburg, Joachim Bitterlich, 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
States General on apprentice mobility
The Euro App Mobility association is organising the States General of Apprentice Mobility on 16 and 17 September at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers in Paris. The Foundation, a partner of the event, will host a round table on the international opening of training organisations, and its President Jean-Dominique Giuliani will be one of the speakers at the opening session... Read more
Special page - German federal elections 2021
On 26 September, Germans will vote to elect their MPs and indirectly choose who will succeed Angela Merkel after 16 years in the Chancellery. To understand what is at stake in these decisive elections for Germany and the European Union, you can find in this dossier the Foundation's publications and the debates we are organising around this election, as well as our interventions in the media and resources on the programmes of the parties in the running... 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 paper form in bookshops and on our website, and in digital form. You can order it here... Read more
The Permanent Atlas of the European Union is available
This autumn, a new edition of the 'Permanent Atlas of the European Union' published by Marie B. is well worth reading. 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 French in bookshops and on our website, as well as in digital form... Read more
Belarus: chronology of a revolution in progress
The European Union has described as unfounded the conviction on 6 September of opposition politician Maria Kalesnikova and lawyer Maxim Znak for plotting against the state. It continues to call for the release of political prisoners, an end to the repression and the opening of a political dialogue. In Berlin, the Belarusian journalist Kseniya Halubovich received the Franco-German Journalism Prize in the multimedia category on 9 September for her series of reports "Belarus: Chronicle of a Revolution" broadcast on Arte. To follow the crisis triggered by the rigged presidential election of August 2020, the Foundation offers you a chronology of events and links to European responses and initiatives... Read more
Map of Health Measures and Travel Conditions in Europe
From 13 September, unvaccinated employees in Greece in the public and private sectors must undergo one antigen test per week, and employees in contact with the public must undergo two tests per week. Denmark lifted the requirement to wear a mask and present a health pass in certain places on 10 September. In Spain, the alert level was lowered to "medium" after having been "high" for more than two months. In Belgium, the Brussels region will impose the health pass in bars and restaurants from 1 October. To follow the development of the situation and to understand the conditions of entry in the different EU Member States, the Foundation offers you a complete map of the measures in place. An indispensable, regularly updated resource... 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. 20 plans have been adopted so far and 12 countries have already received the planned pre-financing, including Cyprus on 9 September and Latvia on 10 September. The Foundation provides an interactive map of the plans country by country, to see the amounts, timetables and priorities... Read more

Commission : Commission work and results
On 10 September, to coincide with Ursula von der Leyen's State of the Union address in Strasbourg on 15 September, the Commission published a review of its activities since 2020. The main achievements include the implementation of the NextGenerationEU recovery plan, the Green Pact for Europe and several international agreements... Read more
Emission of green bonds for recovery
On 7 September, the Commission adopted the regulatory framework that will allow it to issue €250 billion of green bonds to finance Member States' recovery plans under the NextGenerationEU plan. The money raised will be used for energy efficiency, sustainable transport and clean energy projects... Read more
New export control rules
New EU export control rules came into force on 9 September. They strengthen controls on trade in dual-use goods, i.e. civilian goods and technologies that can be used for military or security purposes, in particular in the field of cyber surveillance... Read more
Rule of Law: request for financial penalties against Poland
On 7 September, the Commission asked the Court of Justice to impose financial penalties on Poland, in the form of a daily penalty payment, so as to ensure the government's compliance with an interim order issued by the Court concerning the disciplinary regime and immunity of Polish judges. The order, which was delivered on 14 July, requested in particular the suspension of certain competences of the disciplinary chamber of the Supreme Court. The Commission sent a letter of formal notice to Poland for its failure to comply with a Court ruling of 15 July. The Court had ruled that the disciplinary system for Polish judges and the role of the disciplinary chamber in that system undermined the independence of the judiciary... Read more
Decision on State aid to Alitalia
The Commission decided on 10 September that public aid of €900 million paid by the Italian State to the airline Alitalia in 2017 was contrary to European competition law. However, it considered that the new company ITA, which plans to take over some of Alitalia's activities, is not assimilated to Alitalia because of an economic discontinuity and is therefore not obliged to reimburse the Italian State... Read more
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Parliament : Survey on citizens and recovery plans
According to a Eurobarometer survey published by the Parliament on 10 September, 60% of Europeans believe that the NextGenerationEU recovery plan will help their country overcome the pandemic crisis. 81% believe that EU funds should not be given to countries that do not respect the rule of law. 43% rank the fight against climate change as the top political priority for the EU... Read more
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Council : Informal meeting of Economy and Finance Ministers
The Ministers of Economy and Finance met on 10-11 September in Slovenia. They discussed the implementation of the recovery plans and the adherence to the international corporate taxation project within the framework of the OECD... Read more
Eurogroup Meeting
Eurozone Finance Ministers, meeting on 10 September, discussed the economic impact of the pandemic in their countries. They focused on the medium-term implications and the political action needed to avoid divergence within the euro area... Read more
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Informal Meeting of Agriculture Ministers
The Ministers of Agriculture met on 6 and 7 September to discuss the necessary complementarity of rural and urban areas. They discussed the role of the CAP in the development of rural areas... Read more

Diplomacy : Extension of sanctions linked to violations of Ukraine's integrity
On 10 September, the Council decided to extend the sanctions in place since 2014 against those responsible for undermining the integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine by six months. The travel restrictions and asset freezes will therefore continue to apply until 15 March 2022... Read more

Court of Justice : Decision on the protection of PDO Champagne
On 9 September, the Court of Justice ruled that the definition of a protected designation of origin (PDO) is not limited to similar products or services, in particular where another product or service establishes a direct link in the mind of a consumer with the protected product. The Court was seized by the Spanish judiciary in relation to an action brought by Champagne producers against the use of the name Champanillo in Spain... Read more

ECB : Reduction in the pace of asset repurchases
The ECB decided on 9 September, at the end of its Governing Council, to reduce the pace of its asset purchases under the emergency securities purchase programme (PEPP) designed to support the economy during the pandemic. It justifies this decision on the basis of overall financing conditions and a favourable inflation outlook... Read more
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Germany : Weimar Triangle Meeting
The German, French and Polish foreign ministers, Heiko Maas, Jean-Yves le Drian and Zbigniew Rau, met on 10 September to mark the 30th anniversary of the Weimar Triangle, a cooperation forum between the three countries. They discussed issues such as the situation in Afghanistan and Belarus. In particular, they denounced the instrumentalisation of migration by the Belarusian regime... Read more
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SPD and CDU candidates visit Paris
In the run-up to the German elections on 26 September, the two main candidates for the Chancellery were hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron. On 6 September, the SPD candidate Olaf Scholz discussed the issue of European sovereignty. On 8 September, the CDU-CSU candidate Armin Laschet stressed the importance of Europe in the fight against terrorism... Read more

Croatia : Memorandum of Understanding on the production of euro coins by Croatia
On 10 September, the Commission and the Member States of the euro area signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Croatia on the preparations for the actual minting of euro coins in view of Croatia's adoption of the European currency on 1 January 2023... Read more

Greece : New order of six Rafale fighter planes
Greek Prime Minister Kyriákos Mitsotákis announced on 11 September his intention to order six Rafale fighter aircraft. After an initial order of 18 aircraft in January for a total of €2.5 billion, the purchase of 6 additional new aircraft brings the number of French fighter jets acquired by Greece to 24. This order marks the Greek government's desire to strengthen the resources of its air force in the face of tensions with Turkey... Read more
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Romania : Resignation of six ministers
Six members of the Romanian government belonging to the centre-right USR-Plus coalition resigned on 6 September after Prime Minister Florin Cîțu (PNL, centre-right) decided to dismiss Justice Minister Stelian Ion (USR-Plus), who was opposed to an investment programme designed to help local authorities finance infrastructure projects. The USR-Plus pointed to the lack of clear criteria for the distribution of funds and control mechanisms... Read more
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Norway : General Election Results
The Norwegian Labour Party, led by Jonas Gahr Stoere, came out ahead in the general elections on 13 September with 26.4% of the vote and 48 seats according to provisional results. It leads over the Conservative Party of outgoing Prime Minister Erna Solberg, which won 20.5% of the vote and 36 seats... Read more
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Vatican : The Pope in Hungary and Slovakia
Pope Francis is travelling to Hungary and Slovakia until 15 September for the closing Mass of the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress in Budapest. During his meeting with Prime Minister Viktor Orban on 12 September, he stressed the importance of openness to others and the fight against anti-Semitism... Read more

Council of Europe : Report on Detention Conditions in Sweden
In a report published on 9 September, the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) calls on the Swedish authorities to improve the conditions of detention of remand prisoners. Under the European Convention on Human Rights, third-country nationals must be held in specially designed centres... Read more

IMF : Report on the Austrian Economy
On 9 September, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) unveiled its report on Austria's economic health for the year 2020. It sees Austria as a robust economy despite a 6.3% drop in GDP in 2020 due to the pandemic and a recovery that will not return to pre-Covid-19 levels. The IMF welcomes the measures taken to combat the pandemic and global warming and makes recommendations, including the accentuation of the green transition... Read more

Studies/Reports : The Union's Strategic Foresight Report
The Commission published its annual strategic foresight report on 8 September. It identifies four major global trends that are affecting its capacity and freedom of action: climate change and other environmental challenges, digital hyperconnectivity and technological change, pressures on democracy and values, and changes in world order and demography. It recommends ten areas for action... Read more
Report on cocaine smuggling in Europe
In a report published on 7 September, Europol notes that the epicentre of the cocaine market from South America has shifted from the Iberian Peninsula to the ports of Rotterdam, Antwerp and Hamburg. Europol notes that seizures were made in Belgium and Germany in 2020, indicating that the cocaine market in Europe is increasingly competitive and spread across the European space... Read more
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Culture : 78th Mostra winner
French director Audrey Diwan was awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival on 11 September for her film The Event. The Silver Lion-Grand Jury Prize went to The Hand of God by Italian director Paolo Sorrentino, and the Silver Lion-Best Director Award went to New Zealand's Jane Campion for The Dog's Share. The Best Actress prize went to Spain's Penélope Cruz for her role in Pedro Almodovar's Madres Paralelas, and the Best Actor prize to Filipino John Arcilla for his role in Erik Matti's On the Job: The Missing 8... Read more
Paul Klee and human beings
Until 22 May 2022 the Paul Klee Centre in Bern is hosting a new exhibition entitled "Paul Klee. Human beings among themselves". The paintings, watercolours and drawings on display reflect the sociological and political dimensions of his work... Read more
Magritte Retrospective in Madrid
Until 30 January 2022, the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid is presenting "The Magritte Machine", a retrospective of the Belgian painter's work with over 90 paintings on themes such as the profile, the window and mechanisms. A selection of photographs and amateur films made by the painter are also presented... Read more
Botticelli, artist and designer
Until 24 January 2022, the Jacquemart-André Museum in Paris is exhibiting some forty works by Sandro Botticelli, seeking to explore his role as creator, entrepreneur and trainer, and his influence on Florentine artists of the Quattrocento... Read more
Vermeer and Dutch painting in Dresden
The National Collection Museum in Dresden is celebrating the painter Johannes Vermeer and the golden age of Dutch painting in an exhibition that will run until 2 January 2022. The exhibition includes the newly restored "Girl with an Open Window"... Read more
Discovery of space in Warsaw
From 15 September to 30 November, the exhibition "Discovering the Cosmos" at the Nowa Praga Museum in Warsaw features real spacecraft components, astronaut equipment and other historical items provided by the US agency NASA, a first in Poland... Read more
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Clifden Arts Festival
The Clifden Community Arts Festival, Ireland's oldest community arts festival, is taking place from 15-23 September in Connemara. It brings together writers, poets, musicians and all kinds of performing artists to give concerts and public readings... Read more
Arc de Triomphe all wrapped up
From 18 September to 3 October, the youthful dream of the Bulgarian artist Christo (who died in May 2020) and his wife Jeanne-Claude will be taking shape posthumously. In Paris, the 50-metre-high Arc de Triomphe is being completely transformed into a gigantic gift package, held together by 3,000 metres of red rope... Read more

Napoleon's Bicentenary : A palace for the Emperor. Napoleon 1st in Fontainebleau
Until 3 January 2022, the Château de Fontainebleau is presenting "A Palace for the Emperor, Napoleon I at Fontainebleau", an exhibition exploring the imprint left by the Emperor in this palace of the kings of France... Read more
Napoleon's lost palaces
The Mobilier National is showing the exhibition "Palais disparus de Napoléon" at the Galerie des Gobelins, in Paris, until 16 January 2022. Through the reunion of numerous pieces of furniture and decorative elements from the Tuileries, Saint-Cloud and Meudon palaces, the exhibition resurrects the lost palaces and highlights the inventiveness of the creators of the first 19th century... Read more
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13-16 September 2021


Plenary Session of the European Parliament

15 September 2021


Speech on the State of the Union

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Russia, Ukraine and international law
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