The Letter n°951

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The Letter n°951
The Letter
Tuesday 12th October 2021
issue 951
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The 23rd EU-Ukraine Summit in a time of change
Author : Milàn Czerny
Milàn Czerny
The EU-Ukraine summit, which takes place on 12 October in Kiev, 30 years after the country's independence, could be an opportunity to reflect on how to overcome the difficulties, such as the increasing pressure from Russia and the refusal of Europe and the United States to respond to its expectations. For the European Union, this means clarifying its position towards its eastern neighbour.
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Front page! : Inconvenient Law
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The Polish Constitutional Court has challenged the competence of the European Court of Justice and the primacy of European law, while some people in the run-up to the French presidential election are advocating a "constitutional shield" or the primacy of national law over European law. The European treaties, which are freely agreed, nevertheless strengthen individual and collective rights, recalls Jean-Dominique Giuliani... Read more

Elections : Results of the Czech general election
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The centre-right Spolu (Together) coalition came out on top in the Czech parliamentary elections of 8-9 October, with 27.79% of the vote and 71 seats, ahead of the ANO movement of outgoing Prime Minister Andrej Babis (27.12% and 72 seats), and the Pirates and Mayors coalition (15.62% and 37 seats). Spolu and the Pirates and Mayors coalition have a majority of 108 seats out of 200, but negotiations for the formation of a government have been delayed by the state of health of President Milos Zeman, 77, who was hospitalised on 10 October... Read more

Foundation : Economy and Security: bringing Europeans closer together?
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On 7 October, the Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA) organised a hybrid conference in Helsinki in partnership with the Foundation in preparation for the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The Chairman and the Managing Director of the Foundation, Jean-Dominique Giuliani and Pascale Joannin, debated with the economist Päivi Puonti and the researcher Niklas Helwig about the recovery in Europe and the defence and security policy. The debate is available online... Read more
The Schuman Report on Europe, State of the Union 2021
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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, as well as in digital form... Read more
The Permanent Atlas of the European Union is available
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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. Through more than 50 maps, texts and thematic sheets, the Atlas synthesises the essential history and political and statistical realities of the Union. It is available in paper form in bookshops and on our website, and in digital form... Read more
European Recovery Plans: figures and priorities
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In response to the economic and social consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, the EU has set up a €672.5 billion recovery fund, called the Recovery and Resilience Facility, for Member States in the shape of grants and loans. 22 plans have been approved by the Commission so far, including those of Finland and Estonia on 4 October, and 18 countries have already received the planned pre-financing. The Commission has so far not approved the Hungarian and Polish plans due to breaches of the rule of law. The Foundation provides you with 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
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The province of Valencia in Spain lifted restrictions on the number of people that can be admitted and the opening hours of bars and restaurants on 9 October. In Italy, since 11 October, cinemas and theatres have been able to accommodate the public at full capacity, and discotheques have partially reopened. The health pass will become compulsory for all employees from 15 October. In Belgium, on 15 October, the health pass will be introduced in bars, restaurants and cultural venues in Brussels. To follow the development of the situation and to understand the conditions of entry into the different Member States of the Union, 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
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In a resolution adopted on 7 October, the European Parliament calls for the regime of Alexander Lukashenko to be brought before the International Court of Justice for crimes committed against the peaceful population of Belarus. It also condemns the use of migrants at the border with the European Union. To follow the crisis triggered by the rigged presidential election of August 2020, the Foundation provides a chronology of events and links to European reactions and initiatives... Read more

Commission : European Strategy to counter anti-Semitism
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On 5 October, the Commission presented a European strategy to combat anti-Semitism. It calls on Member States to strengthen cooperation with digital actors to prevent all forms of anti-Semitism and to preserve the memory of the Shoah. It also calls for better protection of public spaces and for more research and education on anti-Semitism... Read more
Support Measures to Agriculture
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On 6 October the Commission adopted support measures for the wine and fruit and vegetable sectors. In a context of recovery from the crisis and meteorological instability, the Commission authorised Member States to extend the subsidies put in place in 2020 to support producers... Read more

Parliament : Request for the creation of a European disability card
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On 7 October, MEPs called for the introduction of a European disability card. They want to harmonise the status of people with disabilities in the European Union, to ensure their accessibility to public services and the digital world. They want to strengthen the fight against violence and harassment, especially concerning discrimination in employment... Read more
Recovery of fish stocks in the Mediterranean
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On 6 October, the Parliament called on the Commission to adopt concrete legislative measures concerning the recovery process of fish stocks in the Mediterranean Sea, and on Member States to adopt rules to reduce the impact of economic activities on the recovery of fish stocks... Read more
Resolution on relations with the USA
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In a resolution adopted on 6 October, MEPs stressed the strategic need for the EU to be independent of the US in defence and economic relations, but also the need for better coordination with the US on China. In particular, they suggest the creation of a Transatlantic Political Council to establish systematic consultation and coordination on foreign and security policy... Read more
Resolution on cyberdefence
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On 7 October, MEPs called for greater coordination between Member States on cyber defence. They call for the establishment of a joint cyber security unit to share information between institutions. They want more collaboration with NATO in implementing sanctions against hostile actors threatening Euro-Atlantic security... Read more
Resolution on the use of artificial intelligence
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In a resolution voted on 6 October, MEPs recalled the irrevocable nature of fundamental rights in the use of artificial intelligence by the police. They call for a ban on systematic surveillance of citizens and express concern about discrimination caused by identification systems. They call on governments to apply transparent algorithms while guaranteeing remedies... Read more
Resolution on the Arctic
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MEPs on 7 October warned Member States of the need to preserve the Arctic, particularly through sustainable and peaceful development. Parliament recommends respecting the Paris Agreements so as to limit the consequences of climate change in the region. Parliament is concerned about military and commercial projects initiated by Russia and China, which undermine the objective of keeping the Arctic out of global geopolitical tensions... Read more
Meeting of Young Europeans
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Between 3,000 and 4,000 young Europeans met on 8 and 9 October in the European Parliament in Strasbourg and online to discuss the future of Europe. This meeting of young Europeans (EYE) was part of the Conference on the Future of Europe and aimed to share ideas on Europe. Debates on the environment, democracy and human rights led to proposals that will be presented at the Conference on the Future of Europe... Read more
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Council : Meeting of Justice and Interior Ministers
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On 7 and 8 October, ministers adopted the Blue Card Directive on the conditions of entry and residence of highly qualified third-country workers in the EU. They discussed the screening and detention of migrants at borders, different migration routes and the situation in Afghanistan. They discussed procedural rights in relation to the pre-trial detention regime, the follow-up to the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor's Office, and the protection of journalists... Read more
Meeting of Economy and Finance Ministers
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On 5 October, the Ministers of Economy and Finance took stock of the implementation of the SURE regulation to support employment in countries affected by the pandemic. They approved the Maltese recovery plan, adopted conclusions on financing the climate transition and reiterated their commitment to using financial instruments to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement... Read more
Adoption of the amendment to the Aarhus Regulation
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On 5 and 6 October, the Parliament and the Council adopted the amendment to the regulation on the application of the Aarhus Convention, which guarantees access to information and justice in environmental matters. This amendment, which had been agreed between the two institutions, aims to strengthen the rights of citizens when they are directly affected by administrative acts that affect the environment... Read more
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Meeting of Development Ministers
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In a video conference on 11 October, the Development Ministers discussed the situation in Afghanistan. They agreed to provide the Afghan people with concrete humanitarian aid to support the population, including through the provision of essential goods and services... Read more

Diplomacy : EU-Western Balkans Summit
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At a summit with the Western Balkan countries on 6 October, EU leaders reiterated that EU enlargement to the countries of the region remains conditional on "credible reforms" and the Union's ability to integrate new members. They presented a €30 billion economic and investment plan and called for better cooperation, notably on managing migration flows, hybrid threats and the fight against organised crime... Read more
Launch of negotiations with the UK on Gibraltar
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On 5 October, the Council approved the launch of negotiations between the European Union and the United Kingdom on Gibraltar. As the British enclave in Spanish territory is not covered by the Trade and Cooperation Treaty concluded with the UK in 2020, the Commission has a mandate to negotiate a "broad and balanced agreement"... Read more

ECB : Podcast on Inflation
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In its latest podcast, released on 6 October, the European Central Bank looks at the causes of the current rise in inflation and analyses the trends impacting on prices... Read more

Germany : Meeting with Mario Draghi
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During a visit to Rome, German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with Pope Francis and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi. The two heads of government discussed the future role of the EU, European security policy, in particular with regard to Libya, as well as climate protection... Read more
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Austria : Resignation of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz
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On 9 October, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced his resignation following the opening of a corruption investigation against him and the People's Party (ÖVP) he leads for cases dating from 2016 and 2018. He explained that he wanted to preserve the existing government coalition between the ÖVP and the Greens. However, he announced that he would remain the leader of the party and the majority parliamentary group in the Nationalrat, the lower house of parliament. On 11 October, President Alexander von der Bellen appointed Alexander Schallenberg (ÖVP) as Chancellor. A. Schallenberg was previously Minister of Foreign Affairs... Read more
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France : New Summit with Africa
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An Africa-France summit was held in Montpellier on 8 October, in an unprecedented format, without an African head of state but with representatives of civil society. During a dialogue with young people from Africa and France, French President Emmanuel Macron announced the establishment of a €30 million fund to support democracy over three years and the creation of a House of African Worlds and Diasporas... Read more

Poland : Challenge to the primacy of European law
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On 7 October, the Polish Constitutional Court ruled that the Treaty on European Union is partly incompatible with the Constitution, thus challenging the primacy of European law and rejecting the competence of the Court of Justice of the European Union with regard to judicial reforms. In a press release, the European Commission recalled that "Union law takes precedence over national law" and that all judgments of the Court of Justice are binding on the Member States. It assured that it "will not hesitate" to use its powers to enforce EU law... Read more
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Romania : Vote of no confidence in the government
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The Romanian government led by Prime Minister Florin Citu (PNL) lost a vote of confidence in Parliament on 5 October. The motion was supported by the Social Democratic Party (PSD), the far-right AUR party, as well as the USR+ liberals, former members of the coalition. On 11 October, President Klaus Iohannis appointed USR leader Dacian Ciolos to try to form a new government... Read more
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OECD : Agreement on Global Corporate Tax
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An agreement on global taxation was reached on 8 October by 136 countries and jurisdictions under the auspices of the OECD. The text provides for the introduction, from 2023, of a minimum tax rate of 15% on the profits of multinational companies when they exceed 750 million €. In addition, the tax on the excess profits of the largest companies will be redistributed among the countries in which they operate... Read more
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Council of Europe : Joint declaration against the death penalty
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On the occasion of the European and World Day against the Death Penalty, the European Union and the Council of Europe reiterated their commitment to fight discrimination against women, who are more frequently sentenced to death than men for offences related to sexual morality, such as adultery. In addition, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that he would relaunch the fight for the universal abolition of the death penalty on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of its abolition in France... Read more
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Report on corruption in Slovenia
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The Council of Europe's Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) published its compliance report on Slovenia on 5 October. While the group had addressed some 15 recommendations to the Slovenian state in 2018, it notes that these have not been addressed. GRECO has given Slovenia 18 months to submit to the Council of Europe the progress made in implementing the recommendations... Read more

Studies/Reports : Report on Banking Union
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MEPs adopted their annual report on banking union on 7 October. They note the success of Bulgaria and Croatia's entry into the union. However, they point out the lack of parity in the management of financial banking services, recall the importance of protecting consumer rights, and ask the Commission to consider harmonising bank insolvency procedures... Read more

Culture : Nobel Prize
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The Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded on 5 October to the German Klaus Hasselmann, the Italian Giorgio Parisi, and the Japanese-American Syukuro Manabe for their contribution to the understanding of complex physical systems on the theory of disordered materials and the physical modelling of climate. On 6 October, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Benjamin List of Germany and David W.C. MacMillan of the United States for the development of a new and precise tool for molecular construction, organocatalysis. On 11 October, the Nobel Prize in Economics was awarded to Canadian David Card, American Joshua Angrist and Dutch-American Guido Imbens for their work on the labour market... Read more
A memorial museum in Poland for those deported to Siberia
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A memorial museum opened in Bialystok on 17 September to preserve the memory of the 330,000 Poles deported to the Siberian gulags during the Second World War... Read more
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The Ancient Ideal in Athens
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The Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens is hosting an archaeological exhibition until 16 January 2022 focusing on the notion of "kallos", which means "beautiful" and "good" in Greek. 300 pieces from 52 museums illustrate the philosophical concept of "kallos" as the embodiment of an ideal in the daily life of ancient Greece.. Read more
Bill Viola in Helsinki
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Until 27 February 2022, the Amos Rex Underground Museum in Helsinki is hosting the exhibition "Bill Viola: Inner Journey", a well-known figure in video art. In the exhibition, Bill Viola seeks to take visitors on a journey of discovery into questions of human existence in video works... Read more
Goya at the Beyeler Foundation
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The Fondation Beyeler in Basel is holding an exhibition of around 70 paintings and over 100 drawings and prints by Francisco de Goya. The fascination of Goya's work lies in the irreducible contradiction between his mastery of courtly portraiture and his modernism. This duality is expressed through the representation of the drama that plays out between reason and folly, dreams and nightmares... Read more
Renaissance Portraits in Amsterdam
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Until 16 January 2022, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam presents "Remember Me", an exhibition of over 100 Renaissance portraits by the greatest painters. The exhibition shows the diversity of approaches to portraiture, depending on the style of the painter or the wishes of the sitter... Read more
David Hockney in Brussels
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Until 23 January 2022, the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels is hosting a David Hockney retrospective, 'Works from the Tate Collection, 1954-2017', as well as the exhibition 'L'arrivée du printemps, Normandie, 2020', which brings together colourful paintings made in France during the first confinement... Read more
Soutine and De Kooning in Paris
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Until 10 January 2022, the Musée de l'Orangerie in Paris is hosting around 40 pieces of work by Chaim Soutine and Willem de Kooning. This exhibition opens a dialogue into the impact made by Soutine's tormented painting on the work of the American abstract expressionist painter... Read more
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Frieze Art Fair
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From 13 to 17 October, the Frieze art fair will be held in London. The event, which welcomes 260 international galleries, aims to be both rooted in the past and at the forefront of contemporary art. Nearly 6,000 works of art are on display, from antiquity to modern art... Read more
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Napoleon's Bicentenary : Gallery of the Illustrious in Santiago de Chile
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The Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, in Santiago, is hosting an exhibition until 28 October that covers three centuries of French actions in Chile and, in particular, the presence of soldiers of the Imperial Army who arrived in South America after the fall of Napoleon, and their descendants... Read more
"Napoleon l'oeuvre civile" Exhibition
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On the occasion of the bicentenary of the death of Napoleon I, the theme of "Napoleon's civil work" will be honoured in the city of Thionville throughout the autumn of 2021. As a tribute to the period of the Empire, the city will be hosting several events such as exhibitions, conferences and concerts by the Republican Guard... Read more
Exhibition "L'esprit des lieux" at Fontainebleau
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Until 2 November, the Salle des fêtes of the Théâtre municipal de Fontainebleau is hosting an exhibition by photographers Annabelle Matter and Alexis Gerard, who have travelled the world to discover and immortalise emblematic or lesser-known places of the Napoleonic era... Read more

11Oct
11 & 12 October 2021

Luxembourg

Agriculture and Fisheries Council

12Oct

13Oct

15Oct

18Oct
18 October

Luxembourg

Foreign Affairs Council

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Records of the Letter
année 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