The Letter n°953

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The Letter n°953
The Letter
Tuesday 26th October 2021
issue 953
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Energy Price Hikes: which European solutions?
Author : Ramona Bloj
Ramona Bloj
As the COP26 opens in Glasgow on 31 October, energy prices, the cost of transition, the role of markets and the different national strategies are central to the debates around the world. As part of the Green Deal, the European Union must find common answers to ensure security of supply, access to energy for all and a successful ecological transition.
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Foundation : Towards a more United Europe
As part of the preparations for the French Presidency of the Council of the Union and the Conference on the Future of Europe, the Romanian European Institute organised a videoconference on 20th October, at the initiative of the Robert Schuman Foundation, on how the Member States can move forward together in terms of foreign policy, strategy and economic policy. You can watch the discussion again... 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 format. Order it here... 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. Through more than 50 maps, texts and thematic sheets, the Atlas summarises the Union's history and political and statistical realities. It is available in hard copy in bookshops and on our website, and in digital format... Read more
Belarus: chronology of a revolution in progress
At the European Council on 21-22 October, EU heads of state and government once again called on the Belarusian regime to release political prisoners. They also described the regime's influx of migrants as a "hybrid attack" on the EU and warned that new sanctions could be implemented. To follow the crisis triggered by the rigged presidential election of August 2020 and the repression of the democratic opposition, the Foundation offers its readers a timeline of events and links to European responses and initiatives... Read more
Map of Health Measures and Travel Conditions in Europe
A new lockdown came into force in Latvia on 21 October, with a curfew from 8pm to 5am and the closure of bars, restaurants, cultural venues and shops selling non-essential goods. In Bulgaria, the health pass was introduced on 21 October in bars and restaurants, cultural venues and for sports events. In Romania, as of 25 October, a curfew for non-vaccinated people is in place, masks must be worn and the health pass has been introduced. On 22 October, Austria implemented a 5-step plan that could lead to the confinement of non-vaccinated people in the event of a flare-up of the epidemic. To follow the development of the situation and to learn about the conditions of entry into 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, called the Recovery and Resilience Facility, for Member States in the form of grants and loans. Bulgaria submitted its plan to the Commission on 15 October. 22 plans have so far been approved by the Commission, and 19 countries have already received the planned pre-financing. The Commission has not yet approved the Hungarian and Polish plans because of their infringement 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

European Council : Conclusions of the European Council
At the European Council on 21-22 October, the 27 leaders recalled the importance of strengthening the Health Union and called for further vaccination and coordination to facilitate free movement. Faced with rising energy prices, they asked the Commission and the Council to consider measures. They also asked the Commission for proposals and financial means for actions on all migration routes and threatened Belarus with new sanctions. They discussed the rule of law in Poland, the digital transition, the Union's trade policy, external relations in view of COP26 and the Eastern Partnership summit. They paid tribute to Angela Merkel, whose 107th and probably last European Council was held... Read more

Commission : Work Programme for 2022
The Commission published its work programme for 2022 on 19 October. Among other things, it plans to propose measures for the climate and against pollution, as well as legislation on microprocessors, company taxation and media freedom. It will also present strategies on health, education and space traffic management... Read more
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Launch of debate on economic governance
On 19 October, the Commission launched a consultation on changing the EU's economic governance framework in view of the re-implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact in 2023. Stakeholders such as EU institutions, national authorities, social partners and academia can submit their suggestions by 31 December. The aim of this debate is to improve the framework's effectiveness, in particular by improving the application and transparency of existing rules... Read more
Reports on Enlargement
On 19 October, the Commission published its annual reports on the enlargement policy and the candidate and potential candidate countries - the Western Balkan countries and Turkey. It notes efforts to improve the rule of law in the Western Balkans but calls for more reforms. With regard to Turkey, the Commission reiterates its willingness to strengthen cooperation, provided that the Turkish authorities respect international law and restore the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law... Read more
Aviation Agreement between the European Union and Qatar
On 18 October, the European Union and Qatar signed an agreement to establish a level playing field for flights between the two parties. This air transport agreement aims to provide for sustainable aviation, including the possibility for airlines to operate direct flights between the two areas, as well as improving their social and labour policies. Implementation of the agreement has started, but it still needs to be ratified by both parties before it enters into force... Read more
Covid-19: Portfolio of promising treatment
On 22 October, the Commission established a portfolio of the 10 "most promising" treatments against the Covid-19 virus. These treatments are divided into different categories according to the stage of the disease at which they are effective. They still need to be authorised by the European Medicines Agency before they are available on the European market. Six of them are already under continuous evaluation for approval... Read more

Parliament : Plenary Meeting of the Conference on the future of Europe
The second meeting of the plenary assembly of the Conference on the Future of Europe was held on 23 October in Strasbourg. It discussed interim reports on the conference, as well as the first impressions of the European citizens' panels, a report from the representatives of the national expert groups and events, and a report on the meeting of young Europeans. All Europeans can contribute to the debates on the conference platform... Read more
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Alexeï Navalny, winner of the Sakharov Prize
The European Parliament awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to imprisoned Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny on 20 October. MEPs recognised his "incredible courage" and reiterated their "unwavering support" for his immediate release, explained Parliament's President David Sassoli... Read more
Position on the 2022 Budget
On 21 October, MEPs adopted their position on the EU budget for 2022, which totals €171.8 billion. Following the cuts made by the Council, they increased the funds available for post-pandemic recovery programmes such as Horizon Europe for research or LIFE for the environment. They also increased funding for health (EU4Health), youth (Erasmus+) and humanitarian aid... Read more
Resolution on the Farm to Fork Strategy
In a resolution adopted on 19 October, MEPs gave their support to the draft "Farm to Fork" strategy. They insist on the need for binding targets for reducing pesticide use, reviewing animal welfare standards and increasing the amount of organic land in the EU by 2030... Read more
Stepping up cooperation with Taiwan
MEPs adopted a recommendation on 21 October calling for greater cooperation with Taiwan. They stress the EU's economic and trade interests, including Taiwan's supply of semiconductors, and call for a bilateral investment agreement between the two sides. They recall the need to maintain peace in the region and call on the EU to condemn China's repeated attacks on Taiwan... Read more
The Polish Constitutional Court is not legitimate
In a resolution adopted on 21 October, MEPs say that the Polish Constitutional Court is not legitimate because it lacks legal validity and independence. MEPs condemn Poland's attempt to undermine the rule of European law and call on the Council and the Commission to urgently protect the Polish people and the Union. They are also calling on the Commission to take action, including initiating infringement proceedings and requesting interim measures from the Court of Justice... Read more

Council : Tripartite Social Summit
The tripartite social summit, held by video conference on 20 October, addressed the issues of recovery and the role of the social partners, the social dimension of the dual climate and digital transition, and sustainable work... Read more

Diplomacy : Conference in support of the Stability of Libya
On 21 October, representatives of some 30 states and international organisations met in Tripoli for the Conference in Support of the Stability of Libya, in the run-up to the presidential election that the interim government has pledged to hold on 24 December... Read more

Court of Auditors : Report on the financing of the Cohesion Policy
On 21 October, the European Court of Auditors published a report on the use of performance as a funding criterion in the Cohesion Policy for the period 2014-2020. It observes that, despite the progress made, the objective of basing funding on performance has not been fully achieved. For the future, it recommends monitoring compliance by Member States receiving funds, anticipating the mid-term review for 2021-2027, and introducing better monitoring of internal market rules and reporting by states on the results to be achieved... Read more
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Germany : The President of the Bundesbank announces his departure
The President of the Bundesbank, the German Central Bank, Jens Weidmann, announced on 20 October his intention to step down on 31 December. He explained his decision by "personal reasons" and the wish to "open a new chapter" in his career and in the institution he has headed since May 2011... Read more
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France : 111th launch of Ariane 5
On 23 October, an Ariane 5 rocket lifted off from the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou with two satellites on board, SES-17 and Syracuse 4A. For its 111th launch (VA255), Ariane 5 achieved the "most successful flight ever by a launcher to the geostationary transfer orbit", the European heavy launcher achieving a world record for injection into this orbit... Read more
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Italy : Draft budget 2022
On 19 October, the Italian government presented its draft budget for the year 2022 to support "the economy in the phase of recovery from the pandemic and strengthen the growth rate in the medium term". It mainly foresees a tax cut, a reform of social buffers and pensions, as well as tax allowances to adapt homes to the energy transition. It also plans an overhaul of the "citizenship income", a minimum income aimed at fighting poverty... Read more
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Romania : Romania seeks a head of government
The Romanian Parliament refused on 20 October to invest Dacian Ciolos, leader of the centre-right USR+ party, as head of government. On 21 October, President Klaus Iohannis tasked General Nicolae Ciuca, the current Defence Minister, to try to form a government within 10 days. The country has been in political crisis since parliament overthrew Prime Minister Florin Citu (PNL, centre-right) on 5 October... Read more

Turkey : Expulsion of the Ambassadors of 10 countries supporting Osman Kavala
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on 23 October the upcoming expulsion of the ambassadors of 10 countries, including France, Germany, Canada and the United States. These countries asked on 18 October for a "just and rapid settlement" of the case concerning Osman Kavala, a Turkish opponent who has been imprisoned for 4 years without trial. The ECHR called for his "immediate release" in December 2019... Read more
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FATF watch list
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing body, placed Turkey on its grey list on 21 October due to the country's shortcomings in the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism... Read more
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Switzerland : Free movement for Croats
At a meeting of the Swiss-EU Joint Committee on the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons on 22 October, the Swiss government announced that Croatia will have full free movement on 1 January 2022. Until now, Croatian nationals are subject to labour market protection measures under the agreement... Read more
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Council of Europe : Report on Human Trafficking in the UK
The Council of Europe's Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) estimates in a report published on 20 October that the number of presumed trafficked persons reported to the UK's National Referral Mechanism increased from 1 182 to 10 613 between 2012 and 2020. The report welcomes the efforts of the UK authorities to create specialised anti-trafficking bodies. However, it calls on the government to take further steps to improve the identification of victims of trafficking, ensure legal and psychological support for victims, and convict more traffickers... Read more
Protecting children against radicalisation
The Council of Europe adopted a recommendation on 20 October that calls for a series of measures to help states better protect children from radicalisation for the purpose of terrorism. It encourages states to take into account in their domestic law the best interests of the child and to help families caring for children to protect them from exposure to extremist ideas. The Council further recommends a better prevention strategy and a strengthening of children's participation in society... Read more

NATO : Meeting of Defence Ministers
NATO Defence Ministers met on 21-22 October to discuss the Alliance's capabilities and its role on the international stage. They discussed NATO's response to Russian attacks and the situation in Afghanistan. Ministers from 17 member states launched a €1 billion innovation fund as part of the implementation of the Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA) programme to make better use of civilian innovation. The Ministers also expressed their wish to strengthen cooperation between NATO and the Scandinavian countries (Finland and Sweden)... Read more
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IMF : Economic forecasts for Europe
In its forecast for Europe published on 20 October, the International Monetary Fund estimates that growth in 2022 will be 4.4% for the continent's advanced economies and 3.6% for emerging economies. It stresses that Europe now faces two challenges in this period of economic recovery: controlling inflation and reducing government budget support. He says it is better to withdraw aid "too slowly rather than too quickly" to avoid the risk of weakening the momentum of the recovery. It also calls on governments to support job transitions, with public support for hiring or training... Read more
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Eurostat : Increase in inflation in September
Annual inflation was 3.6% in the European Union and 3.4% in the euro area in September, according to Eurostat figures published on 20 October... Read more

Culture : Immersive Experience in the Cosmos in Paris
Until 20 November, the Atelier des Lumières in Paris is offering an immersive experience based on the conquest of space. In association with the Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES), the Atelier des Lumières presents a light show that begins in French Guiana and takes the spectator into the cosmos amidst the planets, nebulae and supernovas... Read more
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Women artists at the Guggenheim in Bilbao
Until February 27, 2022, the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao is presenting an exhibition that aims to document the contribution of women artists to 20th century abstraction. Through choreographic works, photographs and decorative arts, the exhibition highlights the specific contexts that have surrounded, favoured or, on the contrary, limited the recognition of these women artists, from all continents... Read more
6th Biennial of Painting in Zagreb
The 6th Biennial of Painting is being held until 5 December at the Mestrovic Pavilion in Zagreb. The works of one hundred artists are on display to showcase the contemporary Croatian painting scene as well as that of a European city chosen by the jury, in this case Dublin... Read more
Johann Erdmann Hummel in Berlin
Until 20 February 2022, the Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin is hosting an exhibition of the painter Johann Erdmann Hummel. About 45 paintings and 50 drawings underline the artist's mastery of reflection and the play of light and his taste for perspective... Read more
Annika Elisabeth von Hausswolff in Stockholm
The Museum of Modern Art in Stockholm is hosting an exhibition dedicated to the Swedish artist Annika Elisabeth von Hausswolff until 20 February 2022. Through photographs and sculptures, the artist depicts the vulnerability of women and violence that are the main themes of her art... Read more
Julie Manet: an Impressionist Heritage
Until 20 March 2022, the Musée Marmottan Monet in Paris is organising the first ever exhibition devoted to Julie Manet, the only daughter of Berthe Morisot and niece of Edouard Manet. Through more than a hundred paintings, sculptures, watercolours and engravings, the exhibition brings together the collection of Impressionist works acquired by Julie Manet... Read more
Cézanne and the Avant-Gardists in Budapest
Nine years after the exhibition "Cézanne and the Past", the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest is devoting an exhibition to the French impressionist painter. From 29 October to 13 February 2022, "From Cézanne to Malevich" focuses on the relationship between the painter and the European avant-gardists from 1906 to 1930... Read more
Martin Parr Exhibition in Turin
The Italian Centre for Photography in Turin is showing the career of the English photographer Martin Parr from 28 October to 13 February 2022. Through 150 images dedicated to sporting events, the exhibition highlights the artist's desire to depict contemporary society with a certain irony... Read more

Napoleon's Bicentenary : Imperial Days Nice
The Musée Masséna in Nice is presenting the Emperor as a writer together with his memoirs in the exhibition "Napoleon, a literary hero" until 9 January 2022. On 30 and 31 October, special "Imperial Days" will be held on the theme of "Napoleon, hero beyond death"... Read more
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26 October 2021


Energy Council

EU-Africa Ministerial Meeting

28 October 2021


Meeting of the Council of Governors of the European Central Bank


EU-Moldova Association Council


Finance Ministers Meeting

30-31 October 2021


G20 Summit

1-12 November 2021


UN Conference on Climate Change

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Energy Price Hikes: which European solutions?
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