The Letter n°950

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The Letter n°950
The Letter
Tuesday 5th October 2021
issue 950
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Can the new European Pact on Immigration and Asylum respond to future migration challenges?
Author : Catherine Wihtol de Wenden
Catherine Wihtol de Wenden
Presented a year ago by the Commission, the European Pact on Immigration and Asylum is unlikely to be adopted as it stands due to deep divisions between Member States. Focusing more on asylum than on immigration, it does not seem to be, for the author, an effective tool in the face of future challenges.
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Foundation : Post-electorial negotiations: what are the issues at stake for Germany and Europe?
To analyse the challenges Germany faces in forming a new government after the 26 September elections, the Foundation is organising an online debate on 11 October with Frank Baasner, Joachim Bitterlich and Hélène Kohl hosted by Pascale Joannin... Read more
Economy and Security: bringing Europeans closer together?
On 7 October, the Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA) is organising a hybrid conference in Helsinki in partnership with the Foundation, in preparation for the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The President and the Director General of the Foundation, Jean-Dominique Giuliani and Pascale Joannin, will debate with Päivi Puonti and Niklas Helwig, researchers at FIIA, on the recovery in Europe and on defence and security policy. The debate will be broadcast on YouTube at 13:30... 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 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 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 hard copy in bookshops and on our website, and in digital format... Read more
Special page - German Federal Elections 2021
On 26 September, Germans voted to elect their deputies, and negotiations are underway to choose the coalition and Angela Merkel's successor in the Chancellery. To understand the issues 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 in relation to this election, as well as our interventions in the media and resources on the programmes of the contending parties...Read more.. 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 16 countries have already received the pre-financing. The Commission has so far not approved the Hungarian and Polish plans because of the infringement of the rule of law. The Foundation offers you an interactive map of the plans country by country, to see the amounts, timetables and priorities... Read more
Map of Health Measures and Travel Conditions in Europe
In Romania, since 1 October and in areas where the incidence rate is higher than 6 per 1000, access to bars and restaurants is only available to people who have been vaccinated or cured of Covid-19, and masks are compulsory for everyone both indoors and outdoors. In France, masks are no longer required in schools in 47 departments where the incidence rate is below 50 per 100,000. As of 4 October, in Madrid, restrictions have been lifted for bars, restaurants, cinemas and theatres, and masks are no longer mandatory outdoors. 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
Belarus: chronology of a revolution in progress
As repression continues in Belarus, the European Commission proposed on 29 September to suspend visa facilities for officials linked to the regime. On 30 September, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe called on the regime to stop using migrants on its borders with the EU, and proposed the creation of a body to monitor the human rights situation in the country. To follow the crisis opened 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

Commission : Extension of the temporary State aid framework
The Commission proposed to Member States on 30 September to extend the temporary state aid framework put in place in 2020 to support the economy during the pandemic. It proposes to apply more flexible rules until June 2022 while phasing out the support measures. In addition, the Commission is widening the scope of action of States by allowing them to temporarily support investment and solvency... Read more
New mission for Horizon Europe
On 30 September, the Commission launched five missions under the Horizon Europe programme: adapting to climate change, combating cancer, protecting the oceans, living in greener cities and cleaning up the soil. Each mission will have a specific timetable and budget and will mobilise different public and private actors... Read more
For a revision of the code of good practice
On 1 October, the Commission proposed a revision of the code of good practice against disinformation that signatory platforms must respect. The aim is to remedy the lack of an appropriate monitoring mechanism and the inadequacy of the commitments on access to data. While eight new potential signatories have expressed interest, it invites messaging services and online advertising players to follow suit... Read more
Airlines agree on improved reimbursement for cancelled flights
After discussions with the Commission and national consumer protection authorities, 16 airlines committed on 30 September to greater respect for passengers' rights and to improve their communication on cancelled flights, notably due to the pandemic. In particular, they pledged to reimburse passengers within 7 days in case of cancellation... Read more

Parliament : Third Citizens' Panel
The third Citizens' Panel of the Conference on the Future of Europe was held in Strasbourg from 1 to 3 October. The participants, selected to represent the whole population of the Union, discussed climate change, the environment and health. The final panel will take place from 15 to 17 October. The citizens' 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 : Competitiveness Council
On 28 September, Research Ministers discussed the new European Research Area, the need to strengthen cooperation with a view to improving innovation for a greener and more competitive economy. On 29 September, industry ministers discussed the environmental impact of industrial strategy and regulation on competitiveness. They emphasised the ability of companies to achieve carbon neutrality, as well as the importance of the border carbon mechanism in the framework of the climate package "Adjustment to Target 55"... Read more
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Adoption of the Brexit adjustment reserve
The Council definitively adopted the Brexit adjustment reserve on 28 September. This €5.4 billion fund aims to compensate for the negative effects of Brexit on Member States, particularly with regard to trade, fisheries and cross-border flows... Read more
Eurogroup Meeting
The members of the Eurogroup meeting on 4 October discussed the economic outlook for the euro area and, in particular, energy prices. They discussed the implementation of the euro area's priorities through the recovery plans. The ministers also exchanged views on growth and employment, took stock of the discussions on the banking union, and discussed the 11th report on the enhanced surveillance of Greece... Read more

Diplomacy : First Council with the USA for trade and technologies
The EU-US Trade and Technology Council held its first meeting on 29 September in Pittsburgh. Both sides committed to coordinating their approaches and deepening the transatlantic trade and economic relationship. The working groups set up will focus in particular on investment and import controls, artificial intelligence and semiconductors... Read more
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Kosovo-Serbia agree to scale down tension
Serbia and Kosovo reached an agreement on 30 September, brokered by the EU, to reduce recent tensions on their border. The agreement includes the establishment of an EU-led working group to find a solution to the license plate issue. Kosovo no longer recognises Serbian number plates on its territory, as Serbia does not recognise Kosovo's on their territory... Read more
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Postponement of EU-Australia negotiations
The round of trade talks scheduled for October between the European Union and Australia has been postponed to November, the Commission said on 1 October. The postponement comes just weeks after the diplomatic crisis between France and Australia following the latter's abrupt cancellation of a strategic partnership in the Indo-Pacific region... Read more

Court of Justice : Cancellation of two trade agreements with Morocco
On 29 September, the EU General Court annulled two Council decisions approving the conclusion of bilateral agreements between the EU and Morocco, on agricultural products of Moroccan origin and sustainable fisheries. As these agreements produce effects on the land and coastal territories of Western Sahara, the Court considered that the Council had failed to respect the principle of the relative effect of treaties by not seeking the consent of the people of Western Sahara. However, the Court states that the Council's decisions remain valid for two months so as not to prejudice the Union's external action... Read more

Court of Auditors : Report on the CAP and the sustainable use of water
In a report published on 30 September, the European Court of Auditors finds that the implementation of the Water Framework Directive, which aims to achieve a satisfactory status of all water bodies by 2027, is lagging behind. It notes that agricultural policies do not always comply with EU water directives. It calls on States to improve the justification of derogations from the implementation of the Framework Directive in agriculture, and asks the Commission to make CAP payments conditional on compliance with water standards... Read more

European Agencies : Photo of Mercury by the BepiColombo mission
The European-Japanese probe BepiColombo captured an image of part of Mercury's northern hemisphere on 1 October, as it passed in front of the planet for its first gravitational assist manoeuvre. It was launched in 2018... Read more
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Ilkka Salmi, new coordinator in the fight to counter terrorism
The new EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, Ilkka Salmi from Finland, took up his post on 1 October for a five-year term. He succeeds Gilles de Kerchove, who was in office for 16 years... Read more

Germany : Unity Day
On 3 October in Halle, on the occasion of the Day of German Unity, Chancellor Angela Merkel made a strong plea for democracy and urged (West) Germans to show more "respect" to their fellow citizens in the East... Read more
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Greece : Strategic partnership between France and Greece
France and Greece signed a strategic defence partnership on 28 September. The agreement provides for mutual assistance in the event of an armed attack, as well as the purchase by Greece of three defence and intervention frigates built by Naval Group... Read more
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Romania : Award of Charlemagne Prize to President Klaus Iohannis
The Charlemagne Prize, which is awarded annually for an outstanding contribution to European unification, was presented to Romanian President Klaus Iohannis on 2 October. The organisers praised his work and "enormous dedication" in helping to make Romania a pro-European country committed to the rule of law... Read more

Switzerland : Swiss parliament releases the EU cohesion billion
The Swiss parliament voted on 30 September to grant €1.2 billion to support projects in the 13 Member States that joined the European Union most recently, as well as projects related to migration. The sum, known as the "cohesion billion", is part of a law on Switzerland's cooperation with the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Its release is seen as a gesture to the EU after negotiations on a framework agreement failed in May 2021... Read more
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Council of Europe : Autumn session of the Parliamentary Assembly
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe met from 27 to 30 September for its plenary session. Discussions focused on the Afghan crisis, cybercrime, migration on the borders of the Baltic States and Belarus. The right to a healthy environment was at the centre of the discussions. In particular, the Assembly called on States to pay special attention to the protection of the rights of climate migrants... Read more
Vaclav Havel Prize 2021 awarded to Maria Kalesnikova
The Václav Havel Prize was awarded on 27 September to Maria Kalesnikova, a leading opposition figure in Belarus, at a special ceremony held at the opening of the plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Currently in detention, she was sentenced to 11 years in prison for her political activity. The Council of Europe recognised her human rights activism with a €60,000 prize... Read more
France wins the Crystal Scales of Justice Prize
The Council of Europe's Crystal Scales of Justice Prize was awarded on 1 October to the French Ministry of Justice for the introduction of simplified hospital complaints for victims of domestic violence. The prize recognises innovative projects by European judicial institutions... Read more

Eurostat : Increase in Inflation
Euro area annual inflation rose in September 2021 to 3.4%, up from 3% in August, according to an estimate published by Eurostat on 1 October. Energy is the sector with the highest inflation rate, at 17.4%, compared with 15.4% in August... Read more
Decline in unemployment
The unemployment rate in the EU fell in August to 6.8% from 6.9% in July, and to 7.5% in the euro area from 7.6% the previous month, according to figures published by Eurostat on 30 September. The youth unemployment rate was also down at 16.2% in the EU and 16.4% in the euro area... Read more

Studies/Reports : Report on Military Mobility
The Commission and the EU High Representative published a report on 24 September outlining the progress made in facilitating military movements inside and outside the EU. The report notes in particular the co-financing of dual-use infrastructure, the easing of customs formalities to allow better movement of military goods, and the development of a digital system to improve the exchange and security of information... Read more
Report on migration and asylum
On 29 September, the Commission presented a report on migration and asylum and an action plan against migrant smuggling. The report takes stock of migratory movements in the EU, particularly from Afghanistan and Belarus. It stresses the action of European agencies in managing these flows. The action plan aims to strengthen mutual cooperation between States in order to dismantle organised criminal groups involved in migrant smuggling, and to improve the implementation of sanctions against smugglers... Read more
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The "Pandora Papers" inquiry quotes several European leaders
On 3 October, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists published an investigation entitled "Pandora Papers" which reveals a set of confidential documents on the financial arrangements and wealth concealment of public figures around the world, including former and current European leaders such as Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, or former British Prime Minister Tony Blair... Read more
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Culture : Paris-Athens at the Louvre
On the occasion of the bicentenary of the beginning of the Greek War of Independence and the entry of the Venus de Milo into the Louvre, the museum is presenting " Paris-Athens. Birth of Modern Greece 1675-1919" until 7 February 2022. Through 350 works, the exhibition recounts the rediscovery of Greek Antiquity by European nations, its monuments and masterpieces, the birth of modern Greece and its artistic relations with France... Read more
Pissarro's Modernity in Basel
Until 23 January 2022, the Kunstmuseum Basel is presenting 180 works by Camille Pissarro. The exhibition reveals the Neo-Impressionist painter's thirst for experimentation and his conviction that beauty shines everywhere... Read more
Hokusai at the British Museum
Until 30 January 2022, the British Museum in London is exhibiting 103 recently discovered prints and drawings by the Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai. Produced between the years 1820 and 1830, the works depict scenes from Buddhist India, ancient China and nature. The exhibition thus reveals a 19th-century Japan that was much more intrigued by the outside world than previously thought... Read more
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Van Gogh in Madrid
As part of the "Meet Vincent van Gogh" experience organised with the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the Espace Ibercaja Delicias in Madrid is offering an immersive visit to the artist's works until 9 January 2022. The exhibition of large-scale reproductions of his paintings and a life-size reconstruction of his bedroom offer the opportunity to gain a new perspective on his work... Read more
Women in Music Festival
On 4, 5, 11 and 12 October, the Association of Polish Musicians is organising an online festival to promote the work and talent of women in music. The concerts will be broadcast on the association's Youtube channel... Read more

Napoleon's Bicentenary : Napoleon's Triumph(s)
On 5 and 6 October at 8 pm, the Académie symphonique de Paris will perform music composed to the glory of Napoleon in a concert at the Saint-Louis des Invalides cathedral... Read more
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Rambouillet in imperial times
On 9 and 10 October, the town of Rambouillet will switch to imperial time. In three emblematic places of the city, the castle, the national sheepfold and the palace of the King of Rome, reconstitutions of a military camp and scenes of daily life of that period are being presented, as well as a workshop on Empire fashion in the countryside... Read more
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4 October 2021


Eurogroup Meeting

5 October 2021


Economic and Financial Affairs Council

6 October 2021


Environment Council

Brdo pri Kranju

EU-Western Balkans Summit

7 & 8 October 2021


Justice/Home Affairs Council

8 & 9 October

Czech Republic

General Elections

11 & 12 October 2021


Agriculture and Fisheries Council

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