The Letter n°949

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The Letter n°949
The Letter
Tuesday 28th September 2021
issue 949
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The Aukus agreement, what repercussions for the European Union?
Author : Elie Perot
Elie Perot
Beyond the future supply of submarines, the strategic initiative launched by the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom in the Indo-Pacific region remains unclear. The crisis over the breach of a contract with France raises the question of European solidarity, a strategic asset that Member States should prioritise in the future.
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Front page! : Bad News from Germany
The German federal elections confirm the decline of the two major traditional parties. The long and probably laborious negotiations that are about to begin will lead the country and Europe into a period of uncertainty and perhaps immobility, writes Jean-Dominique Giuliani. The penultimate editorial is also worth reading or re-reading... Read more
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Elections : The SPD takes the lead in the German elections, but the next coalition might prove difficult to form
The Social Democratic Party (SPD) came out ahead in the German elections on 26 September, with 25.7% of the vote and 206 seats in the Bundestag. It took a narrow lead over the Christian Democratic Union (CDU-CSU) which won 24.1% of the vote and 196 seats. The leaders of both parties, SPD Olaf Scholz and CDU Armin Laschet, claim to be able to lead the negotiations to form the next government coalition. The Greens, with 14.8% of the vote and 118 seats, and the Liberal Democratic Party (FDP), which obtained 11.5% of the vote and 92 seats, seem to be needed to form a government coalition... Read more

Foundation : Special page - German Federal Elections 2021
On 26 September, Germans voted to elect their deputies 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 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.? It is still possible. It is available in hard copy in bookshops and on our website, as well as in digital form... Read more
The Permanent Atlas of the European Union is available
This autumn, the new edition of the 'Permanent Atlas of the European Union' published by Marie B. is a worthwhile read. 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 hard copy in bookshops and on our website, and in digital format... Read more
Map of Health Measures and Travel Conditions in Europe
From 1 October, in Portugal, bars and discotheques will reopen with a health certificate requirement, while hotels will no longer require a health certificate and masks will only be required in busy enclosed areas. In Belgium, from 1 October, masks will no longer be required in shops and schools in Flanders, but they will remain mandatory in Wallonia and Brussels. In France, from 4 October, masks will no longer be compulsory in schools in the regions least affected by the virus. To follow the evolution of the situation and to know the conditions of entry in the different Member States of the Union, the Foundation proposes a complete map of the measures in place. An indispensable, regularly updated resource... Read more
Belarus: chronology of a revolution in progress
Belarusian democratic opposition delegations from 27 countries met in Vilnius on 24 September to discuss international coordination against the regime of Alexander Lukashenko. On 27 September, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe awarded the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize to imprisoned opposition leader Maria Kalesnikova. To follow the crisis triggered by the rigged presidential election of August 2020, the Foundation provides a chronology of events and links to European responses and initiatives... Read more

Commission : Proposal for a universal charger for electronic equipment
On 23 September, the Commission proposed a revision of the Radio Equipment Directive to make the USB Type-C port more widespread and to introduce a universal charger, particularly for mobile phones. It also proposes to separate the sale of chargers from the sale of devices in order to combat electronic waste... Read more
Proposal to revise insurance rules
In order to encourage long-term investment in economic recovery by insurance companies, the Commission proposed on 22 September a revision of EU rules (Solvency II). It aims to protect consumers against future crises by limiting the consequences of short-term market fluctuations... Read more
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Results of the SURE programme
In a report published on 22 September, the Commission estimates that the SURE instrument, set up in spring 2020 with a budget of €100 billion, has helped to mitigate the socio-economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2020, unemployment was avoided for 1.5 million people. Around 2.5 million businesses have benefited from this support, as well as around 31 million people, or more than a quarter of the total number of people in employment in the 19 beneficiary Member States... Read more
Proposed new tariff scheme for imports from low-income countries
On 23 September the Commission proposed a new scheme of generalised tariff preferences on imports from low-income countries. The aim is to support poverty eradication by better integrating environmental considerations and broadening the number of beneficiaries of these tariff preferences... Read more
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Contract for the suppy of treatment against Covid-19
On 22 September, the Commission signed a contract with the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly for the supply of a treatment against Covid-19. The treatment, which consists of monoclonal antibodies, is used to treat patients with the coronavirus. 18 Member States have signed the agreement to purchase up to 220,000 doses of the treatment, which are subject to ongoing evaluation by the European Medicines Agency... Read more
Poland referred to the Court of Justice
On 23 September, the Commission referred Poland to the European Court of Justice over its violation of EU law guaranteeing the independence of the national telecoms regulator, UKE. The Commission considers that by prematurely terminating the mandate of the head of UKE, the Polish government has undermined the independence of UKE... Read more

Parliament : Second edition of the citizens' panel
The second citizens' panel organised in the framework of the Conference on the Future of Europe was held in Strasbourg from 24 to 26 September. The participants, selected to represent the whole population of the Union, discussed European democracy and values, the rule of law and security. Two further panels will take place from 1 to 3 October and from 15 to 17 October. Their recommendations will be debated by the Parliament in December. All Europeans can contribute to the debates on the conference platform... Read more
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Council : Meeting of European Affairs Ministers
EU Affairs Ministers stressed on 21 September the need to put the Northern Ireland Protocol into practice while safeguarding the terms of the agreement signed between the EU and the UK. They also called for the acceleration of vaccination against COVID-19 in the Member States. The Slovenian Presidency of the Council presented its programme, which is based on the Union's resilience and autonomy... Read more
Informal Meeting of Consumer Protection Ministers
Meeting on 23-24 September in Slovenia, the ministers responsible for consumer protection discussed future measures to be taken in the digital economy, particularly with regard to the safety of products purchased online and credit. They also discussed tourism and the need, demonstrated by the pandemic, to reform the Package Travel Directive... Read more
Informal meeting of Transport and Energy Ministers
On 22 and 23 September, the Transport and Energy Ministers met informally to discuss decarbonisation objectives. Among other things, they discussed the establishment of a comprehensive public network of recharging and supply infrastructure for alternative fuels. They agreed that the transition to e-mobility should be considered in a cross-sectoral approach, have sufficient geographical coverage, and be financed by public and private funds to ensure the continued competitiveness of the European transport sector and industry... Read more

Diplomacy : Cooperation with the USA for vaccinations in low-income countries
The European Union and the United States announced on 22 September the launch of a coordinated programme to improve vaccination rates in low-income countries. The programme includes sharing vaccine doses and coordinating logistics to ensure global supply. The Europeans and Americans also want to coordinate their investments to build local vaccine manufacturing capacity in Africa... Read more
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The Union's line of action in Afghanistan
In conclusions adopted on 21 September, the Council underlined the Union's commitment to peace and stability in Afghanistan and to supporting the Afghan people. It stresses that the operational commitment of the Union and the Member States will be calibrated to the policies and actions of the Taliban, in particular with regard to women's rights... Read more
Condemnation of Russia's malicious cyber activities
High Representative Josep Borrell described recent malicious cyber activities against Member States, attributed to Russia, as unacceptable on 24 September. He stressed that these attacks threaten the integrity of democratic systems in the EU... Read more
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New Commander for the operation IRINI
On 23 September, the Council appointed Admiral Stefano Turchetto as commander of Operation IRINI, aimed at enforcing the UN arms embargo on Libya. He will take up his duties on 1 October... Read more

Court of Justice : Diesel: Advocate General finds Volkswagen in breach of EU law
The Advocate General of the European Court of Justice ruled on 23 September that the software used by Volkswagen to limit the reduction of nitrogen oxide emissions from its diesel vehicles had the effect of distorting the results of emission tests. It concludes that the installation of such software is contrary to EU law. His conclusions are not binding for the Court, which will deliver its judgment later... Read more

Court of Auditors : Report on the fight to counter corruption in Ukraine
On 23 September, the European Court of Auditors published a report on the evaluation of European aid policies in the fight against corruption in Ukraine. It considers the results to be insufficient despite several EU initiatives and recommends the introduction of new measures, including reform of the justice system and the alignment of Ukrainian legislation with EU competition policy standards... Read more
Recommendations to facilitate sustainable investments
The Court of Auditors believes that the EU needs to do more to redirect public and private funding towards sustainable investments. In a report published on 20 September, it makes a number of recommendations to the Commission to achieve this goal, such as pricing greenhouse gas emissions more closely in line with their environmental cost... Read more

ECB : Conclusions of the first climate resistance test
At the end of its first climate stress test exercise, the results of which were published on 22 September, the European Central Bank stressed the economic consequences of the lack of mobilisation of governments and companies in favour of the ecological transition. It estimates that inaction on this issue could lead to a 10% drop in the Union's GDP by 2100... Read more
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Germany : Elections in Berlin and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
The Social Democratic Party (SPD) came first in the Berlin regional elections on 26 September with 21.4% of the vote, ahead of the Greens (18.9%) and the Christian Democratic Union (18.1%). The SPD list leader Franziska Giffey is expected to become the first female mayor of Berlin. The SPD also won the regional election in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, with 39.6% of the vote, and its head of list Manuela Schwesig is expected to be reappointed as Minister-President of the Land... Read more
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Spain : Declaration in support of the fair sharing of migration responsibilities
In a joint declaration published on 25 September, Spain, Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Malta call for a European migration policy based on a fair distribution of responsibilities between Member States, in particular with a "predictable and compulsory" relocation mechanism. They stress that effective and fair migration and asylum management must take into account the experience of countries "whose external border is most exposed"... Read more
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France : Telephone call between Macron and Biden
On 22 September, French President Emmanuel Macron spoke with his US counterpart Joe Biden about the 15 September announcement of a strategic partnership between the US and Australia at the expense of an existing partnership between France and Australia. The two Presidents pledged to restore trust between their two countries with the opening of in-depth consultations in the near future. They will meet at the end of October in Europe. The United States also pledged to support France's military effort in the Sahel and declared itself in favour of a European defence system complementary to NATO. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian met his US counterpart, Anthony Blinken, in New York on 23 September, and said that a way out of the crisis between the two countries would take time and would require action... Read more
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Albania : New Government
The Albanian government resulting from the 25 April elections took office on 18 September, the day after its investiture by the Parliament. Headed by the socialist Edi Rama, Prime Minister since 2013, the government includes 12 women out of 16 ministers... Read more
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Iceland : Victory for the outgoing coalition
The Independence Movement (Conservative) came first in the 25 September parliamentary elections, with 24.4% of the vote and 16 of the 63 seats in parliament. It leads the Progressive Party (17.3% and 13 seats). The Green and Left Movement of the outgoing Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir came third with 12.6% and 8 seats. The 3 parties, which formed the outgoing government coalition, retain a majority of seats. 30 members of parliament, or 47.6%, are women. This is the highest proportion of women MPs in Europe... Read more
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ECHR : Condemnation of Russia for the assassination of Aleksandr Litvinenko
The European Court of Human Rights ruled on 21 September that Russia was responsible for the murder of former Russian spy Aleksandr Litvinenko in the UK in 2006. The Court ordered Russia to pay €100,000 to Litvinenko's widow for non-pecuniary damage... Read more

UN : General Assembly
At a high-level discussion on energy on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on 24 September called for international cooperation to achieve an inclusive and sustainable energy transition in the next ten years. At the UN meetings between international leaders, discussions focused on the pandemic, access to vaccines, climate and multilateralism... Read more
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OECD : Business and Finance Outlook
On 24 September, the OECD published a new report in which it takes stock of artificial intelligence (AI) in finance. The report notes the rise of AI and highlights the benefits of such technology (easier transactions, greater financial integration) but also the risks it poses to personal data security... Read more

Eurobarometer : The Europeans support science and technology
According to a Eurobarometer survey published on 23 September, Europeans show a strong interest in science and technology. 54% of EU citizens want to learn more about these subjects. Nine out of 10 believe that science and technology can improve our way of life, especially in the areas of solar energy (92%), vaccines and the fight against infectious diseases (86%), and artificial intelligence (61%)... Read more

Culture : European Heritage Prize Winners 2021
The European Heritage Awards, which aim to support best practice in heritage conservation, were presented on 23 September. The wooden church in the village of Ursi, Romania, was particularly distinguished, receiving a grand prize from the jury and being voted Europe's favourite heritage project by the public... Read more
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The Morozov Collection in Paris
Until 22 February 2022 and for the first time ever outside of Russia, the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris is exhibiting the collection of the brothers Mikhail and Ivan Morozov. It features 200 works by the greatest modern artists, including Matisse, Cézanne, Bonnard, Picasso, Gauguin, Van Gogh, Degas, Monet, Renoir, and Vroubel, Malevitch, Répine, Larionov and Serov... Read more
Herta Müller in Baden
Until 12 December, the Langmatt Museum in Baden is presenting around 140 collages by the Romanian-born German writer Herta Müller for the first time in Switzerland. Through the words she cuts out and glues together to create poems, the Nobel Prize winner for literature describes how decades of State surveillance and domination affect people's behaviour... Read more
Toyen, the dreaming rebel
Until 13 February 2022, the Kunsthalle Hamburg is exhibiting the paintings of Toyen, whose real name is Marie Cerminova, an artist of the Czech avant-garde of the 1920s. This project is being run in collaboration with the National Gallery in Prague and the Museum of Modern Art in Paris... Read more
Humanity in pictures in Dublin
Until 5 December, the National Gallery of Ireland is celebrating humanity through "Picturing People", an exhibition of photographs by over 70 Irish and international photographers including Lee Miller, Elliott Erwitt, Inge Morath and Dorothea Lange... Read more
Archaeological Treasures of Romania in Madrid
From 1 October to 27 February 2022, the Archaeological Museum of Madrid presents "Archaeological Treasures of Romania. Between Dacian and Roman roots". The exhibition, which brings together more than 800 objects, is part of the celebrations for the 140th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Spain and Romania... Read more
Ukrainian Art in Krakow
Until 16 January 2022, the International Cultural Centre in Krakow is presenting an exhibition that traces the history of Ukrainian art from the Baroque period to Ruthenian folk and contemporary art, exploring the Slavic myths and legends that Poland and Ukraine have in common... Read more

Napoleon's Bicentenary : From Bonaparte to Napoleon
The Musée des Avelines is organising a retrospective of the Emperor's presence in Saint-Cloud, where he was appointed lieutenant by Louis XVI in 1785, until 23 December. The exhibition retraces, through some sixty works and historical documents, the key moments of his life in this place... Read more
The Bonapartes and Antiquity, an imperial language
The National Museum of the House of Bonaparte in Ajaccio is presenting the exhibition "The Bonapartes and Antiquity, an imperial language" until 9 January 2022. Based on the collection of the Municipal Library of Ajaccio, created by Cardinal Fesch and Lucien Bonaparte, the exhibition highlights the symbolic, cultural and political issues behind the Bonapartes' permanent reference to Antiquity... Read more
The Conquest of the World as seen by Napoleon: the Battles
Until 31 December, the Equinoxe media library in Châteauroux is offering its visitors the chance to immerse themselves in Napoleon's military campaigns in Italy, Egypt and Eastern Europe, in an exhibition entitled "The conquest of the world as seen by Napoleon: the Battles"... Read more

27-30 September


Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

28-29 September 2021


Competitiveness Council

4 October 2021


Eurogroup Meeting

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année 2021
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The Letter n°954
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The Letter n°953
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published on 25/10/2021
The Letter n°952
The Union's Space Policy: an underestimated success
published on 18/10/2021
The Letter n°951
EU-Ukraine Summit - a time of change
published on 11/10/2021
The Letter n°950
Can the new "European Pact on Immigration and Asylum" respond to future migration challenges?
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